Full Version: Voyages of discovery? (spoilers for all RotE books)
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The world of RotE is very small. This worked well in the Farseer Trilogy. The Six Duchies were not part of a large empire, appeared to lack any means of fast, long-distance travel and were hemmed in by mountains, the sea and hostile Chalced.

The Liveship Traders Trilogy expanded the world considerably, but not as much as I would have expected. Liveships appear capable of tremendous feats of navigation, yet they hug the coast and voyage only to neighbouring states. There appear to have been no transoceanic voyages of discovery.

Now, dragons have reappeared. They are capable of tremendous long-distance flights and have memories stretching back centuries at least. Surely they have crossed the oceans and ventured beyond the known world?

This raises another issue; why did dragons go extinct worldwide? It seems that some kind of massive volcanic activity wiped out the local population of adult dragons, without killing those serpents still out at sea. Was this the only population of dragons in existence, or are there others across the ocean or further to the East or South? If other populations did exist, why didn't Icefyre (or, later, Tintaglia) attempt to contact them? Perhaps they were perceived as too hostile.

On the other hand, perhaps dragons were very geographically limited. They clearly have an obligate symbiosis with memory stone. Perhaps memory stone is limited to a particular geographical area. This, in itself, would be interesting. Where did it come from? Is it the remains of an asteroid or crashed spacecraft or was it generated by some very rare and specific natural process?

In any case, it seems likely that the world is about to expand. Surely some dragon keeper or liveship captain will want to know what is on the other side of all that water and where do serpents go to feed?
(Jul-06-2010, 10:29 PM (UTC))maulkin Wrote: [ -> ]There appear to have been no transoceanic voyages of discovery.

Asked a question kind of relating to this on the Others Island thread...
Where do ships end up when they disappear from the side of Others Island (most likely vanishing due to the proximity of these ships to the Skill pillar used by Fitz and Dutiful or some other, similar means)? Not sure how this would work with non-Liveships though?! Still, this points to there possibly being Skill pillars in regions beyond the currently known Realm of the Elderlings?

The Great Sail Fleet trades with and makes a transoceanic voyage west to Jamaillia every three years however there is no mention (that I know of) of anyone journeying TO the region from where the Great Sail Fleet hails. Is it possible that it is near their shores that the disappearing Others Island ships emerge?

I did have thoughts that Robin would be truly sneaky and create **sort of a Soldier Son trilogy spoiler**
I am sure someone would have said if this was so!).

I am fairly certain that Ephron Vestrit sailed far south to the Spice Isles via a wide path around the eastern side of Others Island, to avoid the Pirate Isles. If this is the case, I wonder why he and other Traders didn't simply journey further due east to trade, if not to 'discover'?

More to add but no time at present Down !
I'm quite sure that Hobb has stated specifically that Soldier Son takes place in a completely unrelated world. Not having read soldier Son yet, I wouldn't know if having it take place in the same world makes sense.

All this does raise the question: do the inhabitants of the Realm of the Elderlings believe the world to be flat or round? It would make a huge difference to their attitude to cross-ocean exploring.
Hmm, that's a good question... I seem to remember our dearest Fitzy describing the Elderling map on Aslevjal and saying: (yes I did look this up, and yes I do conveniently have Fool's Fate right next to me... Big Grin)

"An island, most likely Aslevjal, was in the exact center of it. Other islands dotted the sea around it. To the south and west, I saw the coast of the Six Duchies, though it was subtly wrong in many places. To the north was a land I had no name for, and across a wide sea, on the eastern edge of the map, I saw a coastline where tradition told me there was only endless ocean. Tiny gems had been set randomly into the map, each marked with a rune. Some seemed to glow with an inner light. One glittered white on Aslevjal. Four, set in a minute square, sparkled in Buck, near the mouth of the Buck River. There were a handful of others throughout the Six Duchies, some bright and some dull. There were more in the Mountain Kingdom, and a line of them, carefully spaced, along the Rain Wild River, though many of those were quenched."

Later, when the Fool sees the map, it says that "[h]e touched, a wistful caress, the coast of a land far to the south and east of Buckkeep. No gem winked there."

So we do know that the Elderlings, and therefore almost certainly the dragons, knew of these far-off lands, but didn't settle them. Maybe the black stone veined with silver was only mined in the Six Duchies, the God's Runes, the Mountain Kingdom, and near the Rain Wilds. If so, I highly doubt that any dragon or dragons would volunteer to be the one/s to transport the huge blocks of stone to the faraway places on the map; they could simply fly there, and their Elderling companions would either ride them (which would probably be most humiliating for the dragons), sail across the wide oceans (but where would they get all the provisions needed for such a long and arduous trip?), or stay behind (and I don't think the dragons or the Elderlings would want to be apart from one another for that long).

It does indeed seem that the dragons are mainly confined to this one area, or more likely, the Elderlings are. The dragons could have flown across the land with their minds linked to the Elderlings, and then the Elderlings could have fashioned the map that way, maybe with help from the Skill River.

I do believe that this would be the only population of dragons in existence. I seem to recall, from what I've read of the Liveships trilogy, that the dragons are always there to help the serpents spin their cocoons. I took this as there would always be a gathering of all of the dragons around that time, who would combine the ancient memories of their race with the unique experiences each individual dragon has had, and give them all to the serpents that would become dragons. Maybe the volcanic activity occurred during one of those times, just after the serpents had almost finished spinning their cocoons but before the dragons could leave?

Also, it seems like the dragons would already know where the serpents go to feed, because they were all serpents at one time. I'd assumed that the dragons kept their serpent memories, so they, too, would be in the ancient memories of the dragon race. So the dragons and the Elderlings would already know where the serpents went, and then pass rumors to the human culture that there was only endless ocean. Nobody wants to sail on endless ocean; perhaps the "tradition" that Fitz talked about was started by the dragons and the Elderlings so that humans couldn't disturb the serpents.

Or maybe the Elderlings and the dragons didn't settle anywhere else because they shared the Others' hatred of cats, and there were far too many felines across the ocean. Big Grin
(Jul-07-2010, 01:47 PM (UTC))NeverBeenWise Wrote: [ -> ]I'd assumed that the dragons kept their serpent memories, so they, too, would be in the ancient memories of the dragon race.
I don't think that they do. In Dragon Haven, when Kalo reveals the true identity of the Tarman he says something like "I do not remember much that I should and I remember much that I should not". He then goes on to describe events that occurred while he was a serpent in Maulkin's tangle. I took this to mean that adult dragons do not normally retain their serpent memories. In this case, the location of the serpents' feeding grounds may be known only to serpents.
Just a quick reply...yes, I agree with maulkin re that serpent memories are most usually lost and are replaced by dragon memories, and there are many hints that point to this. I have mentioned it elsewhere but one of the most telling is the confusion the dragons first experienced in regards to Tarman. If they fully retained their serpents memories, they would have immediately known full well what Tarman was (a liveship just as Vivacia and Paragon were) and also how he came to be. As it was, they took some time to discover/recall this.

Re Yes, I remember reading Robin's comments regarding the Soldier Son trilogy Albertosaurus Rex but I still wondered if that was just her way of putting us off the scent Smiling ! Though I am only just ready to begin the fourth chapter (reading in spits and spurts when time allows!), I have found a number of links to the RotE but this is most likely due to both works having been created by the same author (or possibly just a result of my having read the RotE books and so I am therefore looking for things I otherwise wouldn't have been Big Grin!). One such subject of interest I am now going to add to a thread authored by maulkin and others in the Gernia threads when I get a chance.
It is rather doubtful that soldier son is on the same world... The level of technology is far too high there when compared to RotE... Soldier son has rather advanced firearms, while RotE only uses arrows and catapults... It is very rare for any world to have both early-mid medieval technological development as well as far later epochs... The styles of these two worlds are also far different...

These beings have no theories currently on why there are no settlements by elderlings other places on that world, but they are quite sure there are no other dragons in that world. Having other dragons would just not make sense.
I agree and, having finished 'Shaman's Crossing', would go so far as to say that it's pretty concrete for the reasons you mention, thul. Thanks and welcome to thePlenty! I also apologise as I believe my earlier posts may have been a little misleading as I didn't truly believe that Gernia does have anything to do with the Elderling realm based on past comments from fellow Hobb fans and Robin herself (more like wishful thinking on my part!).

While I do think there are quite a number of similarities to some plot points, characters, roles, circumstances etc between the two worlds (I will compile a comparative list based on these in a Gernia thread when I finally get the SS series finished!), my previous comment that "I have found a number of links to the RotE" was more with regard to Robin's style of writing, and word/phrase choices, rather than any true connection to the worlds or plots.

Without wanting to post any sort of Soldier Son spoilers here, some examples of this would be using the name 'Raven' for one of the boys found in the first chapter; numerous cat references throughout; describing the river water as 'silver'; the use of words such as 'motley', 'mottled', 'dappled' and 'piebald' etc. If I had read the SS series first, these little things would have meant nothing at all to me but, after not only having read but also closely studied all of the RotE books to find exactly these sorts of little links and clues to solve umpteen riddles, I can't help latching on to them no matter how inconsequential they are to the SS world.

I hope we do get to find out something more about the expanded parts of the RotE world. While I am intrigued by Chalced, I'd also like to discover more about the source of the Great Sail Fleet, not to mention Fool's home, the Spice Isles etc.
These beings are grateful for the welcome. They themselves had not noticed that similarity in words, but it is a few years since they read the farseer and fool books, they just read the liveship/rain wild books recently. (The last one less than two weeks ago)

Those similarities (dappled and such) are more related to author than to connections. That is the opinion of the 'thul.
(Jul-11-2010, 12:24 PM (UTC))thul Wrote: [ -> ]It is rather doubtful that soldier son is on the same world... The level of technology is far too high there when compared to RotE... Soldier son has rather advanced firearms, while RotE only uses arrows and catapults... It is very rare for any world to have both early-mid medieval technological development as well as far later epochs... The styles of these two worlds are also far different...

Still not having read Soldier Son yet, I must tread very carefully here, but... isn't the point here that the two "worlds" could be seperated by something like a great sea? If that is the case, it would account for the differences in technology: in isolation from each other, they develop differently.
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