In the prologue of “On Ordeal: Roshaun ke Nelaid,” we learn of the legacy of Thahit. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.
Oh, this was very different! While I still recognize how this fits into the greater mythology of the Young Wizards series, it was a treat to read something by Diane Duane that was written so unlike the bulk of this series. I do have a thing for fairy tales and myths, and there’s a mixture of that same starkness and poeticism within the prologue of Roshaun’s Ordeal story. But it doesn’t drift too far from Duane’s combination of fantasy and science, WHICH I STILL DON’T SEE VERY MUCH OF AT ALL IN THE GENRE. It’s just so unique, you know?
And while I’m generally not someone who writes prologues or needs them in the stories that I read, I felt like this was needed. It sets the stage for Roshaun’s story, but it does so by telling perhaps the most important myth within Wellakhit culture: the story of the Lost Aethyr and Thahit. Given where we just ended with Games Wizards Play, it’s also fitting that this opens with the story of a sun, duty, and resistance, and it’s that last one I am most interested in. The world of Wellakh, like all places in the universe, had to go through its own Choice, and this story details how Wellakh struggled, suffered, and persevered against the Lone One.
Some of this wasn’t new to us, but a lot was. I recognized the general pattern of the Lone One’s temptation and torment, as that’s a thematic parallel across multiple worlds and societies and cultures. People and beings are tempted by this entity over and over again, and the Lone One thrives on doubt, mistrust, and negativity. It’s about increasing entropy in the universe, so it makes sense that It would go after Wellakh and their sun. The sun was such an intimate part of their culture, and since we now know that stars can have a “soul” of sorts, this allowed us to understand how the Lone One could try to turn a sun against a planet.
But as I said earlier, it was the theme of resistance within this prologue that interested me the most. I think you could easily argue that resistance plays a HUGE part in the story of wizards’ conflict with the Lone One. Most of the series tracks the loud, aggressive, and substantive ways in which these characters resist entropy. What about quiet resistance, though? How can a people resist a force that will lash out and destroy them if they don’t obey? If they don’t concede? Thus, we get Thahit, who is so named because the Wellakhit people found a way to spare themselves through quiet resistance:
Yet many fewer died than might have done, for the wizards of Wellakh understood well that resistance takes many forms, and must sometimes (as with an enemy such as the Lost One) be seen to be accidental, lest it take vengeance far worse upon a world than subterfuge makes it possible to escape with.
The Wellakhi sun becomes “The One who grew Quiet,” which is such a POWER MOVE, y’all. The Lost Power grew indifferent to Wellakh because they grew quiet. They made it seem like It had won, and that was their form of resistance. IT’S SO FASCINATING. But what exactly does all this have to do with Roshaun? Because I’m operating under the assumption that this will be linked to him and his Ordeal. IT MUST.
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