Exiles: The Official Melanie Rawn Website
The Mystery of Collan Rosvenir
as researched by Lady Brenlis

The Desse Theory:

Melanie said:

When I met Melanie over lunch in May of 1999, she was very clear that Gorsha may have other children out there. Considering how many lovers he had, it’s more than likely! Plus, Cailet teases Gorsha on several occasions.  Any of these children would be a suitable candidate for Collan’s parents; such as Elseveth Garvedian.

Cailet to Gorynel, “How many children were there anyway?” Haughty silence. MT p496
 “…Just how many other offspring of yours are wandering around Lenfell?” “That too is none of your business.” MT p366

The most defensible candidate for Collan’s ancestors is Gorynel Desse. Since 1997, no one has raised a credible argument against it.

  • Gorynel Desse to Collan as he warded his memories before leaving Falundir’s cottage, A voice he knew he ought to recognize said, “… I’m not as young as I was the first time we did this.” RoA p 38 This statement alone places Gorynel in the group of parents and grandparents who first warded Collan! (See above or MT p537)
  • Gorsha’s coloring is totally wrong to be Collan’s father. However, the description of Collan’s mother could easily fit a daughter or Gorynel Desse!
  • Desse Warded Cai’s room Sarra & Col both ignore the permanent Wards MT p 39 & 40
  • Collan strode into the bedchamber.  He paid as little attention as Sarra did to the permanent Wards, and [Cailet’d] forgotten to cast new ones.
  • Objections are often raised that red heads normally have fair skin. On MT p 375, Col is described as having skin much darker than a redhead’s should be. 
  • Collan to Gorynel Desse at the house on Ryka, “If what you said when we got here is true, and every Mage is in danger of death, why are you here? Why Lady Agatine and Orlin Renne? Why me?” “For reasons I hope you never know.” RoA p 340
  • Gorynel Desse knows who he is: Col to Gorsha, referring to council guards Col had killed, “Only nine or ten.” “Respectable, “ Desse murmured absently, “Not unworthy…” Moments later Gorsha says, “You’re even more stubborn than your—“ RoA p 339 grandmother? Mother? Father?
  • Why else would Gorynel concern himself with keeping Col’s parts in tact?
  • Gorsha must have been in touch with Taguare while Col was at Scraller’s.
  • He’s described in ways that are very similar to the way Collan and Leninor Garvedian are described. (dictatorial, conceited, etc.)
  • the man with at least one Mageborn in every breeding pair of his Blood—right back to the Waste War RoA p406-407

Known Lovers:

  • Lilen Ostin                         Any progeny sired by Gorynel Desse is very doubtful. Too young to be Collan’s grandmother.
  • Jeymian Renne                   Telomir’s mother
  • Fler Garvedian                   RoA p 146 Leninor’s mother
  • Fallun Garvedian                Lusira’s mother, Fler’s sister
  • Who knows how many others!

Arguments Against:

1. At least in Ruins of Ambrai, Collan hates Gorsha, but we learn on MT p537 that he loves his grandparents: With understanding, Collan may have rediscovered love for his grandfather.
2. As for Gorsha, he felt proud and exasperated tenderness for Sarra, and nothing at all for Collan. RoA p495 (PB p612) This is from Cailet’s perception who is unused to having her Others share her head. Gorynel is capable of keeping his thoughts and feelings away from Cailet’s awareness.  Of course, the following is contradictory:
3. Cailet to Collan, “Gorsha. He was very fond of you, you know.” RoA p 419


Telomir Renne, Father or Uncle?

  • He knows who Collan is. When he first set eyes on him in RoA he said, “Is that Collan I see? Yes, it must be. Well, well well!” RoA p 345
  • Telo deliberately provokes Col’s Wards. RoA p347.
  • Telo knows why Col’s warded. 


“…As for Collan—who knows what’s buried beneath those stacks of Wards? I offered to find out, you know. I asked him if he wanted me to get rid of them.”
 Was there the scantiest flare of panic in [Telomir’s] eyes?
“He didn’t of course.”
“No. He is what he is, he’s comfortable with it, and he figures Gorsha had good reason to do what he did. But you know what I think? I think this placid acceptance is another WardWhen Sarra miscarried, she worried that it might be some fault in her—or in Collan. I spoke with him about it in a general sort of way, and it never even occurred to him it might be something wrong with him instead of Sarra.”
“It’s not.” MT p 65

Telomir is like Collan in that….

  • Has good taste in clothes. (like Collan) MT p 55
  • A ladies man (like Collan)
  • Sometimes Telo was a bit like Collan: he knew when [Cai] needed to laugh, and provided as good a reason as he could on short notice. MT p75
  • Collan’s having an influence on you—you’re getting positively poetic.  MT p77
  • About Joss, “I have a grandson!” MT p 593 If Telo were Collan’s father, he would already have a grandson and granddaughter. I would think he wouldn’t be quite as astounded as he comes across in this scene. It’s always possible Telo’s memories of his son are warded.
  • Remember the special care and tenderness Jeymian took in warding Josselin from Glenin and Jored. She did not take the same pains to protect Taigen and Mikel that she took to protect Joss. This also argues against Collan being Telomir’s son.


There is no description of either Telomir or Orlin, except that:

  • They bear a strong resemblance to one another;
  • Telo is older; has darker skin; and a bigger nose. RoA p 253
  • There is a mention that he has dark eyes, (MT p 64) but since his mother had gray eyes and his father has green, (which means it would be genetically impossible for him to have brown eyes) it must have been in reference to his emotional state.
  • Neither Telo, nor Orlin have hair the same exact color as Collan. In Ruins of Ambrai p 122: Sarra had rarely seen any man but Orlin uncovered—and she had never seen hair (Collan’s) color in her life.
  • There are no descriptions of any of Orlin or Telomir’s children either, Except that Sela has her mother’s (Mauren Trayos) green eyes.


Telomir definitely knows a lot about Collan’s background, even the whys of Collan’s Wards. It is doubtful that he is in direct ascent, however. In my opinion, he is at least an uncle.

© 1995-2006 Irena Pereira, DAW Books, Inc., Melanie Rawn, and artwork © Michael Whelan.