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

Collan Is Something Else:

It has been speculated that Collan is actually a telepath, an empathic, or something besides Mageborn. Melanie could make him a new form of Mageborn if she wanted. Realistically, I look for Collan to be revealed as a Mageborn with unusual sensitivities and power. However, there is no basis whatsoever for a nonMageborn telepath.

Possible family connections:

  • Lusira to Cailet:
  • My mother [Fallun] saw trouble coming years before it actually arrived. Hers was a very rare gift and people used to say she ought to’ve been named after Elinar Longsight instead of Falinsen Crystal-Hand. She decided when I was still a child to pretend I wasn’t Mageborn. It saved my life—the way Gorsha’s Warding saved yours. MT p 37

  • This gift makes me think of Collan and the twins. Whatever gift they inherited from Collan is rare indeed. It could run in families. This quote is very significant since it is very likely that Collan is a Garvedian.
  • Sarra and Collan’s jewelry box MT p 138-139 Mikel seems more sensitive than Taigan. They must hold the object in their palm to get a reading. Why doesn’t this ever happen at Mage Hall?  Cai’s Wards were supposed to have been removed. Mikel is touching Taigan while she’s holding the glove, experiencing Maichen’s memory.
  • Mikel tells Cailet about Sarra’s treasure chest. Cailet says to Gorsha, “…what is this? I’ve never heard of a Mageborn who can feel and see other people that way.” “I told you they were powerful. It’s rare, but not completely unknown.” MT p 182
  • Cailet nodded, thinking that she wouldn’t be able to fit their magic tightly into Wards much longer either. She didn’t say so, preferring that Collan and Sarra think their children gifted Mageborns, but not as strong as they truly were. Where had it come from? The Ambrai gift was negligible; the Feiran potential great; but what was there in Collan Rosvenir that had merged with Ambrai and Feiran to produce Taigen and Mikel? Gorsha didn’t even stir within her. Which meant that he probably knew, but wouldn’t tell her if she begged until the day she died. MT p 170

Perhaps he instinctually set Wards against feeling others’ pain.

  • [Collan] lolled outside in the surprisingly warm winter sun, enjoying the silence. Rested, relaxed with other people’s problems as remote as the Wraithen Wood, he lacked only his lute to make his afternoon perfect. RoA p388
  • Whatever feeling he had for the dead—was submerged somehow in the music. He did not sing to rid himself of his own sorrow, nor to express that of voiceless others. The music was a Ward against all emotion, including his own. Sarra marveled that such beauty and such feeling could mean so much to her and so little if anything to him. RoA p 410.
  • It was the first time Collan had felt anyone’s pain but his own and the onslaught unnerved him. He cast a single desperate glance at Falundir’s liquid blue eyes, and fled the cottage. As with all his most vivid memories, that evening was imprinted on his mind for survival's sake. More surely than changes in voice or height, it signaled approaching adulthood. A gift from his mother-meager though it eventually proved when compared with others-made itself felt that night. And Collan rejected it utterly. RoA p 26

  • MT p132-133

    A Minstrel was supposed to bring from his own heart the characters in the songs he sang—but Collan’s failure as a Minstrel was his failure now….  But Collan sang words, not feelings. Whatever emotion he stirred in his listeners was due to masterful lyrics and his own mastery of vocal inflection and fingering on the lute strings. The passion was in the words and music, not in him. He could fake it very nicely, using every Minstrel’s trick ever invented, but the truly discerning ear always knew it was indeed faked.
    Except when he sang love songs while thinking of Sarra. Those he felt, even when the depth of his own emotion discomposed him; those  were real to him, because Sarra was real.
    Thus it was that he couldn’t even begin to identify with Ellus Penteon. He could understand….
    ….Ellus Penteon as yet lacked a face, so Collan couldn’t grasp why his anger was so personal…. He couldn’t find anything in him that could comprehend why a man would stay in such a marriage.
    Ah, but what would he put up with in order to stay with Taigan and Mikel?
    There it was. Ellus was a father. That was the point of contact between him and Collan. Nothing else in their lives might match, but that single similarity was a thing of such power that at last Collan understood. 

  • Collan spits in Glenin’s face and “blind impulse ruled her magic for the first time in her life. She gestured sharply and the Pain Stake ignited from shining silver to hot glowing flame. He shrieked once, head thrown back, body spasming so violently that his shoulders nearly dislocated…. No one had ever made her lose control like that before….” RoA p 563

A New theory from the Bulletin Board:

Let's say Collan's NOT Mageborn ('Cos I really think he's not). BUT, let's say he holds some of the Bequest. Huh? Well, we've been talking a lot about Joss having some of the Bequest ... how about Collan?
I mean, you don't keep all your eggs in one basket, right? So, if you've got some important information (i.e. part of Leninor), and you want to "hide" it (in Lusath Adennos), why would you all hide it in the same place? Doesn't that make you more susceptible to losing it? So, you stash some of the important information somewhere nobody will find it - like a non-mageborn (can that be done? I dunno).
But whoa ... then Glenin captures Collan, and may very well have been close to accessing all of this arcane magic, so Collan had no choice and he killed himself.
Leninor doesn't die at Ambrai ... she dies before. Lusath Adennos was Captal during the destruction of Ambrai. So, the timing might be right (cos I think Collan was already at Scraller's when Ambrai burned).
Oh whatever... just some ideas for fun.


I think it is quite possible Collan holds some or the entire Bequest. But I doubt an unMageborn mind could do anything with it. No gas in the tank so to speak. But anything could happen.

My biases do not allow me to write a true rebuttal. But hear me out. I will lay out all of the evidence I have found to claim Collan is not Mageborn, then I’ll tell you what I think.
The characters and the narrator state unanimously, “Collan is not Mageborn.” Characters, can be dishonest, but the narrator is, obviously, completely truthful. Isn’t she? In Collan’s Memories we established that the narrator was dishonest in establishing Collan’s Age At Enslavement. Therefore, the narrator is untrustworthy.
In May of 1999, Melanie told me we can't necessarily trust EVERYTHING all the characters say, they could be lying. But what strikes me, is she could be referring to all the characters in both books who keep insisting that Collan isn’t Mageborn.

The Case:

The following selection of quotes are statements that Collan is not Mageborn, or may be of interest to anyone seeking to build a case:

  • The quote holding the strongest weight against Collan being Mageborn, is Glenin’s:
    [Collan is] The oddest of all in magical terms, lacking any trace of power but protected by vigorous Wards and his own unruly personality. By the Great Loom, she had reason to know that strength of will, having tried to break it nearly twenty years ago…. ….That [Taigan and Mikel] were Mageborn was obvious, even Warded from their magic. Glenin’s musings MT p278
    Every other character has either a lack of strong ability to sense Collan’s power or a motive to deceive. However, Glenin is obscenely powerful and sensitive with no motivation for deception in the above excerpt. Which leaves two possibilities:
    • Collan really isn’t Mageborn.
    • Those who Warded Collan, including Gorynel Desse, were so good even Glenin, Anniyas & Auvry were fooled.

Well, the Wards are vigorous!  Back to the list of quotes.

  • The Ward (for the twin’s protection) was triggered not by touch but by presence. Set by Cailet and regularly renewed by her Mages, it was keyed to Sarra and even to Collan’s unMageborn mind by some obscure and difficult spell. MT p150 You would think that Cailet would be sensitive enough to notice his power while connecting a spell to his mind.
  • Collan to Gorynel Desse, “Why tell me about it? It’s not as though I have any magic.” “Not a whisper.” RoA p29
  • Orlin Renne: Sarra’s [Wards] guard her magic. Collan’s are totally different. RoA p298


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