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

"When one has seen things, done things or knows things it’s not safe to remember, a Mage will set Wards."

Lady Agatine, RoA p 298.

 

In considering the secrecy and Wards surrounding Collan, we are left with three questions, was he hidden because of 1. his memories, 2. who he is or 3. what he is? In his final confrontation with Glenin, it is what that seems more imperative.

… and he could feel himself rising from that frozen muddy ditch where he’d hidden for so long. This is who and what he truly was. But he knew that he must not stand before this woman and let her see..

It is the what that stole Glenin’s ability to kill, no doubt.
Why hide Collan’s identity if it is only the what which endangers him? Surely he could be Warded to make him appear to be an ordinary child? An ordinary man? Who were the parents and grandparents that even knowledge of them, by Collan or others, could put their child in danger?
Why hide Collan’s mysterious power if it is only who he is which endangers him? Alone in a dangerous world, a young man would need the use of these mysterious abilities to survive. Wouldn’t he?
Sarra was hidden primarily because of WHO she is. Her memory was kept almost completely intact. Cailet had no memories to hide, but she was hidden not only because of who she is, but also what she is. And upon reaching her majority, it was safe for her to have not only her identity but her power.
Collan is different in that it remains extremely important his Wards stay in tact for the rest of his life. Collan wasn't merely hidden to keep him safe from Anniyas and Auvry or else Telo wouldn't have responded the way he did when Cai talked about removing Col's Wards. Gorsha hoped Col would never know why he was important enough to save.

Collan may have been hidden because of:

  1. Who he is. Such as a descendent of the Grand Duke; extraordinary Mageborns; or political enemies.  But if that alone were the case, why shouldn’t he have his memories?
  2. Safety—Again, why shouldn’t he have his memories?
  3. Hidden from Anniyas/Auvry why shouldn’t he have his memories? Why would it be important that his Wards stay in tact when Anniyas and Auvry are dead? Perhaps the threat was bigger than a person. Perhaps the presence of Malerrisi was the threat.
  4. If he is Mageborn, well, so are Cailet and Sarra. There’s something more. The big mystery must be what Collan is, and what he remembers. What was Col that he could not stand and allow Glenin to see?

Whatever it was, If Col had full knowledge of his memories, name and his power; he would have done something with it. Something his family and Gorsha could not take a chance on. The only safe possibility was to take his memories, identity and hide his power completely. Allow him to appear as a nameless orphan. No one important.
So the reasons for hiding Collan are intertwined. Let us consider the clues that Melanie left us to puzzle it out with. 

Some night when you are deep asleep,
And breezes drift amid the trees,
St. Jenavira’s quiet hand
Will open books of memories.
And you will read what’s written there;
Relive the past, recall the dead;
But, on waking, won’t remember A single thing you did or said.
St. Jenavira’s quiet hand
Will close the books before you read
With open eyes. The past is past.
And memories are kin to dreams

                       Ruins of Ambrai p 505

Page Numbers:  All page numbers listed here are from the hardback books, unless specified otherwise.  Researchers using the paperbacks may use these page numbers to find the general area a particular quote is found in.  For your reference, The hard backed copy of Ruins of Ambrai (RoA) has 666 pages.  The hard backed copy of Mageborn Traitor (MT) has 604 pages.  

Dates:  If a page number is given next to a date, then that tells you where to find the given date.  If no page number is given, the reference is taken from the Exiles Character List, found under the Info section of Melanie Rawn’s Webpage.

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