Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wolfstones and the Concept of "Power" in THE MAVONDURI TRILOGY

One of the central themes of THE MAVONDURI TRILOGY is power. Whether it is political, personal, or supernatural, the concept of power plays an important role in Hâr-Mathion Mavonduri's evolution from warrior-prince to savior-king. With the writing of THE LAST ASCENSION: BOOK TWO OF THE MAVONDURI TRILOGY now in full swing, I have been forced to address this central theme in a way that I would have never thought I would have to: how does one handle the simultaneous gift and burden of power while at the same time maintaining oneself? Mathion struggles with the burden of knowledge that one day, when his father is gone, the people will look to him to lead and exert his political and authoritative power as King. And indeed it is a heavy burden: Mathion himself says to Kedaer that if he had a choice he would not even ascend the High Throne and would deliver the Wolf-crown back to the descendants of Erios. But he doesn't. For him, Mathion, it is one's sense of responsibility that determines the control of power over oneself, and the fear of that power is what will cause it to become unchecked and furthermore abused. This comes to a head within the pages of THE LAST ASCENSION, in which a political faction emerges that threatens to upend the balance of power. And while Mathion still maintains his loyalty to his father as his King, he knows that something must be done in order to remind the people that power that is contested is power that will destroy.

On the other hand, Azgharáth has ingratiated himself with both authoritative and demonic power. As told in HRÉOKAI, Azgharáth was consumed by hatred and misguided desire for vengeance. This, combined with the influence of the malevolent deity Ak'horos, drove Azgharáth into a frenzied bloodlust and in turn power. And though he was blessed with great power, he abused it and in doing so destroyed what he once had. Azgharáth, in his quest for vengeance, has completely alienated himself from any positive emotional connection, and while he is feared by his people they bear no love for him. There are only a few who are loyal, but within the packs of the Kânín loyalty only goes so far.

Within the mythology of THE MAVONDURI TRILOGY, as shown in MATHION, there are the Wolfstones: ancient crystals from the creation of the World that hold immense power. In fact, it is stated that these Stones hold within them the actual, tangible power of life itself. This idea was initially hard to grasp even for me, because even though the mythology of the Lands of Émae was of my design, through mysterious sub-creative processes there emerged abstract concepts that I did not foresee. But because they were so integrated with the world, I had no choice but to discover their true significance. Many people have encountered difficulty when Mathion's Wolfstone plays a role in the plot, but it is often easy to forget that life has a will of its own, and it will act in such a way that serves a greater purpose that we cannot see. It is hard, even for me, to define the Wolfstones' ultimate roles in this trilogy, but their fullest potential has yet to be revealed to me.

The Wolfstones and THE MAVONDURI TRILOGY's themes of power are deeply interconnected, as the Wolfstones are the physical embodiment of power on earth. They (the Wolfstones) are simultaneously sacred religious objects and instruments of power, that can be used to heal or hurt, to clarify or coerce, and they can allow those who possess them to do great, and terrible, things. This brings to light a powerful philosophical question that mankind has asked itself since the dawn of self-awareness: Do we control life, or does life control us?

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