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

Is Collan Mageborn?

We know Desse Warded his memories on leaving Sheve Dark. But he also doubly Warded his power.

Collan struggled, knowing the old man searched for something—
“Ah, there.”
And for just an instant Col saw a glorious blazing light just out of reach. Something precious, something he couldn’t identify and had never known was there—but now he grabbed for it, crying out. His, this thing was his—and the old man was stealing it from him…. Thick black velvet [Wards] muffled the light.

Read the descriptions of Cailet and the twins Wardings at birth. They are very similar. In all three descriptions, the power is described as a fire or a bright, warm light.

  • Cailet’s Warding Roa P141

    Cailet… remembered this feeling, those green eyes looking deep into hers, the empty hollow that had opened in her worse than thirst or starvation or loneliness. It loomed now, the dark that had first frightened her mere days after her birth. Into it he would fling every glimmer of all the fire she knew was in her-—her magic--
    No! She could only just sense the burning glow inside, he couldn’t hide it away from her again—

  • The Twin’s Warding Mt P329

    “There’s the first one. Perfect in every way. Hand it over, Collan, before we all go deaf.”
    Warmer now. Quieter. Cradling softness, a familiar slow rocking/floating, a low rhythmic murmur that soothes—….
    But the light suddenly invades, and expands, and reaches into every shadow—and it doesn’t hurt at all anymore—
    “Two fine, healthy babies. Excellent. You’re all done now, Lady. Beautiful work.”
    Oh, yes, beautiful—bright warm shining—
    Yes, but only for this moment, my dears. Forgive me.
    No! Don’t take it away! MINE! Want it back, give it back—
    Hush now. You can have it back again one day, I promise. For now it’s better so. 
    And for a long time the bright warm light is masked.
    But then it glimmers within, teasing and promising, rising up like a kindled hearthfire to shield them from her—
    Hide it, disguise it, pretend it isn’t there—
    But it is there, though it cannot be touched.   And it hides itself a moment later, drawing back behind its mask, until something just as powerful and much more knowing fashions a stronger disguise. … 

  • You may also check out the description of Toman’s separation from the Mageborn power: MT p260  The description is less intimate, more abstract. There are still the bright, warm descriptors but it is characterized as a silverback cat.
    The books are full of descriptions of Collan in close contact with real magic. And in numerous instances, the logical explanation is that Collan must be Mageborn himself.

The following quotes indicate that Collan must be Mageborn.

  • Instinctive Magic: While at the Pain Stake, Collan remembers his life, then reWards himself to keep his memories away when Anniyas and Auvry Feiran check on him. RoA p527 They had damned the flood of his remembering… with the Wards back in place to hold those other memories away from him again.” Then, he forgets his name and everyone else’s. Another Ward? Is he Warding himself? Instinctually? Like Taigan? RoA p545
  • Lusira & Telomir are both secretly Mageborn. Why not Collan?
  • Collan in Ambrai after Laddering from Ryka: His temples throbbed suddenly, and in the center of the room three more people appeared. RoA p347 If Collan isn’t Mageborn, why would his temples throb in time with the use of a ladder? A nonMageborn would have no possible awareness of it. But a Warded Mageborn, particularly one who’s Wards were badly bruised, could conceivably sense the use of magic, which would aggravate his Wards which are designed to keep him from paying attention to things that could cause problems.
  • Collan with Gorynel Desse’s sword, confronting Anniyas in Ambrai RoA p583:

    He went for the Mage Globe. He knew he wasn’t supposed to feel anything from the sword; there was no magic in him. But when the blade smote and shattered the shimmering crimson sphere, he felt the shock of the explosion all the way to his spine. Eyes dazzled half-blind, he cursed as fire licked up the steel, up his hands, his arms, his shoulders, his face—a million pinpricks of searing heat that he was sure burned the clothes of his body and the hair off his scalp. It was the Pain Stake multiplied a thousandfold.
    But it was only magic, only magic, not real—
    Hell if it wasn’t! A bellow of pain left his throat as flames raced through him, igniting every nerve.

  • Sarra, though Mageborn, was deeply Warded. Collan’s Wards were even stronger. MT p27
  • Riddon and Sarra have a discussion about Collan on RoA p 384

    So [Riddon] told [Sarra] how [Collan] had arrived at Roseguard… and been knocked over the head by Verald Jescarin—presumably at Desse’s order—before they left through Ladder.
    “Which doesn’t make any sense unless he’s Mageborn,” Riddon said. “The rest of us can go through Ladders without any trouble, but an uneducated Mageborn wouldn’t know what to do even though he had the magic to do it with. So it’d be more difficult for the Mage working the Ladder.”
    She couldn’t disagree with his analysis…. Alin had discovered Sarra’s Wards the first time he took her through a Ladder. Desse might have anticipated problems with Rosvenir, and precluded them by a well-timed knock on the head.

  • Oh let’s be obvious now shall we?   “I kind of think [our power] comes from my father too, except that everybody says he isn’t—” Taigen to Jored MT p306-307
  • Collan regarding the twins: It’s just strange to think something I made turns out to be Mageborn….” 

  • Sarra and Collan kiss and: He had a magic all his own…
  • How come the only time Falundir talks to Col is when Gorsha (or his wraith) is around? RoA p597

  • [Sarra] was looking up toward the invisible boardwalk with an odd expression on her face—like the one when she’d told him they mustn’t go to Ryka. He opened his mouth to ask what she was talking about, then realized that they could both sense things that had no rational explanation. Did that make him Mageborn too? No, Cai had said he wasn’t. A definite relief… RoA p469

  • Who is the man who helped Col find the twins? The wraith of Auvry Feiran or Gorynel Desse. Falundir?  Did he somehow access his own Warded power? MT p 156-7

    Collan clung to the rope ladder, balancing precariously on the catwalk above the tide. He squeezed his eyes shut and prayed—not to any Saint, but for the intervention of a strange and powerful woman young in years but ancient in Magelore.
    “Cai—whatever it is you and Sarra have—lend me some of it now. Help me find them. I won’t let them be dead—I won’t let anyone take them and make them into—damn you, Cailet, answer me! Help me! They’re your Blood too!”
    He heard nothing … Felt nothing but the sick ache around his heart, the hot prickle of tears in his eyes.
    And a quiet, almost imperceptible quiver deep in his brain.
    He willed the small tingling awareness to grow, expand, seek its match in two Mageborn children. All those Wards, all those years of having magic in his head to protect him—surely something of it must linger, something that would lead him to his children. Forcing himself to move slowly, he turned his head and looked out to sea—due south, to MalerrisCastle.
    No. Not there. Westerly, then, imagining a map with the island of Bleynbradden riding the vastness of Great Viranka between here and Kenrokeshir. The tremor strengthened and his hold on the rope went lax, his knees buckling, his chin sinking to his chest.
    Stars exploded in his skull.                   [His magic blocked by Wards?]
    His eyes stung as his gaze raked the docks for small boats riding low in the water. Dozens, hundreds—but only one outlined in spectral fire.
    He didn’t bother with the rope ladder…
    He heard something that sounded very far away, something that could have been the night wind—or a quiet sigh. Cailet? No—he knew without knowing how he knew that it was not a woman but a man, infinitely relieved and infinitely weary….
    “How did you find us?”  Taigan asked….
    “… a Mage Guardian lent me some magic, and I sent it out to find you, and this stinky old scow lit up like a hundred Mage Globes….” 
    The conversation continued in this vein all the way back home, with the twins scorning his every explanation. Rightly so; each was as absurd as the first. Except that the first, the most absurd of all, was the truth as far as Collan understood it.  MT p156-159

He must be Mageborn. His reaching and searching may have called to Blood—i.e. the wraith of Gorynel Desse or another ancestor/relative. Except there is no basis for long distance telepathy in Mageborns or nonMageborns. So, he somehow managed to get behind his Wards and access his power.
When Josselin visits Sarra’s family, and reacts magically to Sarra’s suggestion of making him a test case, the twins and Falundir realized he was Mageborn. Neither Sarra nor Collan felt anything.  Both were Warded stiff. Since Sarra is Mageborn herself, this detail can not be used to argue against Collan being Mageborn. MT p226-28

How could Col steal Glenin’s power to kill if he’s not Mageborn?

The layers were all swept away, down to the last Warding that had been the first to be set on his mind a lifetime ago, and he could feel himself rising from that frozen muddy ditch where he’d hidden for so long. This was who and what he truly was.
But he knew that he must not stand before this woman and let her see.
And so, laughing at her frustration and her rage, he reached for that portion of her magic that would obey her deepest impulses the way one of the Fifty Swords obeyed the deepest intentions of its wielder. And he used it, this ravaging need of hers for his death, to [spoiler].           MT p537-538
“He took it from me!” Glenin cried frantically. “He took all the killing out of me and used it [spoiler]!” MT p573

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