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What are soletaken

Page history last edited by D'rek 13 years, 9 months ago

 What are Soletaken?



Soletaken: an order of shape-shifting. 

- DG Glossary



Main Article: Soletaken



There are minor spoilers throughout the following discussion.


Soletaken are people who are capable of changing into an animal form. This is referred to as sembling. Often when a transformation occurs, an observer will note a pungent spicy smell. References to such a smell in the text usually imply a recent sembling.


Each Soletaken individual appears to be able to change into one animal form only. No examples exist of individuals acquiring new Soletaken forms. However there is evidence for a D'ivers changing form, so it can't be ruled out for Soletaken.


How is a Soletaken created?


Accounts differ. At one point it was flatly stated that Soletaken are born, not made (quote needed). However on another occasion there is a firsthand account of an adult human acquiring the ability to semble via a god's gift (Buke).


Most Soletaken are mages, but magical ability does not seem to be a strict condition for being Soletaken.


Soletaken are known to exist among the human, Imass and Tiste races. There are no example of Jaghut Soletaken, and too little is known about the other races to say either way.


Becoming a Soletaken appears to grant several gifts, depending on the form. Soletaken capable of flight are extremely mobile. Large animal forms, such as bears or big cats, are very effective in physical combat. Soletaken status seems to be connected to a minimum level of magical ability, though this may be a side-effect of becoming a Soletaken.


It seems to be possible to renounce your Soletaken status, at least in the case of the Eleint.


There are two particularly important classes of Soletaken, the Imass Bonecasters and Soletaken Eleint (dragons).


All Imass Bonecasters are Soletaken. They carry no weapons, relying on magic and their animal forms to fight. Bonecasters have been seen to take a wide variety of forms (Eleint, fox, bear, gorilla). Since most Imass are T'lan Imass (undead), their sembled forms also appear as undead animals. This in no way diminishes the physical strength of those forms.


The Soletaken Eleint are a very important group. Almost all of the most powerful characters are Eleint, even the Elder Gods. It's unclear how Eleint gain their status. Some appear to be created that way (the Elder Gods?), some gain it by "drinking the blood of Tiam," others inherit from parents.


All three of these suggestions are clouded:


- Evidence for hereditary Eleint is conflicted. Some characters of known draconic parentage do not appear to be Eleint.

- "Drinking Tiam's blood" has never been well explained, it may be a poetic or figurative reference to an unknown process.

- It's not at all clear that the Elder Gods were always Eleint, they may also have gained the power via "Tiam's blood."



Partial list of Soletaken by first appearance, and their sembled forms.
GotM Anomander Rake Eleint, black (Draconean)
GotM Quick Ben Unknown
GotM Pran Chole Fox
GotM Galayn Lord Eleint, dun brown
GotM Korlat + 3 other Tiste Andii Eleint, black
DG Olar Ethil Eleint, undead
MoI Kilava Onass


HoC Monok Ochem Gorilla, undead
HoC Osric/Osserc Eleint, white
MT Scabandari Bloodeye Eleint, "iron-hued"
MT Silchas Ruin Eleint, albino
MoI Messremb Bear
MoI Korbal Broach Black Bird (Raven?)
MT The Jheck Wolves


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