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The Seventh Sentinel is a fantasy novel by Mary Kirchoff. It is the third book in the Defenders of Magic trilogy.

The book follows the lord Bram DiThon and the red wizard Guerrand DiThon as they attempt to understand Bram's true nature and stop the renegade wizard Lyim Rhistadt's war against all magic.

Chronology & Geography

The story takes place three years after the events in The Medusa Plague, during the War of the Lance.

The year is not specified, but events in the story indicate it starts in 349 AC and ends in the spring of 351 AC.

The action begins in the DiThon Fiefdom in Northern Ergoth. There is much travel on the faerie road with visits to two faerie courts and later to Bastion. Most of the novel takes place in Qindaras in the Plains of Dust. It concludes with a march across the Plains of Dust, through the Plains of Dergoth, and an encounter at the Tower of Wayreth.

Characters

Major Characters

  • Bram DiThon, Ergothian human man, son of Cormac and Rietta, nephew of Guerrand and Kirah, 24 years old, new lord of Castle DiThon
  • Guerrand DiThon, Ergothian human man, 28 years old, Red Robe wizard, formerly of the Conclave of Wizards, former fifth sentinel and High Defender of Bastion, Bram's chief councilor
  • Kirah DiThon, Ergothian human woman, Guerrand's sister, pale blond, 22 years old, seneschal of Castle DiThon for two years, stubborn, scrappy
  • Mercadior Redic V, Ergothian human man, emperor of Northern Ergoth, dark skin, salt and pepper hair in a single braid down to his waist, full beard and moustache, former cavalier
  • King Weador, leader of the Tuatha Dundarael in the region around Thonvil
  • Lyim Rhistadt, Human man from the Plains of Dust, name pronounced with a hard 'sch' at the end, former Red Robe wizard who has forsaken magic, vain, self-centered, and vindictive
  • Salimshad, kagonesti elf man, missing one hand, claims Silvanesti cut it off when trying to enslave him, short, dark skin and heavily tattooed
  • Aniirin III, (sometimes misspelled Anirrin) potentate of Qindaras, last of his line, oddly shaped head, one green and one blue eye
  • Aurestes, male centaur, priest of Habbakuk, stubborn, condescending, cantankerous
  • The Gauntlet of Ventyr, an intelligent magical artifact, appears as a woman in the mind of men it communicates with
  • Dagamier human woman, Black Robe wizard, fourth sentinel and current High Defender of Bastion, reserved, confident, Ladonna's apprentice, backstory page 274

Minor Characters

  • Cormac, deceased, former lord of Castle DiThon, father of Bram and Honora
  • Rietta, widow, lady of Castle DiThon, mother of Bram and Honora
  • Honora, Bram's older sister, married a seneschal of a small estate in Coastlund
  • Rejik DiThon, deceased father of Cormac, Guerrand, and Kirah
  • Rejik's first wife, unnamed, deceased, mother of Cormac
  • Zena, deceased, from a light skinned "newcomer" family to Ergoth, Rejik's second wife and father of Guerrand, and Kirah
  • unnamed elf shaman, living in the fiefdom DiThon, so old that he learned old Ergothian customs before the Cataclysm
  • unnamed serving woman in Castle DiThon
  • Thalmus, Red Robe wizard, chief councilor of the emperor
  • Wilor, Thonvil's old silversmith who died in the Medusa Plague (Disease)
  • Rofer and Lorenz, thugs loyal to Lyim
  • Piepr and his daugher Yasmi, sausage merchants in Qindaras
  • Ovanes, apothecary in Qindaras
  • Amir Bagis, deceased, killed by a mob, of the Qindaras riverfront merchant district, succeeded by Lyim
  • Amir Malwab Rusinias, of the Qindaras warehouse district
  • Amir Vaspiros, of the Qindaras garment district
  • Amir Garaf, of the Qindaras craft district
  • Amir Dafisbier of Qindaras
  • Amir Haseras of Qindaras
  • Amir Calesta of Qindaras
  • Mavrus, loyal manservant and advisor of Aniirin III, Old Kharolian accent, older, short and thick, thinning grey hair
  • Rillard, knows the most about farming in the county of Di Thon, works at Castle DiThon
  • Toal, chief liutenant of Castle DiThon
  • Maladorigar, male gnome, Guerrand's friend and assistant to the DiThon family
  • Queen Listra, married to King Weador
  • Grand Councilor Allern, of King Weador's court
  • Primula, tuatha who has left King Weador's court to start a new tuatha community away from humans
  • Dinayda Valurin (not named in the book), Lyim's mother, sex worker in Rowley-on-Torath in the Plains of Dust, died of disease when Lyim was ten
  • Ardem Rhistadt, Lyim's father, one of Dinayda's clients, unknown to Lyim
  • Fabulous Fendock, con artist street magician, traveling the Plains of Dust doing magic acts, mentor of Lyim
  • Therin Glous of clan Daewar, Noshor minister of trade, von Eaugur minister of public saftey
  • Rannoch, the black robe wizard who cursed the Tower of Palanthas
  • Isk, human male assassin, from Palanthas, favorite alias "Tels Maviston of Shrentak"
  • Justarius, master of the red robes
  • Par-Salian, master of the white robes
  • Ladonna, master of the black robes
  • Ezius white robe wizard, one of the first three sentinels at the first Bastion, male human, befuddled, rotund
  • Feldner, red robe wizard, the sixth sentinal, replacing Guerrand after he stepped down
  • Lomas, fisherman in Pontigoth, found Dagamier in a shipwreck as a baby and raised her to age eleven
  • Thane Hothjar, Hylar male dwarf, commander of Thorbardin's force in the Plains of Dergoth
  • Tybalt Fireforge, Neidar male dwarf, commander of Hillhome's force in the Plains of Dergoth
  • Holden, mayor of Hillhome

Plot Summary

Bram, Guerrand, Kirah, and King Weador have been working hard for three years to restore the DiThon Fiefdom. The roads are paved, a communal grain silo was built, three new houses are being built per week, and the castle is under restoration.

Cormac DiThon has died of a heart attack and Bram DiThon is now the Lord of Castle DiThon. Per his wishes, Cormac is cremated in the old Ergothian style. The ceremony is presided over by an elf who learned the Old Ergothian ceremonies before the Cataclysm. Bram goes to the coronation ceremony and then tours Thonvil with emperor Mercadior, his councilor, and Guerrand. Mercadior talks about his plans for Ergoth and says that he has heard rumors of all the faerie folk helping Thonvil. Then he and his advisor teleport back to Gwynned. Guerrand tells Bram that he may be a changeling. Guerrand was told by Wilor on his deathbed in the previous novel, and now feels he must tell Bram since Cormac is no longer around to confess it. They decide to speak with King Weador about it.

Lyim is living in Qindaras in the Plains of Dust, where he has risen to the rank of Amir over his own distict of the city. After Bastion was destroyed, he hid briefly in Palanthas. He remembered the magical contract that protected Qindaras from the Council of Three and immediately moved there. His new goal is the destruction of all magic and he has sworn off using magic at all. If he can become the ruler of Qindaras, The Council of Three will not be able to act against him.

Lyim goes collecting taxes with his entourage of human and gnoll thugs. He hears from Salimshad that his rival Amir Rusinias is sick with a toothache. The timing is good to begin his plan to become the basha (next in line to the throne). At the day's soiree, Lyim poisons the food and frames Rusinias since he cannot eat anything. Rusinias is forced to eat the poisoned food.

Bram and Guerrand take the faerie road to meet King Weador. They find the centaur, who Bram met in the previous novel, who leads them the rest of the way to the court after some arguing. The court is under an enormous willow tree flanked by ancient oaks. There are hundreds of tuatha families, myriad animals, satyr, and nymphs. They are granted a private audience with the King, Queen, Grand Councilor, and assorted nobles. King Weador admits that he is not exactly a changeling, but his mother was tuatha and his father was Cormac. The King had intended to switch them at birth, but Rietta's son was stillborn, so they snuck in Bram and tricked Cormac and Rietta. Bram's mother is named Primula and left to form her own community soon after Bram was born. King Weador asks Bram to find Primula and Bram accepts.

Lyim goes to the palace to be appointed the new basha (heir to the childless potentate Aniirin). Aniirin displays the mutilated body of Rusinias to the nobles and amirs and bans speaking his name. Everyone goes to the circus that Aniirin has hired to celebrate Lyim's promotion. Lyim stews on his upbringing until he recognizes Fendock the Fabulous, his childhood mentor, is the main act. Lyim slips out and feels the call of magic. He asks Salimshad to execute Fendock as soon as he leaves the palace. Lyim sees a woman and follows her deep into the palace. She shows him to the display from for, and explains that she is, the Gauntlet of Ventyr and is manifesting to communicate with him. She asks him to become potentate and wield the gauntlet. She explains what she is and her back story. Lyim decides that the gauntlet's anti-magic powers line up with his goal to destroy magic, and he can make an exception on his use of this magic.

Bram is escorted through the faerie world by Aurestes the centaur. Aurestes has taken on the duty as quest to Habbakuk. He guides Bram past an area of desolation that harms tuatha. The region in the faerie world mirrors the area in the Plains of Dust around Qindaras. They continue on to Primula's realm, where Aurestes leave Bram. Primula has organized a traditional tuatha realm that strictly follows Chislev and avoids materialism. They serve simple human villages and never allow the humans to see them. She explains that tuatha are naturally nomadic and King Weador is unusual in trying to influence the humans to maintain a comfortable kingdom. Bram requests to learn from her how to be tuatha and follow Chislev so that he can understand both sides of his heritage. She agrees to teach him.

Lyim sets up a trade meeting between Aniirin's court and Thorbardin's dwarves. He arranges things to promote conflict. The dwarves lodge a formal complaint about looting of their river barges and the deaths of their sailors in Qindaras. After an argument, Lyim takes responsibility and Salimshad brings in four prisoners. The dwarves request execution and the prisoners are strangled to death in front of them. Aniirin meets with Lyim after the negotiations are complete. Lyim's speech made him consider how out of touch he is with is subjects. Aniirin resolves to travel the city in disguise to get back in touch with the people.

Lyim and Mavrus play a game in the palace while waiting for Aniirin return from one of his trips. Lyim has set up an assassination and things seem to be running late. Mavrus is nervous and confesses to Lyim that he's glad there is a basha and he has been worried about Aniirin and the city's magic. Lyim decides that Mavrus must be assassinated as well. Lyim becomes impatient and worried. He casts sleep on Mavrus to retain his alibi and teleports to the tavern he thinks Aniirin will be at. He casts the spell without preparing them first and scoffs at the rules he used to follow about memorization. He steals the cloak off a dead man for a disguise. He finds the disguised Aniirin at a nearby inn telling the story of revealing Rusinias's corpse to the nobles. Salimshad, Rofer, and Lorenz are nearby but could not convince Aniirin to leave. Lyim magically sends a message telling Salimshad to sneak Aniirin out the back door. Lyim sneaks to the ally and taunts Aniirin before murdering him.

Bram has been gone for two years. Guerrand attempts to cast Control Weather in his brightly lit and well organized lab in Castle DiThon. It takes two tries to get the spell to work. In the following days, more of his spells fail. Guerrand and Kirah talk about life and Guerrand's problems with failing spells. Bram appears and explains that magic has been failing all over the world. Bram has learned the tuatha magic of nature and Chislev, which is not effected by the problem effecting arcane magic users. Bram wants to resume his duties as lord. Guerrand has the dream where he is Rannoch for the first time in five years.

Isk the assassin trudges through the snow on his way to Qindaras. He was hired by Ladonna to kill Lyim. He bluffs his way through the gate but has to surrender his sword. Inside the city walls, the weather is subtropical. The city is miraculously clean. All of the guards are disguised as local workers. The heads of criminals and wizards are on posts along the main street. Bells ring and everyone rushes to the temples of Misal-Lasim, the local name of Sargonas. Isk goes to prayer and the sermon talks about the pernicious influence of magic. He begs to become an acolyte and they eventually bring him to do chores and sleep in the acolyte cells. In the night he is assaulted and taken to the palace. Lyim toys with him for a bit, happy that the peace treaty between Qindaras and the wizards officially ends with this assassination attempt, and then offers Isk a job as one of his lieutenants. Isk accepts.

Bram and Guerrand are summoned to the new Bastion by Justarius. Par-Salian brings them inside. The Council of Three plus Dagamier explain everything that happened with Lyim and the gauntlet, and detail the failure of their assassins, including Isk who switched sides and is now traveling the continent killing wizards. They also explain that the gauntlet is now absorbing ambient across the continent. Par-Salian asks that Guerrand attempt to assassinate Lyim since their personal history would give him an edge. Dagamier explains that Bram's magic is not susceptible to the gauntlet. Bram and Guerrand agree to try to kill Lyim together.

Lyim is taking a sauna bath with the gauntlet. The gauntlet wants him to produce an heir but he's not interested. He is interrupted by Isk for an emergency in the boiler room of the bath. A Nabassu fiend had broken into the material plain, killed two servants, and destroyed a boiler. The gauntlet closes the portal and explains that storing so much energy in the palace is weakening the barrier between worlds. Lyim resolves to control the demons when they come back again.

Bram is distracted and worried while packing for the trip to Qindaras. He cannot find Kirah to say goodbye. Guerrand and Bram meet up and enter the faerie road to travel. Lyim goes out for his first public appearance after two years of reforming the city. He gives a rousing anti-magic speech. He thinks it's time to move his crusade out of Qindaras. Bram hides in Guerrand's magic mirror and finds Kirah hiding inside of it. Guerrand enters the city and sees the crowd of people volunteering for Lyim's army. When the crowd clears he requests an audience with Lyim and is escorted to his sculpting studio.

After catching up, Guerrand releases Bram from the mirror. Bram fills the studio and corridors with vines and tries to strangle Lyim. The gauntlet pushes Kirah out of the magic mirror. Lyim takes her hostage and escapes through a trap door. Bram and Guerrand cannot escape through the mirror and are captured. Kirah lies to herself and has sex with Lyim. Guerrand wakes up with a nasty concussion in a cell with Bram. They lure guards into the cell, knock them out, and escape. Guerrand is led through the palace and into Lyim's bed chamber by the gauntlet. After a huge argument, the gauntlet tries to get Guerrand to take the gauntlet for himself. He warns Lyim that the Gauntlet has taken over Lyim's mind. Guerrand attacks with a sword and Bram summons bees. The fight spills out to the balcony. Guerrand falls over the balcony and dangles by the gauntlet. Bram tries to incinerate the whole scene but is stopped by Kirah. Guerrand understands his persistent vision about Rannoch; He cuts off Lyim's arm and falls with the gauntlet to his death.

Bram loses Lyim and goes to search for the gauntlet but cannot find it. The palace begins to collapse since the gauntlet has left it's boundary. A demon that Dagamier sent with Guerrand grabs Bram and carries him back to Bastion. Dagamier explains everything to Bram and they prepare to meet the Council of Three.

Salimshad finds the gauntlet. Lyim mopes and Salimshad coaches him back to his senses. On the ruins, before a crowd, Lyim says that the palace was destroyed by Sargonas for being complacent and not attacking High Sorcery directly. He begs Sargonas's favor and then casts Wish to restore his hand, convincing the crowd that a holy quest against the Tower of Wayreth has been endorsed by the gods.

Bram, Dagamier, and Par-Salian discuss the situation, since Ladonna and Justarius are dealing with an emergency. Bram travels the faerie road back to Castle Thonvil to make sure things are functioning. He finds Emperor Mercadior Redic V in his office. They explain what they know to each other. The Emperor offers 300 cavaliers to assist the dwarves and elves who have already agreed to help the wizards.

Lyim and Isk survey a village they have just destroyed. Lyim retires to his tent and argues with Kirah. An errand boy delivers the news that Salimshad was killed. Lyim kills the messenger. Bram reads Guerrand's good bye letter. He meets Dagamier in the western wall-tower of Wayreth. They flirt and then Bram leaves to help defend the pass north of Thorbardin.

Lyim's army has moved north out of the Plains of Dust and onto the Hillhome highway, toward the Plains of Dergoth. The dwarves of Thorbardin, dwarves of Hillhome, and human cavaliers of Ergoth guard the Pass through the Kharolis Mountains near Skullcap. The forces cut down the advanced portion of Lyim's army without trouble while Bram summons a storm to use. Lyim arrives riding a Nabassu with Kirah, and the group of fiends attacks the cavaliers. Bram attacks with elementals and lightning. Lyim determines that Bram is here and leaves, taking all the Nabassu over the mountain to Wayreth. Lyim attacks the elven army defending Wayreth and then lands in the courtyard. Dagamier feigns casting a spell to get close to Lyim and then stabs him before a Nabassu bites her. Bram opens a faerie road into the courtyard and Ergothian cavaliers with Emperor Mercadior Redic V and centaurs with King Weador rush through. Lyim runs into the main towers and begins absorbing magic directly out of the tower. Bram finds Lyim in the Hall of Mages. Kirah bursts in and tries to grab Lyim but the energy blast her away. Bram polymorphs Lyim into a tree and the gauntlet falls to the ground.

Kirah refuses healing and decides to die from her wounds. Par-Salian consoles Bram, tells him that Dagamier will survive and had refered to him as the seventh sentinel. Par-Salian also offers to mentor Bram in High Sorcery. King Weador takes Kirah's body back to Castle DiThon. Bram decides to take some time for himself

Importance to Dragonlance

The novel concludes the trilogy covering events related to the Wizards of High Sorcery immediately before the War of the Lance. It is the origin of the artifact Gauntlet of Ventyr which is mentioned in other books and modules. It explains the fate of Lyim Rhistadt who appears in other books and modules. The novel clarifies the ambitions of Emperor Mercadior Redic V of Northern Ergoth.

Trivia

  • The old Ergothian funeral custom of cremation on a pyre stopped after the Cataclysm. The poem "Ceremony to the Sky" is recited over the fire by a shaman. The person to inherit the title and possessions lights the pyre. Cormac's last will and testament stipulated that he wanted the old style funeral. In his case, the pyre was 17 hands tall, constructed entirely of vallenwood to reflect his stature, and Bram lit the pyre.
  • The poem "Ceremony to the Sky" is on pg. 2 of the first edition.
  • Qindaras is the largest city in the Plains of Dust. Shortly before the cataclysm, the city was ruled by the wizard Aniirin. The Council of Three believed him a renegade but were busy fighting the Lost Battles against the Kingpriest. The Council signed a magical contract with Aniirin so that the wizard could do as he pleased within his city as long as he kept his business within the city. The contract stipulated that his successors would be held to the same arrangement.
  • The map in the book shows Calesta's district as adjacent to the palace but the book describes her district as landlocked.
  • Smoking weed is popular with the degenerate elves of the theater district of Qindaras.
  • Gnolls live in nomadic barbarian tribes in the Plains of Dust. They can be persuaded to do mercenary work on occasion.
  • The afternoon bells in Qindaras started as a religious ritual, but after the Cataclysm it evolved into the signal for siesta. Aniirin III used the time for his daily pastry and confection testing.
  • Tuatha Dundarael children are raised by the community. They usually know who their parents are but it's not important to them.
  • King Weador uses the term "we mortals" in reference to humans and tuatha.
  • All tuatha go on a journey of self discover to mark their "spiritual coming of age." Usually this is a mental journey, but sometimes it is a physical quest.
  • The Palace of Qindaras has 534 greening copper minarets, one built for each year of the reign of the Aniirin dynasty. Some were large enough to have stairs and a deck and some were too small for a kender to climb on, each based on the finances of the city at the time.
  • Lyim casts sleep with rose petals and the verbal component "Vexe dorema."
  • Lyim casts teleport with the verbal component "Lethodor, ithikitalkus maladifidii locitium."
  • Lyim casts message with no components at all.
  • The new Bastion, from outside, is a solid block of mirror on a cliffside somewhere in the snow capped Khalkist Mountain Range. It is a solid piece and doorways are opened magically. The interior is enchanted to appear as a pleasant place for each person who enters it; Each person will see their own version of the interior.
  • According to Guerrand, there is a barbarian saying: "Today is a good day to die."
  • In the Plains of Dust, open floor plans are a common architectural feature.
  • The Pass through the Kharolis from the Plains of Dergoth to the shore of New Sea is about a league wide.
  • An excerpt from Dragons of Summer Flame appears after the end of the novel in the first edition.

Kender Tales

  • The War of the Lance (Sourcebook) claims that the events in the novel end in 329 AC but that does not align with the events of the previous novel.

Covers

Release details

Also Known As

  • La Septième Sentinelle (French)
  • El Séptimo Centinela (Spanish)
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