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Man, I don’t know what to think. On the one hand Davas, supposedly a big expert, just waltzes into a mysterious temple and starts chugging the magic water, which is plain stupid on every level. It’s possible that none of them knew what would really happen going in, if anything at all, so this recklessness could serve as the impetus for everything that follows. On the other hand, it’s like Jain knew. It’s possible she was just following a ritual script after things went to shit, but then it’s a hell of a coincidence how things play out. The “vessel” and the “voice”, her long resentment of Alera, and above all the deeply selfish wish she makes. I mean, it seems to me that she could have easily asked for her sister’s life, or at least not abandon her in an ancient hole. And what exactly does wishing for “my own destiny” even mean? Just no more second-fiddling, or having some kind of great fate, or what?

And then she just shows up later as a good guy? With weird coldness magic?! Holy crap! What happens next? Eh? Eh?

To fill in a bit more of the backstory, Davas isn’t so much a big expert as an arrogant and overconfident dilletant in the arcane arts. A bored noble’s son who reckoned himself a magus, and who took advantage of Jain’s book-learning for his own aggrandisement. Jain went along with this in part because he was funding the acquisition of volumes of arcane lore, in part because she was very much in the shadow of her favoured older sister.

Jain did her homework, learned the rituals, researched the background, memorised the wards and bindings. Davas thought he could just stroll into a temple of Things From The Spaces Between The Stars and claim all the cosmic power he wanted, and Alera went along with that, because both of them reckoned they could just browbeat Jain into doing all the boring book-stuff for them. So what happened was pretty much Jain giving them the keys to their own destruction. Maybe if they’d shown any sign of respect or consideration for Jain she would have stopped them, but by the time she made her pact with Egish-Hul Agma they were lost.

Was it a morally good thing for her to do? Not really, no. But it worked, and set her free to find her own path rather than being tugged along at her sister’s heels.

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