The diarmadh'im, which means Stoneburners in the Old Tongue, are of the Old Blood and more commonly called Sorcerers. They are an ancient people long thought extinct and the mortal enemies of the faradhi, or Sunrunners. Like a Sunrunner, a diarmadhi uses light to communicate and cast spells, but their spells primarily use the starlight instead of sunlight and moonlight. The light pattern of a diarmadhi consists of three or four colors described as gemstones; each diarmadhi has a unique color pattern, and these colors represent facets of the diarmadhi 's character. A full blooded diarmadhi is also vulnerable to mirror spells. Water crossing has no effect on a sorcerer, and they are less susceptible to death by iron while casting.
Those of the Old Blood can be trained as at Goddess Keep as Sunrunners. The only way to tell if a Sunrunner is a diarmadhi is if sorcery is being performed. In the presence of sorcery, a diarmadhi wearing the faradhi rings will be burned by the special metal used to craft the rings. If the diarmadhi wearing the faradhi rings casts a sorcerous spell, then the rings tremble "as if in protest."
Sorcerers once ruled the Continent and Kierst-Isel, approximately fifteen or sixteen generations before the Vellanti War. They used the Merida as their deadly assassins.
Three ancients, Lady Merisel, Lord Gerik, and Lord Rosseyn, were caught in a love triangle. They led the war that sent the remaining diarmadh'im into hiding, fearing for their lives. While the diarmadhi were still ruling the Continent they lived on Dorval, the island home of the Sunrunners. Merisel, who was married to Gerik, wrote the Star Scrolls.
After the faradh'im defeated the sorcerers, Lady Merisel, Lord Gerik, and Lord Rosseyn, who was probably the father of Merisel's twin sons, moved the Sunrunners from their island castle to the far corner of Ossetia. They wanted to share their knowledge with the world and to gain new knowledge from the Continent. Merisel did leave the Star Scroll and histories buried on Dorval, however. She deemed the knowledge too dangerous and - at that time - no longer necessary. Whether she could not bear to let such knowledge be lost or she had foreseen the war to come is unknown. The knowledge of sorcery that she and the others of her time knew was put to use in eradicating what was left of the diarmadhi 'threat.' The faradh'im, led by the three, drove the remaining sorcerers into the Veresch Mountains of Princemarch. During the dairmadhi purge, it was said that Merisel ordered the death of men, women, and children alike, gelded men, rendered women barren, and butchered babes with Merida knives. Rosseyn, who had fathered children by a diarmadhi, hid his children and kept them safe. The names of the three ancients are now forbidden to diarmadh'im "lest their wind-borne spirits find these last hiding places" .
Together Merisel, Gerik, and Rosseyn built Goddess Keep and forged faradhi rings with a special spell so that the metal would burn a diarmadhi 's fingers if sorcery was being used in his or her presence. Once the Sunrunners were established at Goddess Keep, Merisel and Gerik forbade their faradh'im to kill using their gifts and made them take an oath not to do so. Rosseyn did not take the faradhi oath.
Generations passed. The surviving diarmadh'im had multiplied in their rustic mountain homes, some venturing out to join the rest of the Continent, the Old Ways forgotten, others biding their time, waiting for their chance to rule once more. A chance to seize power came during Roelstra's reign. Members of Lord Rosseyn's line had bided their time; they married a kinswoman to the High Prince, but Lallante turned her back on them, forsaking her gifts. Another chance at power arose when a young Mireva gave Roelstra's mistress the dranath needed to addict a Sunrunner. It was hoped that the Sunrunner would aid them once one of Roelstra's daughters married Rohan of the Desert and mixed their diarmadhi heritage with his faradhi genes. This plan also went awry: Rohan married a Sunrunner named Sioned. Six years later, another chance arose: three of Ianthe's sons were taken to Mireva.
- Main article: Star Scroll
The Star Scroll contains sorcerous spells and was found with three scrolls of ancient history. The scrolls are all written in the Old Tongue and in code by Lady Merisel, the ancient leader of the Sunrunners. Mireva and Ianthe's sons tried to steal the Scrolls, thus the reemergence of sorcerers, but Hollis killed Segev before he could succeed.
Diarmadh'im favor the light of the stars; instead of Fire and Air, they use Water and Earth. The name diarmadh'im, which means 'Stoneburners,' was gieven to them because of the manner in which they perform their spells. They - in multiples of three and preferably ninety-nine - form a circle around a rock cairn. The leader, using three anchors, draws on the present sorcerers' powers, calls down starfire, and weaves it around the circle of stones, igniting them. Within the burning stones a sorcerer can conjure not only images, but scenes of life happening far away.
Like the faradh'im, sorcerers have Man-making and Woman-making nights, but instead of wrapping themselves in shadow and using voices only for pleasure they are able to actually alter their appearance with spells. For example, a crone can look, sound, and feel like a young woman.
There is some sorcery that only kills sorcerers.
Circle of Ninety-Nine
The Circle of Ninety-Nine is a powerful diarmadhi gathering. It is used to cast especially powerful spells and for the coronation of a diarmadhi leader. The number three is important to diarmadh'im as it holds power: three gods, three moons, three winters between dragon years and gathering of Princes, and three lands (Desert, Mountain, River Meadow). The sorcerer must claim leadership and then be validated by the elderfolk. A rope of gold, silver, and bronze is placed around the claimant's shoulders in the Ku'al, or 'mind-circle.' This rope symbolizes the diarmadhi 's authority and his or her bond of service to the diarmadh'im. If the leader should break the bond, or if he/she acts against the elderfolk, then the diarmadh'im of the Ku'al strangle the leader with the rope.
The rabikor is a duel of sorcery; the name means 'crystal battle' in the Old Tongue. There are certain rules which apply to the duel, but only if both combatants agree to the terms at the onset of the duel. If no terms or rules are mentioned, then the set rules do not apply and anything is legal. If the rules are agreed upon and one is broken, then even if the rule breaker wins his or her claims and challenges are forfeit.
- The battle is between two combatants.
- All Elements can be called and used.
- The Unreal can be conjured.
- A perath is woven from three persons on each combatants' side. Should a member of the perath die, he or she will not be replaced. The winner of the duel demolishes the dome. Perath, which means 'talon wall' in the Old Tongue, is a woven dome of light in which the rabikor is fought. It protects the combatants from outside interference.
- Physical touch and weapons of iron, bronze, gold, silver, or glass are forbidden.
- Dranath will be taken in equal measures and in front of witnesses at the start of the duel.
- Call Elements: Water is the diarmadh'im element of choice, but they can also call Fire and Air. A faradhi can call Water, but it is not officially taught and is considered unusual.
- Conjuring: Using starfire and burning stones, a sorcerer can see what is going on in the world. With an object holding memories, a sorcerer can conjure those memories. Sorcerers can also watch another person in Water if they an item belonging to that person.
- Disguise: Sorcerers can alter their appearance and voice by creating an image over their features. When wearing their new image, they feel as if they're in clothes cut for a different person. This is one of the more difficult spells as the diarmadhi must constantly maintain the illusion.
- Memory: When concentrating, a diarmadhi has a photographic memory. Sorcerers can also conjure memories using an object that holds memories.
- Preparation: A powerful sorcerer can 'prepare' another diarmadhi. Should the prepared person fail their duty or rebel, the sorcerer can stop the person's heart with starlight.
- Ros'salath: Means 'warrior's wall of dreams' in the Old Tongue, this creates a woven wall of invisible light. When the enemy runs into it they sees their most terrifying horrors. The shock and terror can either send the enemy running, knock them unconscious, or kill them, depending on the strength and version of the ros'salath.
- The Unreal: Imagined horrors can be conjured to attack and frighten. Real or solid objects can be incorporated into the image and used during an attack or duel.
Diarmadh'im can perform and are susceptible to mirror spells. There are four types of diarmadhi mirrors.
- Dalaaji: This mirror shows a static image of a living person. When a faradhi or halfling gifted person is named, their image appears surrounded by an aleva of their colors; the more gifted the person is, the brighter their aleva shines. When a sorcerer's name is spoken the mirror goes black. If the person named is deceased, then the mirror swirls grey and blank. Andry found one on his 'sojourn' in the Veresch. He destroyed it, when it revealed that Brenlis was dead.
- Daltaya: Means 'shadowcatcher' in the Old Tongue; Pol used one in Skybowl to speak to the Vellanti. In order to use this mirror and come to no harm, one must be related to all three of the ancients, Lord Rosseyn, Lady Merisel, and Lord Gerik, and be both faradhi and diarmadhi.
- Kazniradi: This is the kind of mirror Mireva used on Chiana. It can ensorcel an individual and allow a sorcerer to control or greatly influence that individual.
- Kenida: Means 'glass voice' in the Old Tongue; not much is known about this type of mirror.
The diarmadhi gene is dominant, while the faradhi gene is recessive, though not competing. This means that if someone is diarmadhi, then his or her children will be diarmadhi regardless of the other parent's genetic makeup. It also means that a person can be both full diarmadhi and full faradhi. A full diarmadhi and full faradhi can't cross water comfortably, but are invulnerable to mirror spells.
The people of the Continent have one of these six gene types:
- Full Faradhi: water crossing makes them very ill, vulnerable to death by iron while casting
- Halfling Faradhi: can't be trained as a Sunrunner, some feel itchy if there is a spell being cast
- Full Diarmadhi: vulnerable to mirrors, can cross water
- Full Diarmadhi and Full Faradhi: crossing water makes them ill
- Full Diarmadhi and Halfling Faradhi: crossing water makes them ill, vulnerable to mirrors
- Blind: can't be trained as a Sunrunner, susceptible to mind suggestions by dranath and diarmadhi mirror spells
To see a chart of how diarmadhi and faradhi genes are passed down, please refer to Melanie Rawn's Official Site.
Here is a list of Known diarmadh'im. Until 719, sorcerers were thought to have fallen into legend, so many gifted individuals thought they were faradh'im. If a sorcerer is in the hierarchy of Goddess Keep, his/her biography can be found in the Sunrunners of Goddess Keep article.
- Aldiara: Born in 722, she dressed as a lad to infiltrate Yarin's ranks. She saved Rohannon's life by purging him of a dranath addiction.
- Alleyn of Dorval: daughter of Ludhil of Dorval and Iliena of Snowcoves.
- Audran of Dorval: son of Ludhil and Iliena; sister of Alleyn.
- Camigina: a kinswoman of Camigwen, one of the sorcerers that came out of hiding to support Pol.
- Camigwen: Born in 676, she was Sioned's best friend at Goddess Keep. She married Ostvel and they had Riyan. She did not know that she was actually a diarmadhi, not a faradhi.
- Crila: One of Andry's devri'im.
- Ianthe of Princemarch: Pol's biological mother and the youngest of Roelstra's legitimate daughters. She never discovered her diarmadhi gift.
- Iliena of Snowcoves: Princess of Dorval and Yarin's sister; wife of Ludhil of Dorval.
- Jihan, Princess of Princemarch and The Desert: Pol and Meiglan's daughter and heir. She was Rislyn's twin.She is only of the Old Blood, through her Grandmother Ianthe, she did not receive the Sunrunner trait as her sister did.
- Larien of Firon: Son of Laric of Dorval and Lisiel of Snowcoves; younger brother of Tirel of Firon.
- Lenala of Princemarch: Roelstra's daughter by his only wife, Lallante.
- Lisiel of Snowcoves: Princess of Firon and sister of Yarin and Iliena.
- Maara of Feruche: Riyan and Ruala's daughter, she was descended from Lord Gerik through her mother.
- Marron: Ianthe's son. He killed Sorin, so was hunted down by Sorin's twin, Andry, the Lord of Goddess Keep.
- Martiel: One of Andry's devri'im.
- Mireva: A sorceress who planned to breed a diarmadhi High Prince, first using Roelstra's wife, the his grandsons, Ruval, Marron, and Segev.
- Morwenna: One of Pol's Sunrunner trainers. She is both faradhi and diarmadhi.
- Natham of Snowcoves: Son of Yarin of Snowcoves and his wife Vallaina.
- Naydra of Princemarch: Roelstra's oldest daughter
- Pandsala of Princemarch: Pol's regent for Princemarch for 14 years; she was the only one of Rolestra's daughters to be trained in the faradhi ways.
- Perchaya: One of the sorcerers that came out of hiding to support Pol.
- Pol: Born in 704, he was Rohan's son by Ianthe, though did not know the truth of his birth until 728. It was through Ianthe that Pol inherited his diarmadhi blood. Pol was truly the High Prince of all, as he was both a full diarmadhi and a half faradhi.
- Rislyn, Princess of Princemarch and The Desert:Pol and Meiglan's daughter. She is Jihan's twin. She is both Sunrunner and Sorcerer, Sunrunner through her Great-Grandmother Milar's blood and Sorcercer through her Grandmother Ianthe. She lost her sight during the her captivity but gained it back through sunrunning with her dragon and sister.
- Riyan: Born in 699 to Ostvel and Camigwen. Riyan did not know he was a diarmadhi through his mother until he was a grown man. In fact his father and mother didn't know it.
- Ruala of Elktrap Manor: Born in 700, she was the beloved granddaughter of Garic of Elktrap Manor. She is a direct descendant of Gerik, the ancient sorcerer.
- Ruval: Ianthe's oldest son. He challenged Pol's claim on Princemarch in a Sorcerer's duel.
- Segev: Ianth's son. He was sent to Goddess Keep as a spy and drugged the Sunrunner Hollis, using dranath.
- Tirel of Firon: The young Prince of Firon, whom Yarin held captive during his coup.
- Torien: Chief Steward of Goddess Keep under Andry
- Urival: Chief Steward of Goddess Keep under Andrade
- Yarin of Snowcoves: Born in 690, he tried to take control of Firon from Laric, but the Keep was reclaimed.