Context[ edit ] Obernewtyn is set in a world recently ravaged by a nuclear holocaust , known to the survivors as "the Great White", later said by the Herders leaders of the new religious order to have been sent by Lud God to punish humanity. The surviving remote communities attempted to rebuild society, which over time developed into a totalitarian Council, and a religious order, the Herder Faction. Mutations of the mind also began to appear in some of the surviving generations; those discovered are either burnt alive along with the rebels or labelled as "Misfits" and outcasts. The resulting large group of children are placed in orphan homes and used for manual labour.
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Farseeking between humans and animals; not all Farseekers are Beastspeakers, nor vice versa. Elspeth, Alad, Khuria, Merret, Zarak, Lina Alad Teknoguilding A deep affinity with machines and a love for study , especially of technology and therefore of the Beforetime. Possibly entails some ability to manipulate machines mentally. Garth, Pavo, Fian, Jak, Garth Outside of these seven Talents, other powers have emerged or have been expressed in different ways in the series.
Elspeth possesses a mysterious power known as the killing power, related to her coercion Talent, something she has described as a "dark snake" coiled at the base of her mind. It has the power to kill individuals as shown in the novel Obernewtyn, when she used this power to kill Madam Vega.
Her power is described as "enhancing"; allowing people under its effect to perform better than they otherwise would. He is described by Domick, a victim of this torture, as an "empath turned inside out". Two children described in the series, Lidgebaby first seen in The Farseekers and Gavyn The Keeping Place , also have strange abilities.
A side-effect of this never before seen merging was the generation of mental static that cancelled out all other powers, as experienced by Elspeth in The Farseekers and later in The Red Queen. Gavyn is described as "adantar", beastspeak for "link". Elspeth and the beasts believed he is some sort of enthraller, whose powers only affect beasts. In addition, the animals of Obernewtyn have formed the Beast Guild. Their leader is the mare Avra.
The Beast guild have equal rights to participate in Guildmerge. It seems that most, if not all, beasts can communicate with each other mentally. Most species of beast are also able to communicate with any human beastspeaker, although some, such as cats, dogs and horses, are more able to do so than others, such as cows and wolves. As humans cannot beastspeak birds besides the Agyllians , it is not known if birds can beastspeak each other, or if other animals can beastspeak with birds.
Beast language[ edit ] The animals of the Obernewtyn world are described as sentient beings capable of speech. However their form of communication is not oral but mental in nature. This form of mental communication has been described as a blending of word and mental images, with empathised emotions. The beast language also runs words together to form a single word, examples include freerunning, strongminded, gladshield, moonwatcher, daywatcher, and fireheart.
Characters[ edit ] The Obernewtyn Chronicles are populated by a large cast of characters. Only the most important of these are listed here. Her parents were burned for the crime of sedition when she was young, and was sent to live at Kinraide Orphanage with her older brother, Jes, who nicknamed her Elf. She was condemned to Obernewtyn after Madame Vega came to evaluate the orphans to discover any "mutants" among them, and became suspicious of Elspeth.
Elspeth is tall and slim, with brilliant green eyes. She was given the nickname "little sad-eyes" by Brydda Llewellyn, due to her serious demeanour.
Her hair is long and black, and she has pale skin. Elspeth is the Seeker, or Innle in the beast-language. Despite much evidence proving her to be the Seeker, Elspeth constantly denies this. The most important of these are to find the five signs and beat the Destroyer to the computers controlling the weaponmachines in time to prevent a second Great White, and to free the beasts from human dominance.
Elspeth possesses many talents, which sets her apart from other Talented Misfits. She possesses the abilities of farseeking, coercing, beastspeaking, and possibly teknoguilding. Some futuretelling or truedreaming ability is also apparent, although this is vague and uncontrolled. She has the power to heal her own body, bestowed upon her by Nerat the Agyllian in The Farseekers. She also has a separate Talent of killing with her mind that she is too scared to uncover properly, however this ability can also be used to increase the strength of her other Talents.
The only Talent she does not seem to have is empathy. In fact Elspeth struggles with emotions although she is trying harder to be understanding. Elspeth becomes betrothed to Rushton Seraphim at the end of Ashling, having realised that what she had felt for Rushton had been love , but she had been too scared to face it. The two of them are estranged for a time but reconcile in the Stone Key.
His half-brother is Stephen Seraphim. He is a Misfit with latent powers. He is approximately nineteen years-old at the beginning of the series, and is tall, with jade green eyes and dark hair. Rushton is a Misfit with latent Talent, which he only begins to use at the end of Ashling when Freya, an "empath-enhancer", tries to enhance his abilities. At the end of Ashling he becomes betrothed to Elspeth.
She enhances his abilities further than anyone else could. While Elspeth is able to cure him, in The Stone Key it is revealed that his trauma has left him hollow and devoid of the capacity for love. This is displayed towards Elspeth initially with apathy , which slowly transforms into hatred and loathing , and finally causes him to relapse into a mad, animalistic state which Elspeth eventually cures once again, this time permanently through use of intense deep probing.
Ariel: Ariel is a Misfit with a defective mind and a rare empathy-coercion combination of talents. He is the principal antagonist throughout the series, appearing time and again in positions of power and influence.
In The Farseekers, it is believed that Ariel has run away from Obernewtyn, and is presumed dead. Ariel is megalomaniacal , with every new book in the series slowly unfolding his wide-stretching and subtle plan. While it is clear he intends to purposefully reawaken the weaponmachines, and has attempted to seduce Elspeth to his cause, it is unclear if he is aware of how dire the consequences of these actions would be. His motives are often shrouded in mystery, and his apparent ability as a futureteller means that he is always one step ahead of Elspeth and the Misfits.
In fact, as suggested by the literal interpretation of his title, rather than being the Destroyer, he will be responsible for leading another individual—the true Destroyer—to their unwitting fate.
He is an older misfit who is tall, blind, has an "angular" body, light to white eyes, a slightly large nose, and many freckles. Dameon is a very talented empath and Guildmaster of the Empath Guild. Dameon was the son of a Councilman. Ironically, even though to his cousin did not really believe he was a Misfit, he actually is one. Dameon was sent to Obernewtyn where he met Matthew, and later, Elspeth. In The Stone Key it is mentioned that he intends to sue his cousin to regain his lands, and establish a cooperative farm there.
It has been interpreted by many that Dameon is secretly in love with Elspeth. There are many implications of this throughout the series, but a popular indicator occurs in the third book Ashling. When Elspeth and Rushton become betrothed, Dameon chooses not to return to Obernewtyn. Rushton says he knows the reason that he must stay behind, and Elspeth is surprised that Dameon blushes at this comment. Dameon then creates a "block", so that Elspeth cannot read his thoughts and he cannot read her feelings as they say goodbye.
Series author Carmody has stated that she did in fact intend Dameon to be in love with Elspeth. Matthew is the first human with whom Elspeth communicates mentally, and the first Talented human, other than herself, whom she encounters. He is later made farseeker ward, a post he holds until he is captured by slavers and taken to the Land of the Red Queen where he serves slave labour.
Matthew is slightly older than Elspeth, and is described as tall, thin, and "sharp eyed". Dragon: Dragon is a young, but wild girl, and powerful empath-coercer. She was discovered and rescued on a farseeker expedition to the West Coast. Her name was unknown, so Elspeth called her Dragon, not just for her flame-red hair and fiery temperament , but for the image she projected into all their minds on their first encounter in her attempt to scare them away. Domick is sent to establish a safe house for Obernewtyn in Sutrium, the capital of The Land.
He later renounces his ties to Obernewtyn. He was captured, along with Rushton, by Ariel and taken to Herder Island where he was physically and mentally tortured. He was brainwashed by Ariel, and was infected with disease so as to spread a plague throughout the land.
She accompanies Domick to Sutrium, although his work at the Council cause the two to become estranged. Pavo: Pavo is a tecknoguilder who died from the rotting sickness while trying to help Elspeth and the other Misfits when they went to Sutrium. Beasts[ edit ] Maruman: Maruman is a fey , battered cat, and the first being with whom Elspeth communicates mentally. It is from Maruman that Elspeth learns most about her roles as the Seeker and Innle. Maruman first appears in the first book, Obernewtyn, where he encountered Elspeth at the Kinraide Orphan Home after she alerted a bird to his presence.
As the Moonwatcher, Maruman travels with Elspeth on most of her dreamtrail wanderings and adventures, protecting and guarding her from unknown forces, and serving as a foil to Gahltha, the horse also known as the Daywatcher. He is known as Yelloweyes to his fellow beasts, and is held in high regard by them. The Agyllians, or flamebirds, are in constant communication with Maruman, resulting in schizophrenic tendencies.
It is from Maruman that Elspeth learns most about her roles as the Seeker and Innle, the Innle being destined to free the animals from their human oppressors. Maruman is a contrary being, and his temperament can shift, without warning, from wise to sullen and difficult. His age is never specified, it is only known that he is ancient , and possibly Beforetime in his origin, which would make him over a century old.
As of The Keeping Place, he is left with only one eye, due to his solitary adventures in the radioactive Blacklands. However he is depicted cradled by Elspeth on the cover for the yet-unreleased sixth book, The Sending, where they are shown alone and walking the deathroad. Gahltha: Gahltha is a noble, black horse, originally mad and spiteful due to mistreatment by his former human owners, however he becomes wise, calm and understanding due to Atthis and the Agyllians when he decided he wanted to die but they promised him a purpose, to look after Elspeth.
Atthis: Atthis is the leader of the Agyllians, or Guanette birds, a powerful, wise and ancient species of bird. Atthis often communicates with Elspeth through Maruman. Agyllians in real life are probably most related to phoenixes, upon which they are based. Nerat: Nerat is a healer among the Agyllians.
In The Farseekers, after Elspeth is found in a cave by three Agyllians and taken to him, Nerat taught her body to heal itself, as she had blocked her pain behind a mental barrier, and if she was not healed she would die.
Darga: Darga is a small dog belonging to young farseeker Jik. Darga proved extremely adept at navigating safe pathways through contaminated land.
The Obernewtyn Chronicles Series