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The Riathan Paravians are one of three Paravian races, often referred to by the common name of unicorns. They "formed the living bridge, the linked connection to all that is and will be".[1] Traithe describes them as "the only unsullied connection we have to Ath Creator . . . their return is the cornerstone for the future harmony of this world"[2]. The prime vibration channels directly through their horns.[3]

Unicorns have gold, spired horns and emanate a haze of light.

Role in the Story

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from multiple books in the series.

The Gallant

Third Age 4995: Edlie s'Daltier remarks that the yearly migration of unicorns along River Ippash have grown sparse.

Child of Prophecy

Third Age 5033: A merchant at Tawbas' Inn mentions that no unicorns have migrated through Vastmark in years.

Curse of the Mistwraith

Third Age 5638: As the Mistwraith's hold on the world weakens, a unicorn on "a faraway isle, amid waters never charted"[4] stands guard over a sleeping Sorcerer.

Fugitive Prince

Third Age 5652: While scrying Arithon's future, Dakar sees a vision of Arithon facing down a unicorn with Alithiel on a beach. As a visual prophecy, it is subject to change.

Peril's Gate

Third Age 5670: In the sanctuary at Whitehaven, Elaira is visited by a live unicorn. The experience leaves her senseless, and Ath's Adepts realize that she has been blessed. This is the first live sighting in more than five hundred years, and one Adept suggests that Elaira's love for Arithon may be the key to returning the Riathan to the continent.

Initiate's Trial

Third Age 5923: High King Gestry wields his crown jewels on the battlefield in Scarpdale, summoning projections of all three Paravian races. This calling halts the fighting and renders many combatants senseless.

Destiny's Conflict

Third Age 5925: At Los Lier, virulent storms enable Arithon to cross an impenetrable ward across time and space, arriving at the Paravians' secluded sanctuary. He encounters a wild unicorn on the beach. The unicorn challenges his trespass and only the defense wards in Alithiel prevent his dissolution.

Dancing unicorns are the first race that Ciladis encounters when he crosses the threshold to speak on Arithon's behalf.


  • Unicorns were once escorted through their seasonal migrations by centaurs.
  • Unicorns will not graze near cold ashes unless they originated from lightning-struck flame.
  • The touch of a unicorn's horn is lethal to humankind.


  1. © Janny Wurts, Ships of Merior, p. 289 (US-Hardback)
  2. © Janny Wurts, Curse of the Mistwraith, p. 509 (US-Hardback)
  3. © Janny Wurts, Ships of Merior, p. 910 (US-Hardback)
  4. © Janny Wurts, Curse of the Mistwraith, p. 284 (US-Hardback)