Cipher of domination

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The cipher of domination, sometimes referred to as the "master sigil", is the method through which the Koriani Prime can hold ultimate control over initiates. Koriani vows of obedience are spoken by new initiates over the Great Waystone (or the Skyron Focus in its absence), and the Prime uses this tie to hold sway over oathbreakers.

Spells spun through its vortex will track an enchantress, beyond every defense and safeguard. No place in this world lies exempt. There is no hiding. One who breaks faith cannot escape forfeit, no matter how far her flight takes her. Even death grants no surcease. Such spells have been used at need to call halt on the spirit in its final passage across the Wheel.[1]
Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Stormed Fortress.

It is possible that the cipher is similar to the bindings cast by a necromancer[2]. It is later revealed that the Biedar tribe have a sacred rite for allowing one spirit to enter the body of another in free will. This rite was observed and stolen by the Koriathain and corrupted to their purposes.

Role in the Story

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

Fugitive Prince

Third Age 5653: When Arithon evades Morriel's conspiracy, she learns of Lirenda's failure with the help of a seeress. By using the cipher of domination, she is able to locate Lirenda directly.

Peril's Gate

Third Age 5670: After Elaira and Davien make a bargain, Selidie summons Elaira's spirit with the cipher of domination, pulling Davien too. Davien is revealed to be more than discorporate as he evades the trap.

As punishment for unsanctioned spellcraft, Lirenda is branded with the mark of shame and robbed of her free will. She is assigned as Selidie's personal servant to offset Selidie's damaged hands.

Destiny's Conflict

Third Age 5925: Lirenda returns to Whitehold in the spring and summons all 180 Senior enchantresses to reinforce her claim of being Prime Matriarch. The strategy keeps her competitors distracted in travel and unable to unify against her. She uses a talent sounding to elicit a duel from a rival peeress and condemns her with the cipher of domination.


  1. © Janny Wurts, Fugitive Prince, p. 457 (US-Hardback)
  2. Forum Post, May 26, 2007