So, in the beginning of Prince of Chaos, Merlin is using the Spikard to examine the Jewel of Judgment in Coral's eye. He pushes through a void and ends up finding what he believes to be the entrance to the 3d pattern, according to what Corwin has told him about it. But he gets denied, and Coral is possessed and tells Merlin that he's been denied the higher initiation. My question is: Doesn't he already have that higher level, or is this something different?

He already projected himself through the Jewel after he repaired the broken pattern. He's been through the 3d pattern already. Did Roger forget that or am I missing something?

The way he described his examination with the Spikard, the way his father described it, makes it seem like this is his first time through it. Anyone have an idea?


Keep in mind that at this point, the gem is part of Coral now. The "higher initiation" Merlin seeks (but is denied) is the gem's identity as PART of Coral. Remember that we have just learned that the gem was originally the Eye of the Serpent, which Dworkin altered when he took it from the Serpent (and making a very dangerous enemy of the Serpent of Chaos, by the way ... and just think what all THAT implied about the Unicorn?!?) The Jewel of Judgment is different in identity and character from the Eye of the Serpent, and so it is reasonable to suggest that it has changed again when made part of Coral.

It's interesting to see that this is a rebalancing of power between Order and Chaos. Order loses the Jewel, but Chaos does not gain it. Instead, a daughter of a minor minister from a minor power in the Golden Circle is suddenly endowed with universe-altering power. What might that mean, in the context of shifting alignments? We know Corwin's Pattern increased Order's power but took something from the Pattern drawn by Dworkin. Perhaps giving the gem to Coral increased Chaos' power relative to Order, but also took something from the Logrus in so doing the act.

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