Chalion Wiki

A collection of noteworthy quotes from the World of the Five Gods.

Adelis Arisaydia[]

  • Don’t promote your troubles beyond your rank. - Penric's Mission
  • I'm an officer, not an actor. - Mira's Last Dance
  • Penric: “However did you know where to find me?” Adelis in response: “I thought the columns of smoke were a good guide.” - The Orphans of Raspay
  • I don’t care to be driven, especially into a ditch. But if I must, I’m going to hold the bit in my own bloody teeth. - The Assassins of Thasalon

Arhys dy Lutez[]

  • I was never the sort to receive portents, or to delude myself that I had. Silence was always my portion, in return for my prayers. - Paladin of Souls

Bastard of the Unseason[]

  • When the man arises who can make you laugh, solemn Ista, angry Ista, iron Ista, then will your heart be healed. You have not prayed for this: it’s a guerdon even the gods cannot give you. We are limited to such simples as redemption from your sins. - Paladin of Souls
  • I'm not getting it all sorted, she worried. I'm not getting it right.
    • You are brilliant, the Voice reassured her.
    • It is imperfect.
    • So are all things trapped in time. You are brilliant, nonetheless. How fortunate for Us that We thirst for glorious souls rather than faultless ones, or We should be parched indeed, and most lonely in Our perfect righteousness. Carry on imperfectly, shining Ista. - Paladin of Souls

Bergon dy Ibra[]

  • Any man can be kind when he is comfortable. I'd always thought kindness a trivial virtue, therefore. But when we were hungry, thirsty, sick, frightened, with our deaths shouting at us, in the heart of horror, you were still as unfailingly courteous as a gentleman at ease before his own hearth. -  The Curse of Chalion
  • I've seen your integrity in action. It...widened my world. I'd been raised by my father, who is a prudent, cautious man, always looking for men's hidden, selfish motivations. No one can cheat him. But I've seen him cheat himself. If you understand what I mean.  - The Curse of Chalion

Betriz dy Ferrej[]

  • I'd storm heaven for you, if I knew where it was. - The Curse of Chalion
    • It wasn't a case of storming heaven. It was a case of letting heaven storm you. - Cazaril's much-later response
  • And you could just watch men begin to see what he told them they were seeing, whether it was there or not. - The Curse of Chalion


  • If you want to argue with the god, go to the temple. Not that you'll get much save sore knees, but it'll spare my ears. (Penric's Demon)
  • Presumably, the god has some interesting future in mind for you - for you two. This is not a blessing. Good luck. You'll need it. (Penric's Demon)

Chivar dy Cabon[]

  • And the Bastard grant us... in our direst need, the smallest gifts: the nail of the horseshoe, the pin of the axle, the feather at the pivot point, the pebble at the mountain's peak, the kiss in despair, the one right word. - Paladin of Souls


  • It indicates a deep confusion of thinking to mistake one’s own discomfort for a benefit to another. - Penric's Demon
  • Are you saying a sorcerer could burst into flames?
    • Mm, no, the body is too wet for that. He would more just ... burst. Like a grilled sausage splitting its casing. - Penric's Demon
  • You have many choices.... The real question is, what would you trade for them? - Mira's Last Dance
  • One part is not the whole of a man, nor the whole measure of a man’s worth. - Mira's Last Dance
  • One gives you the shirt off his back, ... and the other offers to help you bury bodies. I do believe you have made some new friends, Pen! - regarding Ikos and Bosha, in The Prisoner of Limnos
  • Demure? Who do you think you’re talking to? But I shall be properly polite, as befits a tame Temple servant. - Masquerade in Lodi
  • I did not say that well, Pen fretted. No, said Des thoughtfully as they turned away, but you said it true. Which is better, and more rare. - The Assassins of Thasalon

Dowager Provincara dy Baocia[]

  • We have what we can hold, dear boy, and never let them see you flinch or falter. - The Curse of Chalion
  • To a man of a certain age, Cazaril, all young ladies start to look delightful. It's the first symptom of senility. - responding to Cazaril's statement that Iselle, the governess-destroyer, is delightful. - The Curse of Chalion


  • But have you ever overheard two women discussing men? Men are crude liars, comparing their drabs, but women - I'd rather have [an] anatomist dissect me alive than to listen to the things the ladies say about us when they think they are alone. - The Hallowed Hunt


  • If you insist on behaving as though you were in a sty, a pig you shall be, until you learn better manners. - why not to call a sorceress a "fat sow", in The Hallowed Hunt
  • The secret of safety turns out to be to, ah…how shall I put it. Shed excess disorder. By cascading small amounts of chaos continually, I keep my demon passive, and my baby safe…. Alas, it’s a trifle hard on everyone around me for those months. I have a little hermitage on the edge of the seminary grounds that I move into. - how a sorceress can bear a child, in The Hallowed Hunt


  • The exception always gets more attention than the rule. - Penric's Fox

Ijada dy Castos[]

  • I think the gods have little interest in politics. Only in souls. Look to souls, Lord Ingrey, if you seek to guess Their minds. - The Hallowed Hunt
  • Give him to the river. Tumble him down in the thunder of Your cataract. His loss is no gain of mine, nor his dark deserving any joy to me. - The Hallowed Hunt
  • Utterly bleak and black is not the sum of realism. All the other colors are real, too. - The Hallowed Hunt

Ikos Rodoa[]

  • Way I figure, once a drop is enough to kill you, any more you add makes no difference. - in response to Penric's worries (If it was true a dying man saw his life flash before his eyes, Pen thought that fall might give enough time for all thirteen of his and Des’s). - The Prisoner of Limnos

Illvin dy Arbanos[]

  • Truly. I’m so tired I could hardly stand up. Nor climb to my feet, either. - Paladin of Souls
  • Poets speak of hope in ladies smiles, but give me a smirk any day, I say. - Paladin of Souls
  • One scarcely knows if he would be of more use to us as a hostage, or set loose to be a very bad enemy leader. - Paladin of Souls

Ingrey kin Wolfcliff[]

  • It is as much an error to take truth for lies, as lies for truth. - The Hallowed Hunt
  • If this multiplication of hypothetical sorcerors goes on, we shall have to hang them from the rafters like hams to make room. - in response to Wencel kin Horseriver's theorizing, in The Hallowed Hunt
  • I was imagining the most bizarre things befalling you.
    • Did they include a six-hundred-pound ice bear and a pirate poet?
    • No…
    • Then they weren’t the most bizarre after all. - Ijada and Ingrey, in The Hallowed Hunt
  • Talking to the gods had been a much more comfortable proposition when there had seemed no danger of Their talking back. - The Hallowed Hunt
  • What makes the hallow kingship hallowed?

Iselle dy Chalion[]

  • The world demands I make good choices on no information, and then blames my maidenhood for my mistakes, as if my maidenhood were responsible for my ignorance. Ignorance is not stupidity, but it might as well be. And I do not like feeling stupid. - The Curse of Chalion

Ista dy Chalion[]

  • The gods' most savage curses come upon us as answers to our own prayers. Prayer is a dangerous business. - The Curse of Chalion
  • I can tell you truths. I cannot give you understanding. For how can one give what one does not possess? - to Cazaril, in The Curse of Chalion.
  • Anyone who desires to see the gods face-to-face is a great fool. - Paladin of Souls
  • The shocked silence that followed was decidedly baffled. And even, possibly, a little thoughtful, if that was not too much to hope. - Paladin of Souls
  • You can't solve problems by running away from them, it was said, and like the good child she had once been, she had believed this. But it wasn't true. Some problems could only be solved by running away from them. - Paladin of Souls
  • The gods may forgive Ista all day long. But if Ista does not forgive Ista, the gods may go hang themselves. - Paladin of Souls
  • Yet loyalty must run two ways, or else become betrayal in the egg. - Paladin of Souls
  • She would never again be sure if a thought or a feeling were truly her own. She would be constantly halting, second-guessing, turning about inside her head. Madness lies down that road. It would be less crippling and more loving if you should take a war hammer and break both her legs. - Paladin of Souls
  • A stunning first impression was not the same as love at first sight, but it was certainly an invitation to consider the matter. - Paladin of Souls
  • Lord Bastard, you bastard. - Paladin of Souls
  • Innocence based in ignorance was unfit to protect itself. - Paladin of Souls
  • How like a man, to change from mask to mask like a player, concealing all intention, yet leave his heart out on the table, carelessly, unregarded, for all to behold. - Paladin of Souls
  • The gods give no gifts without hooks embedded. - Paladin of Souls
  • I have denied my eyes, both inner and outer. I am not a child, or virgin, or modest wife, fearing to offend. No one owns my eyes now but me. If I have not the stomach by now to look upon any sight in the world, good or evil, beautiful or vile, when shall I? It is far too late for innocence. My only hope is the much more painful consolation of wisdom. Which can grow out of knowledge alone. Give me my true eyes. I want to see. I have to know. - Paladin of Souls
  • I would be considerably more impressed with your god, dy Cabon, ... if He could have arranged one life's worth of simple protection in advance, rather than three hundred lives' worth of gaudy vengeance afterward. - Paladin of Souls
  • You are a most excellent lawyer, for a dead man. - Paladin of Souls
  • One learns better than to hand one’s choices to fear. With age, with every wound and scar, one learns. - Paladin of Souls
  • Arhys would have protected you from this choice, as a father would a beloved child. Arhys is wrong in this. I give you a woman's choice, here, at the last gasp. He looks to spare you pain this one night. I look to your nights for the next twenty years. There is neither right nor wrong in this, precisely. But the time to amend all choices runs out like Porifors's water. - Paladin of Souls
  • So I pray may the gods hear even me, and let my whispered yes tower above my shouted no and mount all the way to their fivefold realm. As I would be heard, so I hear you. - regarding Cattilara's whispered agreement to help Arhys on his final ride, in Paladin of Souls
  • Your father calls you to his court. You need not pack. You go garbed in glorious raiment. He waits eagerly by his palace doors to welcome you, and has prepared a place at the high table, by his side, in the company of the great-souled, honored, and best-beloved. - Paladin of Souls
  • We are all of us, every one, our own works; we present our souls to our Patrons at the ends of our lives as an artisan presents the works of his hands. - Paladin of Souls
  • The gods did not desire flawless souls, but great ones. I think that very darkness is where the greatness grows from, as flowers from the soil. I am not sure, in fact, if greatness can bloom without it. - Paladin of Souls
  • Stand before his grave and use your gift of breath to complain of your limited time. If you dare. - Paladin of Souls

Lady Xarre[]


  • Signs of the Bastard's holy presence tend to be unmistakable, to those who know Him. The screaming, the altercations, the people running in circles - all that was lacking was something bursting into flame, and I was not entirely sure for a moment you weren't going to provide that as well. - The Hallowed Hunt
  • It is murmured that the thumb is sacred to the Bastard because it is the part He puts upon the scales of justice to tip them His way. There is more truth than humor in this joke. - The Hallowed Hunt

Llewyn kin Stagthorne[]

  • Another day will put some other plate on your table, more to your taste, but do not waste the food in front of you. - Penric's Fox

Lupe dy Cazaril[]

  • "Mercy from the Father and the Mother, mercy from the Sister and the Brother, Mercy from the Bastard, five times mercy, High Ones, we beseech you."… Mercy, High Ones. Not justice, please, not justice. We would all be fools to pray for justice. - The Curse of Chalion
  • Couldn't you give me a fortress under siege instead? - on being offered secretary-tutor job for Iselle dy Chalion, in The Curse of Chalion
  • The key was to take the initiative from the first moment, and keep it thereafter. He could be as hollow as a drum, so long as he was as loud. - on how to teach, in The Curse of Chalion
  • On average, one-half of all supplicants to come before a judge's bench must depart angry and disappointed. But not, by that, necessarily wronged. - The Curse of Chalion
  • I'm not saying you were wrong, Royesse. This time. I'm saying you were running blindfolded. And if it wasn't headlong into a tree, it was only by the mercy of the gods, and not by any care of yours. - The Curse of Chalion
  • Right or wrong, what I also saw was that you made an enemy, and left him alive behind you. Great charity. Bad tactics. - The Curse of Chalion
  • If you desire a man to tell you comfortable lies about your prowess, and so fetter any hope of true excellence, I'm sure you may find one anywhere. Not all prisons are made of iron bars. Some are made of feather beds. - The Curse of Chalion
  • A skilled soldier kills your enemies, but a skilled duelist kills your allies. - The Curse of Chalion
  • He found oddly little regret in his heart for his own lost life. He'd seen more of the world than most men ever did, and he'd had his chances, though the gods knew he'd made little enough of them. Marshaling his thoughts, as he sheltered under his covers, he realized with some wonder that his greatest dismay was for the work he'd be forced to leave undone. - The Curse of Chalion
  • The confusion of mind you dub honor is a disease. - The Curse of Chalion
  • I don’t duel, boy. I kill as a soldier kills, which is as a butcher kills, as quickly, efficiently, and with as least risk to myself as I can arrange. - The Curse of Chalion
  • Your Reverence, I do not hate any man in this world enough to inflict the results of my prayers upon him. - The Curse of Chalion
  • And whose fault was it that the boy swallowed down lies, when no one would feed him the truth? - The Curse of Chalion
  • Only the saints would joke so about the gods, because it was either joke or scream, and they alone knew it was all the same to the gods. - The Curse of Chalion
  • Surely only correct understanding could lead to correct action. - The Curse of Chalion
  • Events may be horrible or inescapable. Men have always a choice - if not whether, then how, they may endure. - The Curse of Chalion
  • Knowing what I know would be harder. But I would hope... I would pray, Royse, that the gods would still lend me such foolishness in my need.
    • What is this astonishing foolishness, that shines brighter than all my father's gold? Can you teach me to be such a fool, too, Caz? - The Curse of Chalion
  • This wasn't prayer anyway, it was just argument with the gods. Prayer, he suspected as he hoisted himself up and turned for the door, was putting one foot in front of the other. Moving all the same. - The Curse of Chalion
  • His outflung hands traced over the threads of his rug, passed loop by loop through some patient woman's hands. Or maybe she hadn't been patient. Maybe she'd been tired, or irritated, or distracted, or hungry, or angry. Maybe she had been dying. But her hands had kept moving, all the same. - The Curse of Chalion
  • I need words that mean more than they mean, words not just with height and width, but depth and weight and, and other dimensions that I cannot even name. - The Curse of Chalion
  • When the souls rise up in glory, yours shall not be shunned nor sundered, but shall be the prize of the gods' gardens. Even your darkness shall be treasured then, and all your pain made holy. - The Curse of Chalion

March dy Palliar[]

  • The joys of command — well, you know. You taught them to me. One part glory to ten parts shoveling manure. - The Curse of Chalion
  • I for one find a casual destruction of a man's life even more repugnant than a determined one. - The Curse of Chalion
  • Just what kind of noose are you offering to put round my neck, here? Is this treason?
    • Worse, ... theology. - trying to learn from Cazaril what his help is really wanted for, in The Curse of Chalion

Nikys Khatai[]

  • And that was just how it worked, wasn’t it? Happiness handed around and around, never stopping. It wasn’t something one could hoard tight like a miser. That would be like trying to hold one’s breath for later. - The Prisoner of Limnos


  • I had never had a direct experience of the holy in my life, for all that I tried to serve my god as seemed best to me, according to my gifts as we are taught. Except for Hallana. She was the only miracle that ever happened to me. The woman seems vastly oversupplied with gods. At one point, I accused her of having stolen my share, and she accused me of marrying her solely to sustain a proper average. The gods walk through her dreams as though strolling in a garden. I just have dreams of running lost through my old seminary, with no clothes, late for an examination of a class I did not know I had, and the like. - The Hallowed Hunt
  • Heaven weeps, but free will is sacred. The meaning of yes is created by the ability to say no. - The Hallowed Hunt


  • I am not sure how demons feel about blessings, so please just give my best wishes to Desdemona. - Penric and the Shaman
  • If you don’t understand something, you should just try to learn more, that’s all. - Penric's Fox

Penric kin Jurald[]

  • He wondered how many would ever march home. Better it seemed to export cheese or cloth, but it was true that fortunes were made in the military trade. Though seldom by the soldiers, any more than by the cheeses. - Penric's Demon
  • It came to him that every prayer he’d ever said or mumbled or yawned around before had been by rote. And that he’d never be able to pray like that again. - Penric's Demon
  • Take witness of the dogs, Locator?
    • This benighted case is the strangest I ever worked on. And I’m going to have to report it all when I get home, you realize?
    • You’d best pray for eloquence, then. - Penric and Oswyl, in Penric and the Shaman
  • A bit of free theological advice. Do not deny the gods. And they will not deny you. - Penric and the Shaman
    • Once you start to let Them in through that first crack, They're worse than mice.
    • For all that we trust the gods, I think we can trust them to know the difference between humor and blasphemy.
  • You're worse than evil. You're inefficient. - Penric's Mission
  • To use the machineries of justice to commit injustice is the deepest offense to the Father of Winter. - Penric's Mission
  • We cannot protect anyone from being alive.... No matter how much we might wish to. - The Prisoner of Limnos

Son of Autumn[]

  • The Son held up his hands. Luminescent, they seemed, as if dappled by autumn sun reflecting off a stream into shade. "My grace flows from me as a river, wolf-lord. Would you have me dole it out in the exact measure that men earn, as from an apothecary's dropper? Would you stand in pure water to your waist, and administer it by the scant spoon to men dying of thirst on a parched shore?" - The Hallowed Hunt
  • If there is beer, it will be very good. If there is not, it will be because there’s something better. It’s not a wager you can lose. - in response to Scuolla's question "But will there be good beer?", in Penric and the Shaman


  • A saint is not a virtuous soul, but an empty one. He—or she—freely gives the gift of their will to their god. And in renouncing action, makes action possible. - The Curse of Chalion
  • The gods do not grant miracles for our purposes, but for theirs. If you are become their tool, it is for a greater reason, an urgent reason. But you are the tool. You are not the work. - The Curse of Chalion
  • You cannot outguess the gods. Hold to virtue—if you can identify it—and trust that the duty set before you is the duty desired of you. And that the talents given to you are the talents you should place in the gods’ service. Believe that the gods ask for nothing back that they have not first lent to you. Not even your life. - The Curse of Chalion
  • So you're saying that I could die at any moment!
  • But personally, I think it is not so much the growth of virtue, as simply the replacement of prior vices with an addiction to one’s god. - The Curse of Chalion
  • Well, what is a blessing but a curse from another point of view? - The Curse of Chalion
  • Hold to virtue—if you can identify it—and trust that the duty set before you is the duty desired of you. And that the talents given to you are the talents you should place in the gods’ service. Believe that the gods ask for nothing back that they have not first lent to you. Not even your life. - The Curse of Chalion
  • Well, it is a particular sin to permit grief for what is gone to poison the praise for what blessings remain to us. - The Curse of Chalion

Wencel kin Horseriver[]