Tamora Pierce Wiki

A series of murders took place in Summersea, Emelan in 1039 KF. The perpetrators were Nurhar Dihanur, and his wife Alzena. They were assisted by a young unmage, whom they threatened and bribed with dragonsalt to get him to cooperate, thus he was not a willing accomplice.

Serial killings
General Information
Place of occurrence Summersea, capital of Emelan
Beginning date
Date of completion
Length of event
Notable fighters
Weapons used
Notable fighters
Weapons used
Crime Information
Perpetrator(s) Alzena and Nurhar Dihanur, the Unmage (press-ganged, forced)
Investigators Wulfric Snaptrap
Isman Qais
Sandrilene fa Toren (unofficial, aided)
Victims Members of the Rokat family
Motive Blood feud, revenge
Weapons used
Captured by The magic of Sandrilene fa Toren and Pasco Acalon
Sentence Already dead before sentencing
Illness informtation
Caused by
Researched by
Bibliographical information
Circle Universe event
Event in Magic Steps


House Dihanur and House Rokat were in a bitter blood feud. The Dihanurs sent assassins to kill every Rokat that existed, regardless of age and gender. The revenge was in retaliation after one of the Rokats killed Palaq Dihanur, the patriarch of their clan, severed his head and displayed it in a public place.[1] The Dihanurs' goal was to force the Rokat family into extinction


The Dihanurs had already killed a slew of Rokats in countries like Janaal and Bihan, countries which are less likely to get involved in such business.[2] They used unmagic, which made them invisible and undetectable. The magic could also be used to get rid of, literally destroying, warding spells and the like. Thus they were able to sneak in to heavily guarded and protected areas in order to murder. When quite a few Rokats were offered protection in the Keep of Duke's Citadel, one of the most magically protected areas in Summersea, they were able to infiltrate it, and were barely stopped.

The assassins killed men, women (regardless of whether they were born Rokats), and children. They killed wives in case they were pregnant with more Rokats.

Capture and death

The Dihanur perpetrators and the unmage were captured using an unmagic net woven by Sandrilene fa Toren, an ambient thread mage who had the rare power to weave magic. The Dihanur murderers and the unmage were magically called to the net due to a complicated dance performed by Pasco—the same he used to call the fish into his friend's nets. It was originally the plan to catch them and put them to trial, but Alzena grabbed Pasco Acalon and threatened to kill him if Sandry did not release them. Thus, Sandry was forced to kill them using the unmagic net in order to rescue Pasco.

Notes and references

  1. Magic Steps, Chapter 6 (pp. 231-232; Random House ebook)
  2. Magic Steps, Chapter 6 (pg. 229; Random House ebook)

See also

These attacks were the major problem in Magic Steps, the first installment of The Circle Opens quartet.