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The Biedar are a tribe of desert folk in the Sanpashir Desert, also known as Keepers of the Prophecy. They are simply referred to as "desertmen" in the earlier books. The unnamed Biedar Eldest rules the tribe as the eldest member.


Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Grand Conspiracy.

As followers of the mother goddess, Mother Dark, the Biedar see Arithon and his elemental mastery of shadows as god-touched, a notion that Arithon gives short shrift.

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Stormed Fortress.

Like other humans, the Biedar did not originally live on Athera. Their beliefs about Arithon predate their habitation of the planet. The Biedar inhabit Athera to correct past mistakes. Their sacred rite for allowing one spirit to enter the body of another in free will was stolen by the Koriathain and transformed into their cipher of domination. The rite was also perverted for use by necromancers, and the Koriathain became the Biedar's enemy.

Spoiler warning: Contains plot elements from Initiate's Trial.

The Biedar arrived on Athera just before the arrival of mankind. They treated directly with the Paravians for the right to inhabit Sanpashir Desert and, as a result, are outside of the Compact.

The Biedar Eldest reveals to Elaira that Jessian's death without breaking oath led to the Koriathain's drive to acquire magic by any means possible. The Order entrapped innocents and used drugs to extort the Biedar's ancestral lore.


The Biedar revere silence and only speak when their words are of vital importance. The tribes speak in a unique dialect but are also conversant in the common tongue of humans on Athera. In the Biedar tongue, given names are rarely spoken out loud. For example, the tribes refer to Davien as D'aedenthic, or "Fire Hands".


  • The tribe hunts and defends themselves with poison-tipped darts. They can skewer a rat at 80 paces.
  • The tribes honor their goddess after midnight under the change of the moon.
  • In the deep summer, the tribe travel through the desert by night.
  • When outsiders visit, the tribe disallows forged weapons and clothing that is not woven from natural fibers.
  • The Biedar revere courtesy and commit no act of redress without provocation. They consider staring to be impertinent.

Role in the Story

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

The Sundering Star

The Biedar inhabit the the inhospitable planet of Scathac. When WorldFleet mining operations grant the planet strategic value, PanTac Trade implements a mandate of forced eviction. Though the Biedar had consented to relocation from other planets in the past, they refuse to abandon Scathac. Jessian arrives on the planet to negotiate with the Biedar, on a primary mission from WorldFleet and a covert mission of the Koriathain. She is caught in a Biedar snare and the warriors consider that she might be different than those that trespassed before her. They take her to their sacred ground to be tested for Mother Dark's wisdom. While in captivity, Jessian realizes that the Biedar are reading her mind.

After seven days of failed attempts to convince them, Jessian resolves to escape. The Biedar easily prevent her from using her Koriani powers. Through the Biedar Eldest, Jessian gains a new perspective on her tangled loyalties and understands why the tribe lives in strict isolation. After the tribe speaks for her integrity, the Biedar Eldest agrees to return Jessian to her own kind.

Under the effects of Biedar magic, Jessian observes the imminent destruction of Scathac. She volunteers her strength to the efforts of the tribe, who work to protect the planet. For an instant, Jessian observes two realities -- one where Scathac is destroyed, and one where it remains whole. Jessianawakens to discover that Biedar magic has saved her, the miners abandoned by PanTac, and the planet as a whole, even though the WorldFleet base has been destroyed. She retains her connection to the Biedar web of awareness and pledges to protect their secrets. In her mind, the Biedar warn that if any of their magic is revealed, they will pursue Jessian's kind for that knowledge to the end of time.

Black Bargain

Third Age 5011: When Davien meets with the Rei-yaj Seeress, it is suggested that the Biedar are not visible through the earth link.

Child of Prophecy

Third Age 5035: Biedar women at Tawbas' Inn call Meiglin s'Dieneval by the name "Anshlien'ya" when she offers to help them fill their water flasks.

Third Age 5036: When Meiglin considers letting her bloodline be abandoned in obscurity, a desertman warns her that her talents will eventually draw notice.

Grand Conspiracy

Third Age 5653: A Biedar elder has an augury that forecasts the arrival of Shadow. Whenever Arithon makes landfall at the Sanpashir ruins to restock, desertmen always protect him.

Third Age 5667: The half-breed physician that tends to Morfett in Etarra is a desertman, and leaves the room muttering when Lysaer enters.

Third Age 5669: When Morriel attacks Athera, an elder forecasts the return of Arithon at the Sanpashir ruins.

Traitor's Knot

Third Age 5670: Asandir reveals that the flint knife gifted to Sulfin Evend by Enithen Tuer once belonged to the elder of the Biedar tribe. He asks Sulfin Evend to return the knife at his earliest convenience.

Stormed Fortress

Third Age 5671: Based on an ancient prophecy, the Biedar Crone and tribesfolk collect Arithon from the Paravian focus circle at Sanpashir and nurse him back to health. They also escort Sulfin Evend, who visits the Biedar to return the flint knife. After Sulfin Evend has an audience with the Biedar Crone, she arranges a meeting between him and Arithon. Arithon reveals the origins of necromancy as a stolen Biedar ritual.

The Biedar Eldest and her singers intervene in a ritual to restore Arithon to consciousness at Athir, denying the Koriathain the chance to claim his daughter (conceived during the ritual) for their own.

Initiate's Trial

Third Age 5922: After Selidie Prime's lethal spell is intercepted by Arithon's daughter, Teylia, Asandir reveals that the daughter's spirit was of old Biedar ancestry. Later, Kharadmon informs Elaira that the Biedar are outside of the Compact -- having arrived on Athera before mankind, they negotiated directly with the Paravians for inhabitance.

As Elaira is pursued by Koriani initiates in Redburn, she realizes that the initiates are unable to prevent her from boarding an outbound ship, the result of Biedar interference.

Elaira is accompanied to Sanpashir Desert by a mystic escort of the Reiyaj Seeress. She is met by a Biedar desertman and female dancers. The desertman asks if she is the first of the Koriathain to treat with the Biedar in seamless integrity since Jessian Oathkeeper and escorts her to meet the Biedar Eldest. The Biedar Eldest tells Elaira that the Biedar were responsible for Dari s'Ahelas' gift of prophecy and its inheritance by the half-brothers.

Destiny's Conflict

Third Age 5924: At Kewar Tunnel, Elaira learns that Requiar of the Lassiver heritage stood surety for Jessian's secret, and one of the succeeding generation of the Hasidii heritage broke the covenant. As a result, both lineages assumed the responsibility of mending the breaches in integrity to the end of time.