Inan is shocked that Amari is the fugitive who took the scroll. King Saran says that in the past, his own father tried to be fair to the maji, but they were too powerful. Saran believes magic is the root of all pain, destined to destroy empires. In fact, a number of other civilizations were destroyed when their magic-users were allowed to do magic unchecked.
Saran’s story shows that an imbalance of power has led to damaging cycles of violence in other places, just as it has in Orïsha itself. However, Saran makes a sweeping generalization by equating magic with destruction.
Heeding these warnings, Saran began to use the alloy majacite, a special metal that burns magic users. But it wasn’t enough: Saran realized the only way to really control the maji was to sever their connection to the gods. So he ordered his men to destroy the artifacts that allow maji to commune with the gods.
In order to break this cycle, however, Saran resorted to oppression, cutting off the connection between the maji and the gods. Saran saw all divîners as a class that needed to be controlled and cut off from power, just because a few magic users were reckless.
Inan is shocked: shocked to find that the gods are real, and shocked to discover that his father was able to take magic away. He asks why Saran still killed so many in the Raid if he was able to abolish magic. Saran responds that he thinks for magic to truly die, all maji have to die as well.
Saran’s response shows that his solution to the imbalance of power in Orïsha has brought about widespread injustice and pain. Not only did he outlaw faith, damaging the connection the divîners had with one another and with the gods, Saran also committed genocide in order to secure his own power.
Saran says that Inan must go with Admiral Kaea, his second in command, to find Amari. Because Zélie passed through the control gate on her way into the city, they know her name, as well as that she’s from Ilorin. Inan says he will set out with a handful of men to capture the two girls. Afterwards, Saran says, he should burn Ilorin to the ground.
Saran has no qualms about innocent townspeople dying in Illorin, because, in his mind, they are divîners and therefore unworthy of regard or protection. Inan seems uncomfortable at the thought of the mission and the violence it will bring, so he tries to minimize it by taking only a few men. Ultimately, however, Inan is still under his father’s control and must agree to his wishes.