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A Joining was a being created by melding an animal and a human through mystical means.

Although often used by the forces of evil, the technology/magic was also used to help heal those in need by combining them with a healthy animal. An example of this use was in the King Beyond the Gate where Renya was crippled until she was combined with an animal and this eradicated her disabilities.  The human part of Ustarte was also physically disabled before she was joined and the Nadir shamen who use this technique also seem to prefer to employ aged or crippled tribe-members as their subjects.

There are many examples of "joinings" throughout the Drenai Series; the Kriaz-nor and the Riaj-nor in Waylander III , the werebeasts sent after Waylander in the first novel, the beasts known as Jiamads that serve on both sides in The Swords of Night and Day and those used by Ceska to dominate the Drenai in the King Beyond the Gate. The differences between the different kinds are not much investigated, save that the Nadir made variety can be cursed to be unable to eat or drink anything but the flesh and blood of a designated target (although this doesn't seem to be compulsory).

There appear to be two main ways to meld man and beast together; there is the way which the Nadir Shaman uses in Waylander which involves an obscene ritual, and there are machines created by an ancient civilisation before it fell which seem to control the flow of magic during the process.  The text of The Swords of Night and Day suggests that the Nadir process is a primitive echo of the techno-magical original, but whether this is absolute truth or merely theory in universe is unknown.

The amount of humanity retained by any given joining seems to vary - some seem relatively sapient, others little more than beasts, but all seem vulnerable to their human side being tapped by a skilled mystic and some seem to recover their memory to some degree when faced with powerful triggers from their old life.

The techniques used in joining appear to be a continuation of other Elder technologies and magics - including those used in healing and resurrection, and those used to channel life energy between humans.

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