Hag-riding[1] is a Shanir talent that enables the rider to possess another's body and see through their eyes. Rawneth is capable of it, and hag-rides both the Randir Tempter and Simmel. The pupils of the ridden person expand until only a little white of the eyes remains. Being ridden appears to be harmful; it kills Simmel, draining him to a husk which falls into dust when Jame smashes a rock against his head.

Bane appears to have a similar talent, except that (as a spirit without a living body) he can travel along with the ridden animal or person. Similarly to Rawneth's talent, he destroys the ridden creature.

The name of the talent in a reference to the Hag, the third face of Regonereth: being 'hag-ridden' means being used mercilessly to destruction. This may not in fact be a pure Shanir talent but a byproduct of shadow sorcery being practiced using a Shanir's soul.

In Bound in Blood, Nightshade's bound gilded swamp adder, Addy, strikes at Jame shortly after Jame tells Shade that Rawneth is behind the mental turmoil in the Randir barracks caused by Rawneth's revenge upon her cadets for their failure in the Randir Tempter's assasination plot. As Addy does so, Jame momentarily sees the snake's eyes take on the characteristic look. "The eyes were too black, all pupil," before returning to normal: "her black eyes contracted back to their usual fierce, unblinking orange". Addy appears unharmed by the experience, although Jame wonders if Shade (who intercepted the strike) is a blood-binder, and if so did this break Rawneth's hold on the creature.


  1. To Ride a Rathorn, "Chapter XIII: Blood and Ivory", III — " 'Your mistress has hag-ridden you,' Jame said, to distract him, to gain time as she strained against her bonds. 'I've seen this before, with a… a creature named Bane. Where is your shadow, Randir? What's happened to your soul?' "

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