In Jacqueline Carey
's Kushiel's Legacy
novels, an anguissette
is one of Kushiel
's chosen mortals, picked to "balance the scales" against those who impart suffering without compassion. Anguisettes feel pain and pleasure as one. Additionally, the wounds of those who bear Kushiel's Dart always heal clean.
Those who have been chosen by Kushiel have a scarlet mote in the iris of one eye, referred to poetically as Kushiel's Dart.
Mighty Kushiel of rod and weal
Late of the brazen Portals
With blood-tipp'd dart a wound unhealed
Pricks the eyen of chosen mortals.
Within the novels
Phèdre nó Delaunay
, the protagonist in the first three novels of Kushiel's Legacy
, bears the mark of Kushiel's Dart. She is the first person in living memory to do so. Anafiel Delaunay
is the first to recognize this in Phèdre, though others, including Melisande Shahrizai
, Cecile Laveau-Perrin
, and Thelesis de Mornay
also see it before it is made common knowledge. Phèdre's capabilities at bearing pain and healing cleanly are critical to her role in the novels.
tells Phedre that for a D'Angeline to kill an anguissette means 1000 years of punishment in hell. For a scion of Kushiel to do so, it means 10,000 years of punishment.
History tells of another anguissette born to a noble family. She ended up marrying a man from an arch-rival's family, thereby averting a family feud that could have brought civil war on Terre d'Ange.