: it says THE nine powerful sorcerers. not, nine powerful
: sorcerers or just powerful sorcerors. this would make
: it seem that there are only nine of them and that
: avatara doesn't refer to sorcerers, but to that group
: that lead the people agains balor.
Naturally, in this context I would consider "sorceror" to mean anyone skillied in the use of magic. However, based simply on text from The Fallen Lords and Soulblighter there have clearly been avatara other than The Nine (those that fought the armies of Balor). Mazzarin is declared the most powerful avatara of the wind age. Myrdred was an avatara of the wolf age, according to Myth II. And TFL's journal author speaks of Alric mentioning the theory that The Head was an avatara of Connacht.
Clearly the term and idea of avatara is old by the time of TFL. In addition, the dispersal dream that Alric and Mazzarin had command of appears to be common among, and exclusive too the avatara. This leads me to believe that rather than simply being a collection of the most powerful, good sorcerors of their day, the avatara were more of a sort of "school" or "order" of magic. The Nine may have simply been the only nine remaining sorcerors of this order during the time of Balor.
: this would mean that anybody could use magic, not just a
: certain race of people.
By all accounts this seems to be true, given that Warlocks, Fetch, and the Fallen Lords are known to use magic, and we are given strong indication that the Trow and the Callieach may have in the past. However, in each of these other cases the types of magic used by each group or race is rather specific and exclusive. This seems to indicate some sort of order or standardization. It is for this reason that I would call them a school or order of magic. Magic of a specific type. I don't really see the avatara as an exception. Nor can I find any evidence one way or the other to indicate that the avatara would include only men from the west, or that the members of any one group or race were limited to one order of magic.