Why is Esther's virginity so important to her throughout the novel?
Seppel the Pelnish Wizard is another mage from an entirely different school of magic then that of Roke. The wizards of Paln are feared and mistrusted in the Archipelago because they serve the Old Powers of the Earth, or the dark 'cthonic' forces of life and death itself which are thought of as dangerous and somewhat heretical. Seppel is also one of the High King's councillors who is summoned to the Dragon Council to speak what he might know of the ways of Dragons and the dead.
During the course of the story, Lord Onyx and Seppel at first are at odds, but gradually come to treat each other with a gathering respect for each other's wisdom in their respective fields; a fact that symbolised the Healing and Mending of the different forms of magic at work in Earthsea. When Alder is about to set sail for Roke it is Onyx who takes him to Seppel, asking the Pelinish wizard if he knew of any power that will keep Alder away from the Lands of the Dead. By courting the old powers of the earth Seppel agrees to help, but manages to take all of Alder's magic away in return for the protection from his dreams. Seppel is aggrieved at this loss, not fully realising what cost the Old Powers of the Earth would have asked.
The growing friendship and the troubles that Seppel and Onyx goes through represent the themes of healing and unification.