The Final Calling: Progress Report Seven

Chapter Six is now online.

Chapters One through Fourteen are paid for.

Chapters One through Twelve are written, and I’m working on Thirteen.

Chapter Seven will be posted on Wednesday, July 28.

For those who missed previous mentions, there’s now a fan-created Ethshar Wiki you might want to check out and contribute to. (I’ve made some corrections, but I’m not writing any of it.)

I don’t know how long this novel will be; it’s a safe bet it’ll be more than twenty chapters, but beyond that, I don’t have a very clear idea at all.

71 thoughts on “The Final Calling: Progress Report Seven

  1. guess I was wrong
    I wonder if Sterren will finally end up really being a warlock
    this is going to be interesting
    I’m really glad this series is continuing

  2. Very clean.

    It occurs to me that whenever Vond draws power from the Lumeth source, it is power not used to keep the world free from poison gas.

    The guild probably has very strong reasons to not want people drawing on that source.

  3. Good chapter but it seems very short too me.

    The Guild is used to being the most powerful type of magician, of course they don’t want Lumeth warlocks who will be more powerful than they are!

    I also and really eager to know just how much power Sterren has accumulated as a Lumeth warlock, clearly it wasn’t enough to get called but the implication is he has gained a lot in the 12 years since Vond was called. I am confident he has enough power to tune the 100 to Lumeth if and when that seems like a good idea to counter Vond. After all the entire premise of the original Warlock-Wizard agreement after The Night Of Madness was that Warlocks would keep one another in line and prevent even a powerful one from doing evil.

    It appears to me that The Source and Lumeth are like any electronic device, they put out a deliberate signal and as a side effect there is a bleed over effect that is a blanket signal. Many electronic devices carry a warning label to warn you about this effect because if you have very sensitive equipment or your equipment is very close to the point of origin it can interfere with your equipment. In delicate situations electronic equipment is shielded to prevent the bleed over signal from being emitted.

    Either the Wizards guild will call on Sterren and the Council of Warlocks to deal with Vond OR they will figure out a way to shield Lumeth without interfering with its protective effect and make the Lumeth warlocks back into normal people again.

  4. I really enjoyed that chapter. Can’t wait to see what happens next. I’m pretty sure that the wizards guild would have put defences of some sort around Lumeth. I think Vond is in for a nasty surprise.

  5. I wonder if he was actually drawing from both sources. It could go either way. He never said if he still felt weaker after having arrived, just that he became stronger as he approached Semma.

    I wonder if “Vond” is Vond’s True Name or if it is his professional name.

    If it is, then guild can possibly take his own from afar. Warlockry resistance to magic would probably help him though. However, given the world is in danger, maybe they can get some of their heavier guns to cast the spell. Also, the Source might have been what protected the warlocks rather than the fact that they were warlocks. The towers may not have the same effect.

    If he was just using the towers as a top-up, then he may put more strain on them now than when both were available.

    That would add a non-selfish reason for the wizard’s guild to want to take him out. If the towers can easily handle the power drain, then the only reason for any conflict would be to maintain their dominance (and liberate the people in the Empire from a cruel leader, but that doesn’t seem to be a high priority in general. They seem to be more interested in stability than the quality of life for the general public.).

    In fact, if the towers become the source of warlockry, then you have a group of people who have a very strong interest in protecting them. Not only do they need them to keep the world safe, they need them to maintain their power.

    Also, if the towers have finite power, then it becomes in the interests of the warlock’s council to ensure that they are used responsibly. Warlocks who over-draw from the tower would have to be dealt with.

    All warlocks might be potentially extremely powerful, but their power can be greatly reduced by other warlocks drawing from the towers too and splitting the power N ways.

    The leakage argument would suggest that the power is being emitted by the towers and would be wasted anyway if a warlock didn’t use it. This would mean that all warlocks could be as powerful as Vond, and it would have no effect on the towers.

    The outcome of the conflict could be that the Wizards Guild transfers responsibility for protecting the towers to the Warlock’s Council. This would be more likely if Hanner and the other warlocks helps the guild defeat Vond.

  6. A good chapter. I’m really liking these cliff-hanger endings.

    A big question here is whether in the 15 years that Vond has been away, Sterren has been practicing warlockery (is that a word, warlockery?) enough to have some actual power, or if he’s just as “pathetic” as he was before? My guess would be that he’s just as weak as he was before since the Wizards Guild hasn’t considered him a threat. Plus he used to use his power mainly for gambling, and who would be foolish enough to gamble with the Lord Regent of the largest of the small Kingdoms, so I don’t think he’s had much of a chance to practice.

    But that second last paragraph makes me wonder….

    Perhaps he has been using his ability. I can think of a hundred thousand occasions where a Lord Regent of an emperorless empire would love to draw down some luck on his side. The Wizards Guild may chose to turn a blind eye to his burgeoning power, either because they haven’t yet noticed that he’s no longer powerless or just because they don’t think it worth their while to remove a stabilizing force in the Small Kingdoms when he hasn’t proven himself to be any kind of a threat.

    Either way, he’s still no threat to Vond, except perhaps to work behind his back to moderate some of Vond’s excesses.

    I wonder is Vond will still want to call down the moon?

    Vond is powerful, but his power isn’t limitless. As Vond continues to draw power from Lumeth, he won’t hear the Call but he will hear the buzzing of the towers. That may be a way to limit his power. Perhaps as he draws more and more power the buzzing will get louder and louder until it drowns out everything and drives him mad?

    Personally, I wouldn’t want to wait around to find out.

  7. I’m not going to address everything, but —

    This chapter is not short; some of the others have been long. My rule is that each chapter must be more than ten manuscript pages in my standard format, and this was twelve. There’s at least one coming up that’s only ten, though most are more.

    Sterren has been actively avoiding any use of his warlockry; why ask for trouble?

    Pulling down the lesser moon was an idea Sterren thought of but did not suggest to Vond, so it’s a non-issue. So far.

  8. I doubt it will happen, but teleporting Valder and his sword into Vond’s presence would be one way to probably get rid of him.

    And remember that there’s nothing stopping Fendel from doing the spells that made Wirikor, and using a gold rather than brass ring this time in the spell of True Ownership.

    I still think that Vond isn’t going to be the main focus of this book. But I could be wrong.

  9. (Going off-topic slightly, what would have happened if he had used a Gold ring.

    The original spell gave around 100 kills before it turned on Valder (or was it that it re-imprinted on the 100th kill and then killed Valder?).

    With a gold ring, would he just have had an infinite number of kills? This means that the sword would have effectively given mandatory immortality.

    Given that it didn’t block ageing, that would have been a pretty bad deal. Maybe a gold ring would have added eternal youth too (but still mandatory immortality).

    The actual sword may have influenced his path so that he followed one that lead to one where he had eternal youth too, so that he had the potential to carry out the remaining kills.

    On creating more wirikidors, it highlights the point raised by Sterren that Vond is probably not the most powerful magician alive.

    However, it is possible that his resistance to wizardry could allow him to defeat Valder. For example, the only requirement is that Valder kills a nearby man every time it is drawn. He could just throw Valder into the nearest village and sacrifice a villager to protect himself.

  10. Okay, I’ve always known this, but apparently it’s not obvious and I haven’t explained it before.

    If the spell on Wirikidor had been done properly, with a gold ring, then there would be no limit on how many times the sword could be used, which means there would be no need for it to ever kill its owner, which means there would be no way for it to make anyone immortal. The only reason Valder is immortal is that Wirikidor has to kill him; if that’s removed, then the sword’s owner can die by any means, at any time.

  11. great chapter. It’s rare in a book that I want to read ever storyline. Usually there’s a dud in the mix. But so far I want to read more of all of it.

  12. So… if it had been done correctly would the enchantment have broken when Valder died, or would Wirikidor have been looking for a new owner?

    I’m surprised so many people seem to think that there’s any plan that involves taking physical action against Vond that might work. Warlocks have pretty much been established to be the masters of their immediate, physical environs. Transporting Tapestry? *shred* Guy with magic sword? *crunch*snap*fling* Tabaea? *dropped mountain* (not that she ever found a way to fly)

    Vond may not be the biggest fish in the magical pond, but in a direct confrontation I can’t imagine anyone, even up to Aldagon or her elders, beating him (well, maybe together, but it would be a fight). The Achilles’ heel of warlocks (aside from the now-removed calling) has been their lack of subtlety and range. All the ranged-instant death spells the Guild threw at Tabaea are their first hope, if the magic he channels protects him they go down the list of ideas that keep them out of physical confrontation.

    Heck, I’d send in a witch to poke at his mind from as far away as possible and pray they didn’t get caught long before I considered anything that involved putting something in Vond’s proximity and hoping to make him interact with it physically- simply disintegrating stuff is one of the basics of warlockry.

    Besides; this is Ethshar. (not Sparta)

  13. It would have been broken when Valder died.

    Tabaea probably could have flown if she’d ever tried; it just never occurred to her to try.

  14. but the implication is he has gained a lot in the 12 years since Vond was called.

    I don’t see that implication. It does seem likely that his power has grown over time — it has for every other warlock we know of, but (a) he’s a pretty atypical warlock, and (b) his power was so tiny to begin with that it could have multiplied hundreds of times over twelve years and still not be very formidable.

    As of the end of The Unwilling Warlord he not only had no conscious control of the power, but was deliberately avoiding situations where he might subconsciously use it — i.e., he gave up gambling. He could have changed his mind about that in the interim, but I didn’t see any clues to that effect in The Vondish Ambassador or in this chapter.

  15. Good chapter! Looking foward to seeing what havoc Vond causes as he takes up squishing other kingdoms again. I have to admit that I forgot that warlocks can resist wizardry hmm.

  16. He did walk to talk to Vond. Powerful warlocks seem to have difficulty staying on the ground. They float almost without thinking of it.

    However, he may have consciously not been floating. Also, publicly showing that he was, in fact, a warlock might not have been a good idea, even before Vond returned.

  17. My opinion of Valder vs Vond: Vond would escape, because he is strong enough to burst out of any room and fly high enough where Valder couldn’t reach him. So Valder wouldn’t cooperate, and that would be that.

    As long as we’re talking about immortals who’ve shown up in previous books, Irith the Flyer could be effective… especially if she uses her love spell on Vond. Getting her close enough would be tricky, though, since she’s resistant to wizardry. And, again, she most likely would not cooperate. (“Make *him* fall in love with *me*? Ewwww!”)

    Unrelated thought: I guess Emmis is out of a job, huh? And it remains to be seen if anyone he met in the empire of Vond 12 years ago will have any power to give him a new one…

  18. Why would Emmis be out of a job? Wasn’t he the Empire’s rep in Ethshar (or maybe even ambassador)?

    The Empire still exists. Even if there is war between the Empire and the Wizards Guild/Hegemony, there is no point in eliminating contacts.

    Ofc, if the Empire is destroyed, he would be out of a job.

  19. After checking, he was a custom inspector with the job of making sure warlocks don’t enter the Empire. That job would probably not be high on Vond’s list of priorities.

    Another point that came up in the thread I was looking at, was that the 3rd tower was destroyed during prehistoric times.

    Was this a change between the published and final version of the Vondish Ambassador, where it was due to an attack by the Northern Empire?

  20. Just a barely related question: does Ellran’s Dissipation have ANY effect on warlockry? Not necessary perceivable by warlocks?
    Anyway, I think that Vond can be dealt with in a number of ways, although most of them quite desructive. I don’t remember, does Asassin spell work on strong warlocks? It was uses to kill one of them, after all. And it is likely, that even Vond will sleep.. some day. That will take some time though, before they can organise.

  21. Not that he has any knowledge of it, but Dwomor would be a pretty good place to conquer. He could build his palace in the dead zone (maybe even repair the one that is already there 🙂 ).

    How far North would he need to go?

    The Empire is pretty much along an E-W line due to Vond not wanting to get near the Source.

  22. Dwomor is about eighty nautical miles north-northwest of Semma. (All my maps are in nautical miles rather than land miles because it made the math easier.) That’s a little over ninety statute miles.

  23. This is off topic and probably asked a million times before, what if Valder and Wirikidor was separated by a tapestry? If Wirikidor was thrown into a tapestry going into a different dimension, it’s presences would make the tapestry unuseable until it moves. If it was in another dimension, then it would be impossible for Valder to move Wirikidor.

  24. Londa is last Kingdom that is mentioned in With a Single Spell that appears on the small kingdoms map on the wiki.

    Dwomor would be North of that. The map only covers the most southern of the small kingdoms. (It seems to be based on a map that was provided to donors for the Vondish Ambassador, but it is missing about 10% of the top).

    This places Dwomor a fair distance from Vond. However, if the Guild fail to stop him, he could easily take over all of the small kingdoms, so distance might not protect Dwomor.

  25. You can’t throw something through a tapestry; only living things and the stuff they’re carrying or touching will go through.

    You really, really don’t want to put Valder and Wirikidor in separate worlds. It Would Be Bad. Nothing is impossible for Wirikidor if it’s really pushed; ripping open the very fabric of reality to get back to its owner is merely a moderate challenge, and any collateral damage wouldn’t concern it.

    That map is roughly the southernmost third of the Small Kingdoms; Dwomor is northwest of Ansumor, which is northwest of Eknissamor, which I think is on the map.

    There were 204 Small Kingdoms in 5220; that map shows all or part of sixty-three. None of the kingdoms mentioned in Taking Flight are on the map, and most of the ones in With A Single Spell aren’t.

  26. well, that was unexpected.
    the post was supposed to say, in pointy brackets;

    insert moment of begging for a map of all the small kingdoms.

  27. The comment system probably removes all html tags and anything that even looks like html tags.

    Maybe give the middle third of the map as bonus for this novel and then the top third as bonus for the next novel … or just give the entire map :)?

    The bonus material for the Vondish Ambassador was a city map and a slightly larger version of the map on the wiki.

    If Valder was placed in a separate dimension, an easier solution could be to just “persuade” someone to carry the sword to him. However, that depends on how well the tapestry is guarded and if it is destroyed after transport.

  28. Yeah, the software won’t let you use angle brackets.

    The third tower was damaged, not destroyed. The significance of that may or may not be explained eventually.

    As far as maps are concerned, the problem there is that the master maps were hand-drawn in colored pencil on 18″ x 24″ graph paper almost thirty years ago — in October, 1980, to be exact. They’re very fragile, and they don’t fit in the scanner. I keep them in a special case here in my office.

    I used to say that colored-pencil-on-graph-paper doesn’t scan well, but the technology has improved; that’s much less of an issue than it used to be. Even so, when I scanned in and reduced the portion that’s on the Wiki, which was sent out with donor copies of The Vondish Ambassador, it was a lot of work to clean it up and produce the version you’ve seen. I don’t feel particularly eager to do that job again for the other two-thirds.

  29. Lawrence,

    Is the Final Calling your last major Warlock themed novel you have plotted or are their other novels you already have planned that would continue to answer major questions about warlocks?

    Just curious. I am actually very interested in hearing more about sorcery, which sounds like it is your next planned serial but hoping we will have alot of the major questions about warlocks answered in this book.


  30. I don’t really think of them that way. At least one planned novel has a warlock as a major character — At the Sign of the Crimson Wolf. Can’t think of any others off-hand, though. And the novel isn’t about warlockry, it’s about people at an inn.

  31. novels about types of magic; What’s the line? “Stories are about people…” I think I heard something like that once. 😉

    re; maps- Given the size I’m almost surprised that you’d try to use a scanner. I know from personal and others’ experiences that with large documents high-res digital cameras are a much more efficient means of digitizing data. Though, if you’re not on top of it from the start it can make cleaning it up harder.
    The clean, clear Vondish Ambassador map was amazing. As for quality for the rest, I can only speak for myself, but something simi-legible would still be cool. I can generally position a number of the Small Kingdoms based on the Great Road or trips to Dwomor, but that doesn’t say anything about how they’re shaped and fit together, or a large chunk of the other small kingdoms. Nothing comes close to a map.
    All that said, if cleaning it up is the concern rather than getting it from the wall into the computer, I’ve obviously got a some time and energy that I’m willing to put into this sort of thing…

  32. One of Emmis’ main duties is preventing warlocks from emigrating to Vond, but surely that’s not all he does — after several years of commerce between Ethshar and Vond, the official representative of Vond in Ethshar would probably have a lot of work to do besides that. He might need to lay off some of his employees, but I doubt his entire office would be shut down.

    At the Sign of the Crimson Wolf is the unwritten Ethshar novel I’m most looking forward to, I think.

  33. I don’t think Emmis was supposed to continue being a representative of Vond in Ethshar. His work was for Ethshar enforcing Ethshar-Vond agreed (Guild imposed) policy. There may well be a new (not Lar) Vondish Ambassador, in SotBD the Wizards suggest Sarai call on them, but it was pretty clearly not Emmis unless something changed after the end of VA.

  34. I’ve been dredging back through old blog posts and comments and seeing what gets pulled to the surface for the wiki (Athmetization is 1200 years old, Fendel’s 1100, and the Guild is 400… just to name a few surprises I found), so this may seem incredibly random;

    1) I noticed you said that SM was several big donations while VA was more tipified by lots of little donations… Has FC set a pattern yet?

    2) I think I’ve managed to get a chronology for the novels, but I can’t seem to find a date for SM… What year is it set in?

    3) With as unreliable as you’ve made described making new wizardry spells to be;
    a) I just want to check that it took less than a hundred years after Athemization was discovered for immortality to be available to Fendel.
    b) how do wizards know that a proposed new spell will do anything? Dumery demonstrated that it’s entirely possible to botch even the most basic spell so badly that *nothing* happens, how do you design some of the 24+ hour spells that are described well enough to test them?

    4) Are there any plans for e-book versions of NoM or IR? (well, that has less to do with the blog posts and comments then the level of headache not having a search feature for NoM ended up being.)

  35. Hmm, I was not trying to imply that we had been shorted by the length of this chapter, just saying I wish it had been a bit longer. The anticipation for the next one is very high and you are doing an excellent job of keeping it at that level.

    Tapestry question that might or might not have any bearing at all on this story. At various places it has been mentioned that mis-woven tapestries exist that picture scenes which have not happened yet. I believe one reference was that the stars were slightly misaligned and that the person or persons who used it are in limbo until the stars achieve that alignment after several hundred more years have passed. There are also references in a couple novels to the ‘third moon’ which is no longer visible in the sky. I once calculated that if the third moon was in a very nearly surface-stationary orbit it might take as much as 500 years to orbit once around the world so it could set on one horizon and not rise on the other horizon for 250 years. If there were a tapestry showing the third moon on the horizon but the weaver goofed and showed moon rise instead of moon set then the delay would be around 250 years before the person sent through would pop out on the other end.

    Could a weaver deliberately make a scene like that to force someone into suspended animation until the scene was exactly as portrayed based on astronomical events? If so you could calculate where a given constellation would be on a given night in the future and use a tapestry to suspend someone until that night arrived? Are we ever going to meet some of those travelers mentioned in novels who are suspended in transit right now? Some of them might be really powerful magicians or people with special knowledge that might be valuable in a ‘modern’ context.

  36. There was a comment in Ithanalin’s Restoration that wizards can feel the magic operating. Presumably, the more powerful the wizard, the more sensitive.

    Wizards who create new spells are ones who are able to feel when a component can be replaced with another they have on hand. This may even have been stated directly in Ithanalin’s Restoration.

    However, this would lead to most new spells being variations on old spells.

    In the Misenchanted Sword, Fendel casts a pause spell in the middle of enchanting the sword. This allowed him to have breakfast. It caused the sword and the smoke around it to freeze. He triggered it using a single word.

    Maybe, he could use that spell to run if he was midway through a new spell, but had no ingredient that seemed to fit.

    For researching new spells, a useful spell would be one that allows you to dump spell energy for a spell that seems to have gone wrong. Fendel said that he used lots of protective spells (which were his master’s speciality).

    I wonder if that is why he managed to survive. A similarly powerful wizard without that background would have killed himself early by trying to create new spells.

    This could allow a “sandbox” to be created that allows spells to be tested. This could explain the pause effect. The spell would have been running in the background while he was enchanting the sword. This would allow him cast that spell without having to do it in the middle of casting the enchantment spell.

    Maybe a different word would have destroyed everything within the area of effect. (It could even be related to Ellran’s Dissipation, but not as permanent.)

    You could start out with lots of ingredients, and try stuff at random. If a spell starts, you either continue (if you can sense an acceptable next component) or activate the dump spell.

    The wizard who invented the the magic memory spell would have got a shock when he noticed that trying to bend his athame seemed to be the next step. He may have had to make a call, which was safer break the athame or try to cancel the spell.

  37. “Could a weaver deliberately make a scene like that to force someone into suspended animation until the scene was exactly as portrayed based on astronomical events? If so you could calculate where a given constellation would be on a given night in the future and use a tapestry to suspend someone until that night arrived? Are we ever going to meet some of those travelers mentioned in novels who are suspended in transit right now? Some of them might be really powerful magicians or people with special knowledge that might be valuable in a ‘modern’ context.”

    This is an interesting concept Allen. Could there be any powerful magicians from the great war waiting to pop out in the future? That could have some major impact on the modern world. Of course the wizards guild might have already hunted down any such tapestries and have them safely under guard or placed somewhere where the location will not match the image without being moved.

    I think If I was a magician who wanted to safetly put myself in suspended animation I would have very carefully hidden the tapestry somewhere where time wouldn’t change what the location would look like other than some time component which would trigger freeing the magician. The tapestry and location would also have to be hidden by any type of magic which would have allowed your enemies to hunt it down and deactivate it in some way.

    I wonder if there were every any magicians magically imprisoned via this method or some other that might someday be freed.

  38. The third moon was destroyed.

    There are people from centuries ago who will emerge from a tapestry at a later date; whether any of them are powerful magicians I couldn’t tell you. Whether I’ll ever write the story in which they reappear is also unknown.

    I think The Spriggan Mirror is 5228, but that’s from memory; I should check.

    The Final Calling is mostly getting lots of relatively small donations, with a few exceptions.

    Fendel’s apparent immortality was not achieved all at once; there were steps along the way. Youth spells came before immortality, extending wizards’ lives. Also, Fendel may have had non-wizard magic extending his life. However, things did develop very quickly once athames were possible.

    Fendel stopped time by invoking an existing wizardly talisman, probably produced with either Tolnor’s Forging or Tolnor’s Synthetic Jewel. which had been imbued with either Tranai’s Stasis Spell or the Greater Spell of Temporal Stasis — I don’t know which. (It wasn’t the Simple Temporal Stasis, though; the effects don’t match.) He’s probably had the jewel or talisman or whatever it is a long, long time — it would be very handy. Would’ve been a bear to make in the first place, though.

    Tolnor’s gadgets are all triggered with words; that’s how you recognize them.

    Wizards don’t always know whether a new spell will do anything at all. Often it turns out not to be a spell at all. There are also lots of totally useless spells that got developed along the way and are now only remembered (if they’re remembered at all) because they’re something to keep apprentices busy.

    Tor controls the e-book rights to Night of Madness and Ithanalin’s Restoration, so you’d have to ask them about plans; they haven’t told me anything.

  39. I think If I was a magician who wanted to safetly put myself in suspended animation I would have very carefully hidden the tapestry somewhere where time wouldn’t change what the location would look like other than some time component which would trigger freeing the magician. The tapestry and location would also have to be hidden by any type of magic which would have allowed your enemies to hunt it down and deactivate it in some way.

    If someone enters a tapestry depicting a not-yet-matched scene, are they inevitably going to emerge at the target point when the scene matches, even if the tapestry is destroyed in the interim? Or would they never reappear in the latter case?

    Of course, even if destroying the tapestry wouldn’t stop someone from reappearing, one could always alter the location depicted in the tapestry so that the depicted scene will never be realized — if it’s outdoors, level a hill, raise a new one, build a durable structure and put preservative spells on it; if it’s indoors, tear down the building or just repaint the walls of the room…

    That raises the question of why the tapestry in With a Single Spell didn’t send Tobas and Karanissa into the future into the time when the bones in the target room had rotted away to dust or been carried off by scavengers. I suspect it’s because the tapestry has some kind of prescience, and will only send someone to a future time if the realization of the scene at that time is inevitable; if it’s still possible for the scene never to be realized, the tapestry will do nothing. So for the people in limbo waiting for their tapestry’s target scene to be realized, the target scene *won’t* be destroyed — if someone tries to do so, various coincidences will prevent them from being successful, or other coincidences will gradually recreate the scene after they’ve done their damage and gone away.

  40. I just re-read The Spriggan Mirror, and though I don’t have my copy at hand now, I’m pretty sure it takes place in 5228. Gresh calculates that Tobas’s adventure took place about six and a half years ago.

    Also: am I misreading, or does Taking Flight take place at the same time as the latter chapters of With a Single Spell? Or shortly after the end of With a Single Spell? Azraya seems to imply that she left Dwomor fairly recently, so her meeting with Kelder of Shulara and Irith the Flyer might happen while Tobas is trapped in the other world; if not, it’s probably not long after he and Karanissa return, thus before The Unwilling Warlord and The Blood of a Dragon.

  41. Yes, Taking Flight overlaps the later chapters of With A Single Spell.

    Tapestries are sufficiently complex that they’re unpredictable in some ways, but once they start working, how they work doesn’t change. In order for one to shift people into the future, it needs to depict a specific future time, not just something that hasn’t happened yet; that’s why I use astronomical phenomena in my example, rather than, say, a calendar that someone could fake. Furthermore, if one ever functions without time-shifting, it will never time-shift — which is why Tobas and Karanissa couldn’t use theirs.

    And if a time-shifting tapestry were to be destroyed before its users arrive — okay, I don’t know. I hadn’t thought about it. It might depend on the exact circumstances.

  42. Does that mean that a time shift tapestry will dump all of its travelers at the same time and once that time has passed, it is useless?

    It would work somewhat like the Source in that way :), when the time comes, there could be a large pile of people. Alternatively, it might stop work once to many people touched it.

    What would happen if the tapestry depicted the inside of a small box? Does it have to be life-size? Maybe, it could be used to change the size of people.

    It could be a mostly black, and just the inside of the box shown.

  43. Jim Henry; The Unwilling Warlord runs 5220-5221 (Sterren is hiring magicians the winter of 5220, there appears to be a typo saying 5221 in the ebook, but then he spends the end of the winter 5220 fighting the war and by greengrowth 5221 Vond’s palace is complete and furnished). Tobas and Karanissa are married the sixth of Snowfall 5221, suggesting UW comes slightly before With a Single Spell. It’s actually sandwiched in there pretty well.

    I was a little surprised the first time I saw how busy the 5220’s were in Ethshar. Somehow I hadn’t realized before how tight the novels were packed together in time.

    Ah, and this is why I like ebooks. Don’t get me wrong, I prefer to read paperbacks, but refs like that’d would be a nightmare to figure out with hardcopy.

  44. Maybe, they should include a USB stick with all new physical books :). At a conference I was at, they gave the proceeding as a USB stick in the shape of a credit card. They could use the same trick to add it to the cover of a book.

    Searching is definitely an issue with physical books.

  45. There’s a typo saying 5221? I didn’t know that. Hurm.

    Yes, time-shifting tapestries will deliver everyone at once, or at least in very quick succession.

    No, a tapestry won’t shrink people; if you made one depicting the inside of a small box, the first arrival would shatter the box and render the tapestry useless. If the box was too strong to shatter, it would be very, very unpleasant.

    One catch is that it would have to be a very small. heavy tapestry — scale isn’t infinitely flexible.

  46. “No, a tapestry won’t shrink people; if you made one depicting the inside of a small box, the first arrival would shatter the box and render the tapestry useless. If the box was too strong to shatter, it would be very, very unpleasant.”

    Well, I think Lawerence has described one of the first magical trash compactors 😉 Just empty the box and clean after each use hah!

  47. “Yes, time-shifting tapestries will deliver everyone at once, or at least in very quick succession.”

    Could a time-shifting tapestry depicting a past location send you back in time?! *boggles*

  48. No, because it didn’t. Tapestries, and all other magic, can only send you forward in time. A tapestry that depicts a past setting simply won’t work.

  49. I don’t know if the filter just *caught* the post with the link or ate it whole, but I tried to link to the scene on the google preview.

    “…final application must be made by nightfall, 24 Snowfall 5221.” (p 109).
    “He still had not fled by the twenty first of Midwinter, 5220.” pg 134, the first line of chapter 21.
    “By the first of Greengrowth in the year 5221 Vond’s palace was complete, furnished inside and out.” p 190, first line of ch 31.

    obviously a glaring error which brings the entire work to its knees in terms of readability! How could I have missed it the last several times I read the book and only notice it now when I started picking it apart to pull out every bit of trivia I could find?

    *coughs* too much? 😉

  50. raphfrk; I’m not sure a memory stick is the best method, either cost or bulk alone could become an issue. I know at one point there were some experiments with including a login/password thing to download your free ebook copy from online. I don’t know the details of how that went; but it’s been a while since I heard about that so I assume not well.

  51. Ryan, posts which have links in them are still held for moderation, even if the user has been validated.

    On the USB thing, I guess it is trying to combine completely different products.

  52. I don’t know what happened to that missing post; it didn’t show up in the moderation queue. There are some links or phrases that’ll get a comment simply erased, rather than held for moderation — known spammer domains, and the like — but I can’t imagine how you’d have hit one of those.


    Anyway, thanks for pointing out the error, which is indeed an error.

  53. Random linguistic/naming question, I found a reference regarding the (Ethsharatic) roots for the name Ethshar (I’d be interested to know how you came up with the name), but I’ve wondered for a while about the names Shan and Sardiron. I assume Shan is something like “warehouse” or “depot” or something?

  54. Shan is more like “base,” or “starting point.”

    Sardiron I don’t know; it’s from Northern roots.

  55. The interesting question (to me at least) is whether Tabae would eventually have been Called or not. She wasn’t really a warlock (her warlockry was borrowed), so would that have made a difference?

    It’s moot, of course, but it affects how much of an screw up the Wizards Guild’s response to her actually was.


  56. No, I actually mean “An you would.” However, the original copy editor on The Blood of a Dragon was unfamiliar with that usage and systematically changed every instance of “an” meaning “if” or “as” to “and,” so I’m using “and” here to be consistent.

  57. What about the magic dead zones in Ethshar of the Sands and Tobas’ castle? If Valder walked into one of those zones and left Wirikidor, would the spell of True Ownership be able to retrieve Wirikidor in the absence of wizardry?

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