The Final Calling: Progress Report Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Six is now online.

I’m $37.11 short of paying for Chapter Twenty-Seven. Tell your friends. If you haven’t kicked in yet, this would be a good time.

I’ve just started writing Chapter Thirty-Two, which is definitely not the last chapter. I’ve been getting through plot more slowly than I had anticipated, so I’m now pretty sure we’re looking at either thirty-six chapters, or thirty-five chapters and an epilogue. (Epilogues are free.) It will definitely run longer than 100,000 words, which is kind of a surprise, actually.

I think that covers it; hope to see you next week!

Update: Chapter Twenty-Seven is paid for, and we’re making progress on Twenty-Eight.

21 thoughts on “The Final Calling: Progress Report Twenty-Six

  1. Nice chapter! Alas, I cannot ask my friends to donate -I have few friends, and even fewer that can read English and like fantasy literature. Wonder if Vond will have the presence of mind to realize that Towers never actually fell from anywhere… SO the same calling is, at least, suspect

  2. It’ll probably occur to him, but on the other hand, consider Vond’s previous circumstances. Alone of all Warlocks, he got AWAY from the Calling–and then got so powerful that it reached him again.

    It seems to me that, given that experience, he’s more likely to believe that the Aldagmor source is still Calling, and that he’s once again gotten strong enough to hear it.

    Of course, whether he believes it or not, the question is what he’ll DO about it. He knows that simply deciding to stop using magic won’t work…he tried that last time.

    Whether he believes the Calling is genuine or not, I think Vond is going to be INCREDIBLY dangerous, and capable of doing some terrible things. It seem as if he’ll either be on the brink of madness and despair, or he’ll be enraged at the deception.

  3. There are some problems with the plan, I agree.

    In particular, the Calling is a constant Call. It isn’t just an intense dream. That’s a symptom. Awake, Vond won’t hear or feel anything (unless Kirris somehow manages to keep up a spell to that effect).

    I was interested in the suggestion that witches COULD affect the ursettor fwal, just not without killing or deranging the individual. Does this mean that a witch could do the opposite and create a working ursettor fwal in a normal human or convert an old-style warlock into a Vond-style one?

    We shall see (or not, as the case may be.)


  4. When Vond accepts his new “problem” and see the tapestry, I wonder if he’ll be able to observe how the tapestry works like he saw the tower of flame? I wonder if he could adapt the magic and change the portals somehow?

  5. I have a bad feeling about Kirris.

    Broadly, the protagonist is the person who solves the problems in a story. Kirris is not one of the two protagonists nor is she working with them, but she’s actively trying to solve the problem in a way where the most likely failure mode involves her death. (i.e. Vond figures it out and kills her, or strikes out in a panic and kills her, or something else and kills her.)

    She’s almost sure to fail, it’s too late in the book to introduce either “the real problem” and have Vond be a red-herring or “the real protagonist” and have our main viewpoint characters be just stage setting. It’s too much of a letdown if a character we didn’t even know about until a chapter or two ago solves the main problem. The only way she can succeed is if she comes “close but not quite” and Hammer and Sterren push him over the edge.

  6. I agree with Doug. I would also like to add that while brilliant, a fake calling seems too easy a solution. Honestly, I think this is going to be worked out by talking. I do not think that Vond will enter the tapestry. This encounter will merely trigger more drama (but I have been wrong before).

  7. But the nightmares were the first significant sign that a warlock was getting close to being Called. Remember, Vond wasn’t listening to the Aldagmor source anymore and the first clue he noticed that something was amiss was when he started having nightmares again.

    On the other hand I’m still betting (hoping, really) that the result isn’t going to be the a warlock-less World. It seems like a colossal loss, even moreso now that Vond is showing that warlocks are significantly more versitile now that the power/sensitivity limit of the Calling is gone. In that sense I see Kirris just as a facet of the already existing problem to be overcome. A more active facet, and thus one more likely to cause a response…

    Speaking of new things for warlocks;
    >> It wasn’t that the structural changes couldn’t be reversed and the power shut out without destroying his mind, as was the case with an ordinary warlock, but that he had erected a protective spell that stayed in place even while he slept.

    Wait… WHAT!?!? Persistant warlockry? That’s… different.

  8. I agree that the idea of Vond erecting a barrier in his mind was a surprise; up until now, Warlockry has always been emphasized as a purely physical magic, and one without lasting effects.

    Is it possible that Vond didn’t erect the barrier in his mind? Perhaps it’s some sort of side effect of drawing from the Towers. After all, erecting protective barriers is what they’re meant to do…

  9. Also, I didn’t think of it until now, but I hope he didn’t damage the 4th floor attic when we blew through the ceiling! That will strand all those people in the other world until the attic is repaired.

  10. a witch could do the opposite and create a working ursettor fwal in a normal human or convert an old-style warlock into a Vond-style one? Yes, that is immediately what I thought.

    That will strand all those people in the other world until the attic is repaired. yep.

    It has been interesting to see the interaction with the potential love interest and the chairman.

    Speaking of which, I picked up Realms of Light and Nightside City. There should probably be a warning somewhere that Nightside City has more sex and profanity than all the rest of LWE’s books put together. Not bad by modern standards, but while Realms of Light is something my ten year old who is very bright, but socially delayed due to her Tourette’s, really liked, Nightside City is a book my wife felt somewhat inappropriate for her.

  11. Vond hears the calling again.

    Vond knows that he can’t just stop using warlocky, he’s tried that before and failed. It also goes against his personality to ignore power.

    Assumption: Recent personality changes in Vond (thinking before acting, listening to people other than himself) have come about because of Vond’s encounter with the Aldadmor source. For the first time he was beaten. He had a taste of his own mortality, and this subdued some of his more extravagant “I can take on the World” impulses. He’s not yet very good at subduing those impulses, but he does make an occasional effort.

    BUT: Now he hears the calling again. He’s tried before and he knows that he can’t beat it. He knows (or thinks) that his days are numbered again.

    Desired results: Vond stops using Warlocky.

    Probable result? Vond removes his self-imposed limits. Since he knows that he’s doomed anyway, why not take on the Wizard’s Guild and go out with a bang?

    This action may backfire on the Guild. Then again, perhaps the Guild have planned for this as well, goading Vond into making a move that forces them to act, seemingly with perfect justification.

  12. The big difference between the fake calling and the real calling is the continuation. As soon as he awoke and blasted out of bed through the ceiling (and the 4th floor attic), he would have stopped hearing the calling unless witchcraft works at longer range then I think it does.

    I think as soon as he calms down, his natural paranoia will lend itself to a violent reaction to their plot.

  13. Aha! Your comment explains something I was puzzled about in previous discussion.

    Vond only went through one ceiling/floor, as will become clear next chapter, not all the way up through the fourth floor and attic.

    (Incidentally, it’s been a good week — I’m now writing Chapter Thirty-Three.)

  14. I have been skimming through Night of Madness again looking at all the references to the Warlock house and something occurred to me last night. When Hanner and Mavi had their children living with them in the house it would only be natural to keep the family space away from the ‘guest’ space on the second floor. To me the logical way to do this would have been to move the family to the top floor at least for sleeping arrangement’s and the unused bedroom the Tapestry is now hanging in could be one of the children’s bedrooms from when they were 12 ish, before they would have moved out for an apprenticeship and before their mother remarried and moved out herself. The Warlock council never had need for it so it has sat vacant for 15 years and Hanner just had not gotten around to assigning it to anyone. I find it completely unlikely that after he lived there 17 years that any unknown magic might still be lurking in those four rooms at the back of the 4th floor mentioned toward the end of Night of Madness.

  15. Hanner used the master bedroom on the second floor for Mavi and himself — that’s been mentioned. Their kids presumably used other bedrooms on that floor, guests notwithstanding. There are ten bedrooms on the second floor — more than enough. (I’m pretty sure it does say, in Night of Madness, that there are ten.)

    And there are twelve rooms on the third floor, and eight on the fourth, though four of the rooms on the fourth floor are dead storage for left-over magical stuff. The third and fourth floors were virtually never used; Lord Faran had kept them closed off when he was alive, allowing no one up there but himself, and the Council never needed that much space.

    At the end of Night of Madness I explained that most of Faran’s magical stuff was sorted out and sold off or disposed of, but the stuff that couldn’t be identified — which may or may not actually be magical — was stashed in the four rooms at the back of the fourth floor. That it stayed there untouched for seventeen years after that seems perfectly reasonable to me; when I was a kid in the 1960s I found boxes in the attic that hadn’t been opened since 1911, and when we moved last year we had stuff in our basement that hadn’t been touched since 1987.

    When I owned rental property, there was one tenant who had moved in in 1947 and stored a bunch of stuff in an unused bedroom. She didn’t want it disturbed. As a result, after she died in… 1996, I think it was, that room hadn’t been touched in more than forty years; it still had wallpaper from the ’30s, and was absolutely covered in dust.

    So I don’t see anything unlikely at all in having four rooms of maybe-magical stuff that nobody’s really done anything with in decades.

  16. Is the master suite one of the 10 on the second floor? I had always assumed that the second floor had 10 guest rooms plus the master suite that was twice as large as the others, was I mistaken? Interesting building design with the fourth floor having a smaller footprint than the one below. Night of Madness does mention that the third and fourth floor rooms were furnished with the proceeds from selling the magical stuff originally stored on those floors. Are the “servant quarters” on the first floor with the kitchen, dining, sitting, Ballroom and garden door entrance? It is mentioned in Night of Madness that the stairway to the Third floor is enclosed behind a door which Lord Farran kept locked. Were all 12 rooms on the third and 4 furnished rooms on the fourth set up as spare bedrooms or are they arranged some other way? I had just assumed that if the attic was empty that the stuff in the 4 back rooms on the fourth floor was long gone, growing up we put stuff up in the attic to preserve space but our house was two floors, not four. Not as much need to do so if you have all that empty space.

    Not trying to be a pest, I just find architecture interesting.

  17. Hey, I flunked out of architecture school; I love architecture!

    Yes, ten guest rooms plus the master. The rooms on the fourth floor are larger than on the second or third because they were originally workrooms and storage, not bedrooms, and because the walls do slope in — it’s a sort of mansard roof, with the fourth-floor windows in dormers.

    No one ever put anything in the attic; there was enough space elsewhere, and the attic isn’t very open or easy to use. (I should probably add an explicit mention somewhere that Hanner, who isn’t tall, still has to duck his head under the tie-beams in the attic.) The return tapestry comes out in the attic specifically because it was empty, so Hanner didn’t worry about stuff being moved.

    The servants’ rooms are behind the kitchen on the ground floor.

    (No, I don’t have detailed floor plans, but I have a pretty good mental image of the layout.)

  18. Ah, I had been picturing the Warlock house as a Second Empire four story Parisian mansion, glad to see my mental image fit your concept 🙂 Won’t a low attic roof create a problem with the tapestry? If a tall person appears does the magic make them appear on their knees or will they be beheaded?

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