And here we go…

So The Vondish Ambassador is begun, a couple of months later than I’d hoped; my apologies for the delay.

I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have about it — about the story, about the payment set-up, whatever.

15 thoughts on “And here we go…

  1. Woo hoo!

    Will you make a post here for each chapter as it is put up? That way we can just subscribe to the RSS feed here and know as soon as you have a new chapter online.

  2. I expect to post every time a new chapter goes up, yes, but I don’t always live up to expectations.

    If you make a donation you’ll go on a mailing list and will be notified that way. I’m planning on making Wednesday the regular posting day this time, rather than the weekend.

  3. Have you considered a graduating “reward” structure to donations ‘ala public tv? I read that if you donate over $25 you will receive a copy of the book. A number of “Gifts” are easy to imagine. Autographed copy at $50, map of Ethshar at $100 (worth it if you can get a few people to donate at that level), complete set of autographed Ethshar novels at $250, inclusion of name and description in some future novel at $500 (difficult in an Ethshar novel unless you luck out with someone whose name is “Vander” or is in the SCA). Heck, you could give away coffee mugs with slogans on them. Just a thought…

  4. Well, at the risk of being laughed off the internet… How about explaining, at least in brief form, your views of majic(s) and how they work and interface. I am not looking for a major discussion (yet) but some ideas of the differences.
    The Map idea is good … and yes, it leads to a world we could role-play in.

  5. Hey, there’ve been nine previous novels and seven stories that explained the magic.

    Here’s how some of them are defined by their practitioners:

    Wizardry taps into the raw chaos underlying the universe by means of the ritual application of charged symbols.

    Sorcery uses talismans to measure and manipulate the World.

    Witchcraft allows the heart and soul to affect the material world without the need for physical contact.

    Warlockry allows one to perceive and manipulate the internal structure of matter and energy by drawing on the unknown power source that appeared in southeastern Aldagmor on the Night of Madness in 5202 YS.

    Theurgy is the study of the prayers and rituals that invoke gods and goddesses and compel them to serve humans.

    Demonology is the study of the summoning and control of demons.

    Herbalism is the use of the magical properties inherent in various plants.

    Science is the study of how the natural world can be made to do the unnatural.

    Ritual dance is the art of pooling the physical and psychic energy of human movements to influence probability in the dancers’ favor.

    Prestidigitation is the use of manual dexterity to warp time and space, and distort human perception.

    Did I forget any important ones?

    Mind you, we, with our rather different understanding of reality, might not agree with some of these definitions.

  6. I have most all the books, just hurting for time to do everything I want to, including reading them all.

  7. Dear Sir,

    I just finally got around to reading the Vondish Ambassador. I liked it quite a bit but something that came up in the story kind of leaped out at me. Wizardry draws on the Chaos outside the world while Sorcery uses talismans to manipulate the order within the world. In a way these two schools are opposites in the same way that Witchcraft uses energy from within to manipulate things while Warlockry uses energy from without to manipulate things. Theurgery and Demonology are also complimentary opposites as I understand them.

    Seems how you appear to have made complimentary opposite pairings for all of these, what opposes Science, Ritual Dance, Herbalism and Prestidigitation?

    On a tangential note, if a Warlock studied the hum from the towers because of rumors spreading around and learned how to alter a brain to use it as a power source as the normal Warlocks do with Aldegemore could that Warlock take on an apprentice and only alter them to hear the hum? Or would they automatically have to be able to hear the Aldegemore source as well? Is the one state buffer around the towers really enough to keep a Warlock from tapping into it? It seems like Vond was tapping into both sources all the time so wouldn’t a Warlock half way between the two sources be able to split their draw 50-50 and hence last twice as long as a Warlock only using Aldegemore?

  8. Not all magics have opposites, just the major ones.

    As for the two sources, it’s impossible to be receptive to the Lumeth source without being receptive to the Aldagmor one. Not that warlocks would necessarily realize that at first.

    And it doesn’t matter which source you draw power from; either way, it increases receptivity to the Calling just as much. That’s what Vond got wrong in The Unwilling Warlord.

  9. So in theory a Warlock could move all the way to the edge of the world beyond the desert and maintain their abillities by drawing on Lumeth, but eventually they would become powerful enough that the Calling would get them and draw them to Aldagmor.

    Story idea no strings attached, a scientist gets someone bordering the dessert to build either an aquaduct or a windmill powered deep well for irrigation. After all “Science is the study of how the natural world can be made to do the unnatural.” , what could be more unnatural than farming the desert? This would also open up the borderlands south of Vond to increase farming and allow for a population boom. Now that Vond exists and the council and regent are enforcing the rules laid out by Vond himself internally it will keep becoming more and more united and prosperous, which in turn will draw more artisans, craftsmen (and women) to the imperial city started by Vond in Semma. I also think it is likely that the Council of Wizard will be inclined to assign somebody, or perhaps several somebodies, to set up shop in the imperial city and train some local apprentices to get in on the ground floor as it were. As Warlocks are forbidden any artisan immigrants to the imperial city from the Hegemony of the Ethshars would be seeking out Witches, Theurgists, Demonologists, Wizards and Scientists to get whatever ‘magical’ assistance they need. Scientists watering the empty lands between Imperial City and the edge of the world would definately be a plus.

    IOW I would like to hear about the future of the Imperial city, but not nessecerily the near future, more like 20-50 years down the road. Sterren is a chronic gambler and a Warlock who can draw on either source, even if he tries to resist he will keep using Warlockry and over time grow more powerful. I think he would be a perfect protaganist at 50 or 60 years old for The Final Calling, if you care anything about my opinion

  10. There’s no topsoil left in the eastern deserts; mere irrigation would only go so far. It might work, but as yet there’s no shortage of fertile land elsewhere, so why bother?

    As for The Final Calling, I know who the protagonist is, and it’s not Sterren.

  11. Can only sorcery be used to cleanse a place (such as the world) of the poison surrounding the world?

    If so, could a hypothetical Sorcerer/Warlock (who the Wizard’s guild didn’t assassinate, and who made the right talisman) use the Lumeth source to become more and more powerful while retreating beyond the edge of the world as necessary to prevent being called to Aldagmor? Are there other “sources” which would eventually “call” the Warlock? Would Demons become fearful of the Warlock’s increasing power and kill him/her? Would the Warlock eventually run out of “world” to retreat in to?

  12. No, it’s not limited to sorcery.

    Retreating beyond the edge of the World “as necessary” is a bit problematic, since the Calling is strongest when a warlock is sleeping. (That may not have been stated outright, but I thought it was pretty clear from events in Night of Madness and The Unwilling Warlord.) And warlocks do need to sleep.

    Demons aren’t afraid of anything, but they also don’t need a reason to kill anyone, they just need to not have any reasons not to.

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