Chapter Fourteen has been posted

Chapter Fourteen is up.

Chapter Fifteen is about one-third paid for.

Chapter Sixteen is written; Chapter Seventeen is not.

Latest word is that The Spriggan Mirror will ship from the printer on or around December 21st; this probably means I’ll get my copies and start distributing them on the 27th or so. I’m sorry they won’t be there for Christmas.

I’ll be sending an e-mail to everyone on my list of people who are due a copy, to verify addresses and ask whether you want your copy signed. If you have a book coming and haven’t received such an e-mail by Friday, drop me a line. The default, if I don’t hear from you, will be to assume that you want an unsigned copy sent to the shipping address you gave me last year.

Three illustrations for “Sirinita’s Dragon” are in the mail to me; if they arrive in time, as they should, and are suitable (I haven’t seen them), I should be able to include a chapbook of the story with each copy of The Spriggan Mirror.

Thanks for your contributions and your patience.

36 thoughts on “Chapter Fourteen has been posted

  1. Two warlocks in Semma? Sterren (barely powerful enough to unconsciously cheat at dice) and who else, I wonder?

    I like the way Gita reappears here.

    …..went over her entire story in relentless detail,….

    Somehow the phrase “relentless detail” seems a bit infelicitous, but I’m not sure what would be better, offhand.

  2. Oh, the other warlock was Vond — it’s not two warlocks now, it’s two warlocks ever.

    I may need to make that clearer in the second draft.

  3. How would you know a warlock in the small kingdoms if they have not discovered the “hum”? A sick, lucky man with a headache who sleeps VERY well. Seriously, there must be a few warlocks down there.

  4. …. who sleeps VERY well ….

    What’s that a reference to ? Aren’t they supposed to have nightmares (assuming their sleep is actually effected)?

  5. Yeah, but there would be no nightmares that far from the source, and they would have a lot of sleep to catch up on.

  6. Yes. I have wondered why warlocks have not set up a series of retreats/shops leading away from the source. Each warlock would move farther away incrementally from the source taking over business from warlocks moving farther still. At the end of the line, you have an old warlocks home with plenty of the P drug that we cannot say.

  7. The Calling is subtler than that; by the time you realize you’re in trouble, it’s already influencing your actions.

  8. “The Calling is subtler than that”

    I’d kind of wondered why there were not more Vonds, all fleeing before the calling, all moving away in a steady progression (or at least dropping large objects on the source before they gave way to the calling).

  9. I get the impression that by the time you are even within miles of the source you are totally out of control, so you won’t be able to drop objects on the source.

  10. Now I would like to hear what people speculate the source is. We know that LWE isnt going to tell us but it would be interesting to see what we can come up with. I will say that I believe I have either read it here somewheres that the original source is a metorite that fell from heaven.

  11. I would say alot of info will be revealed if the Final Calling is released. Also, info about the mini-source in this serial will likely give some info about the Source itself.

    The meteor was in the Night of Madness (at the start).

  12. Both sources seem to be something the mind tunes into. The sources affect the physical mind because existing warlocks can make new warlocks by modifying their brains to make them instant warlocks. We know the source hasnt always been here so it coming down from in a metorite does explain the change. One question is are the sources alive? Perhaps they are creatures that rode down on the metorites and their mental processes are a frequency that certain mind types can hear and eventually are drawn to, like a hive mind. It appears that whatever they are, the sources are two different types of things that operate on different frequencies but seem to create similair effects. Do we know if the Lumeth source eventually draws people or does it eventually just cause the aldagmor source is draw people?

  13. How many chapters? I don’t know. Thirty would probably be my best guess.

    My favorite part? Ethshar of the Spices — I thought that was pretty obvious. Though I also like Shan on the Desert and Sardiron of the Waters; they’re just harder to set stories in.

    Favorite character? Don’t know. Lady Sarai is way up there.

  14. No, explaining the Lumeth source won’t tell you anything about the Aldagmor source.

    Now that is interesting. I’d kind of assumed that the sources were similar in many ways.

    Thanks for that insight.

  15. Do we know if the Lumeth source eventually draws people or does it eventually just cause the aldagmor source is draw people?

    It probably doesn’t, as there are virtually no Warlocks in Lumeth.

    It certainly doesn’t have the ability to insta convert people into Warlocks … so that would be another explanation for zero warlocks.

    Maybe it would draw in warlocks as the only warlock that could hear Lumeth was Vond and he never got close to it (and he did say he felt a draw when heading north, but that was assumed to be Aldagmor). Also, when he was Called, he presumably went to the Aldagmor rather than Lumeth Source (though I guess that isn’t 100% certain).

  16. I always assumed the “source” in both cases was some sort of alien “thing or group of things” most likely alive, the one in Aldagmor is alive and hungry, the one in Lumeth still asleep. The hungry one draws those that hear it to it. If I’m right we could have a second night of madness when the empire of vond wakes Lumeth while trying to destroy it.

    I figured Vond went to Aldagmor because that source still need to feed.

    One thing I wondered, warlocks can turn the power on for others, once another warlock starts to lose it from the calling why doesn’t one of his budys just turn him off?

  17. You can’t turn it off; that was established in Night of Madness. The change is irreversible.

    The Lumeth source doesn’t draw anyone in; Vond says, in The Unwilling Warlord, that it doesn’t have any of the same effect as the Aldagmor source, it’s just pure power.

    Neither source needs to “feed.” That’s not what’s happening.

  18. Has there ever been any attempt to establish if Called warlocks actually die when they get there? Maybe with that spinning coin spell.

    I have a lot of respect for human ingenuity. The Aldagmor source has been around for a few decades now. I would figure concerned parties would have figured out some way to investigate it. (Maybe using trained animals in some fashion? Convince a dragon to have a look and report back? Send a terminally ill man in who is certain to die within a week and then question his spirit using Necromancers? Nah, I bet warlock souls don’t show up in the afterlife.)

    Granted, Ethshar of the Spices probably isn’t a very concerned party, so maybe the people closer to Aldagmor have been gathering all sorts of information that has yet to be relevant to any book.

  19. Oh, clever about the spinning coin!

    I’m tempted to reveal what would happen to the coin, but… well, okay, this might be a bit of a spoiler. You may want to skip it.

    The coin would stop spinning — but it would remain standing on edge, it wouldn’t fall over.

  20. “The coin would stop spinning — but it would remain standing on edge, it wouldn’t fall over. ”

    Ack, it’s in a statis box! Which probably got flipped on as the “whatever” crashed to earth.

  21. Last time I reread THE UNWILLING WARLORD I remember vaguely wondering what would happen with the Spell of the Spinning Coin to a Called warlock, but I didn’t bother asking ’cause I figured Lawrence wouldn’t tell us.

    I can’t believe you told us!

    So the question is, have any of the wizards in Ethshar thought to try this? If so, the Inner Circle may have deduced a little more than they’ve let on so far…

  22. Now that is very interesting. This blog is like a second novel in some ways.

    As is the fact that the other source really is pure power, that isn’t an illusion that Vond had in his madness. With a witch and the other source one could learn a lot about sources, enough, perhaps, to do something about the one that is full of voices and thought and that calls Warlocks (and creates them), perhaps to help it.

  23. Lawrence has always been one of the most accessible authors I have read. The old Guestbook was just as interesting, but most threads got invaded by other threads. I think the new blog format has helped certain conversations stay isolated enough to persist. If you ever followed Lawrence’s discussions in the newsgroup, that is the case there also, but a lot of people have shied away from NNTP groups for actual discussions these days, despite the fact that this was the original reason they were created.

    I personally hope that this discussion thread helps keep people coming back to the Ethshar serials, and thus, keeps the serials coming for quite a while to come.

  24. Datum: Not all humans are warlocks
    Datum: Warlockry only is possible in humans
    Datum: Not all intelligent life in the lands of Ethshar is human; EG, dragons
    Datum: Wizards (circa guildmaster level) can transform a human into a non-human animal

    One potential Inner Circle of Wizardry approach to investigation:
    1) Use divination to find a trustworthy human, willing to work for the Circle (for considerable reward) in exploring the nature of the Aldagmor source. Since Arl Arl’s son no longer has a chance at getting Wirikidor, draft him. =)
    2) Turn Arl into a non-human animal, with the highest level of intelligence they can muster. A dragon would be optimal from the standpoint of Arl, but if dragon’s blood is useful enough to be expensive, the ingredients to MAKE a dragon would be larcenously priced. Also, a dragon large enough to retain human-level intelligence might be considered a threat by Aldagmor and/or the Called nearby, and be attacked by a Warlock… who would necessarily be near Vond-level powerful. (This is probably why they can’t persuade Aldagon to make such an attempt; you don’t get to be that age without a trace of caution.) Lastly, someone turned into a dragon would be dangerous enough to make wizards think twice about handing anyone (save, perhaps, Valder, who isn’t interested in such jobs) that much power. In contrast, a wolf transformation ought to be able to provide significant intel, be a lot easier and less worrisome for the Wizards… and make a better story. Ethshar might get its first lycanthrope.
    3) Provide some serious protection spells for Arl… (or perhaps, not so serious; after all, Wizards are usually a bunch of skinflints with handing out magic, and it will probably allow a better story).
    4) Arl gets to start out some city understood to be quite safe from humans automatically getting the Calling; he proceeds some distance towards the source, makes some prominent camp marker (just in case the wizards are inclined to try again), and returns to the starting city to be turned human and report. Repeat, going progressively closer, until he can see and/or explore the nature of the Aldagmor Source. If the wizards are sensible, the first destination will be somewhere that a human would have no trouble getting to, so that Arl can get some practice traveling in wolf form.

    Obvious possible results of the experiment:
    1) Some accidental mischance diverts Arl from his first expedition. Amusing story possibilities could result from these, but I doubt the wizards are that incompetent at divination.
    2) Some hazard means he won’t even make it to the first planned camp position. Even then, the Wizards would just try again, with a slightly closer first destination. Arl might not be the first attempt the Circle makes at this. (Does he finds out about that beforehand? You’ve got to be kidding me. Wizards never tell secrets unless they have to.)
    3) He makes it all the way there without difficulty, wanders around as a wolf, and reports back. Hah… Arl only wishes fate were so kind.
    4) Hazards increase on the way towards the destination. Obvious possibilities include:
    4a) Closer to the Aldagmor Source, it begins having effects on things besides only humans, either in ways obviously related to Warlockry… or not.
    4b) While Arl is not a Warlock in wolf form, he can become “attuned” in wolf form; each time he returns from coming closer and closer to the Aldagmor Source, he himself begins to hear the calling louder and louder, even from great distances. The wizards will keep pushing him to risk going ever closer…
    4c) As Arl’s wolf form repeatedly moves closer, but yet continues to move back out, the Aldagmor Source itself begins to Take Notice of this, and…?

    Answering how this experiment would turn out would (a) obviously be a spoiler and (b) probably require a novel to answer. Feel free to swipe the idea, Lawrence.

  25. It’s an interesting idea, but it has some problems. There’s at least one false assumption built into it.

    No, at least two, actually. But I can’t tell you what they are.

    I can say that the hierarchy of wizards is more complex than you know, and the Inner Circle isn’t the final authority. What’s more, the higher levels of wizardry know more than they’re saying.

  26. (I know it’s been a long time since this has been active.)

    My assumption was always that the Towers are sorcerous (i.e. high tech) in nature, and one of them is broken, and that the distress call device the Source was using was also sorcerous in nature but leaky.

    Warlockry can therefore tap into broken or leaky, large scale, very powerful sorcerous objects.

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