20 thoughts on “Chapter Twenty-One has been posted

  1. Great story going into chapter 21! I’ve just submitted my donation to help insure it continues.

    One comment on the use of the Fendel’s Assassin as a guardian for Emmis. I thought that the spell was a lower level (order) spell so it surprised me that the assassin seemed to be able to change the rules by itself. In other cases of magic doing surprising things it has normally been due to miscasting of a spell.

    Because of this it seems likely that with the proper wording of the spell the assissin could be turned into a permanent guardian for whom ever the wizard wished.

  2. Yes, great stuff. That is a neat idea. Apparently fulfilling its mission merely permits the Assassin to return from whence it came, but does not banish it.

    Oh, what if Emmis makes a deal with FA so that their bodyguard arrangement becomes permanent? That would make for an excellent career! What a reputation he would have.

    Lawrence, how many chapters total, do you think?


  3. I’m still guessing thirty, but I’m really not sure. More than twenty-five, anyway.

    With the Assassin — oaths have power; Emmis swore an oath to give it the honey. I don’t think such an arrangement could work on a permanent basis.

  4. Why in the World is Kelder being so cooperative? He’s committed a hanging offense. I can understand that in a world where truth spells work
    there would be no point in lying about which of them stabbed the guard, but
    why lead the law straight to the body?

  5. If you’ve ever had a broken bone, you could understand that he’s most likely thinking only of what will be necessary to get the pain stopped. Also, shock tends to shut down the high brain functions. Nor would be be gifted with the education of a 3rd grader that might give him the imagination necessary to be that clever.

  6. I supose Emmis could swear to give it honey every day.

    Did you have the plan for FA to protect him all along or was that taken from the comment here in the blogs? Would be interesting to know if we’re influencing the direction of the novel.

    All in all I get the impression Keldar simply isn’t all that bright.

  7. Hey how creepy would it be if Fendel’s Assassin is the same creature as the phantom servant in _With a Single Spell_?

  8. I agree that Kelder may not be thinking too well. But if he was, being cooperative with the authorities once you’ve been caught might get you some clemency. Especially if the victim does turn out to still be alive.

  9. It’d be creepy, but it’s not the same creature.

    And yes, if Zhol were still alive Kelder might well get off with a flogging; Ethshar generally doesn’t hang people for anything short of murder.

  10. So, how does the government of Ethshar handle assassination as a trade, then? Is legitimate assassination considered murder, or is it somewhat acceptable? Does the responsibility for the death rest on the assassin, assuming all the proper forms are followed, or would it rest on the hiring person? Does it depend on whether the assassin is caught in the act?

  11. Assassination is murder, and a hanging offense, if it’s committed by any means other than magic. If magic is used, then the magician may or may not be considered to be responsible; the person who hired the magician is still a murderer and will be hanged if caught.

    No, it doesn’t matter whether he’s caught in the act.

    That assumes the victim is in Ethshar.

    The only reason assassination isn’t always a hanging offense is jurisdictional; the Hegemony doesn’t care if foreigners kill each other, or if Ethsharites kill foreigners without creating diplomatic problems. Foreigners hiring Ethsharitic magicians to kill foreigners brings in money, so it’s acceptable — hence the loophole on the magicians’ part. Wizards and demonologists can claim they didn’t know where the victim was, so they’re subject to Guild discipline, but generally the city guard won’t mess with them beyond asking who the client was.

    Warlocks and sorcerers are handled on a case-by-case basis. Theurgists can’t kill anyone with magic unless they get very inventive, so they’re a non-issue. Herbalists — well, that’s just poisoning, really, not magic, unless someone got clever, so the exemption doesn’t apply.

    No one has ever yet proven ritual dance was responsible for a death; if it has been, it looked like an accident and they got away with it. Which may have happened.

    Science doesn’t appear to be capable of killing someone at long range, so scientists are generally held responsible and would be hanged if any were dumb enough to attempt murder for hire.

    I’m probably forgetting several kinds of magic, but I think I got all the major ones.

    One reason magicians aren’t always considered murderers is that enforcing the law can get tricky with magicians. With wizards it’s almost always better to let the Guild deal with it. The Guild doesn’t really approve of assassination unless they’re the ones doing it, and wizards who make a habit of killing people generally find themselves encountering difficulties in their work. Sometimes terminal difficulties.

    If the Guild needs someone dead, they’ll generally discuss the matter with the overlord’s representatives — usually after the fact, but still, they’ll explain their reasons, and the Hegemony generally accepts killing someone who violates Guild rules as justifiable homicide. Self defense, or internal discipline, or whatever.

    Of course, there are non-magical assassins anyway, mostly among the more desperate inhabitants of the Hundred-Foot Field, and they’re hanged if they’re caught.

  12. Andrew, beat me to the post!

    So, how’s the money going. Gotta see what happened to our idiot assassin.

    I still think those guys are pretty realistic for the medieval culture simulated.

    So does anyone have any ideas why the “World” is a flat plane immersed in toxic gas held at bay by a sorcerous talisman?

  13. Three talismans, at least, that being how many towers there are.

    Right now I’m about $18 short of goal for this week. File’s all ready, though.

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