82 thoughts on “Chapter Twenty-Eight and the Epilogue have been posted

  1. Yes, quite satisfying.

    A few chapters ago I was wondering how you could possibly tie up all the plot threads in just a few chapters. You pulled it off deftly.

  2. Yep, good deus ex machina. Wrapped everything up neatly.

    I was surprised Ithinia destroyed the athame in public, and even more surprised that she explained what she did. I thought the nature of the athame was something the wizard’s guild tried to keep secret. She didn’t even ask Emgar of Venmis not to talk about it.

  3. I enjoyed that, though the ending of the epilogue has me thinking trouble’s ahead for Emmis.

  4. Nicely done.

    Gods don’t experience wizardry, do demons? I’m guessing it is as invisible to them as to gods.

    I’m also guessing that the ocean does not pass into the poisonous zone.

    The entire water side of the climate and ecosphere question is interesting.

  5. I agree it was odd that they broke the athema in public, without making it look more like a cerimony for kicking someone out of the guild, rather than showing that there is a strong tie between the wizard and the athema.

    I’m also very surprised that Ithilina explained to emmis that the athema had part of the wizard’s soul in it, and without the athema the wizard cannot do magics. From my view I’d have said that pretty much told a non guild member one of the main guild secrets.

    I enjoyed the story on the whole. Was very intersting, and a fun read. I look forward to more stories and novels in the future.

    I did think the end felt a little rushed. Especially as the main characters didn’t seem to have any kind of role in it. Felt odd, to have someone else just step in and fix it all with a few decrees and threats. It seemed that Emmis’s story ended after Ithinia got the information out of him about what was going on and arranged eveything after that. I’d have liked to have seen Emmis or Lar having a bit more of an involved role in the end of the story.

    It’d have been rather funny if in the epilogue, when he was sat all nice and comfy in his new office if a voice behind him didn’t say “honey?”

  6. “Honey?” lol! That would have been good. It might have shaken Ithinia’s world, too, which wouldn’t have been a bad thing.

  7. So, about the ebook…. What I want is to see the maps, read the final version of the text, and donate to this project. And I’d really, really love it if I could do all that for about $10 (I’m cheap, and this was an average Ethshar book). If that’s not possible, is there a deadline for donating to see the maps?

  8. The maps will remain available at least until April.

    The e-book edition will eventually be available from Fictionwise, priced in their usual way, but probably not until some time in 2008.

    The map of Ethshar of the Spices may or may not be included in the published book, though if it is it’ll be reduced to fit.

    The map of the Empire of Vond will not be published.

    So — make a small donation now, get a look at the maps, buy the e-book next year.

  9. Lawrence,

    That was a fun story. Ethshar tends to have happy endings and romantic pairings; a little happily ever after, so to speak. I can’t imagine your horror stories end this way. Do you use Ethshar to sort of counterbalance your personal fictional karma? After feeding babies to monsters, for instance, does an Ethsharic tale wipe the slate clean for your writer’s conscience?


  10. Not exactly, but the Ethshar stories are all pretty light, yes.

    I’m not writing outright horror anymore, in fact it’s been ten years since I wrote anything I consider real horror, but I’m still writing darker stuff sometimes. The end of The Ninth Talisman isn’t exactly sweetness and light. It’s definitely a different mindset doing that sort of thing.

    It’s not so much that I’m trying to balance anything as that I like variety.

    And my mood does figure into it, of course.

  11. I thought that Ithinia was being a bit gabby, too. She was so forthcoming in what she told Emmis, even considering general trust, that I almost thought the epilogue would reveal Ithinia, and not Gita, visiting Emmis with romantic intent. I also wondered if there might not be some specific Guild involvement in his position that wasn’t mentioned in the final chapter.

  12. There’s a news article on CNN about scientists in Germany using MRI machines to predict which of two simple decisions a person has made before he acts upon them — call it a simple form of mind reading.

    Ishta the Warlock in chapter seven says that she uses her magic for delicate, small-scale work because she fears the Calling. She can cure some diseases by killing the microbes that cause them, implying that she can see and act at this level, as well as not get lost in the differentiation of billions of cells. Even though she is well shy of the calling, she can see at a far finer level of detail than medical MRIs.

    Warlocks haven’t shown much talent as mind readers or truth tellers. Is this because they can’t or don’t?

  13. I just bought a whole bunch of Steve Miller and Sharon Lee from ( http://www.webscription.net ), then walked into a bookstore yesterday and found _Tomorrow Log_ and _Crystal Soldier_ in mass market paperback. Unlike _Crystal Soldier_, published by Ace, _Tomorrow Log_ was published by Meisha Merlin Publishing, Inc. So it looks like Meisha Merlin is branching out into other formats. Maybe when the Fictionwise eBook of _The Vondish Ambassador_ comes out, we will also get a mass market paperback.


    Note 1)
    Lawrence Says:
    The e-book edition will eventually be available from Fictionwise, priced in their usual way, but probably not until some time in 2008.

    Note 2)
    ( http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9781592221271&itm=1 )

    Tomorrow Log
    Steve Miller, Sharon Lee
    ISBN: 1592221270
    ISBN-13: 9781592221271
    Format: Mass Market Paperback, 342pp
    Publisher: Meisha Merlin Publishing, Inc.

  14. Well, lets first say that I enjoyed the book, especially the last chapters.
    I think, however, that Ithinia WAS
    less than prudent, especially in the threat she made to Sterren. Wizards aren’t invulnerable, and she has left
    it very clear. In fact, she made a clear demonstration of how any moderately competent warlock could incapacitate ANY wizard forever: by breaking his or her arthame. Yes, we know Sterren as a level-headed, fairly pacific individual, but Ithinia doesn’t. All she has are third-person accounts. In her place, I’d be more diplomatic. Also, give all the time that has passed since
    the Night Of Madness, Ithinia should be familiar with the stress and near madness that comes to an warlock when his calling becomes troublesome
    (but not unbearable). How is she to know that a simple threat to his life – when it would be nearly lost and he would KNOW it – would stop a near-mad, superpowered warlock? From all the trouble the guild had with Tabaea, I’d say their winning against Vond would be highly unlikely. The guild seems to have little capacity to act as a coordinated body. And Sterren is smarter than Vond.

  15. Vulcon, you say about MRI.

    The catch with that is that the computation required to do that is quite high. Its not looking at one neuron at a time, very fast, but all the neurons at once.

    Warlocks are good, but they can’t split their attention that many ways, that fast.

    I don’t think…

  16. Warlocks already know how to kill wizards; they always have. A wizard’s heart can be stopped just as easily as an athame can be broken.

    Also, nowhere does she say that what happened to Morkai could happen to any wizard. YOU know that, from reading the series, but Emmis doesn’t; he may well think that a piece of Morkai’s soul was put in the dagger while he was a prisoner, especially so that it could be broken.

    In fact, making that implication clearer is something I was already planning to do in the next draft.

    Vulcan, what MJD said — warlocks don’t have the processing power in their own brains to make effective use of what they can see in others, nor do they have any way to evaluate what they perceive. They can probably sense what’s going on in someone’s brain, but interpreting it, no, any more than I can understand Chinese. Warlocks could theoretically conduct experiments and learn to interpret brain activity, but it would be a very long, slow process, and so far it hasn’t occurred to them to try. Why bother, when you can hire a witch?

    Gizmo, I’m afraid you don’t understand how the business end works. The existence of Fictionwise editions has nothing to do with mass-market editions.

    That said, Wildside does now have a mass market paperback line — I’m not sure whether the first titles are out yet, but they’re coming. There may well be mass-market editions of The Spriggan Mirror and The Vondish Ambassador eventually, and possibly of the earlier Ethshar novels, as well. Wildside does have the rights to produce those.

  17. Rock on! I can finally replace my copy of The Misenchanted Sword – the only Del Rey Ethshar book I don’t currently have a copy of. It was mangled by a household pet. I did replace it with the e-book from Fictionwise, but would love to get the Wildside mass-market paperback, if only to get “The Bloodstone” – that would still be included in the Wildside edition, would it not?

  18. Honestly, I’m not sure what Wildside has planned for The Misenchanted Sword. Time will tell, and other cliches.

  19. I understand what the deal is about explaining how broken-athame = no wizardry, because the goal isn’t to explain it to Emmis. It’s to explain it to the reader. It’s just we’re running into the problem of tight first person viewpoint.

    In a way, the best person to explain it would be Morkai himself in Chapter 26. Having just had the Guild punish him like that, he might reasonably be screaming to high heavens about it. (I mean in an understandable way, as opposed to his screams of pain.)

    Of course, that might break the momentum of the final three chapters, so maybe it’s not the perfect solution either.

  20. Perfection eludes us always.

    I was just wanting to make sure I got the link. I have a pretty thorough spam blocker here….

  21. Yes, stopping the wizard’s heart can be as easy as destroying the arthame. But destroying the arthame leaves you with a prisioner. Also, being alive and in your enemy’s hands can (sometimes) be worse than dying in battle. That is why spies carry all that suicidal gadgets, like poison teeth. It also occurred to me that if a super-warlock does get in a war with the wizard guild,
    he will probably try to get a witch
    as partner. A Super-warlock can probably get nations to attend his
    demands, threatening wide destruction. He will need to
    know when people are sincere
    or just feigning to agree to his demands. A witch can do that.
    I’d say even the Cult Of Demerchan
    could be put on the run by such an

  22. A Super-warlock can probably get nations to attend his
    demands, threatening wide destruction.

    The problem is that a super Warlock would have to stay away from most major nations due to the Calling pushing him into the sea, the desert or into the small kingdoms.

    What they need is a way to project their manipulations long distance.

    Perhaps the Warlock could “throw” mountains at the major cities while safe to the South, though aiming might be a problem.

    Alternatively, he could pick up one of the towers (using it as the power source to do the lift). He could then proceed to take it into the mist that surrounds the world, with any luck the tower would generate a bubble for him to breath.

    That assumes that the towers are three separate talismans and each one doesn’t perform a different part of the purification procedure.

    he will probably try to get a witch as partner

    Ideally, he would need at least two (or probably three). That way one could stay awake to shield him from the Calling. However, that would likely be pretty boring for the witches. However, it would let him approach the Source more closely than before.

  23. That’s still assuming that the sorcerous talismans are actually the warlockry source. I don’t believe they are. I think there is something as yet very unexplained about the second source. If it were as simple as the talismans, it would scarcely take a whole book to explain away the removal of both sources (The Final Calling IS to be the title of that novel) without poisoning the World.

  24. I think that it’s pretty clear at this point that the talismans (Towers) absolutely were the “second source” for Vond.

  25. It would be an incredible coincidence if the Second Source of Warlockry just happened to be right next to the largest Sorcerous talisman in the World. I don’t think LWE likes coincidences like that. But I’ve been wrong trying to second-guess him before.

    Another question is, why are the Lumeth Towers where they are? If you’re making a talisman to affect the entire world, wouldn’t it make sense to put it in the center of the world, not way off to one side?

  26. Breno Arraes, I don’t think a Warlock would really need to know about the athame in order to make a wizard powerless. Just capture one while sleeping, and keep ’em far from *any* ingredients. Gag ’em to be complete – make ’em write any answers to questions. Simple!

    Wizards are powerful because they have quality magic… but that magic takes time and ingredients to prepare.

    As far as Ithinia… sure, she’s a bit chatty, aside from the fact that it lets the readers in on what’s happening, it’s important from her point of view that there aren’t people wandering around who know only part of the story. And by telling Emmis about the soul destroying, it might make him think twice about even thinking about going against the Wizard’s guild…

    Location of the Lumeth Towers: my feeling is that if they were in the middle of everything, they might be in more danger of being destroyed by people. And do we *know* that there aren’t other towers (or talismen) elsewhere which do the same thing? Ithinia implied otherwise… but we all know how much we can trust Wizards 🙂

  27. Okay, people keep asking about this, so I suppose I might as well answer it.

    Lumeth isn’t the center of the World NOW, but 5,000 years ago it was.

  28. > Lumeth isn’t the center of the World NOW, but 5,000 years ago it was.

    Very interesting. Does Guildmaster Ithinia know about this fact?

  29. True, Warlock would not really need to know about the athame in order to make a wizard powerless. As LWE says,
    he can even stop the wizard’s heart – Nobody is more powerless than a dead somebody. On the other hand, since it is implied in “With A Single Spell” that
    wizards carry their Arthames everywhere they go, it is much more convenient than waiting for he or she to fall asleep. Also, breaking the arthame can be much faster than stopping the heart – That is, even if one does stop someone’s heart in
    a very, very short time, this someone
    will probably live a few more tens of
    seconds before actually dying. If the
    someone is a wizard with a powerful spell ready-made to be unleashed any moment, stopping his/her heart can be very dangerous.

  30. Wowowowowow.

    Go back a bit.

    Lumeth WAS the center of the world?

    Did the world expand asymetricaly, or did we loose the other “half”? Do you ever plan to explain what happened, in a book?

    Could this be related to the war – if the small kingdoms were all of old ethshar, the northen empire was much larger…and should have walked over them….unless thats what started the war – accidently wiping out half the world!

    Vrond seemed to think there was a definitive edge to the world. If that wasn’t allways the edge, who changed it?

    So many questions….

    nb – Lawrence, has my brother emailed you about the book set yet, or should I slap him some more?

  31. It expanded asymmetrically. It’s complicated. And no, I haven’t explained this, and don’t intend to.

    Haven’t gotten e-mail about the book set.

  32. ahh. so the world expanded, rather then contacted asymmetrically. Shame, that blows my theory of the towers out the water.

    When you said that lumeth used to be the centre, I thought that maybe each tower projected the oxygen bubble out to a different direction (with some overlap), and over time some of the towers had broken/failed, so parts of the world reverted back (or changed into) the poisonous clouds, thus “moving” lumeth away from the centre of the world.

    The question now is what’s made the world expand. . . and is it still expanding, and will eventurally “terraform” until the poison gass is no more.

  33. One question that springs to mind is – was Lumeth at the center of the plateau that holds Ethshar (assuming that much of what Ithinia believes is correct) and did the plateau itself grow over the millenia? Or, if the plateau is fixed in size, has the habitable World of Ethshar grown to cover the entire plateau yet?

    I’m not really expecting Lawrence to answer these (although I’d be delighted if he did); it’s just food for thought.

  34. Thanks for filling in some of the background on the Ethshar world. Is the reason you don’t want to fill in the world’s background because you don’t want obsessive fans nitpicking details? Or is it, perhaps, because you wish to be flexible on the details and not publish anything you might change to better suit a good story? Or, is it that you just wish to keep the Ethshar series light and fluffy?

    I’ve noticed that several good authors have explicitly stated that they wish to just not explore some background areas for their milieus. It makes me think that there is some well understood axiom for good writers which we (readers) haven’t quite grasped.

    Sadly, I’m the kind of fan who enjoyed the Silmarillion just because it answered some of my questions. But, that may be because I’m an engineer who (by definition, I think) likes to see the “why” and “how” questions answered.

    P.S. Thanks so much for your work! I’ve been enjoying and happily paying for it for over twenty years.

  35. Well, that was an interesting end to what I consider a very good story.
    At least all potential problems between Vond and the Guild were solved to
    everyone’s satisfaction

    Thanks to LWE for a very good story, I have read all the other novels in the series, when I first encountered the world of Ethshar in ‘Misenchanted Sword’, it hooked me right away, and I since aquired all the novels after that

    LWE, I hope you’ll produce more Ethshar novels, maybe one about the existance of dragons like Aldagon (supposedly the oldest living dragon in the World) which gave its name to Aldagmor (the original Source of Warlockry)

    thanks for the newest addition to the Ethshar series

    Montreal Canada

  36. Brian, basically all those reasons apply. And I think having an element of mystery is generally a good thing; detailed official explanations are often less fun than what the reader had imagined.

    And Darryl, I do plan to write more Ethshar stories — I’m definitely going to write another short story, as in I’m on page 7 — but probably not right away. I want to play with some other worlds for awhile.

    For one thing, if I focus too much on Ethshar — or anything else — I’m likely to get bored with it.

  37. The question now is what’s made the world expand. . . and is it still expanding, and will eventurally “terraform” until the poison gass is no more.

    … What if it’s all linked. The towers suck in the mist and release oxygen, the excess impurities are then dumped into the ocean.

    The water flows over the edge and the impurities precipitate out forming more continental shelf and the water is then pumped back to the ocean from the bottom. In fact maybe there is a major ocean in the mists.

    There was a slight imbalance at the start, more water was to the North of Lumeth, so there was more shelf created in that direction.

    Another issue is what keeps the mist and the air from mixing, as in you can stand in the air looking at the mist. Perhaps they just repeal each other.

  38. Something hit me today about this Ethshar novel as compaired to must of the rest and frankly most of LWE’s stories in general. It’s interesting that the main character didn’t hose his own life. Seems that one of features I like about LWE’s novels is the characters are very impure and human – they mess up their own lives and have to suffer their way through.
    Emmis didn’t start out with the best life but he never made any serious mistakes either.

  39. Well, sorta — it’s not made explicit, but the reason he was working the docks as a solo day laborer was that his drunken outburst at Azradelle’s wedding got him blackballed from the Spicetown labor gangs.

    That was well before the start of the novel, of course.

  40. >his drunken outburst at Azradelle’s wedding got him blackballed from the Spicetown labor gangs.

    It must have been really bad what he did that day.

    But when Lar met him for the first time he knew Emmis was the right person for the job of being an ambassador’s assistant, that he was a person who is dependable and could be trusted.

    How did Lar know that right away when just about anyone could have showe up at the pier when he arrived?

  41. Did anyone catch that Guildmaster Ithinia didn’t quite catch herself fast enough and that she revealed to Emmis that the Towers are NOT the source of the power?

    However, I do not think Emmis caught that slip of Ithinia, probably so much was going on at the time.

  42. She didn’t reveal that. She doesn’t KNOW the source of the power.

    Where did it appear she said that? I need to fix it.

  43. Hmmmm, perhaps I read too much into a sentence Ithinia started to make.

    I got the impression that she was about to say the Towers are not the power source when I read this dialogue:

    Ithinia stared at him silently for a moment.
    “A source of magical power, you said?”
    “The towers aren’t…” She stopped and frowned.

    but considering what was being discussed, what else _could_ I conclude what I did?

  44. She was going to say, “They aren’t a source of magical energy, they use magical energy.” And she stopped because she realized that maybe they were a source, as well.

  45. I’m a bit confused about Emmis’ job as custom inspector. How does on stop a warlock from talking to a captain, paying 1/2 up front, and then flying out from somewhere not in the city to board a vessel? The captain didn’t break any ‘real’ rules, because he left the city without a warlock. One just joined him mid-journey, but a captain with goods can’t just turn his ship around and lose money (sometimes other peoples). When the ship gets to Vond, and the wizards find out, only the warlock is punished because there is no rule about carrying warlocks to Vond.
    How would a captain know if an individual in a rowboat a mile out to sea isn’t really lost and in need of help. If the individual has gold, fewer questions can be asked.
    Wouldn’t the ‘customs inspector’ then have to ask a good theurgist every day if a warlock was planning on joining any ships to Vond? And what good would soldiers be in this situation. The man in the green shirt and brown kilt is really a warlock. How can they tell? Their job when he is identified? Run away!!!

    The post seems like more of a token gesture towards placating the wizard’s guild as opposed to a real and serious endeavor an honest an good man can get behind.

    I loved the book, though. (Including the ending!) And this odd view of the ending only came to me when I was explaining the plot of the book to a fellow ethshar fan in a 24 hr restaurant at 1:30 in the morning. Two days later, it still feels like an off ending, but my analysis is based on more knowledge of the ethshar worlds inner workings than Ildirin and the Etharitic government might have. This could truly seem like a plausible course of action to them.

  46. There are always ways around import/export regulations, always. Smuggling has been a thriving business for millennia. (Some of my Welsh ancestors were smugglers, a couple of senturies back.) That doesn’t put the customs people out of business.

    Emmis will admittedly be most effective against warlocks too new to be able to fly competently, or warlocks so close to being Called that they don’t dare fly.

    Also, if you board a ship in the middle of the Gulf of the East, that’s hard to keep secret, and the folks at the port of arrival may want to take a look at you — Emmis isn’t the only enforcement, he’s just in charge on the (less important) Ethshar end.

  47. There is something I don’t understand about the Wizard’s Guild and the Lumeth Towers.

    The three Towers have been around for over 5,000 years and have held up pretty well for the most part except for one that broke about halfway or two thirds the way up. (Why did that tower split? A structural fault?)

    The Guild has been in existence for 400 years and from the start have place strong protective spells upon the towers, but even then the towers had been around for 4,700 years without any help from a guild.

    So what happened 400 years ago that required additional protections be put in place?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out that the Wizard’s Guild was formed partly in order to protect the Lumeth towers.

    Perhaps even a certain Lumethian cult of assassins was also formed to protect the towers.

  48. The Guild decided to guard the towers when the Old Ethshar military stopped doing it.

    After the war ended they kept doing it out of inertia.

    Nothing about the towers themselves changed 400 years ago, and the break in one of them is prehistoric.

    The Guild was not formed for any reason even remotely connected with the towers.

    You guys are looking for mysteries and significances where there aren’t any.

  49. Now, Ithinia’s little speech will be “first page news”
    (in a way of speaking) on Entshar’s grapevine. The warlocks will most certainly hear of it, as Ithinia no doubt intended. To them, however, it will look
    like the wizard’s guildmaster is willfully riding roughshod over the warlocks. Even worse, because Ithinia’s “law” will deprieve the “warlock on the
    street ” of a significant part of his/her freedom to come and go, one that may play a part on his/her
    very survival. Most warlocks won’t take too kindly to that. Some warlocks already inclined to go (to the small kingdoms) may even get even firmer on their resolution, just on basis of wounded pride,
    or even on a matter of suspicions…

  50. No; Ithinia spoke to the Council of Warlocks ahead of time, as she said, and the word will be out on the warlock grapevine to lay the heck off.

  51. Even so, to the average etsharit, that will be the
    impresssion: that the wizard guild is laying down the
    law to the warlocks. Most non-warlocks may think
    that of little importance, but to the warlocks that
    may be an added humiliation to a life already full
    of distateful realities… Also, many will see in that
    that THEIR council as being a lapdog to the wizard’s
    guild. Whatever their system of heirarchy or replacement it would certainly suffer the effects of this widespread belief.

  52. If each tower was responsible for maintaining the world in a specific 120 degree arc and one failed, would those nasty mists eat away at the world untill the edge approached the tower….?

    If the break was prehistoric, wouldn’t have to be a fast rate. Could the kingdom of Vrond be doomed?

    Or would the half tower still have a limited range, which has now been reached….

  53. MJD, I was wondering if a “broken” tower would still be effective, but then I thought that it might still be 100% operational even though not being in as an aesthetically pretty state as the other towers.

  54. … except for one that broke about halfway or two thirds the way up.

    Where was that said … guess I wasn’t reading carefully 🙂 ?

  55. At one point I thought that maybe the wizard guild may want lumeth annuxed into Vond, to help protect the towers, As Vond is so much bigger than any of it’s neighbours it’d be the perferct buffer from any conflict in that part of the world.

    After all, as things stand lumeth can still be threatened by every country around it accept Vond now. So it’s still vulnerable to the petty bickerings and wars that a famous in the small kingdoms (though I guess the guild probably doesn’t see that as a threat to the towers).

    Mind you that’s supposing that the Wizard guild would trust the empire enough to have them do that. And, that’s also assuming that the wizard’s guild isn’t secretly running things in Lumeth, or at least got firm hooks into the lumeth government.

    I know the guild claims that it doesn’t get involved in politics, but that’s not true now is it. They’re fibbing about that. They’ve got their fingers in a lot of politics. Infact their more political than any other of the magic organisations/types in Ethshar.

    Failing the above, I’m also surprised they didn’t have Lumeth and Vond sign a treaty of mutual aid, or at least non aggression. I know they basically told them to behave or get spanked, but I’d have thought they’d have been a bit more formal about it, and a little less blunt. I guess they think they are so powerful that they don’t have to be diplomatic when dealing with anyone else, and are not worried if they annoy/upset the rulers of half a dozen small kingdoms.

    Though finding out someone was thinking of smashing the towers was probably a bit of a surprise and they maybe paniced a little and were a bit more roughshod than they would otherwise have been.

  56. Another point is that ithinia simply can’t say
    why she has established limits to the locomotion of the warlocks. That way, even with the support of
    the warlock council, she simply won’t be able to get the warlocks to accept her rules: They will
    distrust her too much.

  57. one thing I remembered, that in the novel Night of Madness, everyone who had become warlocks, had nightmares of falling and burning and then being buried, that implies a meteor-like object from outside, I wonder if the Lumeth source is something similar.. Maybe the Aldagmor source was some kind of external intelligence and it’s warlock effects were its attempts to communicate, the more people used warlockry, the more they became attuned.. which could explain the nightmares, but the Lumeth source was just a ‘dead’ intelligence with its power source intact, whatever it may be, sort of like broadcast energy.

  58. Yes, I’m getting your emails, now. Thank you.

    This Mark Twain quote fits in with the current discussion quite nicely:

    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
    Mark Twain

  59. “Evidance and proof are static and stale, they burn away imagination and marvels without which the world would lose the colour of invention” – me

  60. I’m one of those who waits for the entire story to be posted before reading it. When it finished, I was in the middle of a large trilogy, so I actually started reading The Vondish Ambassador last night.

    In chapter one, I have found a quibble. (also, shouldn’t there be a comma in this sentence? (After “flung it”?) I am not an English major!)

    “When he flung it Emmis was ready and waiting; he grabbed the painter and threw a loop around the bollard he had been sitting on, securing it with a neat half-hitch. ”

    Ships are not secured to anything with “a half-hitch” as that is a knot that tends to slip and fall apart. There are two different knots commonly used to secure a ship to a bollard or a post. If you ask the Boy Scouts, you use “two half-hitches” and if you ask the US Navy, you use “a Round and two half-hitches”. I am quoting from the Boy Scout Handbook for the one, and the Bluejackets Manual (19th edition) for the other.

    James E.
    Eagle Scout
    DAV – US Navy

  61. I think we have been left with plenty of room for Emis to appear in at least another short story, of not a whole sequal novel. There’s plenty of trouble avaliable trying to stop warlocks with the calling from doing what they want to do.

  62. What if it is the other way. The partial collapse of one tower allowed the world to expand in one direction. After all whatever it is the Towers do, we know that Ithinia’s explanation is at very least not the whole truth.

  63. James E., you’re right, as my Eagle Scout son would have told me had I thought to ask him. I’ll fix that in the second draft.

    Sorry about delays in moderating and replying; I was traveling. Family vacation. I don’t generally mention such trips in advance as I prefer not to announce, “Hey, burglars, there’s no one watching our house for the next week and a half!”

  64. I know it would require some changes in subsequent chapters, but I think that Ithinia would put Emmis under a Geas that he can neither repeat nor act on any information she tells him, before she would explain so much. That could be why she feels free to confide in him later in the book.

    When she tells him that oaths have power, she might offer to explain things to him if he willingly swears an other under a specific spell.

  65. I know no one is probably paying any attention to this anymore, but I just had a thought about the Towers. Imagine that the Towers are actually the source of Warlockry, and have been for 5000 years or so, but until the Night of Madness no one was attuned to receive it.

    At some point in the distant past the top of one of the Towers broke off, but where did it go?

    Imagine a scenario. Someone in the top of one of the towers somehow becomes attuned to it as a warlock. Given the relationship between Witchcraft and Warlockry, perhaps he was originally a witch. He rockets the top of the tower into space, perhaps at relativistic speeds so that much less time passes for him than for the people he left behind. He won’t run out of oxygen because the tower produces air and keeps him alive. He realizes what he has done and tries to reverse the course of the tower. Several thousand years pass in Ethshar. Then the tower top crashes back into Ethshar, but the aim is a little off. It crashes in Aldagmor becoming the warlock source in Aldagmor. The “pilot’s” mental cries as he reaches out while crashing attune many to Warlockry in the night of madness. The rest of the Towers are then the Warlock source in Lumeth.

    What then is the Calling? What are the Whispers? I have some further thoughts on those.

  66. Hey, I’m still keeping track here.

    Nice theory. Do you want me to tell you whether or not it bears any resemblance to what actually happened?

    And a quick update: I’m still trying to finish The Summer Palace before working on anything else. I’m roughly halfway through the second draft. The revised The Vondish Ambassador is next on the agenda after The Summer Palace.

  67. Facinating. I’ve always had a suspicion that the Ethshar world was artificial in some sense.

    My pet theory about the Aldagmor Source is that it was an unmanned, alien space probe, with a telepathic AI in command, and that upon landing it began “broadcasting” telepathically on a “frequency” only a limited number of people could attune to. The “offering power” aspect might be accidental, a result of faulty assumptions by aliens so different from humanity they could not predict what would happen. The “Calling” might be when a warlock becomes sufficently attuned that the telepathic message, equivalent to “here I am! Come meet me!” becomes compulsive.

    That wouldn’t explain why the Warlocks never return from Aldagmor, in itself. Perhaps the alien AI is damaged and malfunctioning. Perhaps its actual purpose is to collect human brains that can hear the Call. Who knows, lol 😉

    Wild speculation on my part, for my own amusement.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *