The Final Calling: Progress Report Twelve

Chapter Eleven is now online.

I’m midway through writing Chapter Eighteen.

The serial’s paid for through Chapter Eighteen.

Chapter Twelve will be posted Wednesday, September 1.

Life should be a little less hectic after tomorrow — at least, until I leave on September 13th for a two-week trip.

35 thoughts on “The Final Calling: Progress Report Twelve

  1. Nice chapter! I have a question, though. It was said, that dragons were made by wizards during the Great War, and now there is mizagar, so the question is, how did they make it. Didthey use wizardry, or sorcery, or demonology? And what other artificial creatures are there? And also, what kind of spells are necessary to create a powerful sentient creature like the dragon, anyways? Are these spells still available?

  2. Both sides in the Great War had magical techniques that have since been lost, especially the Northern Empire. Offhand, I can’t think of any creatures the Northerners invented other than shatra and mizagars, but I may be forgetting something. Shatra involved both sorcery and demonology; I think mizagars were straight sorcery.

    I would guess that some of the spells that were used in creating dragons are still around, while others have been lost. It took several spells, same as creating Wirikidor did.

  3. Have they moved outside the agreed border with the dragons? They probably should have agreed an exact line.

    If I was there I would pretend to be from one of the 2 Ethshars that transportation is being provided. Better a guaranteed return to civilisation than hoping that they figure something out.

    Also, I like the way the wizard wouldn’t admit that they didn’t have a tapestry available for the Spices (or at least couldn’t locate a wizard to provide one).

  4. I’m surprised that Hanner didn’t take the opportunity to ask after his own tapestry. That pre-made empty village in a tropical climate might be a good place to put the former warlocks.

  5. >>Ok, so if Notherners invented both shatra and mizagars, why is it only shatra are in italics?

    Maybe because shatra were so feared that people only dared whisper their name?


  6. And are the italics merely an indication that the word is of foreign origin? If not, what is the reason behind them? I’d always wondered.

  7. The wizard would probably just tell Hanner that they left it with the Council, if he knew about it at all.

    Having said that, the combination of his tapestry and the one already in the village would give a link to Ethshar of the Spices (and as you say, an entirely new world to farm). It would mean that it does end up as a warlock’s refuge.

  8. I infer that the method the wizards say they’ll provide about an hour hence for getting to Grandgate barracks in Ethshar of the Sands is the one that was given to Tobas of Telven in The Spell of the Black Dagger, and that we’ll probably see Tobas arriving on his flying carpet with the tapestry in two more chapters. To get the Grandgate tapestry out of the otherworldly castle, though, he’d need another tapestry in the castle itself — probably one pointing to his home in Dwomor, which he acquired after The Spriggan Mirror. ISTR that he was going to get such a tapestry as his reward for helping find and disable the mirror.

    It seems odd that there would be no extant tapestry pointing to Ethshar of the Spices; most likely all the tapestries available are either in other worlds, and would need to be temporarily replaced there by other tapestries pointing into Ethshar to free them for use in Aldagmor, or are pointing to places so private (a wizard’s workshop, for instance) that their owner is unwilling to lend them for this purpose and have troop hundreds or thousands of ex-warlocks trooping through their home. Or, the tapestry spell being so fragile, maybe the Guild has had bad luck lately with all of the tapestries pointing to public places in Ethshar of the Spices getting damaged or the place they point to being changed beyond sufficient similarity within the last year or two.

  9. Speaking of tapestries and the Warlock’s refuge, it just occurred to me as interesting that a world called the Warlock’s Refuge contains a village where the prior inhabitants had been (seemingly) called away by an unknown force.


  10. Yes, the italics just indicate that it’s a different language. I haven’t decided whether “mizagar” is the Northern word, or the Ethsharitic name.

    Regarding tapestries, yes, Tobas got his own tapestry and gave back the Grandgate one a few years earlier.

    And as Jim guessed, there are lots of tapestries that go to Ethshar of the Spices, but they all come out in private places. Or they’re in the possession of people who aren’t willing to loan them out, or are simply too far away to have arrived yet.

    As for Hanner’s tapestry, the Guild doesn’t have possession of it.

  11. Editorial question, in reading through the chapter the second time the conversation between the Wizards and Hanner caught my attention because it says “on behalf of Azrad the Seventh” instead of saying “on behalf of Azrad VII” which is spoken as Azrad the Seventh despite the way it is written.

    I would have to dig through past books which are packed and moved right now to see if you consistently put Azrad VI in earlier novels for this Overlord’s Father, but I am fairly certain you did except when you were using nicknames and family conversations.

    This was a good chapter and puts the Wizard’s Guild in a much better light than the last one, though one wonders how much of that is to please the Overlord’s and the general public who have relatives who were called. Some of those relatives will undoubtedly be influential people, like Hanner’s sister who is probably chief Steward for Azrad VII by this time in history. I would not be the least surprised if Mavi and the children are living in the Palace in her apartments as close kin to the Steward, it is rather the same situation as Hanner and his sisters growing up in Lord Faran’s apartments.

  12. Well, this is how copy editors earn their pay. I don’t remember what the rules are for VII vs. Seventh.

    (Incidentally, Azrad VI, a.k.a. Azrad the Sedentary, has only appeared in Night of Madness; he was dead, and Azrad VII in power, by the time of With A Single Spell, The Unwilling Warlord, and the rest.)

    Oh, and good catch on Hanner’s sister being Lady of the Household.

  13. always wondered what the process is for creating a half demon i.e. a shatra
    also why was the South unable to make half god warriors

  14. >>Gods and demons aren’t as interchangeable as that.

    You do mention “saints” in MISENCHANTED as being something that couldn’t happen after the end of war (if I remember correctly). I assumed they were somehow analogous to Shatra. Not that it’s that important.


  15. Oops, actually the word in MISENCHANTED is “prophet”:

    >>there can be no more prophets, no more shatra, no more night-roaming demons, …

    (Thanks to “Search inside this book” on Amazon.)


  16. In a Biblical sense Prophets were people who could predict what God was going to do in the future, so if the gods have withdrawn it would make sense Prophecy would become a lost art.

  17. >In a Biblical sense Prophets were people who could predict what God was
    >going to do in the future, so if the gods have withdrawn it would make
    >sense Prophecy would become a lost art.

    True. My point was that there were individuals that had some kind of direct connection to the divine (prophets), just as there were those with a direct connection to the demonic (the shatra). Creating or becoming either appears to be impossible after the War.

    I’m not saying that prophets were “good” shatra, just that they were in a sense analogous.


  18. > Speaking of tapestries and the Warlock’s refuge, it
    > just occurred to me as interesting that a world called
    > the Warlock’s Refuge contains a village where the prior
    > inhabitants had been (seemingly) called away by an
    > unknown force.

    It is unclear if the spell creates the other reality or merely links to a pre-existing location.

    The wizards did do a check to see if the air was breathable and also if the grass was toxic (involving using an apprentice as guinea pig).

    Assuming an infinite universe, there would be lots of places which matches a given picture. The spell probably chooses the one closes matches where the tapestry is.

    However, the fact that the apprentice did the checks, shows that sometimes the target is actually dangerous.

    I wonder if many wizards have died when trying to create their own mini-world. Maybe they have a spell to create a bubble so that they can go to the target of the tapestry without breathing the air. Alternatively, maybe they view that as one of the uses for apprentices.

    However, even if they had protections, they could arrive and the gravity is massive or something.

  19. prophets in the general usage of the word human beings that are given messages from God or the Gods. Shatra are not human. They are some sort of hybrid of human and demonic. So I don’t think the two are analgous

  20. Raphfrk: I wondered something similar in the guestbook (I hope it’s OK to copy/paste this rather than just linking back — if not, please accept my apologies and delete this post.)

    Saturday, May 08, 2010, 9:39:53 PM

    I wonder how many apprentices get lost testing transporting tapestries like the one in “The Warlock’s Refuge”. (Actually, I bet it’s a small number, because most people rich enough to buy or skilled enough to create transporting tapestries make ones which just travel between places in the “World”).

    Saturday, May 08, 2010, 9:55:54 PM

    Some do get lost that way — not very many, though.

    Hmm… might be some story potential in that.

  21. Sorry for the multiple test posts (well if this one posts).

    I’m just testing if 🙂 or the word spoiler causes the software to auto-moderate.

  22. Hmm, there must be something about this topic :). This is the first half of a rewrite of the missing post.

    This gives some spoilers about future chapters. There are many cryptic statements about some event that occurred in particular chapters.

    There is also a comment that there is an estimated 35 chapters in the book (with 25 being the absolute minimum).

  23. Okay, I don’t know what happened to the missing posts; they aren’t in the moderation queue.

    I do have a fairly extensive blacklist of words, phrases, and IP addresses that will get a post killed without my ever seeing it — you have no idea how much comment spam I get! But I try to not put anything on that list that might legitimately come up in a discussion here. “Spoiler” is definitely NOT on the list, nor are smilies.

    One thing to watch for is running words together; a lot of spammer domain names are otherwise-harmless words run together, like “livesex” or “freedownloads,” and those DO go on the list.

  24. Bah, narrowing in on the offending line:

    There is also a comment that there is an estimated 35 chapters in the book (with 25 being the absolute minimum).

    This gives around 6 more months of updates, but in previous serials. the final chapters are posted once all the chapters have been paid for.

  25. More narrowing down :), sorry. This will be the last one (well if it posts).

    Guess not.

    Hmm, I am wondering if the original problem was that my posts were to long.

  26. There’s not supposed to be any limit on comment length.

    Once I get the first draft finished, I’ll be willing to post more than one chapter a week. Right now, that’s still several chapters off.

  27. Well, I found the trigger line, but still can’t get it past the filter even with lots of * characters added :).

    It has the words t*hread, d*iscussions, p*ost and s*ite. The combination might be what set the filter off. Anyway, I think I will stop spamming now :).

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