The Final Calling: Progress Report Eighteen

Chapter Eighteen is now online.

I’ve written most of Chapter Twenty-Two.

Chapter Twenty-Two is paid for.

Chapter Nineteen will be posted on Wednesday, October 20.

I’ve been busy with other stuff lately; Realms of Light is nearing publication, and I’ve been going over proofs and attending to other last-minute details. Among other things. But I expect to get more of a buffer built up on The Final Calling soon.

Addendum, 10/14/10: I’ve just posted slightly revised versions of Chapter Eleven, Chapter Sixteen, and Chapter Eighteen. I’ve corrected the Sardironese in Chapter Eleven to match the grammar used in The Blood of a Dragon. Also, I had forgotten to account for Sterren’s luggage in the other two chapters, and have added a few lines to amend that oversight.

30 thoughts on “The Final Calling: Progress Report Eighteen

  1. Our protagonists are gathered in one place at last. It feels like we’re building up to *something*. Another “pull the rug out from under your feet” moment.

    If Zallin were half as smart as he thinks he is, he’d be sucking up to Vond regarding remaining his warlock powers instead of spending time arguing over who’s Chairman.

    I’m beginning to wish that we had Vond as a viewpoint character instead of Sterren. Sterren has grown so cautious that he’s not as interesting anymore. He’s mostly useful for his observations on Vond.

    Hanner continues to be a cool cat. Spot how Hanner got Vond to acknowledge that Hanner is still owner of the house.

    And Rudhira was there too!

  2. Given that Ithinia told Hanner the Wizards’ Guild wanted to reinstate him as Chairman, I wonder if she or other wizards will be annoyed at his ceding that position to Vond as soon as soon as he showed up. Probably not; it’s hard to see how Hanner could do anything else under the circumstances, and as Matthew said above, it was clever of him even to get Vond to concede that the house belonged to him. Presumably he’s planning to stick close to Vond and act as a stabilizing influence on him, as Sterren’s been trying to do — I look forward to their first private conversation (not necessarily just the two of them, but them and zero or more others like Rudhira and Zallin but without Vond). Hanner may have to revise his plans when he learns more about Vond from Sterren.

  3. If you want more details (and possible spoilers) you can take a look at Lawrence’s Discussions and Discursions area. He posts progress reports there with additional info. Be warned; there is definitely behind-the-scenes type stuff there that could be stuff you don’t want to see.

  4. He’s usually pretty good about being cryptic with his progress reports, though.

    The only thing he really gives away is that specific characters are still living in specific chapters. And even there, it could be a flashback, necromancy or whatever. Or even another character with the same name.

  5. By the way, I didn’t get the usual Wednesday email letting me know that a new chapter had been added. Was an email not sent out, or did I just get dropped off the notification list for some reason? (I got emails for the previous chapters.)

  6. The e-mail was sent, and you weren’t dropped, so I’m not sure, but I have a theory. Send me your -mail address and I’ll double-check.

  7. This might be me being excessively picky, but on the Chairmanship of the Council of Warlocks: It seems implied that the Chairmanship went Hanner – Karannin – Zallin (“Before Karannin it was Hanner”; “I was chosen to succeed Karannin”). In The Spell of the Black Dagger, when Sarai’s consulting for help, the new chairman is Vengar, having just taken over from Mavi of Beachgate. There’s also something about how rapidly the Chairmanship turns over because it’s always one of the most powerful warlocks – and therefore close to the Calling.

    I think. I reread it quite recently but have misplaced it right now – I’m sure the names were something along those lines. It was set about 5227, so it could easily have gone Hanner-Karannin-Mavi-Vengar, I guess. And, of course, names get repeated, so it could easily be coincidence that the one before Zallin was also called Karannin, but maybe a different cognomen could be added for the second Karannin to reinforce the difference?

  8. Ah, the problem here is that characters are sloppy in their usage — the chairpersons cited in The Spell of the Black Dagger are the Chairmen of the Council of Warlocks for Ethshar of the Sands, who are not the same as the Chairmen of the Council of Warlocks, who is based in Ethshar of the Spices.

    At least, that’s how I remember it, but I’ll double-check before doing the second draft of The Final Calling.

    (In support of my theory, I’d point out that Beachgate is in Ethshar of the Sands.)

  9. The way it was set up in Night was that there was an overall Council, which set policy and was responsible for all warlocks, and that there were subsidiary Councils which were responsible for their individual cities. At least thats the way I understood it and wiki’d it.

    I had totally missed that they were saying there were only 3 Chairmen of the main Council though. (which is why there is a wiki!) That does seem odd. Even given that Hanner (who definitely wasn’t the most powerful) was Chairman for like 17 years, half the time of the Calling, that seems a little short. Unless they decided to scrap the “Most Powerful as Leader” plan?

    I do have to point out that while Sterren may not be as interesting as Vond he has one feature which makes him a much better point of view character; he’s observant. I doubt that Vond has noticed Rudhira; if he had I’m certain that we’d know.
    Have I mentioned that Rudhira scares me?

  10. >>Have I mentioned that Rudhira scares me?

    Well, she has red hair. So, duh. If she gets her powers back, she’ll probably eat a star or something. Or maybe just go all goth and rip some sketchy dude’s skin off. 🙂

    Okay, probably neither.


  11. I don’t think she’ll eat a star, but beyond that, no promises.

    I know only three Chairmen seems unlikely, but I didn’t want to be bothered working out a whole long list. People have asked me whether I work differently when writing a serial than I do ordinarily, and this may be an example — if I weren’t concerned about staying ahead of the weekly deadlines, I might’ve taken time to come up with a longer list.

    As it is, I may make the list longer in the second draft.

    And as long as I’m here, I want to mention an odd thing that happened this morning.

    I get comment spam. I get a lot of comment spam, typically a couple of dozen comments a day that I reject. Usually they’re easy to spot because they have nothing to do with the discussion, they often read as if they’re written by someone for whom English is not his first language, and they invariably include a link to some irrelevant website, since the whole point, of course, is to advertise that website, and to bump up its google position by increasing the number of active links to it.

    The thing is, today I got one where the actual content was about Ethshar. The link wasn’t, and the comment was in an old, dormant discussion, so I killed it, but I’m trying to figure out how it happened.

    My best guess is that the comment was copied from elsewhere on the blog, but I didn’t recognize it. I’d hate to think that a real Ethshar fan is a spammer.

    Anyone remember a comment on The Vondish Ambassador about herbalists maybe being a subset of scientists?

  12. I don’t remember that comment, but I doubt that following it up will get you anywhere.

    My guess is that there’s some spam software (maybe a bot running on a botnet) that tries to get past spam filters by using text that was already successfully posted on a specific blog site. That can be done in an automated fashion.

    A lot of people’s machines are ending up in botnets these days because people accidentally download and run Trojans and don’t have proper security software. The owners of the infected machines usually don’t know that their machines are being used to spam.

    Meanwhile, the spam software keeps getting more sophisticated.

    It’s the work of Northern sorcerors, I tell you. The wrath of any gods that may hear on all of them. 🙂


  13. Do I sound like a spambot then? English is certainly not my first language 🙂 Although I understand what you mean. I believe that is also a measure to bypass counterspam software.

  14. No, your English is just fine. Spambots say stuff like “I to thank you for this amazing article .I by all odds favored every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your web site to see at the latest stuff you add.”

    I don’t see how that would help bypass anti-spam measures, but maybe it does.

  15. …..”Presumably he’s planning to stick close to Vond and act as a stabilizing influence on him, as Sterren’s been trying to do”….. I do not see that happening for either character; Sterren’s going to ditch as soon as possible and I believe that Hanner will deal with Vond only if it means saving lives. Hanner was at best a reluctant warlock, running things in order to save lives after the Night of Madness and Sterren just wants to get back to his family. I mean yeah Hanner and Sterren talking might be interesting OR it might seem a lot like the way Gresh dealt with Tobas in SM. Tobas is a much beloved character but what LWE was able to do was illustrate how a less sympathetic narrator (Gresh’s viewpoint) could make him look less likable. Ok, Hanner has to get Sterren alone, how likely is that? Sterren knows a bunch of stuff that will get him killed, how likely is it that he would trust a de-powered warlock? A conversation might be neat but sometimes protagonists do not always mesh.

  16. Hullvald: Obviously you and I will find out in a few days (or weeks), but I don’t think Sterren is actually going to ditch Vond as soon as he can. Sure, he’s *telling himself* now that he’s going to ditch, but recall that’s also what he was thinking in _The Unwilling Warlord_, and he didn’t then. Of course, it’s different when you have a family to care for (which he does), but I don’t think it’s a stretch for him to decide that he’ll be helping his family more if he can prevent Vond from getting out of control, rather than hiding with them.

  17. Probably, even if he were able to extricate himself he may end up “getting pulled back in (a la Godfather 3).” Innyhoo, we’ll both see soon enough.

  18. “It’s the work of Northern sorcerors, I tell you.”

    Well, that would explain why sorcery incantations sound almost but not quite like real words…clearly, they’re trying to get past the metaphysical spam filters of the universe!

  19. There’s a theory running around that Sorcery is high-tech… I’m dying to ask if that’s true but it seems like that’d be a bit of a spoiler to answer unless the answer is unambigously “no.”

  20. Bad choice of words on my part; sorry. By “incantation,” I meant the command phrases certain talismans have that sound suspiciously like corruptions of commands one might give a technological device. (“‘Pau’ron … yz’raksis nyuyz’r”–“Power On, User Access: New User.”)

    Sorry for phrasing it so badly.

  21. Next chapter, coming up!

    I’ve been looking forward to Wednesday for the last few weeks. Serial novels rock. Did you know that people used to line up at the docks in New York for the next installment on Charles Dicken’s stories?

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