The Final Calling: Progress Report Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Seven is now online.

I’m $39.61 short of paying for Chapter Twenty-Eight.

The writing’s gotten a bit weird. I’m nominally writing Chapter Thirty-Three, but it’s running very long, and there’s a natural break-point a few pages back, so I’m thinking I may actually be writing either Chapter Thirty-Four or Chapter Thirty-Five — I might either just split this one, or split it and then insert one from another viewpoint between the two halves.

I’m already well over 100,000 words, which was my original target for the finished book.

I don’t know how many chapters it will be; every time I make an estimate, the confounded thing gets longer. My best guess is thirty-six to forty, but I wouldn’t put too much faith in that. I’m going to write until it’s done, then stop, however long that may be.

(Yes, I do know where I’m going. It’s just taking longer to get there than I expected.)

As mentioned in my previous post, the fine folks at Wildside Press don’t think The Final Calling is a grabber title for readers who don’t already know what the Calling is. Therefore, we’re looking for a new, catchier title, and so far the leading contender is Allen Dobkin’s suggestion, The Unwelcome Warlock.

I won’t be re-titling the serial, though — that would be too confusing. It stays The Final Calling, but I’m warning everyone here and now that the finished book may well be called something else.

Guess that’s everything for this week. Hope everyone’s surviving the harsh weather that seems to be hitting pretty much everywhere.

Addendum: Noon Thursday: It’s snowing.

Chapter Twenty-Eight is now paid for, and will be posted on Wednesday, December 22nd, but not at the usual two-minutes-after-midnight, give or take. I’m picking someone on a late flight up at the airport that night, so I won’t be able to upload the files until I get back; depending on weather, traffic, and other variables, it could easily be 4:00 a.m. before I have a chance to post it.

My apologies for the inconvenience.

16 thoughts on “The Final Calling: Progress Report Twenty-Seven

  1. Excellent chapter, I am glad to be vindicated Vond is a lot smarter than the Wizards had assumed he is.

    I can see Hanner doubting himself as he always does, however if the house was left in the care of the Council of Warlocks specifically for his Children to inherit then he is on firm ground claiming ownership. Not only that he would be justified claiming rent for all the years after his Children matured that the council stayed on without providing them support and/or fair value for the use of the mansion.

    Thank you for having former Warlock’s in residence on the 3rd floor, certainly by the time of this chapter those who do not want to seek the refuge world but who have not yet found a new place in the modern Ethshar will be numerous enough to fill most of the house even at 2 per room. By my guest room count there are 10 on the second 12 on the third and 3 available on the fourth floor so a max comfortable filling with 50 Warlock’s plus whomever is staying in Vond’s suite and the servant bedrooms on the first floor.

    I hope Kirris is smart enough to escape, the plan is an abysmal failure and she is now at grave risk of being killed by Vond. Sterren better make certain he is invisible to Vond as well, revenge is always a possibility and I like the character too much to want to see him or his family destroyed by a vengeful Vond.

  2. The Unwelcome Warlock definitely has a nice ring–it’s got the same alliterative feel as With A Single Spell.

    The Wizards’ Guild comes across as just plain BAD at getting rid of powerful and unorthodox spellcasters, don’t they? Of course, we don’t hear about all of the successful removals, beyond the fact that enemies of the guild tend to have accidents. I wonder if, when news of the plan’s failure reaches the Guild, someone will throw Tabaea in their face as a reminder?

    The last line is interesting. Foreshadowing? I wonder…

  3. How about The Warlocks Return.

    Also, I like the way the story is developing. I’m curious if we’ll ever find out more about the cult of demerchan? Where they come from and stuff like that?

    Lastly, is it desireable for warlockery to be eliminated? From what we saw of Vond eariler he’s actually perceving the underlayers of reality. We noticed this with the tower of flame and again at lumeth. I’m betting that someone somewhere would find this a useful skill at some point. Not Vond per say…but someone.

  4. Nobody knows that Kirris is a witch. Ofc, they could go person by person and ask about the return from the Source.

    She may be able to make it so that the person sent to check the room doesn’t think of opening the wardrobe.

    OTOH, Vond may drop down to his room and do a quick scan. Her best protection may be that he thinks that the wizard’s guild did it from a distance using a spell.

  5. I really like that Vond was basically right, even if he got the details wrong. Too often in fiction it’s one extreme or the other, where a character is either a blockhead who misses the obvious or Sherlock Holmes.

    I wonder if Vond will destroy the tapestry that leads to the Refuge. It hardly seems necessary, and he’s putting a lot of effort into thinking rationally and calmly at the moment. I wonder if the tapestry was destroyed, would that destroy the world on the other side of the Refuge. There’s never been a clear answer on whether the tapestries create neew worlds or merely access them. (I guess if a former warlock showed back up, that would answer the question.)

  6. Even it the tapestry creates new worlds (which I assume to be the case), there’s no particular reason that destroying the tapestry should destroy the world.

    Kill me, and it won’t have any effect on this comment. My creation isn’t me.

    Destroy Wirikidor or whatever it’s called and that won’t make 86 or whatever people suddenly return to life.

    Kill a wizard and a bunch of people don’t undream stuff.

    Destroy a tapestry that created a world and…

  7. I think there’s another good reason to believe destroying the Tapestry won’t destroy the world:

    The possibility would certainly have occurred to the wizards who use the things, and they would have found a way to test it. Think about it: would YOU want to spend significant time in a world that could be completely unmade by a pair of scissors, a hungry moth, or a clumsy maid? Would you spend time there if you were even moderately unsure?

    The fact that they continue to make use of the tapestries indicates that they have reason to believe that it’s reasonably safe–the destruction of the Tapestry leading into the new world would be incredibly inconvenient and costly, but wouldn’t be the end of the world (literally OR metaphorically) and wouldn’t prevent them from returning via the return tapestry.

  8. A most excellent chapter. I have to admit, Vonds reaction wasn’t at all what I was expecting, and the novel just took another twist (at least for me).

    As for the title, I seem to like things with End in the title. Something like The Warlock’s End. Although The Unwelcome Warlock is good too, and a play on a previous book’s title in this series.

  9. Matthew said: “I wonder if Vond will destroy the tapestry that leads to the Refuge.”

    Personally, I think Vond is far too recently (his perspective, bolstered by the effectiveness of the dream in this chapter) returned from trying to escape the Calling to view the tapestry and the world to which it leads as anything but another possible resource he may want to/need to use. He may be arrogant, but he certainly isn’t dumb. He will want any potentially useful thing/person/situation to be easily at hand, so long as it doesn’t endanger, bore, or annoy him.

  10. Actually, having Vond or Sterren visit the Refuge would be an interesting experiment given that they have differently-attuned ursettors fwal from other (former) warlocks.

  11. On the one hand the tapestry is a threat to Vond as it will neutralise his powers. OTOH, if the guild is going to kill him otherwise, then it is a way out.

    If they do end up going with the push him through the tapestry to deal with him plan, then that traps quite a few former warlocks in the other world.

    Also, if he destroys the gateway to the other world, then they would have to decide if they wish to return.

    Ofc, it could end up as a negotiated settlement with Vond agreeing to leave in exchange for them not killing him.

  12. raphfrk, John Dalbec makes an excellent point. The source in Lumeth that Vond is drawing from is different from the Aldagmor source was, and we do not yet know if something similar exists in the world beyond Hanner’s tapestry. It’s quite possible that Vond’s sort of warlockry may well work, albeit at a possibly reduced scale, on that side. I don’t suppose that it’s as strong as the Lumeth source or Hanner would likely have heard the buzzing that returned warlocks did in Vond.

  13. The Unexpected Return

    The Known Unknowns

    The Growing Evidence That Ethshar Is A Space Prison

    @raphfrk: I don’t follow. We know that (some) wizard spells work across worlds, so we have no reason to believe they can’t just send Fendel’s Assassin to kill him on the other side of the tapestry. Nor do we have any reason to think they’d refrain since, as you point out, the alternate plan of trapping him would more seriously inconvenience a lot of other people. I’d also give a high probability to someone from Demerchan lurking in the village world.

  14. I mean that if the tapestry is available, he can offer to leave in exchange for being allowed to live. If he destroys it, then that option is off the table.

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