The Final Calling/The Unwelcome Warlock: Progress Report Thirty-Three

Chapter Thirty-Three is now online. I’m still planning to post new chapters twice a week if the money comes in that fast, but right now there’s only one more chapter paid for. We’re only about halfway to Chapter Thirty-Five,

We’re paid through Chapter Thirty-Four, which will be posted Saturday, January 22nd.

The first draft is complete, though I’m still tweaking bits here and there and haven’t ruled out adding a short epilogue.

I haven’t started the second draft, but Wildside says they’re sending my agent a contract.

24 thoughts on “The Final Calling/The Unwelcome Warlock: Progress Report Thirty-Three

  1. Well that was a twist I didn’t expect, I thought the woman who came out earlier was going to the wizards to buy a Spell of Invaded Dreams to warn Hannar as he slept inside the refuge.

  2. She went to try. This is one of the cool things about LWE’s stories; life goes on for everyone, people don’t put themselves on hold because someone else is doing something.

    So many interesting possibilities how this turns out. This seems a little like a miniature version of how the great war started.

  3. Interesting discussion about the tapestry. It would have to be less specific since it is an outdoor scene.

    Also, it is possible that they make an exception for travelers. We have often seen two people use them at once. In theory, the first one to teleport would block then 2nd.

    Another option would be that there is a delay in the process. It feels instant, but the person actually takes say 5 minutes to travel. This would mean that soldiers could use the tapestry for 5 minutes after the first one touched the tapestry. After that, the scene would have changed since the first one would have arrived in the refuge. This assumes that the check is made when they touch the tapestry rather than looking 5 mins into the future.

    The spell does seem to have tried to pick a target that doesn’t change much that matched the scene.

  4. To: Stephen M (Ethesis)

    Oh, it could be wrapped up quickly enough. Somebody kills Vond, the castle falls to the ground, some people die, and life goes on after the appropriate repairs. (Hey, maybe one of the other Hegemony cities will take the opportunity to invade! I always thought they got along unreasonably well, given the timespans involved.)

    Mind you, I’m not sure I would consider that ending very satisfying.

    I felt a little annoyed at the end of this chapter that yet another of Vond’s moves seems to have gone off just as he intended. Everything seems to go his way. Oh well, I’m sure he’ll get his by the end.

  5. You know, I always wondered if wizardry would work properly in an off-world place that a transporting tapestry created or linked to. And then I realized, duh, if magic didn’t work then the tapestry wouldn’t be able to link to it. So although it’s possible to create a world where warlocky doesn’t work, it would be impossible to create a world where wizardry didn’t work. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

  6. knowan: Obviously I’m not the expert, but my guess is that it would be possible to create a world where wizardry didn’t work, so a return tapestry wouldn’t work. That’s why the smart wizards send apprentices through a new tapestry first 🙂

  7. I’m not the expert either, but we’ve seen tapestries transport people into no-wizardry zones — there’s the one that targetted the fallen castle in ‘With a Single Spell’.

    If you wanted a world where wizardry didn’t work, you could presumably do it by creating the world as normal, going through the tapestry and then casting Ellran’s Dissipation with a sufficiently large radius. Getting out afterwards is up to you. Bring a high-level theurgist and hope that they can invoke Asham in a tapestry world?

  8. Here is the thing, if some of the Warlock’s were so inclined they are already in the woods, not hanging out in the tapestry arrival zone. Vond will never be able to be certain he has evicted Everyone from Hanner’s Refuge.

  9. Matthew — since it has been wrapped up, I’m sure it can be wrapped up, I just have not the slightest idea of how he is going to do it.

    I had a lot of thoughts about how things were going to go, or could go, or might go. I expected more of a romance between Rudhira and our protagonist. I was really hoping (though not expecting) a connection between sorcerers and warlocks, where warlocks became powered by talismans (with, obviously, greatly reduced power limits, but they could take their power with them through gates like this), for Vond to be transformed in a different direction, and who knows what else.

    Our author usually doesn’t do quick wraps, consider the Spriggan Mirror.

    At this point, I’m still completely uncertain about what he is going to do. It is unsettling.

    Glad I paid for my book, glad that the contract came through and the novel is finished. Probably going to pay for a second book up front.

    But I’m completely at sea at the moment, unlike earlier in the novel or the way I was with other books.

  10. It would have been really neat for Vond to learn how to read tapestry magic (just as he learned to read other high level wizardry).

    At present, since Vond’s real desire is to be a hedonist and otherwise ignore the world, I expect him to be caught in an illusion spell or something — or would except LWE has not telegraphed that, and he usually foreshadows things. I’m still trying to wrap together the foreshadowing threads I’ve seen.

    But there are so few chapters left. Only seven more.

  11. Yeah, I am kind of wondering still where this is going to go. There has been a lot of back and forth with this novel that I was not expecting. Do not get me wrong, it is very, very cool to see how this is all going to end but I am surprised that it took this long to get where we are finally going to go. I am guessing that b/c so many other novels directly preceded this one that a lot loose ends need to be taken care of. I cannot fault the author’s thoroughness.

  12. I got a question. Zallin seems to have done a 180 from his earlier stance-wanting nothing to do with a powerful killer and now wanting his magic back. I am guessing that a) when he was expressing regrets that that was the booze talking or b) this is something that will be corrected in re-write.

  13. He wants his magic back, but he doesn’t like what Vond’s doing. I probably will make it clearer and smoother in rewrite, but his behavior also gets more attention in Chapter Thirty-Eight.

  14. I see Vonds arrogance. I see his violence, but they do lie to him about the workings of the tapestries. He could potentially be reasonable if they were honest. They could, for example, trade the exit tapestry for one that comes out in a different location.

    But the fun in the serial is that we don’t really know what is going to happen – that sweet anticipation.

    People used to line up at the docks in New York and Boston awaiting Charles Dickin’s next installment in his serial novels.

    One wonders why they haven’t gotten out the petrification spell as soon as he puts the palace down. BAM! (as they got Hanner’s uncle.)

  15. You have to face your target to cast the petrification spell. Facing Vond is not something to be taken lightly.


  16. Well I think what LWE has been trying to show with Vond is what French film makers call a “Nuit Clos” which transliterates as “No Exit” but what it means basically is Vond is trapped by his own arrogance. If he were kinder, people would rally to him or at least would trust him more but he does all these things that force people to want to destroy him because no one trusts him. The whole process being fed by his ego. This is going to end badly for Vond. It simply cannot end with him not imprisoned or dead. If he’s lucky he will end up in a tapestry world.

  17. I disagree that Vond is unrestrainable. Sure, within the limits others, (Ithinia) have created that’s true- but that’s other’s arrogance as much as Vond’s. Vond’s original restraint was the council of warlocks. It was only when Vond went outside their radius of control that he started expressing his meglomania. Restore the many-on-one-rogue aspect of the council and the problems restraining Vond aren’t that big at all.

    As for whether Vond or other warlocks are a threat to the towers that seems like an easy question for a theurgist to answer; the gods are conversant in how sorcery works. Even though they can’t recreate the towers a specialized god like Unniel should be able to answer questions about them.

    Here’s a strange thought; we know warlock’s power comes from redirecting energy from an outside source. We further know that the type an source of usable energy is determined by the existance and shape of the warlock’s Ursettor Fwal. Warlocks can give power to others, as demonstrated with powering witches. Finally, the use of warlockry isn’t tiring. Would Vond be able to tune warlocks to regain their power, but only off a power feed he provided?

  18. The problem is that a warlock is capable of modifying his brain.

    If Vond tried that, he would be giving the recipient their warlockry back. This means that they could change their brain to draw directly from the towers.

    He is unlikely to be able to modify their brains so that they can only do certain things. That would require an understanding of how a brain works.

    All it would take is one warlock in his presence to see how he does it.

    He might get away with it, if he can shield his brain from their scans and so nobody else could figure out the changes.

    Alternatively, maybe he could create a shield in the recipient’s brain that protects the modified part of the brain. This could be auto-powered like Vond’s own shields.

    Assuming that breaking it required enough power, this would prevent any changes without drawing enough power from Vond to alert him to the tampering. He could instantly power down that warlock.

  19. Stephen M (Ethesis): The feeding of power would be the apotheosis. Every bit of power he uses makes him more powerful, every bit of power they use passes through him- making him more powerful. I’d imagine there’s a point where his ability increase his power is going to run up against his ability to find more things to do at once, feeding power through multiple warlocks, however, is something that doesn’t take any creativity or thought on his part. As he obtains godlike power his sensitivity to the forces of the universe skyrockets…

    raphfrk: I was thinking about the possibility of them tuning to something else, but all he has to do is find a way to shield them from the Towers. It doesn’t matter what they try there’s nothing for them to tune to.

    Actually, come to that, I’m a little surprised he decided to make his stand in Warlock House rather than move to Lumeth now that he’s made clear that he doesn’t feel bound by the Guild and feels they’ve entered a state of war.

  20. Okay, so how could this all play out?

    The palace needs to be somehow secured. Varrin’s Greater Propulsion could do that, but she’d have to do it quietly. Vond could presumably still throw the palace around even if it were flying. (And then there’s his ability to “unweave” magic to consider–has Sterren even told anyone else about that? I’d be surprised if it doesn’t come back into the story somehow.)

    Vond needs to be somehow neutralized. Right now, the most likely-seeming possibility is that he somehow gets tricked into entering the tapestry, and then trapped. Of course, there’s no guarantee that “the most likely-seeming possibility” is what will actually happen.

    It would be nice to see some closure to Hanner and Rudhira’s relationship…not absolutely necessary, maybe, but satisfying. Likewise, it would be good to find out what’s become of Sterren–I really doubt that LWE would send him off and then leave him hanging; I suspect that he’s pursuing a solution of his own. After all, he was the one who successfully plotted to eliminate Vond the first time around…

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