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

Chapter Thirty-Five is now online. This is, once again, the last chapter that’s paid for; Chapter Thirty-Six is only about 20% paid for.

If the other 80% comes in, I’ll post Chapter Thirty-Six on Saturday, January 29th. If not, I’ll post Chapter Thirty-Six when the money does come in.

The first draft is complete, including a short epilogue that will be a free extra, if and when Chapter Forty is posted.

Nothing new on rewriting or contracts.

30 thoughts on “The Unwelcome Warlock/The Final Calling: Progress Report Thirty-Five

  1. But where the first man, the one Sidor called Kolar, had been steady on his feet, and was now looking around at his surroundings with interest, this new arrival stumbled, dropped his sword, then fell to his knees, gasping.

    A moment later the warlock was back on his feet, unsteady but brushing … He started walking slowly down the slope, moving like someone who had almost forgotten how to walk.
    “Hai!” Vond called, his voice oddly weak. Hanner realized he must have used his magic to amplify his voice so often that he had trouble speaking loudly without it. …

    How much longer would it be before Vond would have killed himself coming into the Refuge?

    On the other hand, how much of the body can a warlock allow to atrophy like this? If you can magically assist the circulation of your blood you don’t technically need a heart. Removing impurities and infections (things we’ve seen other warlocks do) obviates the need for the liver and kidneys… Atom-level manipulation would allow a warlock to bypass the need for lungs and digestive systems allowing a very, very, powerful warlock to effectively become a brain in a jar (or telekinitic bubble) and live… How much of this is Vond already doing without even realizing it?

  2. “Why would Vond smash anything?” one of the other soldiers asked, but everyone else ignored him.

    Probably the funniest line of the last few chapters.

    At this point, I’m expecting that Ithinia will indeed block the return tapestry by modifying the attic — whether she’d destroy it completely I don’t know; I think she’d more likely to make some reversible change to its appearance, and then decide what to do next after getting more information via some divination or talking with Hanner in a dream or something. She’s probably not going to let anyone out of the tapestry world until she learns that Vond is dead. By her oath, she can’t kill Vond directly, but if his mercenaries find out that they can’t return to the World as long as Vond remains alive, then Vond isn’t going to live another five minutes.

    Or she might think it safer to destroy the attic at once, and maybe send in another return tapestry later on if Hanner (via Invaded Dreams) tells someone that Vond is dead and that he wants to sell his house in exchange for a new return tapestry.

    I’m also wondering about Sterren. There are only a few chapters left, and he was too major a character in the early chapters not to have at least a minor role in the climax. If the wizards know that he’s a low-powered warlock, and I think it’s been implied that they do, they might want to exile him in the tapestry world too — perhaps under the pretense of sending him to deliver a message to Vond or to his mercenaries?

  3. I doubt the wizards care about Sterren being a warlock, he’s not a threat he doesn’t want power and his true name is known.

    A big part of what makes Vond so hard for wizards to deal with is that no one seems to know his true name. I could even imagine a continuing Warlock’s guild being allowed if they were required to help police each other, avoid the forbidden zone, to give their true name, and to take some binding oaths similar to what an apprentice wizard takes.

    I don’t think Ithinia will simply destroy the attic, she doesn’t seem the type to take an irreversible action when a reversable one will do.

  4. Again, we have the mention of Lethe, just as a reminder that the character is there–I wonder what the resolution will be?

  5. I still don’t see dealing with Vond as being the end all of the story. There are all the other former warlocks wondering around- any one of which recreates the problem. At least a hundred of the most willing to take a risk to get their power back are south of the Towers and getting headaches… Plus guys like Zallin. Sure, Vond’s a lightning rod. He’s made himself an easy lightning rod to strike because of his antisocial tendencies… but he’s not the whole problem and the Guild don’t deserve to wipe out warlockry entirely that easily.

  6. The main problem with the Guild terminating Sterren is that Sterren is ostensibly the best ruler for the Empire. Stability in the region is pretty important, and so far, Sterren has shown impeccable judgement in staying the heck away from building his warlock powers. The Guild may not shy away from toppling rulers, but I’d bet that the decision to take Sterren out would be sufficiently difficult to agree upon that it would die in committee. Easier to wait and see than act, and all that.

  7. I guess it’s just that we haven’t seen much from her handling adversity the way Sterren has in the various novels. You may well have a lot of reasons for thinking she is superior to Sterren, but we can’t see what’s in your head. Sterren has been more active plot-wise, and seems to have handled things well.

    I was just supposing that the Guild might be less reactionary to Sterren’s presence given his past discretion and good judgement. After all, he was allowed to stay in Vond, when no other warlock was given that option. That seems to indicate that the Guild thinks sufficiently favorably towards him that they would be less likely to just take him out. Perhaps I am gauging the Guild’s opinions of the current situation a bit too generously.

  8. I do not think Sterren will re-appear either. Unless there’s some sort of wrap-up scene (like at the end of Vondish Ambassador), which I doubt. His story arc is over. If the Guild learns of Vond’s entrance into the Tapestry, I do not doubt that they will neutralize the guards, (either by bribing them off or bringing their own soldiers), block the exit and then go inside and deal directly with Vond. Entering the tapestry was a major mistake. If the magicians of Ethshar do not trap him when they have the chance, they deserve what happens to them. An interesting idea, I think would be for the Guild to hire (maybe Geas them all) Vond’s guards to keep him in the Tapestry world and allow everyone else to come and go as they please.

  9. As to Sterren and his possible return, I don’t know if it will become important, but he probably has enough information to determine Vond’s true name, with the aid of divinations of some kind.

    He knows that Vond was present when the Wizards Guild appeared via Fissure to intervene at Warlock House. He also knows that Vond was apprenticed soon thereafter based on the impression that the warlocks made on him at the time.

    There were probably a number of boys of the right age in the area, but with a little research, it seems likely that his identity could be deduced.


  10. There were probably a number of boys of the right age in the area, but with a little research, it seems likely that his identity could be deduced.

    The question there is how good are Ethsharatic population records? It’s not like kids in Ethshar are born in hospitals and we’ve seen no indication of a centralized birth/death record. There are records of apprenticeships, probably kept in Warlock House… which seems somehow less than convenient.

  11. I can’t see Sterren’s story being completed–not so much because he’s absolutely integral to the story, as because it’s not like LWE to simply have a character wander off in the middle of the story and never be mentioned again. It also seems extremely out of character for Sterren. After all, we’re talking about a man whose sense of responsibility led him to try to fight an unwinnable war for a kingdom that had abducted him at swordpoint, and later led him to accept a crown he absolutely did not want. I suppose it’s possible that he’s changed enough to say “Heck with it, I give up, it’s somebody else’s problem now,” but again, I don’t think LWE would let changes that significant happen entirely off-camera and leave us to infer them.

  12. >The question there is how good are Ethsharatic population records?

    I was thinking more of consulting a wizard’s spell or god with a question like, “Which of the boys present at this time and place were apprenticed to warlocks within this span of time?”


  13. consulting a wizard’s spell or god

    Will magic applied to a Aldagmor-sourced warlock work better just because the it’s applied from a later point in the timeline?

  14. >Will magic applied to a Aldagmor-sourced warlock work better just
    >because the it’s applied from a later point in the timeline?

    My point was that Sterren can specify the location of Vond within a comparatively small area during a time period when he wasn’t yet a warlock or connected to any source.

    He should (in theory) be visible to any god or spell capable of providing info about that time/place.


  15. I wonder if the guild would go with “kill them all” in such a case?

    Also, they might have a spell which shows an image of the person who’s true name they call out. It isn’t even clear if that would fail on Vond (esp now that he isn’t technically a warlock).

  16. raphfrk: I’d think the greater spell of invaded dreams would work nicely. If the person in question is Vond, it’d be apparent rather quickly, and the wizards could pretend to be negotiating or whatever when what they’re really doing is verifying the true name. If it isn’t Vond, that should also become apparent rather quickly and the person would just have had a magical dream. The spell seems fairly common, so you could have multiple wizards working in parallel, to speed things up. In fact, perhaps that’s what happened in _Night Of Madness_ with the guildmaster who refused to break his athame?

  17. Actually, we’re closer than I thought — I just ran the numbers, and we’re short by $50.74. (I’ll happily ignore the seventy-four cents.)

  18. Lawrence, I was looking to reread Night of Madness since some a lot of things from that book have been referred to in the serial, and noticed I didn’t have an ebook version. Checking I see only paper versions exist. Do you (or Tor) have plans to republish your Tor Ethshar books in ebook format? I’d like to have a complete set in electronic format. (My paper copy is somewhere in a storage shed 🙂

  19. Yes, Night of Madness is not available in e-book form. Tor controls the rights, and I have no say about it. If they have any plans for an e-book, they haven’t told me about it.

    (Ithanalin’s Restoration isn’t out in e-book form yet either, but my agent’s in the process of reclaiming the rights to that one, as Tor let it go out of print.)

    Oh, and Chapter Thirty-Six is paid for; I’ll be posting it in maybe half an hour. The files aren’t ready yet; Saturday was very busy.

  20. Good news on Ithanalin’s Restoration it’s been a long time since I read it, I believe I hard the first edition hanging around somewhere in my storage shed as well :(. I would love it if Night of Madness could also be put into ebook form. (I’m slowly moving books that I really like towards ebooks, due to lack of space.

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