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

Okay, folks, it’s a day late, but Chapter Thirty-Six is now posted. I actually had enough money late Saturday afternoon, but I wasn’t home — the wife and I went out to a reception and show, so I wasn’t online until after midnight.

Technically, actually, we’re still 74ยข short, but I’m not about to put it off over less than a dollar.

This does mean we don’t have anything at all toward Chapter Thirty-Seven yet, but if $250 comes in by Tuesday night, I’ll post it on Wednesday, February 2nd, a.k.a. Candlemas, a.k.a. Groundhog Day. Which is also a family member’s birthday, and I have a medical appointment that afternoon. Big day, this coming Wednesday. Let’s see if we can’t make it even bigger with that thirty-seventh chapter!

First draft’s written, forty chapters and an epilogue. Haven’t started the second draft.

37 thoughts on “The Unwelcome Warlock/The Final Calling: Progress Report Thirty-Six

  1. Would being trapped in Hanner’s refuge constitute ‘harm’ in the minds of the cult? I guess we’ll see…

    Also, very interesting that they don’t seem to think that Vond is harming the towers. If Vond actions aren’t harming the towers, then he (and other lumeth-oriented Warlocks) would seem to be natural defenders of the towers…

  2. I wonder if “wizards who break oaths die” is a standard guild rule, or one he made up on the spot. It could exist as untrustworthy wizards are a serious danger.

    If not, it would seem that Demerchan have actually switched to protecting Vond rather than just standing by and doing nothing.

    I wonder if Demerchan is actually controlled by the governments. The argument normally presented is that wizards don’t want to govern, but maybe governments have some power behind the scenes. The Overlord isn’t exactly taking a deferential role when taking to a guildmaster.

  3. LWE,
    Will you explain somewhere in the novel why the cult has decided to let Vond live? If you aren’t going to do that in the book, can you at least promise to tell us later? I am thinking you’ll let us know but I am asking just in case….

  4. I found the Cult’s decision rather telling. It suggests to me that they want something from Vond (unless they want to stick it to the Guild or Ithinia for some reason).

    I can’t help wondering if they think Vond might be able to repair a certain large broken object.

    Certainly, they seem privy to information that even the Guild doesn’t have.

    I wonder if their tunnels don’t lead to the base of the Towers.


  5. I find it interesting that we finally have some little sliver of an explanation for why Demerchan exists. I’ve always wondered why it was around. Wizards, demonologists, etc. have plenty of methods for assassinating/removing unwanted people, so why Demerchan. Well, clearly they play a role in balancing the Wizard’s Guild. Which makes sense to a large degree.

    Just as it took a concerted number of folks to do away with Tabaea, it would likely take quite an effort to remove a high level wizard, should something untoward happen. Who knows what a botched spell might do? It’s entirely possible it could drive a wizard insane, but with enough presence of mind to continue to cast spells. It sounds as though Demerchan have ways of dealing even with powerful wizards, rare though it may be, that such is needed.

  6. We’ve had repeated indicators in the past that Demerchan is misunderstood by outsiders, and that they do NOT see themselves as a “cult of assassins.” We also know that the members use multiple different forms of magic. It seems at least possible that they’re focused on the “big picture”–on maintaining the balance of magical power in Ethshar. Every time we’ve seen a member of Demerchan put in an appearance so far, it’s been in response to a potential imbalance of this kind; Tabaea’s Black Dagger and ability to wield multiple forms of magic, or Vond’s ability to wield unchecked warlockry.

    Or is it unchecked? As William says, they seem to know something Ithinia doesn’t about Vond and his potential for harm.

  7. Ben: I agree with your idea but just to note, the only thing Demerchan did during the Black Dagger crisis was state their own innocence, but yeah, that’s a good idea.

  8. Okay two things:
    1) Why didn’t Ithinia drop everything and head over to the Warlock House, and change the image in the tapestry? I am sure that it will be explained but I would think that would be top priority.
    2) Is Argavan the same wizard as Iridith’s apprentice as seen at the end of ‘Misenchanted?’

  9. 1) She CAN’T drop everything — she’s in the middle of a high-order spell. She can’t risk leaving it for more than a few minutes at a time.

    2) No.

  10. Hullvald: Also, I thought it was pretty clear that Ithinia doesn’t know the details of the return tapestry — and she asked Rothiel to investigate that (and, maybe I’m leaping to conclusions here, but it seemed to me that she wants him to do whatever is possible to keep Vond in the tapestry if there isn’t another source there.)

  11. Even if there is another source in the other reality, it would still be a good idea to trap him there.

    Warlockry can’t bring him back no matter how powerful he gets.

    The only way back would be assistance from wizards or if one of the refugees was a (probably very weak) wizard.

    Ofc, unless that wizard was called on the night of madness, he would have broken his athame (and may not have had it with him anyway, when he woke).

    Hmm, I wonder if a wizard can lose his athame, or if it has something like the true ownership spell from the Misenchanted Sword.

    Anyway, he is unlikely to be strong enough to figure out an inter-world teleportation spell all on his own.

  12. Kelder and his advice was kind of funny, made for more than just exposition or plot hooks. Enjoyed the wizard’s frustration with him.

    But it is nice to see it is not all wind down, even though there are only four chapters left.

  13. It’s a common name. A very common name, to the point of being a running joke. The protagonist of Taking Flight is Kelder of Shulara, and there are people named Kelder in most of the other novels.

    The implication here is that “Kelder of Demerchan” is giving a false name, like calling himself “John Doe.” After all, he’s talking to wizards, for whom true names have power.

  14. Not to mention that the events in _The Misenchanted Sword_ are hundreds of years before the events in _The Final Calling_.

  15. Assuming they change the exit point, the guild temporarily has Vond trapped in the tapestry world. Perhaps send a representative through to negotiate? Allow Vond to rule the entire tapestry world in return for no warlock powers, or else submit to a geas not to use his powers to harm another living person and abandon all thoughts of usurping Ethershite rule and creating more warlocks before allowing him to return.

    Vond won’t give up his powers, so then you have a “tame” warlock in Ethshire.

    It would be an interesting solution for those who want warlocky to continue.

  16. I’m dubious that such a geas could work — even if it’s possible to cast the spell on him while he’s in the tapestry world, it might break as soon as he returns to Ethshar and he regains his power.

    On the other hand, while he’s in the tapestry world and powerless a witch might be able to de-warlock him if she could get close enough.

  17. On the gripping hand, they wouldn’t know whether the de-warlockization had worked right until he returned to the larger world. Probably an unacceptable risk. So I’m thinking they’ll try to either kill him or keep him in the tapestry world indefinitely.

  18. Sad that this is the first upload we’ve missed for want of donations! Any status on the donations?

    Jim: “On the gripping hand:” LOL. Gotta love Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.

    It does seem like there is a consensus developing to NOT kill him or dewarlockerize him. Clearly there’s an interesting turn coming up that we are not forseeing.

  19. No problem on the delay. A book contract, terribly busy, ice on the roads slowing down the commute. The delay is at just the right time for me.

    Just need to order my second book (by making a second donation) this Friday and I’ll be happy. I find Lawrence’s writing worth the wait.

  20. I just finished reading the two sequels to “The Wizard Lord” so LWE-withdrawal won’t bother me for a while yet.

  21. Your right! Give the gift of books! Buy a another copy. One to read and one to put in your collections. If we double give can we get hardback? I don’t have any hardback ethshar books. Or an ecopy[tm]?

  22. Speaking of e-versions, could they be set at a lower threshold than the physical book. I know that there is nothing in the current system for dealing with them. Ofc, formatting the final book as an e-book is a task in and of itself.

    Maybe anyone who donates more than $10 (but not enough for a physical book) will get an e-book, if one ever comes out?

    This would help non-US readers since the threshold for the physical book is higher.

  23. Yeah, ten bucks for an e-book sounds about right, but I don’t change rules in mid-stream if I can possibly avoid it, so that won’t apply to this serial. On the next one (if there is one), I’ll do it that way.

  24. Wow I made a difference. Heck I’d buy one of those euro circle things for my car with (ethshar) or something like that.

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