The Sorcerer’s Widow: Progress Report Eleven

Chapter Eleven has been posted. Just three more to go, over the next two weeks.

And really, there’s not much else to say. You all know the situation, and I’ve pretty much said where everything stands.

I do intend to keep on writing Ethshar serials; I don’t know the title of the next one, or when it’ll start, but I do have the outline and three chapters written. It’ll be a much bigger, more complicated story than this one.

Hope you’re enjoying the story.

14 thoughts on “The Sorcerer’s Widow: Progress Report Eleven

  1. There’s always room for another Ethshar story! (Speaking as one of the people who pestered you into this in the first place… and Proud Of It! πŸ™‚ )

  2. I assume that you’re talking about what’s been called the “big fat ethshar novel” as the next one. As always, excited to see whatever’s next. I am wondering, what ever happened with Ishta’s Playmate?

  3. Another enjoyable chapter. The discussion between Kel, Dorna, and the gate guard about what is and isn’t illegal to bring into the city was particularly funny, as was this:

    β€œGrandgate, Smallgate – what are the others, Mediumgate and Tinygate?”

  4. Good to see a human moment from Dorna, things could get complicated now in the big city.

    Aside from active ‘detector’ talismans, could local Sorcerors be otherwise alerted to a wagon full of high level items entering the city? It’s never been clear to me if there’s such a thing as a ‘magical sense’ or things characteristic to magical perception in Ethshar.

    Can humans feel magic? Do sorcerous or wizardly processes throw off ultraviolet, heat, or some other ‘not natural’ but perceivable byproducts? Could a magician undergo modification like Irien the Flyer to make themselves better suited to doing so?

    I wonder about these things, since I spend a lot of my time in data visualization, making very inhuman processes visible and /intuitive/ to people, both with and without training.

  5. Amusingly “Mediumgate and Tinygate” don’t seem horribly unreasonable for Ethsharatic names…

    I was digging around and I realized that after this serial and 2 more (say, BFEN and Ishta) you’ll have done as many Ethshar Serials as normally published Ethshar novels. I just wondered if you had any thoughts on that?

    (semi) random question; at one point it was said that while the gods and demons can’t see Wizardry and were thrown off by the otherworldly energy of Warlockry, they understand Sorcery just fine. Similarly, Warlockry was perfectly capable of synthesizing materials at a molecular, if not atomic, level.
    Have sorcerers tried to hire the use of these skills to rebuild some of what they’ve lost?
    While the Wizard’s guild explicitly forbids a person to practice of more than one type of magic, and professional pride seems to generally prevent too much cross-work, there doesn’t seem to be anything explicitly against it and examples like Gresh indicate a truly mercantile and results-focused mind understands cross-discipline work is a winning approach to problems.

  6. I think you’ve miscounted, Ryan. There were eight traditionally-published Ethshar novels, and this is only the fourth done as a serial. I’m guessing you forgot the two from Tor.

    Individual sorcerers have indeed consulted theurgists and hired warlocks to help with their magic, but they generally try to keep that secret, from each other as much as anyone else, lest it be seen as a sign of weakness, or piss off the Wizards’ Guild.

    Sorcerers are relatively scarce, so this hasn’t been very significant.

    (Incidentally, in case it’s not obvious, gods can handle sorcery but not wizardry because gods are creatures of order, not chaos.)

    Justin, nitpick first: Irith the Flyer, not Irien.

    It’s been established that under some circumstances wizards can sense wizardry, and witches can sense both witchcraft and wizardry. Warlocks can tell warlocks from non-warlocks if they consciously try, but not otherwise.

    Sorcerers, though, cannot sense magic of any kind except by means of talismans created for that purpose. Sorcery is an entirely external form of magic; there’s no psychic component the way there is in wizardry, witchcraft, or warlockry.

    It often, but not always, does produce energy that can be detected by magic, but not by human senses.

    There’s actually more to it than that, but I don’t want to say anything that might interfere with future story possibilities.

    Incidentally, theurgy and demonology are also external until a god or demon actually shows up; gods, and to a lesser extent demons, interact with their surroundings on many levels, which may include psychic links to their summoners or anyone else present.

    Herbalism and science are external. Ritual dance is so entirely internal that some people aren’t sure it has any effect at all on anyone but the dancers.

  7. I did, in fact, miscount. Looking at where I was counting from I’m not sure how, but I did. I guess some people just aren’t as smart as they think they are.

    As for the “gods can handle sorcery but not wizardry because gods are creatures of order, not chaos.” can’t demons also handle/perceive sorcery but not wizardry in a similar way?
    I suppose this may wonder into “things to wait for.” I seem to remember you saying something about the demonology/sorcery pairing for the Northern Empire being discussed in Ishta’s Playmate…

  8. Hi. In regards to your comment about continuing to write Ethshar serials, what’s happening with The Unwanted Wardrobe?

  9. Not much. I’d originally intended that to be a one-off joke, and while I admit I may someday want to go back and write a more serious version, this is not that day.

  10. I don’t care what you write next, long as it’s entertaining which I suspect I can bet on. πŸ™‚ That and the world of the three Ethshars is complex enough to allow for much fun in theorizing. (I was partially right about the source of the warlocks, but completely off on what the story would amount to, for example.)

  11. Oh, I missed a question. Demons are also creatures of order, not chaos.

    Depending how tricky the Big Fat Ethshar Novel is, Ishta’s Companion (the title keeps changing) may be the next serial. We’ll see. it won’t be for a few months, in any case.

  12. “Demons are also creatures of order, not chaos.”
    Given the chaotic, sometimes bizarre, and frequently violent events and images that have surrounded every appearance of demons in Ethshar I hope that statement that gets further investigation/expansion at some point. You’ve said before they’re limited, acting only with permission, but their behavior within their imposed constrains seems like bloody madness…

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