Reply To: Next Book Time Frame?

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Back, finally have a bit of time.

@Tizzy, I’m ignoring you.

@Everyone else:

On the book. Actually, you sort of have me on the gold lettering on the book. My vision of what the book looked like has sort of changed over time. For the majority of the time I wrote it I was thinking of it as a soft leather cover, and maybe with some goldish writing on the outside (similar to gold paint/ink) but looking at the actual description you quote…that’s not what I implied. Or I don’t think it was.

That part was written during the first wave of writing (circa 1985-86) which took me up through the caravan attack basically. The second wave of writing was in 94-95 and by that time my thinking on it had changed/gotten more realistic and by the third/final wave 2013-2014 I wasn’t even seeing the error…there were too many other things I wanted to fix/improve.

So inconsistency there is really time. I don’t advise writing books over such a long period of time, although historically I have done exactly that with everything I’ve written. Now that I know I can actually get them read by people, I have an incentive to finish things more timely (like book 2). When I was writing most of the book, I was mainly writing it for myself with a dream of publishing it, but this was pre-ebooks and self-publishing and I knew the chance of actually getting published were slim to nil…so I took my time. (Actually, I just stopped writing on this book for 20 years)

That being said…I will say this, and it’s important to understand: I didn’t start with medieval Europe as a basis for Astlan, I started with a montage of fantasy worlds, largely all based on Tolkein, but expanded by people like Terry Brooks, Fritz Leiber, Michael Moorcock, Gary Gygax (D&D) and later Robert Jordan.

So my starting point for “reality” was generic fantasy world. And thus…in Astlan, while gold is valuable, it’s not anywhere near as valuable as it really was. This is because it isn’t that valuable in fantasy worlds. The final hobbit movie is coming out this fall/winter. Check out Smaug’s bedroom in the mines. That is a completely ridiculous amount of gold by any economic standard.

All I can think while staring at it is that if all that gold got out into the world…entire economies would collapse under hyper-inflation…

Now, not to use that as an excuse…but that’s the sort of world that’s my starting point, not Europe.


So…back to the glass.

If we were talking animagic, the stuff that animages do, I would and do agree with you 100% plus in terms of glass and the production of many other things. Animages can’t do this stuff, never could.

That’s the difference with Wizardry and why it was so huge a development. It brought about, is bringing about, a magic-industrial revolution. Wizardry is to animagic “sort of” what engineering is to science. It’s engineering and the production of a technology of magic that makes it safe, predictable and repeatable.

To that end, they start with small pieces with specific magical functions and build larger constructs. That’s what spells are. They are channeling animus and mana in verbal, semantic and material “keys”, “tools”, “catalysts”, “batteries”,”frameworks” etc rather than trying to do this by force of will.

As I’ve discussed wizardry makes magic far more widely available to people who otherwise wouldn’t have gotten that far with animastery etc.

Everyone talks about “magic items” thinking swords, flying carpets, but my guess is that the largest number of magic items are really magic tools used to make other magic items. They tend to be single purpose, or limited purpose items designed to help the wizard do other things.

So for example, when we talk about using pyromancy with glass making? We are talking about magic furnaces that are temperature regulated and stable.
I am not literally talking about a pyromancer standing there acting as a blow torch. If a blow torch is needed (as it often may be) then it’s a Rod of Fire or some such doodad.

Similarly, there will be magic devices that help the flow of the liquid glass into a flat form.

The point is, with wizardry, the wizard isn’t doing most of the work, it’s preconfigured spells, magic tools etc.

Lots of little spell parts add up to something far more complex and stable than any single wizard could control on their own.

In fact, that’s what ultimately makes Wizardry more powerful than Animagic.

Note that a group of human wizards, fewer than a hundred were able to work together and evict a thousand demons, including several archdemons against their will. The archdemon’s didn’t stand a chance. Clearly the arch demons were more powerful than any of the wizards, but the wizards acting together using wizardry (the pentacles and lots of material components) were able to overwhelm and expel all those demons.

Here is a thing I thought a lot about. How do wizards make a living? This was critical for me in writing the book.

Gastrope’ wants to eat, he takes a job as combat wizard working for Exador. Not a really smart idea, but he’s gotta eat.

It’s pretty clear though how one or two wizards in a good sized city could make a living as Magic Consultants, spell casters for hire, in particular Thaumaturges can do quite well.

For my influence on this, see [url=]Master of Five Magics by Lyndon Hardy[/url]

But what about in a city with thousands of wizards? Who needs that many wizards? What’s the economic model for such a city?

It’s basically going to be very similar to the Italian City States…it’s going to be craftsmanship. You will have wizards making stuff to sell.
And you will need other wizards to make the “magic tools” higher up wizards need to make the flashy items.

So you are going to have lots of wizard craftsmen in this city building the tools for other wizards to make glass, for other wizard to make magic mirrors etc.

Zilquar makes carpets, yeah, but the real work is making the magic looms that do most of the work. You need to weave the magic spells into the fabric of the rug, thus you need magic looms and other wool (or whatever the rug is made out of) implements.

OK, gotta take a break…