Friday, February 27, 2015

Black Coven - Teaser 1

A thin veil of falling snow muffled the sounds of my men settling into cover behind me, while Captain Rain and I crept to the edge of the little patch of woods for a look at the open field beyond. But the racket that had drawn us here was too loud to hide. Men shouting. Women and children screaming. The roar of angry trolls, and the crackle of flames.

Sounds I’d become all too familiar with in the last three weeks. Another settlement was falling.

I peered between a pair of snow-covered bushes at the scene. It was a country inn, of a sort that was pretty common in Varmland. An L-shaped building of stone two stories high, with a barn-like stable behind it and a stone wall enclosing the courtyard between the two buildings. With a stout wooden door and no outward-facing windows on the first floor the place was easily proof against wolves or bandit gangs, and had room to shelter several dozen people. Evidently a group of soldiers had decided to hole up there, and managed to hold out until now.

But there were five trolls attacking the place. Not the smaller forest trolls that worked with goblins, either. These were mountain trolls, twelve-foot monsters with grey hide that was almost as hard as the stone it resembled. They were armed with a motley assortment of tree trunks and boulders, but as strong as they were they wouldn’t even need weapons to tear a place like this apart.

Indeed, they’d managed to rip open a good-sized stretch of the building around where the front door had been. A group of armored men inside were trying to fend them off with spears, while crossbowmen loosed flaming bolts at them from the upper windows. Neither group was doing much damage, but a couple of the trolls were more singed than I would have expected.

As I watched, a bolt of fire erupted from inside the building to splash against a troll’s leg. The great beast staggered back, howling and beating frantically at the flames. The other trolls roared, and one of them heaved a boulder that probably weighed more than I did into the mass of defenders.

“They’ve got a wizard,” Marcus observed unnecessarily. “What do you think, sir? Do we try to rescue him?”

I considered the scene for a moment. Mountain trolls were tough as hell, but unlike their smaller cousins they usually weren’t accompanied by other monsters. I didn’t see any goblins around, and considering how dumb trolls are the odds of a trick were low. Five of them was more than I could safely fight alone, of course. But I’d done quite a bit of enchanting in the weeks since my little band had fled Lanrest.

I nodded. “Yeah, we can do it. Cerise?”

The dark-haired witch seemed to coalesce out of the shadows under the snow-laden trees, her slender form completely hidden by the cloak she wore against the cold. It also served to hide the tail she’d acquired back in Lanrest. Absorbing the power of her foes was such a central aspect of her magic she had trouble avoiding it, but the side effects were starting to add up.

“I’m here, Daniel. What are we doing?”

“Killing some trolls,” I told her. “You’re in charge of guarding the caravan until the fight is over.”

Her human appearance was a thin disguise these days, and she tended to lose her grip on it in moments of passion. Our own people were getting used to it, but the last thing we needed was for her to sprout obvious claws and horns in the middle of the fight and panic the inn’s defenders.

She pouted, but didn’t argue. “I guess someone needs to do that. Alright, but stay safe.”

“I’ll try. Marcus, have Gronir sneak his group around to the left and put a volley of arrows into them. As soon as they’re distracted I’ll drop into the middle of the big group, and then your boys can move in without having to worry too much about them throwing boulders at you. Spears and ranged weapons only, and don’t box them in completely.”

“Yes, sir,” he nodded, and moved back to give orders.

I eyeballed the distance as the men crept through the woods behind me, and began preparing my opening move. There was seldom time for fancy magical tricks in the middle of a battle, but the minutes before an ambush were another story. I’d been practicing with more elaborate constructs recently, looking for ways to make that first blow count as much as possible.

The situation deteriorated steadily in the few minutes it took to get ready. One of the trolls ripped the shutters off a second-floor window and began fishing around blindly inside, while a second one smashed down the gate and wandered into the inn’s courtyard looking for another way into the building. The remaining three were still occupied with the hole in the wall, but the bolts of fire that kept them at bay were coming weaker and further apart. The biggest troll managed to snatch up one of the men defending the breach, and bit his head off with a loud crunch. The other two lobbed a few more boulders in, and I noticed there weren’t as many spear points in the opening as there had been before.

Then a volley of arrows arched across the snow-covered field to rain down on the trolls. Unlike the crossbowmen defending the inn my men’s weapons were enhanced with force magic, and most of the arrows sank deep into their targets. The trolls roared in pain, no doubt exacerbated by the fire magic that would now be heating the arrowheads red hot.

I unleashed the burst of force magic I’d gathered, and flung myself into the air.

I still couldn’t manage controlled flight, but painful experience had taught me how to make long leaps safely. I checked my trajectory in midair, noted I was going to fall short a bit, and gave myself a little extra push to ensure I’d come down in the middle of the trolls. Then I turned my attention back to the spell I’d been building, trusting my force field’s soft-landing effect to arrest my fall safely.

Dozens of baseball-sized rocks materialized in the air and began to whirl around me at high speeds, while heating up rapidly. By the time I landed they were mostly molten, becoming lumps of lava that slammed into the main group of trolls as I touched down among them. Even their supernaturally tough flesh couldn’t withstand that level of heat, and the projectiles gouged out deep wounds before their kinetic energy was exhausted. I wasn’t sure if the resulting pockets of molten stone would be enough to kill the monsters, but they’d certainly do a lot of damage.

One of the trolls flailed at me with the tree trunk it was using as a club, sending me sprawling despite the force shield that protected me from the blow. But it didn’t actually hurt, and my shield was only weakened momentarily. I pulled the barrier in close to my body so it wouldn’t get in the way, and drew Grinder.

My personal weapon was a brutal little device I’d build for killing inhumanly tough monsters up close and personal. Just a stone hilt when deactivated, but when I turned it on a three-foot bar of superheated plasma extended to form a blade. That would have been dangerous enough, but what really made it effective were the dozens of counter-rotating sawblades made of force that extended along the length of the weapon. A high-pitched shriek of tortured air arose as the blades came up to speed, and I hacked at the nearest troll’s leg.

It was so distracted by the pockets of lava melting chunks out of its body that it didn’t even notice me until Grinder bit into its shin, chewing through flesh and bone alike and spraying burning fragments everywhere. The troll staggered, and jerked away before I could cut all the way through. Then a heavy impact drove me to my knees, as the troll who’d been fishing in the windows decided to smash this new nuisance instead. My shield’s power reserve dropped again, but there was enough left to tank a few more hits.

Flames washed over everything, the trolls and me as well, and I knew I’d held their attention long enough. It flowed harmlessly over my shield, melting the snow beneath my feet and filling the air with steam. But when it enveloped the trolls they panicked.

The squad Captain Rain led was equipped with most of the magical weapons I’d managed to create in the course of our trip. Six of the men held shields and boar spears I’d enhanced with force magic, to ensure they’d deflect heavy blows and penetrate armored monster hides. But the four flamers produced most of the group’s damage output. These weapons were basically a long rod of stone with a pistol grip at the back and another one halfway down its length, a design I’d copied from WWII-era flamethrowers. The tip of the rod projected a continuous stream of flame when the trigger was pulled, along with a strong force push that elongated the blast into a fifteen-foot cone.

They didn’t kill very quickly, but we’d yet to encounter anything that could shrug off that much fire. Indeed, the troll behind me almost immediately decided that this was too much to take and turned to run. I took its leg off at the knee, and it toppled face-first into the snow just beyond the edge of the flames. One of the men immediately turned his flamer on it, and held it as the beast tried to crawl away.

One of the more injured trolls behind me collapsed, and another was trying to stagger away from me. But the biggest one roared and charged through the flames, its now-burning tree trunk held high over its head. It bulled through the fire, only to immediately be impaled on three long spears that easily pierced its armored hide.

But trolls are unbelievably tough, and they take a long time to die. It brought the club down, sending two men flying and forcing the rest to scramble out of the way.

I leaped at its unguarded back, another burst of force magic carrying me far higher than I could normally jump, and slammed Grinder down on its head. My weapon’s shriek turned to an angry growl, and it spewed a spray of mangled bone fragments in all directions.

Any normal creature would have died instantly, but not a troll. Before my weapon could chew far enough into its skull to find its tiny brain the monster reached back and grabbed me. Its giant fingers wrapped around my chest, and it whipped me around to slam into the ground. 

Thankfully the deep snow and my force shield both cushioned the blow, so instead of being stunned I just pointed the end of my weapon at its face and triggered a plasma blast.

I’d sunk a lot more effort into making Grinder than I had the flamers for my men, and the jet it produced wasn’t normal flame. The violet beam was denser than air and hotter than the surface of the sun, delivering enough energy to melt stone surfaces in seconds. It burned the troll’s face away in an instant, blinding it and sending it reeling back.

A spearman stepped up and stabbed the thing through the heart with his weapon. I turned off the plasma beam, and another man drove his spear through one of the monster’s ruined eye sockets into its brain.

The thing finally realized it was dead, and collapsed. 

I made a note to burn the body soon to make sure it didn’t get back up, and turned my attention to the rest of the battle. Two trolls were on the ground, struggling feebly as the flamers kept them bathed in fire. Roars and crashes from the woods on our left flank told me Gronir’s crew was having fun with the other troll I’d caught in my initial attack, while the last monster had just emerged from the inn’s courtyard. It stood there staring at us for a moment, clutching a boulder the size of a basketball in one hand.

I took a step towards it, raising Grinder in one hand and conjuring a ball of flame in the other.

It threw the boulder at me, and ran.

A projectile like that would squash any of my men, so I stood still and let it hit me instead of dodging. It smashed into my shield with a dull boom, and sent me flying back to bounce across the snow. But it was just a few bruises, and I had my healing amulet on.I picket myself back up, and the men cheered. I smiled grimly. “That’s one troll band that won’t be eating any more people. Casualties?”


  1. Sweet! Looking forward to the book!

  2. Great sample chapter, and just in time for my birthday too!

    Very well written combat scene, smart tactics, _loved_ the description of the village building (i'm a sucker for that sort of historically accurate detail).

    *throws cash at the screen*

    "Take my money and gimme NOW!"

    Seriously though can we pre-order, or do we have to wait until you have uploaded the finished product to Amazon (in late April early May i guess) before we can put money in your pocket?

    1. See for requirements on pre-order of books publishing through KDP.

    2. Thnx.

      So after the manuscript has been uploaded – which must be complete though not the final draft and happen at least ten days prior to the set date of publication.

      Hmmm... lets see... chapter sixteen was completed last Monday, twenty-one chapters total, two chapters per week, three to six weeks of proofing and polish, minus ten days to DoP...

      *does math*

      … barring unforeseen complications it should show up in the Amazon catalog for pre-order on March 12th at the earliest and April 13th at the latest.

    3. No, the final version must be uploaded 10 days prior to release. However you can create a pre-order page with just a complete draft.

    4. Ah, got it. thnx again.

      So we're about a week and change from completion of the first draft, four to seven weeks until final draft, and have a likely release sometime between April 12th and May 3rd; with pre-order being possible as soon as a complete script has been uploaded (*)


      * = sometime next week at the earliest, third week of April at the latest.

    5. Since I'm a self-published author I don't have any particular delays in my publishing pipeline. As soon as I finish a book I upload it to Amazon, and it's immediately available for purchase.

      If I wanted to enable pre-orders I'd have to start setting up books in Amazon's system before the manuscript is actually ready, and pick a release date I'm sure I can hit. That would probably end up making it take longer before you can actually get a copy of a new book, but at any rate it certainly isn't going to speed anything up.

    6. BTW, are you still willing to do edits to Fimbulwinter? There is a set of consistently misspellings of alter/altar and Oscar/Oskar.

    7. There's also some misspelling of Avilla/Avila, but personally i don't really mind the minor orthographic inconsistencies when it comes to character names so much as that frequently they just don't make a lot of linguistic sense.

      What i mean by that is we have a quasi-scandinavian medieval(-ish) setting with a (dominant?) scandinavian/germanic pantheon and mythology, and people with culturally appropriate scandinavian/germanic names. Well not quite.

      _Most_ of the names are scandinavian in origin, but some of them are in fact foreign imports linguistically speaking. Cerise for example is french, Avilla is portugese, Marcus is latin, Tina hebraic, Cezary polish, Thomas aramaic, Zenon greek and Casper persian.

      So what you say, there were plenty a Marcus running around in medieval Germany and Scandinavia, and Thomas and Tinas too. Yes that's true, but here's the rub: the reason these names managed to travel from their middle-eastern homeland and enter common usage in an alien culture on what was then the opposite end of the known world was christianisation. To be precise it required christianity to be adopted by the roman empire as its official state religion.

      This is problematic in the context of the book(s) because even though they carry names dependent on the existence and religious dominance of abrahamic monotheism the characters in question are all germanic polytheists.

      Oh and in order for a character to be named Cezary that world would have to have had it's own Gaius Iulius Caesar; who had exact same (very low probability) career as ours.

      Some names just come pre-loaded with historic and socio-cultural implications.

    8. This world had a Roman Empire, barbarian migrations and early medieval period fairly similar to our world, only with an expansionist proselytizing version of the Greco-Roman religion instead of Christianity. So a lot of the same cultural diffusion took place as in our world, just for slightly different reasons.

      Since doing detailed research for every name would be impractical, I generally just use as my reference for the ethnicity of different names. But if a name seems out of place that's often a clue to the character's origins. For example, Cerise was actually born to a peasant family in the region of southern France, and Avilla's maker hid out in Iberia for a long time before moving to Scandinavia.

  3. Noticed a typo in the third-to-last sentence. That should be 'picked' not 'picket' .

  4. Thank you for the great sample. This just whets my appetite even more!!! I cannot wait for it to come out!

  5. Teasers are evil... All they do is... tease. Now I want to know who the wizard is. Also I'm sure if you wanted some Alpha or Beta readers, you would have more than enough volunteers! A lot of indie authors that I have read have a few trusted readers to help them polish their story with both plot and editing.

    Still the teaser was very exciting. It's nice to see Daniel start to rely on others in a fight. Gearing up the 5th guys like this will add a lot of intricacies to his fights. There's a lot of enchantments I can see as being useful that he would never personally use, such as the flame throwers. I would love to see what you come up with in terms of fixed defenses. Murder holes that spew lava, perhaps some rail guns, and spike traps that all good rpgs have. Looking forward to the next teaser and ultimately the next book.

  6. Thus far Daniel hasn't encountered much in the way of trash mobs. Only basic Goblins are easily dealt with by him. Caster goblins are a threat. Trolls are for sure a threat in any numbers to Daniel if he solos. He is likely more powerful than any mortal on this world. It seems like human resistance is pretty doomed without Daniel sharing his powers. The caster in the building who had soldiers and some walls wasn't able to handle a forward raiding party. Hard to see how they will deal with Giants and Dragons. Daniel has his work cut out for him. I am looking forward to seeing how well a group of human wizards from this world are able to handle things.

    1. I would have to disagree with you on several points.

      Goblin casters to date haven't been a threat. He took down the only one he has encountered with no prep and minimal effort.

      Trolls in general are not a threat, just more difficult. The mountain trolls in this teaser are a treat, but not the forest trolls.

      Giants and felwolves are definitely a threat.

      Dragon is an unknown but I would like to assume boss fight worthy.

      Besides these mountain trolls and the Ungols, we have not seen him engage the others with his new weapon and enchantments. With the Ungols he was not able to keep up with their speed and had Cerise step in with Grinder.

      Also, you assume that it was a wizard in the inn based on their observation of fire shooting out. For all we know it was a priest, an apprentice, or perhaps a very weak fire sorceror. I would put forward that we as of yet have no way to gauge the strength of the average spellcaster in this world.

      We also cannot judge what you may find in terms of soldiers based on the 5th Margold (who are mercenaries) and the Baron's retainers (provincial levees with a few knights). If more elite units have even basic enchanted equipment such as an equivalent to his force enchantment on the arrows, then they will be much more effective against your average monster.

      I am personally of the mind that he was put down in a backwater area. It would make sense that the witches were hiding out in bumfuck nowhere. The fact that the Baron had no kind of caster besides the priests, and only one piece of enchanted equipment(that we know of) doesn't speak well of the wealth of the region. Remember also that the nearest city that they could think of as defensible was mentioned to be very far away.

      You must also think of the other races. Elves were mentioned so I would assume there are the other mix of 'good races' such as dwarves, gnomes, and such.

      Maybe Mr. Brown will release some more teasers to answer some of these questions! Or even just tell us how in his mind Daniel measures up to the average caster in this world he is building.

    2. I don't know. He was almost killed twice when the goblins breached the town walls. He had to flee from goblins after the battle at Avillas house and might not have been able to win out without running into the 1st Margold soldiers. It takes him multiple hits to drop trolls. He can get dogpiled by basic goblins. He has been on the run since the beginning of the first book and his current capacities are what he has been able to work up during a fighting retreat with refugees so I think he is going to get more powerful if he gets a chance to breathe. Of course it seems like if he stays somewhere the main forces of Loki will catch up with him.

      As far as them being in the boonies. That can go either way for Daniel. If this is the borderlands where monsters lurk then one would hope the quality of forces would be high. If there are lots of standing armies in the center of these nations it makes me think factional fighting is a problem and Daniel will have to worry about the local politics. The last outpost of civilization didn't treat him so great.

      One of the things I appreciate is that Daniel has to struggle. He has a lot of clever hacks and is atomic powered but still has nearly died a few times. He also doesn't whine which is super appreciated as it seems like a lot of over powered fantas heros substitute neurotic reticence for antagonists making the hero struggle.

    3. Obviously if goblins are in enough numbers then he can be overcome. As far as factional fighting that is a given in any medieval society. Unfortunately we do not know enough about the geography of the world to tell if he landed in a border area that would rate additional troops. There is mention of at least one king of humans but we don't know if there is more than one nation.

      Daniel is a good character in that he doesn't whine but that is offset by his annoying habit of thinking everything comes down to him and he has to save everyone. Each time that he has almost died it was because he was trying to save others that he had no connection to as opposed to taking his charge and getting the hell out of there. It is mentioned that he needed the money from building the wall but I wonder about that. If he can make metals out of nothing why not gold and silver? He wouldn't have to make much for it to be worth his time, he could have bought what he needed and skipped town on the Baron. He hadn't received any payment and he had to know from early on that there was no way they were going to hold the town.

      I also have no doubt that he will become more powerful, but I think as we saw in the teaser that his real power will come from his followers. He will be able to gear them out in ways that complement him, since there is only so much effect he can bring to the battlefield by himself. At least I hope so. I really do not want to see another character get turned into a god and just wade through battles. Then the author will realize what he has done and the next chapter/book you see the character get laid low by something stupid as a balance.

    4. I certainly hope that the author is able to do as well in having the larger narrative arc and no sophomore slump. I am optimistic in that he seems to be trying to have a consistent economy, political economy and magic system while still having a lot of swashbuckling adventure. The actual horror of an end of the world by ravening monsters is glossed over as that would make for a much much darker story.

      I am willing to cut Daniel lots of slack as he is for sure a fish out of water. I doubt I'd do as well dumped into that situation with only my RPG hobbies to prepare me.

      One of the things that made the first book so succesful for me is that it invites the reader to imagine what hacks they think would make sense. You thought he should make gemstones rather than sell his labor. That may oray not be an easy thing to do given unknowable details about the magic system. But the book practically begs you to try and craft items to solve the difficulties. My big hack concept is wanting Daniel to up his power source. Gold is about three times as dense as Bronze so might give three times as much power. Why have it be an awkward necklace that pulls your neck forward. Something that rests more comfortably like a belt or backpack would allow he to comfortably increase his power. If he can blend multiple taps why not have a chainmail shirt that uses all it's rings. Using his flesh power and inserting a tap internally. A metal plate dedicated to protecting and healing just his brain seems like a smart backup. A good chunk of the fun of the book is based on thinking of how Daniel should spec himself out.

      My other big hope for the upcoming books is that Daniel will use the fragment he has of the stone upon which many witch is bound by the priests. He has stone/earth magic. He has metamagic. He understands coven bindings. He is a champion of Hecate. I am intrigued by the idea of Daniel altering the stone contract and thereby increasing his followers. I expect the author will have Daniel work towards his goals in ways I didn't think of.

  7. > If he can make metals out of nothing why not gold and silver?

    Yeah i had been wondering a bit about that one too. Also: since apparently the energy cost for minerals is low enough he can create (summon?) bedrock at the rate of dozens of tons a minute (going by a rough calculation of the description from how he built the fundaments of his tower) without a raising much of a sweat making perfect 'synthetic' gemstones of positively ridiculous size should be proverbial childsplay.

    I mean the guy's an engineer by training, and a munckin by nature. We've been doing it in our world for decades now even without the benefit of magic, no way Daniel would be unaware of or ignore such an obvious 'exploit' for his new powers.

    True you can't eat gems or precious metals so their value in an apocalyptic scenario might subject to steep inflation, or even nil depending on how short base resources like food and fuel are. However absent retro-active authorial nerf there is no logical reason money should ever be an object of concern or hurdle for this hero to overcome.

    He _could_ (deliberately?) crash the local money economy - such as it is in a medieval setting - by flooding the market with specie, but even then his powers would make him pretty much the King of Bartertown.

    1. I always figured it was a effort vs. value thing. IIRC the summoning of metal was much more draining than conjuring silica. Now that means nothing for conjuring silica-based gems of course, but he did not have the time in Lanrest to do so and since he now has that chest of gold he has no need to so. Problem averted.

    2. I think he wants to be paid for his labor but also wanted to help save people and interface with the local powers that be. I expect part of wanting to be paid is that Daniel is enough of an IT consultant to know that people don't value the expertise they don't pay. So building the walls for cash is a three way win. Cash, save the peoples, develop relationships with the lasers.

      Part of me would want Daniel to just grab a few months of food, dig a lair, and eventually emerge transformed into the next thing to a Demi-God. But he is nicely heroic and seems to want to save as many people as he can. This next book looks like we are going to see how Daniel does at interfacing with the main players in this northern nation. I am hopeful that there will be some moments where Daniel will get to work on his ounces of prevention but he seems unwilling to watch people die if he can muster up those pounds of cure.

    3. I just think it would have been better if it had been addressed in the book, even if it was just Cerise or Avilla mentioning that it was forbidden by the gods to conjure precious metals, or Daniel remarking on how much harder it was to conjure and ounce of gold verses one hundred pounds of iron. As it is I almost want to say the need for money was just a plot enabler, and I hate those.

    4. Yeah pretty much. Also it's hard to make change on the Hope diamond. Remember the reaction of local characters on seeing coins that Daniel would have considered literal pocket change?

      It's not just that Lanrest is a relatively small, provincial town, this is a society with a still very poorly monetized economy in general. There simply isn't a whole lot of currency circulating. Wealth is primarily measured in land, and the vast majority of economic activity - unsurprisingly given the limits of transportation and agricultural (in)efficiencies - barter based on trading produce for labor/services.

      The entire concept of a salary is quite alien to them. To the extent that the average person thinks about money at all it is in terms of either gifts or one-of commissions. Steady employment is rare and more of a patron-client relationship defined by mutual duties and obligations that links both parties not just legal- but socially at a very fundamental level. It's adoption rather than a job as we know it; you don't have employees you have family. Even a relatively cosmopolitan character like captain Rain who in theory fights for gold is not exempt from this mindset.

      There are no banks, no faceless institutions, no anonymous commercial transactions, no _state_ as we know it in a feudal society. Everything is personal relationships and personal relationships are everything. That is why reputation not just matters to these people but is, quite literally, a matter of life and death. The worst crime that a person can commit in a society like that isn't murder, it is failing (publicly) to honor your given word. Physical death is preferable, because the alternative is social death.

      That's something Mr. Brown captured really well, and kudos to him for doing so.

      The greatest sin against realism, bigger still than ignoring pre-industrial economics, committed by much if not to say most of modern fantasy literature is the tendency to depict people from a medieval or antiquity based society as 20th westerners in period clothes.

      There are, from an author's perspective, valid (i hesitate to call them good) reasons both commercial and personal (read PC) for doing so even if he or she themselves know better, but it's imnho crappy writing and a gross disservice to the reader.

      I can't really say this enough: Thanks, William, for having not just the knowledge but the testicular fortitude as well to buck the trend on this.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Looking forward to seeing the things Daniel will craft.
    I'm guessing he'll make a mana reactor in form of a metal staff (built-in force constructs can make it easier to lug around), and one so big he'll have to put it on the hovercraft. And a hovercraft-mounted railgun, to use against dragons - that only makes sense.

    Also, in his position, I'd enchant several teeth in my upper jaw. The classical, obvious thing to do if you're up against a regenerator is to cut their head off, and sooner or later, his enemies are gonna try it. With the right enchantments, though, Daniel could plausibly survive beheading.

    1. After about 5 minutes with no blood flow your brain starts to receive damage. After about 7-10 minutes you will be officially brain dead. Your brain does not repair itself. This is not to say that magic cannot repair brain damage, just that no enchantment I can think of will repair that damage fast enough. Are you talking about growing a new body? Or an enchantment that forces the two halves back together?

      The only possibility I can think of is a stasis type effect which doesn't fit into any of his elements.

    2. It would naturally depend on what's possible to do with magic. We know Daniel can create flesh from nothing - logically speaking, creating *blood* from nothing should be easier, since it has less structure. Can he then create *oxygenated* blood? Can he forcibly oxygenate existing blood with magic (keeping blood sugar up in the same way), and is this more cost-effective than creating new blood?
      Force magic could keep the blood flowing for proper distribution, though he might have to patch his veins and arteries together for that to work.

      Or he might be able to simply keep his brain cells active and healthy regardless of oxygenation and nutrition by just constantly pumping healing energy into them. If the human body consumes as much energy at rest as a few candle-flames do, then it sort of makes sense that a few candle-flames' worth of mana consumption could keep it energized, in the ideal case.
      (Note that after the burning incident, his body and brain survived on pure healing energy while regenerating at the same time; according to what the girls said, his heart and breathing was stopped for several hours.)

      If he replaces one of his back teeth with a tiny mana reactor set to constantly heal his brain, that might be enough. Though that might also make it so he will never get tired enough to sleep...

  10. Anyone else hoping for a new teaser today? This is from 3 weeks ago so I'm hoping we are due some love soon.