Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Status Update

The new edition of Fimbulwinter is now on Amazon, thanks to everyone who submitted corrections in the proofreading thread. The only changes in the new edition are typographical corrections, and a couple of minor changes to wording to make some awkward sentences flow better. But I hope this will provide a better experience for new readers.

If I understand how Amazon's update system works everyone who previously purchased Fimbulwinter will get the option to update to the new version once it goes live. The delay there is the same 12-24 hours as for publishing a new book, so if you want the new version you should see the update option sometime tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I've finished plotting out the sequel to Black Coven and will start writing the first draft this week. I'm tentatively aiming for a September release, but that could change significantly depending on how the writing goes. I should have a firmer date in a few weeks.

Finally, I'm curious whether there is any interest in a print version of my books? I'd have to use a Print on Demand service, which means they'd be relatively expensive (probably $8 - $10, depending on what kind of deals I can find). But I know some people like to have a physical copy of their books, and not everyone has a Kindle.

61 comments:

  1. Personally, I'm not interested in print versions. I only buy educational books in paper.

    I finished reading black coven, and I have a suggestion I have to get out there for book three/four: water jet cutter. The first two paragraphs on wiki do a pretty good job explaining it. It's not complicated. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_jet_cutter

    An Abrasivejet is the perfect weaponization combining water/earth/force magic that works on simple principles and thus easy to be invented by Daniel (and Elin).

    Pros: It can function underwater, cut things in water without really being impeded by surrounding water (they're defending an island after all), requires very little water/earth to be conjured (3 liters per minute depending on size of waterjet), produces a constant stream of artillery (literally an uninterrupted stream of water), no ricochet, little recoil, and not something most people/magicians are going to be warded against (snow, yes, super-propelled liquid water, no). Plus, with the freezing temperatures, even a nonlethal assault with cold water can be deadly if the prototypes don't prove to be very deadly.

    Cons: Requires a lot of force magic, doesn't cut well at long distances (guns for long distances?), possible collateral damage if it cuts straight through an enemy and into an ally, has some difficulty cutting diamond and certain glasses and ceramics.

    If Daniel builds it well, the jets could get use in just about any circumstance. Personal/portable weapon, tank weapon, or anti-siege weapon. It probably has the greatest utility as a personal weapon for cutting swathes through mobs that get too close with its aforementioned uninterrupted fire/lack of ricochet for urban areas at short to mid-range.

    Good for Daniel, who could add it to his gun. Good for Cerise, who always wants more weapons and could probably attach it to her tail. Good for Elin, because it doesn't require good aim (continuous fire makes for easy adjustment of aim), she could use it underwater and she'd probably be more comfortable if the first real weapon she used was of her element and one she helped manufacture, so she would have confidence that she could control it.

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  2. There are Kindle Apps for basically all platforms now so having a printed book isn't as necessary as it was even a year or so ago but $8-10 for the customer doesn't sound too bad as long as its not too big of a project to put up.

    And thanks a ton for the info on book 3 because the way you end your books always leaves me itching for more. This is especially so with Black Coven with the next fight so close I was getting depressed wondering when we would get our next dose.

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  3. I no longer buy print versions of books, I have too many and not enough room already. Some like to collect such things I suppose.

    Now the important question... You said book 3 teasers in a couple weeks? :)

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  4. Thanks for the update. One thing you should have simple thing for fixed placement fighting that Daniel should consider using is barbed wire. As it can help to stop and impede cavalry or any of the larger monsters that can become entangled.

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    1. Or a force enchantment on the walls like he had on his shields that didn't work. Would stop climbers and possibly violently repel any type of ladders.

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  5. I love the way magic is manipulated to duplicate various earth tech. I can't wait for the next book. You probably already though of these but there are some things I was wondering about:
    1) Food - it should be noted that 1 acre of land, (approximately), can feed 1 person for a year. Kozalin I would guess to be a city in the range of 20 to 25 sq. miles in area. With a population in good times of 100K, (10 percoent of popualation) now handling an additional 60k due to finbulwinter.
    640 acres equals one sq. mile. So, how to feed everybody? My guess based on the hints in the story would be an underground cavern mimicking Gaea. So, how to go about it? Can the coven only act on its own or can it be a part of a greater circle? I'm guessing that the dryads at a minimum would be needed to assist not to mention the input from engineers on the structure.
    2) Food preservation - dehydration - Elin can remove water so working with Daniel it should be possible to make a dehydrator for all the produce. Also, you could have a version that filets, dries, and salts the fish there by preserving it for a long time,(many months).
    Also, - vaccuum packaging - could Daniles force maic be used to remove the air from a container? This could further preserve goods for long term storage and a small scale version could be used to keep herbs and such from going stale. (more rewards from Avilla).
    3)Cool housekeeping tech. - Why not add a washer/dryer? Laundry is a beast to do by hand. The same machine could wash and rinse the clothes and then remove all the water when done leaving the clothes dry and ready to fold.
    Also, what about a food processor? All it would take is a container and some force blades and you could slice, dice, or chop all the veggies that much quicker.
    4) Security - Why not add a form of encryption to mask the magic being used? If someone tries accessing it to much the user gets locked out like what with a password.
    Also, should Daniel add protocols to have a coven device disable itself if misused or taken. So, if someone has Daniels amulet it won't work for anyone except another member of the coven.
    5) Military - I was wondering why not outfit the griffons with bombs? You could take the mortar shells and remodel them as bombs. Let the griffon carry them is a box that is magically activated by the knight and the bombs disperse in a wide spread pattern and takes out a nice chunk of and army in one go. After that I'm betting Kozalin is avoided. :)

    On another note, when are we going to see an anime elf or the useful but time consuming physical enhancements, (vision, reflexes, memory??? really curious what they could be)

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    1. With the food, I forgot to mention that since the dryads can multiply the harvest by more than 10 times what would be normal it would then be possible to feed everybody. Also, by lining the cavern up directly under the city you can add freight elevators to move the crops and combine with the city wards to increase security for the food supply and the farmers that would be managing it.

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    2. This bothered me in book 2. 10 times the harvest is either: 10x density in planted crops, 10x size in crops, or 10x growth speed (most likely). However, the soil would deplete pretty quickly. Can the dryads sustain that or will Daniel need to work some sort of soil replenishment enchantment? Besides, the best bet is vertical farming (already started). He'll have way more than 1 acre to work on if he can work with an engineer to calculate just how high he can really go (as opposed to the current ~200-300 feet) when building the farm.

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  6. That's wrong. One acre of land can sustain 4 people if growing goes well. If we assume the ~26 rooms for agriculture equate to 10 acres of land, and that land will be able to sustain 10 times normal output thanks to nature spirits, Daniel will soon have the capability to sustain a population of 400 persons. That's much more people than are currently living on the island.

    And currently, Daniel's concern is "the people on my island first". He's not going to start trying to build huge agricultural tracts for people he is not responsible for in Kozalin anytime within the foreseeable future. Survival for him and his people comes first.

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    1. Good to know, (so much for my homesteader friends info). Thanks.:)
      As far as "my people first" I completely understand that. I'm curious to know why you think Daniel has a lot more to do. By your own estimation they are well on the road to complete self sufficiency. So, how much more is there to do for his island?

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    2. The Larger Plot will be providing plenty of Conflict (conflict we can predict right now and conflict that will surprise us) for Daniel that will keep him too Busy for anything not strictly necessary. That's the way the two books have worked until now, and it doesn't look like it will be changing anytime soon.

      For instance, the army invading Kozalin, whatever group bound Elin/ separated her from her mother, adjusting to the Coven Bond and taking in new refugees Hecate makes bargains with alone will probably take up at least the next month's worth of time.

      That's completely disregarding all the things happening on the world stage that Daniel will doubtless get involved in. Gaea will want him dead soon enough when his island becomes one of the last human strongholds, especially if he eventually decides to shelter/help Mara. Gaea really hates her daughter. Rescuing Idun and her golden apples will definitely be something he gets involved with (otherwise why would it be brought to his attention at all? The author is good at not leaving plotholes). That will garner him animosity from whatever is left of the Aesir at that point, maybe even an attack from Thor himself. Idun is supposed to be guarded by sons of lightning. Integrating other non-humans (likely) will cause some problems down the road he'll need to address. Either someone from the Red Conclave or the Prince is likely to attack him at some point-- they're just power hungry/stupid like that.

      Also the food stores were supposed to hold out for four months minimum with the population as it is. It's hardly an immediate problem. By the time it does become a problem, the population of Kozalin will probably have decreased a lot. Plus they can still trade for food. That's part of why Daniel unfroze the harbor.

      The island also isn't nearly done. When you're fighting gods, demigods and dragons there is no such thing as overkill. I can see Daniel working exclusively on the island's defenses for another month and still not being remotely satisfied with the safety it provides. Currently there's not even a defense against someone coming in from the ocean and climbing through the keeps windows. If someone like Mara did that at the right time, most of the keep could be murdered.

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    3. You are forgetting about the naiads, they would make excellent underwater guards.

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  7. on the food keep in mind that crops usually take a couple of months to grow. unless these crops are able to be harvested right after planting, (with magic who knows?).
    As far as the assassination angle goes I would point out that a lot of the people on the island have much more than human senses and it would be really difficult to sneak up on them. Also, I'm assuming that there is a guard rotation and that at least some of them are wolfen. I'm kind of curious to see what wards the coven can come up with. I'm sure that'll be an added nasty surprise for anyone gunning after them.
    Soon the Red Conclave will be getting a some amulets which should power up the entire city's defenses, (one would hope). This should make Kozalin an even less attractive target.

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    1. If the Red Conclave does get an unlimited power supply, it's certain it will cause Daniel more problems down the road. They're Xenophobic and bigoted and largely amoral.

      Daniel is now consorting with nature spirits, faeries, anthropomorphic humans, and foreign gods/witches, was known to be on good terms with Mara (who they probably now know was the Unraveller/red beast), has great secrets the Conclave covets and has morals he is willing to defend. To be concise the Conclave is full of conceited unethical people and Daniel's a good person. It's basically inevitable the conflict between them will turn to violence eventually.

      Better than human senses doesn't help if your enemy is underwater. They were all successfully ambushed just outside the keep during the rise of the dead simply because the enemies came from the water. The Wolfen, despite their better than human senses, were also completely oblivious to a gigantic fucking sea serpent until it was in their faces because it was under the water.

      So yeah. That argument is invalid. Until they seriously update the security a powerful demigod/magician assassin could easily sneak into the keep undetected. They could walk right in through the freaking front doors if they were disguised as the right person. There is no magical screening process to get through the gate and the mini-gate is always open during the day anyway (that's how Mara pranced right out the door and was able to get in the first place. Hello. If she had been feeling malicious she could have easily set things on fire on her way in/out) .Someone strong enough could simply bum rush inside, cause wide scale destruction, and escape if they picked the right time (when Cerise/Daniel aren't around and the soldiers are drilling/sleeping).

      Kozalin right now isn't that attractive a target, but its own success will grab the ire and attention of many once all the easy targets have been destroyed. And most of the easy targets have already been destroyed. They don't want to leave a powerful group of wizards alone to scheme and plot. Cerise mentioned how the sea serpent would not want to confront Daniel again because wizards learn from their fights. No way would the many enemies of humanity Gaea has arrayed leave the most difficult target for last. No way. They would want to get rid of all the powerful groups before they figure out the best way to deal with all the novel dangers/beings trying to kill them. Plus I imagine the Great Beasts, which I don't think have been mentioned much yet, will probably look for places with the highest densities of humans to snack on, much like how the Ungols operate.

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  8. Isn't Daniel thinking of joining the Red Conclave?
    Also, xenophobic, bigoted, and largely amoral seems to pretty much describes upper class medieval society in general. In other words, I'm thinking the Conclave is no worse than the nobles or merchants, (not that it makes it right but that seems to be par for the course for this society).
    Daniel should be able to get a very nice price from the conclave for the amulets. It could include golems, more books on magic, additional layers of wards on his island, half succubi daughters, ...etc....
    I think you underestimate the people on the island. Are you saying there is no watch or guards? That the soldiers, wolfen, dryads, satyrs, Elin,(grendelkin), Avilla, (most powerful hearth witch in the world), and Tina,(mother to goddess and cat-girl undergoing massive upgrades), pose no challenges? They're helpless?
    Demtrios actually sent warning about Narfing so the nature people could make a good alarm or more specifically a good model for an alarm enchantment.
    Gaea doesn't strike me as subtle. She's about as stealthy as a sledgehammer. Loki on the other hand does sneaky well. I think Loki is busy focusing on his chess match with Odin and letting Gaea's army,(cannon fodder), take care of the humans for now.
    But one or two more failures and Kozalin will get Loki's attention and that's when things will get interesting. :) I can't wait to see what happens. This series is so good.

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    1. How is the Conclave not being any worse than the nobles a good thing? How does it disprove my point (hint: it doesn't)? Nobles slit Daniel's throat, tried to rob him, shamelessly kidnapped Avilla and Cerise and tortured Avilla. So yeah. "Par for the course for this society" equals violence between Daniel and "society".

      Daniel is thinking about joining the Conclave because he is desperate to survive and needs to cooperate with them because they're his next door neighbors and have lots of information and books he needs. They'd probably take offense or worse if he didn't join. He also wants to burn the Conclave to the ground for the way they regularly beat Elin. Do you not remember Steelbinder (one of the head honchos) talking shit about her like she wasn't there before cruelly suggesting to throw her in the stables? Yeah, just because Daniel fought with Steelbinder does not make them buds.

      Avilla is not the most powerful hearth witch in the world. She is the heir to the greatest hearth witch of the north and has the /potential/ to be the greatest hearth witch in the world. Avilla, as Cerise herself said, does not have any real offensive magic. She can only protect her home, and she hasn't even fully bonded with her kitchen yet. Hestia has other worshippers who are older than Avilla and have more experience/age. Experience equals more power for magic users unless you have access to an unlimited mana supply, and even then experience counts for a lot. Think about how many times Daniel has come to within an inch of death. A lot of the high adepts, placed in the same situation, probably would not have almost died until that last confrontation with the dragon that required pure power.

      Tina has yet to see real battle, and probably won't be battling anytime soon because she's pregnant/will have responsibility for nurturing an infant. Parental responsibilities keep children and mothers of children from front lines.

      Elin does not yet have a grasp of controlling her Grendelkin transformation for battle (she had to punch herself in the face after going into a blind rage) and her expertise lies mainly in healing. She can use water for battle, yeah, but that's not likely going to be very effective until a bit in the future.

      Making an alarm enchantment that works on detecting giant sea serpents isn't impressive. They're gigantic and should be super easy to detect. The fact that he was overlooked until then and there's no system set up to announce "gigantic fucking monster 30 seconds away from reigning terror on us" only underscores my point.

      Gaea doesn't do subtle? Probably wrong. She certainly did a good job sneaking into Loki's prison and secretly raising his child. Even then, that doesn't mean the people under her influence don't. That huge invasion was all Mara and her sister, and it was very subtle and very successful. The veil is down and lots of people are dead. No one saw it coming at all. Something similar could easily happen again.

      Answer this: Currently, what's to stop someone disguised as say, Captain Rain or some carpenter, from walking into the keep, setting off a gigantic explosion, and running out of the keep in the confusion.

      It's kind of a rhetorical question, because the answer is nothing. The soldiers would see no enemies in the panic The wolfen, even if they were around which they probably wouldn't be because there's only ten of them and it wouldn't be hard to avoid them, would be stunned as their enhanced senses worked against them.

      These sorts of harassment/guerilla tactics would already be happening if people knew what Daniel will be capable of in the near future. Well actually, no. They'd probably just send the entire army to kill him, but you get the point. Even Mara, who was digging up as much information on him as possible and got him to tell her things directly, was constantly amazed of the potential threat he posed.

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    2. I thought you were making it seem like the conclave is the worst choice when they are no worse than anything else out there. Daniel can make do with what he has to work with and take advantage of Conclave's blind spots. I mean seriously if the conclave feels like throwing away any other talents like Elin take them off their hands with a smile, (just try not to laugh at their stupidity). Also, as Daniel gets a rep as a great boss he'll have no trouble recruiting talent. Heck, they'll probably show up at his doorstep asking for jobs. :)
      It seems like Daniel and the conclave can have a professional and mutually beneficial relationship. You don't have to like each other to work together and I think Daniel has the conclave's respect as a talented mage which can help him navigate any rough spots even if he is forced to grit his teeth as often as not. Come to think of it the same goes for the prince.

      Gaea strikes me as a not so borderline psycho. Also, I don't think Odin is stupid and I'm betting that everything leading up to and including Loki's escape was set up in some way by Odin. I think Odin has a trump card, (at least he believes he does), that'll let him take out Loki once and for all.

      The alarm is to detect anyone trying to go under water to reach the walls and scale them ninja style. No sea serpent is an issue. As Daniel put it "a sea serpent big enough to attack the tower would be so huge it wouldn't fit in the river". I'm guessing the coven could summon a water elemental/demon to patrol the waters around the island and go after any ninja type threat there but an alarm would make a nice backup just in case.

      About security, I'm kind of curious if you think this would work. Since Daniel practices flesh magic it is possible that he could detect DNA. He could create amulets that act as ID badges which combined with some form of magic scanner matches up the persons DNA with the DNA records on the badge and the DNA stored on site and no match means you have some explaining to do. Also, as far as explosives go I believe Daniel has safeties put on his explosive shells so I guess the saboteur would have to bring his/her own to the party. Also, I think Daniel's people will need to run drills on what to do and where to go when trouble comes, (because you know it will).

      Anyway, thanks for your insight. On a more important note, who do you think is going to become the anime elf? I'm thinking Beri but I'm not sure.

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    3. I think some sort of DNA check is a good idea and feasible with Avilla's expertise in wards and Daniel's intuition with mana and flesh sorcery. However, it would probably require lots and lots of time to make, requiring DNA samples from every person allowed entry in the warding/badge system. And then that would cause huge headaches if they suddenly needed to bring in a few dozen refugees or an important guest when things go to shit. I think it much more likely Daniel will set up some sort of analogous identification system for the Coven's private quarters eventually, but even that will be an ambitious, encompassing project.

      So far, the soldiers don't even have the guns down yet, especially after Daniel gets around to adding bayonets. Such advanced drills will be a while in coming.

      We've not seen any evidence that Gaea is a whackjob. So far her plans are working well. She just really hates humans. She's no different from many humans in that respect. In fiction it's not uncommon for the spirit of the earth to hate humans and want them dead, usually for defiling the earth or some-such reason. As a fan of the Type Moon universe, I was not at all surprised this rendition of Gaea was dead set on exterminating humanity.

      The advantage of being an anime elf seem to be: better eyesight, better hearing, better reflexes, increased beauty and a somewhat extended lifespan. Currently Beri is the only one that makes sense because she is the only female whose name we know who shares mutual trust with Daniel and who is purely human and thus potentially in need of a transformation.

      But Beri doesn't seem to fit. No interest in nature magic, no outwardly expressed desire to get a treatment like Tina's, and she'll eventually be transforming herself through theft like Cerise anyway, so an anime elf transformation might interfere with that.

      I think it more likely Daniel will give the transformation to people who choose to live with the nature spirits in the following months/years. Mostly as a favor to the immortal nymphs so that their new human companions won't die in a mere few decades and have increased beauty. That's my best guess.

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  9. As for empowering the Conclave, the obvious method to do it without shooting yourself in the foot would be to use mana transmission; stream the mana to amulets from an iron cube in Fort Black, with a bit of mana storage in case a ward cuts them off temporarily. Then if the mages get uppity, Daniel can just cut the power.
    (This might be arguably sold as a feature: Traitors can have their amulet disabled remotely. Giving Steelbinder a remote to do this would make him feel in control.)
    Giving higher-powered amulets to Steelbinder and the rest of the leadership would reinforce the social structure, giving them incentive to keep the rest of the mages in line.

    Regarding agriculture, the numbers given by the nature spirits didn't take into account an unlimited mana supply, 24-hour sunlight, perfectly controlled water (and probably an automated mineral enrichment spell once Daniel gets going); the harvest might well be hundred-fold instead of tenfold, with the real bottleneck being getting enough harvesters. Expanding the island over a couple of months would give more space for fields, though digging down is also a viable option.

    I think Daniel should make more specialized equipment for the wolf-aspected troops. Subsonic munitions would do less damage, but help with stealth. Also, Cerise might be able to rig some kind of shadow-flame effect on the flame-throwers, so they won't be as visible in the nighttime. Add skimmer bikes, mines and timed explosives - and maybe some kind of pack bond to let them keep track of each other's position - and they'd be a real terror in the night.

    In my opinion, the fortress needs a factory hall, one where people can go in and use cloak enchanters, iron dispensers etc. Also, much of Daniel's problems with enchantment wear-out seemed to be because he was rushing things - with ten times as many machines working at half the speed, he might just need to tune them up once per day or so.

    Also, no fortress is complete without turrets. Daniel might be able to simulate railguns, if he has long enough gun barrels to work with. Those should be easier to aim over long distances, too, compared to mortars.

    Hmm, I notice we've not yet seen any traditionally bound witches, whom Daniel might agonize over whether to rescue or not. (He hasn't had much interaction with priests either, which might explain that.) In a coming book, perhaps.

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    1. I also really hope that Daniel's smart enough to give away mana transmission objects instead of power source objects. The mana transmission has a distance limit of about 30 miles, but it's not like anyone in the Red Conclave is going to be farther than 10 miles from Daniel's stronghold in the near future.

      Hopefully Daniel's also smart enough to eventually replace those self-sustaining rocks with mana-transmission rocks. They're easily within range and that's just an accident waiting to happen-- in a number of ways.

      And an aside-- why the heck are the tanks hull/armor only an inch thick? In modern tanks the armor is always a couple of inches thick, sometimes over a foot thick. These tanks are supposed to be facing monsters that can rip through iron like it's paper. Shouldn't it at least be two inches thick?

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    2. He has used structural reinforcement on the hulls so it probably is as strong as armor couple of inches thick while being light and providing more space for troops.
      What I would like to know is how the structural reinforcement works. As in how strong does it make stuff.

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  10. I think the red conclave amulets may come in two flavors the self sustaining ones for high adepts and the linked kind for everyone else. (All the amulets will include ways to prevent them from being used against the coven.) I'm guessing a High Adept may want to go on a rescue mission or be free to travel outside the city in some instances.

    As for the tank, I'm guessing Daniel has some serious force enchantments on the armor so it can withstand a serious beating?
    I was thinking that Daniel is going to need someone proficient in air magic.
    I think it could help in the creation of an air force.
    Also, I was thinking about the way you can link amulets to a power source and wondering if you could use tweak that method to allow for the creation of magic cell phones. So the power source also doubles as a cell tower. Of course, you'd probably need an air mage for the voices to be carried back and forth but it might work and could allow instant communication inside the city.

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    1. How would an air mage make instant communications possible? If you are referring to sound being relayed there is such a thing as the speed of sound. That is the only speed that sound travels at. There is no way to speed that up. One way could require a portal of some type to have sound travel through. I can only guess at the energy required for that, and it would not be air magic. He could create devices that convert vibrations into some other type of format and transmits that signal to a second device that recreates the vibrations. That's the only feasible type of 'air magic' work around I can think of. But they would only be able to speak to a central hub unless he linked them all together which would be foolish for security reasons and would most likely have the same range limitations as tapping into the power stone.

      His power source connection seems to be somewhat like quantum entanglement but not really. True quantum entanglement would not deteriorate over distance, so it must simply be some sort of tether. If this is the case then his connection is at risk of being attacked by any who can sense it. To me this means that if he used the same technique to transmit signals they could be jammed or listened in on.

      The author has already made it clear that he wants a more gradual power increase so he doesn't fall into the PS Powers trap. I think communications will be more of an issue between non magic users but we already know that the priest in Fimbulwinter was talking to Kozalin so we know such is possible.

      As to new magical recruits, I think that Mr. Brown is bringing characters into the story that compliment Daniels abilities. We have the rogue, support buffer, and healer now. It also seems as if the nymphs are able to do scrying and detection wards so there is more support magic. I would think Mara is eventually going to be joining the Coven and she is definitely all offense. That leaves.... a tank! Look out for someone with strong defensive magics in the next book. Daniel seems to be a jack of all trades, and fills in where needed.

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  11. I was wondering about Daniel's shield on his amulet. Does it cover him like a glass bowl with the opening in the bottom? That is the wrong way to do the shield. You need to have it cover you in a perfect sphere even under your feet.

    Daniel needs to build into his enchantments a deadman switch incase of someone getting their hands on his equipment and not just his own stuff. He needs them on the skimmers and guns and probably the amulets he is going to give to the Conclave.

    As for his magic he almost needs to start learning more than just his earth and force sorceries like Uknown said "Air magic and maybe water too.

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  12. I'd be interested in a print version more for the sake of supporting you as a writer than for my own benefit, though a lot of ppl I know aren't comfortable with reading from screens so I could perhaps get them involved that way too...

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    1. Also it seems like Black Coven needs a Q & A or discussion thread since most of the posts here seem like that :P

      At least that shows interest, right? Congrats ^_^

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    2. A typo thread too, maybe? I wrote down most of the typos I found, and the sooner there's a thread, the less likely I am to have lost or misplaced the file in the meanwhile.

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  13. This am awesome series. Can't wait for the 3rd book.
    This second book has some problems fi Daniel. Namely the potential WMD power mana amulet, command and control, magic weapons.
    I like the idea of Daniel giving only transmission power tap torcs to the conclave where Daniel will have control over the possible WMD devices.
    Command and control, Daniel and use the enchanted mercury as a glass mirror like a smartphone. It can be palm size, silicate glass backed by the enchanted mercury, like a mirror, behind it is and obsidian slate. Enchanted to indestructible. With secure communication, DNA or blood access or and access decoder ring. This enchanted mercury can also be used as cameras. Daniel can make a proper control room or a command truck that has huge enchanted mercury communication mirrors.
    Weapons can include also a WW2 Bazooka, beer can size ammo that can punch thru a giant. Automatons. Programmed to be cannon fodder can be mass produced. Depth charges for water security, it's every submariners worst nightmare, and 9ft tall Mechas, the answer to the BIG monster problems.
    I love this series. I can't wait for the 3rd book. Five stars for this.

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  14. lengthen the barrels with force, shaped charges ammo, mono thread blades, RPGs, beehive rounds,

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  15. I'm so glad that there are other people out there as hyped as I am about this series. Can't wait for the next vol.

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  17. I also can't wait for the next one.

    But I also hope that you keep the originality of the first book and don't try to recreate a magical version of a WW2 military. Daniel's introduced a lot of stuff already, but it more copying, not innovation.

    An original idea would be going out and offering that serpent a job. The giant snake is maimed, and he ran away from the last fight. Nobody's going to shed a tear if he goes off and dies. Not Gaia. Security the beast's services in exchange for healing his jaw would be a huge bonus for Daniel the Black.

    Besides, from what hints have been dropped so far, the Wizards and Witches of that world seem to have no problem at all recreating effects that work a lot like the technology from Daniel's old world, but only lack the power to do so.

    Daniel should have a building built specifically for his needs as a magic power plant, with a floating ball of rock placed above it. Mention Tesla at least once. Give each wizard access to a car-sized power box, like the kind the tanks use. Program a very large stone to oversee operations. Then collect bills like the power company.

    Communication is easy, and doesn't need magic either. A semaphore telegraph (sound), optical telegraph (lights), shutter telegraph chain, Chappe telegraph, or Napoleonic semaphore is a system of conveying information by means of visual signals, using towers with pivoting shutters, also known as blades or paddles. Information is encoded by the position of the mechanical elements; it is read when the shutter is in a fixed position by telescope. Include Morse Code and you're good.

    Add spotlight to all the important places in the city, banishing the night and looking for nighttime threats. Equip the soldiers with binoculars, telescopes, and magical sunglasses. As for the citizens, instead of mass producing guns, see if you can introduce the compound bow. I know Daniel probably wants to make a gun for everyone, but his people and the soldiers of the city come first.

    By introducing the compound bow and other products the citizens can make themselves to improve their lives, it takes some of the weight off our hero's shoulders. He can't do everything. The more knowledge the citizens have, the better off they'll be.

    Go steampunk if you can. Give Cerise a Force-powered pair of tubes connected to a remote control device so that she can fly with her tiny dragon wings. Like the rocketeer.

    Avilla is going to be having guests, other worshipers of her god of cooking and Housewives. Take a tank and repurpose it into a Meals on Wheels SuperFoodTruck and they'll be naming recepies after him for years.

    All Elin reall needs is a hospital to make her happy. A week providing her with as many various medical gadjets as we can think of will make her happy. Render rat fat down into soaps. Surgical equipment. Use glass and force blades to create a syringe.

    Make Tina a job as the children's Nanny. I know there aren't many of them because most have died off, but I can't think of a more perfect mother-monster to protect them. Toys, Toys, Toys!

    And for hells sake, destroy the catacombs. Either encase the bones in stone or put them through a magical wood chipper. Turn them into a city-sized bomb shelter. Create tunnels that go out some distance and retrieve Granny's artifacts that Cerise and Avilla had to leave behind.

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    1. Semaphores have many faults/weakness to them. They have to be in your own controlled area(Daniel only has the castle to put them). They are line of sight only. Not mobile or secure(anyone can see the messages and capture/destroy the towers.
      The compound bow is not very effective against the undead and other monsters and it would take too long to work vs a rifle.

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    2. I'm not too sure.
      I'm going to assume that wizards have been making magic weapons for a while, and that some of them include enchanted bows and arrows.

      We can't rely on Daniel for EVERYTHING. The wizards and the mundane must have some method of killing the undead and dealing with other monsters.

      Even if they don't work against EVERYTHING, if I was a soldier with a bow and arrow, and there was a better version available, I'd buy it. The wizards could probably enchant the arrows to explode or something.

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    3. Daniel has made better arrows for his wolfens. The trouble is Daniel does not have the time to develop the compound bow. It takes a lot less time to teach and arm a recruit with a rifle and exploding rounds. Remember he is training city folks not warriors to fight.
      He also will need to develop some type of wings for himself (like a hang glider or something).
      He will look how the churches and others commutate with each other.
      I would like to know how he reduced his weight when he scaled the baron's keep.
      He will have to find a few beehives for his food crops and for Avilla's health.
      I would like for him to make some smart(guided) ammo.
      Give Cerise a powerful weapon for her instead borrowing Daniel's.

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    4. I am hoping Daniel remembers Bazookas and RPGS vs Tanks : Bazookas and RPG wins hands down. And would apply that to RPGs / Bazookas vs Trolls and Giants. After all he can make force propelled shells, so why not add an enchantment tip that once it hits the target, it breaks and summons a bit of molten core that explodes....hopefully this will increase the, ha!, attack force factor of his small squads vs Giants and other Large monsters. Soon enough even giants will fear the lone man with that Tube of Metal Doom...after all, never underestimate the will of man to build better weapons...Wars did bring out the most innovative stages of our race.

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  18. In book 2 the guns Daniel made have recoil. But if I recall correctly the bullets are accelerated via force magic. What exactly is causing the recoil?

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  19. You have recoil because the force was pushing against the gun also.

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  20. Hi,
    New reader here. Love your series so far. It combines some of my favorite genres: OP Characters saving the day+harem+Sci-fi+Fantasy and ahem ‘fantasy’+end of the world saving= Good Stuff
    .
    I hope to see more in the next book.

    Now onto a thought for you to savor and work on:
    How come we no get Bazooka or RPG for the small squad teams vs Trolls/Giants? In WW2 and later wars the Bazooka and RPG was the deciding factor whenever small squads had to go up against heavy tanks. Usually the Tanks lose and if you created the magical equivalent, I suspect the small squads would just LOVE blasting Trolls and Giants back to oblivion.

    You can make high explosive shells with the summoning of hot metal Earth core, it would be a similar principle to do that with a force propelled shell loaded with the same enchantment at a large target.

    I will let you work out the ‘magical mechanical’ process of it all. Hopefully should be fun seeing the equivalent someday.

    Hope the next book is doing good.

    Excelsior!

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  21. The bazooka and the RPGs also use a shaped charge to penetrate the target. I think that he also develop weapons to handle large dragons also!

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  22. Okay, I say enough about the weapons!

    I want to see more creatures. What kind of mythical sentients is Daniel going to form alliance with next? They can't all be Monster Girls, or William's books are going to be slotted into a different category on Amazon.

    How about a giant Man-Bat Monster? Daniel dosen't seem like the guy who would care about a monster's looks if they were on his side. So I'd like to see a chapter where a truly hideous creature comes around looking for sanctuary.

    Something like a cross between dryer lint and the Blob that's all grey and smelly with long tentacles and teeth and poisonous barbs.

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  23. I wonder whether there are Cinnamon Dryads...
    Daniel should probably arrange to bring in some bees, too. Even if the dryads can short-circuit the need for pollination, Avilla still needs the honey.

    BTW, if Daniel can gift people with mana-sight, giving it to the Wolfen might pay off in the long run; having your scouts be able to spot magical disguises, traps and alarm spells only makes sense, after all.

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  24. Cinnamon, cork trees, tea,silk was found in the Far East along with many other spices. Rubber, coffee, beans, corn, and potatoes was found in the Americas. The bees are asleep so Daniel should get some before they starve. He should also heal his troops of night blindness.

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  25. Does Avilla need honey or just sugar? The sugar can come from the fruit.

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  26. Daniel is against a lot of powerful entities, Gods, demigods, titans, mythical monsters, fae of legend and so much more. So Daniel has to take all the advantages he needs. Medieval weaponry is good but firepower is better. Have Daniel equip his personal troop with the best weapons he can make and supply the others with weapons that are for the civilians and at the same time devastating to the enemy. Like civilian weapons be designed like the lever action Winchester where operating it needs to lever cock each shot. While Daniels troops be provided with a barrel over-under auto shotgun style, no reloads, and between the barrels is a force bayonet makes the weapon an instant melee.
    As for mobility for Daniel, I saw a movie Jupiter ascending and I saw this soldier Caine Wise use a gravity boot as a rollerblade. Daniel could design a levitation and propulsion spell on his boot to do the same. That would be neat. Or he could follow iron man with his repulsor propulsion.
    Daniel also could use another melee weapon, like an arm bracer that cover the whole forearm. Which can also extends 2 blades in each arm where Daniel can do extreme berserker damage.
    As for air power. Daniel could design a single sweater attack craft like what the G.I. Joe toys. It's VTOL and capable of giving a lot of hurt.
    If Daniel ain't cheating, then he ain't trying to win. And winning for survival is everything.
    Love the books. Plz dont keep us a waiting.

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  27. I think that he does not have time to develop weapons that are complex like the Winchester or attack aircraft. As for melee weapons you are fighting beings that are lot bigger and stronger with longer reach than you using trees and boulders to fight you!

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    1. A lot of the traditional problems associated with complex weapons because of purely mechanical constraints do not exist for daniel since he can substitute it with magic. For example with an attack aircraft. He has to figure out how to make things fly (done with his earth orb) how to make the controls more easy to use (done with his hover bike) how to arm it (all his other weapons) how to protect it (shield generators) and how to communicate (coming up). Problems such as fuel and ammo are eliminated and he does not even have to make use of traditional wing designs since he technically does not need wind for lift. Just my 2 cents on just one weapon but he does not need to be limited by the complexities that we face with purely non magical design.
      The biggest challenge I think he faces is 1) Trained manpower 2) Mass production capability.
      Commoners will need to adapt to a paradign shift in though patterns to actually adapt to and effectively use even the simpler weapons he creates so exotic weapons like attack aircraft will have to wait.

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  28. To get somewhere he is basely jumping a short distance at a time. He has not being able to stay up yet. Even Daniel already developed magically enhanced guns, shields, spears, arrows for his troops Jmon0427 wanted to develop a Winchester lever action.

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  29. hey guys, I am just letting my imagination run wild. Daniel has already created an IFV(infantry fighting vehicle), mortar, rifles, quick draw pistols, even a light saber or his version if it. I just want it to be exciting. I want Daniels people to survive and prosper. I still believe that Daniel can overcome this through superior firepower whether its the Gods, Demigods, Titan monster or from the Prince or the Conclave. I just want him to kick butt. I cant wait what he will come up next. I wonder if Daniel will try to recruit those refugees he saw when he built a refugee building near the well. where he noticed a group of people who where organized an came prepared for the siege. I wonder if Daniel is going to approach the man with the dogs or investigate that hooded person in the crowd who was trying to hide its talent.
    is there any news on when the 3rd installment is coming?

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  30. well here's a thought, since he can grow rock or nickel iron easly like with how he made his castle, and since he can make some magic nuclear power plants to force feed spells, why not have him make another (a backup incase something happens to the main one, cause you never know in war) power plant and make a giant block of stone/iron under the river and/or on the riverside (or both) and then just banish the rock/iron for the space he needs, then he can have A LOT of space for growing crops plus safer cause it would have something like 100+ feet thick walls (imo i would make it 50 meters or more)... hmm now that i think on it a bit more he may need to do something like this anyways if he's going to have any chance of feeding a good portion of the city, since he will need those people to keep his new home safe

    hmm, he's made a magic elavator, maybe make a thick pillar (or 4, one at each cornor) with an glass windowed elavator for look-outs? bad weather will suck but if he doesnt have a magic radio yet you can have a message container and tube to drop it down to the people below,,, or just develop morse code and use lights but daniel probaly doesn't have that much time

    now for wepons, i want a tank! actualy i want to see a few tanks (suspension would be easy with force magic but idk if they would have tracks/wheels or hover) but not sure how efective they would be when he can just make more motars and just bomb any enemy force away,, wait they can be used as mobile walls and dont really need to fear any morter bombs hiting near them riping them apart, i think using them as a heavy reaction force for any breaches in the city walls? the APC's are fine for a fast reaction force but sometimes you need something that can take a few heavy hits and live to keep fighting

    one thing daniel needs to figure out IMO is how to have a spell reinforce it's self and/or reinforce the spells it's attached to, along with different ammo types that can be used in the guns he makes, like changing the magizene will change the bullet type from a solid bullet into a shreder, or explosive (like what he did with his gun) and it just has a different reload/remake time as it's more complex than a solid mass of metal
    doing that will make his force surivibalty rise, as some things (like undead) just need to be choped/smashed to pieces

    hmm, didn't expect to make a wall of text

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  31. I believe Daniel should only provide "receiver" amulets able to receive part of the transmitted Mana feed generated at his Keep. The 5-ton Mana Generator in the base of Daniel's Keep already has 6 glyph channels. He should split those channels into many more sub-glyphs channels so that he can independently control the flow to each pendent sold.

    Do you really believe many of the Red Conclave's Wizards will risk pissing Daniel off after he becomes the "Mana "Power Company". If someone is that stupid, Daniel can either dial-down their mana flow or turn if off completely until their atttitude changes.

    Also, once all the major players get a good look at how easily Daniel destroyed Hell's invasion "Gateway" ships they should clearly understand that it's suicide to try attacking his Keep Island. I firmly believe that leaders of the Red Conclave will be so eager to have Daniel as an official menber that they won't give a damn who he let's live on his Island. Remember, the Island is outside of the city proper and as High Adept Steelbinder said, "We don’t play by the rules, we make them."

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  32. I think that the six glyphs are for him and the coven. He could make another 5-ton Mana Generator for the other wizards and put as many glyphs he wants to. He also could make there's any shapes, amounts, places or weights he wants to.

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  33. This is what I think Daniel should look into:

    1)Recruit more warriors from the refugees, like the ones he saw when building the towers for the displaced people, some one had already suggested this and I too think it a good idea
    2)Compulsory service: everyone should have to learn how to fight with Daniels weapons, even the women, so they have a chance to defend themselves should the need arise
    3)Daniel should be a little more secretive around the Red Conclave, they seem like a somewhat untrustworthy group, and we have already seen that Loki's supports have infiltrated the organization
    4) A Force field over the wall, since the wall is already strong as it is, that prevents incoming missiles from going over the wall, but allows out going missiles through, a type of selective permeability
    5)A healing room within the fortifications that they can just throw the wounded in that dumps massive amounts of magic into them until a healer can get to them
    6) More mines on the causeway, because it seemed quite successful against Hel's army
    7) After witnessing the creation of a cat-girl, Daniel should now be able to easily make the body modifications to himself that he wanted to, such as greater strength, agility, regeneration and senses
    8) Mines in the water to destroy any water creature that should pose a threat
    9) Conveyer belt system for making complex enchanted objects. Rather than have one machine that makes a finished product, why not make several machine. This may help in preventing the decay of the machine. For example, the rifle: A machine to make just the stone rifle setting, then a machine to put the force enchantment on the rifle that propels the projectile and lastly a machine that makes the unlimited ammo enchantment
    10)Artillery/Anti-air weapon: I think that the German 88 Flak Cannon would be a good idea, something that was devastating to both land and air targets. Using the conveyer system( if possible), Daniel could make the stone cannon with one machine, the force enchantment that moves the projectiles with another, creates the percussion ammo (explodes on impact) with another machine , another machine that creates a switch on the cannon that allows it to use different ammo (like his personal pistol), and lastly a machine that allows the cannon to use proximity ammo (detonates near a target) that goes off when at least 10-20 feet near an organic creature

    So here is my two cents, do with it what you will
    Also, make another post, I dying to know what's going on. How's the creation of the next book going?

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    1. 5) Do the same to the mobile carriers as a first aid charm for the troops.
      6)Instead of a causeway build a drawbridge and put mines between the buildings.
      8)Mines cannot tell friends from foe use depth charges instead.
      9) that is more like a assembly line.
      10) I thought that it was his iron rifle? He used a different cylinder for different effects.

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  34. Here's an important question that hasn't been asked yet.

    Slaves.

    Are their slave pens in the city? it seems that their are magically bound people, so their should be slaves and a market for that kind of thing. Also criminals. Book 2 had lots of the city's government being killed. there has to be an Mafia or something for Daniel's enemies to work with.

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  35. It has been said before but the more I think about it the more I like the idea of him constructing his fortress underground. Kind of like levels in a dungeon. He can do the same thing he did for the dryad habitats and add illusions to make it seem like the surface world but it has a lot of advantages.
    1) Lesser energy needed for heating. The deeper he goes the warmer it gets.
    2) Easier to defend since he can reinforce the walls and add defences against burrowing creatures.
    3) He can designate floors for different things he wants to keep hidden from the other humans and gods (Idun's trees, other fae creatures).
    4) Massively expands the amount of space he has to keep his stuff.

    I am not sure of the cons of this approach though. He can end up being a dungeon lord!! Thoughts?

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    1. Air circulation would be critical. There are not enough dryads to do that so access to the surface and a way to keep air moving is needed. No one yet has air magic so he'll need to check the Conclave's library and hope. Also, if even at the current industrial level you have industries that create toxic byproducts. Need a way to collect and remove it.

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    2. magic can be used to make forced draft ventilation system. The industries are already handling the toxic byproducts. also many new industries can be started from those byproducts like explosives.

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