The ensuing days have been busy, and the first essay deadline’s been met. Though I should be working on the foreword for the 10th anniversary The Speed of Dark, Book V dragged me back (interrupted by watching the Sandy coverage and for friends’ return online after. Also, there was this 43rd anniversary we had, and yes–we went out to dinner.) I don’t have the final title for Book V (as you can imagine, communication with Editor has been…er…nonexistent as the whole publishing industry in Manhattan has been struggling to get back to work, along with others.)
But…a critical scene is slowly coming together. As previously hinted, yes–certain things left hanging in Liar’s Oath will be dealt with. How to deal with them has been a problem, and how to gauge the effect of magelords who slept through close to 500 years has been tricky. Is it even possible for them to be wakened and brought out of Kolobia? What if it’s not? Will they all just die? Or–would something kill them in place? If so, what, and why not before now?
Assuming, for the moment, that waking them is possible, what then do we have, in terms of people interacting with people? For instance: what language(s) do they speak? When they ruled the lands that are now Fintha and Tsaia, the native peoples, whom they’d subjugated, had their own language and a sort of creole with the magelords’ own language (which had changed since they lived in Aare–as Gird’s time is some hundreds of years after the Fall of Aare.) English today isn’t the same as in the early 1500s; even where the same words are used, they were pronounced differently then.
So…who could talk to, or understand, whom? What’s really changed, beyond the political system in the years since Gird, besides language? Not as much as has changed in our world between 1512 and 2012, for sure…but politically a lot. The Aarenis of Gird’s day did not have the Guild League–not the merchant-built cities or the Guild League agreements or roads or trade networks or the standard Guild League currency. How would the magelords of Luap’s colony (assuming they can be revived, for the moment) be perceived by those in the Paksworld of the present…and how would they perceive the present? From the older book–from Luap’s perspective, which is how I wrote that book, fogged as I was by grief at my mother’s death–it seems like all the magelords who go with him to the west were “safe” magelords–the good ones, or at least repentant ones, the bad ones all having been killed off.
But…that is unlikely, just on the basis of human history. The rich and powerful (and some downright nasty) may be forcibly evicted and turned into hardworking and cooperative subsistence farmers somewhere else, but is that a real conversion or…are there those who–unbeknownst to Luap and to the young paladins Seri and Aris–were still as they had been?
And what do the old magelords know–that was common knowledge 500 years ago–and isn’t common knowledge in the present?
Figuring this out has been slower than I hoped it would be…deciding which of several approaches to this would be best for the whole Paladin’s Legacy story arc…has been less obvious. Also, on the trip to NYC, I realized that a large chunk already written for Book V did not belong to this story but to another. (Why this wasn’t obvious when I wrote it, I don’t know.)
This late in the whole story, I’m a little concerned that speculation here on both Limits of Power and Book V (which some of you enjoy, and no wonder) will be major spoilers for others (which you don’t enjoy, and no wonder.) Those of you good at speculation are too darn good sometimes. So…do those of you who want to speculate want another spoiler-space thread for that purpose, or do you want to speculate purely off-list?