Daniel Black Open Thread

There seem to be a lot of people who still want to talk about what Daniel ought to be doing and what enchantments he should be working on, so I figured I’d give you a better place to do it that the comments of an unrelated post. I may even answer a few questions, as long as they don’t give away anything I have planned for future books.

Of course, the answer to most questions of the form ‘why hasn’t Daniel done X’ is ‘he hasn’t had time’. At the end of Extermination it’s only been about three months since he was summoned, and he’s been insanely busy for that entire time. So his enchantment work has focused almost entirely on things he could do quickly, without having to spend much time figuring things out.

The other point I want to mention, though, is that Daniel isn’t intended to be some perfectly hyper-competent superman. He’s just a guy who had enough brains, imagination and determination to get the job done, at least so far. But there were several places where I intentionally had him do things that turned out to be a mistake because it fit his attitude at the time, or because he had no way of knowing better. That’s going to continue to happen in the future, although he is learning.

My inspiration for Daniel actually comes from some of the more capable players I’ve met in tabletop RPG games over the years. You know that guy who can debate everything from Napoleonic military tactics to advanced space launch technologies? The one who keeps bypassing the GM’s carefully constructed plot complications by doing something clever but sensible instead of just charging after the obvious plot hooks? The one who always seems to be overpowered, because he reads all the rulebooks and carefully min-maxes his  characters? That’s Daniel.

The trouble is, it’s a lot easier to talk about things than to actually do them. Real life doesn’t come with a rulebook, and just because you watched a video about something once doesn’t mean you can do it. So even with the huge cheat of mana sorcery, there’s going to be a lot of trial and error in Daniel’s future.

He’s still frustrated that he can’t remember how a Geiger counter is supposed to work…

8,384 thoughts on “Daniel Black Open Thread

  1. So here’s a question: can Daniel’s flesh sorcery be used to summon beef, chicken, or other kinds of meat? He can summon muscle tissue, blood (both human and elf), and do repair work on Avilla, so couldn’t he affect other forms of flesh? Even if he needs a sample to work from, making a sausage-making factory enchantment should be doable. That would eliminate one of his major concerns (food).

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    1. Even if he could do that…I for one wouldn’t wish for that solution in the books.

      It reminds me more of disgusting synthy-flesh-factorys out of dystopian scifi / cyberpunk novels than the fantasy genre.

      I would prefer the newly on unlimited mana-feed (evolved?) dryad-groves being the answer.

      Besides stronger dryads / nymphs with interesting new capabilities it could mean even better food production…maybe even flesh production (stags, boars….rabbits..).

      Even though it is possible to live as a vegetarian (?)….
      ….nobody should deprive DB of his breakfast bacon fix respectively withhold half the ingredients for his gorgeous kitchen-doll-chef (Avilla? not sure of the name…).

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      1. If that is the issue, they can always send the Intrepid or elves along the underways. Luxury needs can be met. If we are talking about the rank and file then I am afraid Daniel’s ethics will come to the fore. Would he really sacrifice production capacity, meaning that he can rescue fewer people and keep fewer troops, just for culinary preferences?

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      2. I’m not a native speaker so the intended tongue-in-cheek probably didn’t come through.

        IMO the food problem is solved.

        The nature spirits make sure that enough nourishment is available. If that takes the form of meat, crop, vegetables, roots, berries or magic grass is not really important.

        Having said that…. I like the world building in the novels and to read how Black Island is evolving/improving.
        How are those foods produced? How does who harvest, store and distribute it? Is there enough to export (after serious stockpiling…it’s the end of the world after all). How will the dryad-grove upgrade affect the food production? How was it before? How is it now? What is the food situation in Kozalin (and beyond)?…

        I like the household scenes with DB and his coven too. It brings us nearer to the main character. I enjoyed the short domestic scenes with Avilla cooking for Daniel and the other girls.

        So since I really like to eat in general (and especially eating meat) and because Avilla is my favorite of the coven girls…I would like to have at least Daniel (if not the whole island) access to meat!

        And yes….I am aware that this reason _may_ not be that crucial for the story or other readers…. 😉

        And of course no expedition with air ships or dozens of retainers is necessary.

        Just some lines that the wood harvest expeditions outside Kozalin shot some rabbits or something for him would be enough in my book.

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      3. “And of course no expedition with air ships or dozens of retainers is necessary.”

        It is likely beneficial for other reasons, too. Intelligence alone would justify it. Plus Avilla absolutely needs spices. If he can turn a profit and get more food, why not? And there is no reason to let the Intrepid stay idle.

        And I still think he should get a few foreign mercenaries. If it comes to that, they’ll be readier to fire on civillians.

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      4. @ Oliver. I forgot that Avilla needs spices. I think the first thing Daniel will do is plant the spices in the dryad grove, and ask them to tend it… Although cinnamon tree you need to cut the bark off (skin it alive).. How will the dryads react to that?

        Most likely he would use his kitchen garden and have one of the dryads “bless” it. Maybe his bound familiar dryad, when he finally “takes her”. Honey is more likely going to be the problem. I don’t know if all the bees are dead yet(in Europe), or just hibernating. They can gather shit and trade, but they need to be self sufficient. Daniel will live at least 100 more years, and Avilla is immortal (once she gets her special juice, ever so often).

        They need to catch some bees and have the dryads care for them, I’m sure with the “empowered groves”, the nectar (there are fruit trees dryads) the bees will be drinking would power them up something fierce, maybe like those steroid bees from family guy. I’m sure after years(or months) of feeding on mana enriched nectar, the bees would be changed. Maybe their honey would have special qualities, or become a poor man’s version of Olympus ambrosia. Hecate has to eat too.

        All Daniel has to do is be eating at the table and he tastes something that jogs his memory, he gets all serious and asks avilla about her spice problem, she might get emotional and start crying when she sees how much Daniel cares. She will tell him don’t worry about it, she has enough to last a few months, and that the elves will bring more. But Daniel being Daniel will realise that if this winter continues, and spreads around the world, a lot of the things she needs will be hard to come by.

        If Avilla hasn’t thought of growing some of her “special ingredients” in the garden, Daniel will suggest it (but most likely she did, although a cinnamon tree would take ages to mature to the point of harvesting, so he will introduce the dryad idea), then he will think about honey, and how that can’t be grown. Then he gets the idea about bees, and sends the elves to do some bee catching.

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      5. We are talking about Avilla. He will go all out and construct a tropical greenhouse. That will allow him to keep Indian bees should they have died out in Europe. But this is an ice age, not snowball Earth. The tropics will be all right. And he can always send the Intrepid to North Africa, as long as he makes sure that nobody must mention catgirls.

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      6. @ Oliver. Doesn’t iceage mean, everywhere covered in snow? Even the tropics? Doesn’t it mean snow falling in the Caribbean and Egypt?

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    2. He can heal living creatures, but he can’t just summon a chunk of meat out of nowhere. So if he wanted to do that he’d have to come up with some kind of gruesome slaughterhouse setup where they repeatedly cut chunks off of an animal and let them regenerate. I don’t think he’s desperate enough to consider that.

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      1. Fair enough. So if summoning meat is off the table (heh) then perhaps he’ll be able to collaborate with the dryads to engineer meatfruit-trees. Similar to bread-fruit, but with a high protein content and animal-tissue texture.

        Of course that would likely be a much longer-term project, and possibly not worth the effort.

        So where is the livestock being pastured? He could probably make sub-subterranean caverns with artificial lighting and water sources. Those could have even more area than the official deeded area, and he can go downwards quite a ways. Of course that invites burrowing threats unless he levitates the whole structure.

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      2. I would say that if Avilla can bake a gingerbread girl, she can also bake a gingerbread cow. However, this is very much a luxury problem. The only thing they might actually need in the long run is milk for the children.
        Why do you care that much about meat? Daniel has healing magic and hearth witches. Nobody will get sick from malnutrition.

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      3. In response to Oliver Neukum’s question as to why I care so much about meat. Because it’s MEAT! Plants are what food eats:-).

        And yes, Black and the Dryads can probably magic away nutritional problems, buy why do that when a supply of meat (and many of the refugees have been depicted with livestock…consider the first airship rescue mission) is available and most people like it? If it can be made readily and cheaply available then there’s no reason not to. Plus the native menu is likely deficient in various nutrients (consider Daniel’s repeated commentary on people’s night-blindness due to poor nutrition).

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      4. Why not go for meat?

        Simply put, space, work force and agricultural efficiency. And these to him are not question of cost. They are matters of life and death.
        The groves are a finite resource (I don’t understand why he buys no dryads on a slave market. But that is another question.) They are best at pushing plant yield. Anything that an animal eats, which a human being could eat, is a waste. As is anything that is grown for animal consumption on land that could grow plants for human consumption. And the animals need room. As do the people who handle them. And that needs to be defended.
        Granted, there may be agricultural wastes you want to find a use for. But now we are talking about a part of the operation you want to minimize and, if possible, eliminate.

        And that is a consideration you are making while people outside are starving to death. Now I might be more sanguine than most and say that eventually he should close off his realm, but still even for his own good he wants to have a large garrison and families.

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      5. I note that according to Nordic Mythology, the Aesir do pretty much *exactly* that with their magically reviving boar, Sæhrímnir, which they slaughter every night to supply bacon to all of Valhalla. (Hopefully, they don’t bother regenerating its brain. Or maybe they switched pain receptors for pleasure ones, and the pig is having a great time.)
        (Also, apparently their dwarf-made artifact Draupnir continually manufactures gold, much like Daniel’s gold factory setup.)

        Though rather than that, in a pinch Daniel could probably just directly replenish people’s fat reserves. That way, they could be moderately hungry forever, without ever actually starving.

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      6. So if he can’t just summon meat I wonder if he could “grow” a bunch of extra of the important parts of a creature and then remove that extra portion and keep it alive. Something like the wool production portion of a sheep’s skin that was kept alive in a nutrient bath or something that could become a “factory” for wool so people could get warm clothing. Much the same with the udders of a cow for milk.

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    3. He might bleed his livestock Massai style and eat blood pudding or sausage. I am surprised by lengths some people are willing to go to for meat.

      If we want to be a bit less bloody, does his magic work for other body fluids? Could he make a super milk collar?

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      1. I wholly support Jabrwok above! If I’m building my own fortress for the apocalypse there will be bacon. His idea for the “breadfruit” tree has me picturing a vine like watermelons but instead of melons have “eggs” where the animal gestates and comes to something like physical maturity. Gross but probably effective. Most likely it would look like the stasis trees Gaia created.

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    4. I don’t understand what the issue is with food. The indoor farms already work. All that has to be done is build a larger version. Vertical doesn’t only go up it can also go down. Just build out the granite fortress to expand underground. Making sure it is under the riverbed and doesn’t interfere with the sewer. then build out a farm as large as you please. With the help of the updated dryads you should be able to adjust the enchantments to boost the crop yield without their direct intervention and you could then feed the entire city, (and more). You could get fancy and have different floors have different climate so you can grow a greater variety of things. Also, you create floors that have set up to accommodate animals and have a nice supply of meat, eggs, and dairy. Of course this would take time to build but you could then have an underground community of farmers helping to feed and cloth everyone.

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      1. Mike, This is much like what I have pictured. I’d eventually spread arcology style blocks all over the place. Since he can create sunshine then even putting parks in (eventually after the real needs are met) shouldn’t be a problem. I’d also start working with the elves to figure out the magic on the hollow world enchantment and see if I could create something like that. If you could remove your fortress from the world and have it only accessible by a type of hidden ways that you are great powers could access that would make defense much easier. Only the truly powerful could come against you and no more threats of random creatures.

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  2. So will Daniel become a shapeshifter in the future, or he will guet stuck on only transforming into a Elf or a Catgirl??? I really hope he guets to adress the hole Alpha thing with the wolf clan on his state soon. I fear that will create a lot of unnecessary friction if not dealed properly.

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    1. Why would he like to become a shapeshifter? The boss, grand sorcerer and chief researcher doing long covered missions in disguise is quite bad an idea. That is not to say that a few shapeshifters in the force wouldn’t be cool. But Hecate knows that and there are more important issues.

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      1. As it has been show so far Daniel has been experimenting a lot with is flesh magic and improving himself with it, so shapeshifting would help him guet new ideas on how to improve his physic. Not to mention that it was really usefull in the last book for the attack on Gaia planetoid. You never know when you migth need to guet hairy and infiltrate some crazy were cult.

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      2. @Paps. He is researching so he can make more wereanimal guards/soldiers. The next book will have him investigating the wolf energy that Ceris stole when they were learning to fly.

        The only reason he had to infiltrate Gaia’s planetoid was because there was so much that could go wrong, and if he was found out/his people, whole pantheons would have started to target Daniel’s island directly.

        Normal scouting could be done by others.

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      3. I am no saying he needs to, it will help him a lot to take advantages of diferent species and incorporate it in him, like he plans to do with the Elv sense of balance once he transformed into one, maybe he could guet the agumanted sense of other species and try to emulate them. But well he must have his hands full with so mutch just to survive that I doubt he will guet to have time to play with such a scenarios.

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      4. Ah. I get you. He will become an amalgam of creatures.
        Night sight of elves, reflexes of catgirls, easy travel over snow of wolfen, etc. I get you.

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      5. Experimentation of that kind seems to be better done on somebody more expendable. And Daniel is the best healer, so if something goes wrong he should be ready to intervene. And frankly, as Cerise and Avilla already know how to do that, why not let them do it?

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  3. I would suggest that Daniel should find someone with an eidetic memory, then use his flesh sorcery to copy this ability for himself. He would then be able to remember how to make a Geiger counter.

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    1. I’m sure there will be a way for Daniel to get a survival book of some kind from Earth. One of those old Survival guides, or a “how things work” guide. Hekate said that Earth was only a few worlds away, I’m sure the elves with their backway knowledge could find a way to get something from Earth.

      They could bribe Ratatoskr (world tree squirrel from Norse Mythos) to somehow get a survival book from the earth realm.

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      1. Hecate said Earth was “a few octaves down”, which would imply at least 24 worlds away if an octave is eight world, though it might mean something else. She’s also said that she’s not willing to risk going back to Earth, so that’s likely not an option.

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      2. She said “she” is not willing to risk it because of the pact made between the titans and some old cosmic beings. The dark elves I’m sure could get a book. Even if its an encyclopedia Britannica, that would be immensely helpful. He can even mimic the things he reads about with magic.

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    2. I think you got it wrong. All an eidetic merory would do is allow him to remember all the things he’d done from the moment he gained the ability, not remember stuff that he’s already forgotten.

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      1. Actually according to modern science you never actually forget anything you sense, it simply happens that without an eidetic memory you are unable to access certain memory stores because you haven’t been using them

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    1. I at least want him to face opponents who kick back. And not just with numbers. Things like Loki playing him were really good. Decisions like him going into the fight in Lanrest or leaving Avilla’s home openly are necessary. He must make mistakes.

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  4. So all the centuries of magic and with diverse schools of magic in this alternate reality – do any of them have something to help you remember things you have studied?

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  5. Need to do more with healing/flesh summoning items. Ideally a collar that lets you essentially repeatedly slaughter and dress a cow or sheep. A way of turning mana into protein will become a bigger issue as he has to feed and house a bunch of people.

    Another variation of same would be a bed designed to heal each race, starting with human. Just something that pumps healing energy evening into someone lying on it would really help with recovery and drop something like that off at Conclave is a good way of explaining to both the prince and the magi why neither he nor his favorite healer is showing up to do triage. Might also be a good way of mending fences with the prince.

    Fountains that runoff that magic stone he gave the conclave that output loose magic, so they can run their existing magic items without worrying about depleting the ambient magic. It will also likely reduce the amount of resentment.

    Sponsor X-Prizes for the conclave magi, that the first one to produce a pair of magical items that can transmit codes or images between two pair devices. (Magical Telegraph or signal men will greatly help with the fight overall, as well as helping our dark elves conduct trade.)

    Another prize for anyone with a decent way of turning mana into cloth, spices, leather (we might have source but why let on), etc. We’ve got generators but we don’t have resources. Turn the conclave and especially the conclave apprentices into research monkies in return for the promise of an amulet if they succeed.

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    1. “…Need to do more with healing/flesh summoning items. Ideally a collar that lets you essentially repeatedly slaughter and dress a cow or sheep….”

      Let’s say healing and regeneration is the same and the idea will work.

      Do you really want to constantly cut pieces out of a living animal?

      Isn’t that waaay to gross (even IF an anesthesia would work with a constant flow of healing/regeneration energy)?

      I’m a passionate meat eater and I can put a gloss on present industrial meat production with the best of them (when I’m not actively turning a blind eye on those conditions), but THAT may be a reason to go vegetarian!

      DB has probably a lot of more urging jobs before he builds beds for other people.

      The Conclave has handled the ambient magic level for centuries before…and now they have a (virtually) unlimited mana-source for heavy (magic) lifting. While presents for one’s host as the new wizard in town would be nice to generate potential goodwill…I can’t discern pressing need for that.

      That is a good idea.

      Daniel knows (next to) nothing about magic and depends heavily (besides some instinct-knowledge from his sorceries) on his mana-sorcery and improvises his ass off.

      To find means to steal/borrow/copy/harness the two thousand year old experience and knowledge of this worlds magic users would be a grand step!

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      1. The meat issue isn’t as big of an issue as people hear seem to think. The average mid-evil European peasant didn’t eat meat except on special occasions (The goat died, someone killed a rabbit) which were often excuses for impromptu feasts. Most of their diet consisted of barley, more barley, and a smattering of other vegetables and cheeses. When they were thirsty, they drank, yup, barley beer. The nobility on the other hand, often ate meat. Seeing as Daniel is the king of his castle, it wouldn’t be seen as unusual for him and his nobles to eat meat while the rest go without. As long as he can provide barley, vegetables, and cheese, the peasants will be content. Anything beyond that would be considered a boon.

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      2. Of course… you are soo right!

        It’s rash/stupid to unveil that weakness.
        It would lead to unpleasant questions!

        The above mentioned stealing/copying/harnessing of the witzards magic experience/knowledge has to take place covertly.

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      3. Firstly, yes, meat is not necessary for survival, health, or general nutrition. However, it is easier to digest and denser in proteins. Now though, the dryads fruits and vegetables are probably amazing, and even if I do like meat a bit, i think, in this place, I would only be eating magic fruits and magic vegetables… they sound divine (pun intended). But seriously, the meat is not magically enriched, or enhanced (currently, and it probably won’t enhance the flavor all that much if it is, but magic is weird…) whereas the fruit and vegetables are.

        As far as slaughtering an animal, healing, repeat, over and over again? Could work, just change the pain receptors to pleasure and the animal will have a good time (I saw this suggestion in an earlier comment by elyandarin). Probably best to use an enchanted collar (regeneration [maybe add additional nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and magically enrich it, should make people more prone to being able to use magic. Eating magical plants would do the same] and pain/pleasure switch) for this.

        As for knowledge on magic, the dark elves should have some, and those in his circle, and if worst comes to worst, he can abduct a low rank wizard.

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  6. Daniel Black has virtually unlimited magical resources.
    His mana-sorcery makes him a Gary Gearloose of magic and together with his mana-reactor-cheat-enchantment he could build effectively anything.

    The minmax-cheater in me is gleefully clapping at all those ideas. In a computer game I would instantly activate those features.

    But in a book…especially in a series I have my doubts.
    Where is the suspense with all this ultimate magic solutions?

    Last minute rescue?
    Not required, just put them in the magical healing room. Daniel/Elin can heal them when they are finished with dinner. Or have their new healing amulets/collars already solved the problem?

    Overwhelming invading army. Send the first group of 20 golem power armor suits and the remote controlled gun drones to support the division of earth- and air elementals and then the hover tank force to mop up the rest of the opposition.

    Okay, that’s overblown…but you get the drift.

    I really like to see Daniel increase his (magical) might and crank out myriad cool gadgets, but it needs to be balanced.

    So far the lack of time in conjunction with the rapidly rising threat level and the constant pressure is the storytelling instrument to limit Daniel…hopefully Mr. Brown is able to ride the edge in book 4 and beyond.

    PS: Having said that….I would really enjoy reading furthermore about every imaginable (magic) idea in this blog!

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    1. I think you are underestimating the threat level. Daniel’s defenses are not that good. They are specialised against numerous, tough, but not extremely tough enemies. A night air attack would leave him in deep shit. Small flying targets create the same issues. Invisible foes that can climb walls. Sound attacks – Sirens.

      He has several points of weakness. If he ever faces an enemy who can detect and sever mana links, his field army is toast. His guard forces have no defense against illusions.

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      1. Black Citadel is a most impressive fortification.

        More than 50 m high magically regenerating, polished walls (too smooth for climbing without magical help).

        With 2 cm four-barreled anti-aircraft guns with unlimited ammunition and mortars able to deliver shells with the explosive power of a World War II bomb.

        Encompassed by a moat.

        Shielded by a multitude of wards laid by the mighty coven of the dark wizard.

        Even the lowliest guard is wearing plate mail (usually only knights can afford them) and has a rifle with unlimited ammunition able to penetrate even dwarven plate at distance.

        Their allies in the citadel are centuries old magic wielding dark elves with now unlimited mana and powerful nature spirits (also evolved/upgraded thanks to unlimited mana feed).

        And they are led by a millennia old magical warrior with unheard-of military experience.

        So they have overpowering weapons, gigantic self-regenerating fortifications, lots of strong magic and exceptional experience on their side.
        All this created in 4 weeks (6? How long is he in Kozalin?)!!
        So yes, this is just the beginning and there is room for improvement.

        But I think it’s adequate just now and before he tinkers with invisibility/illusion detectors or power-armor-golems or other counter-measures against phantom threats (so far) he has several other more important projects on the list.

        The continuation of the story will probably show what threats will arise and how DB and his cohorts adapt to the new treats.

        I hope that those opponents (whoever or whatever they are) will at least seriously threaten any defence DB can field (no matter how strong this defence is) in order make the next book(s) as exciting as the first three.

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      2. A fortification you can enter with a shopping bag as password.

        An artillery which relies entirely on one spell. Daniel’s fortifications are about as good as can be expected. That does not mean they are good enough, nor does it change the fact that he has only this one fortress. Life is not fair. As good as can be expected and good enough are not the same thing.

        To my mind Daniel’s relationship with the concept of caution is strained.

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    2. I personally read Daniel Black because of the ideas. I like OP. I like how the author comes up with interesting ideas for increasing power. It’s not really the life and death combat for me. It’s the ideas, story, fun, family growing (little bit of baby making), growth in power and inventions, some combat, and adventure and discovery! The practical application of theoretical ideas.

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  7. Can every magic user simply dispel matter?

    Daniel dispelled earth (stone, sand…) at least once while demolishing the original part of his keep.
    If I remember correctly he installed a continuous water dispel for the pond in the tree-fairy-grove (waterfall on one side, drain with water dispel on the other side).

    Is that a general skill of all wizards? That strikes me as very powerful.

    Or do you need to learn the correct “anti-spell” for every material/element?
    With Daniels earth sorcery and forgot-her-name’s (the coven water babe) spell knowledge and water “affinity” that angle seems to be covered for the story.

    Or is simply raw power / mana capacity the factor?

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    1. No, it’s a banish, and it seems to be linked to what element you’re conjuring/banishing. Also, wards can protect against such a thing, as Daniel mentioned when he was dismantling the keep. Yes, it’s powerful, but only devastating if you don’t ward the material against banishing. Sort of like encrypting the conjured material to only allow authorized users to manipulate it.

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    2. Daniel is a sorcerer, not by origin a wizard. He seems to be good wizard material due to his mana sorcery, but the categories are distinct.
      It is not clear to me what kinds of sorcerer there are, just that some at least are inherited.

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      1. A sorcerer is basically an individual with a divine (or whatever you wanna call it) connection/power with a certain concept, idea (it can literally be anything).

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    3. Sorcerers can banish the same elements they can conjure. Wizards can construct spells that imitate this ability, but it’s a different spell for each type of material. It’s also a fairly expensive spell, so they can’t use it too freely unless they have a big power source.

      But yes, even with all the limitations and caveats it’s a pretty powerful ability.

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  8. I think this is a good point. Daniel is actually doing things much faster than he should be able to based on “normal” pace of any kind of research (magic in this world also seems to require research so the analogy seems to fit). Maybe what he has done in 3 months would be something that a community of 100s-1000 scientists + “magical” engineers could do in 10 years if they worked 12 hours per day. Impossible to say of course for sure. But a story reason for this seems to be that he got huge amounts of knowledge (100s of people’s entire careers worth maybe), not just ability, during his transit.

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    1. You can look up the old Daniel-Black-blog for Mr. Browns explanation:

      http://wiliamscorner.blogspot.de/2015/03/fimbulwinter-q-thread.html?showComment=1425757082997#c480096505190057575

      “….
      E. William Brown March 7, 2015 at 11:38 AM
      Learning to be a wizard is like getting a degree in engineering – there’s no special innate ability required, but it takes above-average intelligence and years of dedicated study before it really starts to pay off.

      But Daniel’s meta-magic sorcery is a huge cheat here, because it gives him an instinctive understanding of the physics of magic and the ability to actually see spells working. It still takes him some effort to learn wizardry, but it will be orders of magnitude faster than it would be for a normal person. He’s too busy staying alive to focus on it at the moment, but even so you can expect to see him picking up useful bits and pieces of magic from any wizard he comes in contact with.
      …”

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      1. The magic mass production methods seem to have no analogies in the magic world (perhaps due to such high power requirements, or the magical industrial revolution just has not started yet there). So Daniel has had to design these machines himself from scratch. Seeing magic may not be the same as designing engineering solutions that exploits the principles that you know. But maybe he has some kind of a “higher-level” engineering programming language in his brain. You will not generally get far in programming if you have to write the basic libraries yourself (even in C) but if you have the maths libraries already, or better an even more higher level language like R which already implements all the statistics routines (on top of the basic maths routines), and then this would likely need further higher level functions that build on those and so on. This is how a modern world works, and that is why we get so much done. But this stuff has taken a long time to invent. But maybe spells are much simpler than science and engineering of our world, and already almost impossibly “high-level” constructs. This is certainly how fantasy setting in general seems to work.

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      2. Mass production is a good idea only in hindsight. Add to that that most wizards do not use large numbers of retainers they would need to equip. They rather use golems, familiars, demons or elementals. I wonder why Daniel does not do that.

        The level of complexity in magic seems to be highly diverse. Daniel’s healing is by our standards an AI, albeit a stupid one. Wizards have libraries and stuff so they don’t have to develop everything themselves, but they need to include it.
        If we stay with the analogy, sorcery gives you superb libraries, but they come in firmware and are closed sources. In effect Daniel is reverse engineering himself to a degree, when he tries out novel solutions. And the tool he uses for that is kind of like a debugger in firmware in form of mana sorcery.

        Maybe an additional reason they like to use elementals is that they get the high-level libraries from an external source.

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  9. On the nature of the Universe, gods, and demigods – a query to the author…

    Although perhaps not immediately impacting the next book, the query subjects could drive aspects of the future series.
    The imagined Universe is some type of Multiverse, similar to M-Brane theory. The varying energy levels are an example — Hecate’s small size in Daniel’s universe could be because she had only one worshiper, because the universe where Daniel now resides has a much lower energy level, or simply because she was unwilling to expend the energy (or wanted to remain hidden from powers-that-be).Daniel’s large-scale gains when traveling from universe to universe could be because of the energy potentials, because the Multiverse is held together by some type of information infrastructure (providing knowledge of magics, mana , etc), or for some other reason.

    Most gods and goddesses are all descendants of Titans, at least within the Roman (and perhaps Greek) pantheons, but what makes a “god” is the question. Are they humans that somehow ascended, “thoughts made real” by collective worshipers, some aspect of Daniel’s current world that obtained power, some aspect of the Multiverse that was incorporated into Daniel’s current world, or something else?
    Daniel did note that Hecate was much more powerful & practiced, but only in orders of magnitude — are gods (and demigods) merely more efficient conduits of many (and better “batteries”)?

    Demigods would seem to be children of the gods, but could also be offspring of god & mortal or obtain “demigod-hood” from various means such as gaining a rich supply of mana or eating fruits (apple, banana, etc)… What makes them a demigod vs a god (or human, for that matter) — merely a level of power, or is there something else. It was mentioned that even demigods can “rebuild” after destroyed as long as their “soul” was intact although apparently mortals cannot, which means some differentiation besides mere power…
    I don’t remember the banana that Daniel received in Gaia’s domain being eaten and, given Gaia’s nature, the banana would be of the seeded variety, so Daniel should be able to produce a nice garden. That said, what aspect of the fruits “makes” a demigod?

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    1. Remember the dinosaur demons? They wanted Daniel to “sacrifice” avilla to them. Heckate said sacrifice/worship is the basis for a gods power. Get rid of your enemies worshippers, you get rid of their power base.

      Also I don’t remember Daniel taking the banana, it was said that gaia would know if someone tried to steal it… But the seeded notion makes sense. If Daniel stores his bowel movements for the next 3 days or so, he could probably recover the seeds and have his grove of magical farmers grow it. Hell, it’s probably a mana intensive fruit, so they will have to use his nuclear mana reactor to feed and nurture it to maturity.

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    2. For the record, Daniel did eat the banana (which sounds naughty, but that’s bananas for you:-).

      “Not being an idiot, I started eating the banana as we talked. There was no telling when I might get a chance like this again, and while it might have been nice to study the thing[,] trying to smuggle it out of Skogheim sounded like a bad idea.” – Extermination, Location 6822 of 7091.

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      1. I know he ate it. I’m looking at him recovering the seeds to grow the thing. Bananas and plantains on earth have mutated so much that they rely on the “sucker” to reproduce, the seeds are dead, but as was said above. Gaia would make sure her plants are seeded. All Daniel has to do is sow and reap… after searching through his bowels of course.

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      2. I doubt Gaia would make the bananas spread randomly in the wind to start growing where any Tom, Dick and Harry can find them. This is an immensely powerful magical fruit that empowers the eater. I think the line was something like [paraphrasing] “If you eat one banana per day you will be a demigod in a year.”

        Gods are jealous of their power. The bananas would be kept as rewards to be handed out to trusted servants – not sold in the market as an everyday food item.

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      3. Gaea, unless she is really a fool, would also make sure that the bananas won’t just breed true without special preparations or outside a magical field. You cannot risk such plants sprouting in random places just because she or one of her offspring has had to relieve themselves somewhere in the woods.

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      4. @Oliver. That is where the dryads come in, with their nuclear mana plant.

        @Christian & Kristian. This is where the Golden Apples of immortality from asgard comes it. If I remember my lore right, you have to constantly eat Asgard’s apples regularly (every year? Couple years?) to maintain your godhood/divinity. Waiting for the next book.

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      5. If the fruit even contains seeds without a specific trigger. And if the seeds would not just result in an ordinary banana plant. We have no idea how important the plants itself are. In case of the magic apples they are. Are Gaea’s bananas the same? I think we don’t know.

        And there is another issue. The trip took several days through the underways. During which they were potentially watched. And you suggest that he should, well let’s say it bluntly, collect his shit or stop his digestion. That kind of is at odds with the goal of acting usual and unsuspicious. And we have no idea whether an undigested or half digested banana would trigger Gaea’s wards.

        The benefit is high, but so is the risk.

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      6. @Oliver. Then we will just have to have him analyze what the banana does with his flesh sorcery and mana sorcery.

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      7. Yes. That is again not trivial.

        Firstly, seeing what has been done may not tell him how to do it. Secondly, will flesh sorcery help? After all he has transformed his body back to human. If the effect persists through that, it is unlikely to be biological. Thirdly we know that there are things like soul and death magic. They might be needed.

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      8. Ok.
        Firstly, it says in book three, and I’m paraphrasing here, somewhere towards the end, that the bananas are basically the same as the apples. The apples are stronger. But that’s it.
        Secondly, mana intensive areas are rare (usually artificial), so Gaia won’t worry about her bananas randomly growing somewhere. And she will probably stay true to her domain, so there will likely be seeds.
        Thirdly, the body has a natural field that generally clouds the perceptions of others. Gaia usually listens through her domain, she doesn’t “see” or “feel” or “smell”. And you generally don’t notice something that’s not there (like someone that doesn’t poop for three days).
        Fourthly, the fruits of condensed and altered mana (divine power), so the change is probably going to be more than just physical, but it will also be physical, and the power would simply change the concept of his form, so DNA would change, but it would be caused by a biological agent.
        Fifthly, flesh sorcery should tell us the effects, where mana sorcery should be able to imitate the energy.

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    1. Strictly speaking, no. But for a non-mage it would be a difficult mental discipline requiring years of training, because they don’t have a mana sense they can use to ‘see’ and ‘feel’ the interface. If a normal person just picked up one of Daniel’s items and tried to use it they’d probably send more accidental commands than intentional ones.

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  10. Just found out you have a blog. So I’m posting part of my review here.

    I hope the author or someone in his trust reads reviews, there is something I think he over looked [Well… it might not be over looked, because he hasn’t started food production yet. But he needs to make mason jars, and vacuumed sealed tin cans. Glass is just fused sand, and he can make tin cans. He can use his air spell to vacuum seal them.

    He already introduced the Hearth Witch to a refrigerator, introducing her to ways of keeping food fresh without magic would be a serious power up. He can also store up surplus grains and foods to make a stockpile. He can make a giant walk in pantry, with mini elevators to reach high shelves to store food.

    He powered up the Death Witch, the fairy, and the nature spirits. His cook should be next.]

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    1. He is powering her up automagically when he embellishes their home. Somehow I don’t see much need for him to show her things. Although that particular suggestions is good.

      She more or less announced her planned upgrades “brewed no elixisirs or baked any servants” If she gets her creator’s stuff, should may get very powerful. She can influence on a very basic level reality, as she can do luck by potion. Can she do the equivalent of a wolfen transformation with other species? How about bears?

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      1. I just think he has to look into food storage that doesn’t rely on magic.
        He can also catch fishes from the harbour and make an indoor fisheries’ nursery. If he can’t get animal meat, he can survive on fish protein. The water nymphs can tend the ponds and help promote growth and vitality.

        Even if he can’t get air breathing meat, he can get the gilled kind. But he has to move fast, I think since they are in Europe they will have fishes that survive winter, but an extended period of this will kill them. Daniel needs to get Erin to help him locate and catch hibernating fishes asap. Hell, with the fire stones harbour up and running, some of those fishes are probably awake. He needs to catch asap.

        Daniel could visit the dryad’s grove and see the water spirits smile at him with those sharp teeth, he could then get a light bulb moment where he remembers that they eat fish, he could then move on from there setting up his apocalypse fisheries. The water nymphs need food too.

        Another idea. Bast is the fertility goddess. When she is born(which should be in the next book) Daniel could have her brought amongst the chickens that Daniel rescued on his last run. Chicken eggs are.. well eggs. The chickens start going into laying overdrive. In a few months he could have a good hatchery set up. Get a few refugees to look after that.

        Fish from water nymphs, vegetables, and grains from the dryads, eggs and chicken from the hatchery. All of these can go a LONG way. With the occasional wolf catch.

        Some of the Griffins might even join him. They were said to be intelligent, and stayed of their own free will. He might wake up to find a pair scratching at his tower door. They could stay in grove. Would be added protection for the dryads. They might even breed.

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      2. Kozalin is a costal town. They have a fishing fleet. I see no immediate need for Daniel to act on the fishing front. Should Kozalin fall, it will need attention, but not necessarily his attention. He needs to delegate more. And I am afraid I have to tell the resident carnivores that you can survive on plants. The people he rescued will be happy to eat at all. They see Kozalin slowly declining.

        The chicken idea, if you forgive me, is bad. The chicken would need to eat. DB does not have spare agricultural areas. Meat that isn’t hunted or fished means that somebody else starves.

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      3. “The chicken idea, if you forgive me, is bad. The chicken would need to eat. DB does not have spare agricultural areas.”
        Chickens can survive on grub (which the dryads can help produce) and grain husks from shelling. All the waste materials from grain production can feed the birds.

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      4. Which they can help produce. Exactly it is a drain on their resources.

        As for wastes in general, that seems to be an open question to me.
        It may be that he needs to return them to the fields to keep them fertile. Or he can use them. Even then it is questionable whether animals are really the best use. Mushroom farming might get him more calories.

        And there is another issue. We need to talk about shit. Daniel could try to grow mushrooms on that, too.

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      5. I see a lot of obsession with meat production on here. Meat as a food source is only superior to plant sourced food in that it concentrates more calories per ounce than veggies or grains. It is helpful if you have a surplus of resources as you don’t need to eat as much of it to survive, but it is an inefficient use of limited resources.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. @Christian. If Daniel weaves with one of the dryads, I’m sure he could pick up plant manipulation. With his flesh sorcery (plants have cell walls, so I’m sure they can be manipulated), he would be able to make GMO plants to give the nutrients that a meat diet would provide, extra protein, fatty acids, etc.

        Both of you are right. GMO plants and food storage capabilities would win the day. Remember Daniel has a hoard of Kitchen witches on their way. And he was asked to share his “new kitchen knowledge”.

        Prepare yourselves for vacuum sealed jars, hot plates, blenders, walk in freezers, thermal flasks, hot / cold water taps, a recycler that grounds up left overs to use in her kitchen garden, etc.

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  11. There’s a lot of talk here about keeping DB challenged. Adversity adds interest but sometimes I want some candy too. I like the situations where DB is OP or comes up with an OP solution for the problem. In all this (valid) discussion about challenging DB, remember we like candy too 🙂

    Some candy ideas I’d like to throw out there:
    – Put the conjure magma enchant on a hand full of sand and an enchant to hold it together for a few seconds after launch from the mortar – fuel air explosion type effect, really wide area destruction. (Fuel air explosions can create mushroom clouds – the boom is that big and as a bonus, no radiation)
    – Put a summon stone enchant on a mortar round, lunch it on a high (slow) trajectory and by the time it gets there it may weigh tonnes. A purely physical attack from a massive projectile, good for collapsing shields perhaps?
    – Earth magic, could DB do a pyroclastic flow (a type of volcanic eruption event)? they can move at up to 700kpm downhill and are hot (1000C) toxic gasses, hot pumice and other stones, lava droplets, ash and steam. Lethal and fast.
    – A combination of earth and flesh or mana magic, could DB make stone golems?
    – Plasma creates strong magnetic fields which can cause induction heating in metal. Would any enchanted metal armour be proof against that?
    – If grinder is not already causing induction heating in DB’s own metal armour, is he already protecting against magnetic fields? Can he use earth magic to manipulate magnetic forces directly? (Alas aluminum is not really magnetic, so no magnetic welding all those dwarves in their mithril armour together.)
    – Titanium is stronger than aluminium and lighter than steel, the better metal for the combination of strength and lightness. DB could summon titanium for making flying craft, it is rarer that aluminum so would be slower but the increased strength weight ratio might be worth the wait.
    – Carbon fibre composites, graphene, lonsdalite. Would summoning/making carbon based things be earth magic or flesh magic (because carbon is considered the basis for ‘organic’ chemistry). Either way DB seems to have it covered. Graphene armour, perhaps embedded directly in his outer layer of skin for inbuilt toughness?

    Cheers.

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    1. People or entities out for Daniel’s head:

      – Gaea
      – the dwarves
      – Ra
      – Elin’s brothers
      – the Ungols
      – the Giants

      I see the indications, yet why add to that list without vital need?

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      1. “– Ra
        – Elin’s brothers”
        Why is Ra after him? Ra doesn’t know about Bast as yet. And why would Elin’s brothers be after him also?

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      2. You are assuming good old Ra lacks an intelligence network.
        Kozalin is a port city. There are embassies. Any Egyptian grain merchant will predict that they will pay really well. Sailors go drinking. They will hear about this new sorcerer who raised an island in days and saved the city many times. Somebody, who shopped there and saw Tina, might mention that his mate is a catgirl. And so on …
        We can merely hope that Ra knows nothing.

        Likewise the Fairies have an embassy in Kozalin. Elin’s uncles (sorry about the brothers) did not go through the trouble of getting an agreement with the Conclave to just leave her unsupervised after that. The will get a report. If that report mentions that she is part of a coven now, they will know, being good at magic and knowing how a coven bond works, that her memories are unclouded. They might wait for her to take revenge, or they may not.

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      3. That is some slippery slope assumptions. Tina could be a werecat, or something.
        The Fairies part I agree with. But they should be vexed with the Conclave. They were going to throw her out on the streets.

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      4. The Giants are intelligent and sentient, but after all they are on a full out war. the might try to invade Kozalin next, but i don’t see, that they go out of their way to kill Daniel for just about 20 or so fallen of their kind.
        Same goes for Goblins, even when Goblin Heros or Assassins might be a bigger risk for him.

        The Ungols seem to be fairly scary, but not that intelligent, and they haven’t killed a big number of them as well.

        I asume that some of the more famous human warrior heros or knights or halfgods, have a way higher kill-count for Ungols then Daniel does.

        Figures that might still be important but have not yet meant much so far.

        Daniel had by now a few encounters with the Prince, but no Encounter with the King.

        There were some vague mentions about escaped horrors from Tartarus, for example the devourer demon that invaded Naples.

        or maybe one of his vassals, have an enemy, and Daniel stands in the way.

        He might also get more associates of Hekate or one of the other goddesses to work with.

        And the internal strife in Kozalin and the human Kingdoms as a whole might be quite bad, with many starving peasants and no place for new crops.

        But I hope that the next book will cover a somewhat longer timeframe.

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      5. Valid points. A few of those groups are rather long shots.
        Yet Gaea, the dwarves, Ra and Elin’s uncles plus other unknown groups you mentioneed are enough, aren’t they?
        So why add to the list. He would need to need the apples really badly. Why might that be?
        What happens if you feed a golden apple to somebody undead?

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    2. I was wrong with this. It’s not Aphrodite, it might be Golden Immortality Apple Stealing Though.

      Mr Brown I’m desperate here….. Do you have a chapter for us to sample at least?? Maybe give us a date that we can sample a chapter or part of one?

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  12. I’m jonesing for the next book. There aren’t many books that do magical engineering, and the ones that do don’t focus as much on it as Daniel Black does.
    I read Alice Long, but that’s engineering engineering, with nanotech 3d printers. I need magical ak47s, and demolition munitions.

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  13. I would like to see Daniel take his force manipulation abilities and apply his mana conversion properties to them. I could love to see a force shield that, instead of meeting force with force instead converts incoming kinetic energy above a certain threshold to mana to be stored and used as needed later. This would make an excellent workaround for his enchanted shields idea, instead of kickback they’d actually absorb the energy of a blow and store it or transmit it to a linked healing amulet, or weapon, or something.

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  14. I rerecycle this post in this thread because I would like to fish for your ideas about improving DB’s gun.

    Has anybody some ideas concerning new ammunition types or features for his gun?

    All of Daniel’s guns can shoot about once per second, because the bullet-factory-enchantment is not faster.

    With the flak battery he circumvented this problem by using four barrels (= four shots per second).

    Why not add a second (or more) bullet enchantments for each weapon/barrel for twice the firepower? Or add a second barrel, so now his Magnum-T-Rex-revolver looks really like a sawed off shotgun.

    In order to limit the power balance this will only be implemented with his personal gun, because the enchantments need to be balanced/calibrated with mana-sorcery…

    What about new ammunition?
    He already has normal (nonmagical) bullets, explosive bullets and a bouncing, shredder round.
    So he could load another three ammunition types.

    High-velocity-rounds? (for more oompf/penetration power)
    Either upgrade the force slug-throwing enchantment (on DB’s gun) or use bullets with an additional force magic rocket engine to further accelerate them?

    Mage-killer?
    A bullet with recurring dispel effects to penetrate magical defences and scramble magical abilities of mages / magical creatures after hitting.
    (= copy of the mage slayer bolt used against him by the dwarves)

    Glue round ? (mentioned in the old blog).
    Imagine a big glue blob (say 2 gallons/7,6 litres) hitting a roughly human-sized target.
    Okay perhaps a little bit too much….but even quarter of that would pin you to the wall/floor like flypaper.
    Think of water balloons…0,05 gallons / 0,2 litres will drench you good. 😉
    It would also be effective against bigger opponents. Glue their limbs, weapons together/against their body/ on the floor…paste their maws, eyes, ears shut…(suffocation?)…
    If you add a numbing/paralysing agent to the mix it would be even more effective.

    Magnesium bullet?
    Burns with a glaring white flame up to almost 3.000 degree Celsius hot; burns even under water, only chance to extinguish it is smothering the flame.
    When it ignites just after leaving the barrel it would ignore anti-magic/curse protection (being just nonmagical burning stuff).
    ….but that is probably only my enthusiasm about “seeing” blindingly white projectiles burning their way through “my” enemies…(too much mischief with sparklers in my youth?)
    The explosive rounds DB already uses conjure liquid nickel-iron form the outer earth core. That stuff is up to 6.000 degree Celsius hot.
    That is so crazy hot, it will hurt even underwater (+ steam “explosion” ?) and it covers the fire/incineration angle.
    So….okay…. there is actually no reason to introduce this ammo type …..

    What else can you come up with?

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    1. A principle remark first. It is inefficient to have only one conjuring enchantment per barrel. You can easily arrange multiple enchantments around the barrel, if you drop the limitation of moving the bullets in a staight line.

      – illumination – fire something into the air that gives you light on the battlefield
      – banishment – in case he needs to remove a fortification without setting off numerous explosions
      – alternative explosions – if he ever needs to fight inside a wooden building or in a place with a lot of flammable vegetation, he will have a problem.

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    2. Rocket engine is in my option one of the most powerful but likely also most costly ones mana vise. As the mana to fuel the rocket enchantment would likely be quite big to make it meaningful. might actually be better in a separate weapon for long ranges.

      also a small slug would likely melt from friction heat, if it goes to fast or it is’s powered by fire.

      he has with the bouncer round something against common foo soldiers. and with the explosive round also something good against big fleshy monsters.

      Another useful thing would be a dispel bullet against mages.
      and maybe a growing round for more stopping power.
      Maybe also a bullet that is just enchanted to resist common magical anti projectile enchantments, like the dwarfen battleaxe.

      A rocket round would be very useful, but then i think he has already a range advantage when compared to most mages.

      a searching round against snipers or somebody out of his usual range of accuracy would be neat.
      (Not fully searching.. more like able to correct it’s course. )
      But such abilities would likely be fairly complex. and with his mana stones, brute force solutions should work better in the short term. So just big dispel or magic immune bullets. or one with a simple but powerful curse applied to them.

      Maybe something a bit more sneaky. just produce something highly toxic that isn’t realy well known on that world.
      Chrom oxides of basically any kind?

      Maybe also something that summons red phosphor or something else that burns or explodes violently after the right trigger is used. So that multiple shots can pile up before somebody fires for effect.

      maybe also a lingering effect. like a magic mine. an enchantment with his normal explosion but said explosion only triggers when somebody gets close to it. maybe also send the same command to other bullets of it’s kind close by.

      As for other things.

      He still lacks a good spell or device for communication, he bemoaned that quite often by now, and fixing that will have tons of advantages. More then any bullet.

      He should likely try to upgrade himself and his coven and man some more in general.
      that will likely include more wards for black island.

      better heaver weapons for his man. He is just one man and while some of his coven and other major vassals can hold themself against strong enemies.

      For that elite troops might be the best form of action too finally recruit more Wolfen, and make that ritual work repeatedly without killing another Fenriswolf.

      Also some semi mass produced enchanted armor and weapons will be useful.
      maybe something equivalent to a light anti tank weapons in our time. As most of his man are unable to fight trolls, giants, ungols and whatever else big monster might be around. A bazooka or something similar with unlimited ammo might be something really useful for the humans under his command.

      Not an intimidate need. But giving the dark elfs the ability to have plenty of children on their own will likely be quite useful in the long run, even if my guess is that this series will be over when that policy starts to pay dividend.

      Hmm, what else. maybe putting a levitating enchantment on black island. Would be an hell of a move if his castle is able to change places and it would be really stylish and cool as well.

      He should likely also focus on upgrading his personal power, be it with that Banana a replicated effect, or just thought slowly upgrading his body with flesh sorcery.

      and if I remember correctly he also had ideas, about creating a more mobile airforce for the elfs even if that is a long term project as well.

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      1. “For that elite troops might be the best form of action too finally recruit more Wolfen, and make that ritual work repeatedly without killing another Fenriswolf.” – Something that has been on my mind since Daniel was talking about his failed attemp of flesh magic to transform something into anything else thats not an Elf or a Catgirl, is if there are more Were creatures out there. Wouldn’t be easier for Daniel to use flesh magic to create more creatures if he just analyzed this other creatures?? For example if he got his hands on true Werewolf, wouldn’t be easier for him to transform more people into werewolf with the knowladge of what makes them tic??? He should be analizyng the Wolfen and triying to understand their composition better, how the magic works in transforming them, and the biological changes it brings with. And why only Catgirls???

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      2. Danial has everything he needs to make a jet engine, force magic to compress the air and fire magic to heat it up. He can make strike fighters and ground support jets. I think he should convert Cerise’s hover bike, stuff a jet engine under the seat, strap a couple of 20mm guns on either side, toss in a force shield and some wings with his flight enchantment and pow! instant fighter.

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    3. Daniel already has high yield mortar rounds, so I don’t think he will be looking for a personal bazooka.

      Magnesium might be used for other projects, but for a round is not needed, nickel iron is already effective.

      The mage killer might be useful, but it will have to have a timer, after it dispels something, it summons nickel iron and explodes. If you leave it be, it will just keep traveling on and doing damage to things you don’t want damaged, e.g Daniel’s people or keep.

      The glue gun is nonsensical for Daniel. From what we see already, he is the type of guy that shoots the attacking person first, then asks questions later. Having something to “capture” someone just gives them to chance or ability to attack Daniel at a later time. The glue can probably be used in his keep as non-combative restraints against his own people if they tried to start a riot or something. Everything is trying to kill Daniel, so why should he want to glue it? Glue would have worked when he was low powered and just starting out. Shoot something, glue it, then have his forces attack. He is beyond that now.

      In regards to the speed, all he has to do is make a 10-12 barrel Gatling gun. That’s 12 bullets a second, 720 rounds a minute (firing manipulation needed), and if he has multiple guns it’s force is multiplied. He can also use air sorcery to make the bullet more aerodynamic.

      What he can do is a flash-bang type round. But it would probably only use it once, as an opener. You want some confusion while you attack? Magnesium, liquid nickle iron, and a quick force spell vacuum dismiss. Loud thunder clap, bright lights, high explosions.

      Like

      1. I’d probably start working on his available combat forces as one of the next projects. In the December thread I mentioned creating a heavy infantry force using troll or giant hearts and the wolfen ritual. Something like a trollheart guard that could augment his existing ground force in melee or with truly heavy weapons. He used force shields with good effect early on but went away from them to go towards guns. Cool, but that doesn’t mean they are a bad idea. His current force wouldn’t do well in melee against many of the foes they are facing so an elite heavy guard makes sense to me. The “anti’tank missile” idea also makes sense. Something like a high velocity version of the mortar enchantment that could let his ground force engage giants or dinosaurs with some chance of victory. I would also probably see if I could figure out how to copy/improve upon the mechs the dwarves used with enclosed operators as they are superior to the exposed driver the conclave’s golems use. I doubt he needs to create a massive field force to take and hold large portions of ground but a force capable of augmenting his major vassals on objective raids and meeting existing enemy threats seems like a good idea. He can’t be everywhere and as it stands his current force can’t meet any of the threats in the open field with a chance of victory without him.

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      2. “so an elite heavy guard makes sense to me”
        Isn’t that what Dark Elves, Corinna’s band, the Wolfen or the sons of Demetrios are?
        Why create something new instead of strengthening them?

        “improve upon the mechs the dwarves used with enclosed operators”
        Now what should he do? Enhancing his troops or put them into golems? Of course you always what everything, if you can get it, but you cannot. So set priorities.
        There is not much point in making your troops tougher if you use them as golem pilots.

        Furthermore, if his troops need skimmers anyway for mobility, do they need to leave them at all? Or should he build a true tank skimmer with a true cannon firing explosive shells?

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      3. “Everything is trying to kill Daniel, so why should he want to glue it?”

        You gave me an idea. He can banish weight now. Can he also conjure it? Could that be an area denial weapon or a defensive measure? Like a mine field only working by hugely increasing the weight of an object or enemy.
        Or could he use the weight banishment as a weapon? His foes are unlikely to be trained in zero-g combat. Effectively what he did to Korak.

        Like

    4. If he wants confusion he should cooperate with Cerise to make a darkness round.

      And I think the mortars are not sufficient to fight agile foes. They are essentially true artillery good for area and immobile targets. Eventually he will face something that is quick and tough enough to withstand his AA guns. Thus eventually he will need either true cannons or some guided missile.

      However, I must say that his and his troops’ shortcomings are rather on the defensive and sensory sides of warfare. At least for air defence he needs some night vision devices or troops with night vision. Catgirl gunners maybe?

      Like

      1. For some reason it wouldn’t let me reply to another of your comments so I’m replying to this one. I think you’re misunderstanding the usage of light/medium or heavy infantry in a medieval setting. What he currently has with the elves and wolfen are clearly light infantry based on their ability to maneuver and shape the battlefield rather than reliance on armor. Demtrios and his sons may count, probably do, but there are only a handful of them. His regular forces are probably medium infantry but don’t have the armor to truly fit that category. What I’m talking about are heavy infantry which are troops that are capable of mixing it up in melee with the enemy heavies such as trolls, andregi elites or the dwarves. The elves could dance with those guys and hurt them but if it comes to up close and personal they need to maintain distance or they’ll be destroyed against heavier armor and weapons. Think about the historical battle of the Thermopylae in ancient Greece. Spartan heavy infantry ground up hordes of Persion medium (the Immortals) and light infantry because there was no ability to maneuver around them. Blade to blade heavies always win, which is why light forces try to dance with them instead of closely engaging. Modern combined arms doctrine (which the dwarves seemed to roughly use) says you need 10 to 15 infantry guys per heavy vehicle. So if he went the way of mechs you’d still need grunts to support and screen for them as opposed to replacing ground personnel with golems/tanks, etc. One of the problems with modern tanks and I suspect with the war machines in DB is vision. They can kill whatever they can see but relatively low priority targets can get all over them and destroy them, which is why infantry screens and protects them. The big guns deal the major damage and the grunts take and hold the ground as well as protecting the heavy weapons. There’s no replacement for infantry and in any of my comments if it comes across that way it isn’t what I mean.

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      2. “infantry in a medieval setting”
        This isn’t a medieval setting. He has introduced guns. Daniel troops are 19th century. In fact in terms of individual guns they are second half of the 20th century. Or we are talking about enemies against which guns do not work. Then we are in entirely exotic territory.

        “but there are only a handful of them”
        True but necessarily always true. Daniel does not have huge numbers and cannot have huge numbers without giving up survivability in a siege. If Daniel needs heavy infantry, he will have a single crucial mission. Therefore he should boost his elite and if they are few, so be it.
        Daniel lacks many military capabilities. For example, he has no navy.

        “Blade to blade heavies always win”
        That is the point. If Daniel has to do much blade to blade, he will be screwed in any case due to a lack in numbers.

        “you need 10 to 15 infantry guys per heavy vehicle”
        Two points. He has infantry. For scouting and screening they will do.
        Second, this is because infantry can kill armored vehicles. If Daniel is ever up against a large number of foes who can do that, I doubt any infantry he can create in sufficient numbers could keep up with that.

        “the war machines in DB is vision”
        Golems seem to be stupid and slow, but they can see just fine. And they are useful in siege warfare.

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      3. And at the risk of repeating myself. You have to make choices and trade-offs. DB is one coven on one island with a few hundred combatants. That means that there are and will always be things he is bad at. He has to identify his key needs and satisfy them. Beyond that he has to accept that he has strengths and weaknesses. Demetrios has to make a unified force out of that. There is no point in providing for missions you don’t absolutely need but will not be good at, because Daniel cannot afford to lose often, if at all.

        Infantry to infantry in melee is one of those things, unless it is the context of defense of fortifications.

        Daniel is good at: Fortifications, artillery, weapons of mass destruction, air bombardment, light recon forces, special forces, tanks

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      4. Again, for whatever reason I can only respond to select numbers of your posts so forgive this being out of order. If Daniel and Cerise, both of whom have excellent movement capabilities and ranged attacks, can be constantly forced into melee it is reasonable to assume that those without the exceptional capabilities of the main characters can be too. As currently set up, as we saw against the dwarves with one is his forced armed for melee, his existing force structure is inadequate when brought to close engagement. Therefore it makes sense for him to increase that as a primary need of his people.

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      5. But that is the question, are they forced into melee or do they pick goals that require it rather than retreat as they would without that capability?

        And his troops would fare badly against dwarves for many reasons: no gas masks, no defense against earth magic (ground turning to a swamp under your feet, being shot at with bazookas, facing armored golems)
        OK, so you equip them to fare better against dwarves. Then they meet dragons. They are fried from the sky lacking mobile air defenses. Or they meet frost wraiths. Or a troop of succubi and fornicate each other to death.

        Daniel has decided to equipped his normal troops to fight at a distance. There is some logic to that, but also disadvantages. But once you’ve made that decision you need to carry it to its logical conclusion. Daniel is still essentially one coven on one island with a small field army. It will never be possible to cover all missions and enemies. You need to accept that and make sure the most vital mission, defense of Black Island, is covered.

        His troops are supposed to use mobility to strike with ranged weapons. So address weaknesses with that. A fallback to a failure of the design is a luxury you can address at the earliest when you will have covered all problems with the current design. And they exist:

        – no communication
        – no artillery beyond Black Island
        – mo counters against enemies that can destroy your aim (illusions, psychic attacks that make you not want to shoot)
        – no heavy weapons

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    5. Danial just heeds to make magazines, put the bullet making enchantment on a 8 round clip so it auto fills then he has the option of rapid fire then slow fire as the magazine refills or just swap to a full mag while the other refills. It can’t be a more than 5-8 rounds or it will wind up being a banana clip, he’s using a 50cal shell, that’s big enough to cause size issues in a removable magazine. he could also run 2 of them into the stock and have one refilling while the other is firing. Also thought about the whole barrel length requirement for his acceleration method, either make the barrel circular (with force magic he wouldn’t have to worry about friction) to increase the available contact time or use the elves dimensional traveling trick to increase the length and hide it in a dimensional space.
      Doh! have the bullet maker dump its product into a dimensional space and load the weapon from there, instant magazine of holding.

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      1. “have the bullet maker dump its product into a dimensional space and load the weapon from there” Exactly. The basic inefficiency is that the bullets are created where they are stored and that they are created in the barrel. A simple drum magazine with multiple factories behind the magazine would do.

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      2. “A simple drum magazine with multiple factories behind the magazine would do.”
        I agree with this. Multiple factories are the way. If we follow Grady’s way, we will have to then make a way to summon those bullets into the gun, and to line them up correctly in the barrel.

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      3. Yes, it would also allow a gun with unlimited ammo types. If we don’t want to get fancy, the bullets can be moved with a bit of force magic. The key innovation is to not store the bullets where you make them or to have multiple factories, which are not located inside the barrel, or both. You just need to have some additional force magic that moves the bullets from the factories to storage and/or from storage into the barrel.

        The true limit of the technology is very high. Strictly speaking you need not wait until the first bullet has cleared the barrel before you accelerate the next bullet.It is enough when the space at the bottom of the barrel is clear.

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      4. As I see it the bag is an extra- dimensional space, a bubble that is just an opening with no inertial affects attached. Danial could increase the power of his gun by inserting part (or most) of the barrel into the space, attach it to a 1000 round belt and feed it into the gun inside the space. Ugg way too complex, I picture the inside of the bag with belts of 50cal ammo snarled in a knot. Would be cool to give Cerise twin chrome Desert Eagles, with her speed and accuracy she’d be killing the bad guys before they started their monologue. One shot, One kill.

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    6. Low-velocity guns would be good for stealthy troops like the wolfen. You don’t absolutely *have* to break the sound barrier, and without that or gunpowder explosions, I guess the bullets would travel with a sound. Then you could enchant them with a further sound-dampening spell to raise the stealth factor even more…

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  15. The main thing that puzzled me with the DB books is why it took him so long to start using the easy applications of power stones/amulets.

    In the first book, it took him a fairly short time to make his original amulet. However, despite being mana limited in several applications, it takes him a fairly long time to just make a stronger one (which would have been really handy even without other effects). He could have put a power stone (ish) in one of the skimmers and used it to manually make large effects pretty early.

    He also took a fairly long time to make amulets of any sort for his magic using people. With the dryads this (sort of) made sense, but still seemed kinda slow.

    The last big disconnect in this area is friendly gods. They have had personal contact with a friendly god since mid-way through black coven. It has been indicated that power can be sent to gods through chapels. If Daniel’s power stone is not an insignificant amount of mana (and it was indicated that it was not), why doesn’t he just make a hundred of them and have them on an autofeed to Hekate?

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    1. He said it himself. He was testing it out. Do you think when a nuclear reactor is made they mass produce it and ship it around to their friends? He had to test for side effects.

      Also, seeing as he’s the only one (mortal) with mana sorcery, giving people, which in all likeness is a gigawatt nuclear power factory, to power a 60watt light bulb, without a means to control the current flow would mean everyone he gave the power amulets to would be fried.

      After he tested it long enough (in the short time available) he had Cersei test it, after that was a success, he started passing it around.

      Remember, it may have taken us years to read these novels, but only 3 months have elapsed in book.

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  16. I’ve always wondered why DB doesn’t use his flesh sorcery to create mana/healing implants for himself? Right now he is severely vulnerable if someone manages to part him from his amulet/breastplate (Mara). Having some backup powersources and healing would help greatly.

    Another thing that’s been bothering me is that he doesn’t link himself to his massive powerstone, since its clearly possible as he got the conclave something similar. With this kind of link his defenses would be impenetrable while he is in the range of a powerstone.

    As for factories, even if gold production is slow he could always create some more factories for more output, this would go for titanium/Mortar shells as well. And while we are at the topic of shells i’d like to see him build some kind of small rail system to transport shells to the mortars. It could use rails or even hover, together with a lift from the munitions storage up to the mortars. This way he could easily supply more mortars on top of the wall.

    Could he build something like a railgun? His rifles already us some kind of accelerator spell instead of air propulsion, so just creating a longer accelerator with more juice should be enough. And a Railgun should be able to do some real damage against something like the sea snake if he can hit them.

    He should build a medical ward with healing beds that just dump healing into anyone on them. For the field he could use powerlinked healing amulets. This would greatly improve his ability to sustain his army.

    What needs some more explanations is why it is easier to complete transform someone into a Cat Girl or Dark Elf than to grow more muscles or other such manipulations (except for this organ which he can easily grow or shrink now).

    He should upgrade his riflemen, or some of them at least with force blade rounds (bouncer rounds without the bounce).

    He needs a flame tank.

    Some kind of gattling gun would be nice, although the 4 barrel flaks come close.

    Why does he leave the power stone in an accessible room, he could just summon/banish part of the wall to fully enclose it and make it completely inaccessible.

    I hope he can retain much of the dark elf abilities when he returns to being human or maybe a hybrid?

    Why didn’t he repair the city moat while he had the time?

    Could he create golems of his own, given some instructions/books?

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    1. If he made a simple healing implant wouldn’t that implant remove itself by doing its job?

      And looking at the physics of the guns it seems to me that even in the ideal case the length of the barrel has to grow with the square of the desired speed. And that is neglecting friction with the air and assuming that force magic does not care how fast the projectile moves relative to the accelerator.

      If he completely encloses the power stones his coven mates cannot shut down or restart the power stones in his absence.

      Why would he need a flame tank?

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      1. >If he made a simple healing implant wouldn’t that implant remove itself by doing its job?

        Hm, that depends how healing actually worked I would say that if he used flesh magic to implant them, e.g. modifying his body for it, instead of using surgery, it should be possible as it is seen as the new normal.

        > If he completely encloses the power stones his coven mates cannot shut down or restart the power stones in his absence.

        IIRC, he didn’t build a switch for them, which in itself would be a major weakness, and they don’t have mana sorcery so they can’t shut it down now anyways.

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  17. Radio next book everyone!
    I figured out how to radio with magic.

    1. Have a copper / aluminum box (which every helps boost signal/ conduct magic) the shape of one of the first cellphones (those, big radiation ones that you could drop from a height and kill a elephant), the size will help protect it from damage. Then have a gold core (gold is the best electrical conductor, so it probably applies to magic as well) the size a modest chicken egg. He uses sympathetic magic or curses to link one of Cersei’s shadow gates between the two devices and their cores. What is said through one, travels through to the other, and vice versa.

    2. Same set up as above with housing and core. But one core is imbued with a strong divination spell that enables eavesdropping. They split the core apart and what one side senses (hears), the other should also.

    Of course these will be bound up in protective wards from his coven, so nothing metaphysical or metamagical can seep through the links to attack Daniel and his people. Also the farther away one box is from the other, the more power will have to be used to connect them.

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    1. Or a chat system. 2 sheets or aluminium linked by sympathetic Magic. Everything written on one appears on the other. Pens with 1mm Iron conjuration and banish eraser.

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      1. That would require people knowing to read and write. Remember a lot of Daniel’s men are peasants.
        They can however talk and say that something is there, or point some magical targeting laser so Daniel’s bunker buster rounds would have an easy time seeking out enemies.

        Writing what they see would be too much. Twitter / instant messenger wouldn’t work, radio is the only way.

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      2. If you want radio down to the level of individual soldiers that is an issue. If you are content to let communication be something for officers and/or NCOs, then a literate radioman in every skimmer and the Intrepid would be possible. I think we agree that Daniel’s usual switches, his control link (like to his talisman) and force magic would allow him to build teletypes.

        We also know that magic can create illusions. However, Daniel does not in general have the magic for that and I don’t think he could build a magical microphone or camera. Though I might be wrong on that and it is definitely possible, because that is a necessary feature of golems.
        However, if it were easy to transmit such sensory information, then why wouldn’t the Conclave use it to spare its Golem commanders?

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      3. You forgot the Priests transmissions to the red conclave, over a distance of thousands of miles. Sensory transmission is indeed possible. I just think the mana cost are too high.

        Remember, the further away the person is, the more mana is used.

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      4. For all we know that is pure text. Priests can read. If that is the problem, then the “sendings” the elves use will solve the issue. We also don’t know whether the methods they use require known locations.

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      5. I think Daniel is becoming a God / Demigod. Remember all you need are worshippers, and soon people on his island will start praying to him, giving his divine mana. Hekate would probably show Daniel how to communicate with a follower.

        The only difference between men and gods is power. If Daniel sculpts his body to make an organ that stores and releases mana, his “natural” mana pool without an amulet would be increased. Hell, the common man on his island already think he’s a God in disguise.

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    1. From my Fairy Lore. They will come back into power. The power within the courts depends on the seasons. An Eternal Winter (100k years) would give huge amounts of power to the Winter Court. The Summer court would lose a lot of power from not having sunlight and growing plants in bloom.

      If the extinct animals come back, it would be from Gaia releasing them into the world. (Maybe as a way to save them from radiation poisoning).

      I’m praying to which ever Dark Gods that Brown worships and blesses him with his Muse, that book 4 is released in August.

      Like

      1. An ice age is strictly speaking not eternal winter. The summers were actually almost as warm as ours and less rainy. They were just shorter and the winters far colder.
        I just wonder whether Gaea is the only one who pull that deextinction stuff off.

        Oh and one thing. The halls of slumber are tiny compared to all Skogheim. He will certainly extinct a whole species that way.

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  18. Since Daniel Black saga is the best isekai novel in existence you definitely need to introduce some kind of magic samourai or ninja ( though nethwillin already fits the ninja role). Or since China bas Been mentionned several times, a xanxia cultivator would be an interesting addition.

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    1. Why should he? Why does he “definitely need to” do anything? He would shit up the novels by doing that.
      Daniel has power by trial and error, and utilizing his wits. He’s human, he fails sometimes but learns from it.

      He doesn’t just wake up after a 1000 years of hibernation sleep, stands on a fence post, looks into the distance, and gains unstoppable immortality with instant transmission, unlimited cultivation and lvl 35 haki.

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  19. I am highly looking forward to your next Daniel black book. I personally hope to see a giant flying castle. But mostly i just want to see what happens next as he tries to keep himself and his safe

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    1. I also hope next time Daniel is anywhere outside the keep he doesn’t take off his protection. Or let stupid house sheltered “full of felings” half fairies take it off for him when he is in a war zone. I’m reading this a second time and it still pisses me off

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    2. Why? What is so bad about dwarves?

      Well, I must say that at some point he needed to rest. Daniel makes mistakes. At that point he made several mistakes.

      1. He took the expected escape route (A minor mistake, arguably even inevitable)
      2. His wife is a hearth witch, yet he has no quick dressing and undressing spell on his armor
      3. He wasted his time. Once he knew that he was in a race whitout a good chance to win, he should have picked a landing site and fortified that And warded it.
      4. He thought himself indispensable. As soon as the Intrepid had lifted of, he should have told Elin to put him asleep. Cerise was perfectly capable of commanding the ship. That’s what you have an XO for.
      5. He left his cabin through an obvious opening. He has Earth sorcery and Grinder. He should have cut a hole into the roof. Ideally after sending his talisman out as a decoy.
      6. Ideally he would have had patrols outside the vessel (probably not feasible in a storm for anybody but Cerise)
      7. Cerise and he being asleep at the same time is very bad. You need a watch plan.

      I say this in hindsight, sure. A hastily planned operation into an unknown area is dangerous.

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      1. You must be prepared to fight under less than optimal conditions.

        And what good would have his breastplate done him? Granted it would have stopped thrown axes. That is good but unlikely to be decisive. Getting an axe in his unhelmeted head would still have finished him.

        And I have to remind you that the basic failure was not detecting the enemy earth mages. That negated Daniel’s advantage in weapons range. And all his additional armor wouldn’t help against gas.

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  20. OK, some of us seem to think that Daniel makes good military decisions. I am sorry, but is not true, neither tactically nor strategically. I hope you don’t mind if I expand on this. And, of course, protest vigorously.

    At Avilla’s house

    He thought to break contact against a force with trolls. His side was an untrained office worker and two girls with heavy backpacks. Through snow and without maps or weapons in broad daylight. To do so he left a defensible position and his supplies behind.
    He should have sneaked out at night. Or tunneled out. Or made a stand. Or hidden in the vault he constructed for Avilla’s stuff. Virtually every alternative would have been better.

    In the underground shelter

    I think he left too early. They still ate three meals a day. He could have improved his equipment.

    At Lanrest

    Balls for a dozen horny teenagers. I have no idea where even to begin. After getting your spine broken and shown that your defense is seriously lacking, the one thing you do not do is divide your force. Even if you do not just retreat, you sit in a defensible position and throw fireballs. If you absolutely feel you have to keep attacking, you should ask Avilla to call up a few demons.
    Strategically he just does not see that he wants Lanrest wiped out. The priests knew too much. He should have killed the baron himself, set a few houses on fire, screamed “Goblins attack” and vanished. Or used the attack to raid the granary and vanish.

    Against the zombies

    A strategical failure. He led his troops to recon in force. OK. But then he left them there to secure the area. Why? He defended some civilians. Against the fully reanimated catacombs that would be useless. Had Kozalin fallen and the island besieged, what would he have done with all those people on it?
    He should have withdrawn and just left the skimmers which can flee over the river outside.

    Underground

    I wonder why he proceeded. He knew that Mara had bribed Urkl. Why? She could have just turned him to ash. Thus she wanted him to talk. He was walking into a trap. He should just have asked Elin to flood the catacombs.

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    1. You seem to forget that Daniel likes to do things himself. He is a programmer. They like to do something to make sure it’s done.

      he has ‘wised up” though. Just finished my reread of book 3. He delegated work to others who are more suited, and took less upon himself.

      In the next book you will see a wiser Daniel who asks for help. He is still “own way”, but he will improve. He would rather take the danger upon himself, than let someone he cares about get hit.

      On another note, I was reading some old blogs…. Please I need this book to be released this year. No book I read last year has touched my mind like this series has. We have faith in you Mr Brown. I’ve been shilling your series to others. I hope your readership increases. For people that love engineering this series is a god-send.

      Like

      1. I share your desire about the next book. And this is not meant as criticism of the books. It was about the protagonist.

        But no, I was not referring to his tendency to do things himself. This was about what Daniel did and not how.
        Do you realize how close they came to death on their initial road trip? Had they not met Captain Rain and his company then and there it would have been over. The witches had sustained multiple arrow wounds. He would have had to stop there. His amulet at that time was pure mana generation. He would have had to heal under the permanent threat of arrows and curses. Then they would have had to camp out in the open. Likewise without guards. Little or no sleep, even if they didn’t get their throats cut in the dark. The next village would have been destroyed. The giant attack would have finished them for sure.

        Now Daniel is a resourceful guy and under such pressures he might have gone underground or found some other solution. But that is just the point. He could have done that right away and under far better conditions. As a military commander he lacked a most basic skill: realistic assesment of capabilities and threats.
        He has learned a lot. But it has to be said that he still is a far better researcher, engineer and builder than a military commander.

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      2. Remember Hekate told him to seek out people. You survive in groups, not just you and two girls, and of course he isn’t a military genius, he is a programmer. In hindsight things seems better, but if me or you were put in the same situations we would not have been as successful.

        He would have had to venture out eventually. Starting early and maybe joining a traveling band was the best choice.

        Avilla’s hut was way out in the middle of no where. Had he done what you said, and made a vault, those goblins would have used “spirits of earth to crush puny wizard human” and Daniel’s power pool wasn’t good enough to beat them. He and the girls would have been crushed, and Hecate would have lost.

        Protip. If the world is ending, you need to join a group to survive. The group that Daniel had in the first bunker wasn’t self sufficient, and had injuries. He had to get supplies, and off load extra weight on someone else.

        His PRIMARY mission was to protect Ceris. He had a better chance doing that by having canon fodder nearby, to take the heat off of him. Also you don’t think Hecate wouldn’t have been working to make sure that they got “lucky” by finding shelter?

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      3. Of course I have no idea what I would have done. You may have gathered that I am not an optimist. So my choice of powers would have been different. I would never have considered picking earth. Rather something that provides an immediate magical means of transportation. Most likely actually air.

        With Daniel’s power set I might have built a vault, faked a last stand, torched the house and gone into retreat. And yes, had we been discovered that would have been it.
        And yes, I would have chartered a ship in Kozalin as soon as possible. I admit a story with me as protagonist would be much less impressive.

        Quoting Hecate “It is the end of the Aesir, not of the world”. I would have taken her by her word.
        I must disagree about the crowd business. Under starvation conditions other people are part of the problem, not of the solution.

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  21. How many chapters do you think book 4 will have?
    Who will be arriving next to the island?
    How will food production be handled?
    How much time skipping will take place in this novel? Will bast be born and reach adulthood in book 4?
    Will Daniel be taking those empty husks who had their souls sucked, so Ceris can use them for witch binding?
    Who will next be impregnated?
    Will the fairies make contact with Daniel?

    (Mara and her unborn sister wouldn’t be dealt with until book 6, so don’t even think about it).

    Like

    1. I cannot help myself. I must answer.

      ” Will bast be born and reach adulthood”
      I calculated that Tina has about three weeks of pregnancy left. So it seems very likely to me that she will be born, but for her to grow up the book would have to be epic in length.

      “Who will next be impregnated”
      Avilla. Maybe Elin. For the simple reason that she will insist.

      “Who will be arriving next to the island”
      I assume that you are not referring to the trickle of hearth witches Hestia announced.
      Now Hecate has sent farmers (dryads), spies & traders (dark elves). Makers, warriors and artists are missing. Now you might not like this, by dwarves would actually make sense. They would fill the maker slot and have strong magic Daniel lacks. And they live under ground, so they must have techniques to make food under ground.
      Or she sends those most in need of shelter. Maybe selkies or nixies as the North sea will freeze. Or, Greek connection, she figures he sucks at crowd control and sends him Sirens.
      The other clue we have is that she wanted them to leave the coven open to new members. That indicates that she is looking at individuals rather groups, too. A minor demigodess, maybe related to Demeter. Such a demigodness might actually be able to conjure grain.

      Your other questions are interesting, too, but I have no good answers.

      Like

      1. When she said “leave the ritual open”, I automatically thought of Mara. She is after all, “an injured soul who needs healing”. Mara AT LEAST will join, there might be others.

        I don’t think the Dwarves follow Hekate, nor pray to her. They might more follow Hephaestus, or the Norse God Brokkr.

        The next demigod / Hekate suggestion could be someone of flame. I don’t think it would be easy surviving in a 100k year winter as a heat being. Daniel would probably have them work in the foundry, to help mass produce his tanks (have some factories set up to make parts, then have this fire being assemble them… maybe?)

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      2. “I automatically thought of Mara”
        So did I. Yet it would amount to joining Loki’s camp. So I also doubt it. Sefwin would be another candidate.

        “I don’t think the Dwarves follow Hekate, nor pray to her”
        I see no reason to assume political or religious unity among the dwarves. Their level of social organisation seems to be similar to the elves, in clans. And Daniel is currently ruining some dwarves at least.

        “surviving in a 100k year winter as a heat being”
        Ifrits were mentioned. But they live in Arabia. So would they be affected? And if so, why would they petition a distant foreign goddess, who has to offer a fortress in the far north in a combat zone?

        “help mass produce his tanks”
        That is exactly the sort of thing dwarves would be good at. Daniel could set up some factories and they would happily assemble multiple types. He wouldn’t even need to fully design them.

        So candidates are likelier

        – from Roman or Greek mythology, as they have no native gods to call upon but Hecate
        – living in the north, where an ice age strikes really hard
        – clanish and independent groups, yet not too numerous
        – useful in combat, support or politics

        So Hecate might figure that Daniel will need a navy, so some kind of merfolk or a relative of Poseidon.
        She might want him take over and convert Kozalin, so some kind of propaganda group or influencers. Sirens?

        Like

      3. They tried to kill Daniel and his people(already killed some of his new elves) for metal. Daniel will not forgive them. They tried to kill ceris, Hekate’s high (and only) Priestess, Hekate will not send them to the island.

        No matter your feelings of “how cool dwarves would be!!!” it’s not happening. Daniel (Brown) is following the real mythology, as far as that can be said, not the dwarves singing songs and are a merry bunch crap that happens in the lotr movies.

        Dwarves are devious backstabbing cunts. You already see they are into slave trading. You think Daniel will be okay with that? Have you not worked out Daniel’s personality as yet? He didn’t want mind control used on him, or anyone he has to care for. He didn’t want people that enslaved others, the elves nearly got booted for that “sex you while you’re young to brainwash your nubile body into staying our servants” and the mind control wine. He cut the link with his dryad familiar so she could be certain that his power wasn’t mind raping her into submission. He binded ceris to “be herself” because he didn’t want a puppet.

        Now after all that, do you think he will willingly accept a bunch of murderers (who he saw first hand that attacks people unprovoked) and slave traders that has been doing their trade for centuries maybe millennia, unto his island? Inside his defensive? Near his unborn daughter? Near his family? Near the elves that they kidnapped? No.

        If that doesn’t sway you, more food for thought. Dwarves use earth gates, and Gaia doesn’t stop them.

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      4. “They tried to kill Daniel and his people”
        The Sons of Ivaldi tried to kill him. They are ashes. There is no reason to think dwarves are any more unified than anybody else. In addition you want people with capabilities you do not have. Almost killing you is a sign of quality.

        “the dwarves singing songs and are a merry bunch crap”
        Of course not. They are killers, builders and slavers. They, however, are fairly competent at that.

        “Dwarves are devious backstabbing cunts”
        Backstabbing? Why? Did they show signs of treachery? I think not. They were ready to secure their monopoly by any means necessary, but that is not treachery. They are murderers, not traitors.

        “You already see they are into slave trading”
        So are Dark Elves. Ragnarök is not the time to pander to your scruples. And a man ready to use radiation weapons is not in an optimal position to demand lily white ethics.

        “he will willingly accept a bunch of murderers”
        He already did. What do you think clan Nethwilin does, if the situation calls for it? And whom does he work for ultimately?

        “Dwarves use earth gates, and Gaia doesn’t stop them.”
        The lovers of metal and technology and Gaea together? That does not fit. Ethics is not a consideration people in that world concern themselves a lot with.

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      5. Dear Kervyn. I apologize for my tone. It was uncalled for. You were just expressing your views.

        Daniel’s character is interesting but not all that complex. Which is not a problem.

        He is loyal. He has a sense of social responsibility and compassion, but it is limited and secondary. He has a strong sense of justice and guilt. He has a strain of suspicion, which fits his personal recent history, but is somewhat lacking in the caution department. He generally prefers action to observation and he is a doer not a thinker, yet far from stupid.
        In short his mind and his actions are interesting. His character is the foundation of that but not by itself remarkable or interesting.

        I like him, but I think he has a tendency to rush actions and fails to conciously examine his basic strategies.

        Anyway, I do however, still think you are wrong, but please feel free to convince me otherwise. His basic aversion against slavery is not a deep character strain, but a basic cultural conditioning he is overcoming.
        Have you noticed that his reaction to the priests of Lanrest was a lot stronger than to the Dark Elves?

        And he has gained a lot of realism. For example, can Avilla’s maids leave? I mean obviously they would starve, but in theory? I think you know what Cerise would do then, as they know to much from all the mel time conversation they overheared and you know that Daniel knows and would do nothing.
        Should he ever make Andregi prisoners they will go the labs as test subjects for research on biological weapons.
        He has come a long way from or off, depending on your attitude, standard American ethics.

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      6. It’s alright. And no, I will not try and convince you. I already listed my interpretation from what the author has littered throughout his 3 books. We will just have to wait and see.

        Although I will say that everyone (super naturals) on Daniel’s island seems to be known and respected by others. The elves, the groves. Daniel is not going to have dwarves when he disliked them off the bat. How would he control them? Would they have to swear to Hekate that they will do no wrong, and follow Daniel’s every order?

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    2. OK, I’ve slept about it and at one point you need to make a call.

      I say Sirens

      – they are Greek
      – they can fly: much improved recon and air defense for Daniel
      – they are great convincers:
      — ships to come despite dangers
      — people to switch religion
      — rioting crowds to go home to starvation rations
      – they eat fish: easy to get in a port city if you have Naiads (and people. Nobody is perfect and corpses are not in short supply in Kozalin)

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      1. If my mythology is correct, Sirens are fish beings, don’t recall no flying fish sirens.
        They are said to lay on rocks and sing to tempt men to crash upon the rocks, in which event they jump in the water and feast.

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  22. There are a couple of technologies (non-magical) that Daniel could introduce without wasting any of his own time, and which would be very valuable. Binoculars/Telescopes, and the Printing Press. Just a description of them to Elin over dinner and she could probably design workable prototypes. She’s not spending every waking hour on healing, and she’s easily smart enough to work from Daniel’s descriptions to produce working prototypes. The telescopes would likely be of more immediate benefit as they’d help the mortar crews adjust their shots better. Telescopic sights on sniper rifles would be good too.

    As for magical devices, one thing I’d thin would be very useful is a basic ring that carries several simple enchantments and a mana battery to power them. Constant healing (lower level than Daniel’s, but much better than natural healing), a kinetic-re-direction (eg: Safe Fall) enchantment to push aside anything approaching the wearer too fast (like arrows), and a comfort aura which would automatically adjust its own temperature in response to the wearer’s comfort level (warmer if the wearer is cold, cooler if hot). The first two effects have already been demonstrated, and the third would be a modification of the warmth cloak (though I’m not sure about the “respond to the wearer’s comfort level” control effect…but a magical rheostat should be doable). All three effects together would significantly enhance the survivability of the wearers, and if a factory could be built to produce the rings, or possible several factories in series, each doing part of the job, then Daniel could outfit all his soldiers, then all of Kozilan’s soldiers, then all the civilians.

    Not sure what effect this would have on the environmental mana availability (how does that get replenished anyway? it doesn’t seem to be a non-renewable resource), but Daniel could supplement that with a dedicated power stone if he wanted.

    For extra fun, add a weight-banishment effect and a minor force-push enchantment, both with an on/off switch. The wearers could then fly at low speeds for short distances (or leap tall buildings in a single bound!), which would immensely help them in terms of mobility.

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    1. That would only be done for high ranking people that are trusted by him. Demetrios, palagia, etc.
      Why give it to Kozilan’s soldiers(the Prince’s army). They don’t like Daniel and his witch band. Why empower a foe? What if they turn sides to Loki/Gaea? What if they are a plant /spy?

      Cloaks and rifles are they best he could offer the foot soldiers/ rank and file. His Secret Service, house maids, generals, head of departments(the people that attend his staff meetings) on the other hand should be equipped with those rings. Trusted people who have everything to lose if they betray Daniel will benefit. Not some no name who hates witches, and wants that abomination catgirl’s baby dead.

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      1. If his objective is to save as many people as possible then spreading the rings around makes sense. It does carry risks though, as you point out.

        Empowering his own people, especially given Avilla’s various loyalty wards, would be safe enough. If he wanted to be extra safe he could install a back-door into every ring which would allow him to shut them off, either collectively or individually, as he’s done with his own amulet.

        The comfort effect would save a lot of lives, which is one of his big concerns, without particularly empowering potential enemies, so rings that carried only that effect might be a good product. It would also generate a LOT of goodwill for him. Your point regarding the more militant effects is well taken.

        I don’t like the warmth cloaks because cloaks tend to be fluttery, which would let out a lot of heat, and impair movement. The comfort aura would, presumably, offer better coverage and be less prone to blowing around.

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      2. If Daniel does it the way you want (distributing powerful enchanted items outside his wards, and walls), then it would be easy for the enemy (human and divine) to pick one off a corpse and use it.

        The best idea would be Daniel continue what he was doing. Making self heating shelters with armored exterior and structural integrity spells. It was shown during the attack that Daniel’s buildings stood up to the bashing.

        With so much destruction after that last attack, there will be PLENTY of free space for Daniel to build on (and plenty of people in the cold. Who Avilla doesn’t hire, will probably move into those new buildings).
        He will probably perfect the “seed stone enchantment”. Make a factory stone to mass produce them, then just visit a spot, clear rubble to bedrock, then drop seed in and watch it grow (he was already working on something similar since book 2).

        They will probably have him repair the walls too. I’m sure before Mr Brown is finished with this series, Kozilan will be entirely black highrise buildings, with thick walls encircling the city.
        Book 4 will have a lot of building going on.

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      3. I already mentioned the “back door” option, and one feature that I didn’t mention (the comment was already getting long) was an owner-only option. Basically (assuming it’s possible) the rings would attune themselves to their owners and not work for anyone else.

        Nothing can be done without risk. The guns and flamers can be used by anyone who steals one from a corpse. Likewise the skimmers (though the thief would have more difficulty figuring those out). The rings are useful enough that I think the benefits would outweigh the risks, especially if Daniel includes the override option.

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      4. The “owners only” option is not feasible. Daniel will have to personally craft and attune those rings, to every, single, peasant. Not happening.
        He would for his inner circle (staff meeting members) but not nobodies would could be planning to sacrifice a couple of witches and abominations to Odin.

        Saving and helping people would be building towers for them to stay out of the cold. Remember Daniel isn’t a bleeding heart(which is why I like this series). He will help if he can, but his first loyalty is to his coven, inner circle retainers, people on island, island itself, then maybe the city, then the people in the city. And he will only turn to the city if his own people are safe and cozy first.

        Expending a lot of time and power on single, specific, magic items, which Daniel has to personally enchant while touching the person (to attune it) is not happening.

        I understand you want everyone flying around and doing anime battles, but it’s not happening. Daniel has to follow the Red Conclave’s rules regarding magic items also. Not happening.

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      5. The “owners only” option is not feasible.

        You know this because…how?

        I understand you want everyone flying around and doing anime battles, but it’s not happening.

        You need to turn in your mind-reading license, or get a refresher course. You don’t “understand” what I want at all. I’m exploring possibilities and discussing them. Saying “not feasible” only works if you’re the author or can demonstrate from the canon why not.

        Except for the single-user effect, everything I’ve described for the rings has been demonstrated in the text (or effects close enough to make mine reasonable extrapolations). Daniel’s meta-magic sorcery allows him to see people’s individual magical auras, so making an item which links to the first aura it contacts and lock that into its structure doesn’t strike me as implausible.

        Yes, his first loyalty is to his own, but he’s repeatedly demonstrated a desire to help the people of Kozilan as well, and if these rings, even just the temperature-regulation version, could be mass-produced via his factories, I think he’d happily do it were it to occur to him.

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      6. A solvable issue and one, given his ultimate ambitions, worth solving.

        He founds the Black Church. Members get an amulet, graded in functionality by rank in the church and service to him. The details don’t matter that much. They are powered by batteries. But the batteries don’t recharge from ambient mana (except maybe for expeditionary special amulets with limited life time – again details are not that important). They recharge by physical contact to special chargers only. The chargers are guarded and located inside the Black Temples, recharging is part of the service. Access control and operation is done by priests. The priests get amulets that recharge only in High Temples controlled by Black Bishops and so on.
        High inquistors led by Supreme Inquisitor Cerise, who will sacrifice any corrupt priest to Lord Zagoras, make sure the church is dependable.

        This means a factory each for the different grades of amulets and chargers and some people in the religious bureaucracy. Very little of his time is needed. And once he becomes a demigod he has people working as an anchor, should he need one.

        The prince, lets face it, has got to go in the long run. Or eventually the odds catch up with him. Nethwilin has assasins. Or Cerise does it.

        The Conclave is more of an issue. But in the long run, I think a promise of eternal youth would sway them.

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      7. “If his objective is to save as many people as possible then spreading the rings around makes sense”

        It isn’t. It is a tertiary goal, but it is unfortunately in conflict with his first goal: survival
        Not just in competition meaning that it would take his time he needs to survive, but it is ultimately in head on conflict.

        His strategy is to stay neutral during Ragnarök. Too tough to easily wipe out but not enough of a pain to try harder. Kozalin harbors a high temple and tens of thousands of worshippers of the Aesir. Like it or not, defending it puts himself in the Aesir camp.
        Actively attacking the temple or converting the population would put him in Loki’s camp.

        I see no way around it. Most of the Kozalini have to die the way the Aesir and Loki expect them to.

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      8. I know what you want because I read your post. Leaping to high story buildings, flight close to the ground, etc. All spells anime.

        Everything I said is supported in book. Daniel is done with that putting himself out there. He will make the shelters, but will not make rings with mana batteries and shonen battle techniques to give to people he does not know / trust. I can see him giving it to people on his island, not in the city. The island already has heated walkways and walls, so only the higher ups (his inner staff and secret service) will get their hands on it.

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      9. “Daniel is done with that putting himself out there.”

        He is done wanting to put himself out there. Getting his wish is a different issue. He is realist enough to know that. He will upgrade his personal combat capabilities and those of his men and his allies. I think Daniel would want to duplicate as much as feasible of his or his allies equipment for his ordinary soldiers. He is that kind of leader. The question is what they can use and what is mass producible.

        – healing: if he can make collars for rats to measure radiation, he can make them for troops
        – curse barrier rings
        – fire resistance rings

        longer shots:

        – his trenchcoat
        – the walking on snow effect on boots

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      10. .@Oliver. I agree with everything that you said. He will try to help his allies, not the random nobodies from the street who could use the tools he gave them to try and invade his island, or kill his own people.

        That is what Jabrwok and I were disagreeing with. I was saying he would do those things, but only for people on the island (and in his army), and he was saying Daniel will do it for everyone in the city. He had a vision of people doing three story building leaps.

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      11. I must say there are multiple angles of viewing that. And there are probably graduations there.

        1. He clearly cannot give out really effective stuff to anybody but his own people
        2. There are things he could sell to anybody, like warmth cloaks

        And there are things in between, like flamers and guns or the safe fall enchantments. Those he might give to allies or mercenaries he might happen to hire. Daniel, if he is to become a god, needs worshippers. The people of Kozalin are the easiest source.

        It is still not clear to me how he would bring them on his side without declaring for Loki or the Aesir. He might simply play for time for now. And he might try to convert them discretely. Handing out goodies could be the way to do this.
        He might hope that Loki’s agents or some arsonist during a food riot will solve the problem of the Aesir temple inside the city. I wouldn’t risk it, but it seems Daniel has a more relaxed attitude towards acceptable risk than I.

        To do that he must keep the city from

        a – freezing to death (comparatively easy and safe)
        b – starvation (either food is shipped in or it isn’t – ultimately out of his control – but having magic stuff to buy makes it likelier)
        c – being eaten (that is a security problem – but something can be done – if the guns for unreliable people are powered separately this is doable)

        And ultimately he will have to open a diplomatic channel to Loki. Loki has the sea serpents. He decides whether Kozalin will eat in the long run. And it is kind of stupid to bang his daughter while they try to battle each other.

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      12. @Oliver. I keep finding myself agreeing that the end goal of this Series is Daniel becoming a God. Most of his people already think him a God in disguise.

        In regards to the Mara / Loki issue, Loki might leave him be. No one in Daniel’s Circle worships Asgard, and the people on his Island that do will convert when they see how Daniel keeps surviving and people in the city keep dying.

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      13. That just won’t be enough. There still is a high temple in Kozalin.And a lot of worshippers of the Aesir live there. Look at it from their perspective. Brand went through the gate. No new Andregi armies are coming. The heroic demigod saved them.

        Under those circumstances Loki eventually has to attack. The whole rationale of the fimbulwinter is to cut the anchors. Daniel got a peace offer. He may get it again. But Kozalin will not.

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      14. “Look at it from their perspective. Brand went through the gate. No new Andregi armies are coming. The heroic demigod saved them.”

        OOHH SNAAPP! I didn’t think of it like that. Brand will get the credit for Daniel’s sneak work, and get more power(worshipers) for it. Not like Daniel want’s to be recognized… but still

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    2. There is one potential issue. The citizens of Kozalin are potentially the enemy.

      Come spring planting time, snow will still be on the ground. Then, at the latest, the refugees and the citizens will understand that Northern Europe in an ice age does not allow crops to be grown. They will also understand that herds of reindeer and horses plus fishing cannot feed a city the size of Kozalin.
      That means that the city will have to depend on food imports. How will they pay? In the long run, will the exporters show a surplus? And Loki has the sea serpents.

      There is a very real chance that in summer Daniel will have to order his mortars to fire at starving rioters. He does not want anybody who isn’t basically loyal to him (and whom he in turn can support) to have so good an equipment.

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      1. I agree with this.
        He already kicked people off the island that were just lazing around looking for hand outs.
        He dropped people off at villages on his way to Kozalin (even though he knew that was certain death).
        Daniel will not let untrusted persons bring down the ones that he promised to look after.

        With Daniel’s doors, walls and updated gate house I wish the rioters that want to rush Daniel’s island the best of luck, and that Hell use their souls well.

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      2. “I wish the rioters that want to rush Daniel’s island the best of luck”
        Not enough. He cannot let them endanger the Conclave. He cannot even afford to make the Conclave feel threatened. He also might want the grain storage for himself or his allies. Whoever by that time would hold Brokefang Castle would also object. Mobs might also storm embassies. They might try to slaughter rich merchants, whom Daniel needs to keep the port going.

        “Hell use their souls well”
        They would, technically, die in battle.

        He might sell heating though. If he can sell lights and building blocks, I cannot see why he does not sell remotely powered heaters and cooking ovens. Easier than rebuilding the whole city.

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      3. The Answer is actually quite simple. It was already mentioned that there are several plots of land ripe for building have opened up inside the city. Instead of building standard tenement buildings he should build agriculture arcologis there, maybe 2 or 3 levels of farm space, and 10-15 levels of living space. Even without the dryads the enchantments he developed should enable 3-4 harvests a year. Each Acre should be able to feed up to 80 people a year (combination of rice, carps and chicken). With enough arcologies for the people he can raze other buildings to build more agriculture. If he can stack the agriculture 10 – 15 levels high he should have enough to feed thousands.
        If he works together with the nature spirits to create enchantments that provide a lesser version of their power and integrates that into the arcologies that number increases dramatically.

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      4. @MadMcAl. Daniel will have to make sure his people are settled and provided for first, before he helps empower the Prince’s people.

        Remember Daniel swore that he can’t help everyone, and that he will focus on those under his care first before others.

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      5. “building standard tenement buildings he should build agriculture arcologis there”

        – He would need to make sure that the tennants would keep the arcology. That means he’d need to guard them. Or take over the city

        – There are agents of Loki in the city. They would try to sabotage them. If he guards them, would he want to execute agents of one side in a war he wants to be neutral in?

        – Just how many buildings would that be?

        – Without dryads how quickly would the soil in such a building lose minerals?

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    3. “Binoculars/Telescopes, and the Printing Press.” just screams a bevy/flock/coop/troop? of gnomes. He does need some type of innate tinker race to hand some of his engineering research off to.
      I would like to see if he could co opt the Extra dimensional bags of the elves into Extra dimensional farm space, endless fields of corn and wheat. he simply doesn’t have enough farming room for the people he has let alone the population growth that’s going to happen when kozalin finally falls.. I understand it’s 1 Acre per person per year, he has about 20 acre, even with the increased harvests provided by the Dryads it’s still not enough for more than 5k people let alone the 20k+ he’s going to wind up with..

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      1. ” He does need some type of innate tinker race to hand some of his engineering research off to”
        That is why I still think dwarves would come handy. Do gnomes exist in that world?

        “even with the increased harvests provided by the Dryads it’s still not enough”
        How many is he going to wind up with?

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      2. IMO one of the common flaws of isekai stories is that people drastically underestimate how hard it is to introduce even the simplest innovations. When you look at the actual history of key inventions it always turns out that the guy the history books mention was just the last in a whole series of people who tried to figure out how to make an idea work, and they collectively invested several lifetimes worth of effort in the project.

        Even if we assume Daniel’s book knowledge about working solutions speeds that up a lot, I’d still expect any one project to take years of work. It’s also not something Daniel can just start up and ignore, because no one in this world has any idea how to go about inventing a new technology. A modern R&D project relies on a whole system of social innovations that was developed during the Industrial Revolution, and people aren’t going to spontaneously duplicate it all on their own. So he’d have to stay involved in the project, feeding the workers ideas and keeping them on track, until they eventually stumble on a way to duplicate whatever half-remembered technology he’s been giving them clues to.

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      3. “people drastically underestimate how hard it is to introduce even the simplest innovations”

        In general that is most likely right. But the way you put it, it is almost a challenge. It must be something that is ultrasimple, easy to teach, known to Daniel and yet blocked by a single key problem.

        Tough, but I can come up with one thing: heliography

        Daniel was a scout, thus he should know the principle, he is a programmer, thus he knows information encoding and he built good mirrors for the first time.

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  23. Which goddess do you think will be impregnated by Daniel? With his increased mana feeds, and healing abilities, I’m sure he can go toe to toe (or groin to groin) with Hekate or Hestia.

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  24. Just revisited this thread ……and although the subject has been talked to death….

    I see no compelling argument to change the food production on Black Island.

    Try to simplify it waay down to a computer game level:
    Your current population needs 100 units of food; you current food production is >100

    => no problem here!

    Whether this “food unit” is crop, vegetables, roots, berries, grass, cardboard gruel, probiotic yogurt or finest Argentinian filet steak is not important.

    The surrounding problems can similarly be simplified:
    DB didn’t conjure bio-humus with soil-organisms for his farm. He conjured “good earth” (straight earth-magic; no “live-magic”).
    This earth does not need to be fertilized with feces. There is no shit (digestion/shit is not an issue in a novel) there is only wastewater/sewage and that gets magically dispelled/banished.
    The dryads do their sexy fertilizing ritual/spell

    => no problem here !

    And now my backflip begins…

    I am a sucker for world building / background descriptions.

    I really want to read about Black Island. Who lives there? What are they thinking? How do they feel? What goes on socially, economically, politically…neighbourhood gossip…

    And of course what do they eat!

    Do they buy fish (perhaps using the contact to the habourmaster)? Do they produce meat? What do they eat in detail? How do they distribute it? Do they eat together in some kind of canteen? How is the food situation in Kozalin? More vivid descriptions of the mouthwatering meals prepared by Avilla….

    From my point of view there is just no critical (nutrition) problem!

    That doesn’t mean I don’t want to read about it in the books or in this thread (quite the contrary).

    But for me those details are simply prosa. Prosa I really want to read in the next book(s) ..no more, no less.

    It just means IMO food is no problem (just now) and DB doesn’t need to divert attention/time on this topic.

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    1. The book is about Daniel and his people surviving a 100k year winter. Not peasants selling in the market and shagging behind a bin. These books are too short for the “slice of life” that you want.

      The plotlines would go to the gutter if in the middle of battle Daniel starts admiring his buttress, and thinking of the mouthwatering meals people in his barracks are eating, then he would start describing ingredients.

      This isn’t ASOIAF. No foodporn or slice of life in these novels. Mr Brown’s quality would noticeably drop, seeing as it’s been a fast paced novel so far.

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  25. “…We shall make our refuge a little faerie realm sculpted to serve our will…” (Pelagia in book 3, Extermination, chapter 21, 5.535 from 7.091)

    My dreamed up future for the above mentioned issue (food) centers mainly about the dryad-groves.

    The now on unlimited mana feed nature spirit groves evolve eventually into an alice-in-wonderland-nature-themed-pocket-dimension with a multitude of (huntable) wildlife; in addition to that the upgraded dryads can expedite the agriculture even more.

    Will this continual nature magic beacon (the pimped groves) in the middle of the citadel further affect the living conditions/environment?

    Will more nature spirits knock on DB’s door?

    More nature/vegetation instead of bare stone?

    Vitality boost (i.e. faster recovery from fatigue) for inhabitants of Black Citadel? Maybe even a healing boost?

    Higher overall libido/fertility? [ spring fever 😉 ]

    Moral boost on Black Island because “climate” is more in the human comfort zone?
    (i.e. the scent of flowery meadows/forests and the faint twittering of birds wafting through the stone corridors lessening the oppressive, claustrophobic feeling of living under a mountain of stone without seeing the sky/sun/stars….)

    Any other ideas?

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    1. “Will more nature spirits knock on DB’s door?”

      In this winter? He might seek them out. Fully empowered groves might be able to build a dryad detector and he could send an airship on a rescue mission. With his sense of humor he could call it “Project Greenpeace”.

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      1. I can see before this series is finished that Daniel’s Island will be more than 20 acres, and it will have multiple groves.

        BOOK 4 WHEN???????

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  26. Will the dark elves get a new home in book 4?

    Perhaps the upper reaches of a new housing block built out according to their wishes (cave system?) with from above accessible hangars for the current airship (and possible additions)?

    What else could change with them abandoning their widespread holdings and centralising their clan in Black Citadel together with ALL OF THEM (!) having access to unlimited mana?

    The airship is probably already magically attuned to their air elementals (if I remember correctly from book 3 the process takes only some hours) for a little speed/handling boost.

    Perhaps they can produce little magical trinkets for the wolfen in bulk (i.e. some armor enhancement, curse protection, useful utility magic….besides giving even more “flavor” to the description of the wolfen… even the low level stuff adds up).

    What else can they contribute? How will they pan out?

    Any ideas?

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    1. “Will the dark elves get a new home in book 4?”
      Daniel is not an idiot, so it is extremely likely.

      “Perhaps the upper reaches of a new housing block built out according to their wishes”
      It will need to be flooded with mana. I would use the simplest geometric shape I could get away with to keep the magic inside. Surface/volume ratios would favor a sphere or a hemisphere.

      “What else could change”?

      – weather control around Black Island (most of them have air affinity)
      – Elvish equipment for at least his elite troops
      – Elvish intelligence methods
      – Access to all the nine worlds on a strategic level

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      1. “…– weather control around Black Island (most of them have air affinity)…”
        (Oliver Neukum February 5, 2018 at 8:31 pm)

        I entertained that idea, too.

        Since Pegalia cleared (a small part of) the conjured storm during the attack of the neanderthals…she is the linchpin in “my version”.

        Daniel builds a special ritual chamber on top of the arcology and from this now highest point of Black Island Pegalia leads a weather ritual with the help of the other nature spirits, elves and Elin and the coven (=duplicates the weather spell of the conclave that Mara interrupted) …

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      2. Well, permanent weather manipulation of that kind is a problem. The weather is Loki’s strategic weapon. To negate that is taking sides.

        I thought about quiet weather to start and land aircraft and maybe weaponized weather of themselves. Like a tornado in a bottle.

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      3. My own view is not so clean-cut.

        Is simply defending oneself taking sides? Probably yes. It’s an all-out war for them…so it’s black or white…for or against me.

        But I am not sure if the almighty gods bother with identifying individual humans…worthless ants that they are.

        So one of the still resisting cities got a weather working up…oh it’s Konzalin with annoying meddlers, one of Odin’s junior brats and the wizard conclave… no the Key is already obliterated….

        I don’t think that this theoretical permanent weather working would bring DB as an individual to the attention of the gods (just now).

        But I agree it is a risk, even if my personal evaluation how high a risk it is differs.

        And with DB and his people behind magically heated walls I see no imperative to take even this risk.

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      4. He already got an offer by sea serpent. And Brand will report home. Any individual that can stealthily kill millions of Andregi they will definitely notice.
        What does that mean? I do not know. It may actually be good. “The enigmatic guy in Kozalin wants good weather. – OK, the Kozalini will starve anyway, let him be.”

        I think the the option to stay unnotice is gone. He cannot only stay neutral and armed. How much he can get away with we don’t know. It depends on how good an anchor Kozalin actually is. I would reduce the risk. The temple should have an unfortunate accident. Some zombies who got inside with magic battering rams and enchanted swords. Nobody knew the secret passage out of the catacombs.

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      5. “I think the the option to stay unnotice is gone. He cannot only stay neutral and armed. ”
        I agree with this. If Brand didn’t come rushing in, no one (asgard) would have known Daniel was there.

        But if it wasn’t for Brand, Daniel would not have been able to help with a healing ring, mended bridges with and impregnated Mara, and gotten the magical banana of demigodhood. He was also able to perma kill one of Gaea’s sons.

        He got a lot of gains from the negative of asgard finding out. Now the question is if odin will claim the Chernobyl attack as his own, or point the finger to Daniel to draw some of the heat off himself. Or worse… force Daniel to reveal how he did it / make him repeat it at another location.

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      6. “Now the question is if odin will claim the Chernobyl attack as his own, or point the finger to Daniel to draw some of the heat off himself. Or worse… force Daniel to reveal how he did it / make him repeat it at another location.”

        Why would he reveal it? Loki and Gaea are already his sworn enemies. He wants them to fear him. To me that is the only thing that is clear about this.

        Now, I must say that I do not buy that the timing of Brand’s raid was a coincidence. I think Hecate announced the strike to the Aesir and Brand was sent as an observer. But I cannot be sure of that Avilla’s potion may have been the cause. Or there is a traitor on Black Island.
        The ability to gain a fearsome reputation and to take some heat of Daniel was too good an opportunity to miss.
        I guess, but only guess, that Odin will send spies, very good spies. He will want that weapon.

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  27. IMO, Daniel needs not just ranged communication, but a command center – 30 people or so maintaining an up-to-date picture of the situation, able to direct fire support, contact squad leaders with updated orders etc.
    They could maintain a big model of the city, complete with positions of squads, enemy forces and VIPs, and then Daniel could make rings with sympathetic connections to the model, letting wearers have a mini-map in their head.

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    1. This is a great idea. I think it would fall under the “secret service” that he has. It will be a joint venture with the ministry of war.

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    2. Absolutely, great idea.

      And dare I say it, he needs some bureaucracy. An archive for reports. Some people for copies of maps. After actions reports of his armed forces.
      And in the medium term probably some kind of staff college.

      Which leads me to a related point. What happened to his old stuff? The flying skimmer prototype would make an excellent observation post. The hot plates Avilla cooked on are the nucleus of a field kitchen. For stealthy night operations the old spears and shields would be better weapons than guns.

      And while talking about Daniel’s equipment is cool, how about the stuff Cerise uses or what the Secret Service uses? Might they request, for example, pistol sized flamers?

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  28. Anyone realize that the Prince is just being used to add as many warriors as he can to Valhalla?
    Almost everything being done are suicide runs, that depopulate Kozilan through fighting.
    Odin is just adding to his coffers.

    Also I wonder if the sky hammer is a nuke of some kind? Maybe it’s the mortal equivalent of Thor’s hammer?

    The sacrifice mechanic that Brown uses has me thinking. If you sacrifice something to a God, you make them stronger. Now that Demigod has had the conclave “sacrificing” souls on a daily basis to that gate. He himself recommended that they use it, I think that gate is powering someone up. If not the mage who made it in an attempt to revive him, then some dark God who he made a pact with.

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    1. “Anyone realize that the Prince is just being used to add as many warriors as he can to Valhalla?”

      That is not entirely true. He also forces Gaea to split up her forces. She really made a strategic error. She attacked too early and at too many places at once.

      Yet it is mainly true. In fact Brand almost states it. And let’s be honest, he is right. Valhalla is better than returning as an undead skeleton to slaughter your own family. The nobles are facing the truth that they are dead man walking.

      Incidentally, what happens to the women who have walked through the door of devotion? Are their bodies available for reensoulment?

      Like

      1. That reminds me, I wonder what happened to the widow of that harbor pilot from book 2? Daniel kind of exaggerated, saying he died in battle. Did Mrs. Lagep step through that portal expecting her husband to meet her on the other side, only to get told “Nope, the guy’s in Hel”?

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      2. @ Oliver. I too thought he would have offered her a place on the Island, but he just doubled the money offered for her Husband’s death. (I even though he would have bedded her for some reason, but I guess he wants virgins [i.e. never touched by a man*] instead of a “old before her time” woman with 3 “baggage” kids)

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      3. The idea of taking wives of men who died under your command into your bed is not good. It takes the rule of “never fuck the women of your subordinates” onto a whole new level. That story even made it into the bible. You cannot even afford a mere whiff of that.

        The age thing he could fix.

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      4. Thats rigth, there is a reason why one can guet Court Martial for sleeping with the woman of another soldier, in those time death penalty for such a thing would have been the norm. Thats why he really needs to resolve his issues with the Wolfen Pack and determinate who is the Alpha and what that entails, those Wolfen woman coming at him so hard with him noticing how it guets the wolfen men rattled migth be an issue on the future.

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      5. That is normal behavior for lower status females in a wolf pack if the alpha male is unattached, isn’t it? If they are coming for him precisely because he is alpha, what good will clarifying who is alpha do? It seems to me that he needs alpha females. What to do in practice about that I cannot say. Do his coven mates in front of them?

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      6. The problem with him guetting with the wolfen girls throwing themselves at him is that it can create dissatisfaction into the pack, he is stablished as the leader (Alpha) in his fortress and the pack been part of the fortrees he is like the Alpha for them as well, but the pack solely as Wolfen already have an Alpha that would be (if my memorie serves me rigth) the former thieff guy. Now Daniel already noticed that even though they are really open with their sex live the Alpha always guet visible uncomfortable when the female that he is quite attached to sleeps with someone else, so there is some underliyieng issues that needs to be adressed there. Even more when the female in cause throws herself at him. And so far the only wolfen that openly consider him the alpha are the female, does the male consider him the same as well?? Can jelously or resentment increase the influence of the wolfs in them and turn then into enemys??? So he has been struggling with what to properly do in such a situation. He already has to concern himself with all the enemieas outside his stead, he doesn’t have he luxurie to potentialy created problems within. And thats one of the other big issues he needs to adress in his stead, he has recieved magical creatures with their own society behaviour, and in the future he will keep recieving more, at some points this behavior from different groups migth conflict with each other. How will he deal with that???

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      7. Isn’t that a little bit too deep for an universe-building and domestic development cheat porn harem series …where male readers can feel unlimited power and capability, are desired by all (supernaturally hot) women while still being a decent guy?

        Of course all the women are desperately trying to get a piece of DB!

        It’s part of the charm of the story.

        And if the female wolfen got wolf-instincts then the male ones got them (probably) too.

        So if there really is a misunderstanding who is beta and who is alpha…then DB has to “clarify” the hierarchy for Gronir (name?) and the problem is solved.

        Since DB is not abusing his status by sampling the wares there is (probably) no big issue. At least not in the face of an end of the world scenario.

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      8. Well one of the selling points of ths story for me is that it doesn’t limit itself to be a cheat porn harem series where male readers can feel unlimited power and capability, are desired by all (supernaturally hot) women while still being a decent guy. It has more deepth of character that that, and well though universe at that. And well not even Daniel knows how deep individualy the wolfen are been afected by the wolf nature, we already saw that the wolfen are feeling some kind of call, and they migth be struggling with that nature at the moment. Maybe Daniel will be forced to put some kind of shacke on them for them to resist the growing influence of the wolf.

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      9. “And if the female wolfen got wolf-instincts then the male ones got them (probably) too”

        Their wolf and human side are not in conflict. That women go for powerful men is not unknown. Yet in human bands all couples are reproductively active. In a wolf pack the alpha FEMALE would discipline the other females. The basic problem seems to be that Cerise has sacrificed her jealousy. That makes her a defective alpha female. Elin is not combative enough.

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      10. “he has recieved magical creatures with their own society behaviour, and in the future he will keep recieving more, at some points this behavior from different groups migth conflict with each other. How will he deal with that???”

        That is in my humble oppinion a key question. But it is not the only one.

        He has sort of an answer already: segregation
        The guards on the door to the dryad habitats are not just security. They also discourage mingling between his human retainers and the nature spirits.
        For the contact case he will have to make rules. He is aware of the need.

        But what if he has an issue with the next group itself? Hecate filters them, but her sensibilities will not match Daniel’s. Let me make up an example. The next group will be gnomes. They are absolutely cool at assembling skimmers, they make armor at a phenomenal speed and quality. They make excellent golem pilots.
        Then Daniel discovers that their live expectancy is something like 16. He is horrrified and wants to fix it magically until he sees why they die so young. They have evolved so that they teach their young, who are fully grown at age 4, by the youngs ones killing their parents and eating their brains. Now what?

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  29. “Also I wonder if the sky hammer is a nuke of some kind”

    My pet theory is that it is the opposite of Daniel’s flight magic. All the air above a spot getting additional weight would literally cause the sky to come down.

    Like

    1. The Sky Hammer sounds like a satellite with a KEW, the reason no one can control is is it’s probably aimed using a lat/long type system which nobody understands. Danial on the island needs to be very afraid of this weapon. conversely this would be perfect for taking out great beasts…
      or it could just be a floating platform that drops big rocks.

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  30. Well the title Thrall obviously points to Aphrodite as the only explicitly mentioned “thrall” in the series, so maybe they will be saving her from the Norse when going for Ildun’s apples. Seems most likely I guess, simple solutions and all. Would be hilarious if she over last few centuries enthralled a bunch of young arrogant aesir godlings into her lovesick puppies with her magic.

    Thrall could less obviously point to the status our heroes will have to overcome in next book too. For example if Tova really is ultra-devious and gets them all with some mindcontrol scheme for a time.

    I for one thought about “what if Hel brings back the Bloody archmage Benito”, who as we know started out as master of all the rest of the Red Conclave who were his slaves… would the magic of Red Conclave still recognize him as its “leader” and would he have some control over the wizards? (if such thing was possible, he would be a formidable enemy, moreso if he could possibly understand, or just use the reactor enchantment in the Conclave’s vaults)

    Also as a sidenote, it could be that Avilla’s magic still went on and she had over time enthralled Caspar into obsession or something, but he would have been checked for that after that fkin fiasco for sure.

    Or something entirely new.

    -couldn’t Daniel just repair some bodies of dead civilians for Cerise to bind wandering souls of witches into?
    -seeing as the stygian horror can consume souls of demigods irrevocably, could he and Cerise devise some ritual to banish the souls to be eaten in tartaros or some demonic realm after each big kill(preferably all Gaia’s monkeys)?
    -he could make non-lethal versions of his guns – paintball style – so that his troops can train against each other how to fight smartly or in inner keep defense situations
    -he really needs to install one amulet near his spine and another into his skull, sneaky kind, which keeps only his brain alive, stealthily though, so if his body is left to rot, somebody can just come along to put him together

    Wasn’t 50% of all food production going to farmers a little TOO overblown? Seeing as they are there at his suffering, competing for the nice job, while NOT also cultivating his otherwise useless lands into farmland (as normal), but are on his special land, under his protection(dryads working there is in their deal) etc? Wouldn’t he just create a rich class on his island that way. They would be filthy rich selling food everywhere, whereas any other worker just gets food and place to live as compensation

    Btw, back when reading Extermination, I noticed how he used his revolver on the ice wraiths when loading the elves… how? Because they were intangible, thus the bullets wouldn’t detonate, right?

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    1. “Thrall could less obviously point to”
      Witches enslaved by the Aesir or undead witches enslaved by Hel. Or enslaved dryads.
      That would be mean. Would Daniel fire on enslaved troops attacking him against their will?

      “he used his revolver on the ice wraiths ”
      I suppose he fired on the ground below them.

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      1. @ Oliver. The more I think on it, the more I believe the book is going to be about 3 things.
        1. Daniel’s “thrall” bond with the Dryad.
        2. Ceris’s “thrall” bond with those witch spirits.
        3. Daniel storming Asgard to save the “thrall” goddess, Aphrodite. (I hope he likes penis with his vagina. Aphrodite is a hermaphrodite after all, and you can’t spell hermaphrodite without aphrodite.)

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      2. But, frankly, why?

        He would rescue the idiot goddess who started it all at tremendous personal risk. She has been a slave for centuries without power beside her personal magic. Whether you want a sex deity anywhere near yourself and your MEN is a question I would answer very much in the negative.

        And if he really wants to go for Idun and her apples, which at least is a sensible goal, the guards will be forewarned.

        If you really want to save Olympian goddesses why not one who can do something useful in a war-torn ice age? Demeter, Persephone, Athena, Artemis, Enyo? Or a Gorgon? Almost any alternative course of action would make more sense.

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      3. 3. Daniel storming Asgard to save the “thrall” goddess, Aphrodite. (I hope he likes penis with his vagina. Aphrodite is a hermaphrodite after all, and you can’t spell hermaphrodite without aphrodite.)

        Sorry have to post this, not trying to bust your balls but I thought it looked a little off so i Googled it.

        HERMAPHRODITOS (Hermaphroditus) was the god of hermaphrodites and of effeminates. He was numbered amongst the winged love-gods known as Erotes. Hermaphroditos was a son of Hermes and Aphrodite, the gods of male and female sexuality.

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    2. Thrall (definition)
      noun
      1. a person who is in bondage; slave.
      2. a person who is morally or mentally enslaved/captivated by some power, influence, or the like:
      He was the thrall of morbid fantasies.
      3. slavery; thralldom
      verb (used with object)
      4. Archaic. to put or hold in thralldom; enslave.
      adjective
      5. Archaic. subjected to bondage; enslaved.
      Origin of word thrall: Old English thrǣl slave, from Old Norse thrǣll
      before 950; Middle English; Old English thrǣl viscount > …>king] (?); every apprentice to his master(?); priests/warlocks to their gods (?), junior gods to senior gods in the same pantheon (?) ….this in addition to more obvious forced magical contracts /enslavement (i.e witches, dryads, other magical beings)…

      Just because the word “thrall” was associated with Aphrodite in the book, doesn’t mean she is it.

      I personally interpreted this passage simply as a description of the aftermath of the (god)war. Northern pantheon gods defeated Greek pantheon… pillaged, plundered, defiled their home and took their women.

      Business as usual for gods and men in that period.

      But that’s only my interpretation….

      And while a thank you nookie with THE primordial hot babe may be worth the risk…I quite agree with >Oliver Neukum<.

      With the information we now have there is no reason for rescuing someone taken prisoner hundreds of years before.

      Like

      1. Sorry that post got mangled…

        The correct middle should be:

        5. Archaic. subjected to bondage; enslaved.
        Origin of word thrall: Old English thrǣl slave, from Old Norse thrǣll
        before 950; Middle English; Old English thrǣl viscount > …>king] (?); every apprentice to his master(?); priests/warlocks to their gods (?), junior gods to senior gods in the same pantheon (?) ….this in addition to more obvious forced magical contracts /enslavement (i.e witches, dryads, other magical beings)…

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      2. Dam…last try…

        With this definition nearly everybody could be a thrall.

        Every serf/farmer is a thrall to the local noble in charge (?); every noble is thrall to the next higher noble [baron > viscount > …>king] (?); every apprentice to his master(?); priests/warlocks to their gods (?), junior gods to senior gods in the same pantheon (?) ….this in addition to more obvious forced magical contracts /enslavement (i.e witches, dryads, other magical beings)…

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      3. “And while a thank you nookie with THE primordial hot babe may be worth the risk”

        Avilla with only a few drops of her essence could turn a guard into a meat puppet merely by touch. And you are contemplating full carnal knowledege of that goddess. She has undergone centuries of guilt, fear and rape. I wouldn’t take bets on her mental health. She needs followers really badly.

        Well, you could don a collar yourself and tattoo with the words “sex slave” on your forehead to save her the effort.

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      4. We are talking about a male empowerment harem story here.

        Who becomes the “willing servant” of whom should be obvious, right? 😉

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      5. Really don’t think Hecate would tolerate her champion being subverted by another goddess. See-em rolling around on the ground out by the nyads pool pulling hair and gouging eyes… I think Hecate could take her.

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    3. “Wasn’t 50% of all food production going to farmers a little TOO overblown?”
      I kind of agree. Especially after he empowered the groves; with that mana feed powering the dryads, what is the harvest frequency now, once per day?
      Maybe they ought to get forcibly retired after one month, then rehired again in a year? That’ll spread the wealth around, anyway.
      …Except the dryads get half, so now they’ve got ultra-rich dryads with the money-handling savvy of ten-year-olds. That’ll be interesting.

      Like

  31. I’m hoping Avilla will get a decent power boost in the next book. Cerise has gotten dragon wings and flight capability. Elin has shields and that water bubble. Avilla, in comparison, needs to up her game. I get that she’s a non-combat character, but she still needs to be seen growing and contributing. Maybe Daniel could help her claim the whole island as her home in one go, so she can cast superpowered household spells? Mass produce Gingerbread Golems? She could stand to recruit a Dryad familiar of her own, too.
    Plus, now they can go get all her stuff Daniel hid in a vault back in book 1.

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    1. “Avilla will get a decent power boost in the next book”
      Yes.

      “Elin has shields and that water bubble”
      Actually that is a bit odd, isn’t it? It took him only a few hours of an evening to make her shield ring and that was for a prototype that needed R & D for the interface. Shouldn’t he make all his ladies such a device? And maybe even a mass produced version with remote power for the Secret Service?

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      1. “…“Elin has shields and that water bubble”
        Actually that is a bit odd, isn’t it? It took him only a few hours of an evening to make her shield ring and that was for a prototype that needed R & D for the interface. Shouldn’t he make all his ladies such a device? And maybe even a mass produced version with remote power for the Secret Service?…”

        I thought so, too.

        Even a mass produced watered down silver ring version for the Secret Service (or all Elves) would greatly enhance their fighting power.

        Besides DB’s extremely tight schedule I can only think of storytelling reasons.

        DB shared his unique protection with Elin giving her a golden wedding ring.

        Every further copy will cheapen this romantic gift…..

        One could argue that Cerise already has decent defences/resistances and the other two girls are support characters staying home.

        I for one would argue that one all-nighter for three shield trinkets is well-invested time for the protection of my loved ones. Just make trinkets in the form of brooches, earrings…so the romantic gesture to Elin is not devalued too much.

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      2. You might argue that he is better off making each of them a unique defensive trinket. To give, for example, Elin a defense against drowning would be moot. That is not true for Tina and Avilla. And is Tina a supporting character bound to stay home? Now of course she is. But she will give birth in a few weeks. She is blessed with war luck after all and Bast may want her high priestess to be a bit mobile. If she can perfectly copy spells, teaching her a spell for flooding with magic healing should be easy. And a standard fireball should also be possible.

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      3. Danial didn’t even know a good control interface yet, Elin had to show him how to make it while he made the ring, his biggest problem is time constraints. Sure he could power up even his Garrison, all the elves need something as well as the Dryads and Satyr but he has no time. It takes him several hours to create one of his big power stones and then several more to copy the enchantment and work out all the bugs. remember the more complex the enchantment is the more fiddly the factory is going to be so to be effective it needs to be simple. Do the other non-combatants really need complex protection devices? Tina would have a hard time figuring it out and if the problem makes it all the way to Avilla its a last stand situation anyway. I think he has more important issues to deal with first and he needs to delegate their protection setup over to Cerise she is a murder witch and now knows how to do his power enchanting. how about Dryads who melt into shadow and curse bullets, shadow land mines that spout tentacles and suck you into the nether realms.

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      4. “if the problem makes it all the way to Avilla its a last stand situation anyway”

        No. That is not a valid conclusion. If you make a fortress impregnable to a conventional assault, your enemies will try an unconventional assault. In particular they will send spies and assassins. Colocating your palace with a shopping center has been an error.
        Employing a lot of refugees whose background cannot be vetted does not help either.

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      5. Danial’s coven has been laying wards to protect the island from typical spies and assassins as well as undesirables, they bolster the public with feelings of contentment etc… and if you don’t invite commerce then the people on the island won’t be able to make a living. The shopping center had to go somewhere and he simply placed it in the most convent place, at ground level. The whole reason he has Sefwin and her crew is for countering the assassins and spies that can get past the wards. I think that Danial should be less worried about possible subversion and assassination than he is about protecting as many of his people as he can from the larger dangers of Ragnarok .

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      6. Ehm. Daniel in a few days hopes to have killed many millions of Andregi with an exotic weapon. And one of the Aesir is close by to observe. That does not rate a typical spy or assassin. That does not even rate an above average grade. It calls for the best they got.

        Yes, the shopping center belongs somewhere: Right outside the gate house of the pier in the Port District. And the merchants living on the island can walk there in the morning. Facilities on the island should cater only to islanders and access to the island should be limited to islanders and invitees.

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      7. “Yes, the shopping center belongs somewhere: Right outside the gate house of the pier in the Port District. And the merchants living on the island can walk there in the morning. Facilities on the island should cater only to islanders and access to the island should be limited to islanders and invitees.”

        I agree wholeheartedly. Maybe Brown will change it after someone uses that lap in judgment to cause an “incident”.

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  32. To go back to an earlier comment on Daniel using healing implants. He definitely needs it. Personally I would suggest turning some of the gold he is producing/summoning, into ultra thin versions of a power stone focused solely on healing and grafting or plastering it onto different bones. Remember that valuable metals seem to hold an enchantment much better than pure stone/bronze or less valuable metals. Say one for each arm and leg, two for his chest/Ribs, and one along the base of his skull. With his skill at flesh magic, seen where he was changing Elin’s form, it shouldn’t be that hard to make minor alterations to his own body. Although he has good personal defenses and virtually unlimited healing all of that does absolutely nothing if his amulet gets cut off. When he fought the sea monster and almost died, he realized that his power stone had almost fallen off. Personally, I would have been quite unsettled by this and researched more ways to improve my survivability. Although I do realize that he hasn’t actually been there that long, say 6 months? Despite his magical prowess and slightly enhanced body, he is still very much human(technically ageless) and in this alternate world humans are very much on the low end of the physical scale. Trying to upgrade himself would provide some nice advantages. He also needs some non-magical armor for defense against a magic-proof blade. His personal shield is nice but against anti-magic weapons, its kind of useless. The previous comment about graphene armor is a very good idea but so would be using his flesh magic to mimic the effects of a troll’s skin. No one really cares about trolls anyway so he has lots of available test subjects. That said this is a great novel series and I have really enjoyed reading it

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    1. “power stone focused solely on healing and grafting or plastering it onto different bones”
      I cannot help but play the devil’s advocate. In which ways can such an implant malfunction should he break or partially lose a limb?

      “some non-magical armor for defense against a magic-proof blade”
      Or worse, projectile. It seems to me that he should use magic to create an effect to destroy or deflect incoming projectiles. That is, not use force magic on the projectile, but on the air to blow it away.
      Or to use magic to make a normal lightning bolt to fry the projectile.

      Like

    1. Cerise’s Mentor was a sweet old lady, Avilla’s was trying for immortality by steeling life essence from young girls. She was going to body swap with Avilla and live forever…

      Like

  33. Why is everyone making the chicken factory conversation so difficult he can just increase the reproduction of any animal to produce more with flesh magic.

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  34. He needs to do a magical dissection of the Gate that is powered by human sacrifice, and figure out how to power it by pure mana instead of death/soul sacrifice. Then he might make his own portal and do a shopping trip back home…

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    1. He could set up franchises in other large European cities, and set up permanent portals between them. Trade, military reinforcements, coordination, easier access to Castle Black for all those groups of magical beings Hecate are sending… Lots of advantages, if he can do it.
      This would also allow him to render the Black Island mobile without losing connections. The main problem with stationary fortification is that it’s stationary; hard to hide, easy to target. If the whole island can fly, submerge or crawl, it couldn’t be reliably targeted by aiming a large meteroid at the right spot and waiting a month for it to reach Earth, or gradually growing a magma chute from the mantle, or whatever other strategic ‘nuke’ options Gods have access to.

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      1. Why is it that a lot of people are asking for submersibles, flying, or crawling island? This isn’t Howl’s Moving Castle. Daniel is best right where he is.
        He has deep foundations that can weather attacks and can alter the island at will because he is in ground. Daniel is a earth mage, not a water or air mage.

        If someone more powerful than Daniel with earth magic attacks his wall, they can turn it to slag like the dwarves did. Once their power exceeds that of the wall. Daniel would have to make a power stone the size of a short bus school bus, and connect the walls directly to it, so it could keep up with the mana drain.

        The portal idea is good. But I don’t know what the conclave would want in exchange for such a great secret. I’m sure it ties into the Elves dimension bending and way travelling magic.

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      2. “Daniel is best right where he is.”

        I must agree. You will not manage to hide something the size of Black Island. Not while Heimdalr is watching. And you won’t be faster than dragons or great beasts.

        Like

    2. I’m hoping for the moving island, he has the ability to banish weight, plus the drive system he uses on the skimmers. with the structural reinforcement spell he has and enough power he could lift the island and move it. maybe tie it into the power well he has built into the reinforcement spell for some extra speed when he needs it. Why move? well the fenris wolf will be roaming free soon and even though Gaia doesn’t know that Danial corn holed her son, there was a loose finger that Danial cut off rolling around, may take a few months to regrow but eventually Danial’s going to want to be hard to find.

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      1. “Danial’s going to want to e hard to find”
        Hard to find? An island measuring several acres? I am afraid I will have to be sceptical.

        “there was a loose finger that Danial cut off rolling around, may take a few months to regrow”
        Yet his soul has been eaten. And if he wants to kill Gaea anyway, anything too far in the future does not matter.

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      2. Grady you need to google how big 10 acres is. Then increase it, because Daniel’s island is bigger than 10 acres.

        If the wolfe can jump Daniel’s walls at the moment, then he can (and probably will) increase it’s height soon.

        Like

      3. The wall defenses are a bit odd and show that the island is a rush job. For example the lava spigots used in the gate house would also serve on macchiculations. The force push effect used on his old shields would also make the walls even less scalable. His towers should have cannons that can cover the battlements. Why are there no mines on the battlements? The principle he uses in his force grenades can be used in fixed installations and so on.

        And in the medium term he will need something that can kill a dragon or a great beast. He needs to make a true cannon. The mortars are not agile enough.

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      4. I disagree, I think it would be easy to hide the island, its big enough to look like another small mountain in a land that is covered in mountains. Have the weather summoning blow a blizzard whenever it’s moving to cover it from the ground or only move at night and change the stone to light grey or white. If you are in doubt I’ll remind you that an aircraft carrier has roughly 4.5 acres of top deck and is 25 stories high and completely disappears over the horizon at 50miles.
        He’s going to have to be able to move once Kozalin finally dies there will be no reason to stay there, if the island can move he can simply uproot and go on to the next city, become a traveling tax free trade center.

        Like

      5. There is a reason to stay. Multiple in fact: the Conclave’s library, the Dark Portal plus the other artifacts and the harbor.
        Daniel is not a trader at the core. And even when he does trade, trade with a specific city is not his domain. He’d do it globally.

        Now hiding would be quite useful. That far I agree. It is just not possible against an opponent who reportedly can hear the grass grow. The US navy can hide its carriers because it does not face an equal or stronger opponent. Daniel is Switzerland, not the USA. That train of thought gives you the wrong attitude.

        Like

  35. I’m dying to know if Prometheus is still chained to a rock because Hercules was never born or was killed before freeing him. Prometheus is mentioned but I’d love to see him show up. Poseidon was also hinted at, where is he? Are there other “friendly” gods who Daniel should be seeking out as allies?

    Like

  36. I doubt that many goods around can be seen as really friendly to Daniel, Poseidon, is a proud asshole with anger issues in most old myths.
    Hercules could have lived and died for all we know, after all there are at least two different versions for how he died. And he had even more anger issues then Poseidon.
    Prometheus, is still chained, Hecate at least told Daniel so.

    And in the myth that set him free it was Gaia who gave him information, so that he could give divine something that pleased Zeus so that the later showed mercy.

    In the Creek myth, Hercules just killed the bird that tortured Prometheus, but he never freed him, even when he could have done so, he didn’t want to act against a rule of his father.

    Like

    1. Then go further. The gods of the peoples of northeast Europe, North Asia and northern North America face the same issues. Presumably actually worse because in most cases resupply by ship is not an option. Remember that there is no Baltic Sea in that world. You are not going to sail to Archangelsk in a beginning ice age and even if you do, it will do most people in eastern Europe no good.

      It would also solve the issue with Lokin or Aesir or Conclave spies among the recruits. If the Conclave can have Russian mercenaries, as mentioned in “Black Coven”, so can Daniel. Nethwilin’s rings solve the language barrier.

      Like

      1. How’s your hype holding up Oliver? What you reading to pass the time till book 4? It’s so hard finding magical engineering that makes modern things.

        Like

      2. I am naturally patient. It comes with the package of a caution and pessimism.

        I have never found a book so good at magical engineering. I think the Daniel Black series is the pinnacle in that regard.

        Like

      3. They don’t necessarily, face them like this.

        Archangelsk, is a partner town of the city were I work. and while it’s one of the most important Russian habors today, it wasn’t that big a deal before the 19. century.

        Also the Russian history in that world has to be faily weird.

        Russia came from the Rus in Saint Petersburg, a city on the Baltic Sea, without a baltic trade city with access to the north sea I find it hard to imagen how a Russian nation formed. maybe from Moscow, but that had also a strong tradition of Christian orthodoxy that steamed from Kiev, so the basic building blocks for a Russian nation would be very different.

        So I doubt that Russia as we know it, is really a thing in the Daniel black Novels.
        They might be as different from the 16 century Rusia, like Varmland was from the Denmark.

        I would guess those are just a big European nation maybe also based on Vikings.
        Rus after all means “man who row.” a very Viking name after all.
        If that is the case, then they will also follow the Norse pantheon.

        Hmm what else.
        I doubt that the North american gods will have it that hard.
        an Ice age usually starts when the Gulf stream collapses. and Europa is pretty far, north. Hamburg and therefore also Daniels location is further north then Newfoundland and on average roughly ~5°C warmer, that is a lot. if that drops harshly within a year and maybe a stream coming from the north replacing the gulf stream and it would be very cold in Europa very soon.

        That wouldn’t be nice for the other northern regions, but it would hardly be as bad as for northern Europa, as other regions would only have a negative impact, while Europa also looses the positive one that it had formerly. ,

        Also most other regions for now don’t get overrun by Lokis and Gia’s Monsters. If the later only fight against the Norse patheon.

        Like

      4. I suspect Russia in that world still means Kiev. Yet the gods should take a long view. Some of them must remember how it was when the glaciers formed and came south. And it is not as if Daniel came with outrageous demands. A few hundred soldiers and fertile women while he pays good wages and there are too many mouths to feed anyway. It is true that Varmland is warmer, yet it is also true that without access to the North Sea anything on the Baltic must feed itself. Baltic and Finnish gods might be open to at least cooperation.
        And maybe Daniel should let Hecate care about the gods and he should concentrate on lesser beings, for example dryads or whatever magic creatures live on the coastline of the North Sea. Or he looks at the British Isles and the fairy who live there.
        I still maintain that I do not understand why he limits himself to Varmland so much. He owes them no loyalty.

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  37. Things Daniel Black novels make me think of..

    scintillation counters before geiger counters. simple ones used to be part of old chemistry sets.

    magic v1 rockets. wing doesn’t need to be good, aim doesn’t need to be good, range far exceeds a howitzer. No deaths while testing, as it’s a drone, but still a fair amount of trial and error. With magic homing, even a 50 mile range means killing over the horizon.

    The biggest threat, outside of sheer firepower, is that a genius only needs a hint and they’ll find a way (Galileo and his enhanced telescope). People are really going to search the dead spot in Gaea’s world and some of the remaining isotopes will be deadly a long time, usable as a weapon. If nothing else, scoop up the irradiated soil and shoot it at enemies. Pour it into the cages of prisoners.

    And back to scintillation, I suspect an enemy is going to hit on zinc sulfate, because they have the greater need.

    Like

    1. @neville. Daniel can heal radiation poisoning though. So if word gets around to Daniel that people in ‘x’ area hair are falling out, he would know what it is, and what to do.
      I don’t think Daniel and his allies are in trouble.

      The photographic paper might be a work around for Daniel and his Geiger counter problem. He already made a mirror (a proper one with silver backing, not bronze [power up for Avilla?]). He can play around until he makes something that work. Anyone that did an xray before would remember the light sensitive paper/plastic.

      Like

      1. Definitely not. You need your photosensitive agent finely dispersed, usually in colloidal form. Simply exposing a silver surface to a halogen vapor will not work for this purpose.

        A geiger counter is actually not all that good for his purposes. It has a problem with neutrons.

        Like

      2. Well he got to figure something out, because I think he will make a magic nuke next. He already knows how to bounce neutrons in that world. Need testing equipment.

        Like

      3. I have to agree with Oliver here. He might be able to make solutions of silver iodide (which turn grey over time) but photography was (and still is) delicate science. The Q is, did he ever have a chemistry set with a chunk of radioactive rock and a primitive scintillation device? The one I recall looks a bit like a telescope optic and had a single lens magnifier on which you observed flashes of light from the zinc sulfide layer. I recall doing this in the third grade…

        The worry, from my POV, is a mage/alchemist with highly acute optics (raptor eyes) and a taste for looking at things through odd crystals. They wouldn’t even need a simple magnifier.

        Like

    2. “some of the remaining isotopes will be deadly a long time”

      Unlikely. Neutron activation works, but few light elements make long lived isotopes. We are talking about half lives of minutes to a few weeks.

      Like

      1. The isotopes exist but you need to get to them by neutron activation. Si-32 for example needs 2 neutrons to form. Si-31which you will get has a half-life of 150 minutes. Soil is silicon, aluminium, titanium, carbon, hydrogen. Yes, potassium exist but it is a minor component. And it will not enrich biologically.

        The device itself will be hotter than hell, but it will banish itself.

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    3. “magic v1 rockets. wing doesn’t need to be good, aim doesn’t need to be good”

      I am sorry, but aim needs to be good. Should he face an area target, his mortars can do the job. If it is a discrete target that that needs to be hit with artillery, he needs aim. I am afraid that is a case of making something that is good enough better. Only a fool would attack him with a large conventional army, unless he has a counter to the core-of-the-earth explosion.

      Like

  38. Oh yes, and as I finish my original post, one of the earliest ways to detect a radioactive substance was that it clouded photographic plates. If anyone has the kind of chemistry that can layer silver iodide on glass, then there is going to be a “radioactive arms race”..

    No one has yet described the technology of the East. In Earth times, by the late Medieval Period, they have invented gunpowder and have gunpowder weapons, kilns capable of high heats, porcelain, work extensively in cast iron, and are the technological apex of the world.

    This book is fantastic on gunpowder..

    https://press.princeton.edu/titles/10571.html

    The wikipedia article on “Chinese ceramics” has plenty of info on how old good kiln technology was in China. With high heat in their hands, they could melt cast iron and use it..

    Heavy metals in this world can be handled by chelating agents, but I doubt Daniel has that kind of chemistry background.

    zinc sulfide, not sulfate, detects alpha particles.

    So, if the reason no gunpowder technology is being seen in the West is that there are technology barriers in the East, a lot could happen if Daniel somehow opens a trade route to the East.

    Like

    1. Gunpowder isn’t especially useful in a world with powerful magic. Primitive guns are only a marginal improvement over good bows and crossbows anyway, and all it takes is one tiny spark to set off your gunpowder. So if someone tried to weaponize gunpowder they’d just prompt the local mages to develop easy ways to ignite the stuff at range.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. On the other hand, grenades are a significant improvement over stones, and the original impetus for gunpowder was fireworks. Not that DB should need china to get gunpowder. As a nerd he should know enough to get it relatively quick by experimentation. But again, it does offer no advantage over his magic weapons, except maybe hand grenades, and even here, in most cases magic can do better cheaper.

        Like

  39. I think in book 4 we will have Hecate hanging around more. She might have Daniel build her a Nuclear mana plant big enough to power a God, or a bunch of the biggest ones he can make to put in series.

    Even if Hecate doesn’t get Asgard’s numbers of worshippers, she will be more powerful than them, with her champion powering her up. After seeing Hecate’s curse wound, I think Daniel would also be looking into a God sized curse block. He can let Hecate test it. If Gods are going to be gunning for him, he’s gonna need protection. And I don’t think he can lose Hecate, she is the one divinity he can trust in that world.

    Also. Does anyone remember the exact wording Hecate use in the deal she made with Daniel on normal earth? I’m wondering if when a year and a day reaches, Daniel will be forcefully expelled from that world, or if he has a choice to stay on.

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      1. I know he wants to stay. Why go back to that bitch of a wife? He has someone who loves him 100%(Tina) and a daily job that he can’t get fired from (Lord of Black Island) and all the money he could want. And he is able to do something that he truly loves, everyday (Tinkering!).

        Losing all of that, only to return to court hearings would make him seppuku, I think.
        If he can bargain with Hecate again, maybe he can see if she knows someone who can go to earth and get some “how to” books (I still say the elves will do this). We know Hecate can’t go because of deals made, but it doesn’t prevent others.

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      2. Hm. Artificial worldwalking sorcerers must be rare. Yet not unheared of. Otherwise the Ungols wouldn’t recognize one immediately. Or how would Hecate know the process for that matter.
        Nor does that tell us that other divine famiies can do it. It may be a secret of the Olympian line. Zeus made the treaty, not a council of gods.

        And sending somebody to our Earth (or something similar – we have no idea how good and reproducible Hecate’s aim is) to just get books is a waste. If you run that risk you will make another worldwalker.

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      3. Yea you’re right. It would case more problems than it solves. Just thinking of a logical way for Daniel to get some much needed knowledge, without endangering himself, or alerting his enemies about it.

        Like

    1. Danial has already completed his original deal with Hecate, that happened when Cerise created her first apprentice, that’s when he got invited to be her champion.

      “She might have Daniel build her a Nuclear manna plant big enough to power a God,”
      Danial said that he couldn’t make one much larger than what he gave her due to instabilities in the spell, so there won’t be any god level power stones and I don’t think that you can link to more than one at a time.
      My question is what was she doing that got her bit…

      Like

      1. If you want a wild idea, I got one.
        If the most fragile part is the power governor, as he said, leave it out. Make it heterogenous so that it operates on fuel, for example molten lead. Then you regulate the addition of fuel instead of the rate the fuel is used up.

        Like

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