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…

472 thoughts on “Daniel Black Open Thread

  1. Daniel needs to make healing necklaces for his army connected like the firearms to a power source. He can even supply the with extras when dealing with wounded civilians to stabilize them enough to get back to the clinic.

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    1. I think the problem with healing devices is the complexity involved and the fact that half the people it is trying to heal may not be fully human. Elin has years of practice using her magic and Danial has his flesh sorcery to guide him, it may require an intelligent Guide to properly heal someone with “special” parents. He may be able to create a low powered general heal device that tries to heal everything at once but a magic heal all is probably more effort than its worth.

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      1. Book three says that yes each race needs there own but he could atleast make different machines to produce necklaces for each race. The effort would be worth it because eventually he may run out of people. All the necklaces would need to do is stabilize major wounds until the people can be treated properly.

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  2. Six sided star fortress, overlaying fire. boron nitride Domes over firing positions, acid and flame resistant.
    Get those apples and bananas going to fortify yourself and your “A & B teams” . While you have time, mark out mortar direction and distance. High frequency Sonics, under water and along perimeter, will not be able to use when wolves are out. Armor that can be power assist for force multiplier, can be used when deployed.

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  3. Some have suggested that Daniel build facilities for indoor agriculture outside his island.

    There more I think about that the more that seems a suicidal mistake to me. He could not keep such facilities secret from the priests and hence the Aesir. That means the Aesir would have a way to negate the Fimbulwinter as a strategic weapon. They would demand that Daniel keep building such facilities all over Europe. And they would not accept a refusal.
    That in turn would turn Daniel into Loki’s top target because the Fimbulwinter is his principal strategic weapon.. And that would be the end. The Aesir might protect Daniel and the coven, but the island is toast and the Aesir would surely take hostages.

    So there are a few really bad ideas that seem innocent at first. This one is among them.
    The more I think about it the surer I am. Kozalin must die.

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    1. Kozalin as a whole does not need to die just the nobles and the temples along with the priests. With those gone Kozalin is not an immediate threat and can buy enough time for Daniel to build anything.

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      1. Kozalin itself without the Conclave is not much of a danger. The danger is how the Aesir and Loki would react to Kozalin’s survival. It would show Daniel’s capabilities and those must remain a secret.

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    2. Kozalin is going to die, probably the next army will Finnish the job, Danial may have cut off the supply of Gia troops but there are still andrege armies out there as well as giants and others. don’t for get the great beasts that are roaming about.
      The real issue is how long Danial is going to hang out afterwards, when Kozalin falls so will the conclave. I think he needs to carve some getaway tunnels, one to the iron tower, one to the keep and one to each of the shelters that he built, he can collapse the tunnels when hes done… then he needs to pick up his island and move.

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      1. Once Kozalin will be gone, why move? If Great Beasts are that dangerous you do not want to be next to a food source (a.k.a. city). If you do not want that, why bother? Why would any other place be better justifying time and risk?

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      2. Grady. You just want a “Howl’s Moving Castle” situation don’t you? Even if Kozalin falls Daniel isn’t going anywhere. He will just bunker down more. Make his walls even taller, and expand the island to maybe 20 acres, seeing as no one will stop him. He will then have the elves doing overtime rescues.

        The island will not grow spider legs and start crawling. You still don’t understand how big a 10+ acres island is. This isn’t an anime. An island crawling would put all kinds of strain on the structural integrity spells, if some monster squeezes at while they are moving the whole structure would disintegrate. Another thing you haven’t thought about while imagining a moving 12+acres island… How does he maneuver?

        Daniel’s personality so far shows that he isn’t moving. He will make the walls thicker, and taller.

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      3. Once Kozalin will be gone, why move? If Great Beasts are that dangerous you do not want to be next to a food source (a.k.a. city). If you do not want that, why bother? Why would any other place be better justifying time and risk?

        The citadel represents about two to three days building time. He could spend an enormous amount of work on becoming mobile or move only the kitchen and the groves and rebuild. If he does that at all. An object of over 10 acres is just not that easy to hide.

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      4. I think you are overselling the fall of Kozalin — at least the scenario where Kozalin falls and Daniel does not. After the events in book 3, there are only a few more armies of ape man that can attack the city. It was clearly established that the city can fight off a few more armies, especially with Daniel’s mortars and the mana amulets allowing the other wizards to recharge their big spell rituals faster. So if the city is going to go down, then it will go down due to an attack by gods, demons or great beasts. All of those threats are a serious threat to Daniel’s fortress. And while Daniel is NOT a serious threat in them minds of any of the warring gods (their blindness), they do understand that he has been a key linchpin in the defense of Kozalin. Any future attacks on that city will target Daniel specifically to break that linchpin.

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      5. O not all all. Black Island is very well defended. Daniel’s ability to defend Kozalin is quite limited. His mortars are basically weapons useful only against armies quite similar to human armies.

        – winter wraiths
        – ungols
        – dragons
        – dwarves (can tunnel)

        And there is the non-physical attack by cutting supplies. There will be no agriculture next year and Loki has sea serpents.

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  4. What happens during an Ice Age?

    It is not true that there will be eternal ice everywhere. And there are still seasons. In general the effect is stronger the further north you go.
    Scandinavia, the British Isles and some parts of northeast Europe and parts of Siberia, as well as most what is now Canada in the New World will be covered in ice. South of that we tundra, like in northern Alaska today and south of that something called a “mammoth steppe”, which does not exist today. It is something like a frozen savannah. It is cold, but still so far south that it gets more sun than the tundra today. It will be far drier, full of grass with long winters full of snow, wet long springs and short but hot summers.
    Southern Europe will be like Northern Europe today. Trees will still grow at least in parts of it.
    The Sahara will likely become a lush savannah again.
    And the sea level will fall dramatically. The North Sea, the Persian Gulf and Adriatic will become land. The Black Sea will be cut off from the Med.

    What does this mean for Daniel? I think the idea that everybody hates Loki is wrong. If I were Egyptian or Arabic I would welcome the ice age.

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    1. What you are describing is a normal ice age? Correct?
      Isn’t this a magic fueled ice age? One where snow is being pushed everywhere, and the sun blocked out?

      I remember in book it was said that “if they stop Loki / weather is stopped in time, it would still cause an ice age, but only 100k years”. What if Loki isn’t stopped anytime soon? What if the “MAGICAL” ice age causes everywhere to ice up?
      What if everywhere tropical turns to current day Northern Alaska, and everywhere else turns to normal ice age Northern Siberia?

      What if Loki has to go after all the different guises of the Norse gods? They aren’t only worshipped in Europe, they might be wherever a Viking landed. Americas, Asia, Africa, etc. Loki has to ICE all of them.
      Remember Bast? She had two guises, how many do you think an all powerful God like Odin has? You think he hasn’t planned for this? Remember he chained Loki instead of killing him, to gain time.
      I’m sure a resourceful guy like Odin has a few different deity names on a few continents to use as a fall back plan, so he isn’t totally eradicated.

      Yes Hecate said that it’s the end for the Norse, but the Norse has some LONG reaching fingers. Our days are named after them, etc. Hecate already said that coyote (native American god) wouldn’t help, until the problem reaches him, then it will be too late. I don’t think they will get rid of Loki anytime soon, they will have to kill all his children (Mara, and her embryonic sister in Gaea’s belly included) to finally get rid of him.

      What about the clouds themselves? In this world (DB’s), sacrificing to something makes it stronger. What about the natives who see the clouds and think the gods are angry? What if the start doing human sacrifice to the clouds? Does Loki get stronger? Or does the clouds gain a will of their own? What if the clouds gain sentience?

      No Oliver, this isn’t ending anytime soon, and in the mean time I see a future of ice, ice everywhere.

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      1. If Loki really were an omnicidal maniac, he’d have more enemies. And, in addition, if he survives this, he will want anchors of his own.

        The answer that physics gives is that all the heat the sun pumps into the Earth has to go somewhere and if you make the Earth too cold and dry, there will be less clouds and hence more heat reaching the surface. And, at least that is what the researchers on global warming say, there will be less weathering on surfaces covered with ice and hence more carbon dioxide in the air.
        And if you want more you really need a climatologist.

        And this comes down to a metaphysical question. If Loki really needed to kill every last worshipper, his task would be hopeless from the start. If little groups of hundreds of people were enough the Aesir would indeed scatter their people among the nine worlds and build hundreds of little hidden villages.
        There is really no point for Loki to cause an ice age only in Midgard if the other worlds or hidden worlds like Skogheim were enough to serve as anchors.
        I think we can conclude that mere numbers are not as good as large groups together and that it will take at least a few thousand ordinary worshippers together to serve as a sufficient anchor.

        And there is a question of effort. It is enough for Loki if summers are so short or cool that crops will fail. Overkill is a wasted effort and he is the underdog without resources to waste. You don’t need to starve and freeze your enemies. Starving alone will do the job.

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      2. The ice age is a local problem. The real problem are the Great Beats. The Ice Age is going to severely weaken all the worshipers of the northern gods — and thus the northern gods themselves. Worshipers = power to some extent. And the great beasts will be killing humanity in great numbers while the gods fight amongst themselves. The book is clear, the Great Beasts are the threat the gods themselves fear if this war does not end in a decisive victory for one side.

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      3. “In Norse mythology, Ragnarök is a series of future events, including a great battle, foretold to ultimately result in the death of a number of major figures (including the gods Odin, Thor, Týr, Freyr, Heimdallr, and Loki), the occurrence of various natural disasters, and the subsequent submersion of the world in water.”
        I think Mr Brown is covering us in ice, instead of water.

        To everything you said. It’s a “MAGICAL” climate change. With magic clouds that block the sun. If they are between us and the sun what happens? They absorb the sun’s heat. What if it uses the sun’s heat as a power source? We won’t know more until Mr Brown drops some books.

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      4. I was discussing Loki with doemone, and they mentioned a ‘fact,’ that Loki was not actually a god. They stated that he was born of two giants (backed by the original myths), but that his immortality was from something he owned – a wooden device that made him immortal, an amulet (which I could not verify). But, that would be an interesting twist. He might not have, or need, anchors.

        That would explain some of his actions – he does not care if he has worshippers or not, or if they might die from Gaea’s Children (monsters). Remember the scene where Daniel met Carl, who was being besieged by five trolls? It did not appear as if they were going easy on him. So, unleashing an early Ice Age, not caring who is killed by his blizzards, or by his earthquake. He will ‘trick’ people into serving him or joining his cults, but he might not need them for his existence.

        One other thing, I believe that Loki has, or should be facing some serious enmity from other powers, who might retaliate against him for his actions – other Northern Gods, Scandinavian, Slavic, or even European Deities should be looking for vengeance for his Ice Age.

        Based on that, I think that once he is made aware of an attack on Gaea, he would have a lot of trouble determining who ‘might’ have been responsible, as there is an entire world of potential ‘powers’ that might have acted against him, or his wife.

        Finally, there is ballad (which is said to be mistranslated), which names Váli as a son of Loki. Váli is also attributed to be an Aesir, and as Brand introduced himself “I am Brand, son of Vali.” So, in the world of the books, is that a different god, or the same? Is it possible that Brand is not working for the Aesir, at least not always? That would be one explanation of his destabilizing Kozalin (‘apparently’ leading Prince Caspar to his death), and taking a one-way trip through the Dark Portal to Skogheim.

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  5. I wonder if Daniel could create a permanent force shield plate, to use as armor. Throw it inside a piece of leather and it could be light and however strong the plot demands. It would make for great armor for the ground troops.

    Armor that could even also give out if the plot demands.

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      1. He has his push back spell that he put on his coat and Cerise’s cat suit, I don’t think Danial can manufacture leather as armor, it would need to be chain or some such and then it would still need to be fitted to the user. Unless he comes up with a one-size-fits-all spell or maybe the dryads can create cotton or silk. I think his best bet would to be the creation of an enchantment box that Sets an enchantment on whatever is placed within and can be operated by a anyone.

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      2. “I’ve always wondered how he makes the warmth spells on uniforms that were mentioned during the evacuation of Nethwilin. Personally and manually?”
        Yes. Personally and manually.

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  6. The next three months with Daniel needs to focus on a things with an immediate and powerful payoff or efforts against an immediate threat. Ideally some of this should take into account some of the new magical concepts he has recently been exposed to including: indirect or ranged magic concepts from the death witch, nymph magic from his followers, holding magic from the dark elves, translation magic from the elves, wolf spirit from the fenris wolves, or the god magic of the bananas. There are also some strategic threads that need more work.

    Some continuing ideas I have include:
    1) Spend a day or two focused on his army. Build them a type of magically manufactured/augmented body armor, set up a LAV factory, a very basic healing device that can be mass produced (ie – stabilize wounds) and a few flying weapon platforms. This can address invasions by mortals – a threat already somewhat reduced by his actions in book 3.
    2) Figure out how to create enhanced guards using wolf spirits.
    3) Resume picking up survivors and transporting them to strong points.
    4) Keep adding to the defenses of his keep.
    5) Spend the couple days required to substantially increase his reflexes with life magic. This has been put on back burner too long
    6) Learn new types of magic from the dryads and nymphs—which Hecate clearly hinted he must

    Some new ideas
    1) Build something that can kill a Great Beast. One is coming. I like the idea of combining his earth magic with water magic to replicate the huge explosion that badly damaged the sea serpent. He has had problems scaling up explosions and that might do it. Combine with a holding effect and magical nullification type defenses might be the perfect trigger to mix all the elements together to create a big boom within or at least adjacent a great beast.
    2) Create some powerful spells that can work at great distances. I am thinking of a spell to target the stone that defines the binding rules the Asier use. The next book is called Thrall for a reason – I suspect someone he cares about will be subject to those binding rules.
    3) Figure out some augmentation he “can” give to the general soldiers in the area, not just his men. They are honestly dying too quickly and something is needed. Healing or protection of some sort.

    Long Term research projects
    1) Find a new way to kill or imprison a god

    Impractical Paths
    1) Food is not the right focus. He can certainly produce more, but his dryads are limited in what they can produce and in any case the city has enough food for a year or more (after all of the losses). Life sorcery could produce more food, but I suspect it would be complex and take a lot of time to develop.
    2) Healing amulets require customization to the person – not feasible beyond a few key people unless you really limit their utility.
    3) Travel for supplies for his hearth witch is probably a long term concern and he would just work through the dark elves to get those supplies.
    4) Eidetic memory is not his major concern, although helpful to recall. Might be good, but dangerous to experiment on as the subject is himself.
    5) Getting information from Earth is clearly a non-starter. Very powerful gods are very leery about going there. No way can elves. Earth is CLEARLY foreign to everybody here.
    6) Replicating the bananas and turning himself and his coven into gods is a nice long term advantage, but with his access to mana it is not critical as a short term benefit.

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  7. O.k. getting back to moving the island, Danial can shape the rock in any manner he needs to, as i see it he can banish most of the islands weight and then push it free from the river mud by growing pillars against the bedrock, maybe make some channels in the stone to ease the suction. Then he connects his watch towers (reinforced of course) to giant lift cells, he can then use force magic like the skimmers to drive it or continue the lift of the cells to float it. Steering is gonna be a bitch though.
    “Huge Flying castles on the backs of iron Dragons”

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      1. Have not read the book but i will now, and the trailer looks awesome, I wasn’t actually thinking of moving parts, but the giant tank treads would really fit the snow and ice scene, more like a big floating platform lifted by balloons.

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    1. The island would topple over. The physics is a bit involved. An object without weight still has buoyancy, as it has volume. The center of lift is in the geometric middle and has, like the center of mass in a conventional object, to yield to the force. The island having a large foundation and walls its geometric center is in the foundation, which would go up.
      And everybody on the island will experience zero-g. That includes a lake with a water conjuration enchantment controlled by gravity. And agricultural areas and groves with nothing holding down the soil.
      And if there is residual weight, the island, not being designed as a ship, will break right through the middle.

      Next it will be subject to wind forces. And if the spell takes time to propagate through the island very funny things will happen to structural integrity.

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      1. The island has a huge structural reinforcement spell working for it to even out any stresses and is in essence a huge iron reinforced block of granite that he can shape as needed, breakage is not going to be an issue. As far as stress and stability he can use multiple lift cells attached around the outside walls, think of it like a huge Drone with 6 or 8 large cells doing the lifting.
        The only thing having most of its weight banished is the island, the people and other objects retain their normal weight, so no floating stuff. I did say that steering would be an issue, maybe using the wind spirits to push like the elves did on the intrepid.
        The lift cells are pulling from the top there will be no stability issues either. The question is not one of if
        the island can take it, its a question of enough power and as we’ve seen power is not one of Danial’s problems.

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      2. Thanks for explaining it scientifically Oliver. Seeing as Daniel also approaches things in a scientific manner, your explanation is just what was needed.

        He would have too much work to put into keeping that thing aloft, and all an ice wraith or dragon would have to do is stretch it’s neck and google people up while in the air.

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      3. Heh, I actually sat down and did some calculations on this, I know, Geek, and came up with some stupid numbers, not going to bore you with them here just to say that Danial’s method of lighter than air has about 7x the lift of a normal Blimp that’s really impressive. If he can banish 90% of the islands weight he would only need a 350m radius force bubble. Not sure how big he can make his bubbles, but if he cant fly it, he could still float it out…
        My point is that he needs to be able to move his base of operations, he’s not a stand your ground kind of guy unless he has no choice, why face a great beast if you don’t have too? my second point is why stay in Kozalin when its no longer there? there will be no trade, no more recruit’s for manning the walls and no iron Citadel for magic backup plus all his enemies will know where to find him.

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      4. Airship technology is underrated. Your calculation are likely correct. The point is not the lifting itself, It is what happens afterwards, as structures designed for compressive strength are subjected to tensile strength.

        Consider the mass this thing has. You are not going to outrun a Great Beast even with extensive modifications. And if it catches you while you are moving it is over. If Daniel really needs an option for a strategic retreat, he’d be better off building an improved fortress somewhere else and transport only the kitchen and the groves (teleport disks?). It would be faster and safer.

        Flying castles are cool, but they just make no sense.

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      5. What is the fascination with making the castle move – other than the whimsical comment Daniel made about flying castles. What purpose would it serve? A moving castle is only good for offense as a giant tank — or to flee the region. Daniel has shown no inclination to become an active combatant in the god war – his focus is on defending the city. No need to move to defend the city. Daniel will not leave unless the war is clearly lost. So why would he focus a lot of effort for a contingency he does not expect to use.

        The real challenge with predicting Daniel’s actions is that he is in fire fighting mode. He spends is time focused on facing the immediate threat/need, or the glaring shortfall, or a treat for his coven. So whatever idea you have for Daniel, you need to tie it to a specific immediate need.

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      6. “Daniel has shown no inclination to become an active combatant in the god war – his focus is on defending the city.”

        These goals are are in conflict. In fact they may be mutually exclusive. Worshippers are anchors. Temples are anchors. Priests are anchors. Kozalin is full of Aesir anchors. If you defend it, you become an active combatant.
        Hence you may say that he is creating a need to remove himself and his people from Kozalin in a hurry.

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      7. @ Oliver. He can easily remove himself by closing his gates and manning his walls. I don’t think filthy Odin worshippers will want to suffer a witch to live, while living in that same witch’s castle.

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      8. Sure, he can close the gates. But when a Great Beast is on the way, it will be too late.
        He has to decide. The Andregi were convinient enough, because they slaughtered anyone and he just had to fire and the question whether he should fire never came up.

        Yet Loki is using the fimbulwinter as strategic weapon. So next spring and later the city will have to feed itself with imports. Then Daniel will have to make decisions. If he wants to keep the port for himself, he will need to build a granary and the infrastructure to defend the harbor against the rest of the city.

        Or consequently, should Loki impose a naval blockade will Daniel attack the serpents? And he will have to think this through, because his people may have to make a decision on that.

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      9. “Sure, he can close the gates. But when a Great Beast is on the way, it will be too late.”
        Actually, unless they are very speedy, when a Great Beast looms into sight – that would be exactly the right time to blow the causeway, and shut the gates to the citadel. He described how it would not take long to close the citadel off when he rebuilt his gates, after he tore down his original keep.

        “Daniel will have to make decisions. If he wants to keep the port for himself, he will need to build a granary and the infrastructure to defend the harbor against the rest of the city.”
        Yes. The new chapter mentions – “Mauritania had a good harvest this year, and Egypt was even better. The way things are going, we’ll run out of ships and sailors before we run short of grain to sell.”
        So, unless he is going to take over shipping himself (by air or sea), he will have to decide what he is going to do. If he does take over the shipping, and the harbor, and then build defenses for the harbor and ships, and then provide for guards, workers, etc. He then will have to become the Merchant Prince of Kozalin.

        Or, he will have to abandon Kozalin. I do not see how he can provide security, and not provide oversight without controlling the harbor, and by extension, shipping.

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  8. Are we going to get some backstory for cerise we know she had a father probably mother as well but some time in all that she went to live with another witch her mentor would like to know if there is a story there?

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  9. Has anybody considered that the whole back story of the last hundreds of years are Odin’s way of preparing for Ragnrök?
    That story of a tryst leading to war sounds like a pretext taken right out of the Iliad. It seems to me the whole Olympian war was fought to get him into a favorable position for Ragnarök.

    – He has more and more southern territory, meaning that the fimbulwinter hits less hard and his enemies have more ground to devastate.
    – He got prisoners to test his god-slaying weapons on

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  10. “…You might argue that he is better off making each of them a unique defensive trinket…”
    (Oliver Neukum February 9, 2018 at 8:57 am)

    I like that thought.

    Beside the practical reasons each of his “wives” deserves something unique/special.

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  11. Who is support character / stays at home?

    I believe Avilla is the likeliest candidate for staying at home. When their multi-level palace is animated / infused with a “house spirit” (see book 1) she will be very powerful in her seat of power and her range of buffs will probably increase. She is the keeper of the home base and that is an important role.

    The opposite would be Cerise. She is the fighter of the four and will probably be in the thick of things most often.

    So far I would classify Elin being somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. Mindset of a healer, supporter…anxious, but not helpless in combat. Perhaps when she unlocks her “water troll form” her combat power (and her self-assurance) will increase and we will witness her fighting more often. From crippled mutant to powerful shapeshifting faerie princess…there seems to be potential for growth.

    What about Tina? Now she is expecting and even after giving birth she will probably stay with the child (especially when the child grows to adulthood in only one year). Bastet is gifting her with impressive capabilities so she probably could assist DB in the field. Will she be the high priestess? Personally I can not see her in this role. She is simply lacking the intellectual skills. She is a quintessentially naive (is that the correct word for stupid but cute/nice?) submissive bimbo. At this moment I can only see her as a fierce protector of the family.

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      1. You have me there!

        With the breakneck speed of the novels I never thought of anything else.

        But what risk potential will even missions of trade (…) have in this end-of-the-world-all-against-us-scenario?

        Aren’t they all potential fighting missions? Even if that is not the objective?

        I’m sure the author could construct a compelling reason why for example Tina needs to accompany DB on a trade mission, but right at this moment I don’t see Tina or Avilla in the field.

        Having said that….a diplomatic mission with Elin to the summer court (Britain) would be a great opportunity to highlight Elin and explore some exotic places and creatures.

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      2. Spices for Avilla, recruitment (looking like buying slaves), special magical equipment, spells that are taught only in special places, …
        I can come up with reason to make specific coven members leave the Island. The same goes for diplomacy. Negotiations with were-cats, whom do you send?

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    1. “When their multi-level palace is animated / infused with a “house spirit””
      This could solve the inter island communication issue if the spirit can talk. A Lurch personality would be hilarious, and it follows Danial throughout the citadel making Lurch like comments.
      This may also be the answer to the communication issue all together, have a spirit connected to multiple crystals that it can talk through or allow you to talk through. Wear it as an earring or a ring or hell make it a cellphone. Depending on the spirit it may even occupy the crystal and talk to other crystal occupied spirits for you. Heh, all the girls would spend all their time bumping into the furniture like phone zombies.

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      1. With the WLAN link between his power stones and his gadgets….couldn’t he use this connection?

        Build some small mana battery thingy, slap the (yet to be invented) “radio spell” on it to transmit spoken (?) words on top of the “mana carrier wave”.

        (= magic walkie-talkie)

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    2. Hmm.. you know the Grendel is pretty damn tough, if Danial wants to copy a beast to take attributes from that may be a better choice than the elf. He’d get what, strength, speed, Impenetrable skin, night vision, hunger for human flesh? ok maybe skip that one.

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  12. “…I get that she’s a non-combat character, but she still needs to be seen growing and contributing…”
    (Elyandarin February 6, 2018 at 9:49 pm)

    That sentence struck a chord with me.

    In general I want to see every (named) character on Black Island growing/evolving.

    (And no, I don’t want a pages-long detailed description of every person…but a short inner monolog of DB observing some of these characters while moving from A to B will bring us up to speed.)

    But I’d like to put the spotlight on DB (of course) and his coven-girls. With Daniel and Cerise this seems to be simpler since they are in the thick of things more often and so get more room in the books.

    But for the other three (in varying degrees) it is not so self-adjusting. Daniels (short) observations about the changes in Avilla’s sphere of influence after she got rid of her job as castellan were spot on in my book for this purpose.

    I would very much appreciate it If Mr. Brown would expand this character development and world building a (very) little bit…but that’s just my personal preference.

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  13. Revisit his first idea, carpeting the waterways with hot rocks. Only from blimps, instead of rickety boats. With larger, hotter, rocks. He could even make a canon that fired them.

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  14. The radio/walkie-talkie is the most pressing. Using sympathetic magic, he should be able to cut a stone in half, and link them, so any sound that enters one half will emit from the other half of the stone. Use the development of that as his excuse for the missing days when he was an elf.

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    1. Or cast it on a crystal ball and shave it into discs. slap a little silver on one side and presto instant talking mirror. Hopefully we wont get the creepy spirit along with it.

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  15. And do not forget that he has an Ambassador of Diplomacy, so there should be more dinners and parties, events to network with the various politic parties. He needs to resolve the Fair Folks, and the Elves. Also, the fallout from book 3, if Brand takes the fall then Kosalin is the target. If Brand outs Daniel as being there, then he’s the target. Either way, Gaia will send elite troops/great beasts to handle the threat, so Daniel needs a new weapon.

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    1. If his castle was flying he could have a spinal mounted cannon, shells as big as a Volkswagen accelerated for the length of the island by force magic. aiming it may be a little tricky…

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  16. What is going on? I check this blog multiple times a day. Then when the next day comes, i see a post I never saw before appearing, but it was posted ages ago.

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  17. My thoughts were that Daniel could give the troops defending the city a cuisinart grenade each. If he did not want to give away offensive weapons, he could give them a grenade that makes a 4 by 4 foot iron thornbush sort of thing as a defense, that w=might be better since they would be hard to destroy. I would not give healing necklaces, because they would be lost or stolen or sold, I would make healing slabs for the defenders of the city, say solid stone between 3 and 4 feet thick, 7 feet tall by 4 feet wide. Lay wounded on it to heal them, and it is too big to steal. He could buy the inn next to the causeway and turn it into a safe house, built like the shelters but a bit more comfortable, he could use that as a market, run by elves who ‘let slip’ they are smuggling food and the items they sell so townies don’t get on his island. When fighting he could use it as a forward base with some healing slabs where he could send wounded without exposing Elin to danger.

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    1. Slabs won’t work each healing item has to be attuned to race and Daniel currently has 3 front line races that would need there own not counting the dryads who can just return to there tree.

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  18. I think it would be interesting to include the Jade Emperor, and/or his Celestial Court. Or if not that, maybe take a look at the type of magic that they employ, which I feel will run on different principles than we’re used to. We already know they exist in this world as Hecate mentioned the Jade Emperor once, and I think the idea of running into Sun Wukong is funny (powerful shape shifting monkey god.). Maybe DB could learn something about transforming from him? None of these ideas are fleshed out though so there’s probably something I’m overlooking that would make this not work.

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    1. Well I think that Mr. Brown has his hands full with the Aesir mythology and Greek prescense so far to jump into that wagon, I mean it wouldn’t be only the works of magic that ill differ, but their common-sense and the wa they see the world, it migth throw the boo ina completely unecesary direction.

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    2. It was just a name drop. I don’t think Daniel would be going to China, or China would be going to him. Hecate already said it, China and India are xenophobic. They ain’t helping no outsider.

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    3. Daniel is rather constrained. The kingdoms of the east are unlikely to aid outsiders. He cannot go to Egypt for obvious reasons. That may rule out anybody who is interested in good relations with Egypt. Crossing the North Atlantic under ice age conditions does not look wise. That leaves very little but the peoples and gods of Eastern Europe and Siberia.

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  19. Enchanted golems are easily the first thing that comes to mind, a remote security lock for all of his enchanted items, some form of sonar/radar for any potential rogues (or sneaky gods), satellites for collecting information that are also capable of orbital bombardment.

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    1. There may already be one up there, The Sky hammer may be a satellite with a KEW, He’ll just need to figure out the controls. He can’t do satellites until he figures out his communication problems and wrangles a spirit to control it for him, I just don’t see him having the time to create a magical computer so some type of low level magical intelligence is going to be required for really technical inventions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. @ Grady. “He can’t do satellites until he figures out his communication problems and wrangles a spirit to control it for him”
        I don’t think he is going to be doing that. Remember one of the selling points with the elves and dryads is that Daniel didn’t enslave spirits to do his bidding (at least that is how I read those scenes).

        Liked by 1 person

    2. What he really needs to do is figure out Leo’s suit of armor, setting that up on a factory would make any mage working for him as tough as Brands Einherjar.
      The golems he could copy from the enclave but they need to be enclosed and able to be piloted by anyone instead of just mages, he’d have to lose the swords and axes and go with some 20mm chain guns (aka the Matrix “RELOAD!!!”). I think the golems are over rated, he could achieve the same thing with the skimmers or just really powerful personal armor although there is something to be said for the intimidation factor.

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      1. I have to disagree here, the two main advantages of golems is that they’re autonomous and multi-purpose, he could have security golems equipped with a scanning function mixed in with the patrols in case of infiltration or a rebellion, an army of kamikaze golems that can self-destruct after expending their ordinance, tireless workers to help with hard labor, disposable bodyguards and meatshields for scouting parties, all with minimal risk to his people(which are at a premium in an apocalypse), yeah, I’m sorry, but there’s just too much potential utility in those things.

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    3. In order to build an autonomous golem he’ll need some type of controlling intelligence, is there some standard magical semi-intelligence spell? If is it just a set of orders there still needs to be some form of logic engine involved. How does Avilla get her gingerbread men to work? They appear to be intelligent enough to protect objects and enter into combat. I’m just saying that there has to be some form of captive spirit involved, even if it’s not human. If they can be at a low human intelligence how about Danial build Avilla a bigger oven and he can have gingerbread men patrolling the walls. I wonder how well they’ll shoot.
      I think Danial is only adverse to unwilling spiritual enslavement, if the spirit wants to be there he probably won’t mind.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. His mana/meta magic will supply the know-how after some trial and error as always(that’s his greatest advantage against all those higher beings after all), and a pseudo-magical intelligence(he doesn’t need a Type 4 AI, a Type 3 one would be good enough for his purposes) could be achieved by studying a spirit with his wizard/magic eyes/vision in a lab and incorporating that into a magic circuit or spell matrix, or just befriending one and magically cloning/growing it.

        Most of his people are in some form of magical “slavery” to one another, whether it be through a magical contract, pact, or oath of fealty, so let’s not pretend he hasn’t had to make a good amount of moral concessions in that area, and that’s what makes Daniel so much better than most other protagonists in the genre, he’s just doing what needs to be done for himself and his people, and he doesn’t shy away from enjoying the perks of being a hero to them either, we can relate to that kidn of person, not some puritan farm boy become king, or a chosen one with half a brain, both of which get all their power and standing served on a silver platter of deus ex machinas.

        That’s a good suggestion, he could combine his research into golems and spirit bodies, with her knowledge of magic constructs, and have a more complete product than either would alone.

        I’m really enjoying this thought experiment BTW, thanks for humoring me!!

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      2. The thing is, that has apparently been tried. Gingerbread girls seem to be generally incapable of carrying a soul. I suppose Avilla might in time replicate her own creation. But that creation would have a soul. So to get a spirit into her she’d have to kill her sister.

        Yet it must be possible to have a controlling spirit inside a machine, as we have learned during the rescue flight to Scandinavia. Or did this refer to elementals?

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  20. Flying Castle

    Even if it would be possible for Daniel Black to make Black Citadel mobile….I would strongly prefer for the author not to implement that option!

    My first thoughts on the catchword “mobile, flying castles” are pink structures on puffy clouds….like Alice in Wonderland (1951)…or those anime children movies like Howl’s Moving Castle or Laputa: Castle in the Sky. Kid stuff! I think it’s way to childish to mesh with the adult theme of the novels.

    I could take silly gingerbread men on the cupboard fighting off goblins with a smirk….but please…not that.

    Don’t get me wrong…that is my personal opinion…I don’t want to slander anyone with a different point of view!
    If you observe the writing styles in this blog you will realize that a wide range of age groups (from different countries) are underway here….so deviating views are only natural.

    In addition to my aversion to the childish notion of walking or flying castles (again just my take!) I really like the strong home base concept, too.

    Don’t evade…PROTECT & DEFEND!

    To see wave after wave of relentless attackers break against the fortifications and get wasted by multiple defence emplacements with overlapping fields of fire ……pure joy!

    Now develope Black Citadel further and fill it with lots of people!
    – more wolfen (maybe Gronir gets a little extra boost to set off his status as pack leader)
    – more people in general to flesh out the Black Citadel community
    – more (human) soldiers, perhaps some units with exceptional officers (i.e. individual “knights” or “heroes” with superior abilities and magical equipment)
    – more exotic, magical individuals / heroes or races
    – more (types of) defence emplacements
    – better defences (fortifications in general…walls, wards…)
    ….
    ….
    ….

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    1. Not going to try and change your mind on the hole moving fortress thing, but I think that mostly the ones that stand behind that idea picture it more from a mecha sci-fi point of view like those space colonies that tend to appear in mecha animes.

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      1. Paps. Imagine a plot of land 12+ acres long.
        Now imagine this plot filled with thousands of tons.
        Now imagine this plot moving around.
        If Daniel’s first hoverboat made all that noise the first time they rode it, imagine what something that can barely maintain it’s structural integrity would make.

        I agree with Plattmaker, the idea sounds childish, and doesn’t suit the mature theme we had so far. If Daniel is moving it will be bigger versions of his tank. Why move all those tons of stone, and leave a visible trail to follow, be it in air, or land. 10 acres is not going to be invisible.

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    2. “Don’t evade…PROTECT & DEFEND!”

      Strategically you are wrong. I am sorry, but I am afraid I have to state it that bluntly. Ragnarök is not Daniel’s war.

      “wave after wave of relentless attackers break against the fortifications”

      That assumes very stupid attackers. Yes, Gaea is in that category. Why would they do that?

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    3. You Sir would fit in well on the golden fields 🙂
      I agree If he has to stay then hes definitely going to have to harden his defenses, he is vulnerable from above and beneath. he needs more air cover and some sensing method for underground. Manning has been one of his problems from the start but i think that will solve itself when Kozalin finally falls, he’ll have lots of refugees. we still don’t know what race Hecate is going to send him next and he still has more elves incoming.
      As for Defenses an active minefield of his bouncers and lava mines permanently placed around his wall like he did in the entrance tunnel to help thin out the Hoards that attack. he could also put them on the outside of the wall in various spots to discourage climbers.
      More Anti aircraft emplacements and a method to increase their accuracy. he’s also going to need something for larger targets, those little 20mm pop guns won’t slow a dragon attack. I like the Idea of a force dome over the top of the island, as long as its independently powered and not tied into the structural reinforcement spell. Don’t want one to drain the other.

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      1. Manpower is still an issue. Relatively soon his weapon will strike and we have to assume that Brand makes it home and gives a report about a mysterious calamity befalling the Halls of Slumber and Daniel being on intimate terms with Loki’s daughter. By that point I think he can trust no new recruits from Kozalin. They might work for Vali or whoever leads intelligence among the Aesir. Yes, they have wards for that kind of thing. But we are not talking about ordinary spies here anymore. The level of interest in him may in effect mean the very best spies are used.

        I still he should investigate golems and foreign connections. What does he have a minister of diplomacy for?

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  21. Magical radio: There has been a lot of discussion here on long range signal transmission i.e., radio. So what things or magics do this already? 1) Gods are able to hear prayers or contact their followers, 2) Dryads are able to return to their tree: if Daniel had (or was wearing one) then that would maybe work, perhaps they have always been able to communicate with their groves, and Daniel just has not asked them about this? And they have not volunteered information for lack of understanding of what he wanted. 3) Maybe combine 1 & 2 by becoming their Deity or something similar.

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    1. Really sounds like some type of spiritual connection and Danial just hasn’t had time to examine that type of connection. You would think that his meta magic sorcery could provide an answer, he just may have to go to the conclave library or get Elin to do it for him and find out how the wizards do it.

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  22. For all the talk about how the Sahara and other such areas will become tropical paradises….. they forget the most basic fundament. It’s sand. It has exactly zero nutritional value to plants. The Sahara is like that because over millenia, the plants ate everything there, leaving only wasteland.

    Besides, Daniel is missing the obvious next upgrade.
    He knows how to built a ‘skeleton’ and ‘exoskeleton’ for the Black Citadel, keeping it together and making it even stronger. He has unlimited power, he knows how to make plasma…..
    Clearly he needs to convert the Black Citadel into a giant Mecha with jump-jets. It can move around, keep his people safe and punch gods in the face with it!

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  23. There is a thing about the radiation weapon that I do not understand, and maybe you all can help me?
    How does Daniel plan to get away with it? Sure, initially Gaea and Loki may assume that Odin struck them. Yet Odin cannot cooperate with that. He obviously knows that he did no such thing. Can and will he just pretend he did it anyway? It would be an awful risk for him to take and for anybody to depend on.

    A new party appeared and struck an incredible blow right out of the blue. Can Odin really afford not to investigate this? I am afraid I will have to answer that question in the negative. He could be next. But then Daniel has a potentially lethal problem. Loki has spies. We know that. One of the functions of spies is watching the other side’s spies. If Loki’s spies report that Odin’s spies are looking for the owner of the radiation weapon, will Loki still believe that Odin struck him? I am afraid the answer would be very uncertain. Odin would like Loki to believe that he has a weapon like that. It makes planning operations much harder. Of course this could be a trick by Odin, but can Loki afford to just assume that? And that could lead to an investigation that Daniel really cannot afford.

    What do you think? I think there is one thing Daniel or Hecate have to do, but I would like you all to draw your own conclusions.

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    1. Loki migth realise that it wasn’t Odin that made the nuke attack, but by the time he realise that Daniel migth already find a way to better hide his track. This is a Gods war as soon as Odin realise a third party attacked Gaia his first preocupation would be who is capable of that, and I don’t think that a mortal will jump first in his list of suspects, he will have to look for fromer enemies deity that migth have survived and have something against Gaia or lucky, then demi-gods, and from there on fort, I really don’t think that the lists of suspects won’t be big. So the question is not if they will find out, but how long will they take to realize, and how can Daniel use that time wisely, he migth already developed God slaying weaponary by the time. Beside won’t Loki and Odin be to busy triying to destroy each other army to properly investigate????

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      1. Here we are entering the area of more or less a criminal investigation.

        Daniel attacked the sleeping armies. That looks not like a revenge strike. He specifically took care not to attack Gaea’s palace. That is a military operation. That shortens the list a lot. And who on that list is notorious for introducing novel magic weaponry?

        Brand even knew that Daniel was going for Clan Nethwilin. The Aesir intelligence works very well.

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      2. It USB exactly the fact that it wasn’t a simple attack that opens so mutch posibilites, they are Gods they are no bound by the same common sense that mortals, they have a long life span so they can go to their revenges calm and steady. Hecate herself is in a guerrilla warfare and I think she is considered a Goddes of vengace, even so, she hasn’t shown a crazily revange obsessed behavior. It migth as well be a third pantheon making a power play. Even so since the coven is implementing some kind of anti-screaing magic, even the gods will be forced to investigate the normal way.

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      3. What do they say in murder mysteries? The thing that is hardest to hide is the motive? Those Andregi were expendables. Gaia can’t even feed them in the long run. If you hit them specifically, you fear them. That places you in Europe. And that narrows things down.
        As Daniel said, the list places you can hide a baby is not long. The list of places such a weapon can come from is shorter.

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      4. They can fear that the hit itself was a diversion, or only to test a new weapon, Now I think both Leaders are paraniod enough not to jump at the first conclusion and look for the hidden clues in any militar action. Even when there migth not be one at all.

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    2. If we are talking a about what “Daniel Should Do,” Daniel should now be preparing to be the target of investigation.
      Originally, Daniel planned on getting away with his attack by not getting caught on the scene. He intentionally set it to go off on the second night, and end on the second day break, to give him time to get away.
      Being seen by Mara and Brand was most unfortunate. It puts him in jeopardy.

      Brands appear to have abandoned Kozalin. We do not know if the Æsir did, but Brand definitely did. He took the Prince, some elite guards, and elite golems away from Kozalin, and they went to their death (apparently). The city is now “falling apart.”
      So, if for some reason Brand stays in Skogheim, he will see the results of Daniel’s device. I can only imagine how he plans to do that as he will be on the Most Wanted List now, with Korak apparently permanently ‘killed.’ Gaea will be hunting him intently. But, if he did he could relay the information to his kin in two days at the earlies.
      I think it is likely that he will flee Skogheim. Therefore, he may not see the massacre, and the Æsir will not get any firsthand or immediate information. It will be at least two days before the massacre will be revealed to Gaea. And, it will be something like a week before anyone in Midgard can notice the lack of Andregi Reinforcements – assuming Brand fled Skogheim.

      So, at best Daniel has perhaps as little as two days, to a week at most to prepare for intense scrutiny from the Æsir – assuming Brand reports him. (I read no information that indicates why he would not, but it is not impossible.)

      So, the best question would be, “how can he prepare for the coming investigation.”

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      1. You are right. We are talking as if Brand personally saw Daniel use his nuke, but Brand will have fled by the time the device activates. The problem is whether Brand reports seeing Daniel or not.

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      2. My family motto might as well be: “I will deny anything.”
        Therefore, I would suggest Daniel start setting up his denials.
        A good idea would be to pretend that he did not do anything (deny everything) and after received information about Gaea’s world, he was working on a plan to destabilize the elemental convergence at the ‘poles’ (true), and then get the Conclave to start helping with a plan to implement it. It would make sense to ask the experts about elemental convergences. However, then he could start lamenting that Brand’s/Caspar’s Attack has made infiltration impossible (true), without mentioning that he was there at all.
        This will set up his opposition to the attack, and also give a reason he would have been looking for information – and he can then deny he was the one who destroyed the Halls of Slumber.
        When the Æsir come in looking for information, the Conclave, and some strategically placed people in town, can start asking what they were attempting with their attack, and state that they have made it more difficult to implement Daniel’s plan, all without him having to be the one who answers questions – at least at first.

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      3. Workable plan except that Daniel would not just give up. He needs to have a programm for a weapon of mass destruction that can just in case be revealed. He could, for example, really get Pelagia those prisoners and work up a really potent plague.
        The Andregi don’t have pair bonding. HIV with the addition of doing something nasty that can be remotely triggered? It doesn’t need to fully work. It just has to have a genocidal aim and sound plausible.

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      4. Planning on going on the offensive is good. I was focused on the very soon to come focus on Daniel, on what he ‘Needs To Do’ to survive that.

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    3. Originally, Daniel planned to get away with implementing the radiation weapons by not getting caught, but that failed.

      The question now is, what should he do now that he can be implicated in using the weapon?

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  24. ———-
    “Don’t evade…PROTECT & DEFEND!”
    Strategically you are wrong. I am sorry, but I am afraid I have to state it that bluntly. Ragnarök is not Daniel’s war.
    ————-

    Yes, you are right (without needing to be sorry)!

    While I would agree that Ragnarök is not DB’s war in the sense that he is not one of the principle opposite parties….he is still in the middle of the mess.

    And since I am not an adherent of the bunker down…keep the head down…let the world die…not his mission…Kozalin will die anyway…-school of thought….

    …his war or not is (nearly) inmaterial in my mind.

    Be that as it may…strategically the “protect & defend” option is perhaps not the very best choice.

    But we are talking about a novel. The author seeks to captivate the reader and delivers an absorbing story. A good way to do this is with emotions.

    With me Mr. Brown succeeded in that endeavor!

    I really like Black Citadel… all the descriptions of new buildings, inhabitants, new upgrades…Daniel and his “family” have a new nest with an awesome bath and a great kitchen and lovely bedrooms…and in the near future his first child will be born there.

    I am not talking about Black Citadel in a strategic way…it’s HOME (!)…dam strategy, logic, common sense…whatever….if someone tries to mess with my home, he will get a bloody nose!

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  25. ————-
    “wave after wave of relentless attackers break against the fortifications”
    That assumes very stupid attackers. Yes, Gaea is in that category. Why would they do that?
    ————-

    That was an emotional statement without direct context to the novels.

    It’s about my fondness for “the strong home base concept”. When I played “Warcraft: Orcs & Humans” and “Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn” (and similar games) at the end of my studies I would always brutally overbuild my base and enjoy “wave after wave of relentless attackers break against the fortifications and get wasted by multiple defence emplacements”

    I simply hope that after building up Black Citadel further and further the author will deliver the corresponding targets to let uns enjoy all the labor….;-)

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    1. You are too nice for Daniel’s world.

      Daniel and Cerise are outside cruising through the sky stopping two monsters at two points casting down bullets and blobs of darkness just to see them streaming around them. The Intrepid just picked up the Wolfen in their new combat suites from the gathering place. The Ungols are taking the city.
      Pelagia reports that teh evacuees from the Conclave are all accounted for.
      Refugees are hammering against the force field of the portcullis. From somewhere they have picked up two enchanted battering rams. Demetrios looks at Avilla. She nods. He gives an order an the main doors start closing. Elin starts swallowing and wishes to stop what must come now. But she cannot come up with any alternative. Avilla says “Do it”. Demetrios picks up the mouth piece of their new farspeakers. All preparations have long been completed. The tubes are sighted. The crews drop the new antimetabolic/fragmentation shells down the tubes …

      That is the most likely action the walls will see.

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  26. In regards to the whole Brand, Danial, Mara thing and who knows what. I think that whole scenario is a long game being played by Prometheus. He needs Mara to break his chains, so he uses Danial to reconnect with Mara so one day they will free him. Brands showing up does several things, it covers for Danial by moving any of Gaia’s suspicions directly to the enemy and off of any reason to look elsewhere for the cause. Mara won’t talk, she hates both Gaia and the Andregi. The Elves won’t talk, they have several hundred years practice at covert operations and know better. Brand isn’t going to talk, why report a failed attempt to either his father or the prince, he would lose face, if he just keeps quiet everyone will assume that the heroes that were with him sacrificed themselves in a successful action. No one involved is going to tell Loki or Gaia what really happened. Odin May or may not ask Brand, in any case why would they go after Danial? They don’t know how he did it either, he’s Hecate’s champion, for all that they know this is something she came up with.

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    1. Brand is going to talk. In fact it is quite possible that Odin gave the order to attack.
      That attack made no sense in a military sense. Brand is not an idiot. The attack was a U-turn from his old strategy and had tremendous cost. If you are sent on a suicide mission and fail, so what? If you meet a mysterious stranger and do not report him, that’s treason.

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      1. “Brand is going to talk. In fact it is quite possible that Odin gave the order to attack.”
        That is quite possible, Odin is the Father of forethought after all, he can see into the future somewhat.

        But I still stand by Brand using attacks to whittle down people in kozalin, so Hell doesn’t get to use them. Brand is throwing the best men at any battle possible, so they can be reborn in Valhalla, remember how happy he was when the walls were breached? He did say something along the lines of “they will be fighting either way”.

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      2. Still, it makes far more sense to have them fight on their own terriory behind fortification to really make the Andregi bleed.

        And then there there is, besides honesty, which is a big thing in the Eddas, the issues of what he does if after a few weeks it becomes clear that the Andregi are dying. What then, silence and aid the enemy? Or a reluctant admission that you saw somebody?
        No, this was a suicide mission. If it fails the best you can do for your reputation is return some intelligence. Especially if that stupid idea was yours.

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      3. “Brand is going to talk. In fact it is quite possible that Odin gave the order to attack.
        That attack made no sense in a military sense.”
        ——————————————————————————————————————————–
        Exactly. So why was it done at all? They have crippled Kozalin by losing the elite warriors, and the Prince, who is vital to its’ survival (witness the collapse in the sample chapters). They have abandoned Kozalin (Brand left with the Prince).And they have also lost access to the Dark Portal, for what it is worth.

        Assuming the goal was to in fact “bleed the Andregi white,” the task is unfinished. Even with the walls breched, there are plenty of men who can still fight and die in battle, to then go to Valhalla. So, why would they sabotage the city in that way.

        I can only assume there is something more important than more warriors for Valhalla, if that was ever really an issue, or motive. It might have been a lie, to cover something else Brand was to do. (Perhaps he was using the Dark Portal to move others out of Asgard, or to Asgard under cover of the Prince attacking besieged cities, as an example?)

        The only clue we have is the object in Brand’s chest. It might either be a way out for him, so that he can escape after he completes his ‘more important that Kozalin’ mission, or it might be that his mission was to carry it into Skogheim, and then….
        Be rescued by someone there?
        To go to ground and hide – among the Andregi, in Gaea’s Seat of Power? (Unlikely, but not necessarily impossible.)
        To die there?

        Or, perhaps it was not an Æsir plan. Perhaps Brand is going rogue, and has his own plan. We actually know very little about him, it is not impossible. If he is joining Gaea, or Loki, this might be the first step. He was calmly waiting for the smart son of Gaea to come torture him, when Korak showed up.

        It does come down to, what he can tell someone (what he observed), and who he tells.

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      4. Well Brand pretty mutch told Daniel that Kozelin is if little interest to the Gods before departing, all the figthing in Midgard that the Gods, and Demi-Gods of the Aesir are doing is just to stall for time while they build their Armys on Vallhalla for the true war.So maybe Brand considered that Kozelien no longuer holds anymore importance to keep defending it, and leaded the very few that would prolong the inebitable to an earlier recruitment into the Gods army.

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      5. In any case, “What Daniel Needs to do” first is to prepare for questions from the Æsir (worst case scenario), or their priests first.

        The second thing he needs to do is prepare for someone from the Gaea/Loki side of the war to come looking for answers. Mara seems to be best qualified to look for answers from Daniel, but I do not want to assume that Loki himself might not come in a new form (he is a gender fluid shapeshifter) to get answers. He would be well motivated to investigate the new weapon that was used.

        So, if Mara sneaks into the Citadel, what will Daniel tell her? Or, at least someone who looks like her?

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      6. Sincerely speaking, Daniel doesn’t own answer to the Aesir at all, I think that he already made clear that he comes from distant lands where the Aesir have no influence, so it wouldn’t be such a chocker if he decides not to just roll and answer their inquisicion with out making it dificult, that means giving half answer, and been vague as posible.

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      7. “worst case scenario”

        The worst case scenario is probably some of those lightning bolts on his artillery, the towers and the gate house, closely followed by Thor, a dozen demigods and a few thousand Einherjar on winged horses in a night attack doing a paratroop drop. Now there is a thing to be said to prepare only for the survivable cases.

        Yes, you need to prepare for curiosity, but not questions. Nobody will admit to having such a weapon because you ask nicely. Nor can you assume that just because he had it, that he made it or knows how it works. He could have bought it for all you know or he is an agent of some other power. In fact that is the sane assumption. Your chief engineer doing James Bond stuff is insane, strictly speaking.

        This is war not a police operation. So you need to prepare for spies and hostage takings.

        “if Mara sneaks into the Citadel, what will Daniel tell her”

        ‘Brand carried an implant. I want to negotiate with your father about his conditions for tolerating me as a neutral party during Ragnarök.’ – There is not much more he can say. He cannot possibly be sure which side she works for or even who she is.

        And I would really suggest that he come up with an anti-Andregi weapon so he can explain his recon mission. Maybe a supercharged version of their pheromons that drives them crazy in a super mating frenzy?

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      8. Perhaps so.
        I will admit that the Æsir attack that you paint would be a frightening scenario.

        The equivalent “hair curling” scenario from the other side that would would be Mara (or something that “looks” like her) ‘sneaking’ in to the Citadel (which Daniel even invited her to do), and appearing by Daniel’s Bed, while he is sharing it with one the girls…

        So, how will the Æsir conduct their investigation? I suppose it depends on their resources.

        They were the “welcomed” saviors of Kozalin, until Brand left on the raid with Prince Caspar in tow. Now, there will be a lot of questions if he, or another Æsir, arrives in Kozalin. So, I can see them ignoring the city, and going directly to the Citadel, in one way or the other.

        However, it would still be smart to prepare for a ‘softer’ inquiry, just to be thorough.

        So, assuming the Æsir will be coming in ‘hard.’ How ‘hard’ can they actually go? Do they have the resources to spare to chase down a ‘possibility?’
        Again, Loki has to have “pulled agro” on a significant portion of the world with his Ice Age. Can Odin afford to assume it was Daniel and allocate the resources on such an assault? Especially considering that if Daniel has that weapon to use, will it cost him “Thor, a dozen demigods and a few thousand Einherjar on winged horses.” Thor can be brought back – assuming his anchors have not been destroyed by Loki or his forces. However, we do not know how long that would take, which is important with Ragnarök looming. Same for the other demigods. However, can the Einherjar be restored, and in time for Ragnarök?

        I would imagine, that using them in the way you describe would be in the case where you ‘know’ Daniel has the weapon, and expect him to be deploying against them. Then would be the time for a suicide attack.

        So, that is another thing “Daniel Has to do,” prepare for that possibility.
        What concerns me is that in the new chapters, he is spending his quickly diminishing time with Pelagia, on shelters, and possibly flying out to get Avila’s cookware.

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      9. ‘Brand carried an implant. I want to negotiate with your father about his conditions for tolerating me as a neutral party during Ragnarök.’
        —————————————
        Except, Daniel was sneaking into Skogheim, not Jotunheim, and was hiding from Gaea with the Dark Elves when Mara caught him. Mara would have been the perfect person for him to speak to about negotiating with Loki, but he never brought it up. And, now she has barred him from returning to Skogheim as an ‘elf.’ And, he definitely can not walk into Skogheim as a human, he would be destroyed before getting to the door.

        So, that cover story will definitely not work with her.

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      10. The hardest action the Aesir are likely, as opposed to potentially, contemplating is hostage taking in my mind. Getting the weapon is much better than killing somebody who had that weapon at some time in the past.

        Hence, Black Island becomes off limits to anybody not living there. Only combatants leave it and only in groups. Make sure that Nethwilin’s outposts are fully evacuated. And tell your people something. ‘I’ve done something that must remain secret, but it means that our risk of infiltration has increased a lot”
        And I must say, if you intend to do external operations or recruit people the best time to do so is actually right now. The reports at least about the potential full extent of the damage are not in.

        Your priorities among threats have just shifted. Internal security is a lot more important. Defense against against mental attacks is a higher priority now.
        Daniel may face the best the Aesir have in terms of illusions, deceptions and mental magic. Thus if Tova is still open to recruitment, take her. He’ll always want somebody fully warded against mind magic at the gate controls. And for himself and Cerise the same protection would be a good idea at least for meetings and stuff.

        And cities in Aesir Europe are no longer possible sources for recruitment of ordinary troops. Stop the refugee airlifts. If you still need infantry, get mercenaries.

        “So, that cover story will definitely not work with her”

        That was not an explanation. That was an offer sweetened with some information.

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      11. “The hardest action the Aesir are likely, as opposed to potentially, contemplating is hostage taking in my mind. Getting the weapon is much better than killing somebody who had that weapon at some time in the past.”
        Can you explain that? I am having trouble parsing those sentences.

        “Black Island becomes off limits to anybody not living there.” “Internal security is a lot more important.”
        Yes, no matter what happens, he has to close the island off now.

        “I want to negotiate with your father about his conditions for tolerating me as a neutral party during Ragnarök.”
        That story will not work. What is he to say when she asks, “why did you not mention that while we were in my secure chamber? Why not mention that when I asked you what you were going to do next?”

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      12. Sorry. I will try to be clearer. Killing Daniel is a risk. If somebody else built the weapon and Daniel merely deployed it, the weapon would still be available. And Daniel’s boss would now be angry. And you have to assume that an organization that can build such a weapon would not send its chief developer as a field agent.

        So you want to put pressure on Daniel without direct violence against him. Hence hostages. Go for his family.

        And Daniel isn’t a good citizen and the Gods aren’t cops asking questions. You don’t just send somebody into his stronghold to demand answers. If you want something or some information from him, you will have to ask nicely and make a counteroffer.
        You gain nothing if you yield to implicit threats. That just invites blackmail.

        So if Mara shows up, you will be nice to her, wine and dine. But you are not sure who she is and whether she is still in control of herself or whom she works for.
        But you will not volunteer any important information. You make a counteroffer in such a way that you can tolerate the Aesir hearing it.

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      13. Ah, thank you for explaining.

        Actually, I am assuming there will be multiple lines of inquiry. The fastest response by the Æsir would be to send the priests to go talk to Daniel, while you look at hostages. If he puts them off, then go towards securing a useful hostage.

        However, you are right about his risks. He would be very smart to put it out that he was working with someone outside of the city (such as some power that Loki offended with his Ice Age, and through the Dark Elves), and also on ideas of his own – just to confuse the issue.

        And, as it would be foolish to outright attack someone who could deploy such a weapon (not that there would not be a shortage of fools), so showing up in force just makes you a convenient target.
        So, yes, hostage taking would be an expected move, or grabbing Daniel when he is spending his time building shelters for refugees – WITHOUT HIS BLOODY BODYGUARDS! That was simply foolish. He cannot keep doing that, if he is going to be the target of interest now.

        The Æsir are not cops – they ARE gods looking at the dawning of their existence, of Ragnarök. Making more enemies, especially of unknown but obviously serious power, would be less than ideal for them.

        In regards to hostages, who would be a good target? Avila rarely leaves the palace. As far as I know, Tina does not leave the palace at all. Cerese is his “bound witch,” slash shield maiden. Elin is now staying in her hospital, and has guards. Who would the Æsir look to as available, and that Daniel would value so much that he would give up the information that they want?

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      14. Sorry, should have said – “ending” of their existence, not “dawning.” I was referring to the oncoming Ragnarök and did not correct my text.

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      15. Daniel is a warlock-king. In contrast to a US president he cannot let other people take a bullet for him or allow himself to be dragged away while his people take the heat. That means he cannot fly away and live his guards behind. That means unless and until he duplicates his flight equipment, guards a liability.

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      16. I still don’t think Danial is going to be held accountable for the Halls episode. So he has a means to kill lots of Andregi? so what, so do the Aseir, hell so does Loki. and I don’t think Loki is going to waste a lot of time and effort on a subject that he’s only supporting for Gaia because she has this thing for Zeus’s “Man” creation. It’s really no big thing to him, he’s interested in winning his war with the other gods, his children can Finnish off man afterwards.
        Are we sure that the prince was with Brand for the raid and that he was killed?
        Brand may have been there for a direct attempt on Gaia, as a prisoner it’s a sure thing that Gaia would be personally Questioning any god-ling that dared to attack her stronghold. That item in his chest may have been used to incapacitate Gaia long enough for her to be taken prisoner. without Gaia to hold the gates open the Andregi are trapped in their own realm, don’t need to destroy the Halls if they can’t be used.
        and If you are reading chapters from the new book please no spoilers.

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      17. How shall I put this? I am afraid your mind set is a bit off for an apocalyptic war scenario. We are not talking about accountability. We are talking about weapons and threats.

        Of course Loki will care! For the simple reason that if they hit him once, he must assume that they can do it again. And that he must prevent. And if possible he will want that weapon himself. The same reasoning applies to the Aesir. An unknown power with the ability to wipe out cities is a terrible danger.

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    2. Why do you think Brand failed? The Aesir would know the humans would die to add to Valhalla and could very well have just wanted the device in Brands chest in Gea’s realm.

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      1. The Halls of Slumber did not suffer significant damage. The issue is, if Daniel can see that this attack was obvious nonsense, so will Loki and maybe the cleverer sons of Gaea or Gaea herself. That means that the Aesir want Loki to know or does not care whether he knows that he performed some kind of clandestine mission. Why?

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      2. Or, something else is going on. Brand could be in Skogheim to deliver his own weapon, and is waiting for the right time. If there truly is a god-killer weapon, could it not be that what is has in his chest is it? It is just a thought, but it would explain his presence.

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      3. Assuming that is true, why waste the expeditionary force? Why not go alone or with a force of Einherjar on those cool flying horses? He wants people to die in battle, but the kind of people who follow a god on a suicide mission to an unknown realm are not going to die in their beds during Ragnarök no matter what. And behind their walls at home they will take a lot more foes with them.

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      4. Yes, exactly.
        There was almost no way they were going to sneak into Skogheim with the Dark Portal. Taking a group of elite knights, and the wizards and their golems would be sensible from several viewpoints. If they need to convince watchers (in Kozalin, and Skogheim) that it was a serious raid, then their presence would go toward ‘putting on a good show.’

        However, taking Caspar along was absolutely a waste if that was all there was to it.

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      5. No, I am sorry, but this is not true. If Daniel can tell within seconds that this attack is doomed and foolish just by looking at it from a distance, so can any semicompetent military officer who looks at the reports and gets numbers of captured enemy combatants and damage done.

        Even if they just wanted a commotion then opening the gate and sending a few uncrewed golems through would have done the job. The Andregi would react to any intrusion with a full scale alarm.

        No, those people died because Brand really needed them to and had been able to convince them of that. And he does not mind that Loki and Gaea learn that.

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      6. “If Daniel can tell within seconds that this attack is doomed and foolish just by looking at it from a distance, so can any semicompetent military officer…”
        Hmmm, True enough, assuming semi-competent officers.
        Gaea might not see it at all, and jump right into reacting instead of thinking. I imagine her more as Hecate put it, “a venomous bitch,” and she might jump right to vengeance before thinking about the implications. And, her ‘generals,’ her sons, they called in Mara to “do the thinking” for things like the Dark Elves. Loki, when notified, might start asking questions.

        “Even if they just wanted a commotion then opening the gate and sending a few uncrewed golems through would have done the job.”
        I agree.

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      7. “No, those people died because Brand really needed them to and had been able to convince them of that. And he does not mind that Loki and Gaea learn that.”
        Possibly. Obviously, something else is going on.

        However, there are other possibilities. Just as an example, Prince Caspar could have insisted, and Brand went along for some reason – to observe, to see what the Prince was really doing, etc.
        I am concerned about Prince Caspar. He overreacted about Avilea – “by the gods, and fantastically beautiful woman tricked me into having sex with her, so now I have to hate her husband.” I have to wonder, what was happening with him. As Daniel put it, “he is not handling the stress well.” We could spin many ideas – Caspar was defecting, and Brand tagged along to see what was going on. Brand was a traitor, and offered Prince Caspar and a group of working golems to Gaea to show his intent, he needed to kill of witnesses to something he did in Kozalin, and dragging them to the Halls of Sleep to get them killed was his method (and perhaps his device allows him to escape).
        I wish that we had more solid information on Brand. We know his ‘presumed’ father, but not his mother (I suppose to the Æsir she does not count), and have no real workable information on his character, motives or abilities. As an example – Daniel assumes Brand did not recognize him as a world-walker, Hecate’s ally, and Cerese’s bindings as being coven.

        So, the raid, as a way of destroying the Halls was a failure. However, Brand may have very well succeeded in his purpose, which we do not know.

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      8. Brand, or the Prince. I have a vision of the Prince planning his own operation, and Brand only hearing about it in time to join him. What the objective of such a plan might be, I do not know. But, it is not impossible.

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      9. First off humans are only of value to the Aesir after there dead so why not send them to die. The device is not Brands escape you are thinking like a human that won’t come back after death. Everything was going as planned for Brand till bitter was introduced then he got scared. So the device was a weapon and death was Brands escape.

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  27. Magical communication – Multiple possibilities
    1) The priests have a way of communicating – Daniel can just ask how they do it . Ditto with the dark elves. Probably ditto with the wizards, but cannot remember if there was a specific example. Or his water fey coven member who has studied a huge amount of magic might know a way. No reason Daniel has to invent everything.

    2) The death witch showed him how to operate spells at range — perhaps he can use that to establish a way to exchange message.

    3) The dryads have a way to communicate through their bond. Can that be replicated. it would be cool if he could embed communication magic into the wolf warrior enchantment he is already planning on creating.

    4) The coven bond has elements of shared thoughts – can he extend the range and he is coven members as communication hubs

    If it goes by past history, he will create some device that functions like a walky-talky as Daniel likes to create stuff to enable anybody to use magic as opposed to spells only a few people can use.

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    1. You should read through the thread to see what ideas were thrown around dspring.
      Most of what you suggested was already discussed. We need fresh ideas to pick apart.

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      1. “We need fresh ideas to pick apart.”

        I would dispute that. We even lack a description of what we want. Are we happy with the magical equivalent of carrier pigeons or do we need secure realtime audiovisual transmissions with total recall and global range accessible to everybody with a fully intuitive user interface and no single point of failure?

        We have dozens of effects that work at a distance but the bandwidth is so slow and they are often specialised. For example bindings are a possible channel. If you bind somebody and then burn the binding, you will transmit prearranged messages. You could give somebody a bag of letters having bound them not to open them. And from time to time they try to open them.

        Sucks, I know. We are not out of ideas, but we need to develop them.

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      2. @Oliver. All I was saying is that everyone should at least read what was posted before, so they don’t post the exact thing again. If 3 people already mentioned crystal synchronization as a possible means of communication, someone else should come with something different, or build on it… Not re-suggest crystal synchronization … It should be something easy enough that Daniel doesn’t need a Wikipedia page to make it work. Something that isn’t hard to remember, Daniel has only his memories and wits to work with.

        You understand where I’m coming from?

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      3. Oh I understand and you stated the requirements well.
        But if three people stated the idea, we should accept that an optimal result is unlikely.

        So what is the best course of action, go for external help and accept the loss of time or implement some inferior solution?

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      4. Going for help would be the best bet. Intent control could be investigated.

        Have 2 spells, one that gives off a red light, another that gives off green.
        When they are all firing, have the commander signal to his lieutenants by means of “green for go”, “red for stop”. All of this can be accomplished by intent of the person holding the master box.

        I’m sure some intent mixed with shadow magic will be implemented for the radio problem.

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    2. Danial is actually connected through each power stone to every weapon he makes maybe that’s an avenue to communication, he makes a power stone and links some type of message board or hell powers a gingerbread man and talks through him. (“over the gingerbread phone, Dimetrios sounding in a high Squeaky voice yells, FIRE FOR EFFECT!”)
      cute little white icing numbers and candied buttons….

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    3. It seems to me that in this case a direct copy of technology by magical means would result in a really inferior product. There is no good reason to physically generate a sound or an image, if by magic you can generate the illusion the you hear or see something or even have something that can be used as if it were a memory.

      For once it cannot be overheared and it cannot give you away in the field. But that means cooperation. He has no concept of illusions. I am confident Tova would accept power amulets as payment.

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    4. “2) The death witch showed him how to operate spells at range — perhaps he can use that to establish a way to exchange message.”

      Already done. Remember the control ring he uses to set of mines or to control his talisman. If you can do that, you can remotely operate a teletype.

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  28. While Daniel still has a lot on his plate, most of the focus for external threats has been removed. Just people mostly now. Hydroponic vertical farming would be the most complex food solution. But if magical artificial sunlight is on the table (and it is, it’s already in use in the dryad bio dome). You can get somewhere around 640 bushels per square mile. 1/8th that field size, stack 8 on top of each other with a corkscrew sloped walkway going around a central pillar, install lighting, heating, and watering controls. W/O any further support (magic forced growth), with 3 growing seasons, each could comfortably support 10k people on a 2k-2.5k calorie diet for a year. Along with straight up removing 10k people from the surface. He would need a 300 of these to cover 3 million people. Or 18×18 grid of 8 stacked – 1/8th mile vertical plots, covering 2.5ish square miles horizontally. Or 3 square miles with buffer/support material between the plots. For comparison, Manhattan Island is 22 square miles, Central Park is 1.25ish square miles. I would not recommend expanding this system vertically without significant extreme structural support (like the enchanted aluminum/mythril used as rebar and suspension cables) or above ground at all, as this would make the facilities a target. I was conservative on most of my estimates. The wheat type and farming system used can increase these numbers. Ref: 1 Acre = 50 bushels of wheat (conservative estimate) per growing season. Wheat takes 3 months to grow. 50 bushels of wheat can support 2250 people for a day or 6.2 for a year. 640 acres in a square mile. ((6×3)x640)=11,520. I got most of this from quora and google.

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    1. Yea I was looking at the numbers too and realized that Danial was not going to be solving his food problem with what he has, especially if he absorbs too many refugees from Kozalin’s demise. The best I can come up with is extending the land through extra dimensional space, where each farm level gets its own pocket dimension to extend into. This would need to be a really big space for this to work (like a mile deep).

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    2. There is a rather obvious solution. Do not absorb the refugees.
      I know people are trying to find a way to max out the dryads or to go to extraordinary lengths to add farming space.
      Such solutions have the necessary drawback that they stress a vital resource to the breaking point in a war zone during war time. You do not do that.
      The rational response to the upcoming crisis is trade, training the infantry for crowd control and for the worst case to develop a shell you can use near the fortress without endanering people on the battlements.
      Baron Stein was an asshole but not an idiot.

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      1. Trade is a good solution, in my mind.
        However, Demitrios stated that hey need to increase their soldier population in order to be able to truly man the walls – which comes with increased population, ie, the soldiers, and their dependents.

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      2. Well, empowering your dryads should give you some benefits concerning food production. And getting more dryads is also an option to look at. I consider it just a mistake to make a leap to trying to feed the whole city. Some people more should be possible.
        And he really should look at making golems. It is just a waste not to look at automation.

        Basically and strategically, Black Island should be able to last under siege indefinitely. Lasting meanings means eating, making and repairing weapons and ammo. But a community that size cannot support civilization.

        Civilization is a good thing to keep. Yet Kozalin may very well fall. Regardless of the desirability of that possibility, Daniel needs to prepare for it. That means he should prepare to preserve and defend important parts of Kozalin even if the rest falls.
        Such parts are the harbor, arms & armor manufacture, naval architecture and some others. You get the picture. But I do not think he needs to be able to feed them all by himself to the bitter end. A reasonably sized siege store and supply runs by his airships are enough. I also think that for the very worst case he might possible try to copy the hibernation spells Gaea used.

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      3. I agree with almost all that you just posted.
        Realistically, the biggest threat right now will be from the reaction to his enemies, and somewhat allies, to him being in Skogheim.
        You outlined a worst-case scenario attack from the Æsir. Gaea could point the Great Beasts toward the Citadel. Some other enemy could arrive.
        Food will be a long-term issue, as will personnel, preserving civilization, and protecting useful parts of Kozalin. But, if his enemies kill him, all of those issues are moot – at least for him.

        And Baron Stein was an asshole and and idiot – he did not recognize what was right before him. He made an enemy of Daniel instantly, and then his kin tried to kill him – likely with his permission, before his defenses were complete. Those are the actions of an idiot, or at least a fool.

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      4. To me, any idea that you know Baron Stein had, or would approve, would make me take a step back, and think, “what is wrong with this picture.”

        Looking at Baron Stein, he appears to be thinking exclusively with his ‘little head.’
        On first sight, he tested to see if Daniel had ‘balls.’
        He looked at Daniel, and his idiot cousin, he decided the best one to keep by his side was the cousin. Daniel was throwing up walls of stone with little effort, and single-handedly killed an Ice Giant. Cezary was as tax farmer. And, Stein just finished planning to kill of his population to a manageable size. Who is more useful? But, he could not dominate Daniel, so, I believe that is why he left him to die.
        Either he gave the order to kill Daniel as soon as possible, or he failed to let his people know how important Daniel would be to their long term survival. Assuming he ordered them to kill Daniel at first chance, and failed to tell them to wait till the wall was completed… but, either way, he either could not control his people, or gave stupid orders.
        Then, when Daniel ‘fell,’ instead of verifying that he was dead, and while Trolls and Goblins were inside the city walls, his priority was to capture the woman he was told he could not have, take her to his quarters, and ‘dominate’ her. He did not focus on keeping track of the enemies inside his walls, nor looking for more coming, nor checking for Daniel – his priority was to go after Avila.

        So, his choices and behavior led to his death, and the fall of his holdings.

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      5. Well, not that I love that man, but honesty demands it …

        “order to kill Daniel as soon as possible, or he failed to let his people know how important Daniel would be to their long term survival”

        No. Neither the attack nor that Daniel would go totally psycho and play Rambo in defense of a small town he had never heared about until a few days ago were in the least predictable to Stein.
        In case of any even half sane local wizard he would have done enough. And in the long run Daniel would leave that was clear to both of them.

        “take her to his quarters, and ‘dominate’ her”

        Had he just raped her, I would concur. But he tried to control a killer golem. Mistaken, but not irrational.

        And to look at the issue from his perspective. How sure could he be that Daniel is trustworthy? His priests were telling him the opposite and something had breached his walls.

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      6. “go totally psycho and play Rambo in defense of a small town he had never heared about until a few days ago were in the least predictable to Stein.”
        Daniel suggested that the knights either acted with, or without Stein’s approval. If they acted without approval, they were blindly vindictive. The enemy is in the town, the wall is unfinished, and that is the time they choose to kill the wizard that was not only building the wall, but fighting them off for them. They were not having a lot of luck fighting them, from what I recall.
        And, then they failed to make sure to finish him off.
        Baron Stein did not verify that Daniel was dead. If he ordered it, as in “kill him at the first chance,” he was and idiot who issued idiotic orders. Smarter orders would have been, “wait till the wall that has chance to save our town is built, and then kill him.”

        So, he either has horrible control of his knights, or he issues idiotic orders. There really is no alternative.

        As to trustworthiness, Cezary’s Knights just killed his wizard – during the wizard’s defense of the town, and before the wall was finished. If Cezary acted idiotically without his orders, does that not make the Baron look at Cezary in a new light? It is only if the Baron ordered Cezary’s Knights to kill Daniel, before the wall was finished, would he be looking at Cezary as more trustworthy.

        In any case, at that point, any sane or smart ruler, with the survival instincts greater than a depressed lemming, would have camped out in his command center, getting reports to make sure the enemy is not ready to break down his wall, or that more are not coming, or even getting insights about them – their strengths, fighting styles, methods, etc.
        But, no, that is not what he was doing. He went after Avila. At some point he found out she was a ‘construct’ of some sort. Instead of locking her in a cell with stout walls, he strips her naked and starts beating her to get her to obey him, to literally dominate her…. that is indisputable ‘little head’ thinking.

        Assuming for even a moment that he thought she might be an assassin model, and useful to him – wouldn’t it be a sign her of her limited usefulness if someone could catch her so easily, and then beat her into obedience?

        When all is said and done, his actions and choices led him to his death, and the failure of Lanrest to resist even the first signs of Ragnarök. So, any action or idea that he agrees with would make me reassess things.

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      7. I think that Danial is not going to be able to make himself abandon the refugees. He has spent a lot of time and effort protecting the people, he jumped into the night fight after the earthquake even though his counselors recommended locking the doors, to save as many people as he could. He created the refugee centers and has opened the gates before, during Mara’s little rainbow bridge episode, to protect the towns people. Hell in book one we see his protection tenancies when he absorbed the original village people and almost got killed playing superman leaping to the rescue, so I don’t see him closing the gates and just abandoning Kozalin when it falls. He will find some way to take in as many as he can.

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      8. Nah the temple in Kozalin is as good as gone, Mara killed most of the priests and desecrated the temple when she broke in and took the anchor stone. The only Consecrated temple on the island is Cerise’s alter to Hecate, I’ll bet she can convert a lot of the refugees to the way of Hecate in short order after Danial starts providing food and shelter.

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  29. I wonder if Daniel is going to meet with that Conclave temptress in book 4. She and both her daughters want to jump Daniel’s bones.

    Week after next is the end of February, we should get an update then on how the new writing method works.

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    1. Except that it will likely be an Alice Long Chapter.
      I like the Alice Long Books, but I like the DB Books more – so many questions!
      But, I could live with receiving a new Erotic Invasion Chapter as well. It made me laugh!

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  30. What Should Daniel Do? I wonder if Daniel left Skogheim with the banana seed, from the one that Mara gave him.

    In the wild, the banana actually has a large seed, which makes eating a ‘natural’ banana difficult to eat. (Commercial/Modern bananas are bred to be seedless, or have small seeds.) So, we can assume that Gaea’s Banana’s will have the normal giant seeds.

    If Daniel got out of Skogheim with a seed, he should plant it in a heavy mana zone, and try to grow them.

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    1. Bananas are not breed to be seedless, those small things in the middle of the banana are seeds, it’s just that bananas are sterile. To grow a banana plant you need a “sucker”. To my knowledge, no banana plant grows from seeds anymore.

      Those large seed banana plants you take about are mutated versions, I I recall correctly. I think a decade ago or more there was a big scare of banana plants going extinct, because of the mutated (big seed) versions that were popping up.

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      1. Hmm, my reading indicates something different, but I do not have first-hand knowledge, so I will defer to you.
        However, the question stands. Did you get out of Skogheim with a seed? And, can he cultivate a plant from it/them?

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      2. I actually wrote about this before. Check the earlier page “older comments”. There was a big discussion about the seeds there. You can read up there, then come back here to discuss what was proposed.

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  31. Quoting dspring:

    The real challenge with predicting Daniel’s actions is that he is in fire fighting mode. He spends is time focused on facing the immediate threat/need, or the glaring shortfall, or a treat for his coven. So whatever idea you have for Daniel, you need to tie it to a specific immediate need.

    Now, I disagree. Something important changed. Daniel has had no strategic choice since he rejected Narfing’s offer. Gaea actively tried to wipe out mankind. That included Daniel.

    But now the armies Gaea stored for that purpose are doomed. The world is still a dangerous place. Indeed he may have attracted some unwanted attraction from the Aesir. But organized warfare has been interrupted. Now Daniel can act instead of react. He can determine his future needs.

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    1. Yes.
      And, he has stated multiple times himself that “we have been running to keep ahead,” and that they are now in a position to take stock.

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  32. I was thinking about what it would require to spark an industrial revolution, we’ve seen that normal Science works so I’ve been thinking what combinations of magic and science might work. In my mind to spark one you need ample/cheap food, clothing, transportation and large scale manufacturing, this creates a middle class and generates need for goods.
    He’ll also need to introduce the large assembly line and some method of creating his Factory devices that he can show to others. Can he get these factory devices to create complex devices like a Golem? or is it limited to parts. Can they make multiple parts or does it only make one thing.
    Too we’ve been talking about the food issue, if Danial can figure out how a combine works it will speed up his harvesting process greatly thus enabling faster planting and more crop yield. Tractors for harvesting and plows for preparation, especially if he figures out how to get more land.
    He needs power for the masses, for electricity (I know Magic! but why reinvent the wheel if its rolling fine) he can make a magic powered electric generator where force magic spins the generator creating electricity for home use and small transportation. Cheap clean steam power for large projects, use fire magic to heat boilers for trains, water pumps, cranes etc… If he tries to make all this with straight magic he will run into the needed expert issue where it can only be created and maintained by a select few people, this needs to be able to be used and adjusted by the masses using principles that can be taught in schools.
    A rechargeable manna battery may solve for the electricity Issue and create a whole new commodity for trading and sales, trade in the old empty battery for a newly charged one. Battery stations with the power stones available, like a gas station on the corner where you swap them out. This could be used to power personal magic like force and warmth fields, lights, weapons, exoskeletons, armor, personal Golems, D-pod’s (for Danial pods 😛 ) and come in different sizes depending on the manna draw D,C,A,AA,AAA (again reinventing the wheel here)
    Make hot and cold plates with a temperature control and a lifespan of about 10-15 years (more for industrial applications) the plates can be various sizes and even have set temperatures, cold could be ~40deg and `0deg respectively, just big enough for a home refrigerator. Hot plates could be 5-10deg adjustable and range from 100-500deg (industrial applications go higher) for home stove tops and ovens.
    Water creation faucets and banishing drains for home use ( just don’t drop the wedding ring, it will really be gone) (also convenient for body disposal) and toilets, all without extensive infrastructure additions like waste disposal plants, water treatment plants, sewage pipes, water pipes, etc… Run it over a hot plate for hot water. Useful for washing machines and dishwashers.

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    1. “but why reinvent the wheel”

      Because Daniel has obsoleted the wheel. The skimmer effect is better in almost any regard.
      If anybody else is to build machines with magical parts, Daniel will have to provide physical links for mana and control.

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  33. Is Mara a Great Beast? Her daddy is Loki who fathered all the others and she does have that Sister in her two headed dog aspect. I’ll bet Danial’s flesh Sorcery could separate them….

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