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Amalgam ()
#21 Copy

Questioner

Why is the sky blue?

Will Wight

All the creatures of Helgard have blue blood because they are descended from the original ancient titan, he whose blood covers the sky. Every sunset, he comes back to life and his blood retreats. Every sunrise, he is slain once more.

Amalgam ()
#22 Copy

Questioner

In ‘Crimson Vault’ Denner uses a bell that returns everything to its respective territory. Does that also mean that the Tartarus sword that Erastes uses would have also returned? If it would, did a bunch of Damascan officers lose their swords as well?

Will Wight

Good question, but Tartarus steel is typically taken from the Territory and worked in the Unnamed World. It doesn't have enough of a connection to the Territory to be banished.

Amalgam ()
#23 Copy

Jayce

Are there religious sects in Travelers Gate?

Will Wight

I have a meta answer and a story answer for you, Jayce!

(Story)

Yes, there are, though perhaps because of the influence of Territory culture, organized religion never grew as widespread as you might expect. There's a sect that worships the Incarnations, a people who believe that Territories are holy ground and they can only take from naturally occurring Gates, and isolated groups who worship powerful artifacts that fell from Territories.Enosh still swears by the "saints above," which reflects what they believe happens to people when they die: they are purified and become saints, to watch over the people below.

(Meta)

I find that including religion in stories is more trouble than it's worth.House of Blades was almost banned from a school, I once found out, because the administration believed it was promoting religion. I have no idea what that was about.There's also a subset of people who lose their minds whenever you write a fantasy novel with religion in it. If you write a story with a pantheon in it, you're promoting polytheism. If you write a story where there's one creator god, you're promoting monotheism. If I wrote a story where the characters sincerely believed in their religion and it was a positive force in their life, I guarantee you I'd get complaints from atheists about my promoting religion.I've already gotten such complaints, and that's WITHOUT religion in my books. I can't tell you how many people tripped up over my use of the word "soul" in Cradle.So since I can't create a fictional belief system without people taking it as a statement of my actual beliefs, I find it's easier to just skirt religion entirely.

September 2018 - December 2018 ()
#25 Copy

Lil' Blue

You should definitely address romance in your books. ;)

Will Wight

Shshshshshshshshsssssssshhhhh. Hush now.

Lil' Blue

I need an awkward Will protagonist date in my life.

Will Wight

Jk, I know you’re right, and it’s going in. I have to practice to learn how to use it effectively, and the only way I practice is through LIVE-FIRE EXERCISE.   Everything that happens to Lindon and/or Simon results in awkwardness.

Lil' Blue

"Lindon: So uh...you like swords, right Yerin?"   "Simon: I like my eyes and having both of them."

Will Wight

^ Thats now my favorite. I’m going to try and work that in.

Amalgam ()
#26 Copy

Questioner

What would happen if a nation's worth of people moved into a Territory?

Will Wight

As you might expect, that would depend on the Territory. There's usually a reason why nations don't form there.

In Asphodel, which is actually one of the most inhabited Territories, a nation-sized settlement would draw the Mist by the strength of their collective emotions. They would have to constantly contend with it, and would likely find it more worthwhile to settle elsewhere.

In Naraka, they would either leave or die of thirst. There isn't enough water in Naraka to sustain such a population.

Helgard might be able to support them. Some Helgard Travelers believe there might already be a nation-sized population somewhere in the Tower, there being huge floors and lots of nooks and crannies in Helgard.

Amalgam ()
#27 Copy

Questioner

What would have happened to the house of blades or any other terrioty fragment if humans didnt discover it?Would it break apart and be consumed by the unamed world or would it just reach an all time low of power and sit there?

Will Wight

A fragment would slowly dissolve into the void if not bound to the Way by human will. This is true even for corrupted fragments, which is the preferred outcome: they drift off into nothingness until they dissolve.

Amalgam ()
#28 Copy

Questioner

If Simon had to pick an animal he would be, what would he pick?

Will Wight

When Simon was a child, he found a badger burrow behind his family's house. The badger largely ignored humans, but viciously attacked any other animals who get close to the burrow entrance.

Simon enjoyed watching it, and he was impressed with the way the badger completely ignored anything that wasn't a threat, but wasn't afraid of anything. And it spent a lot of the day nestled snug in its den.

This left an impression on him, so he'd pick a badger.

Cradle ()
#29 Copy

Questioner

On a scale of baby snow bunny to eldritch-horror who is scarier when fully equipped. Simon with the mask and cloak or Lindon with his goldsign and his wriggly arm?

Will Wight

I'd say Lindon when he gets going is basically a 6/horror. He's kind of a rough-looking guy anyway, and he gets the dark aura of the Burning Cloak, demonic eyes, a skeletal arm, and a big, hulking, burning turtle.

Amalgam ()
#30 Copy

Questioner

What is the weirdest, creepiest room in Valinhall?

Will Wight

I'm tempted to say "Kai's bedroom," but I've made you wait two weeks for an answer, so I have to give you something decent.There's a deep room that is only roughly connected to the rest of the House, and it's something like an aquarium for spectral fish. The room is completely dry, but these pale, ghostly, aquatic creatures "swim" through the air as though on the ocean. They look horrific and alien, and their moans pierce the ear. If they cut you, your blood drifts up into a wispy cloud, as though dispersing into water that isn't there.

Amalgam ()
#31 Copy

Questioner

What level of power could Simon earn?

Will Wight

This is kind of a meta answer, but I haven't decided yet.Totally depends on where I want to take the series. If I go where I've been planning to go, and keep the story relatively grounded but focused on Valinhall and giving Simon a satisfying arc of emotional development and growth, then yeah, probably Sword Sage level.But there's nothing that stops me from scrapping all those plans and having him ascend beyond his world just like Lindon is trying to ascend beyond Cradle. It's even easier for Simon, since he just needs to figure out how Valin left.

Amalgam ()
#32 Copy

Questioner

Thanks for answer my first question! Here goes number two: Are there any "dark" or "evil" magics on Amalgam? (something that requires blood sacrifice or is socially unacceptable to practice)

Will Wight

There are some answers to this question that I don't want to go into too much detail about, pending spoilers and/or me changing my mind, but each Territory has its dark side.

In general, Ragnarus is considered to be the "evil" Territory. But there are birds in Avernus that can twist and warp the personality of humans, addictive parasitic flowers in Asphodel, and terrible weapons left buried in Lirial. Most of the Arbiters of Naraka obtained their power from the acts of brutal injustice perpetuated against them, and it has left them twisted and broken, willing to commit unspeakable deeds in the pursuit of their ideas of justice.

Amalgam ()
#33 Copy

Questioner

When not strangling the inhabitants or acting as the caretakers of Valinhall, what do the Nye do in their free time? Do they have any particular hobbies or favorite pastimes?

Will Wight

Yes, Nye actually do get time off, and they do enjoy it.

They have a number of games that they play to fill the time. Especially Nye children. They will sometimes play hiding games, or their equivalent of tag, or race from one room to another. When they're older or feeling rebellious, they'll go to the edges of the House--where the rooms are unstable and dangerous--and see who can return with a piece from a wild room.

Older Nye spend their time with one another, in typical social gatherings, and they often place bets. The dolls picked up this habit from the Nye.

Amalgam ()
#34 Copy

Questioner

Can other territories from amalgam attune artifacts from each other or is that something specific to the house of blades?

Will Wight

They all do that, over time. Valinhall somewhat speeds up the process using the workshop, but every Territory can assimilate pieces from other Territories eventually.

Amalgam ()
#35 Copy

Questioner

Out of curiosity, what rank would Simon be on Cradle? Both with his mask and without.And would he be practicing the Path of Valinhall?

Will Wight

This is a tricky question, because while I know what you mean, they're practicing different magic systems. Simon hasn't worked on his madra at all, so if he were plopped down in Cradle, they would see him as completely untrained.If we're talking parallels, yes his chains are like a Goldsign, and the dolls would be something like a Remnant.In terms of combat potential, he'd be at Underlord level physically with his mask on. In fact, he might have an advantage even at that tier (WITH the mask on, in a head-to-head confrontation).But that's purely a physical measurement. He'd have to ghost armor his way through their techniques, and hope that Nye essence makes him faster than their Enforcer techniques so they didn't break the armor, lock him in place, and cook him alive with fireballs or something before he gets close.Then again, let's say there's a fight between Simon and a sacred artist with similar powers. Path of the Steel Chains, or whatever. It focuses on Enforcer techniques and making the body stronger and faster, and uses giant weapons.Simon would have the advantage in a shorter battle, but if the sacred artist hangs on past the first few minutes, Simon is going to start running out of powers. The sacred artist isn't. Sure, he'll exhaust his madra eventually, but it's not on a timer like many of Simon's powers are. The mask extends that, but of course the mask itself has a time limit.And because of the Iron body, once Simon runs out of Nye essence OR steel, the sacred artist is going to dribble him like a basketball.

Eithan, for instance, would just dodge until Simon gave up, retreated, or had to take the mask off. A lot of an actual matchup would come down to information. Does the sacred artist know that Simon has a time limit, and does Simon know that he has to finish the fight quickly? Does Simon know what Path his opponent is on? Does he have Caela with him? How do the sacred artist's techniques interact with ghost armor?Then again, if some Abidan plucked Simon out of his world and dumped him into Cradle, Simon WOULD be able to learn sacred arts. In addition to his Traveler powers.He'd have to adjust to the planet itself, which is bigger and has higher gravity, and some of his Traveler abilities wouldn't work--notably, he probably wouldn't be able to cut open a Gate, so there goes the healing pool. But he'd still be able to call steel, essence, and so on, and he'd be able to use the mask and doll as long as he had them on him to begin with.Summoning Mithra would PROBABLY be possible, but it would certainly take longer.

To expand on the theory behind what I just said:Amalgam (the TG world) has a bunch of tiny fragmented worlds stuck to it like ticks on a dog. Those are the Territories. It's easy to cut Gates to and from these miniature worlds because they're close, and they're already somewhat connected to the main world. They're like the elemental planes in D&D, if that means anything to you.Cradle is NOT close. So anything Simon takes from his Territory will still work the same, but anything he has to call on the Territory for--like cutting a Gate, or summoning a weapon, or calling more power from a room (as Simon and Kai have both done before)--is going to either take much longer, reflecting the greater distance, or isn't going to work at all.This is metaphysical distance, by the way. These are worlds as in dimensions, not worlds as in planets. Although they are also planets. Suriel gets into detail about this in Blackflame, in a scene that I had originally written for Soulsmith and then cut.But there's a reserve of steel and of Nye essence inside his body, and those will work. Anything he carries with him and all his internal powers will function as normal, just like they do when he's inside someone else's Territory.

Amalgam ()
#36 Copy

Questioner

What other food sources exist in Valinhall? Since Kai could disappear deep within the house for long periods of time, he obviously didn't need to come back to the garden, do what else is there?

Will Wight

The deep part of the House contains some spoilers, because presumably I'll want to get into that when we return to Traveler's Gate, but there ARE other rooms with food in them.There are animals in the house that can be caught and cooked, and there are edible mushrooms that grow in many rooms.

Amalgam ()
#37 Copy

Questioner

Which is stronger, Elysia or Ragnarus.

Will Wight

I don't know how to do a battle of one place against another. In a war, obviously Elysia would win, because Ragnarus is uninhabited (OR IS IT?) and Elysia has a ton of soldiers.But I will tell you that, when I'm writing the books, I think of Valinhall, Ragnarus, and Elysia all on the same tier.

Amalgam ()
#38 Copy

Questioner

What's the most unconventional weapon of Valinhall?

Will Wight

By accident, Valin once created a living whip. He was trying to improve on the whip, which isn't really a combat-capable weapon, by weaving together Nye cloth with threads from other Territories that he found could move independently. He ended up creating a squirming, wriggling length of leathery rope that indeed could end up killing someone in the right hands, but only if it was in a helpful mood. He tried various methods of increasing its intelligence, perhaps in an attempt to make it an advisor, but ultimately gave up. It's currently in storage.

Amalgam ()
#40 Copy

Questioner

Are Incarnations as powerful as a Traveler can become?

Will Wight

Essentially yes, but there are many measures of "power" depending on the Territory. Incarnations aren't necessarily the most skilled, or the best at using the powers they can call upon.