March 2019 - May 2019

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Name March 2019 - May 2019
Date March 1, 2019
Entries 34
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#1 Copy

Will Wight

Another Underlord blooper from Will posted on discord:


Orthos blew smoke into the night air. "Lindon, all this time I have been lying to you."

"What do you mean?"

"I adopted this form merely to gain your trust. Orthos is not even my real name."

The turtle floated up into the air, limbs kicking as though swimming through water. Long

white hair flowed back from his leathery head, and a scythe appeared clutched in the turtle's


He spoke with his voice muffled by the shaft of the weapon. "It is I...Ozriel!"

#2 Copy


Why not the Night Wheel or the Archstone on the cover?

Will Wight

The Night Wheel or the Archstone would have worked. But I had the cover commissioned before I was certain those two things would be in the book.

#3 Copy


Why no soulfire on the cover?

Will Wight

Because that would be three different colored flames on three different covers, and because gray fire doesn’t look that cool. So it was the one to cut. Instead of Blackflame or the...upcoming cover.

#6 Copy


So, is Yerin's Blood Shadow going to be called Big Red? Or Clifford because she woofed?

Will Wight

I didn't make the Clifford connection. I literally did call it Big Red, though. One of the first-draft bloopers was a Big Red gum joke.

#10 Copy

Lil' Blue

How old is Saeya?

Will Wight

35. Also, Eithan being the youngest in the Empire refers to how old he was when he became an Underlord. Saeya only recently did.  

Footnote: This WoW disagrees with the text that states Underlords have to be under 35 to participate in the Uncrowned tournament, because Saeya is on one of the Akura's vassal teams, yet this WoW states she is 35
#12 Copy

Scholar Warrior

It sounds like the matches for the Uncrowned Tournament are not to the death? at least that was partly my impression in Underlord but the end of Ghostwater implied to the death.,

Will Wight

It’s not a fight to the death, that would be too hardcore even for Cradle.  

#13 Copy

Will Wight

Morality discussions are exactly the sort of thing I probably shouldn't chime in on. When I share my thoughts on this topic, that kills discussion between readers.

But since you tagged me in, I'm going all-out! Let's do this thing right!

There is no true morality or justice in Cradle, only might makes right.

I don't understand this. The "might makes right" mentality comes from a world in which one hundred people cannot necessarily overpower one person, so their cultures developed differently than ours. In the same way, ours developed because there is no way ten people could possibly fail to overpower one, so "power" is measured in one's ability to influence others to your side.

None of this is a reflection of "true" morality or justice. These are just power dynamics. It's not mutually exclusive with the same range of moral beliefs we have in the real world, it's just a practical reality. The series is primarily dealing with power dynamics, not the moral ramifications of such, because having Lindon extensively brood over whether his accumulation of power is morally justified in an inherently stratified society doesn't make for a compelling story.

Also, what are "true morality" and "true justice"?

So I fully expect Lindon to slaughter the Heavens Glory school.

Why would you expect that? He hasn't slaughtered anyone thus far. He's been in life-or-death battles and failed to wrestle with the morality of killing people who were trying to kill him, but that's a big leap to exterminating a school in revenge. He hasn't done that thus far, so I'm confused about why you would expect him to start doing so in the future.

There is no theme of moral development.

It is my one complaint in the series, there is no moral development.

I'm going to meet you halfway here and say that I think I agree with your intent, at least to some degree. Lindon needs to care about more than just his immediate problems in order to have a nuanced connection to the world and be fleshed out as a character, so I intend to explore that more as his ability to influence other people grows.

However, I don't think a theme of moral development is a necessity in every story.

Lindon withholding protection of SV out of revenge regardless of the innocents saved would be very consistent with the world.

Sure, but not consistent with Lindon's behavior or personality.

Everyone is a monster except the Judges who are forced to make horrible decisions to save some worlds.

I find it interesting that you singled this out, because the Judges are the only people I explicitly showed in an ongoing moral dilemma. The other characters face similar decisions with lower stakes, but because it's not a major theme of the series, I don't focus on it or spell it out.

And there doesn’t seem to be a moral arc as to why Judges would stop caring about clawing for power and suddenly flip a switch and be protective guardians of the universe.

I'm not sure why such a moral arc would have been demonstrated in the story thus far, nor why those two things would be mutually exclusive. We have a small amount of insight into Makiel, Suriel, and Ozriel--three of the four Judges introduced into the story thus far--and all three of them very clearly use their power with a strong set of beliefs. Suriel is trying to minimize suffering in the multiverse, Makiel seeks stability, security, and order, and Ozriel is (or was) looking for a way out of his distasteful role in the cosmos because he doesn't want to be mass-murdering people.

So we know that they do have moral standards and reasons for gaining power besides the power itself. Why would you think that they didn't before?

Besides Mercy, we haven’t seen anyone who cares about anything beyond their own problems (Lindon included).

I think you have a specific requirement or expectation in your mind for what constitutes the demonstration of a moral standard, because we definitely have seen those things from virtually every character. It depends entirely on your definition of "their own problems" and what it looks like to care about them.

Jai Long obviously cares about his sister, and Jai Chen cared about Sandviper Kral and grieves when he is gone. Lindon cares about his family and friends. Yerin cares about hers. Orthos cares about Lindon. Eithan's priorities are mysterious, but he demonstrates that he values the Arelius family, Cassias, and Cassias' opinion of him. Kiro from Underlord takes the responsibilities of his role seriously on behalf of his kingdom, as does Naru Huan, the Blackflame Emperor, who regularly prioritizes the development of his Empire over his own personal advancement. Charity cares about her family. Sophara cares about hers. At the very beginning of the series, we see each individual member of the Shi family trying to balance their own personal desire for advancement with fairness and equality in the form of the debate around the orus fruit.

You could include caring about one's own family in the "their own problems" category, but does trying to do what's best for your family make you a monster? You said "Everyone's a monster," but is someone who is primarily motivated by the good of those to whom they are responsible a monster? How many people are motivated by pure altruism? How relatable do you, as a reader, find a character who is driven by nothing more than abstract morality?

TL;DR - Lindon will be running up against more moral dilemmas in the future, now that he has the power to really influence the lives of more people, but I don't know that I'll ever be exploring the moral ramifications of the setting to your satisfaction. I just don't see it as an essential component of the story.

#14 Copy


So preface, Will is terrible with numbers as a rule. We know this and love him despite it.

I'm doing a reread of blackflame and the following passage sprung up spoilers obviously:

He’d never even heard of Eithan Arelius until six years ago, when the man stumbled through a portal to the other side of the world. Already an Underlord. Life and blood artists beholden to the family had confirmed that he wasn’t far past thirty. Foundation location 9814

So based on this he's 36 at Blackflame. Already too old for the tournament. At least another year goes by with skysworn ect. We know the portal opens every decade and it'll be 3 years til it opens as of underlord (correct me if I'm wrong please) so based on the life artists it seems Eithan is much too old for this at well 37. 

Will Wight

The problem is my bad phrasing of that sentence in Blackflame.

It was meant to say that he had been tested for his age six years ago, and he’s not far past thirty now.

I intended that all along. Before Underlord was released, I became aware of this sentence in Blackflame, and I had a talk with some of my beta readers.

“This sentence implies that Eithan is in his late thirties now, even though he isn’t supposed to be, and never was. Do I change the age cutoff of the tournament to 40 and make him 37-38 now?”

It was too late to change Blackflame, because the Audible version is out. So we decided to explicitly state his correct age in Underlord despite the apparent contradiction.

And here we are.


#15 Copy


Been waiting for a new post to ask somethings

So finding out abidan archives was an info overload and I felt kinda like what dross must have felt on trying to integrate the Aurelius library. So I have a few questions/confusion.

1. Regarding Monarchs Will said that there are 8 active monarchs in cradle and at the end of underlord 7 live ones are mentioned Akura malice Seshethkunaaz, (dragon one) Sha miara Northstrider 8 man empire , counted as one, Emriss silent born ,The monarch remnant, Reigan shen , who apparently killed a monarch recently (possibly the Aurelius )

Now I am not counting the Aurelius monarch as he's been dead for a few years (~6) and Will said active monarchs.So the question is is there an unknown/hidden monarch?

Am I missing someone's name or is eithan the aurelius monarch and is hiding/repowered?

2. Of Markuth

I believed he was abidan level but he was confirmed to be sage at most, so I can get how he can travel off world maybe using portals or something like a Stargate but looking to fight the 4 dreadgods together or even one at a time when even monarchs cannot handle them alone seems unbelievable.Remember how malice was on the verge of retreating after 3 days and the blood Phoenix was still good to go but it retreated (maybe the influence of makael judge 001 ) wore off.

3. A few random musing

i. Who is judge 007 cause the reaper is 008.

ii. Is a ward key like a battery or an amplifier

iii.Do u have to die and be reborn(leaving ur remanent behind) to ascend/touch the way , this would explain the death of sage of endless sword.

Will Wight

This is a lot of questions, and these blog comments aren't a great medium for an in-depth discussion, but I'll do what I can.

1.) There are eight Monarch factions. Currently seven living/active Monarchs.

2.) He was an Archlord (or similar level) when he ascended from Cradle, but he has advanced beyond that in a different magic system after leaving. When he came back, he believed himself to be more powerful than anyone in the Iteration. Maybe he was, who knows? Maybe he was just prideful and Northstrider would have beaten the crap out of him. But he was definitely not more powerful than Suriel.

3a.) Zakariel is Judge Zero-zero-seven.

3b.) No, it's like a passkey that lets you walk in and out unharmed.

3c.) Maybe! That would be a spoiler.

#16 Copy


Does anyone else think it would be interesting, after seeing all the giant/exotic animal sacred beasts, like snowfoxes, wolves, sandvipers, tigers, and dragons, that it would be interesting to just see a really ridiculously high level house cat? Like an animal that started out as a completely ordinary pet, and because cats get into everything, it managed to consume enough elixirs to advance to an absurdly high level (to the distress of its owner because elixirs are not cheap)?That would be funny, especially given how impressive/dangerous looking the sacred beasts have been so far.

Will Wight

Problem is, it would probably end up looking exotic too, even if it STARTED as a normal cat.

#17 Copy


I’ve been meaning to ask what happened to the Tidewalker Sect that was mentioned in Ghostwater? It seems like that got retconned and the Arelius family was substituted as one of the Monarch factions.

u/Will_Wight, is that what happened, or can we expect hear more about the Tidewalker Sect in future books?

Will Wight

Not a retcon! The Tidewalkers are not now and never were a Monarch faction, but we can expect to see some of them at the Uncrowned King tournament. As a vassal faction.

#19 Copy


Would Lindon or Simon win in a fight? Also will the Seishen Princes bodyguard be showing up later in the story? She was way stronger than I thought and had a cool power.

Will Wight

After the events of Underlord, Lindon would win. As for Meira, I can't answer that yet! Maybe she will, or maybe Lindon will leave her so far behind that if she showed up again she would be completely outclassed.

#20 Copy


(Paraphrased) Was Cradle meant to represent Chinese culture?

Will Wight

My intent was not to represent Chinese culture, because I can't do that effectively. I draw on east Asian myth for the world, not just Chinese myths, and the culture definitely takes Chinese elements to begin with. But it is in no way intended to be an accurate representation of Chinese culture (and I would be surprised if readers thought it was), just a few elements to introduce some concepts before we transition into the wider world. So tbh his calling it a Western fantasy story wearing Chinese costumes is pretty accurate.

My real goal was to create a kind of bridge for Western audiences, because I tried to recommend xianxia stories and my friends often got turned off by the prose or the names or the cultural sensibilities. So I wanted to write something that was sort of xianxia-adjacent but intended for Western audiences, in the hopes that they would later check out the real thing.

As for Asian Myths and Legends, that's the correct category for Cradle. That is the Amazon categorization for stories that are inspired byAsian myths and legends, which of course Cradle is. If it was for only myths and legends authentically from Asia, the category would have very few entries in it.

#21 Copy


Both the Underlady of the Jade Eye school and Li Min Redflower were separately said to have healed Eithan's shoulder in Skysworn. They were also both said to wear a dark veil at the meeting of the top 7 underlords with the emperor. Are they the same person?

Will Wight

They are. She's a blood member of the Redflower family but learned the Path of the Jade Eye school and came to lead it.

#22 Copy


How do plants advance to the lord realm and beyond in cradle, what happens as they do, how far can they go?

Will Wight

As plants advance, they start gaining the ability to influence the world around them in certain ways, either through aura or madra manipulation or by developing the ability to move. They can then siphon the aura from natural treasures to make soulfire and advance to Lord.   Minor spoiler: one of the current Monarchs was the Remnant of a tree.
Footnote: Will is likely talking about Emriss Silentborn.
#28 Copy


How does a short lived animal (mosquito for eg) get to sacred beast level if it takes so long normally to get there?

Will Wight

Practicing the sacred arts can extend their lifespan. They can advance, but it tends to be harder.

#29 Copy


Can sacred beasts ascend to the abidan once becoming as strong as sages/heralds/Monarchs, or do they not have that option? If so can they become a dreadgod eventually or is there a limit on dreadgods for some reason?

Will Wight

They can indeed ascend beyond Cradle.

#30 Copy

The Lost Reader

Is there any more parts to the Heaven Earth Purification Wheel?

Will Wight

There sort of are more parts, yes. It has more functions that I expect we’ll explore, unless I need to cut them for simplicity.

#32 Copy


What kinds of "seeds" (eg dreamseeds) are there, and like in lil blue's case, how big can they get? can they have multiple aspects?

Will Wight

I have a list somewhere of the different kinds of natural spirits, but basically there are all kinds. They can be multiple aspects, but usually because they absorbed something else or were altered in some way.

#34 Copy


How big is the difference between an Archlord and a Sage in terms of power?

Will Wight

The difference in raw power between a Sage and an Archlord is negligible, but Sages have access to powers that let them break the rules of the world. So they don’t play fair.

Event details
Name March 2019 - May 2019
Date March 1, 2019
Entries 34
Upload sources