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    Amalgam ()
    #1061 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 ()
    #1064 Copy

    Questioner

    Can you give info on the origin of Simon’s dolls both in the book and IRL? Or anything else. That works too. Excited for the Christmas short story!

    Will Wight

    I wanted Kai to be crazy, so I needed a prop to show how crazy he was. The first thing I thought of was a girl's doll that he whispered to. But then I asked myself, "Wait a second, is he hallucinating this, or should the dolls talk back?"

    Amalgam ()
    #1065 Copy

    Questioner

    Who would be a good matchup for Valin?

    Questioner

    I have trouble matching the Cradle power scale to other realities too, because the Cradle scale only works relative to its own magic system.I have some minor characters who might be a good matchup for Valin, but they won't be introduced until Blackflame (or possibly the next book, depending on where I end up). So...spoilers!

    Amalgam ()
    #1066 Copy

    Questioner

    Lucan, Meia, and Shera vs. Simon, Elaina, and Andra

    Will Wight

    Hmmm...I think the Gardeners have the advantage if they have time to plan and it's more than just a "run out there and fight RIGHT NOW" battle. If they have to face three Valinhall Traveler's head-on immediately without preparation or anything to use in their surroundings, I don't see how they could overcome the advantage in strength and speed.The most even matchup would probably be sealing both teams in a small town for three days, by which time the team with the most surviving fighters will be declared the winner. A tie results in being tossed into a ring and made to fight straight-up.This gives a chance for Lucan's Reading to come into play, both in tracking the opponents down and preparing weapons or other items. He finds them, Shera goes in to kill them, and Meia fights to cover their retreat....in the meantime, Simon and the others are going to be using the powers of their advisors (Korr senses sources of danger, Caela senses movement, and Andra's advisor--whose name is escaping me and I'm too tired to look it up--has a perfect spatial memory) to find their opponents and try to trap them into a battle.The advantage the Valinhall Travelers have is that they're very difficult to surprise.The Gardeners have the advantage of being perfectly willing and trained to kill people unaware.In that scenario, I think Shera and her team get it unless Simon-and-company get lucky.

    Amalgam ()
    #1067 Copy

    Questioner

    Northstrider vs Kelerac, or Northstrider vs high ranking elders

    Will Wight

    Unsealed Elders no, simply due to the nature of the fight. At that point it's not a power level thing. Using sacred arts to fight unsealed Elders is, by and large, like trying to use your fists to fight a virus.But sealed Great Elders (like the ones the Emperor dealt with)...yeah, easily.

    Amalgam ()
    #1068 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 ()
    #1069 Copy

    Questioner

    Does valinhall have plumbing?

    Will Wight

    It does not. The pool has a weird organic system that cleans and drains it, and the toilets are haunted and flush waste beyond reality.The air comes from magic.

    Amalgam ()
    #1071 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 ()
    #1073 Copy

    Questioner

    How much can Simon lift?

    Will Wight

    As far as how much Simon can lift...I'm not sure how to answer that without contradicting something in the books or irritating somebody who already has a specific answer in mind.I know how strong I think he is, but I'll leave specific estimates to you.

    Amalgam ()
    #1074 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 ()
    #1075 Copy

    Questioner

    Is it theoretically possible to have a connection to all territories or are some bloodlines or tests incompatible with each other?

    Will Wight

    Theoretically yes. It's not realistic simply because most of the tests involve spending large amounts of time in the Territory. And also you'd have to be connected to Travelers of each Territory who were willing to administer the tests, which most Travelers probably wouldn't be.Ragnarus is the only one that would be difficult, because it's limited to the descendants of Queen Cynara.

    Amalgam ()
    #1077 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 ()
    #1080 Copy

    Questioner

    How would you, using cradle lingo in the blackflame empire, ask someone if they wanted to "Netflix and chill"? Same for in Damasca (Im think both what Simon would say and what Leah would say).

    Will Wight

    If you're asking what Simon would say and what Leah would say, I have to imagine Leah would be smoother about it than Simon.