We're off to see the Wizard...
Week 6, How to make a Magical Pantope
We have a long discussion covering various details of the engineering problems associated with our project:
They discover that they both know a "binding" magic (the Mage refers to it as gluing). The Mage postulates a device that would need to be glued repeatedly and could be powered off of this magic. We also quickly discover that he has other ways to power our constructions, through various spells of heat, cold and a "pushing" magic.
With this common denominator, the Mage concludes that he can make us a Pantope through the use of a few permanency spells, a few triggered spells for doors and windows, and then a permanent reduce for the housing of the containment, powered by some application of the gluing magic.
We then turn to the navigation problem. Recall that between several of us, we have the technology sufficient to make a Map of Here, which is a telemetry device for determining where we are. The Mage points out that his spells need an intelligent entity to tell the spell where to go. Chris says his magic has an advanced trigger (what we call "Pattern") spell that can react, differentiate, and evaluate alternatives. ("Say, I don't need a navigation system--I could have a Navigator!")
Chris explains to the Mage about such a construct, leading to a digression on the ethical issues. We discuss whether this magic could be determined to a living soul. (This, of course, is not an issue where we come from.) The Mage is skeptical but suggests that we could show the Navigator to a tame Cleric and have him check for a soul. If it turns out that is has a soul, the Mage continues, you would simply have to treat it with more respect. We agree that this is a prudent detail.
We seem to have solved the major construction problems. However, if the Mage makes a Pantope and we make a Navigator, we each have something the other can't build. Therefore, we'll have to make spares. We look around for a bottle of champagne as we cut the deal with the Mage: we're going to trade three Navigators and three far-seeing systems for three doors, three windows, two self-containment housings, and an irresistible force.
The Mage notes that this totals nine things to build for him: an auspicious number for him. He also reminds us that the Pantope would be based on Hremish metaphysics, but since everyone's magic seems to work on Hreme, we don't think this is a problem. We also discuss the materials he will need: they aren't particularly unusual, but the must be "perfect", pure, original materials. Doesn't seem so bad.
Then, the Mage sighs and gives us the really bad news: in order to construct the Pantope, he must go through each of the spells in sequence, undisturbed, in one sitting. This will take several weeks. Then, he must take a year for the permanency spell! In passing, he mentions that he tried to move back to the beginning of his process because it was inconvenient to be away from Hreme for the year.
[AHA! This is the reason for the Fold, and why the Mage knew about it although we were objectively prior to it.]
The Mage says that he'll have to teleport himself to an uninhabited portion of the world this time. We suggest that he could build it on Helene instead, avoiding the double presence problem. The Mage strokes his chin and agrees that it could be done. He would have to prepare several suspended spells in advance but he points out that the Pantope may still obey Hremish metaphysics. We indicate that we're willing to accept that risk and describe shields to him, in order to protect him from stray magic while on Helene.
The Mage agrees; he says that he's looking forward to seeing our world and for the interesting company. The last major problem resolved, we delve into a discussion of wood-working. (The Mage is used to building artifacts by hand and he's become quite adept at wood-working.)
"Say," someone interrupts him. "Perhaps you should be the Wooden Mage?" "That's not bad!" he replies, stroking his chin. "If you have a particularly special type of wood that doesn't exist in my world..."
We show him various silverwood artifacts and glamours of a few other special woods. The Mage's eyes light up: he wants to work with this material. He quickly makes a shopping list of several perfect items to use in the construction of the Silverwood Pantope. Then he says that he would really like a special wood, alloyed with a metal if possible, for a few special items in the Pantope and for use as his Name Material.
As we close, many of us think of "silver zebrawood"....
Copyright © 1998, Jim Burrows. All Rights Reserved.