Unfamiliar familiars?

Gaertk at aol.com Gaertk at aol.com
Sun Feb 23 11:51:54 PST 2003

In a message dated 2/23/2003 1:20:03 PM Eastern Standard 
Time, Mark A Mandel <mam at theworld.com> writes:

[Blackwand as familiar]

> In general, I'm sure it could, but there are differences:
> - Whatever power is involved here, it's not Eastern 
>   witchcraft.

Perhaps, but that wouldn't stop M from using witchcraft in 
addition to whatever else.

>From _Issola_, we know that Great Weapons are bound to their
wielder's soul, and from _Taltos_ we know that Loiosh shares
Vlad's fate (re leaving the Paths).

> - Blackwand is not a biologically living creature, and so 
>   the "long life" part of the bargain that V made with L's 
>   mother doesn't apply.

So he made a different bargain.

> - B presumably has powers of looking after M's life -- as 
>   Pathfinder did for Aliera -- that we have no evidence for 
>   ascribing to Loiosh in his care of and for Vlad.

Like watching Vlad's back?  Or checking if his mind's been
tampered with?  Or warning him when he's overexerting 

> Our disagreement may be simply that I want to apply a 
> stricter definition of "familiar" than you do, even if I 
> don't know its exact limits.

>From _Jhereg_, page 235:

"You're a witch, why don't you get a familiar?"
"I already have one," he answered, dryly.  He gently stroked
the hilt of Blackwand,

So M believes he has a familiar, and wants Vlad to think its