the honing of Vlad

Thu Jan 12 16:10:13 PST 2006

Philip Hart wrote:

>You're a professional sorcerer.  When you were (your teacher was) young,
>a guy nearly blew up the world using ES, but fortunately the worst result
>beyond the immediate massive loss of life was an invasion by Es and
>plagues and internecine warfare.  One day after work an E walks into your
>bar with one of the top five most famous people in the world at his side.
Actually, it was just Vlad and Aliera (who was freshly back from the 
Paths of the Dead (by Dragaeran terms, anyway) so she may not have been 
that well-known to the types of folks in that particular establishment). 
And they teleported in, so it was sudden and unexpected.

>He's got a mini-vulture on his shoulder.  There's a melee, he points at
>one of your colleagues, a friend of yours zaps him but somehow he partly
Vlad couldn't point at the time, he was completely immobilized.

>deflects the spell then blasts her with ES.  The room starts to dissolve
>and you split, hide your tracks, and dine out on the story for a week.
>Later the pointed colleague turns up dead.  In the meantime a bunch of
>people you talked to start getting antsy about an E wielding ES.  They
>wonder: should we start a pogrom just in case?  The Athyra begin work
>on a genetic spell that will kill all Es within a given radius, just in
>case.  Then either
>a) a lot of people disappear
>b) you get a visit from the Empire explaining why E is an exception
>and inviting you to never mention it again or a).
Ummm.. Mass genocide against an entire population for the actions of one 
individual isn't something that is easily achieved in a free society.

The population of Dragaera wouldn't put up with that. How would 
Morrolan, or Aliera or Sethra feel about that? Or, for that matter, how 
would the Empress react to that, given that her lover is an Easterner?

Heck, even the death camps of the Nazis were called "Relocation camps" 
until after the Jews got onto the trains. (Meaining they had to sort of 
hide what they were doing, at least at first, to prevent a general revolt.)

>>#2) That any of the witnesses were able to identify Vlad later.
>Doesn't matter that it's Vlad - see above.  Plus, see above - who
>could fail to identify him?
A bunch of freaked out Jhereg with no idea who he was or what he was 
doing who didn't notice him when he teleported in. I wouldn't count on 
reliable eyewitness testimony from any of 'em.

>>#3) That the higher-ups in the Jhereg knew what amorphia was, how
>>incredibly dangerous it is to play around with, and somehow saw it as
>>their responsibility to take care of the potential danger.
>This seems 2/3 impossibly wrong and 3/3 irrelevant.  Note also that
>in all likelihood the incident left noticeable traces in the ether
>and in the matter of the bar.
>Imagine Suzy Easterner wakes up one morning, turns a garbage heap
>into chaos, and splits.  I would expect this would have incredible
>political and social repercussions.  Ok, there's a good reason why
>Suzy has the power to destroy the world, so no reason to fear that
>Cindy or Sally or Sondra E. has that power, but someone will have
>to broadcast that reason and make everyone believe it, even the
>ones who think her soul ancestor Captain Shazam is a legend.
But if Suzy is good friends with Sethra Lavode, who just happens to be 
friends with Khaavren, who just happens to be in charge of enforcing the 
laws in Adrilankha, maybe she gets overlooked? Maybe the evidence gets 
covered up? Especially when The-Powers-that-Be are given assurances from 
Sethra that such a thing won't happen again?

And besides, who's going to believe that sweet little innocent Suzy (or, 
in this case, our disreputable, low-life Easterner plus jhereg)  *really 
has* that power in the first place?