Witchcraft vs Sorcery, who wins?

Jon_Lincicum at stream.com Jon_Lincicum at stream.com
Wed Jan 25 08:23:35 PST 2006

"Jeff G." <Log0n5150 at hotmail.com> 
Sent by: dragaera-bounces at dragaera.info
01/25/06 08:00 AM

<Jon_Lincicum at stream.com>, <dragaera at dragaera.info>

Re: Witchcraft vs Sorcery, who wins?

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <Jon_Lincicum at stream.com>
>> But when you put two witches together, their abilities interact and
>> enhance each other, meaning it's more like they are multiplied... 4
>> witches x 4 witches = 16 witches.
>> With low numbers like one or two witches, this doesn't make much of a
>> difference, 2+2=4 and 2x2=4 also, so this is a wash.
>> But the larger the numbers are in your groups of sorcerers vs witches, 
>> more of an advantage the witches would have.


>But. . . .
>With 289 sorcerers you can have 289 different spells, whereas witchcraft

Well, there's the example of what Morrolan's Circle did against 
Tri'nagore. They nullified his protections, allowing Blackwand to "kill" 
him, while (presumably) also keeping Castle Black from falling out of the 
sky. This is, by my count, a coven doing two things at once. The question 
then becomes: What the limit is in terms of "threads" of tasks that a 
circle of witches can handle?

>does not seem to be good at multitasking. Also, is there any textev 
>sorcerers cannot work together on a spell? It is implied by the works of

I believe Vlad comments on this inability of sorcerers to work as a "team" 
when he's describing witchcraft right near the beginning of /Jhereg/. 
Maybe it's only by implication, but it's something he holds up as one of 
the examples of how witchcraft is different from sorcery.

>most of the characters that we see, but they are all sufficiently 
>that they don't require any assistance. The concept of spell wagons,
>sorcerers corps, hint that same sorcerers work together, and Daymars 
>of assistance to Vlad while performing a spell (a witchcraft spell, I 
>shows that the concept at least exist.

Certainly, the more sorcerers there are, the more different things they 
can do, and the more they can perform concurrent spells that have effects 
that complement one another. (Example, one sorcerer levitates a 50 gallon 
barrell of Kerosene, and another causes it to explode.)

But its the combined cumulative power of the witches that's superior. Even 
Sethra Lavode can only channel so much power. But with large covens of 
witches, you could have the power-equivilent of several Sethras.

>P.S. Also, didn't Sethra and Daymar work together to "avoid" the Phoenix
>stones? Or was that simply two concurrent spells? I don't know if that 
>ever definitively answered in the text.

The way I read it, this is another example of concurrent, separate spells 
whose effects complement one another.