Whispers of Fire Ch5 bit – Water magic

Cassim eyed him, then looked at the guard with that cool, measuring gaze. “You tell Dock-Master Shahidi that if he’s got any more problems like this… we both want to know about them.”

The guard nodded, wide-eyed. Turned on his booted heel, and all but bolted out the door.

Cassim grinned, and waved his cigar around the room to include them all. “Skittish little guy, wasn’t he?”

“I can’t blame him,” Alibaba admitted. “You sure scare me.”

The corner of Cassim’s lips curled. “You don’t act like it.”

“Practice,” Alibaba shrugged. And sighed. “Now we’ve got to get in contact with Sindria.”

Cassim scowled. “If you want to call on a foreign king to come in and meddle when we’re already fighting an empire….”

Alibaba held up empty hands. “I didn’t say Sinbad, Cassim. I said Sindria. We need to hire a water magician.”

Hassan was gaping at him. Looked at Cassim in disbelief. “Is he serious?”

Zainab was looking at Alibaba’s belt, and the damning map tucked into it. “Like the legends. You think we can hire someone like Yahya Barmaki to tear out new channels, and shred up old ones?”

“If the pirates and the Kou Empire have charts, then we make sure the charts are wrong.” Alibaba gave Cassim a daring look. “You’ve heard the stories of Sindria’s Maharagans. If their magicians and warriors can handle South Sea monsters, why not a little channel-wrecking?”

Cassim tapped some ash off his cigar, thinking. “If they can do it, it won’t be cheap.”

“I know that,” Alibaba said levelly.

“Sea’s your turf.”

So I’m paying for it, Alibaba filled in. “I know that too.”

“And,” Cassim raised the smoldering end, “if you do find a water magician who can make channels, what stops them from making their own for Sindria to use later? And what stops Kou from making them, charts or no charts? You say they’ve got magic.”

Oof. “Good point,” Alibaba said steadily. Took a breath, and tried to think. “Kou… if they could just blast their way into our harbor, I think they would have tried that already. I’m not sure,” because oh Solomon, what if Kou had a Water Djinn, they would be so screwed, “but so far, they haven’t. For the rest… we need a magician loyal to Balbadd.”

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20 thoughts on “Whispers of Fire Ch5 bit – Water magic

  1. >oh Solomon, what if Kou had a Water Djinn, they would be so screwed,>
    Laugh with me gentlemen. *EG*
    And while they do have one, I suspect said Conqueror wouldn’t think to use her abilities in the manner that Alibaba and Cassim are worrying about.
    >For the rest… we need a magician loyal to Balbadd.>
    Of course for that you’ll need a Balbadd-native magician. Yamraiha might be willing to help them but her loyalty is ultimately to Sindria.

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    1. *Rings doorbell* Did someone order Extra Irony?

      Kougyoku probably wouldn’t, unless someone pointed out the option. I could see Alibaba praying no one ever does.

      Not sure where Alibaba would find a Balbadd-native magician, unless he’s dragged one home from Magnostadt… the distribution of magicians in the Magi ‘verse is another thing that makes me facepalm. There are apparently plenty in Sindria and the Kou Empire, but not one appears in Balbadd? Argh.

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      1. Suppose it requires a combination of inborn aptitude that isn’t particularly heritable and education. Then it becomes a trade that can’t be passed down in a family. In which case, the supply might be limited to those countries who are making the effort to identify and train magicians. Balbadd might have folks who could have been very powerful starving in the streets.

        There is at least some canon evidence that can be understood as supporting heritability. On the other hand, Magi world’s intelligent population isn’t as genetically uniform as Earth humans. You’ve already written (at least in Around) that ethnic Fanalis can’t learn magic, why couldn’t other significant variations be open to authorial fiat?

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      2. Not sure where Alibaba would find a Balbadd-native magician, unless he’s dragged one home from Magnostadt… the distribution of magicians in the Magi ‘verse is another thing that makes me facepalm. There are apparently plenty in Sindria and the Kou Empire, but not one appears in Balbadd? Argh.

        hashtag the problems of an author writing a weekly series with only a general outline of plots, characters, and world-building?

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    2. > There are apparently plenty in Sindria and the Kou Empire, but not one appears in Balbadd? Argh.>
      Well it’s possible that there are magician-potentials in Balbadd but there was never any real push by the crown in the past to develop their skills etc. I mean generally it seemed that a Magi-verse country would get lots of magicians for one main reason: war.

      However, here at least Balbadd were originally pirates/smugglers etc who over time became traders. And pirates wouldn’t want their target’s cargo getting vaporized by fireballs etc.

      And later when they became traders why would they need battlemages? Conventional means were more than enough to see off raiders.

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      1. >Healing spells. Preservation spells. Controlled fire, wind, gravity – all of these are things a savvy trader or crafter would love to take advantage of! Battlemages, hmph….>
        That’s the problem. Before Magnostadt got introduced it seemed like magicians were very thin on the ground. And afterwards it seemed like the only thing countries used them for was combat.

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      2. > Plothole! Needs fixing!>
        There could be reasons why most countries don’t want to have any real concentration of magician present.

        I mean the only country that apparently ever had large numbers of them in the past got annexed by their own magoi-users. Not surprising that other countries would be hesitant about having any.

        After all, without Dungeon Capturers or a strong force of Fanalis, you have to keep throwing bodies at them until the magoi runs out.

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      3. Hmm. Possible, but the bunnies still think this is a plothole. After all, given how difficult and dangerous travel is, for Magnostadt to attract that many foreign magicians implies there has to be a lot more who stayed home.

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  2. Sindria magician would work to start off with and probably wouldn’t screw Balbadd / whatever too badly. . . after all, their king wants and needs Balbadd or someone similar as a trading partner.

    Practice your talking people into things skills because while the aforementioned Kou princess isn’t likely to think about doing that unless someone points it out to her (which given Al-Thamen and that either Kouen or Koumei would probably show up eventually, I won’t bank on her staying ignorant of that tactic forever).

    Still look for your own magician but that might take time. Too bad the Magi is better at heat magic than water magic. Still, there are possibilities . . .

    See if you can find someone willing to be loyal to your kingdom and get them a water djinn of their own?

    It’s kind of too bad Alibaba canonically has just low magoi. (And kinda of frustrating – I get and love underdog heroes but given the power levels in this universe, Alibaba could have more magoi and still easily be the underdog . . . heck, Sinbad for all of his power is barely keeping Al-Thamen from succeeding and it gets harder all the time).

    Too bad there isn’t a way to make the chanels an ever shifting labyrinth . . . fun to imagine, hard to figure out to make work.

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  3. well…you could always extrapolate from the Cassim thing in Canon – a king’s followers can become ruhk and lend their power after death? Although, there was a lot more going on then just that, it’s maybe a starting point?

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  4. …am I the only wondering when Aladdin is going to pop up as “Balbadd’s magician”? Sure, he’s a magi, and they aren’t the same as magicians… but he can still use magic and has access to a rather ridiculous amount of power. Something for Alibaba to think about for sure… and then you don’t have to worry about that “loyal to someone else” issue.

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