Snippet–Past Tense (SIM 10)

20 Jun

WARNING – Everything here is a major spoiler for Infinite Regress. If you haven’t read that book, you might want to check it out first. (And this is the pre-major-edit version, so feel free to point out problems.)

PastTense_med2

Prologue

They were doomed.

Lord Whitehall knew it, knew it with a sick certainty that could not be denied. The magic swirling around the small gathering of magicians would overwhelm their defences soon enough, no matter how hard they struggled. The brilliant – and sickly – light was burning into their minds, making it hard to think clearly. Their wards were cracking, on the verge of breaking, yet they could not abandon the work and run for their lives. It would have spelled instant death as the tidal wave of magic from the nexus point overwhelmed their defences and crushed them like bugs. They would have been safer, he saw now, to stand in the path of a rushing river and demand it bow to their will.

It had been a dreadful mistake, he knew now. The castle had seemed their only hope – it was far from civilisation, far from anyone who might want to hunt the commune – but the nexus point beneath the castle was a wild thing. It could not be tamed, he realised; the merest touch had unleashed a surge of magic so strong that all of the masters, working together, could barely save themselves from instant death. And yet they could not even break free to warn the remainder of the commune to evacuate the castle. They – the masters and a handful of their most trusted apprentices – would only be the first to die.

His head started to pound as he thrust more and more magic into the wards, knowing that it was futile. All he could hope to do was keep his people alive for a few more seconds, before the wild magic slammed into them. Those who lived would envy the dead, he thought, if the whispered rumours were true. The monsters they’d encountered as they hacked their way through the forest, towards the castle, might have been human once, before the wild magic transformed them. Now? Now they were just beasts.

I’m sorry, he thought.

He wasn’t sure who he was apologising to. His teacher, the man whose secrets would now be lost with his former apprentice; his fellow masters, who would die beside him; his apprentice, who would never become a master in his own right; his daughter, who would never have a husband or children of her own … ? He’d failed them all. They were all going to die in the next few minutes, no matter what he did …

The demon tricked us.

It was a bitter thought. He’d known for years – his master had hammered it into his skull, when he’d been a young man barely starting out as a magician – that demons were untrustworthy, but they’d been desperate. They’d known they were desperate. And so Lord and Master Alfred had summoned a demon and put the question to the entity, asking where they could go that was safe. The demon had told them about the nexus point …

… And sent them straight to their doom.

Power surged around him as the nexus point grew larger, wild magic spilling into the air and pressing against the wards. They couldn’t hold for more than a few seconds … he heard someone screaming, but he couldn’t tell who. Perhaps it was himself, in the final seconds of his life, all dignity torn from him by the grim awareness that he’d led his people right into a trap. And then there was a flash of light and … someone … was kneeling in the middle of the circle, just in front of the nexus point.

There was no time to stare. The wave of magic – the final wave of magic – built up, slowly sliding forward as if it were guided by a mind that wanted the magicians to watch helplessly as their doom approached them. He pushed the last dregs of his power into the wards, knowing that it would be futile …

… And then the newcomer added his strength to the wards.

Whitehall would have been astonished as the wards changed, snapping into a new configuration that was both bizarre and yet perfect, if he hadn’t been concentrating on holding the outer wards in place as the inner wards grew more complex. It was working! Whatever the newcomer had done, it was working! The wild magic flashed and flared inside the wards, but it couldn’t escape. There was a final shudder, running through the entire building and then the wild magic was gone. The blinding light vanished at the same moment, plunging the room into near-darkness. And the nexus point hung in the middle of the room, tiny and yet immensely large at the same time, tamed. They’d tamed a nexus point!

He found it hard to keep from giggling inanely as he collapsed to the stone floor. For a long moment, all he could do was lie there and fight to keep himself awake. Everything blurred around him as fatigue threatened to overcome him. And then, drawing on reserves he hadn’t known he possessed, he pulled himself to his feet, grabbed a torch and stumbled towards the newcomer, heedless of the risk of stepping too close to the nexus. He …

… No, she.

Whitehall stared. He’d travelled widely, first with his master and then with a string of apprentices, but he’d only ever heard wild rumours about witches. He’d certainly never met a real witch. And yet, the girl before him was clearly a magician. Her power was faint, perhaps as drained as his own, but he could perceive it surrounding her, infusing her body and giving her a strength she would not otherwise possess.

She blinked up at him, clearly half-blinded by the light. Her face was perfect, almost too perfect; there were no scars or blemishes, none of the marks carried by the girls and women waiting in the castle above. Her arms were muscular, but it was clear that she was not used to the backbreaking labour of a farmwife. And she was clean, as if someone had scrubbed away all the torments of womanhood and left behind nothing but purity. She was tall, almost as tall as himself; she was easily the tallest woman he’d seen outside royalty. Her long brown hair hung down to the small of her back, contrasting oddly with the shapeless grey garment she wore. He’d never seen anything like it …

And he couldn’t even begin to guess at her age.

He held up a hand, motioning for the others to stay back as the girl looked at him. He couldn’t help noticing that her eyes were soft, with none of the hardness that was all too familiar to him. His own wife had lived a harsh life, even after she’d married a magician; she’d never dared reveal such … vulnerability to anyone, not even him. The women upstairs, waiting to hear what the magicians had done, were hardly less harsh. Whitehall knew the world was an unkind place, but it was harsher on women. And yet, the girl before him was different.

And she was a magician.

The girl seemed to steady herself. “Who … who are you?”

Whitehall contemplated her for a long moment. Her words were understandable, but they were oddly-accented. The common tongue was clearly not her first language, he decided; boys were normally taught the common tongue in childhood, while girls were rarely taught anything other than their mother tongue unless they were destined to marry a merchant or a magician. His wife had spoken three languages and considered herself accomplished, for the youngest daughter of a magician. She’d been a remarkable woman. And yet she’d died in childbirth …

“I am Lord and Master Whitehall,” Whitehall said, gravely. He didn’t miss the expression of shock that passed across the girl’s face. This was not someone, he reasoned, who was used to concealing her feelings or minding her words. An indulgent father and no husband? Or perhaps she was powerful enough not to care about her words. “Who are you?”

He held out a hand to help the girl to her feet. It was dangerous, but his instincts insisted that the girl wasn’t a threat. She seemed oddly hesitant to take his hand – that, at least, was a normal reaction – but she eventually allowed him to help her up. Her legs were concealed within her garment, yet Whitehall could tell she was tired and drained. Doing what she’d done – doing the impossible thing she’d done – had to have cost her dearly.

“I … I am Emily,” the girl managed. “I shouldn’t be here.”

Whitehall surprised himself by laughing. “Nor should we,” he said. “Nor should we.”

He snorted, then pushed his humour aside as he heard whispering from behind him. Solving the mystery of just how the girl – Emily – had arrived in the castle was important, but he was damned if he was going to rip her mind open to find out. They owed her their lives – and those of the men, women and children who had followed them to the castle.

“We are in your debt,” he added, grandly. “And you are welcome here.”


Chapter One

“I am Lord and Master Whitehall,” the man said, gravely. For a moment, Emily honestly thought the translation spell was glitched. “Who are you?”

Emily stared up at the speaker in absolute disbelief. She couldn’t have gone back in time, could she? It was impossible! Going forward in time was easy enough – she’d adjusted the flow of time within pocket dimensions to skip forward nearly an entire day – but going backwards in time was impossible. Or so she’d been told. Five years ago, she would have believed that turning someone into a frog was impossible too!

Her head spun. “I … I am Emily,” she said. She could feel the nexus point behind her, twisting in and out of her awareness as though it was both infinitely large and impossibly tiny. “I shouldn’t be here.”

She tried hard to think clearly as Whitehall helped her to her feet and welcomed her to the castle. Her head hurt as she considered the implications. If she was lost in time, she didn’t dare say or do anything that might alter the timeline for fear of accidentally altering the series of events that led up to her departure from Earth. But, at the same time, she’d already interfered – and, in doing so, protected the timeline. Everyone knew Lord Whitehall was the first man to tame a nexus point. No one had ever suggested he might have had help from the future.

And if I’m meant to be here, she thought numbly, what else am I meant to do?

She looked at Whitehall, feeling oddly intimidated. She was in the presence of a legend, the man who would found Whitehall School and lay the groundwork for educating hundreds of thousands of young magicians. The men behind him, watching her with wary eyes, had to be part of the Whitehall Commune. She wondered, absently, if she knew their names, if recorded history had been remotely accurate. There were so many gaps in the records that it was hard to know just who was truly significant and who had merely been shoehorned into reconstructions of past events because his writings had survived.

Whitehall himself looked nothing like his portraits. They’d made him look like a grand old wizard, Emily recalled, but the man before her was clearly in his late forties rather than pushing into a second century. His face was a dark olive, his beard slowly shading to white as he grew older. His hair was cropped close to his skull; his eyes, darker than hers, seemed to bore into her very soul. She couldn’t help thinking of owls as she let go of his hand, trusting her legs to hold her upright. There was something about the way he moved that reminded her of an owl.

He wore no robes, she saw, as he turned to face his companions. Instead, he wore heavy trousers and a dark shirt, making him look more like a labourer than a magician. Runes and sigils were sewn into his shirt, almost all of them unknown to her. And yet, she recalled seeing a handful of them in the tunnels below Whitehall … below old Whitehall. If she was truly back in the early days of the school, perhaps even before the school, the tunnel network might not have been constructed yet. She reached out to the familiar wards, but sensed no response. They didn’t exist either, not yet. The only thing she could sense was the constant presence of the nexus point.

She rubbed the snake-bracelet on her wrist, silently grateful that she’d kept it on when she prepared for bed. She wouldn’t be completely friendless …

“Master Baju-Merah is dead,” a voice said. “The strain killed him.”

Emily sucked in her breath as she saw the body. The man – the old man – had died badly, his face twisted in pain. A heart attack, perhaps, judging from the lack of physical wounds on his corpse. There was no way to know. Perhaps a strand of wild magic had escaped … she shook her head, dismissing the thought. If the wards had cracked, even slightly, everyone in the chamber would be dead or wishing they were.

She looked at the other magicians as they clustered around the body, glancing at her as they talked in low voices. There was no point in trying to match names to faces, not when the portraits were so wildly inaccurate. They looked … odd, at least compared to the magicians she knew. A number looked surprisingly old, surprisingly dirty, for magicians; others looked physically young, but mentally old. She found herself staring at a young man who was looking at her, unable to be sure just how old he actually was. But then, she’d never been very good at guessing ages on the Nameless World. People without magic aged at terrifying speed.

They’re all men, she thought, numbly. There isn’t a single woman amongst them.

The realisation struck her with terrifying force. My God, she thought. I’m the Dark Lady.

Her legs buckled, threatening to send her crashing to the stone floor. The Dark Lady was a legend, a person who was only mentioned in a couple of sources … a person who half the historians in the Nameless World believed to be nothing more than a story. Her story had either been wildly exaggerated or written out altogether … there was no way Emily and she could be the same person. And yet, it was impossible to convince herself that she wasn’t. It didn’t look as though there was any other role to play.

She closed her eyes for a long moment, trying to decide what to say when Whitehall finally demanded answers. He would demand answers too, she knew … and she doubted the Sorcerers Rule held sway a thousand years ago. Or was it only seven hundred? The thought made her smile, despite the shock and growing fear for the future. She might be able to learn answers to questions that had vexed historians from whomever had written the Book of Lives to Professor Locke himself.

I have to get back, she told herself. The past was fascinating, but she wanted to get back to her Whitehall – and Caleb. And everyone else she knew and loved. I can’t stay here forever.

“Emily,” Whitehall said. She opened her eyes. He’d dismissed most of the magicians, leaving only himself and the young man in the chamber. “I need to ask you some questions.”

Emily nodded, sensing Whitehall’s exhaustion under his words. Up close, it was surprisingly easy to sense his magic. He didn’t seem to be masking his power at all. That was – would be – considered incredibly rude in the future, a bare-faced attempt to intimidate her, but his body language didn’t suggest anything of the sort. He certainly wasn’t trying to lean into her personal space. Perhaps he was just too tired to keep his magic under control. There was certainly something … discordant … about it. Behind him, it was impossible to sense the young man’s magic at all.

“This is quite a hard place to reach,” Whitehall said. “How did you get here?”

The young man leaned forward. “And how did you appear in the chamber?”

“Bernard,” Whitehall said, reprovingly. “One question at a time.”

Emily felt her mouth drop open. The young man before her was Bernard De Born? The man who would be the first true Grandmaster? The writer who would write a history of Whitehall and dozens of other books that had been lost over the years? It was impossible to reconcile the image of the older man with the younger one in front of her.

She forced herself to focus on choosing her words. There was no way she could tell Whitehall the truth, even if she swore him – both of them – to silence. And yet, the more lies she told, the greater the chance of being caught out. Whitehall wouldn’t trust her – at all – if he caught her in a lie. She would be surprised if he wasn’t already concerned – and suspicious – about her appearance. She’d arrived right at the moment of their greatest need.

“My tutor and I made our way here,” she said, finally. “He had a theory about …”

“He?” Whitehall repeated. “He?”

Emily cursed under her breath. She had the nasty feeling she’d just put her foot in it. But there was no going back now.

“He had a theory about taking control of a nexus point,” she said. “He’d worked out a complex set of spells he believed would be sufficient to take control. But it wasn’t enough to save his life. There was a flash of light and I saw him die, a moment before you arrived.”

Bernard’s eyes narrowed. “There was no one in the chamber when we arrived.”

“She might have been trapped in the nexus point,” Whitehall pointed out. “And our attempt to tame the wild magic freed her.”

“Then I thank you,” Emily said. “But I don’t recall anything between his death and your arrival.”

Whitehall frowned. “Who taught you?”

A dozen answers ran through Emily’s head. She could claim to have been taught by Dumbledore, or Gandalf, or Yoda … it wasn’t as if Whitehall could disprove her words. But she needed to keep it as simple as possible. She knew enough about telling lies to know just how easy it was to say too much and give the listener the key they needed to untangle the entire web of deceit.

“I swore an oath to keep the details of my training to myself,” she said, finally. If Whitehall and his commune were anything like the magicians she knew, they’d respect an oath. “Even though he’s dead, he never saw fit to release me from it.”

Whitehall nodded. “It is … uncommon for a girl to be schooled in magic,” he said. “Your father, perhaps? Teaching you because he had no son?”

Emily kept her face blank with an effort. Whitehall – her Whitehall – taught girls and boys equally, assuming they had magic. But the history books had made it clear that girls were not originally taught magic. It had been Bernard – Grandmaster Bernard – who’d first permitted girls to study at Whitehall, assuming that wasn’t something else the history books had managed to get wrong. There was no point, not any longer, in pretending to be an untrained magician. They’d seen what she’d done to the nexus point.

“I swore an oath,” she said, again.

Whitehall nodded. “I understand,” he said. “He must have been a very smart man.”

“He taught a girl,” Bernard said. “How is that smart? The curse …”

Emily frowned. “What curse?”

“He didn’t even tell you that?”

Bernard turned to his master. “She’s lying,” he said. “I sense no magic from her.”

“I sense no magic from you either,” Emily snapped back.

Whitehall gave her an odd look. “My apprentice has more than enough magic,” he said, coldly. “But yours is well hidden.”

Bernard stepped forward. “This is a joke, master,” he said. “I don’t know how she got here, but she is no magician.”

Emily scowled at him, feeling oddly disappointed. This was the Grandmaster who would invite girls to study alongside the boys? She reached out with her senses and frowned as she sensed magic surrounding Bernard for the first time. He wasn’t trying to mask his power at all; indeed, the only reason she hadn’t sensed it earlier was because Whitehall’s magic had obscured his apprentice’s power. Professor Lombardi would have summarily failed any student who failed to mask his power within his personal wards, she knew. Allowing one’s power to roam free was … sloppy.

“You sensed what she did to the nexus point,” Whitehall said. He sounded puzzled, but calm and composed. There was no anger in his tone. “She showed us how to patch the wards in place to tame the wild magic.”

“She’s a girl,” Bernard protested.

Emily felt her temper snap. “Then fight me,” she said. “I challenge you to a duel, if you dare.”

Bernard glared at her, then turned to his master. “Master …”

“She challenged you,” Whitehall said. He smiled, rather dryly. “Are you going to take up the challenge?”

“It wouldn’t be a fight,” Bernard objected.

Emily resisted – barely – the urge to stick out her tongue. “Then you don’t have anything to fear,” she said, instead. “You’ll beat me with ease.”

“Fine,” Bernard snapped. He turned and paced across the chamber, then turned to face her, his hands clenching into fists. “Master, will you set up the warding circle?”

“I doubt one will be necessary,” Whitehall said. He stepped to one side, nodding shortly to Emily. “Try not to kill each other.”

Emily kept her expression blank as she tensed, testing her protections carefully. Challenging Bernard was a risk, she knew all too well. She could lose. And yet, his casual dismissal of her abilities hurt. She was damned if she was allowing him to talk down to her, let alone treat her as a silly girl who needed a man to make all the decisions for her. It wasn’t as if she was one of the stupid noblewomen who’d made Alassa’s wedding preparations such a trial. And Bernard was a disappointment anyway.

“Begin,” Whitehall said.

Bernard didn’t hesitate. His hand snapped down as he unleashed a spell she didn’t recognise, a spell that bled mana in all directions. It was sloppy work – Professor Lombardi would probably have broken Bernard’s hand if he’d cast that in class – but it was powerful. The spell slammed into her protections, shaking them roughly, yet it was really nothing more than brute force. Part of her mind analysed the spell quickly, noting how it made no attempt to seek out weaknesses in her protections and break through the cracks. Bernard had a great deal of raw power, although it was so sloppy she couldn’t tell just how much power, but very little actual skill.

“Impressive,” Whitehall commented.

Emily kept her eyes on Bernard as she deflected or drained the last remnants of his spell. He looked stunned, as if he’d expected her to be knocked out … or killed … by his magic. Emily wasn’t quite sure what the spell had actually been intended to do. It had just been thrown together so poorly that merely striking her defences had been enough to disrupt the spellware beyond repair. She gathered her own magic, readying a retaliatory blow, but waited to see what he would do. And then he tossed a second spell at her. This one was tighter and sharper … and felt unpleasant as it crawled across her wards. She felt a flicker of horror as she realised what that spell was meant to do.

“Careful,” Whitehall said. His smile was gone. “Using that in a duel could get you in real trouble.”

I suppose it could, Emily thought. Trying to take control of your opponent …

She summoned a fireball and threw it at him, watching dispassionately as it crashed into his magic and exploded into nothingness. His protections were nothing like hers, she saw; they were crude, utterly unfocused. It looked as though he was using his own magic as a baseball bat, swatting away spells as they approached, rather than embedding wards within his magic and concentrating on offense. Emily hated to think what Sergeant Miles would have said to any of his students stupid enough to try that. Splitting their attention between offense and defence meant that they couldn’t concentrate on either.

Bernard flung a third spell at her, so powerful that she stepped aside rather than try to catch it on her protections. Bracing herself, she threw back a ward-cracking spell of her own and followed up with a prank spell. Bernard let out a yelp of shock as his wards came apart – Emily realised, too late, that the ward-cracking spell had actually attacked his magic directly – and then shrank, rapidly, as the prank spell took effect. Moments later, a tiny green frog was looking up at her with disturbingly human eyes.

“I think I win,” Emily said.

She looked at Whitehall and saw him looking back in shock. “You did it so casually?”

“I had a good teacher,” Emily said. She cursed her mistake – if it had been a mistake – under her breath. She had no idea when transfiguration spells had been invented, but it was possible that Whitehall didn’t know how to use them – or regarded them as too demanding to be practical. “He taught me everything I know.”

Whitehall studied her for a long moment. “I think you win too,” he said. “Undo the spell, please.”

Emily nodded and cast the counterspell. Bernard looked astonished as he reverted to human form, his face pale and wan. A lingering greenish tone hung over his skin for long seconds after the spell faded back into the ether. He would have been trying to break free, Emily knew. If he had no experience with pranking spells – the spells Emily had learned in her first year of studies – he might assume that his mind was on the verge of sinking into the frog’s and being lost forever.

“I am sorry for doubting you,” Bernard said. He stood upright, then held out a hand. Emily shook it firmly. “And you are clearly a great magician.”

“A useful lesson, young man,” Whitehall said. “You are strong, but your training is far from complete.”

Emily kept her thoughts to herself as Whitehall turned towards the gaping door. Bernard, at least, didn’t seem to bear a grudge. But then, Sergeant Miles had told her she might have to fight to prove herself, if she was dumped in with the men. Beating a man fairly would work far better, he’d said, than whining to his superiors. The former would earn respect, the latter would breed resentment.

She rubbed the side of her head as she followed Whitehall, Bernard falling into step beside her. Her head hurt, a dull ache that was making it hard to think. She’d been awakened in the middle of the night, after all. She needed to sleep, to rest and figure out a way home before she accidentally tore a hole in history and erased her friends from existence.

And hope I can survive here long enough to find a way home, she thought, grimly. This isn’t the Whitehall I know.

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106 Responses to “Snippet–Past Tense (SIM 10)”

  1. CB June 20, 2016 at 12:27 am #

    sigh… I fell too deeply into the story that I forgot it was a teaser until the abrupt end. When can we expect it to be released?

    • chrishanger June 21, 2016 at 7:24 pm #

      I’m hoping for the end of july, but it depends on the edits.

      Chris

      • Lodrik June 23, 2016 at 7:34 am #

        end of july not june? I trought it would take one month…

  2. Scott D June 20, 2016 at 1:11 am #

    Great start! As the previous reviewer stated, I too fell quickly into the story and was very surprised when the snippet abruptly ended.
    Greatly looking forward to seeing this book released…..

  3. Aileen Gillett June 20, 2016 at 1:18 am #

    For magicians who almost died to the nexus I am surprised they recovered so fast to immediately have a duel . I liked everything else but that was to me a little too much.

    Can’t wait for the book!

  4. Michael Misenheimer June 20, 2016 at 1:53 am #

    Well, certainly not what I expected (yay) and so very exciting! I had forgotten that there was a time when they didn’t teach women magic. Can’t hardly wait for the rest. There were a couple of sentences the construction of which made me scratch my head for a moment. Not sure if you wanted an unknown commenting on that or a possible misspelling. lol especially as not all spell checkers agree!

    I will, respectfully, disagree with Aileen Gillet on the subject of the duel. I think that Emily needed to establish herself as soon as possible, simply because she was in a time when women weren’t supposed to know magic. I think she is in for a rough wide as it is….

    By the way sir, I sent an email to you at a Hotmail address I found on the about page….I thought I was the last person in the world that still used a Hotmail address. 😉

  5. Bret Wallach June 20, 2016 at 2:08 am #

    Fantastic!

    That might be the most gripping start to a book I’ve ever encountered.

    One nit: “oddly hesitant to take his hand – that, at least, was a normal reaction”

    If it’s a “normal” reaction then why is it “oddly” hesitant?

    • G June 20, 2016 at 5:29 am #

      Wonderful start to the new book…please make sure Emily continues to increase her power and skill as a magician away from Whitehall as well…otherwise IR and PT, while enjoyable, won’t have enough impact on her development as a sorceress in the series…thanks for the snippet…

  6. Gazza June 20, 2016 at 11:18 am #

    Thaxs Chris A very nice Monday morning gift =)

  7. Thomas Tomiczek June 20, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

    That is it. AMAZING. Definitely one of the most mouth watering openings of any books in the series. I look so much forward to read it.

  8. Anita June 20, 2016 at 5:26 pm #

    Excellent start! I too forgot it was a snippet and want more …. NOW! Hopefully the edits will go smoothly and wont take long … a few awkward sentences, but nothing that jolted me from the story.. thank you for the teaser!

  9. Jason June 20, 2016 at 8:56 pm #

    When when when when??!!!

    • William Ameling June 21, 2016 at 1:02 am #

      I think Emily is about to have her historical status/importance in the Nameless World changed from “A” Child of Destiny to “THE” Child of Destiny, i.e. the most important one of all of them, with more to come when she returns to her proper time.

      I also think that the demon who brought her to the Nameless World did not make a mistake in fulfilling Shadye’s command to bring him A Child of Destiny, and that it has been the same demon every time we have seen one in the SIM series, including just now in the demon who told/showed Lord Whitehall and the others the Nexus point.

      I am looking forward to what we will learn about the past of Whitehall, his school, the Dark Lady, and the past of the Nameless World (maybe we will finally learn a Name for it ! ). I wonder how the book will divide her time between the past and when she returns to the future. I find myself wondering if Emily will take an oath in the past to defend the Whitehall school, since she did not take an oath at the start of her 5th year.

      An interesting question is her oath to the Unseelie Court back in SIM, perhaps she may end up redeeming it while she is in the past.

      I am beginning to think that Lord Whitehall will not be her apprenticeship’s master in the future, but that she can still learn a lot from him in the past. I would still like to see him come forward. I also wonder if Emily could set up some mechanism, probably involving a small dimensional box, that copies of important library books could be deposited in while she is frozen for her to retrieve in the future.

      I think that Lady Daniele is the most likely candidate (Lady Barb would be the other candidate) for Emily to take her apprenticeship as a Mediator with after her 6th year, although Emily may end up as a Lone Power or someone in a position tied to the protection of the Whitehall school.

      I am very interested in how she explains things when she returns from the past.

      • William Ameling June 21, 2016 at 1:53 am #

        I rather doubt that Emily would take her apprenticeship with Caleb’s Mother, who is another Mediator that we know of already.

      • Bret Wallach June 21, 2016 at 2:03 am #

        Do we know that Emily is definitely going to be a Mediator?

        That surprises me. I mean, as you point out she’s kinda THE child of destiny, sorta kinda half a baroness, inventor extraordinaire, not to mention dimensional magiphysicist, maginuclear scientist, and the like. Mediator seems kinda boring for Emily.

        Queen of the nameless world, maybe. 🙂

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 21, 2016 at 2:12 am #

        Why not the Goddess of the Nameless World? 😀

      • chrishanger June 21, 2016 at 7:26 pm #

        Her career should be growing more ovious

        Chris

      • Veraenderer June 21, 2016 at 8:45 am #

        I still think she will end up as God Empress of Mankind.

        I mean what is a god? A really powerful beeing that is seen as above humanity and is worshiped. What is she: A really powerful magican and she is seen as extrem clever and powerful. The only thing that she is missing are worshipers, but this will fix itself with time (and extraordinary things she does).

        Furthermore she is the only real candidate for become the Empress simply because she is popular, powerful and clever.

      • Thomas Tomiczek June 21, 2016 at 12:56 pm #

        Nice – except you seem not to have read SIM 9. Or the blog.

        * Apprenticeship. Look up the title of Book 11.The Sargent’s Apprentice. Still this does not neessarily say it is her, or it is a normal apprenticeship – it could well be an arrangement without or with extremely heavily modified oaths as she must learn more combat magic.
        * Books: Remember all the books that disappeared in the library in old Whitehall and had Emilies magic signature all over the place? Here goes your library.

        I wonder how much “status” Emily will get from that. If she reveals being the Dark Lady from the past to the school – who is she? A founding member of the school that has not graduated? Possibly someone with a legal claim on it? How powerful will she become? What about her 5th year project? I can be sarcastic but – does “Whitehall Ward control system” qualify as proof of viability to the school? How much lost knowledge is there, given that she can walk circles around Whitehall and his peers, like a physics student today would run circles around Helmut Newton or Einstein.

        I am SO happy that Chris is a very good author – this is a very complex situation and many authors would botch it. I look forward to it.

      • Matthew Bird June 22, 2016 at 8:14 am #

        I think her career path is Lone Power. Nothing else suffices.

      • Lodrik June 24, 2016 at 7:16 am #

        the godess crap doesnt work in this world, that would far better fit into “The Spellmonger” series.
        I didnt get enough input to make a guess though…

      • Chance June 30, 2016 at 9:03 pm #

        I’m fairly certain that is was faeries that brought Emily to the nameless world, but I could be wrong

      • Chance June 30, 2016 at 9:07 pm #

        And her career path is probably gonna be as Grandmaster of Whitehall

  10. Jacqueline Harris June 21, 2016 at 1:20 am #

    Why did I read this snippet now I will suffer until it comes out!? Very good. I loved Lord Whitehall’s chapter his observations of emily. We never get to see how others see her. He described her as perfect what about attractive? Does he think she is pretty or an attractive women? As I recall Emily was exhausted not just because of the early night but also she just woke up from a coma… Maybe some more descriptions of Bernard? This looks so good i am so exited?

    • Gazza June 21, 2016 at 3:03 am #

      LOL Not giving into the temptations of the flesh builds the will. Not giving into the ….. TO hell with it JUST give it to me now before my brain explodes =)

    • chrishanger June 21, 2016 at 7:26 pm #

      Emily has had five years of good food and healthy exercise – Whitehall has not .

      Chris

  11. Malik Drako June 21, 2016 at 3:37 am #

    Awesome, cant wait!

    Chris, are you aware of the tag? Unless your theme or WordPress version does something strange, it will hide the post content that follows it for the main page. Great for hiding spoilers and keeping the main page from getting too long

    • Malik Drako June 21, 2016 at 3:39 am #

      It hid the tag…
      It is the (Read) More tag, “more” inside a html comment with no spaces.
      (just double the dashes for this one)

  12. William Ameling June 21, 2016 at 6:12 am #

    I think that Emily is expecting/planning on becoming a Mediator, although that may not be where she ends up.

    I do have one suggestion about her problem with her class in Ritual Magic, where she is so strong that her classmates are afraid to work with her, try to get Caleb into the class as her partner in Ritual Magic, even if she has to do it over in 6th year. If they are going to be married and continue on with their plans to develop new ways of Magic, they will need to be able to work rituals together anyway. I do not understand why Caleb was not in the Ritual Magic Class to begin with for 5th year, in fact I do not think that we have been told what classes he is taking for 5th year. Does he have any classes in common with Emily for 5th year? With how few students were left in 5th year, you would think they would have a lot of classes in common, but the book (IR) did not make it seem like it.

    • William Ameling June 21, 2016 at 6:38 am #

      I do have one last thought; maybe the Nameless World does not have a public Name (that we know of) for the same reason that true names of magicians are not known. If it had a generally known TRUE WORLD NAME then that Name could be used in potentially very dangerous magical spells and might also be a source of considerable magical power to anyone who does know it. (Now that I have had this idea, I find it very interesting in the context of the SIM series, it could help explain a lot)

    • chrishanger June 21, 2016 at 7:28 pm #

      He didn’t take that many classes with her .

      Chris

    • Mark June 23, 2016 at 8:25 pm #

      Interesting thought involving Caleb and the project. However, in SIM 9, it is clearly stated that the spells in the nexus control room and incredibly advanced over what Emily and Caleb have already done.

      So, obviously, since she is in the past, she will continue to develop the work she and Caleb had already been doing.

      I fully expect that Emily’s strength will continue to develop AS WILL HER CONTROL. By the time she gets back from the past, I expect that she will have aged/grown significantly…possibly to the point that she won’t be in a relationship anymore with Caleb. After all, it will take years for her to develop the nexus spells to the final stage.

  13. G June 21, 2016 at 6:48 am #

    One follow-up thought–Be careful you don’t tie Emily too tightly to Whitehall (as in power she has only through the wards at the school) as this would effectively limit her power/interactions in the rest of the nameless world…a child of destiny isn’t going to be too important if, practically speaking, she can’t leave the school…

  14. Veraenderer June 21, 2016 at 8:49 am #

    I hope she will learn in the past the basics of real power politic and the bit of ruthlesness she needs to become really powerful

  15. GN June 21, 2016 at 9:13 am #

    Awsome snippet looking forward tot he book, i just hope that we will see Emelie growing a little faster then she has done so far. Also i made a pdf with some comments and Emailed you Chris 🙂

  16. Michael Misenheimer June 21, 2016 at 1:23 pm #

    Since Chris has given us this snippet.

    Someone was surprised by a comment that I made about Emily becoming Whitehall’s wife. I would now ask you to please direct your attention to SIM 8 Wedding Hells Appendix 2 right about location 5976. This mentions the Dark Lady.

    “She does appear in several stories passed down the years, mainly as Whitehall’s wife or love interest”.

    Somehow I just don’t see Emily becoming a lover, that would be too non committal for the Emily we know. Hence my remark about her being Lady Emily Whitehall

    Once again let me state for the record and just to be clear, I HATE time travel! Paradox’s and Causality Loops….GAH!

    LOL

    • Bret Wallach June 21, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

      Huh. I hadn’t read Appendix 2 until right now. Thanks for the pointer! It makes this Snippet clearer.

    • andrew June 21, 2016 at 4:07 pm #

      I can see her being his wife as a cover story to Whitehall’s society. It seems VERY male concentric so in order to not draw extra attention they may come to an accord regarding her single status.

      Some societies don’t let women be alone with men who aren’t related. I would imagine she forms an alliance with Whitehall and then learns from him and teaches him and his son about her era of magic in exchange for theirs.

      • Michael Misenheimer June 21, 2016 at 6:40 pm #

        Unfortunately in that society I don’t think that “Cover” story will do it. Should this story go this way, in order for it to work it will probably have to be something like a “marriage of convenience” in order to be legit. Otherwise I foresee duels galore coming. This would indeed leave her as Lady Emily Whitehall, but some how that has to be left out of the record books. Still, this would give her a legitimate claim to Whitehall castle and through that the school. oh lol

        I can just see it now. Those poor professors, having to teach, worse still, test and pass/fail the owner of the school? lololol

        Oh how I look forward to the twists and curves that our Chris is about to present us with! This is going to be a great ride!

        One other comment. My son read this snippet last night. I heard him laughing hugely in his room, When I asked him what was up basically his response was, “OMG Emily just ROFLStomped Bernard! He’s such a gamer boy.

      • chrishanger June 23, 2016 at 7:03 pm #

        And there i was thinking there was a simpler solution

        Chris

      • Michael Misenheimer June 23, 2016 at 7:09 pm #

        I sure hope so Chris, I don’t really want to guess correctly. I want to be surprised, as you have so often done in the past.

      • Lodrik June 23, 2016 at 7:49 am #

        seems to me like she taught him the “old magic” (she clearly gave him the idea for the wardensystem or made it herself)

        the magic of her time seems really advanced and if Whitehall gets teached in this, it would make his works seem like wonders to the ordinary magicans. This things grow in the telling…

    • chrishanger June 21, 2016 at 7:29 pm #

      I should mention that historical records are … not entirely accurate

      Chris

      • andrew June 21, 2016 at 7:50 pm #

        when are they?

      • Michael Misenheimer June 21, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

        Actually you did, or rather Emily did. When she was trying to put together a history herself and found all the incomplete and inconsistent stories from all the different sources she had access to. Maybe she is wrong and she isn’t the Dark Lady. Maybe all of the books have wrong information about the DL. Maybe my brain is fried. (right, not a maybe I know…sigh)

      • Lodrik June 24, 2016 at 7:19 am #

        The “History Exam: A History Of Whitehall” was written by Frieda…

      • David Pollard June 28, 2016 at 6:53 pm #

        Emily has an advantage here in that since she’s from Earth, she doesn’t have to worry about causality messing with her ancestors. Though I suppose if she could do something that would make Whitehall x00 years hence disappear – along with her training and possibly life.

      • chrishanger June 29, 2016 at 5:33 pm #

        That is indeed the problem.

        Chris

      • Fh July 1, 2016 at 11:22 pm #

        At the end of SIM 6 C.N.gifted us with 5 alternative fates for Emily. Three of them require that Whitehall exist. So her luck in, for example, not murdering Allisa has to do with not eliminating the timeline she is in. So, it’s fate, not luck.

    • Chance June 30, 2016 at 9:12 pm #

      There’s no need to worry about the paradoxes, if she is the dark lady like she thinks she is, then she already went to the past and did her stuff without messing anything up.

  17. FH June 21, 2016 at 8:47 pm #

    Read the snippet at least three times now. Can’t wait for the book. Explains Emily’s facility with Whitehall’s wards and her magical signature on the missing library. She’s the nexus’ original sysadmin.

  18. G June 21, 2016 at 10:05 pm #

    I think Emily is heading toward being the future Grandmaster…

    • Rengrave June 23, 2016 at 10:14 am #

      Bingo

  19. William Ameling June 21, 2016 at 11:08 pm #

    She may end up the School Grand Master back in our present time but in that time the Grand Master needs more than sheer power, she/he also needs a lot of skill, knowledge, and experience in casting magical spells (in our time), as well as the political connections to the White Council and the rest of the power structure of the Nameless World. She already seems to be the person who has the strongest ties to the Nexus Point. But it will take time to acquire the rest.

    I know about the 40 or 50 books in IR and obviously she is the one who retrieved them after returning from the past after being roused/released from her frozen/statue state.

    What I trying to suggest would an arrangement, perhaps attached to the library, of a sort of ongoing time capsule, where someone, perhaps the head librarian, would deposit a copy of important books, so that they would be preserved for the future. Ideally this would continue all the way from the founding of the school to when Emily returns to her proper time and retrieves them. We already know how important books are to her, and I think it would be something that she would attempt. It would probably be best that not many people be aware of such a time capsule (only a couple of the Librarians), or there be many attempts by those like Prof Locke to break into it.

    The more I think about it, the more I expect Emily to take her oaths to the school in the past when the school is founded, otherwise Chris would have let her take them at the beginning of 5th year. I also think that the past would be when/where she will redeem her oath to the Unseelie Court, since they would already know that it would be redeemed when they asked her for it in SIM.

    Where do/did you get a 2nd appendix to Wedding Hells? My kindle edition does not have it, and my highest location is 5953, not 5976. The only thing I have after that is a section on About the Author and where do you get the title of Book 11 The Sargent’s Apprentice? Maybe I am missed seeing and reading the right part of the Blog (?)

    • William Ameling June 21, 2016 at 11:56 pm #

      I tried looking at the discussion forum, but could not get past the security feature, so I will make my (wild?) suggestion here: If Void is not Emily’s father (and Chris has another idea) how about Lord Whitehall as Emily’s father? Of course, there is the problem of getting her from the past to another world (Earth), but a Demon could do that. That could explain how no one in the present day Nameless World has any (or much) blood connection to her, and explain where she inherited her magical abilities from. There is also the question of Void and his family blood line, perhaps he is descended (the last descendent?) from Lord Whitehall, and Emily is related to him through Lord Whitehall. (talk about WILD speculation, but who knows it could be possible, and it would justify Void giving her the ring, even though he does not have the 4th ring for having a child, and why he could find out about Emily in time to save her from Shadye)

      • Veraenderer June 22, 2016 at 11:10 am #

        I think her father is a demon since in “School of Hard Knocks” at Pos 1977 a demons says to her: “You will fit in well here”[…]”Why,, you’re almost one of us already”.

      • Lodrik June 23, 2016 at 7:53 am #

        its been said in book 1 already that Shade was able to reestablish the bloodmagic link because she is truly from another world and (because of that) has no relatives in the nameless world…

      • Lodrik June 23, 2016 at 7:57 am #

        @Veranderer nice idea, lets relate that to the idea that the demons brought her into the nameless world (in the end demons/one demon has lead MANY steps on her way, I dont see why the HAVE TO hate her. They are supposedly evil but her being a halvdemon would get us around that little problem)

      • Veraenderer June 24, 2016 at 9:49 am #

        To expand the idea a little:
        I think demons are simply extremly powerful and old beeings without a real body (they can take any form) and that every beeing with enough power can become a demon. Therefore I think that her father tried to live a normal live on earth (because of boredom) but left because he thought that this would lead to the best chances that she becomes a demon too.

        As Shadye tried to summon a child of destiny he started his plan.

        Furthermore I don’t think that demons are bad, I believe that demons, angels, gods are all the same “species” and that demons are simply bored or enjoy (for some time) to be evil.

        The other demons know probably of this plan and will probably try to not ruin this plan.

    • Michael Misenheimer June 22, 2016 at 1:04 am #

      Try deleting the book from you library and then downloading it again. There may be an updated version that includes the second appendix.

      • William Ameling June 22, 2016 at 3:17 am #

        If I delete it Amazon will think that I no longer own it. I have tried downloading Wedding Hells again but there is nothing new there, no 2nd Appendix. I got my original copy the day it was first released on the Kindle from Amazon. I have tried to download it to my Kindle on PC but I can not find it in my content for it ( I do not see any content on my Kindle for the PC maybe I am doing something wrong. I am using the manage your content and devices window from Amazon.com. I can see all of my content on my Kindle Fire, even from my computer)

      • chrishanger June 23, 2016 at 7:05 pm #

        On Amazon, there’s an ‘update’ function if you go to ‘manage my devices.’ You should be able to get the update from there.

        Chris

      • Michael Misenheimer June 22, 2016 at 3:26 am #

        I’m sorry, I meant delete from your kindle fire then download again. I know what you mean about the PC version it’s not easy to use at all. Upper left corner, 3 vertical bars. Click that then search for nuttall, should bring all books you have by him.

  20. Archie June 22, 2016 at 12:18 am #

    Your last few books have been oddly disappointing. Emily dosent do enough Empire building for my taste. Also, action scenes are few and mostly at the end.

    But this teaser really excited me. It made me really want to read the story. Please keep up the great work.

    • chrishanger June 23, 2016 at 7:04 pm #

      I don’t think she has quite the mindset for empire building

      If you put Gwen of TRS in the SIMverse, she’d be running the castle inside a week

      Chris

  21. William Ameling June 22, 2016 at 3:54 am #

    I also wonder about Emily’s ring from Void making her a member of his family and Lord Whitehall. If Void is descended from Lord Whitehall, then that ring may have a role to play with Lord Whitehall (assuming that they used those rings back in his time and that he can recognize/detect the connection, if there is one). I suppose Emily could have a different father than Lord Whitehall, but it is certainly the most interesting possibility, now that we know that time travel is part of the SIM storyline.

    • Don Yu June 22, 2016 at 6:56 am #

      The ring can be used to identify Emily as Whitehall so becoming Lady Emily Whitehall in extended family not wife of Lord Whitehall.

  22. Don Yu June 22, 2016 at 6:54 am #

    The impression I got was that Emily was given situations to avoid from giving oaths to large identities that can be used to restrict action in the future. eg. No 5th year oaths to Whitehall.

    So apprenticeship without contracts and oaths can be carried out in the past then what can be done at the present. Also learning from then enemies the Lord Whitehall will have knowledge like those runes in the lower levels from the faeries. This knowledge and eduction can be exchanged with the basic frame work of control system of the nexus. Also special access allowing control of the nexus during the events of book 1.

    Does Emily have to have a set job titles like mediator which will be strongly influenced or even control by white council?

    I see Emily ending as lone power which has most independence in the nameless world has then anyone else and without even basic oaths taken like the again 5th year oaths to the school. This will allow freedom action to influence and/or change the basic social structure then any other way. That is if Emily avoids making to many enemies during her life (But total admin access control of double nexus point ie Whitehall can be used to defend herself in the future.)

    Her presence in the past will allow Whitehall be coming progressive for that time to allow in female students and more formal educational system. Also bring lost knowledges from the past but will be heavily edited since some knowledge is left unknown like demon summoning and control.

    • William Ameling June 22, 2016 at 9:25 am #

      If Emily takes any oaths to Whitehall (the school) I would expect them in the past, which would enable her to avoid oaths to the Allied Lands and the White Council. Emily will either end up a Lone Power, or she will be tied to the school somehow. She is certainly following a course of study aimed at being a Mediator or a Combat Sorceress, but she might well end up not becoming one.

      The question of knowledge (and books) from the past is problematical, as we see from the PT snippet, since magic back then was a lot less advanced and sophisticated, but since they are a lot closer in time to the wars with the Faerie they may know things that were learned while fighting the Faerie that have been forgotten by Emily’s future time. Some of the demon control lore may have been lost, but I think that someone like Void could recreate them if he wanted, but I think that Void is well aware of the dangers in dealing with demons. Many of the lost books may be more history than books of unknown spells. Although we do know that the past at some point did have unusual and strong magic in creating things like the Mimic, but that may have come from a non human source. There also may be a lot of lost knowledge of runes and the like.

      I have still not been able to find and read a 2nd appendix to Wedding Hells, even after downloading to Kindle on the PC. Also where did you get the title of book 11 from?

      • Don Yu June 22, 2016 at 11:20 am #

        I was thinking that rune can be used to make a program language for magic so people can use it with magic batteries. Ultimate equalize of people. Then magicians can become slaves producing magic batteries but then…

        Nexus can be even more important then oil here since it also can become magic computer as well. Just need more security “programmed” so “os” can’t be changed easily or the settings.

  23. Michael Misenheimer June 22, 2016 at 12:20 pm #

    Chris? Would it be possible for you to post SIM 8 Appendix 2 please? I would like William to be able to read it as it’s a really good read with some interesting information in it. I have no idea why his copy of the book from kindle doesn’t have it since mine does. I would gladly loan him mine through amazon but then I would require his amazon email address, I will not ask him for that here.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 22, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

      I’ve sent a message to Chris about posting the second Appendix of Wedding Hells and I had the same problem.

      The problem seems to be that early purchasers of it didn’t get the updated version and for some reason Amazon isn’t giving us the updated version.

      Now, in the case of another Kindle book, the solution involved contacting Amazon/Kindle customer service (which was a pain).

      I felt that I could afford to purchase the B&N version of Wedding Hells but I understand others not wanting to do that.

      Another possibility is to delete Wedding Hells from Amazon’s list of Kindle purchases and repurchase it.

      • Anita June 22, 2016 at 5:15 pm #

        supposedly, there is a kindle setting to auto update, but it didn’t work for me on another book but I use the app. The only thing that worked for me with the app was calling amazon and having them “force out’ the update, which means you will loose any notes or book marks… It may be a good idea for Chris to post the appendix at his website for those that didn’t read it as it looks to have important background info for SIM 10. I don’t think repurchasing the book will even work unless you download to a different device or use a different account with amazon.

  24. Anita June 22, 2016 at 5:30 pm #

    Since a lot of other people are posting their thoughts, I will add my 2cents, though I am quite happy to see where Chris takes this story. I think I read awhile ago that there will only be 14 books in the series, is that still true?

    I didn’t read any of this series until this year so read 1 through 8 back to back and had not read any blog postings or reviews or comments about these books until after #9. I was surprised to discover that Chris had commented somewhere that Emily is written as a high functioning autism, once I read that a lot of things made more sense in the book. I think this was a very important element that should have been included in book one, somehow as I think that there are a lot of readers like me that generally just expect all important info to be in the books and not in side comments on author blogs … Emily staying at Whitehall for her 5th year after the restrictions placed on her, is one of those things that made sense.

    My other thought is that I don’t think Caleb is the right person for her, I would rather see a new, more powerful or mature man for her, someone like Void, if he doesn’t turn out to be her father … 😉

    Regardless of what I think should happen, I am also sure that where ever the story takes Emily it will be an enjoyable ride. Chris, thank you for creating such a memorable world.

    • Bret Wallach June 22, 2016 at 5:49 pm #

      Anita wrote: “…more powerful or mature man for her, someone like Void…”

      Ummm. Void is over a hundred years old, isn’t he? Isn’t that a bit too mature? 🙂

      I have to laugh. Someone above wondered if Lord Whitehall found Emily attractive. I’m more-or-less (slightly more, actually) the same age as Whitehall and speaking for at least a subset of men, we look at 20-year-olds as, well, children, because that’s what they are and Emily certainly acts quite childish at times. So if I were Whitehall, there would be no chance that I’d find her attractive in any sort of love-interest sense (youth is beautiful as you get older, so I’d likely find her pretty in that sense). And if I were Void, even less so.

      • Jacqueline Harris June 23, 2016 at 3:05 am #

        Well in the snippit Whitehall couldn’t decide how old she was. I just wanted a better impression of Emily. All we get is her impression of herself. I wondered how other people see her.

      • chrishanger June 23, 2016 at 7:10 pm #

        Depends on who’s looking

        Chris

    • Bret Wallach June 22, 2016 at 5:50 pm #

      Only 14 books? Wow. I don’t see how Emily can finish her development and save the world from the necromancers that fast.

      • chrishanger June 23, 2016 at 7:07 pm #

        I think things have expanded a little.

        Chris

    • Lodrik June 23, 2016 at 8:08 am #

      Whitehall had a (really) medieval view of her: People are dirty, they stink and life is harsh. Hr said himself that he doesnt know anybody but royality looking like that (its like the beautiful fairy godmother from some fairytale) so I dont think its more than that.

      And its VERY likely that Void is responsible for the shit in “Wedding Hells” so how to you see them getting together… Emily is a “modern kid” so she would rather stay single then marry a guy 10x her age (I got a strong feeling about this too)

      • chrishanger June 23, 2016 at 7:12 pm #

        Yep – Emily is fantastically clean and healthy, by their standards. (Queen Elizabeth was supposed to have very bad teeth.)

        I don’t think there’s a realistic chance Emily would be happy marrying either Lord Whitehall or Void . A 100 years and a very different mindset is quite the barrier.

        Chris

      • Fh July 1, 2016 at 11:31 pm #

        Any bets on by which chapter Emily will have hot showers up at the newly tamed Whitehall nexus? Chapter 2?

  25. Michael Misenheimer June 22, 2016 at 6:18 pm #

    Chris has graciously posted Appendix 2 from Wedding Hells. Click on the June 2016 Link in the Archives section above to find it.

    • Michael Misenheimer June 22, 2016 at 6:19 pm #

      Oh Lord, I forgot to say Thank you Chris.

      • chrishanger June 23, 2016 at 7:07 pm #

        You’re welcome

        Chris

  26. Charles W June 22, 2016 at 6:29 pm #

    I think Emily is being setup for something in the military… one of her 4th year tests was the theory side of Military stuff… some subtle manipulation from her trainers will likely lead to influencing her in a major standoff/decimation of the necromancers. She’ll likely also be guided into somehow creating a ‘united nations’ for the mundanes to keep a portion of the public ready for war.

    Just thoughts though.

    • MAD-ness June 25, 2016 at 10:38 pm #

      I think that Emily could conceivably remain at Whitehall as a researcher or teaching assistant of some sort and make occasional forays out into the world to either fight the necromancers or intervene in important events in the Allied Lands.

      Remaining at Whitehall allows her access to a great number of young magicians as well as some of the elite magicians in the world (the professors).

      • chrishanger June 28, 2016 at 5:02 pm #

        She would certainly want to do that

        Chris

    • William Ameling July 3, 2016 at 9:05 am #

      Like I have commented in the appendix 2 (the history paper by Frieda) comments, I now suspect after your comment reminding us of the Military Magic test, that Emily is headed for an Apprenticeship in Military Magic and then a Mastership in Military Magic. I have suggested that she may end up transferring to Stronghold for her 6th year to take Military Magic there since there are very students taking it at Whitehall.

      Chris responded by saying he planning to send Emily to Stronghold but has not yet decided about as a student in 6th year.

      If she does not go in 6th year, she very well might go there after graduating from Whitehall to start her (likely) Apprenticeship in Military Magic.

      At some point I expect that she will play a major role in defeating the Necromancers (and re establishing the Human Empire, probably with Alassa as Empress). (This is my personal guess, no inside info from Chris)

  27. Lodrik June 23, 2016 at 8:20 am #

    lets try something far more juicy; it seems by now clear that Emily is working on the system that will lead to the creation of mimics and she saw herself turning into a mimic in one of the demons visions.
    BUT what she saw doesnt have to be the mimic as we know it, she could make a double of herself with that “computer-magic” design ect.
    I got a feeling that the core idea for this kind of thing comes with this book, but the mana-battery may have some problems, because of that mages of later ages are going to work around this with necomacy.

    Lastly the question: How far could necromacy corrupt this “computer-magic”? The mimic gives of a feeling of pure evil!

  28. Michael Misenheimer June 24, 2016 at 8:09 pm #

    So, all quiet on the Eastern Front…..

  29. G June 25, 2016 at 7:21 am #

    Wouldn’t Emily benefit from getting out of Whitehall, meeting new people, and developing new challenges?? At the end of Past Tense, this will have made 5 books and 4 series years in the same locale–personally, I hope she breaks loose and pursues her own training…and why does she need a career if she’s independently wealthy?? She can afford to spend her time doing magical research, opposing the necromancers or whatever. I also think she’s become way to controversial to become a mediator of anything…I hope she begins to make her own way in the world…

    • elkwood June 25, 2016 at 6:54 pm #

      ++ Couldn’t agree more.

      • William Ameling June 27, 2016 at 1:00 am #

        She may not end up a mediator but she is clearly taking a training path for those skills necessary to become one (or a Combat Sorceress which is closely related).

  30. Jack R July 5, 2016 at 6:30 pm #

    I have lots of questions and ideas about the series
    1. Cloak: will you wrap that up + it seems obvious that it could be void
    2.The picture of the dark lady with whitehall viewing the demon masters battle in school of hard knocks. I’m excited to see how you write that battle + it will give her access to demons. I think it would be cool if somehow Emily herself made a deal with the demon that Shadeye used to bring her. She could have made sure that the demon would misinterpret his orders to bring her to the Nameless world.
    3. I don’t see Emily not trying to make to same changes in the past as in the present. Some might not work, but why wouldn’t the new learning have happened in that time. I’m curious to see how you write your way out of that.
    4.The Dark Lady. Really. Unless you have a very clever excuse, using “the dark lady” as the name history chooses for Emily is cliche and lazy.

    • chrishanger July 8, 2016 at 2:30 am #

      Oooh – numbered questions!

      1 – Yes, I will.

      2 – Yes, the battle is shown in PT.

      3 – The problem here is that that will change the past, altering the timeline.

      4 – No comment

      Chris

  31. William Ameling July 5, 2016 at 11:06 pm #

    I think that the “Dark” Lady is exactly how many of the magicians in the time of PT will think of and call her. They will be accusing her of using the Dark Arts and that will help justify attacking the new Whitehall school in their minds. Think about how many people back in the future were suspicious about Emily being a necromancer, or about to become one. She is not being called Dark because of her hair color or skin color, but because of the magic they think she is using; and if she ever tells anyone in PT that a Demon brought her to the Nameless World that would only strengthen those fears. It will be interesting to see if there is any interaction between Emily and that one Demon in PT. We already expect her to help defend the school against attacks by Demon Masters and other magicians. She should be thankful that they are calling her a Lady and not some much worse name. I suspect that her defense of the school against the Demon Masters will somehow contribute to or cause the fall of the Demon Masters, i.e. the picture at Mountaintop which is probably not very accurate.

    • William Ameling July 9, 2016 at 1:18 am #

      It is interesting to think about the book Emily can write when she gets back to her proper time: “The Dark Lady” by the Dark Lady (Emily (Whitehall ? or Void’s daughter) Cockatrice). I am assuming that Void’s family ring is from the Whitehall family line.

      I think that Emily can introduce knowledge about food, health, hot showers, boiling water, etc., introduce the idea of Alchemy, give a boost to the study of healing and progress towards solving the death in child birth problem, establish the Wards and the Warden for the school, finish the spellware controlling the Nexus point, clear the monsters out of the castle area, redeem her oath to Unseelie Court(?), defend the school against the attack that includes Demon Masters, help establish the structure of training at the school and help build the complex of tunnels under the school, establish and ward the room with the books we saw in IR, start teaching some female magicians, and still not ruin the timeline leading to her future. So she has a LOT to do in just one book before returning to her proper time. So much so that I wonder how space PT will have left after she returns to her proper time.

      PS She can also find out about the 3rd continent and interact with “her” Demon (the one that has been manipulating her since the beginning of SIM).

      PPS She might learn a lot of history or information about the Faerie.

      • William Ameling July 10, 2016 at 5:31 am #

        I will make one last comment here, are we certain that Emily will return to her regular timeline in PT? Maybe, she does not return until the next book.

    • Mark July 11, 2016 at 9:47 pm #

      Fey Brought her to the Nameless World.

  32. Gazza July 21, 2016 at 10:31 am #

    Book 10 is out

    • Bret Wallach July 21, 2016 at 5:08 pm #

      Thanks for the heads up. I bought it – guess I won’t get any work done today. 🙂

      • William Ameling July 22, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

        I have been checking Amazon and Chris’s Blog regularly, so I got book 10 PT yesterday (21 July roughly around 4 PM) and had it finished by about midnight last night. Emily did less than I expected, but enough to do what was needed. We (the ones speculating about PT) got some things almost right and other things not quite so close about what should happen, but they make more sense of the hints we had and should have paid more attention to. (I don’t want to give any Spoilers here, please read the book)

  33. William Ameling July 22, 2016 at 2:26 pm #

    When are you going to start a new Blog entry/comment section for Past Tense Book 10 (the actual book, not the teaser)?

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