I want to reiterate that you guys should go and check out my friend’s sporking of Tiger’s Curse over here.

Onto chapter 2!

So in the last chapter, some faeries jumped Atticus and they had a fight, but he defeated them because he’s got a Plot Device that lets him kill faeries by touching them. Also, he knows an iron elemental who shows up and eats the leftover faeries and never shows up in the Plot of this book again. There are no witnesses to this massive sword fight because…Reasons, I guess.

I looked around to see who might have witnessed the fight, but there wasn’t anyone close by—it was lunchtime. My shop is just south of University on Ash Avenue, and all the food places are north of University, up and down both Ash and Mill Avenues.

Look I get that maybe there wouldn’t be a crowd of people around, but there should be a risk of someone being around. No one was around? At all? Looking out their window, maybe? I’ve looked at Ash Avenue on Google Maps. It’s not not too out of the way. This is a nitpick more than anything else, because having witnesses would add another subplot to an already overstuffed novel, but it’s weird. Not impossible, mind you, but strange.

So Atticus goes back inside his shop after the fight, picking up weapons and flipping his sign to say ‘OPEN’ instead of ‘OUT TO LUNCH.’ He hasn’t actually had lunch, which isn’t a criticism but I’d be super hungry if I were Atticus.

Oh and his arm his fine.

Heading over to my tea station, I filled a pitcher with water and checked my arm. It was still red and puffy from the cut but doing well, and I had the pain firmly shut down. Still, I didn’t think I should risk tearing the muscles further by asking them to carry water for me; I’d have to make two trips.

Yeah, so a sword to the arm? It’s almost healed by the next chapter. I’m not saying I’d like the main character to be permanently maimed, but I thought it’d be cool if his injuries stuck around for a little longer. You don’t even have to discard the magic healing powers! Just slow it down a bit. As it is, I know none of his injuries will stick, so it just feels as if there’s nothing to really slow our hero down.

Atticus cleans his wound and takes the blood stains out of his clothes, and then a crow flies in and lands “on a bust of Ganesha.” Why Ganesha, the Hindu god of knowledge and Remover of Obstacles? [shrugs] I dunno. I mean I get this is a New Age store, and if you’ve ever been to one of those there are statues of Hindu gods out the wazoo, especially Ganesha. It’s possible that it’s because this character is going to be a remover of obstacles for Atticus in the rest of the story. If that’s the case I’d call that actually good writing on Hearne’s part. Or maybe it’s coincidence and I’m reading too much into it. Who knows?

Oh and there’s no mystery about who this is because immediately the text tells us who: the Morrigan.

It was Morrigan, Celtic Chooser of the Slain and goddess of war, and she called me by my Irish name. “Siodhachan O Suileabhain,” she croaked dramatically. “We must talk.”

“Can’t you take the form of a human?” I said, placing the pitcher on a rack to dry…. “It’s creepy when you talk to me like that. Bird beaks are incapable of forming fricatives, you know.”

[raises hand] Question: shouldn’t Atticus be used to Morrigan appearing as a crow? As we’ll find out this chapter, they’ve been associates for some time now. Him acting like it’s weird for her to talk as a bird doesn’t make sense considering they’ve known each other as long as they have. Even if he isn’t used to it, this wouldn’t be the first time to tell her this; it wouldn’t take much work to adjust this line to make it fit their context of their relationship.

He could say something like, “How many times do I have to tell you” or something like that. Not hard.

So the Morrigan gives Atticus a dire warning: Aenghus Og knows that he’s here in Tempe!

Admittedly, Atticus responds to this dramatic line exactly how I would: “Well, yes, I already knew that.” He also points out that in Morrigan’s capacity of a psychopomp for those who are killed in battle in Irish mythology, she should know that he knows because she would have taken care of the faeries right outside. The Morrigan said that she did, and that she passed their souls to Manannan Mac Lir, the Irish god who carries souls of the dead to the afterlife, according to this book (if that’s not accurate, don’t blame me, blame Hearne).

Also, Atticus keeps referring to the Irish gods as ‘Celtic.’ We had this discussion in the comments of the last chapter, that ‘Irish’ and ‘Celtic’ are not really the same. Yeah, Irish is a Celtic culture, but it’s not the only one. Normally I’d let it slide, but Atticus refers to Morrigan as “the Celtic Chooser of the Slain,” and Mac Lir as “the Celtic god who escorted the living to the land of the dead.” Does that mean there aren’t any other Celtic pantheons around? Are there no Welsh Celtic gods? Are there not any mainland European Celtic gods? Because while related, those aren’t the same as the Irish Celtic gods. Considering that the next book makes it clear that different versions of every god exist (there are both Greek and Roman pantheons, and every version of Coyote simultaneously exists), the Tuatha De Danann should not be the only Celtic pantheon.

The Morrigan assures Atticus that not only does Aenghus Og know that he’s there, he’s personally coming for his head and might be on his way right now. Atticus asks for the proof, and the Morrigan says that if he waits around for proof, it’ll be too late. At this point Atticus decides then that Aenghus probably isn’t coming at all, that this is “just some vague augury,” and constantly dismisses the Morrigan’s attempts to warn him.

To be fair in-universe, apparently this kind of thing happened before. One time the previous year, the Morrigan flew in claiming that Apollo was offended by Atticus being associated with the local university’s mascot (the Arizona State Sun Devils) and that he was riding over to fill him with arrows. But the actual augury she saw said something like he would be attacked by sharp projectiles, and the only thing that happened was some douchebag pierced his bike’s tires with some darts.

Wait, that doesn’t make any sense. I get that in-universe, Atticus points out that he doesn’t go to the university and so there’s no reason for Apollo to get offended, but…like, first of all the Greek god of the sun was Helios at first, not Apollo. Second, wouldn’t his beef be with the mascot, not with Atticus? This is supposed to portray Morrigan as either overprotective or easily alarmed, but it makes her sound stupid.

Anyhow Atticus asks exactly what prompted this visit, so Morrigan explains that she was talking to Aenghus Og after her trip to Mesopotamia—

“Begging your pardon, but the mortals call it Iraq now,

I should make a drinking game out of this. Every time Atticus says, “Actually in modern day, we say it this way!” take a shot!

Anyway Aenghus Og “told [her] to look to my friends,” which as far as veiled threats go, is pretty darn obvious. Atticus is surprised that Morrigan considers anyone a friend, but she says that while she’s been hanging out with Hecate lately, Aenghus probably meant him.

[Although in a preceding paragraph Atticus mentions the Morrigan is friends with Kali and Valkyries so I don’t know why he’s surprised she has friends?]

Atticus explains to us that the Morrigan and him have a deal: she refuses to come for his soul and take him from the world of the living because it pisses off Aenghus. They apparently hate each other that much. On the one hand, this translates to yet another way in which it’s hard to kill the protagonist. On the other, this is exactly the sort of passive-aggressiveness that I find hilarious from deities. Of course, we’re all hearing this second hand, and so the positive effect is lessened for me.

The Morrigan makes it clear that she wants to be as lazy about this as possible though. Instead of helping Atticus not die in battle, she always counsels him to avoid picking fights in the first place. At the Battle of Gabhra Morrigan explained that if Atticus gets decapitated and doesn’t die, that’ll make her look bad, so she told him to avoid getting killed at all costs. Essentially: I like you, and I’ll help you out, but if you put me in a position where it’s obvious to other humans that I’m picking a favorite, I’ll take your soul.

Atticus says Aenghus is a dick and might well be screwing with her, and she says she considered that, so she read some omens, and since that wouldn’t satisfy Atticus, she “cast the wands.” Atticus says that “She had actually gone to some trouble,” which I don’t understand because apparently “casting wands” means you throw down some sticks with Ogham writing on them to read the future.

That’s not the only way to read the future. Atticus mentions that some Druids used to read animal entrails which is…gross, and Atticus agrees, though I’m not sure why he would considering that was pretty normal in his day.

People today look at those practices and say, “That’s so cruel! Why couldn’t they simply be vegan like me?” But the Druidic faith allows for a pretty happy afterlife and maybe even a return trip or ten to earth. Since the soul never dies, taking a knife to some flesh here and there is never a big deal.

Alright I don’t know much about the Irish Celtic afterlife, but that sounds….silly? He doesn’t go into details, but from this quote it makes it sound like the soul can reincarnate or come back to the mortal world whenever they feel like. Which sounds fun in theory but could quickly get out of control. It’s too easy, which wouldn’t necessarily be bad for an afterlife, but it seems like that would be bad for the mortal world if Irish pagans just kept popping back in to have fun whenever they felt like it.

Moving on: if anything, Atticus should be very weirded out by the very idea of veganism. Ritual killing of animals is incredibly common in practices around the world, and historically there are very few people around the world who do not eat meat. I get that he’s adapted and all, but it should still come across as weird that in a world that, for thousands of years, ate meat without any problem, there are people who think it’s bad to eat meat.

[This isn’t a condemnation of veganism or vegetarianism; if you’re either, good for you! There are plenty of good reasons to not consume anything from the meat industry. But it should come as a bit of a culture shock to Atticus, is all I’m saying. So this if you’re thinking of arguing about how eating meat is bad/vegans are dumb, then go somewhere else. Shoo. Skedaddle.]

So ‘casting the wands’ is a Druid thing. There are twenty wants in a bag, and they’ve all got Ogham writing on them for the twenty native trees of Ireland, and each one represents a different thing. Basically, the magic-user will pick out five without looking, toss them to the ground, and however they fall can be interpreted to read the future. This doesn’t sound particularly accurate or helpful to me, but whatevs.

Morrigan tells Atticus that “Four of them were fell” and when he asks which trees were represented in the wants, “The Morrigan regarded me as if her next words would cause me to swoon like a corseted Jane Austen character.”

Uh… look, out of Austen’s work I’ve only read Pride and Prejudice, and there’s really not that much swooning. Atticus’s statement seems to imply he thinks Jane Austen wrote something like Harlequin romance novels, and that’s not really the kind of books Austen wrote? Maybe her other work has a lot of swooning and I just wasn’t aware, but it doesn’t seem to me like what you’d pick up from her work.

But right. Morrigan says the wands she picked (although she says it in Old Irish first) were Alder, Holly, Reed, Heather and Yew; respectively, that means the Warrior, Challenges, Fear, Surprise, and Death. Atticus asks for a clarification for where Alder and Yew fell in relation to each other, and she tells him that the Alder stick fell across the Yew, basically meaning that the warrior in question was going to catch a case of dead.

…You know, this should have been something Atticus did himself. Because that way, we get to see something a Druid does and how he works his magic, instead of being told about it by one of his friends who popped in to warn him. It’s enough detail that he might as well have done it himself, so I don’t know why it had to happen off-screen.

So Morrigan asks Atticus where he’s going to flee to (she suggests Mojave Desert, and Atticus thinks she might be trying to impress him by showing off that she knows some modern American geography, as European immortals don’t always care about how maps get redrawn), and he says he’s not sure that he wants to go anywhere just yet. He wants to think things over, and basically says, “I think you’re wrong.”

Essentially, the casting of wands relies on you having the right mindset, and can be interpreted in a number of ways. So Atticus thinks the ‘warrior’ in question could easily be Aenghus himself. He then says that since Aenghus never leaves Tir na nOg personally, it’s unlikely he’ll do so now, and that Atticus has dealt with everything the god of love sent before, so he’ll be fine!

I get this, but it also halts the drama to a stop. A goddess appeared in front of Atticus and told him he’s got to pack his bags because his immortal enemy is about to be on his doorstep swords blazing, and Atticus just keeps coming up with excuses for why he doesn’t take care. Oh, Aenghus said to watch out for your friends? That’s vague. She saw some bird signs? Well those are unreliable. You cast wands? Well you probably did it wrong, that’s all. If it happened once, I’d chalk it up to Atticus being overconfident (which he is), but it happens three times, so it’s like the author doesn’t want us to take the threat (which I remind you, is the Plot of the novel) seriously. Our protagonist refuses to take the actual Plot seriously, no matter how many times he’s told about it. Then why should we care?

Morrigan points out that there are ways of getting at Atticus other than sending big monsters. By doing… this.

The crow leapt off the bust of Ganesha and flew straight at my face, but before I could get worried about a beak in the eye, the bird sort of melted in midair, reforming into a naked, statuesque woman with milk-white skin and raven hair. It was the Morrigan as seductress, and she caught me rather unprepared. Her scent had me responding before she ever touched me, and by the time she closed the remaining distance between us, I was ready to invite her back to my place. Or here would be fine, right here, right now, by the tea station. She draped an arm around my shoulder and trailed her nails down the back of my neck, causing me to shudder involuntarily. A smile tugged at the corners of her mouth at that, and she pressed her body against mine and leaned forward to whisper in my ear.

“And what if he sends a succubus to slay you, most wise and ancient Druid? You would be dead inside a minute if he knew this weakness of yours.”

So, uh, yeah.

You would think an immortal Druid would not be so easily seduced, that he’d not have been particularly bothered by a naked woman, or even a goddess, but nope! Like a college kid he’s entirely entranced and can’t help but try to grope her. It’s unclear if it’s because she’s magic, but mostly it seems like it’s just that Atticus is easily persuaded to do anything if he sees breasts. She slaps him across the face, and he says that he ‘snapped out of it.’

“Ow,” I said. “Thanks for that. I was about to go into full-on leg-humping mode.”

Our protagonist, ladies and gentlemen!

The Morrigan points out that Aenghus doesn’t need any magic; he could easily hire a beautiful woman to seduce Atticus and kill him, though Atticus says Aenghus tried that already and it didn’t work. The same with succubi; his iron amulet would protect him from them.

And then stoners walk into the store.

No really.

… a pair of unfortunate college lads wandered into my shop. I could tell they were drunk, even though it was only mid-afternoon. Their hair was greasy and they wore concert T-shirts and jeans, and they had not shaved for several days. I knew the type: They were stoners who were wondering if I had anything smokable behind my apothecary counter… they would ask me if I had anything with hallucinogenic properties.

HA! Stupid college stoners! In their stupid Meat Loaf and Iron Maiden shirts!

They’re just here to die.

No really.

Because they get one look at the Morrigan, who I remind you is currently a super-mega-foxy-hot naked woman standing in the middle of a New Age shop, and, uh…

“Dude, that chick is naked!” Meat Loaf exclaimed.

“Whoa,” said Iron Maiden, who pushed his sunglasses down his nose to get a better look. “And she’s hot too.”

“Hey, baby,” Meat Loaf said, taking a couple of steps toward her. “If you need some clothes, I’ll be glad to take off my pants for you.”

This goes about as well as you’d expect.

To be fair, Atticus tells her not to kill people in his shop, but he clarifies that it’d be an inconvenience; it’d be a lot to clean up. Now I know you might be thinking that maybe he doesn’t want to straight-up defy a goddess, but after he convinces her not to kill them right then and there he doesn’t perform any efforts to save them any further. She declares to them that she will “feast on [their] hearts tonight” for the offense and they get spooked enough to leave. Atticus says he tries to convince them that they’re not worth the trouble, but he only says they’re “not much sport” and she agrees, but says she’ll kill them anyway.

Oh well, I sighed inwardly. I had tried.

Yeah, you’re clearly very invested in protecting your fellow man.

Those guys shouldn’t have made lewd comments at the Morrigan. Guys should not make lewd comments to women in public, period. Catcalling is terrible. Don’t do it! But that doesn’t mean they deserve to die for it. It certainly doesn’t mean that they deserve to have their hearts devoured by the Morrigan.

Furthermore, this is a dangerous precedent. Fun fact: if you’ve been insulted or humiliated, that does not give you the right to murder someone. I get that the Morrigan, who specifically doesn’t work on modern human morality, doesn’t give a crap, but Atticus should because he’s human, and the gods who he’s friendly with are okay killing people at the drop of a hat if they feel like it. Atticus himself was actually going to grope her, but he just got slapped. I get that he’s a friend of hers and she was making a point, but, like… Atticus more or less admitted he was going to hump her leg, but these two druggies make lewd comments and she’s going to eat their hearts?

Even practically, this is stupid, because those two guys could go home babbling about how a crazy lady in Atticus’s store promised to murder them, and then they turn up dead the next morning. That’ll lead suspicious cops right to his doorstep.

Does Atticus care? Not really. Here’s a running theme in Atticus’s life: he doesn’t actually care what happens to the people around him.

More importantly though, this bit is pointless. Who are these two guys? [shrugs] I dunno. No one cares. They’re just in the story to oggle the Morrigan’s naked body and then get shooed off so they can die off-screen. I think it’s supposed to be funny, but it’s just dumb. They’re straw characters you’ve seen in comedy bits, and they come in, interrupt the conversation to say stupid stuff, and then leave. Atticus barely cares that they’re going to get murdered. He doesn’t even say something like, “I should have locked the door.” He doesn’t try to prevent them from making lewd comments to the Morrigan, despite knowing exactly what kind of guys they are and how they’re looking at her. This bit goes like this: they walk in, oggle at the Morrigan, make sexual comments, and then leave after the Morrigan tells them she’ll kill them. It does nothing.

Atticus continues that he really does appreciate the Morrigan’s advice, but he wants to stay and fight Aenghus if he really is coming to get this whole feud over and done with. Except he’s lying. He tells us so in his narration. He isn’t ready to face Aenghus, he’s just convinced that the guy’s not actually going to show up because he’s actively ignoring the Plot. He doesn’t tell the Morrigan that though.

The Morrigan insists on seeing his magic amulet, and Atticus insists that she clothes herself first, and so she instantly gets a robe (and it’s black of course). She could have done that at any time, but she waits until after the college stoners leave to do it. Which, in-story she had no reason to know they would come in, but out-of-story the only reason she waits so long is so she can kill those two guys who never show up every again.

So Atticus shows her the necklace, and everything stops so he can describe it. It’s a charmed bracelet, it took him 750 years to make, and the iron amulet is bound to his aura (which he claims was a very painful process that took 300 years), which, as shown earlier, lets him kill Fae just by touching them. See, ‘cause in this universe, iron is the antithesis of magic, so beings of pure magic die when they touch the stuff.

Which makes this whole thing kind of perverse, yeah? He’s using magic to make himself into something with the same properties as anti-magic. I’d think the supernatural community would consider that kind of blasphemy. Sadly, no one does, because no one really comments on it that much.

The Tuatha de Danann are not, however, beings of pure magic, so iron and his aura don’t kill them, only messes with their magic. He says “They were beings of this world, who merely used magic better than anyone else, and the Irish had long ago elevated them to gods.” Which means that they were once essentially souped-up Druids that got deified? And that’s weird. I don’t know Irish mythology that well, but that description essentially means that Atticus is only not one of them because of some technicalities, as he’s incredibly powerful, a Druid, and immortal. It doesn’t directly make this comparison, but the text more or less tells us that Atticus is on par with the Irish gods, which is a great way for me to think your protagonist is overpowered.

He also clarifies that the Tuatha de Danann aren’t invincible. They can be killed, which is what happened to Lugh and Nuada. That’s why, apart from the Morrigan, they sort of avoided picking fights and stayed in Tir na nOg all the time.

But… alright this confuses me in a lot of fiction featuring gods, but if there’s an afterlife for the Druid religion, does that apply to the Tuatha de Danann? Lugh and Nuada are dead, but are they hanging around the Irish afterlife? And since Atticus already said that Druids could visit the mortal world again if they wanted after dying, does that mean that Lugh and Nuada could drop by for bacon and cabbage at the drop of a hat?

See, like I said, that statement about the Druid afterlife causes so many problems the second you start asking questions.

Right so the Morrigan is sooooooooo amazed by Atticus’s amulet, and he explains how you need an iron elemental for it to work, how it changes size for when he shapeshifts, and that he invented the magic behind it himself. Also later on the page he points to a part of the necklace and says it lets him breathe underwater. The Morrigan then demands that he teach her how to make one for herself.

Before we go on, let’s count how many powers our protagonist has!

-kills Fae with a touch
-can telepathically summon an iron elemental
-can shapeshift into animals
-make potions
-heal as long as he can touch the Earth
-breathes underwater
-has a magic necklace that shapeshifts with him
-does not age

Already I’m thinking that our protagonist is a bit overpowered.

Right, so the Morrigan demands that Atticus teach her how to make her own iron amulet, and he points out that it lets him breathe underwater, saying that it’s just one of it’s super special awesome powers. It’s valuable, and he asks what she’s willing to pay or trade for it. The Morrigan says she’s willing to not murder him for it.

Atticus is all like, “I knew you’d say that!” And he adjusts the deal so that not only will the Morrigan not kill him, she will not take him period. Meaning, if he gets killed, the Morrigan won’t take his soul to Manannan Mac Lir to be taken to the afterlife.

In essence, he’s asking to be completely unkillable. “True immortality” is how the Morrigan puts it. She’s hesitant, because that’s a lot to ask for, but Atticus says that the amulet will make her the greatest of the Tuatha De Danann. The Morrigan of course believes herself to be so already, though Atticus points out that the others would disagree, such as their queen Brighid.

The Morrigan agrees. She gives some BS about how other gods of death might take Atticus if he gets killed, but, like… okay, along with all those powers I listed above? Now he’s also unkillable. Add that to the list. Yes, he technically can be killed, but as we’ve noted he heals so fast that it’s hardly likely.

So the Morrigan gives one last warning: according to some of Aenghus’s human agents on the Intersnet, he’s sending Fir Bolgs after Atticus. They worked out who he was because his modern name, Atticus O’Sullivan, isn’t much of a change from his old Irish name, Siodhachan O Suileabhain. She tells him to change it.

Then she kisses him, makes her clothes disappear while she’s making out with him, and then turns into a bird and flies out, warning him to keep his amulet on him from now on and call her up if he needs her.

To recap: the Morrigan shows up in Atticus’s shop, tells him he’s in danger. He doesn’t listen, she decides to kill some stoners, then she agrees to let him be invincible if he teaches her how to make the ‘kill all magic’ amulet. Then she makes out with him and leaves.

I’ve only read the first two books, and this isn’t brought up in them, but I’m pretty sure the Morrigan is in love with him? She makes an effort to impress him with her knowledge of modern geography, she openly flirts with him (what else do you call it if you appear naked in front of a guy you know is interested for little reason) and then makes out with him. Naked.

Which… is another strike against this book, because not only is our hero a nigh-invincible badass who scoffs in the face of obvious danger, he’s got a mega hot goddess who wants to bone him.

I suppose by making him invincible, she removed some obstacles for him though. So hey! At least that bust of Ganesha actually did sort of mean something? Maybe?

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Comment

  1. The Smith of Lie on 6 August 2018, 05:21 said:

    Ok here’s the deal – I’ll do my usual comment, where I quote the choice bits of spork and try to pretend at having wit in regards to them later. But there’s one bit that inspired me to do something little bit old school.

    “How about Mojave? Aenghus won’t find you there easily.” Morrigan suggested. I was about to make some excuse, I didn’t really feel like he would actually be coming after me, regardless of what Morrigan thought. But I just shrugged and said “Sure, why not.” I could use vacation and if me having a camping trip to Mojave will calm down Morrigan, all the better.

    I left next day, packing only the essentials. If you were in the whole druid business as long as I’ve been, you’d be able to get by in the wilderness with next to nothing. So off I went to, quote unquote, hide from Aenghus and spend a week or two under the starry sky, far away from what passes for civilization. All in all it looked pretty promising.

    It came to my fire on the second day, shortly after sunset. From afar and in the darkness it could have been taken for a human, but once it got into the sphere of light I was immediately disabused of that notion. The proportions where wrong, with long almost ape like arms. And that was besides the obvious things like shaggy, matted, yellow fur growing over its whole body, the fangs and cat-like eyes. Mere presence of the creature was abomination, its difficult to explain. Just being nearby felt like rotting milk smells.

    “What do you want in my demesne, little mortal?” Despite the primal feeling of fear it seemed to radiate I managed to shrug and answer without betraying my nerves. “Just camping. I’ll probably be gone in a week or two.” To that it smiled, an unpleasant, predatory smile. “Oh, I think you’ll be staying much, much longer…”

    It jumped at me with such suddenness and speed, that I barely had chance to react. If not for centuries of training it’d have gotten me right then and there. But I somehow managed to roll away. I tried to attack it, a single good hit should be enough – thanks to my Amulet of Iron, but it transformed. In a fraction of a second its form blurred and changed, from a humanoid into a wild cat, which slunk under my attack and hit me with its clawed paw. Searing pain exploded in my side, even as the wound started healing.

    I expected the creature to be destroyed by the magic of my amulet, but it seemed unfazed. Rather, there was a glimmer of malevolent amusement in its inhuman eyes. I turned to try and grab a knife from my bag, but the creature was on me again, in the form of the bear, its giant jaws closing over my arm and flinging me in the air like a rag doll.

    It sniffed in the air and looked at the wound in my back slowly knitting itself closed. “Oh my, you heal quickly, little mortal. That’s good, it means we’ll have lots of time to get to know each other.” The sight of it pouncing at me was the last thing I saw before losing consciousness. And somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered hearing that a Naagloshii claimed Mojave…

  2. Epke on 7 August 2018, 13:55 said:

    No one was around? At all?

    Fairly common beginner’s mistake when writing, in all honesty. Awesome thing happens to protagonist that proves how amazing he is? No one’s around, there’s no evidence left behind and no witnesses to corroborate. It’s almost like a bad forum RP…

    It’s almost healed by the next chapter.

    Atticus is already becoming boring. Look, I get if you have healing powers, but now you also got insta-kill powers. It’s too much. Any consequence of a conflict is just rendered void here.

    The Morrigan said that she did, and that she passed their souls to Manannan Mac Lir, the Irish god who carries souls of the dead to the afterlife, according to this book (if that’s not accurate, don’t blame me, blame Hearne).

    Hm. Interesting. Fragarach is actually Manannan’s sword (then passed on to Lugh, then to Cú Chulainn, then to Conn). But Hearne is correct: Manannan does ferry souls to the afterlife.

    We had this discussion in the comments of the last chapter, that ‘Irish’ and ‘Celtic’ are not really the same.

    Correct: Celtic encompasses the Iron-Age Celtic civilisations, which are the Gaels of Ireland, the Welsh, the Scottish, southern Britons, the Celts in Gaul (sadly they and their Iberian cousins did not retain their heritage due to Roman and later Christian influences). And, just as an example: the triple goddess we have here, the Morrigan, does not appear in Welsh or Scottish mythology (although Scottish mythology is influenced by the Ulster Cycle, I will count that as distinct).

    At this point Atticus decides then that Aenghus probably isn’t coming at all, that this is “just some vague augury,” and constantly dismisses the Morrigan’s attempts to warn him.

    Yeeeeaah, let’s ignore the Goddess who has foretold (accurately) death and the future in general before. I am sure Chulainn scoffed as well.

    You would think an immortal Druid would not be so easily seduced, that he’d not have been particularly bothered by a naked woman, or even a goddess, but nope!

    The Witcher touches on this, with the elves. As Avallac’h points out: extreme longevity makes simple things in life boring, including sex. After a while, you’ve tried everything and nothing entices you as much as it used to. Atticus here is… 2100 years old. In that time, he must’ve porked more than a college frat house. How can the Morrigan’s appearence, unless it’s magic (and wouldn’t his amulet counter that?), affect him so?

    “Hey, baby,” Meat Loaf said, taking a couple of steps toward her. “If you need some clothes, I’ll be glad to take off my pants for you.”

    Oh, brother… Hearne, did you even read this?

    Does Atticus care? Not really. Here’s a running theme in Atticus’s life: he doesn’t actually care what happens to the people around him.

    I wonder if that’s enough to put him in the Bella Swan, Ana Steele, Clary Fray category? I mean, empathy is a shit trait in today’s YA.

    “They were beings of this world, who merely used magic better than anyone else, and the Irish had long ago elevated them to gods.”

    I mean, it’s fine if Hearne has his own take on them, if he wants. But they’re not really gods then, are they? I mean, even their name speaks of being the people of a deity, so… I don’t know, man.

    And he adjusts the deal so that not only will the Morrigan not kill him, she will not take him period. Meaning, if he gets killed, the Morrigan won’t take his soul to Manannan Mac Lir to be taken to the afterlife.

    No no no! This should either be the reward (or punishment, if Atticus wants to live as a mortal) or the incentive, the plot starter. Having the Morrigan just give it so him casually like this completely waste its narrative use. Imagine, if you will, if wee lad Atticus here was “rewarded” with this for being the last Druid, and these past 2100 years have been his attempt to die or, by forging the bracelet and making his own magic, taking revenge on the supernatural. Perhaps all supernatural forces. Atticus would then not be a hero who seeks to rid the world of gods, but perhaps an anti-hero who just wants closure.

    Or it could even be given to fight Aenghus, because only a god can kill a god. (Of course, at that point, Aenghus should remove the deal somehow so that Atticus is only human, but Atticus realises that all humans have something truly divine in them and manifests, temporarily, that power and wins).

    Also disappointed that Atticus didn’t consider the explicit implication here that the Morrigan won’t claim his soul – but anyone else can.

  3. The Smith of Lie on 7 August 2018, 15:14 said:

    Yeah, so a sword to the arm? It’s almost healed by the next chapter. I’m not saying I’d like the main character to be permanently maimed, but I thought it’d be cool if his injuries stuck around for a little longer.

    The protagonist’s wounds actually have a weird balance to them. They can’t be entirely avoided, because that’d make their job too easy and lessen the tention. They can’t be too easily ignored, because then we have Atticus, who pretty much removes the tension anyway. But piling them on is bad too.

    For all my love for Dresden Files, the fact that by the end of each book Harry is banged up enough to pretty much warrant a hospital stay can get sort of ridiculous, when one considers that he gets most of the wounds before confrotning the biggest, baddest enemy of the book, whom he then proceeds to defeat.

    Atticus cleans his wound and takes the blood stains out of his clothes, and then a crow flies in and lands “on a bust of Ganesha.”

    Well, at least Hearne didn’t go with a weak Nevermore joke. Small blessings.

    [Not gonna quote the next bit, cause it is a general thing, rather than addresing a specific part.]

    Ok, am I the only one who feels that Morrigan is sort of weird here? I freely admit that my knowledge of Irish mythology is cursory, but the few snippets I know paint her as sort of hard ass. But the spork here leaves me with an impression of a fawning aunt rather than a fierce goddess.

    Well, except for the bit with stoners. But even here she’s pretty lukewarm about the whole thing.

    Add the ease with which Atticus gets whatever he wants from her and she looks like a complete push-over.

    On the other, this is exactly the sort of passive-aggressiveness that I find hilarious from deities. Of course, we’re all hearing this second hand, and so the positive effect is lessened for me.

    This is actually a decent way to get a nominally good god as an antagonist in your book. They might not be generally assholes, but the main character just pissed them off enough to desrve a bit of that divine, passive-aggressive assholery. And just the fact that it can kill him, oh well…

  4. Aikaterini on 7 August 2018, 16:14 said:

    look, out of Austen’s work I’ve only read Pride and Prejudice, and there’s really not that much swooning. Atticus’s statement seems to imply he thinks Jane Austen wrote something like Harlequin romance novels, and that’s not really the kind of books Austen wrote? Maybe her other work has a lot of swooning and I just wasn’t aware, but it doesn’t seem to me like what you’d pick up from her work.

    The author is confusing Jane Austen with previous writers of the time period. More specifically, he’s probably thinking about Gothic novels like “The Mysteries of Udolpho” by Ann Radcliffe that do in fact feature a lot of fainting and swooning. In fact, one of the reasons why Austen was so popular at the time was because her work was more realistic in terms of the way people actually behaved and talked. And the closest that she came to writing a Gothic novel was “Northanger Abbey”, which was designed specifically to poke fun at popular Gothic novels at the time.

    Like a college kid he’s entirely entranced and can’t help but try to grope her.

    This really is just sounding like an excuse for the author to write a scene where the male protagonist gets to see a goddess naked.

    The same with succubi; his iron amulet would protect him from them.

    But not from Morrigan? He apparently doesn’t have enough self-control to keep his hands to himself? Is the implication that he would try to grope those succubi if he didn’t have a magical amulet to stop him?

    Does Atticus care? Not really. Here’s a running theme in Atticus’s life: he doesn’t actually care what happens to the people around him.

    So, our hero can’t keep his hands to himself, is a blatant hypocrite when it comes to other men trying to ogle or cat-call the woman that he just tried to paw, and he doesn’t care about the welfare of humans. Are we really supposed to like him?

    Then she kisses him, makes her clothes disappear while she’s making out with him

    So, the Morrigan, the infamous Irish war goddess…is now just a hot chick to get naked for our protagonist and moon over him. Great.

  5. Juracan on 8 August 2018, 08:50 said:

    QUICK NOTE: I probably didn’t make this clear in the sporking, seeing as how many people are asking but: Atticus is NOT wearing the amulet during the conversation, which is why he’s not defended from the Morrigan here (if she is in fact using magic to entrance him). He’s washing it.

    For Reasons.

    It sniffed in the air and looked at the wound in my back slowly knitting itself closed. “Oh my, you heal quickly, little mortal. That’s good, it means we’ll have lots of time to get to know each other.” The sight of it pouncing at me was the last thing I saw before losing consciousness. And somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered hearing that a Naagloshii claimed Mojave…

    Once again Smith blows me away with his spitefic’ing skillz.

    But this reminds me that the series doesn’t rely very much on Southwest folklore/mythology? I’m not saying it’s bad that the main character is Irish or that there shouldn’t be Irish mythology as the main schtick, but reading the first two books, the extent of Southwest mythology that comes up is that sometimes Coyote does a thing. That’s it.

    So yes, I imagine Atticus would be totes unprepared if a skinwalker dropped right in front of him.

    Hm. Interesting. Fragarach is actually Manannan’s sword (then passed on to Lugh, then to Cú Chulainn, then to Conn). But Hearne is correct: Manannan does ferry souls to the afterlife.

    Good to hear that he got it right.

    The story of Fragarach will be explained more in-detail later in the story, and from what I remember it’s like you outlined here, so that’s another thing Hearne got right.

    Yeeeeaah, let’s ignore the Goddess who has foretold (accurately) death and the future in general before. I am sure Chulainn scoffed as well.

    Thing is that in-story, she’s been wrong before. Like, a lot, if we’re to believe Atticus. So this kind of paints the Morrigan as unreliable and kind of stupid. Which is not the vibe I think I should be getting from an actual goddess, especially a powerful one like her.

    Also disappointed that Atticus didn’t consider the explicit implication here that the Morrigan won’t claim his soul – but anyone else can.

    It’s brought up, but not much attention is paid to it, in this scene or in the rest of the book. So I imagine that we’re not really supposed to care.

    The protagonist’s wounds actually have a weird balance to them. They can’t be entirely avoided, because that’d make their job too easy and lessen the tention. They can’t be too easily ignored, because then we have Atticus, who pretty much removes the tension anyway. But piling them on is bad too.

    Pretty much my thoughts. I don’t want the arm wound to necessarily hamper him for the rest of the series, or even the rest of the book, but it’s pretty cheap that it’s taken care of by the next chapter with no external help.

    Ok, am I the only one who feels that Morrigan is sort of weird here? I freely admit that my knowledge of Irish mythology is cursory, but the few snippets I know paint her as sort of hard ass. But the spork here leaves me with an impression of a fawning aunt rather than a fierce goddess.

    She shows up a bit more and maybe your opinion will change but… I doubt it. I didn’t necessarily get ‘fawning aunt’ but that’s not wrong—she’s just kind of here to help the hero even when it makes little sense for her to do so. She’s the Morrigan, dang it! She should be terrifying and vicious, not having these pleasant conversations with the hero.

    This really is just sounding like an excuse for the author to write a scene where the male protagonist gets to see a goddess naked.

    Welp we’re going to get more of that in this very book! So, uh, yeah.

    So, the Morrigan, the infamous Irish war goddess…is now just a hot chick to get naked for our protagonist and moon over him. Great.

    Oh, and strap even more Plot Armor on him. Can’t forget that!

  6. The Smith of Lie on 8 August 2018, 09:10 said:

    But this reminds me that the series doesn’t rely very much on Southwest folklore/mythology? I’m not saying it’s bad that the main character is Irish or that there shouldn’t be Irish mythology as the main schtick, but reading the first two books, the extent of Southwest mythology that comes up is that sometimes Coyote does a thing. That’s it.

    This is such a missed opportunity. I like to mention Scion RPG by White Wolf, which pretty much ran away with idea that all myths are true. One of the most entertaning things I’ve found within it was mixing beings from different folklores and letting them play off each other. It might have been inaccurate as hell in regards to sources, but it was also fun as hell.

    Thing is that in-story, she’s been wrong before. Like, a lot, if we’re to believe Atticus. So this kind of paints the Morrigan as unreliable and kind of stupid. Which is not the vibe I think I should be getting from an actual goddess, especially a powerful one like her.

    Because why would a goddess whose purview was augry be actually any good at it, am I right. Oh Morrigan, you silly goose with your silly little prophecies!

  7. sidhecat on 13 August 2018, 17:08 said:

    His relationship with Morrigan here bothers me. She is helping him against Aengus, another of her people and likely some form of family given how these things go, despite neither myths nor book giving us explanation for why she would side with Atticus on this. She checked thrice after getting pretty obvious threat by Aengus (and given his reaction, casting wands is apparently serious stuff). She is already doing her best to keep him alive and now accepted to give him even more immortality with only minor protest. She murdered random dudes for catcalling her, yet Atticus (who is supposed to be priest of Tuatha and is receiving numerous favors from her, from information to extended lifespan) dismisses her help, doubts her skills and gropes her, and she does nothing.
    It really sounds super Mary Suey to me.

  8. Juracan on 13 August 2018, 18:24 said:

    His relationship with Morrigan here bothers me. She is helping him against Aengus, another of her people and likely some form of family given how these things go, despite neither myths nor book giving us explanation for why she would side with Atticus on this.

    The Tuatha are kind of not presented very well here. You would think, them all being a sort of family, they’d all more or less stand with each other against any outside threats, even if they don’t all like each other. But nope! They kind of all hate each other.

    We’ll see more of this in the book.

    It really sounds super Mary Suey to me.

    It is really Mary Sue-y. And it’s going to get worse.

  9. TMary on 9 September 2018, 22:27 said:

    Hi there! Late to the party as usual, making long comments as usual, but I figured it was time some actual, non-spam comments showed up on the recent comments page, so here goes.

    Look I get that maybe there wouldn’t be a crowd of people around, but there should be a risk of someone being around. No one was around? At all?

    Yeah, I mean…I guess he’s supposed to be in kind of a college town, correct? Which explains why he’s saying, “Yeah, everyone was away getting lunch, because they’re all college students”, but…my parents once lived in a college town. It’s not just college students that live there, yo. A much better and more believable explanation would have been that Atticus and the faeries cast a spell on themselves so that nobody could see them, seeing as they both have reasons to not want to be seen by ordinary mortals. Works better than “Yerp, literally nobody was there, because everyone eats lunch at the exact same time here and they all eat lunch at a restaurant.”

    It’s not not too out of the way.

    So, quick question: Can you edit articles on ImpishIdea without too much trouble? If not, I won’t comment-edit as what mistakes there are aren’t a big deal for me, but if so, I will if you like, because I do notice them and I doubt you want them there. Beginning with the two nots in that sentence.

    He hasn’t actually had lunch, which isn’t a criticism but I’d be super hungry if I were Atticus.

    Goshdarnit, I hate it when authors do this. Characters are not robots (unless they are), they need to eat! Reminds me of the book my siblings and I are sporking, in which the twelve-year-old protagonist who’s almost never been out of the basement of Biltmore Estate manages to go forty-eight hours without food, while battling demons and mountain lions and trekking all over the forest of Asheville, and never once complains about it beyond a vague “I’m hungry”. Surprisingly enough, this isn’t that level of bad.

    It was still red and puffy from the cut but doing well, and I had the pain firmly shut down.

    I mean…I know it’s healing super fast anyway, and I’m glad he notes “I shouldn’t risk hurting it any more than it has been” after this, and I know that in the middle of a battle, where your choice is between fighting effectively and maybe doing yourself more damage or dying, it’s probably better not to be hampered by pain, but…shutting down the pain from an injury and just continuing to do whatever you like with that arm is really not a good idea. Pain is what tells you something is wrong and that you should stop doing the thing you’re doing (in general, anyway) before you do yourself more harm, and if you can’t feel the pain from an injury, you lose that immediate signal to your brain. It’s just…it’s not really a positive, to have the pain shut down but not the injury.

    Also, I agree with your statement about wishing this injury would last a little longer, or at least give some hint that there’s something that would slow him down, I just can’t think of anything to add to it.

    Atticus…takes the bloodstains out of his clothes…

    With magic, I presume, because taking blood out of fabric is not something you can do in twenty-thirty minutes otherwise.

    and then a crow flies in and lands “on a bust of Ganesha.”

    Not a pallid bust of Pallas, then? slaps herself

    It was Morrigan, Celtic Chooser of the Slain and goddess of war, and she called me by my Irish name.

    …Question: Does this mean they’re both speaking English, she just called him Siodhachan for the ~ atmosphere ~ of it? Because if they’re both speaking English, and not Irish, which ought to be their native tongue (Old Irish, really, but I’ll settle for calling it Irish)…then I am bothered most greatly.

    Bird beaks are incapable of forming fricatives, you know.

    Are you one hundred percent sure about that, Atticus?

    I mean, granted, there were no voiceless velar fricatives (the “ach”), but there were plenty of others. And OK, it’s not the bird’s beak, but she was still making the sounds.

    Now, that is an African grey parrot, and they’re extremely good at imitating human speech, but ravens and crows aren’t bad at it either. Though to be fair, I haven’t been able to find one that says fricatives, at least not very clearly.

    Anyhoo, like you said, he should really be used to the Morrigan appearing to him like this, and, y’know, supernatural happenings in general. He sounds like a snarky teenager who found out two months ago that magic exists, and not a thousand-year-old druid who was probably raised with this kind of thing around him. He really shouldn’t bat an eye at whatever form the Morrigan takes.

    Also, Atticus keeps referring to the Irish gods as ‘Celtic.’ We had this discussion in the comments of the last chapter, that ‘Irish’ and ‘Celtic’ are not really the same. Yeah, Irish is a Celtic culture, but it’s not the only one. Normally I’d let it slide, but Atticus refers to Morrigan as “the Celtic Chooser of the Slain,” and Mac Lir as “the Celtic god who escorted the living to the land of the dead.”

    Yeah, Epke already said it for me, but NO, Hearne. No, no, NO. Manannán is a god in Scottish mythology (and in Manx as well; as a matter of fact, he may be named after the Isle of Mann), but he’s not the same thing. Similar, yes, but not the same. Celtic is not a synonym for Irish, thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

    And then people question why a lot of Scottish people get frustrated when they’re confused with the Irish. Because they have two separate cultures, histories, traditions, and languages, and they don’t like being lumped all together and under the Irish umbrella at that, that’s why!

    (I think the other Celtic peoples are just happy when you remember they exist and don’t mix them up with the English or French, tbh.)

    This is supposed to portray Morrigan as either overprotective or easily alarmed, but it makes her sound stupid.

    Yeah, it really, really does. What was the point of that, exactly? To give Atticus a reason to not get the heck out of Dodge while he had the chance so we could have some drama? The Morrigan’s entire purview was MAKING PROPHECIES ABOUT HOW YOU’D DIE, I think she’d be a little better at it than that! Is this the Morrigan or That’s So Raven?

    “That joke was not intentional and I do not endorse it.”

    I should make a drinking game out of this. Every time Atticus says, “Actually in modern day, we say it this way!” take a shot!

    I have mentioned that this attitude kinda bugs me, yes?

    And I know it’s been hashed out already, but how does Morrigan not know what Mesopotamia is called now? Quite aside from the fact that she’s a god, she talks to Atticus a lot, doesn’t she? Wouldn’t the subject of what countries are called now have come up at some point?

    [Although in a preceding paragraph Atticus mentions the Morrigan is friends with Kali and Valkyries so I don’t know why he’s surprised she has friends?]

    On the one hand, this translates to yet another way in which it’s hard to kill the protagonist. On the other, this is exactly the sort of passive-aggressiveness that I find hilarious from deities.

    Yeah, I think it’s pretty funny too, I just wish Atticus had fewer powers to go with it.

    At the Battle of Gabhra Morrigan explained that if Atticus gets decapitated and doesn’t die, that’ll make her look bad, so she told him to avoid getting killed at all costs.

    Wait…Aenghus already hated him back at Cath Gabhra? How is this man not dead eighty jabillion times over already when a god’s been gunning for him since literal prehistory? And, just checking, we do find out what happened that made Aenghus hate him sooo much, right?

    Still, at least that’s one historical (within this universe) event that I can understand his reason for being at. :P

    Alright I don’t know much about the Irish Celtic afterlife, but that sounds….silly? He doesn’t go into details, but from this quote it makes it sound like the soul can reincarnate or come back to the mortal world whenever they feel like.

    I don’t know much either, but I think they believed in reincarnation, and that animals had souls. Still, I’m sure there were rules attached and it wasn’t the casual thing that Atticus makes it sound like.

    I get that he’s adapted and all, but it should still come across as weird that in a world that, for thousands of years, ate meat without any problem, there are people who think it’s bad to eat meat.

    Like I said earlier, Atticus feels a little too well-adapted, like a snarky American teenager who’s grown up in a world where veganism is a thing, not an ancient, wise druid who’s seen half the world and half the world’s cultures and practices and half of its history unfold before his very eyes.

    Come to think of it, by this point really nothing should surprise him any more.

    This doesn’t sound particularly accurate or helpful to me, but whatevs.

    I mean, y’know, it’s fortune-telling. All depends on whether you believe in it or not. shrug

    Uh… look, out of Austen’s work I’ve only read Pride and Prejudice, and there’s really not that much swooning. Atticus’s statement seems to imply he thinks Jane Austen wrote something like Harlequin romance novels, and that’s not really the kind of books Austen wrote? Maybe her other work has a lot of swooning and I just wasn’t aware, but it doesn’t seem to me like what you’d pick up from her work.

    So have I, but yeah, I don’t remember anyone swooning, and of the characters who would, they were all very silly indeed. Aikaterini gave much more insight than I could, though :)

    I get this, but it also halts the drama to a stop. A goddess appeared in front of Atticus and told him he’s got to pack his bags because his immortal enemy is about to be on his doorstep swords blazing, and Atticus just keeps coming up with excuses for why he doesn’t take care. Oh, Aenghus said to watch out for your friends? That’s vague. She saw some bird signs? Well those are unreliable. You cast wands? Well you probably did it wrong, that’s all. If it happened once, I’d chalk it up to Atticus being overconfident (which he is), but it happens three times, so it’s like the author doesn’t want us to take the threat (which I remind you, is the Plot of the novel) seriously. Our protagonist refuses to take the actual Plot seriously, no matter how many times he’s told about it. Then why should we care?

    Yeah, it simultaneously bogs down the plot, disappoints us when we were getting psyched up for some serious action, makes The Threat feel insignificant, and makes both Morrigan and Atticus look like complete dunderheads. I mean, wow.

    Her scent had me responding before she ever touched me, and by the time she closed the remaining distance between us, I was ready to invite her back to my place. Or here would be fine, right here, right now, by the tea station. She draped an arm around my shoulder and trailed her nails down the back of my neck, causing me to shudder involuntarily.

    So, um…question, for those of you who have in fact had erotic contact with another person before (guys in particular). Do you really get turned on that easily? Like, really really? ‘Cause that seems just a touch, er, overly enthusiastic. I mean, maybe she’s putting some magical whammy on him that’s making it harder to resist (which…I just realized that that would be all kinds of fracked up), but then she goes on about how this is a “weakness” of his, and…is Atticus supposed to be a sex addict? Because unless he’s that, or he’s blindingly stupid, or both, if he knows his enemy is sending gorgeous seductive women after him to lure him in for the kill, I’m thinking he’s going to go celibate for a little while, yes?

    “Thanks for that. I was about to go into full-on leg-humping mode.”

    Our protagonist, ladies and gentlemen!

    Does this feel icky and like women are objectified in this book to anyone else? Or is it just me?

    The Morrigan points out that Aenghus doesn’t need any magic; he could easily hire a beautiful woman to seduce Atticus and kill him, though Atticus says Aenghus tried that already and it didn’t work.

    THEN WHY THE FRIG ARE WE HAVING THIS CONVERSATION?

    Sorry.

    And the answer had better not be, “So Hearne can make out with a super-hot goddess by proxy.”

    … a pair of unfortunate college lads

    coughs loudly

    Atticus more or less admitted he was going to hump her leg, but these two druggies make lewd comments and she’s going to eat their hearts?

    I mean…OK, this is gonna sound like victim-blaming, and I really don’t want it to. Like you said, guys should not make lewd comments in public to women, period (or, y’know, in private, when it’s a woman you don’t know who is not interested in sleeping with you. Just…don’t. It’s gross and it’s frightening). However. I must note that the Morrigan is currently in Seductress Mode. This is the form she takes when she wants to seduce men. Is she really surprised that these guys are, well, seduced? Especially if my first theory is correct and she’s using some kind of mind whammy to make herself harder to resist?

    Does Atticus care? Not really. Here’s a running theme in Atticus’s life: he doesn’t actually care what happens to the people around him.

    My favorite thing: A “hero” who doesn’t give one half a dang about anybody but himself and maybe his allies! I can’t wait! crazed grin

    This bit goes like this: they walk in, oggle at the Morrigan, make sexual comments, and then leave after the Morrigan tells them she’ll kill them. It does nothing.

    First, just for future reference if nothing else, “ogle” has one G.

    Second, my second favorite thing! Pointless side-scenes that add nothing to the actual story! Yippee! grinds teeth

    He tells us so in his narration. He isn’t ready to face Aenghus, he’s just convinced that the guy’s not actually going to show up because he’s actively ignoring the Plot. He doesn’t tell the Morrigan that though.

    I’m trying to think if I’ve encountered a hero both this lazy and this terminally stupid in quite this fashion, before, and I’m not sure I have. I mean, he should be “HIGGITUS-FIGGITUS-ZUMBA-KAZING“ing his stuff into a suitcase and making tracks for…anywhere, but HE’S NOT DOING IT. Does he not like the plot of this novel? Does he wish his author had written a different one?

    The Morrigan insists on seeing his magic amulet, and Atticus insists that she clothes herself first, and so she instantly gets a robe (and it’s black of course).

    Ebony Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way just popped in my head. Closely followed by Gethsemane Butler. That is not a good sign.

    So Atticus shows her the necklace, and everything stops so he can describe it.

    My third favorite thing! eye-twitch I’m really gonna have to get myself under control.

    Which makes this whole thing kind of perverse, yeah? He’s using magic to make himself into something with the same properties as anti-magic. I’d think the supernatural community would consider that kind of blasphemy. Sadly, no one does, because no one really comments on it that much.

    Not to mention, it’s just terribly unfair, like I said. It seems kind of brutal that they should outright die from touching iron. Be weakened, sure, but die? Just from touching it? I mean, how could they even have survived all this time if that’s all it takes?

    And hold up – what’s a being of “pure magic”, anyway? Like, are iron elementals not magic? If not, what are they? If so, are they not completely magic? Are faeries the only ones who are pure magic? What constitutes a faerie? It’s not the Sidhe, because succubi are included, too (at least I presume so, because he says his amulet protects him from them). And, if they’re “pure” magic, then…do they not have physical bodies? Are they just magic? Are their bodies just glamour? How does this work, Hearne, or didn’t you think about it?

    Anyhow, I think it would have been kind of interesting to have the supernatural community consider Atticus a dangerous renegade, polluting and corrupting everything they held dear, but of course that’s not what we get, ‘cause it would be interesting.

    But… alright this confuses me in a lot of fiction featuring gods, but if there’s an afterlife for the Druid religion, does that apply to the Tuatha de Danann? Lugh and Nuada are dead, but are they hanging around the Irish afterlife?

    Really, it’s just best not to write killable gods, or killable spirits (coughWarriorscough), or afterlives where people are killable (coughBleachcough though at least Kurosaki Ichigo cares about the people around him and is still nowhere near as OP as Atticus). It just raises too many questions, and there’s no satisfying way to answer them.

    Right so the Morrigan is sooooooooo amazed by Atticus’s amulet,

    I know this is a very, very rare and powerful thing, but it annoys me greatly that he’s still apparently the first to come up with it, ever, and it’s so amazing that even a goddess is gushing over it.

    The Morrigan then demands that he teach her how to make one for herself.

    Before we go on, let’s count how many powers our protagonist has!

    Can we start with a bleeding goddess just asked him to show her how to make a magical amulet for herself?

    Yes, he technically can be killed, but as we’ve noted he heals so fast that it’s hardly likely.

    Seriously, Atticus now has powers to rival those of a god – he has powers a goddess wants – and with everything I know of his personality so far, I really kinda don’t want him to have said powers. I kinda don’t.

    They worked out who he was because his modern name, Atticus O’Sullivan, isn’t much of a change from his old Irish name, Siodhachan O Suileabhain.

    I WARNED YOU! I warned you! But did you listen? Nooo!

    Then she kisses him, makes her clothes disappear while she’s making out with him,

    The Smith of Lie: But there’s one bit that inspired me to do something little bit old school.

    Thank you, Smith.

    It sniffed in the air and looked at the wound in my back slowly knitting itself closed. “Oh my, you heal quickly, little mortal. That’s good, it means we’ll have lots of time to get to know each other.” The sight of it pouncing at me was the last thing I saw before losing consciousness. And somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered hearing that a Naagloshii claimed Mojave…

    Thank you so much.

    Also:

    Mere presence of the creature was abomination, its difficult to explain. Just being nearby felt like rotting milk smells.

    I like that. Very clever!

    Epke: Yeeeeaah, let’s ignore the Goddess who has foretold (accurately) death and the future in general before. I am sure Chulainn scoffed as well.

    I mean, he kind of did (at least from what I picked up), but it was more, “I’m awesome enough to handle this, even if the goddess of foretelling death in battle says I’ll die” and less “The goddess of foretelling death in battle is wrong so there’s no need to worry, which is good because I actually can’t handle this”.

    Epke: No no no! This should either be the reward (or punishment, if Atticus wants to live as a mortal) or the incentive, the plot starter. Having the Morrigan just give it so him casually like this completely waste its narrative use. Imagine, if you will, if wee lad Atticus here was “rewarded” with this for being the last Druid, and these past 2100 years have been his attempt to die or, by forging the bracelet and making his own magic, taking revenge on the supernatural. Perhaps all supernatural forces. Atticus would then not be a hero who seeks to rid the world of gods, but perhaps an anti-hero who just wants closure.

    Or it could even be given to fight Aenghus, because only a god can kill a god. (Of course, at that point, Aenghus should remove the deal somehow so that Atticus is only human, but Atticus realises that all humans have something truly divine in them and manifests, temporarily, that power and wins).

    Ooh, I like all of this! Why do bad books always inspire such good plots you then can’t really use because it’d be copyright infringement?

    The Smith of Lie: The protagonist’s wounds actually have a weird balance to them. They can’t be entirely avoided, because that’d make their job too easy and lessen the tention. They can’t be too easily ignored, because then we have Atticus, who pretty much removes the tension anyway. But piling them on is bad too.

    And you also can’t make them too big a deal for the protag, because then people start thinking he/she is whiny and can’t deal with a little pain. It’s really a delicate balance, and I don’t fault Hearne for tripping up – I just fault him for thinking the book was done.

    The Smith of Lie: Well, at least Hearne didn’t go with a weak Nevermore joke. Small blessings.

    slaps herself again

    The Smith of Lie: Ok, am I the only one who feels that Morrigan is sort of weird here?

    No, no you are not. I mean, I just kind of feel like all gods should feel like characters you wouldn’t want to cross? Not cruel or anything, necessarily; just characters on whose good sides you want to remain, because otherwise they will mess you up. Definitely not beings you can casually dismiss as being wrong and make demands of and flirt with as if they were just another human.

    Aikaterini: So, the Morrigan, the infamous Irish war goddess…is now just a hot chick to get naked for our protagonist and moon over him. Great.

    Thank you! Glad I’m not the only one ticked off too.

    Juracan: Atticus is NOT wearing the amulet during the conversation, which is why he’s not defended from the Morrigan here (if she is in fact using magic to entrance him). He’s washing it.

    Ahem. Sorry. It just strikes me as particularly ridiculous that this mega-powerful amulet, the one that took seven hundred and fifty years to be made, the one that impressed the Morrigan, that kills faeries, is bound to his aura, and allows him to breathe underwater…

    Needs to be washed.

    It needs to be washed!! cracks up again

    Juracan: But this reminds me that the series doesn’t rely very much on Southwest folklore/mythology? I’m not saying it’s bad that the main character is Irish or that there shouldn’t be Irish mythology as the main schtick, but reading the first two books, the extent of Southwest mythology that comes up is that sometimes Coyote does a thing. That’s it.

    Which is really quite disappointing. I mean, Irish mythology does get shunted to the side a little, but it’s more well-known than Southwestern US mythology, and since he’s going with “All myths are true” and has his main character living in Arizona…why not have more of the mythology and creatures from the place where it’s set? It’d be cool to read about and interesting to see how two different mythologies played off of each other. Maybe Atticus could have made friends with the supernatural community in Arizona; maybe they dislike the Irish pantheon because they feel that they and their people muscled in on their territory. I’m just saying, you could do something new with it.

    sidhecat: She murdered random dudes for catcalling her, yet Atticus (who is supposed to be priest of Tuatha and is receiving numerous favors from her, from information to extended lifespan) dismisses her help, doubts her skills and gropes her, and she does nothing.

    Yeah! Atticus, dude, show some respect, and Morrigan, ma’am, show some backbone! And slapping him doesn’t really count, I’m afraid.

    It is really Mary Sue-y. And it’s going to get worse.

    I mean, Chapters 3 and 4 have already been posted, so I’ve had a taste of that, and I will comment on it, but not tonight. See ya!

  10. Juracan on 20 September 2018, 16:02 said:

    So, quick question: Can you edit articles on ImpishIdea without too much trouble? If not, I won’t comment-edit as what mistakes there are aren’t a big deal for me, but if so, I will if you like, because I do notice them and I doubt you want them there. Beginning with the two nots in that sentence.

    I don’t know. The only time I ever did it was when an article was first posted so I’m worried that if I do it’ll like, repost the article or something. I might have to experiment to find out.

    With magic, I presume, because taking blood out of fabric is not something you can do in twenty-thirty minutes otherwise.

    Nope! He just goes outside and pours bleach on it. It doesn’t say how long, just that he went outside with a jug of bleach and pours it on all the bloodstains, and then goes and washes it out with water.

    …Question: Does this mean they’re both speaking English, she just called him Siodhachan for the ~ atmosphere ~ of it? Because if they’re both speaking English, and not Irish, which ought to be their native tongue (Old Irish, really, but I’ll settle for calling it Irish)…then I am bothered most greatly.

    Not addressed! But there’s no indication that they’re speaking in Irish, so my guess is that this conversation is in English. As you pointed out, there’s no reason for them to be doing so when they both know Irish, but there ya go.

    And then people question why a lot of Scottish people get frustrated when they’re confused with the Irish. Because they have two separate cultures, histories, traditions, and languages, and they don’t like being lumped all together and under the Irish umbrella at that, that’s why!

    Reminds of the bit in DuckTales. I think Scrooge even says basically the same thing at one point, just angrier.

    And, just checking, we do find out what happened that made Aenghus hate him sooo much, right?

    Yup. Chapter five will explain it.

    First, just for future reference if nothing else, “ogle” has one G.

    Really?? Because it just looks more… fun with an extra ‘g’ in there. A quick Google search tells me both are technically acceptable though.

    And hold up – what’s a being of “pure magic”, anyway? Like, are iron elementals not magic? If not, what are they? If so, are they not completely magic? Are faeries the only ones who are pure magic? What constitutes a faerie? It’s not the Sidhe, because succubi are included, too (at least I presume so, because he says his amulet protects him from them). And, if they’re “pure” magic, then…do they not have physical bodies? Are they just magic? Are their bodies just glamour? How does this work, Hearne, or didn’t you think about it?

    I have limited knowledge, as I’m only going on the first few books, but I’ll try my hand at answering these.

    Iron disrupts/breaks magic. Therefore beings of magic are all hurt by it, not just the faeries. Faeries are not the only creatures that are pure magic; basically any magical creature fits the bill (except for elementals I guess???). Succubi, from what I can tell, are not faeries. I also think that they do have physical bodies, but they’re… more magic, I guess.

    It might be explained later on? That’s all I can give you right now.

    [sigh]

    I should really get to Chapter Five. But it’s soooooo info-dumpy!

  11. The Smith of Lie on 21 September 2018, 13:47 said:

    Hi there! Late to the party as usual, making long comments as usual, but I figured it was time some actual, non-spam comments showed up on the recent comments page, so here goes.

    I missed your secondary article pretending to be a comment due to bots. Please allow me to try and make up for it, because reading your posts is always a pleasure.

    Goshdarnit, I hate it when authors do this. Characters are not robots (unless they are), they need to eat!

    Still it rarely gets as bad as with horses in fantasy/historical novels. Those things are implacable juggernauts of stamina and stoicism.

    With magic, I presume, because taking blood out of fabric is not something you can do in twenty-thirty minutes otherwise.

    [Taking Juracan’s response into account.] You underestimate amazing Sue powers of Atticus. Not only does he have healing factor, magic negating amulet, deal with the psychopomp goddess, pet Iron Elemental, super seducer abilites he can also easily clean blood stains. He slices, he dices, he makes Julienne Fries!

    Anyhoo, like you said, he should really be used to the Morrigan appearing to him like this, and, y’know, supernatural happenings in general. He sounds like a snarky teenager who found out two months ago that magic exists, and not a thousand-year-old druid who was probably raised with this kind of thing around him. He really shouldn’t bat an eye at whatever form the Morrigan takes.

    It actually could be interesting to have a character with a “seen it all attitude” regarding supernatural. It’d at least fit with how blase Atticus is regarding the plot and alleged dangers he’s facing. It’d even justify a snarky reaction to Morrigan along the lines “you know I find the way you sound as a raven grating”. Give it a feeling of Atticus being tired of her antics and maybe Morrigan doing it specifically to tease him. It’d build their relationship somewhat.

    Yeah, it really, really does. What was the point of that, exactly? To give Atticus a reason to not get the heck out of Dodge while he had the chance so we could have some drama? The Morrigan’s entire purview was MAKING PROPHECIES ABOUT HOW YOU’D DIE, I think she’d be a little better at it than that! Is this the Morrigan or That’s So Raven?

    Like I said earlier, Atticus feels a little too well-adapted, like a snarky American teenager who’s grown up in a world where veganism is a thing, not an ancient, wise druid who’s seen half the world and half the world’s cultures and practices and half of its history unfold before his very eyes.

    Hmm. Actually think what a life like that would do to a human mind. There’s a good chance Atticus should be batshit crazy…

    So, um…question, for those of you who have in fact had erotic contact with another person before (guys in particular). Do you really get turned on that easily? Like, really really? ‘Cause that seems just a touch, er, overly enthusiastic. I mean, maybe she’s putting some magical whammy on him that’s making it harder to resist (which…I just realized that that would be all kinds of fracked up), but then she goes on about how this is a “weakness” of his, and…is Atticus supposed to be a sex addict? Because unless he’s that, or he’s blindingly stupid, or both, if he knows his enemy is sending gorgeous seductive women after him to lure him in for the kill, I’m thinking he’s going to go celibate for a little while, yes?

    I’ll be first to admit that my experience in regards to physical intimacy is… well, lets say it is wanting, but I can agree. I had interacted with members of the fairer sex whom I found attractive, even very attractive (though none of them were inclined to throw themself at me naked, damn shame really). And at times under such circumstances I did exprience certain amount of arousal, including some physical symptoms. But I can’t recall ever even coming close to losing control over myself. The circumstances being somewhat different I could understand a somewhat larger amount of enthusiasm on the part of Atticus, but the way it is described certainly paints him as lacking in self-control.

    The Morrigan points out that Aenghus doesn’t need any magic; he could easily hire a beautiful woman to seduce Atticus and kill him, though Atticus says Aenghus tried that already and it didn’t work.

    AND

    THEN WHY THE FRIG ARE WE HAVING THIS CONVERSATION?

    If gods weren’t stupid in this universe Aenghus would hire a perfectly vanilla female assasin who’d seduce Atticus into letting her spend the night at his place. In the morning she’d leave, while leaving behind a kilogram or ten of C4. PROBLEM SOLVED!

    And the answer had better not be, “So Hearne can make out with a super-hot goddess by proxy.”

    I’m afraid the answer is “So Hearne can make out with a super-hot goddess by proxy.” Which at least isn’t as bad as “So Hearne can fuck a super-hot goddess by proxy.” We need to wait for that to chapter four.

    I mean…OK, this is gonna sound like victim-blaming, and I really don’t want it to. Like you said, guys should not make lewd comments in public to women, period (or, y’know, in private, when it’s a woman you don’t know who is not interested in sleeping with you. Just…don’t. It’s gross and it’s frightening).

    Well yes. What the guys did was shitty. But killing them is a bit of disproportionate retribution. Ok, gods weren’t exactly known for moderation in their responses (say you won a weaving contest just to learn that the prize is turing into a spider, just for example). But Atticus could suggest something more benign, like kicking the shit out of them or maybe some ironic punishment. Morrigan wanting to kill them is narratively acceptable, it is actually one of the very few things you’d expect from a fierce goddess who doesn’t take a shit from anyone that she does in the chapter. It is the “our hero everybody!” part of Atticus being more concerned about the mess in his shopt than it their lives that makes this scene terrible.

    Well that and how cartoonish the two guys seem.

    Really, it’s just best not to write killable gods, or killable spirits (coughWarriorscough), or afterlives where people are killable (coughBleachcough though at least Kurosaki Ichigo cares about the people around him and is still nowhere near as OP as Atticus). It just raises too many questions, and there’s no satisfying way to answer them.

    Killable gods can pass, especially that in certain mythologies they were killable (though it didn’t always stick, even if at times they lacked certain vital organs once revived). Banishing/destroying spirits into oblivion is passable enough. But killing people in the afterlife is where we should draw a firm line. What happens to dead dead was one of the most annoying things about Bleach even while it was still sort-of good.

    I know this is a very, very rare and powerful thing, but it annoys me greatly that he’s still apparently the first to come up with it, ever, and it’s so amazing that even a goddess is gushing over it.

    You know, what? Given how amazing and game breaking this amulet is, it shouldn’t have been Atticus’s starting equipment. He should start the book without it, survive the ambush due to pet Iron Elemental, ignore Aenghus, get shit beaten out of him and barely get out alive and then go on the quest to get the amulet so he can protect himself! That’d make a narrative sense.

    Also amulet should have some downside that would be cleverly exploited in sequels.

    Thank you, Smith.

    Happy to be of service.

    I like that. Very clever!

    While I’d love to take a full credit for that one and bask in your admiration, I must confess I sort of stole the simile from the original description of seeing true form of Naglooshi in Dresden Files.

    No, no you are not. I mean, I just kind of feel like all gods should feel like characters you wouldn’t want to cross? Not cruel or anything, necessarily; just characters on whose good sides you want to remain, because otherwise they will mess you up. Definitely not beings you can casually dismiss as being wrong and make demands of and flirt with as if they were just another human.

    bq.Ahem. Sorry. It just strikes me as particularly ridiculous that this mega-powerful amulet, the one that took seven hundred and fifty years to be made, the one that impressed the Morrigan, that kills faeries, is bound to his aura, and allows him to breathe underwater…
    Needs to be washed.
    It needs to be washed!! cracks up again

    It would actually be hillarious if Atticus got attacked while (kind of-sorta-almost)vulnerable because he washed it and left it out to dry.

    I mean, Chapters 3 and 4 have already been posted, so I’ve had a taste of that, and I will comment on it, but not tonight. See ya!

    Can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m waiting to hear from you on it.

  12. TMary on 22 September 2018, 03:47 said:

    I don’t know. The only time I ever did it was when an article was first posted so I’m worried that if I do it’ll like, repost the article or something. I might have to experiment to find out.

    Ah, well, hakuna matata. Like I said, it’s not that big a deal for me :)

    Nope! He just goes outside and pours bleach on it. It doesn’t say how long, just that he went outside with a jug of bleach and pours it on all the bloodstains, and then goes and washes it out with water.

    I—

    In the first place, bleach will destroy your clothes if you don’t dilute it. Also, if they’re not white, there’s no point using bleach. Stain remover, yes. Bleach, no.

    Second, you have to put clothes in water, if you’re going to wash them, with or without bleach.

    Third, that’s still not taking the blood out. What you want to do, Atticus, is to first rinse out the clothes in cold water (hot water cooks the blood in, gross but true), then put stain remover on the blood, then work that into the cloth for a while, then give the whole thing either a good hand-washing or a spin through your washing machine. And even then, sometimes, the blood doesn’t come out altogether, but it’s better than the alternative. If you can’t get to it right away, you should soak it in cold water until you can.

    Now you know.

    Fourth, why’s he got bleach at his occult bookstore?

    Not addressed! But there’s no indication that they’re speaking in Irish, so my guess is that this conversation is in English. As you pointed out, there’s no reason for them to be doing so when they both know Irish, but there ya go.

    See, this is something that really gets under my skin. I’m really passionate about representation for minority languages, especially vulnerable/endangered ones (which most minority languages are), and Irish falls into that category. It just…upsets me a lot, to see Atticus and the Morrigan portrayed as speaking a language that was literally, on many occasions, beaten into the Irish people, like it’s no big deal, with their own native language used for a name and nothing else, because Irish is just some mystic druidic fairy-speak, not an actual language that anybody would have a conversation in…

    I’m sorry. I’m sure Hearne didn’t mean for it to come across that way; it’s just the blind spot of the monoglot (particularly the English-speaking monoglot). I used to have the same kind of blind spots myself, so I’m not blaming him. And I’m not asking that he translate the entire conversation into Irish, since I know his target audience is English-speaking, it’s just that one throwaway sentence would have made all the difference. Instead of “She called me by my Irish name”, try “She spoke to me in my mother tongue, Irish. Old Irish at that, which I never heard any more”. It just gets the point across that English is not the default language and doesn’t have to be, and acknowledges these characters’ backgrounds.

    OK. I’m done now.

    Reminds of the bit in DuckTales. I think Scrooge even says basically the same thing at one point, just angrier.

    “What part of Ireland are you from?”

    Ohhh noooo XD

    Seriously, though, I remember one time when I was nine and watching some Irish dancers in the store (it was for St. Patrick’s Day), and some guy comes walking by talking to his friend on his cell phone, and goes, “Oh, they’re having like Scottish dancing…oh, I guess it is St. Patrick’s Day, isn’t it?” I wanted to sink through the floor and come out in any country I didn’t share with him.

    Yup. Chapter five will explain it.

    Oh good. I can’t wait.

    Really?? Because it just looks more… fun with an extra ‘g’ in there. A quick Google search tells me both are technically acceptable though.

    Huh. Well, there you go; I’ve only ever seen it written with one g. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    I have limited knowledge, as I’m only going on the first few books, but I’ll try my hand at answering these.

    Iron disrupts/breaks magic. Therefore beings of magic are all hurt by it, not just the faeries. Faeries are not the only creatures that are pure magic; basically any magical creature fits the bill (except for elementals I guess???). Succubi, from what I can tell, are not faeries. I also think that they do have physical bodies, but they’re… more magic, I guess.

    It might be explained later on? That’s all I can give you right now.

    OK, that explains a bit more to me. It still seems a touch contradictory, and confusing, though I suppose it could be explained better in the later books. Still, though, this is the first one, you’re setting up how your magical world works, you want to make sure it’s clear to everybody.

    [sigh]

    I should really get to Chapter Five. But it’s soooooo info-dumpy!

    Even in comparison with the last few chapters?

    You have my sympathies, sir. Have some Internet cookies. hands them over

    I missed your secondary article pretending to be a comment due to bots.

    sporfle Yeah, I…didn’t realize how long it had gotten until it posted. I felt a bit silly XD

    Please allow me to try and make up for it, because reading your posts is always a pleasure.

    Aw, well thanks! :) Same to you!

    Still it rarely gets as bad as with horses in fantasy/historical novels. Those things are implacable juggernauts of stamina and stoicism.

    I have heard of the Steam-Engine Horse being used in a lot of fiction, but I have never actually been unlucky enough to encounter it myself. At least, I don’t remember doing so, but I feel like even as a kid I would have stopped and thought, “Doesn’t the horse need to eat? Or…breathe?”

    He slices, he dices, he makes Julienne Fries!

    Thank you.

    It actually could be interesting to have a character with a “seen it all attitude” regarding supernatural. It’d at least fit with how blase Atticus is regarding the plot and alleged dangers he’s facing. It’d even justify a snarky reaction to Morrigan along the lines “you know I find the way you sound as a raven grating”. Give it a feeling of Atticus being tired of her antics and maybe Morrigan doing it specifically to tease him. It’d build their relationship somewhat.

    I like that much better than what we got in the book. I’m not really sure I’ve ever even seen a “seen-it-all” character as far as magic goes, except maybe one who was really old and really experienced, and yeah, I know Atticus is that, technically, but he doesn’t really fit the archetype of Ancient Wise Wizard.

    Well, gee, I’ve never been thanked so heartily before. I’m flattered. I don’t know how to respond.

    Hmm. Actually think what a life like that would do to a human mind. There’s a good chance Atticus should be batshit crazy…

    Good point. That’s actually why I don’t usually like immortal characters who were always meant to be mortal. They tend to be either unrealistic, or pitiably disturbed if not outright crazy.

    But I can’t recall ever even coming close to losing control over myself. The circumstances being somewhat different I could understand a somewhat larger amount of enthusiasm on the part of Atticus, but the way it is described certainly paints him as lacking in self-control.

    Thank you, that’s exactly what I was thinking. Atticus, dude.

    How’d you get to be a druid if you’re this bad at that?

    If gods weren’t stupid in this universe Aenghus would hire a perfectly vanilla female assasin who’d seduce Atticus into letting her spend the night at his place. In the morning she’d leave, while leaving behind a kilogram or ten of C4. PROBLEM SOLVED!

    …I don’t mean to be demanding, but I do believe I sense potential for a spitefic in that scenario hint hint

    I’m afraid the answer is “So Hearne can make out with a super-hot goddess by proxy.”

    LA-LA-LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU SMITH LA-LA-LA-LA

    Which at least isn’t as bad as “So Hearne can fuck a super-hot goddess by proxy.”

    Well, true.

    We need to wait for that to chapter four.

    LA-LA-LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU ANY MORE LA-LA

    Yeah, I read that, but I’m sticking my head in the sand and pretending it isn’t there until I comment on Chapters 3 & 4. XD

    Well yes. What the guys did was shitty. But killing them is a bit of disproportionate retribution. Ok, gods weren’t exactly known for moderation in their responses (say you won a weaving contest just to learn that the prize is turing into a spider, just for example). But Atticus could suggest something more benign, like kicking the shit out of them or maybe some ironic punishment. Morrigan wanting to kill them is narratively acceptable, it is actually one of the very few things you’d expect from a fierce goddess who doesn’t take a shit from anyone that she does in the chapter. It is the “our hero everybody!” part of Atticus being more concerned about the mess in his shopt than it their lives that makes this scene terrible.

    Well that and how cartoonish the two guys seem.

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.

    I agree with everything you just said.

    Killable gods can pass, especially that in certain mythologies they were killable (though it didn’t always stick, even if at times they lacked certain vital organs once revived).

    True. I did go off and read the latest Order of the Stick strip right after reading your comment, and remembered that the gods are killable in OotS, which I love, so it can work, even though it always seems weird to me. When I say, “Authors, don’t do this,” I really mean, “This is something only true masters can pull off”, most of the time XD

    I’m interested, though, which mythologies are these?

    Banishing/destroying spirits into oblivion is passable enough. But killing people in the afterlife is where we should draw a firm line. What happens to dead dead was one of the most annoying things about Bleach even while it was still sort-of good.

    Yes to all points, although I would argue that nothing mortal should be able to outright destroy a spirit…too easy otherwise. And yeah, Warriors also had the problem of “you can be killed in the afterlife once you’re dead”, and compounded the issue by only bringing it up within the third or fourth arc. That was only one of its many problems by then, though.

    And yeah, I like Bleach (granted, I’ve only read the manga, which I think has less in it than the anime does), but I will admit that it has several flaws, and killing people in the afterlife (and some other confusing world-building) is one of the biggest ones. Even still, though, it has characters I actually like, and I just love the spectacular ridiculousness of how powered-up people will get in the fights. XD

    You know, what? Given how amazing and game breaking this amulet is, it shouldn’t have been Atticus’s starting equipment. He should start the book without it, survive the ambush due to pet Iron Elemental, ignore Aenghus, get shit beaten out of him and barely get out alive and then go on the quest to get the amulet so he can protect himself! That’d make a narrative sense.

    Also amulet should have some downside that would be cleverly exploited in sequels.

    Yes! Otherwise all the drama and tension is gone! We’re already at “What could possibly defeat him now” levels, and we’re two chapters in! Plus, like you said, there’s no downside, or at least not one we’re aware of.

    Shoot, while we’re comparing Bleach to this book, Ichigo and company didn’t start the series as strong as they could be, and using their power for too long tended to have consequences!

    While I’d love to take a full credit for that one and bask in your admiration, I must confess I sort of stole the simile from the original description of seeing true form of Naglooshi in Dresden Files.

    Lesser artists borrow, great artists steal. nodnod

    It would actually be hillarious if Atticus got attacked while (kind of-sorta-almost)vulnerable because he washed it and left it out to dry.

    That…sounds like it has another spitefic in it. But I don’t want to be greedy. Maybe I’ll write one. XD

    Can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m waiting to hear from you on it.

    I’m glad you enjoy my long comments, at least! I’m always afraid I come off as annoying. XD

  13. The Smith of Lie on 22 September 2018, 05:46 said:

    I’m interested, though, which mythologies are these?

    Just from the top of my head we have Baldr getting killed by misletoe missile thrown by Höðr (all arranged by Loki.)And there was that one time Set killed and dismembered Osiris, who then got briefly revived by Isis with magic. There are probably more examples, but those two are the ones I can remember right now.

    And yeah, I like Bleach (granted, I’ve only read the manga, which I think has less in it than the anime does), but I will admit that it has several flaws, and killing people in the afterlife (and some other confusing world-building) is one of the biggest ones. Even still, though, it has characters I actually like, and I just love the spectacular ridiculousness of how powered-up people will get in the fights. XD

    To be honest Bleach at one point became so bad that I only finished reading the manga to see what new absurd will Kubo Tite pull ex culo. I am certain that in regards to some of characters even he doesn’t know how their powers actually work.

    …I don’t mean to be demanding, but I do believe I sense potential for a spitefic in that scenario hint hint

    That…sounds like it has another spitefic in it. But I don’t want to be greedy. Maybe I’ll write one. XD

    Can’t promise anything, given how lazy I can be, but I’ll try to whip up something for chapter 5, once Juracan sporks it. And given he seems masochistic enough to actually like my writing it might even give him some small morale boost.

  14. TMary on 28 September 2018, 15:29 said:

    Just from the top of my head we have Baldr getting killed by misletoe missile thrown by Höðr (all arranged by Loki.)And there was that one time Set killed and dismembered Osiris, who then got briefly revived by Isis with magic. There are probably more examples, but those two are the ones I can remember right now.

    Oh, cool! :) And now that I’m thinking about it, within Greek mythology, all the gods were terrified of Typhon doing…something. If not killing them, then definitely something unpleasant. He actually mortalized Zeus for a little while, if I remember correctly.

    To be honest Bleach at one point became so bad that I only finished reading the manga to see what new absurd will Kubo Tite pull ex culo. I am certain that in regards to some of characters even he doesn’t know how their powers actually work.

    Yeah, that’s…that’s Bleach. XD I like it for that reason, but I get why it’s annoying.

    Can’t promise anything, given how lazy I can be, but I’ll try to whip up something for chapter 5, once Juracan sporks it. And given he seems masochistic enough to actually like my writing it might even give him some small morale boost.

    Well, I did see the one you left under Chapters 3&4…I’ll comment on that soon. XD

    Also, apropros of nothing and to no one, but I just realized that when the Morrigan says “Siodhachan O Suileabhain”, it’s wrong. If she’s addressing him, it ought to be “A Shiodhachain O Suileabhain”. Unless, like I suspected, she’s just using the Irish name for atmosphere.

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