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Spoiler. The ending is too much of a Deus ex Machina!

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Spoiler. The ending is too much of a Deus ex Machina!
Post by demosthenes   » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:18 am

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I have just finished the book and while it's a great one, probably the best in the series, the ending is terribly disappointing.
Wencit has become something like a Deus ex Machina character/contraption (both in this book and the short story at the end of Oath of Swords).
Let me put it logically:
1. If the artifact (the Sword) really gives him the power to actually see the future, that makes him in this particular universe more powerful than a god. I find that incredibly unlikely. Also the Sword was in possession of the last Kontovar emperor. If it was that powerful there was no way in hell he could have lost the war.
The artifact is story breaking and a truly simplistic way to solve the heroes problems.

2. The second issue is how easily does Wencit win the arcane duels. While it is true and believable that he is the most powerful wizard in the world and he should be assured of victory, yes, his opponents are not journeymen, they are members of the Council of Carnadossa. The fight should be more difficult, otherwise, if he was that powerful there is no way in hell that he would have lost the first war. He could have just hunted the council one by one, challenge them to a duel and kill all of them. Without the Council, the dark would have had no chance to win the civil war.
Somewhere in the infodumps is mentioned that he fought the entire Council to a standstill in the beginning of the Fall. If Wencit was powerful enough to fight all the council members together to a stalemate that would again have been enough to win the war. He could keep them fighting continuously (allowing time for eating, drinking and bodily functions) and not creating monsters, while the rest of the White council could deal with the smaller dark wizards and the monsters already created.

I think Wencit should be trimmed down to size. Yes, he should be an amazingly powerful character, but not so story breaking. It simply makes the sacrifices of all the others irrelevant if he could win the war by himself but for some reason or another refuses to do so.
And don't start me on his decision not create an outlet for the wizards (which seem to be born that way, not self-made through study) to join the Light. At the moment, they can try to stay under the radar or join the Darkness if they want to practice their art. And Wencit admits there is impossible for a wizard not to practice his art.
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Re: Spoiler. The ending is too much of a Deus ex Machina!
Post by BrightSoul   » Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:29 pm

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We really don't have any idea what the true scope and power of the sword is. Does it show potentials not certainties? Was his placement of the whatchemaycallit something he was warned about or did he set it up in the capitol of the Sothoii because they were the most likely scions of Old Kontovar to retain the Wizardry?

We really have nothing but implied powers to go on.
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Re: Spoiler. The ending is too much of a Deus ex Machina!
Post by cralkhi   » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:58 pm

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I ... always had the impression from earlier books that Wencit was waaay beyond any other wizard. He's a wild wizard, has 1200 years experience... he controls beyond nuke level magic, as he says in Sword Brother.

As for the war... the Carnadosans wouldn't have fought nice, fair duels during the war, nor were the dark wizards the only people on their side. Where do you get the assumption that "the rest of the White council could deal with the smaller dark wizards and the monsters already created"? (From the pearl on the subject, I think there were big human armies too, not just wizards + monsters.)
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Re: Spoiler. The ending is too much of a Deus ex Machina!
Post by JohnS   » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:56 am

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demosthenes wrote: And don't start me on his decision not create an outlet for the wizards (which seem to be born that way, not self-made through study) to join the Light. At the moment, they can try to stay under the radar or join the Darkness if they want to practice their art. And Wencit admits there is impossible for a wizard not to practice his art.


Totally agree on this. While it's not so irrational that I can't imagine humans, and other sentients, adopting it, Wencit himself should have enough sense to realize that it's just making it easy for the dark wizards to recruit. And he has the clout to insist on his way. Why hasn't he founded the equivalent of the Mage colleges? Too busy hunting down dark wizards? Maybe if he took the time to train some help he could free up the time to found several colleges?

As for his power levels, yeah, he's over the top. All I can really figure is that the Norfressan's ancestors abandoned their homeland rather than risking everything to win. They could have stayed and fought to the end, but even if they won, it would have been a Pyrrhic victory. And the Dark Gods might have taken an active enough role to offset Wencit's efforts. Maybe. Some further history from the celery-stalker would doubtless help a lot. Though thinking about it, that's probably coming in the books about the upcoming war.
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Re: Spoiler. The ending is too much of a Deus ex Machina!
Post by demosthenes   » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:16 am

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BrightSoul, I agree that we don't really know what are the exact powers of the Sword, but it is strongly implied in the stories and the infodump, that this specific artifact is responsible for him being in the right place at the right time (look at Sword Brother, just before the duel with Tremala). I am just saying that it is too powerful even it is shows him probabilities and not certainties. Come-on, he hid the gramenhein (spelling) for 700 years, exactly under the spot where the Dark Wizards build their center? Even this one of 2 dozen possible places, to know it 700 years in advance is too much. He couldn't have lost the previous if he could see the future in that way.

Cralkhi, I didn't say that the Council of Carnadossa was the only major Dark player in the fall, but it was the most important. Both Wencit, the dark wizards and Phroborus say that Carnadossa and her council were and are the most dangerous, subtle and responsible for more victories than anyone (except maybe Krashnark). If Wencit could have taken care of the council, the other ones should have been able to deal with the rest, otherwise they were just a punch of weaklings. And it's not like the council members could refuse to duel. If Wencit was face to face with one of them, he could just materialize the dueling ring (which seems to be also limiting their ability to teleport) and challenge them. They could try to hide and be on the run, but come-on, where could they hide that Wencit couldn't find them if he was so powerful?

JohnRuth, as for the possible direct intervention of the Dark gods to balance Wencit, I assume that the Light gods would have stopped any such attempt. But yes, you are right, Wencit should have trained some help, even just for the benefit of having more eyes and arms in many different places to deal with problems before they become crises.
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Re: Spoiler. The ending is too much of a Deus ex Machina!
Post by FriarBob   » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:39 pm

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Guys, you aren't thinking straight here. Even the supposed "gods of light" can't see anything but probabilities. They show good probabilities, yes, but still just probabilities, and they can only see "clearly" the "major" characters and players, not every single "minor" wizard on the face of the planet. If the Sword could show more, Wencit would not have it, Tomanak would carry it himself!

Whatever level of future prediction Wencit has available to him, it won't be more than what the gods themselves have. It just won't. Period. Weber is by no means perfect, but he's also not stupid. Therefore, Wencit knew what to do to save the day at the end because, for some reason or another, Leanna and Bahzell are absolutely crucial to the storyline and the eventual triumph of the light over the darkness (at least in this universe). There is also an extreme likelihood that the fact that magic was involved greatly helped his ability to detect what he needed to detect. A simple, plain, totally un-magically-aided attack would have a much greater chance of actually succeeding... probably. Remember that Wencit is essentially the equivalent of a savant at quantum mechanics while completely not understanding any of the underlying theory. But he can mess with those subatomic particles at will, and there is a literally unimaginable amount of power available there. Think about Travis S. Taylor and John Ringo's "Looking Glass" series, and their use of "quarkium". They tend to stick to real-world physics quite closely (with occasional deliberate errors for simple sanity). And a fairly small number of kilograms of said quarkium could literally shatter the Earth into an asteroid belt. Although the world's current nuclear arsenal could sterilize the planet (probably a few times over), we couldn't (quite) turn it into an asteroid belt. Not at this time, at least.

As for him not being willing to do what was necessary in the original fight, I would probably actually agree with you here. But Weber doesn't and never will. He believes in the "power corrupts" mantra, and he believes that allowing yourself to do something "gray-ish" out of expediency is the fastest way to corrupt yourself and become the enemy you're trying to fight. Of course, I don't really think this would be a gray area, but he would. I won't get into my other reasons for disagreeing with him, but I will point out that plenty of people have already tried to convince him to change his mind and failed. I very much doubt there is a new argument you can make that he hasn't heard and defeated (at least in HIS opinion) previously.

Thus Wencit is capable of winning the war completely on his own. But he won't do it. He just simply won't... UNLESS the Council is foolish enough to tempt him by attacking Leanna again. Because his morality is Weber's morality, and whether you agree with it or not, it's the way it's going to be. And thus there is no need to tone down his power level, because he won't use most (or even much at all) of the power available to him.
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Re: Spoiler. The ending is too much of a Deus ex Machina!
Post by Kytheros   » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:33 pm

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Part of the problem that Wencit faces is - he can trash the entire continent of Kontovar again ... but the people he would be killing in the process are almost all not magic users, many of whom are slaves, and, while they may not be actively opposed to the current regime in Kontovar, they don't have a choice about it anyways. That would be a violation of the Laws of the White Council.

Also, he very well might not have had access, or even if he had, he might not have been willing, to fully utilize the future sight of the sword and the other means of anticipating the rise of dark wizardry, prior to the Fall. Remember that infodump about the Crown? They started to not use it because it was felt to be too much a violation.


As for Wencit not starting up and training new white wizards in Norfressa ... he likely wanted there to be a means to prevent the rise of dark wizardry or fall of the white wizards, or the means to counterbalance any dark wizards that tried to corrupt the system. That would require one or more mages and probably Hradani assigned to each and every wizard, so that if one started/attempted to go to the dark, they could be stopped immediately.
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Re: Spoiler. The ending is too much of a Deus ex Machina!
Post by Brom O'Berin   » Thu Jul 05, 2012 3:10 pm

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Complaining about Deus ex Machina in a novel about ... Gods and their Avatars, and their actions ... seems just a bit odd. The God with best Deus ex Machina wins ...

Also, be careful ... Wencit may turn out to be a deity ... and ala your namesake ...

demosthenes wrote:I have just finished the book and while it's a great one, probably the best in the series, the ending is terribly disappointing.
Wencit has become something like a Deus ex Machina character/contraption (both in this book and the short story at the end of Oath of Swords).
Let me put it logically:
1. If the artifact (the Sword) really gives him the power to actually see the future, that makes him in this particular universe more powerful than a god. I find that incredibly unlikely. Also the Sword was in possession of the last Kontovar emperor. If it was that powerful there was no way in hell he could have lost the war.
The artifact is story breaking and a truly simplistic way to solve the heroes problems.

2. The second issue is how easily does Wencit win the arcane duels. While it is true and believable that he is the most powerful wizard in the world and he should be assured of victory, yes, his opponents are not journeymen, they are members of the Council of Carnadossa. The fight should be more difficult, otherwise, if he was that powerful there is no way in hell that he would have lost the first war. He could have just hunted the council one by one, challenge them to a duel and kill all of them. Without the Council, the dark would have had no chance to win the civil war.
Somewhere in the infodumps is mentioned that he fought the entire Council to a standstill in the beginning of the Fall. If Wencit was powerful enough to fight all the council members together to a stalemate that would again have been enough to win the war. He could keep them fighting continuously (allowing time for eating, drinking and bodily functions) and not creating monsters, while the rest of the White council could deal with the smaller dark wizards and the monsters already created.

I think Wencit should be trimmed down to size. Yes, he should be an amazingly powerful character, but not so story breaking. It simply makes the sacrifices of all the others irrelevant if he could win the war by himself but for some reason or another refuses to do so.
And don't start me on his decision not create an outlet for the wizards (which seem to be born that way, not self-made through study) to join the Light. At the moment, they can try to stay under the radar or join the Darkness if they want to practice their art. And Wencit admits there is impossible for a wizard not to practice his art.
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Re: Spoiler. The ending is too much of a Deus ex Machina!
Post by Kytheros   » Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:18 pm

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Brom O'Berin wrote:Complaining about Deus ex Machina in a novel about ... Gods and their Avatars, and their actions ... seems just a bit odd. The God with best Deus ex Machina wins ...

Also, be careful ... Wencit may turn out to be a deity ... and ala your namesake ...

demosthenes wrote:I have just finished the book and while it's a great one, probably the best in the series, the ending is terribly disappointing.
Wencit has become something like a Deus ex Machina character/contraption (both in this book and the short story at the end of Oath of Swords).
Let me put it logically:
1. If the artifact (the Sword) really gives him the power to actually see the future, that makes him in this particular universe more powerful than a god. I find that incredibly unlikely. Also the Sword was in possession of the last Kontovar emperor. If it was that powerful there was no way in hell he could have lost the war.
The artifact is story breaking and a truly simplistic way to solve the heroes problems.

2. The second issue is how easily does Wencit win the arcane duels. While it is true and believable that he is the most powerful wizard in the world and he should be assured of victory, yes, his opponents are not journeymen, they are members of the Council of Carnadossa. The fight should be more difficult, otherwise, if he was that powerful there is no way in hell that he would have lost the first war. He could have just hunted the council one by one, challenge them to a duel and kill all of them. Without the Council, the dark would have had no chance to win the civil war.
Somewhere in the infodumps is mentioned that he fought the entire Council to a standstill in the beginning of the Fall. If Wencit was powerful enough to fight all the council members together to a stalemate that would again have been enough to win the war. He could keep them fighting continuously (allowing time for eating, drinking and bodily functions) and not creating monsters, while the rest of the White council could deal with the smaller dark wizards and the monsters already created.

I think Wencit should be trimmed down to size. Yes, he should be an amazingly powerful character, but not so story breaking. It simply makes the sacrifices of all the others irrelevant if he could win the war by himself but for some reason or another refuses to do so.
And don't start me on his decision not create an outlet for the wizards (which seem to be born that way, not self-made through study) to join the Light. At the moment, they can try to stay under the radar or join the Darkness if they want to practice their art. And Wencit admits there is impossible for a wizard not to practice his art.

I'm not inclined to think that Wencit himself is a deity, but it is true that we know very little about him or his origins. It is more likely that he is a Champion/Avatar of a deity than actually being a deity.
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Re: Spoiler. The ending is too much of a Deus ex Machina!
Post by Emo Otaku   » Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:14 am

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For the gramenhein he doesn;t really need to see the futire, think of it this way.

Wencit knows that eventualy Kontovaran Dark wizards are going to appear in Norfressa.

He also knows that they are likely to gather around kings and higher ranking nobles like flies on sh... (you get the picture)

This means thes dark wizards are going to be residing in Capital cities.

So instead of seeing the future what he does is set up several places in each capital city that would be very attractive to said dark wizard (hidden rooms, converging lay lines, hot and cold running virgins whatever) then when necessary he can find out which spot has been settled and move in and do his own settling.
~~~~~~

Sanity is merely the consensus of the Insane
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