Malice is supposed to be a slightly more curved, tulwar-ish sword than I tend to draw it. The problem is that it’s really really hard to consistently draw a slightly curved shape. Even Photoshop’s various s-curve simulators don’t quite cut it.
A variant on Qui custodiet–”Who tricks the tricksters?”
That is really astrological insight genius. I mean… how can she be so hyper-intelligent as to see all that even if the sky had been opened? Is she some sort of goddess herself? It seems too much for a mere human, even a seer and sorceress.
So Anthem did have a really clever plan. Even though Ailari seems a bit irked I’m guessing this stunt is going to win her at least a little favor from the trickster goddess, aven if it’s begrudging favor.
And I’m pretty sure that reading the stars is a primary skill for a priest/priestess, so once she gets a good view I would think it’s as instinctive as a normal person reading street signs while driving or such.
I’ve been involved in Astrology in the past and, even assuming everything would be truthful, accurate and clear, the amount of data involved in a basic analysis is mindboggling. So knowing from just a quick look at the stars all his soul and his thoughts in real time is certainly well beyond even the most outstanding human abilities on this Earth.
Now in the world of this story… I’m not qualified to say. But my impression is that one would need superhuman skills, to be whispered or illuminated by a god or goddess, in order to see so much so easily. That’s why I am a bit flippant. My apologies.
In the world of The Water Phoenix King, the stars–the Stars of Death and Sleep–are literally where people’s awareness go when they sleep or die. Intelligent undead create big, ugly baleful nebulae attached to their bodies by ribbons of influence that any priest in the right state of mind can detect. This makes undead uniquely vulnerable to priests, since they can read undead like open books. Hokta Chuul, also a priest, could have learned techniques to protect himself, but frankly, he wasn’t the sharpest magic sword in the drawer and mostly served as Yoth’s one-yig brute squad. Anthem’s problem was that it takes time and meditation for a novitiate to really *see* the stars, and a mummy bearing down on you with swords is way more distracting than someone throwing a pillow into your face. So she just got a couple of gods to show up and peered through the big rips they left. A shockingly inelegant solution, but effective.
A better artist, with a larger palette, would probably have drawn things much more clearly.
Wow, I think I actually got that right…at least the general idea. Enough that the official explanation clears it up for me pretty well. Thanks!
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