Friday, 22 December 2017

FOR A MAGE, HE ' S VERY ARCH

By any standard,   the  SORCERY epic  is an extraordinary achievement.


The mind boggles at how  Steve  Jackson  tied it all together.


There is no waste  here,  nothing is superfluous.    Every place and every character has a purpose , all part of a larger world which exists beyond the actual pages of this 4 book series.


For example,  a seemingly  trivial  locket you find in book 1 becomes very useful indeed in book 4.


I could devote an entire blog just  to  SORCERY  alone and maybe one day I will.


But for this post,  I want to focus on a mystery which has vexed me for so long.


Who or what is the Archmage  ?


First of all, what exactly is an Archmage  ?    It seems to be a very grand and lofty title to bestow upon oneself.


Is he above all the other common  garden variety  mages   ?


At one point in the Seven Serpents,  he is mistakenly referred to as the Archduke.


Here's the thing I don't get  -   the Archmage has been built up as this ultimate villain who lives in a fortress filled with hideous death traps,  creatures plus a army of guards.   And I assume he must be a powerful mage or wizard.


And what does he do  ?    He disguises himself as old man in long johns and waits to bash you over the head with a chamber pot and then tricks you into entering his own prison.


His modus operandi is bizarre to say the least  ! 


And what is his  true appearance   ?


Clearly,  Steve Jackson didn't want to go the obvious route and spell it all out for the reader but by god,  its bloody confusing  !


I had always assumed  that the wizard on the cover of   Crown  Of  Kings  was the  Archmage  but the  Crown  Of  Kings  Companion identifies him  instead as one of the Archmage's lackeys.   And yet the  TITAN  guide  had clearly shown the same person duelling the  Hydra   (   from which he creates  the 7 serpents   )


There is also a theory that the Archmage  is the wizard who originally first cast the ZED spell and was never seen again.


Does he actually have his own body or he is just a spirit inhabiting the body of  Farren Whyde   ?


There is an option at the end of  Crown  Of  Kings   to revive  Farren  Whyde  from the dead  which suggests he is a separate person.


And what's going on with that hell demon at the end of   Crown Of  Kings  ?


As I said before , all very confusing and  I'm still no wiser as to the true form and identity of the Archmage.


Answers on a  postcard  please.



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