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Labyrinth Stone

As a fun little tidbit for any of you that are interested in rocks- Hugh’s labyrinth stone was visually inspired by a certain look of Australian printstone.

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This exact piece, in fact, was the inital inspiration for the labyrinth stone. (Sorry for the terrible photo- took it on a beat up old desk a while back, and the actual stone is packed away and possible to get to at the moment.)

The actual labyrinth stone isn’t intended to be Australian printstone, of course- I envisioned it with significantly more complex labyrinth designs, as well as it being a deeper orange and having a different setting.

The Problem with the Hard/Soft Magic Metric

For a while now, something’s bugged me about the Hard/Soft Magic metric in fantasy. It’s a fairly simple metric in theory- hard magic systems involve strict rules and reader understanding of how the magic works, while soft magic systems are more obscure, meant to create a sense of wonder in the reader.

For the most part, Brandon Sanderson did a great job coming up with this metric. It’s relatively easy to fit most magic systems in somewhere along this scale. (Mage Errant fits in fairly close to the hard magic end of things- though there is plenty of magic that the reader doesn’t understand, but they can be assured that there are still consistent rules behind it, just ones the characters and the readers haven’t learned.)

The problem I’ve been having, though?

A Wizard of Earthsea.

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