Week Two Chapters 6-9: The Mountaineers


#1

Welcome to week two of the AG Book Club, Mounties! Week one got us off to a great start, and I’m very excited for this week because this is where Marty’s story converges with the TMP experience of the modern-day Mountaineers. Here are some discussion points for this week, but as always, feel free to share your original ideas and perspectives about the reading.

1. Before the internet, how do you think the Mountaineers came together?

2. If you could choose one Mountaineer from the 90s to sit down with and talk to today, who would it be?

3. What are some emerging themes in the book?

4. Think about the other people we’ve been introduced to thus far, besides Marty. What do you think Marty’s involvement with the Mounties from the 90s looked like from their perspective?

5. What do you think motivated Dr. Brightwell to gift Marty with the token?

6. We learn in these chapters about Marty’s experience taking the assessment in the Guide to Magiq. What did you learn about yourself when you took the Guide, and when you became a part of your chosen Guild?

7. Here, Marty’s story converges with that of the Mountaineers of the modern-day, and our own adventure. This is when he was welcomed into our midst, although he would not begin mingling with us until later on. What were your feelings and experiences upon coming to the forum for the first time?

8. Some of our very favorite familiar names and faces enter the story in these chapters. If you could join a committee headed by one of these persons, which would it be, and why? (Tech support with Bash? HR with Eaves? Social networking with Itsuki?)

9. What happened in these chapters that surprised you? Made you sad? Made you happy?

As always, Mountaineers, if you can pick out any themes or Easter Eggs from this week, please feel free to share! Your original thoughts, related ideas, or favorite lines from the book are always welcome in our discussion. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to @ me or another Guild Leader for guidance.

CREATIVE PROMPT: The theme of the chapter selection of this week is “The Mountaineers.” The header art of this week was created by our dear @Revenir! (Wishing you love and luck at URTAs!) Using the theme of this week for inspiration, please share with us your own written/visual/auditory creation.


#2

I imagine the mountaineers must have had a really hard time connecting before the internet. Maybe by posting adverts in magazine and such, in a way as one might look for penpals. I would imagine they used letters, possibly phonecalls later on, and occasional meetups, depending on their areas. I feel like it would be super difficult, so much respect for them.

I feel like Marty’s involvement with the Mounties would look like a casual participant. Someone who is interested (because he joined after all) but hardly participated, so I imagine that to them he wouldn’t really be involved. (Which is probably why he didn’t disappear)

Doing the Magiq guide was amazing. I had no idea what some of the questions were even about, so that totally brought me in this magical world I wanted to learn more about. Reading about my guild made me feel so… understood? It helped me better understand myself, as well as pulled me totally into the story. I learned that although I like order, I am a chaotic person. I learned to accept that through this quiz, which sounds a bit weird, but it is true. I haven’t really had much interactions with my guild yet, but I hope to have more of them over time.

I found this forum quite late, when the story was mostly finished. So my feelings were kind of gloomy, sad that I hadn’t found it sooner, and that I hadn’t been able to participate, but also happy that it was still around, and that I could still somehow be a part of this world.


#3

Ad 1 - What’s past is past. I’d say the first thing we’d need to consider is the idea of the diminishing returns of magiq itself - and the role of Neithernor. I wouldn’t be surprised if, from the historical perspective, technology replaced the convenience of using doors. The topic itself is vast enough to start a huge dissertation on it but, plainly speaking - I believe mentoring system might have been a key to it. Nowadays, Mounties are a global network of people grouped in six guilds. There were already some hints left by Deirdre and Cagliostro to how it might have worked in the past. Magiq was passed something from one to another and within smaller areas, there weren’t that many users that would know about each other - the risk of witch hunting and the authorities looking down at its users made it something frowned upon. Some of the Mounties probably used the art of creation in a more subtle way - think Shakespeare and obscuring his identity. Some of them might have been inherently Silver or Wool, using magiq for the purposes only known to them - e.g. Madame de Pompadour who probably enforced it to mask the weak points like her upbringing. Of course, that’s only speculation. But once the user grew up and gained enough understanding, that’s where Neithernor started to play its role - to meet the others to learn and exchange the ideas (and that’s probably when the guilds find their inception). And for the ones who had no access to this place? We’ve got secret societies who probably could replace it more or less (think Thelema for instance). With this logic, example Silvers would be the already mentioned Madame de Pompadour, Aleister Crowley (for his perspective on occult), Shakespeare (due to lack of evidence), architect of Glamis Castle (with glamouring the secret chamber) or Helena Blavatska. Example Woolies would be those with better documented network or justified hypothetical access to Neithernor - for instance Hildegard von Bingen, John Dee or Machiavelli (if we agree on the fact he didn’t use only diplomacy but this would be a bit far fetched). Again, I don’t believe that in the past the division between ‘the good Wool’ and ‘the bad Silver’ was that distinct.

Ad 2 - The former Benefactor, mostly because of I’m usually obsessed with artifacts and the history behind the Nib’s box seemed pretty interesting.

The rest will follow probably when I’m done with being stranded in the office today :smiley:


#4

I was excited for you all to read this section of the book because it was the first time that TMPv1 would A) bring you all into the narrative, B) show how the “epistolary” aspect of including forum activity in the book would work, and C) give you a little bit of connective tissue into how these groups calling themselves The Mountaineers worked in previous iterations and what you’d really gotten yourself into. :cjmagiq:

It was also the first time I could share lore that I had already planned out, but kept hidden. My goal with these books was for everyone to have a new experience, even if you’d been with the interactive narrative from Day One. Starting with Martin’s backstory finally being revealed, and then the sort of Rosencranz and Guildenstern Are Dead aspect of seeing behind the curtain of moments you yourself experienced or at least heard about.

Basically, I wanted to create something that I myself would really geek out over. And I did, because I still do. :cjheart:


#5

So, let’s also not forget an important reveal of these chapters. We. Met. Deirdre! The Ackerly Green heir makes her first appearance, having been discovered by the Mounties and on her way to learn about the legacy left her by mystery dad Sullivan Green. This is where, from the perspective of a reader, I felt like I started to really see the legitimate research begin to make itself apparent in the story. Not just a vaguely united band of possibly crazy internet people who believe in magic-with-a-q, but people who are actively working toward a goal.

This is also when we get to see the first real view of the adaptive nature of CJ’s writing, as he begins to reveal to us the 24-year-old young woman from Bunratty in her own words. So he plays a grumpy, recovering alcoholic journalist, and a vibrant, good-natured millennial whose life is a bit chaotic and up-in-the-air at the moment. Basically polar opposites. Both totally believable.

Of course, I geeked out a bit over the writing.

Gotta play with Bash. Will go on later this evening.


#6

I keep trying to read but Cassie seems to think book is food


#7

We forgive her :cjheart:


#8

In chapter 6 it says the Chronocompass was on the cover of one of the Lost Collection books. Any idea as to which one it might be? Do we have much description of the books? Have I forgotten something totally obvious?


#9

No, there wasn’t a lot of description (but there is some stuff in next week’s chapters about the AG reading list which we can speculate on!)


#10

Ackerly Green’s Guide to Magiq is an official companion to the Lost Collection, close enough to the Collection to have initially disappeared from history, and it had the chronocompass on its cover. :cjheart:


#11

The reveal
This is why we needed book club


#12

So. Much. More. Lore. To. Share.


#13

On Page 67-68 there’s a paragraph I love. It’s something to the effect of “I love coffee. I would do anything for coffee. I will murder anyone who interrupts my morning coffee.
My coffee was cold when I was done reading Deed’s blog post.”
That’s an awesome picture. The “let’s talk about coffee for a minute” seemed random at first, but it was very effective for showing Marty’s out of character reaction to the blog post.

Edit: if anyone is reading these posts but not the books 1. What? Why? And 2. CJ is much more eloquent than me. I promise it sounded better when he wrote it I know my paraphrasing made it sound rediculous


#14

No, you basically captured it perfectly imo


#15

Omg I love Cassie. Can I put her on our IG story??


#16

Ok, let’s go with the part two of my ramblings, if you don’t mind :slight_smile:

Ad 3 - This book is packed with recurring motifs in general (chapeaux bas to that) but I think one of the most emergent was the Odyssean topos of Martin looking to reunite with his son and Deirdre trying to come back to something she knew was aligned to her - although she had no idea what to. On top of that - the ability to be in awe of the world, to rediscover yourself.

Ad 4 A tough nut to crack. I believe that if you can’t trust even yourself (look at how splintered the information was), it’s difficult for you to trust someone that appears of the thin air. And maybe that’s why they slowly started to trust him - because they didn’t know him but he didn’t pose any imminent threat, wasn’t associated with any group. Sometimes being a stranger is what makes you safe.

Ad 5 Remorse and guilt. I’m not gonna develop this topic - this was the first thing that came up my mind and I’ll stick to that :smiley:

Ad 6 It just felt right. I felt familiar and even retaking the test always brought me to Ebenguard. When? Am just starting… :wink:

Ad 7 This was raised in another topic but - utmost confusion. Like “where the hell do I start? Who are these people? What is this they’re talking about?” Even the fragments were overwhelming! And coming back, after getting through the books feels almost like cheating haha

Ad 8 Given my major scope (and the one that brought me most joy) was recruitment and managing newstarts, I’d probably just show up at Eaves’ at some point being like ‘Hi. We’ll work now and I’ll prove you I came to the right place”, followed probably immediately by panic caused with all the nuances. But that’s all about the learning curve and the Mounties seemed to be great at helping - even if the initial few steps had to be taken on a slippery slope of tidbits of information here and there.

Ad 9 The only thing that comes up my mind was how overly cautious Marty was. At some point I was like “Jesus, man, you see them being harmless and looped in something you don’t understand. Stop acting like an FBI agent!”. But again, it’s him with his experiences. This gave sometimes some conflicting results but I was scared he would just abandon everything and the story would drift away in a completely different direction. Fortunately, it didn’t.


#17

@AG_Catherine go right ahead!


#18

To be fair, clues to that were laid out in the experience, the books, and the Guide to Magiq site. I’m not pulling a Rowling here. :cjheart:


#19

I made the mistake once of expanding and expounding on a bunch of unpublished lore on Discord and regretted it because you all had the information but couldn’t discuss it in-world because there was no source other than me.

I’d rather do the harder but more rewarding work of finding a way to introduce it in future narratives.

But yeah, the Magiq Guide was a companion to the Lost Collection, so much so that it disappeared when the BotW became the BoK. But it wouldn’t be a loredump to say that its reappearance could have been because it was a companion book but not a canon title in the LC. I reserve the right to accept that headcanon or dismiss it later. :blush:


#20

Oh, I’m sure you did leave clues around and all over the place, you tricksy hobbitses you. Wait.

peeks at the cover of the Guide

:bashfacepalm:

It’s literally right there