Magic Makes Everything More Difficult

Fans of nerd fiction know that science and magic both are used as plot devices to make problem solving easier. Want to explore an alien spaceship? Scan it for life forms, and then teleport aboard. Want to bust down a castle wall? Cast earthquake, and toss in a fireball to clear out defenders. Magic makes everything easier.

But the reality is, it doesn’t. It makes everything much more difficult. Setting up defenses against sorcery, spellcraft, psionics, and whatever else the game master allows or concocts, can be a living nightmare. Simple construction of a fortress is complicated enough when you take into account that you have flying enemies, creatures that can shapeshift or become invisible, monsters that can burrow through solid rock as if it were modeling clay, or behemoth creatures that can crush your defenses simply by sitting down on them. How does one account for all of these variables?

Luckily, magic can be used defensively, too. Clever use of warding spells, binding magick, and other defensive, mystical powers can render many of these issues moot. One must still take into account such threats, but not every fortress needs to be Fort Knox. The same is true of jails and prisons. Local town jails might not be able to keep a powerful person with equally formidable allies behind bars for long, but they do just fine for petty local thugs. The higher up the pecking order a prison is, the more secure it will be. In Slothjemia, the most secure prison is Totenhelm, and the authorities there have gone to almost comical lengths to make it impossible to break out, or in. Second in the rankings for security are the various military citadels, where dangerous foreign generals or their agents might be kept locked up. Third are the various prisons in each of the Grafdoms for holding high-profile criminals, and fourth are the local jails. And while a determined archmage can easily bust into or out of one of these provincial hoosegows, it would take a good deal more for them to even make a dent in the security taken at Totenhelm.

All of this to get around to the question, “Where would Grundoon be locked up?” You’ll just have to keep reading, won’t you?

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