Chapter 203: Castles of the Heart

on February 26, 2014 in Volume 2 Book 6: Career Counseling, Volume 2: Sophomore Effort

In Which Andreas Waxes Lyrical

Acantha caught my attention at the end of her class the next day, though she waited for the last other student to leave before she said anything.

“I’m a little concerned for our friend Andreas,” she said.

“Oh?” I said, not sure where this was going but already slightly uncomfortable. The way she said it felt like the conversational equivalent of draping your arm over someone’s shoulder and pulling them in close.

“Yes. I am under the impression you know him, outside of the group… is that correct?”

“Yeah, a little,” I said. “I’m friends with his girlfriend, I guess would be the easiest way to explain it.”

“Given his conflicted feelings, I think it might be a good idea for someone to talk to him,” she said. “And I think you might be the best person for the job.”

“You want me to try to talk him out of telling Shiel about what we’re doing?”

“Oh, I very much doubt that will be necessary,” she said. “And I certainly don’t want to give him that impression. If nothing else, he’d probably be insulted that I found it necessary. That’s why I think this would be better coming from you than from me… if I went to him, it would seem like I was lobbying him. But, no, I’m not asking you to convince him of anything. Since he can’t talk to Shiel… or to his partner about this… he might well benefit from the reminder that he can talk to you.”

“…but I already know about the project,” I said. “As much as anyone does, I mean. There isn’t anything he can tell me that I don’t already know.”

“I am aware of that. That… coupled with your prior acquaintance… is what makes you the only one for this task. He can discuss whatever he wants to about the project with you, while honoring the agreement he’s entered into. ”

“Okay, I see that, but I really don’t understand what you’re asking me to do,” I said.

“Talk to him,” she said. “Remind him that he can talk to you.”

“…I got that,” I said. “But it’s not like I could give him any advice about what to do… especially since he’s already entered into a binding agreement, and you said that you don’t think he’ll need any help doing the right thing by it. Unless you think I’ll have some kind of special insight?”

“No, I’m afraid I really don’t expect that,” she said. “When I said ‘talk to him’, I suppose what I really meant was let him know that you’re willing to listen. Emotional support. Mackenzie. That’s what I’m talking about here.”

“Oh,” I said. “I can probably do that, yeah… probably.”

“There’s honestly far less reason to be concerned about him maintaining his silence than any of the much greener humans on the project,” she said. “At his age, a dwarf will already have been trusted with a handful of important clan business secrets and been drilled in the importance of discretion. But… he might be the only one in the group with a potential conflict of loyalties, and while I’m confident he will ultimately see that the apparent conflict is anything but that, I’m certain it feels real to him now.”

“And you want me to just… be there for him?” I asked.

It sounded like so little, but it was one of those things that could mean everything and nothing. I’d “been there” for my friends before, and I wouldn’t hesitate to tell them that I’d “be there” for them in the future… but the whole concept was so nebulous and ill-defined that I wouldn’t know how to start being anywhere for someone I didn’t have a predefined relationship dynamic with.

“I know this is a lot to lay on you, Mackenzie,” she said. “But I wouldn’t come to you with it if I didn’t think you can handle it. The mental and emotional well-being of my group is very important to me.”

“It’s just… I’m not sure this is within my skillset, exactly,” I said.

“I understand that,” she said. “And I sympathize. My own ‘people skills’ tend to fall within a very limited and purpose-specific range. I can only reiterate that all I’m asking you to do is let him know that you’re willing to listen, and then do that, as necessary. I’m sure you’ll find that you’re more up to the task than you believe… and if anything about the process leaves you feeling uncertain, know that I will be willing to do for you what I’ve asked you to do for him.”

“Thanks,” I said. “That actually makes me feel better.”

“So you’ll do it?”

“I’ll offer,” I said.

“That’s all I ask,” she said. “And honestly, it might be all that it takes.”

If it did take more than that, at least I could bill her for the time…

…just kidding.


That evening, after I was finished with classes, I wandered round the slightly irregular hallways of Gilcrease Tower to the suite on the other side where Hazel roomed with the kobold girls. Andreas’s official residence was in the dwarf-owned halls beneath the campus proper, but he was as likely to be found in Hazel’s room as there. Actually, more likely, since even when he was in his own hall, I couldn’t find him there with an express invitation and a guide, since the entrance was hidden.

He was there, watching quietly while Hazel and Shiel worked on some sort of match-up ladder for their league. He was usually pretty quiet outside the context of the right kind of party, but there was something in his eyes that made me think that Acantha was right: he was feeling conflicted. Not being able to talk about what we were doing… or maybe not knowing if there would be anything that needed to be talked about… was twisting him up inside.

I knocked on the doorframe. Hazel’s door was almost always open and people wandered in and out of the room all the time, but that was usually on game business and since I was part of that I didn’t want to intrude.

“Oh, hello,” Hazel said. “If you’re looking for Two, I think she’s revising some notes tonight.”

“I was actually hoping to talk to your boyfriend,” I said.

Andreas looked more surprised than Hazel did.

“Oh, about Project: Business,” Hazel said. “Run along, Andy, we have this well in hand.”

“It’s not anything pressing,” I said, thinking nothing would be more awkward than him coming along because he thought I had something to say when I was only there to ask if he had anything to say. “Don’t feel obligated.”

“No, it’s okay,” Andreas said, getting tohis feet. “But maybe the hallway’s not the best place?”

“My room’s empty,” I said. He glanzed at Hazel. “If, you know, you’re comfortable with that.”

“Sure, run along,” Hazel said. “I know you’re not each other’s types, and besides, they would never find the bodies.”

There’s an enlightened view on relationships,” Shiel said, rolling her eyes. Nobody could roll their eyes like a kobold or a goblin, which was probably a good thing. You’d probably get dizzy if you could.

“You feminism your way, I’ll feminism mine,” Hazel said.

“Project: Business?” I asked Andreas as we made our way back around the floor.

“That’s what she calls it,” he said. “Comma, None-of-my… she’s not a fan of non-disclosure agreements, or thinks there should be an intimate partner exception.”

“That can’t be easy for you.”

“It is what it is,” he said. “And I’d rather wait until we’re behind a closed door to talk about what it is, along with whatever you wanted to discuss about it.”

“Actually, I just wanted to talk to you about this,” I said. “I thought you might appreciate being able to get it off your chest.”

“Oh?” he said, genuinely surprised. “Well, I suppose I might at that.”

“This is my room,” I said opening the door. “Go ahead and make yourself comfortable.”

“Where I come from, that means drink until the stone feels soft and warm,” he said as he headed inside.

“Noted,” I said. “Go ahead and take the chair, if you want. I’ll sit on the bed.”

“Thanks,” he said, and we got settled in, and then waited for the other to speak.

“So…” I said. “Hazel’s not a fan of confidentiality agreements?”

“She keeps secrets better than you probably would expect,” he said. “But even so, if I were going to talk outside the mine about something and I didn’t want it going further… she wouldn’t be my first choice. She knows that and she’s mostly okay with that, but somehow the idea that I signed away the right doesn’t sit well with her. In her mind, it’s one matter if I make up my mind to keep my counsel, and another to say that I can’t. From my point of view, though… the paper isn’t even what makes it official. That kind of thing is just a formality, between dwarves. You don’t talk about your business with people who aren’t part of your business, and work is always business. You know?”

I nodded, but didn’t know what to say, so I didn’t.

“But… the soldier stones are her business, and moreso Shiels… and other people’s business is other people’s business, and you don’t go slanting into someone else’s shaft unless you really mean to, and you’re ready for a fight,” he said. “I’m not saying it doesn’t happen. If everyone could trust each other, there wouldn’t be a need for secrets. But it doesn’t happen lightly. Or at least it shouldn’t.”

“I don’t think Acantha has any intention of taking the game or the league away from them,” I said. “I don’t think she’s thinking of it in those terms at all.”

“Oh, I agree,” he said, though it sounded like he was agreeing to something other than what I’d said… or other than what I’d meant, anyway. He scratched his chin beneath his beard, a gesture that really looked more like scratching his beard. “I’ve been forming my own opinion about her, but watching you… well, I haven’t been able to make up my mind whether you trust her or not.”

“I trust her… within limits,” I said.

He snorted.

“That’s a dwarf’s answer if I ever heard one,” he said.

“And what do dwarves do when they’re not sure what those limits should be?” I asked.

“Trust, but fortify,” he said. “You have to build a castle in your heart.”

“A castle in your heart,” I repeated. I was surprised at how poetic it sounded.”Well… I’ve already got a fortress in my mind…”


“It’s a long story,” I said. “The thing is that I know Acantha definitely has a more flexible definition of ethics than I do because she’s told me about them… but on the other hand, I’ve never really about ‘ethics’, so much as morality, and my morality is second hand and kind of questionable origin. I guess business ethics have to be flexible. I mean, keeping secrets from my loved ones is against my beliefs in general, but I see the necessity here. You know?”

“Flexibility’s not a dwarven virtue,” he said. “Tempered, or well-honed, is what I’d call it.”

“Whatever you call it… I guess my point is that I don’t think as a sophomore in college, I can blame someone who’s been in business for a couple centuries for doing what it takes to get ahead,” I said. “But on the other hand, understanding why someone might pull a dick move doesn’t mean it’s not a dick move. Not blaming her for the tactics she uses in general doesn’t mean I’m obligated to roll over for them.”

“What sort of tactics does she use, then?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” I said. “General ruthlessness , I guess.”

“She doesn’t strike me as ruthless,” he said. “I’d be less worried if she did. Let me ask you… did she put you up to this?”

“…how’d you guess?”

“Because… well, we’ve never been unfriendly with each other, I don’t think. Not that sticks out in my mind.”

“But we haven’t been friendly in any way that sticks out, either,” I said.

“Exactly,” he said. “And you’re not really the heartfelt talk-type, either… neither am I, for that matter. I think we’re both more comfortable in our heads.”

“Well, Acantha thought we were friendly enough that you might be willing to talk to me,” I said. “But she didn’t send me here with any kind of agenda… she just thought you might appreciate having someone to talk things over with, someone to listen. I don’t know if that‘s a very dwarven idea…”

“Oh, it’s very dwarven,” he said. “Every dwarf in the mine’s gotta crack.”

“…from the pressure?”

“What? No, I mean, every dwarf has a crack,” he said. “A crack in the wall… a dwarf he can confide in. When you have to tell someone something and it’s not something you can tell, you go and whisper it…”

“…in a crack in the wall,” I said.

“Aye,” he said.

“I’m a little surprised,” I said. “I thought dwarven secrecy was absolute.”

“Oh, aye, yes, and this practice helps keep it that way,” he said.

“In human society, the idea that you tell a secret to just one person because the pressure’s too much is pretty much seen as how secrets get out,” I said. “Because then they feel the same pressure, but figure it’s okay if they tell just one person… who tells just one person… and so on.”

“That doesn’t happen with dwarves,” Andreas said.

“How do you stop it?”

“Mostly, it’s the same as among humans, up until the point where the crack doesn’t tell anyone else the secret,” Andreas said. “It helps that it’s not his to begin with.”

“I suppose it would,” I said. “I guess the bottom line with Acantha is that there are limits to how far I’m willing to stick out my neck defending her. But… I think we can trust the project, more than we do her. I mean, even if she means to be the one steering it, she’s set it up so we all get a say. I think she’s right about the easy money not being in trying to control the spread of the game itself, which means she has no motivation to do that.”

“But if that’s where the money was… she’d have no compunction about doing it, would she?” Andreas asked.

“…I honestly don’t think she would, no,” I said. “Though it’s like she said, there’s more than one good idea out there. She could probably find something that would be just as profitable but less trouble.”

“But if this turned out to be the most profitable vein available?”

“…then she would probably go for it,” I said. “Well, possibly. I don’t think she’s dedicated her entire life to the pursuit of money, and she does put a value on intangible things like continuing goodwill. She’s cautioned me about burning bridges before. ”

“I see,” he said.

“I didn’t ask you here to talk you into staying with the project, but I hope I’m not talking you into leaving,” I said.

“Ach, no, you’re certainly not,” he said. “As I said: I’d be less worried, if I could know exactly how ruthless she is. I’m no stranger to the idea of the profit motive, Mackenzie. Business is business. I’d just like to know where she stands, is all, and how far she’s willing to go.”

“Well, I can’t pretend to understand her whole game, but I think if we’re honest… she’s probably not likely to go very far in a semester-long project involving college students,” I said. “I’d bet money that she has an agenda that goes beyond this… beyond what she’s told us… but it might have more to do with making future contacts and having a stable of young enchanters who feel indebted to her than anything about the project in particular. I mean, I was pretty sure going into this that she had the project mapped out before our first meeting, but now I’m not sure that’s true, or that it matters if it is.”

“It’d matter to me,” he said.


“Well, lying is expected,” he said. “All part of doing business.”

“That’s kind of where I am?” I said. “I mean, I’m sure she’s lied to me, but I’m no longer sure that I care. I don’t like feeling tricked or used, but business is business”

“As the saying goes: no one’s owed the truth.”

“That’s a saying?”

“A dwarven saying,” he said. “But it’s also like you said about rolling over: just because lying is expected doesn’t mean it means nothing. People don’t lie for no reason… well, some do, but they’re not people you don’t want to do business with. If she’s lying about her plans, I’d like to know, and I’d like to know why.”

“Does it matter, though?” I asked. “Okay, I know you can’t answer that without knowing whether she’s lying and why, but… is it likely to matter?”

“Well, if she’s lying because she wants us to think that we came up with the whole thing on our own so that we can all get a confidence boost and feel empowered… no, that doesn’t matter,” he said. “It’s silly and pointless, but it’s also part of how business is done, in the human world.”

“What other reason could there be for her not taking the credit for the idea?” I asked.

“Well… that’s the thing,” he said. “You say ‘credit’, but you could say ‘responsibility’. Doesn’t matter if the whole practice ends up shored up all around… but the convenient thing about a committee is that there’s always someone else to take the blame if things cave in all around you. You say she wouldn’t want to burn any bridges or use up any goodwill if she didn’t have to. Maybe being able to say it was all our idea is just… fire insurance for her bridges.”

“And Ian says I stretch my metaphors,” I said. “You’re right that I’ve had my doubts, but when you put it like that… well, does it really seem likely that she’d need us to take the fall for anything here?”

“Dunno,” he said. “But the whether and why of her lying could tell us an awful lot about whether she thinks she’ll need that.”

“When you put it like that… yeah, that does sound important,” I said. “At the last meeting, I figured that how she acts at the next one would pretty much confirm how well-formed her plans were. If she shows up with the whole thing wrapped up with a bow… well, she could claim that she came up with it over the weekend and that would be plausible enough by itself…”

“But also fairly suggestive,” he said, nodding. “I agree. Taken with everything else… well, it would be enough for me to walk away.”

“On the other hand, if we show up and it’s another round table deal where everyone throws out their ideas and we end up focusing on the best one, then it’ll be pretty clear that she maybe at most she had a general idea,” I said.

“Aye, those scenarios would be… conveniently clear,” he said. “But do you really expect things to be that clear or that convenient?”

“…not really, now that you’ve said that,” I said. “Chances are that even if she did come up with everything in advance, she’d try to be less obvious about it… and if she didn’t come up with anything herself, she’d still be steering the conversation towards what she sees as useful ideas.”

“Two scenarios that would look an awful lot alike, from the outside,” he said.

“So what will you do, if it turns out muddled like that?”

“Well, you’d better believe I’d be watching her like a lamprat and afterwards, I’d compare notes with someone else who was also watching, and try to make as much sense of it as I could,” he said.

“…and here I was making up my mind to stop trying to make up my mind about her,” I said.

“Do you think you were likely to succeed in that?”

“Probably not,” I said.

“So, you’re with me, then?”

“Yeah,” I said. If nothing else, having an actual ally against the uncertainty would make it slightly less maddening, hopefully.

“And what are you going to tell her about how this conversation went?”

“What do you mean?”

“She did ask you to report back to her, didn’t she?”

“No,” I said. “Well… not really. I mean, she was very clear that she didn’t expect me to try to convince you of anything, or anything like that.”

“I’m hearing a ‘but’ that you’re not saying.”

“She did say that if I needed to talk to someone, she would do for me like I’m doing for you,” I said. “But… I don’t think that was specifically about whatever came up when I talked to you. I think she meant more generally.”

“Oh? You’re probably right,” he said, and he sounded like he actually meant it.

Somehow, though, I’d managed to leave myself less convinced.

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36 Responses to “Chapter 203: Castles of the Heart”

  1. MaraGratia says:

    Hmmm, murky. I love the Dwarven perspective.

    Current score: 6
  2. Order of Chaos says:

    A good start. Now they just need to know what Memphis (the male elf) knows and we know if we’re set to go.

    Current score: 0
  3. Zathras IX says:

    Every Dwarf in the mine’s
    Got a crack but is it all
    It’s cracked up to be

    Current score: 8
  4. Dani says:

    > I’m confident he will ultimately see that
    > the apparent conflict is anything but that

    Anything but a conflict or anything but apparent? 🙂

    Current score: 3
  5. x says:


    I couldn’t find him there with an express invitation and a guide {without – with a suitable guide he could be found?}

    but that was usually on game business and since I was part of that {was NOT part of that}

    getting tohis feet {to his}

    the soldier stones are her business, and moreso Shiels {Shiel’s}

    I’ve never really about ‘ethics’ {missing word, “thought”?}

    “General ruthlessness , I guess.” {extra space before , }

    I don’t like feeling tricked or used, but business is business” {missing . before closing quote}

    but they’re not people you don’t want to do business with. {unintentional double negative}

    Current score: 0
    • XSanguine8 says:

      I’m pretty sure the first one you mentioned was intentional, you can’t find a specific Dwarf in a secret underground maze even with an invitation and a guide, place is still secret.
      Did find another typo tho:
      then it’ll be pretty clear that she maybe at most she had a general idea,” I said. {has an extra she, I think.}

      Current score: 0
      • Lunaroki says:

        The words “since the entrance was hidden.” that follow make it pretty clear that the word intended there was “without”.

        Current score: 0
    • HiEv says:

      “People don’t lie for no reason… well, some do, but they’re not people you don’t want to do business with.” Double-negative inverts the intended meaning. Drop either the “not” or the “don’t” to fix it.

      Current score: 0
    • LukeLicens says:

      “…and my morality is second hand and kind of questionable [in] origin.”

      Current score: 0
    • Lunaroki says:

      Typo Report

      Emotional support. Mackenzie. That’s what I’m talking about here.”

      Pretty sure the period after “support” should be a comma.

      I was surprised at how poetic it sounded.”Well… I’ve already got a fortress in my mind…”

      Missing space between “sounded.” and “”Well…”.

      Current score: 0
  6. Elf says:

    AE, More Tales of MU isn’t working anymore. Will you be fixing it? =/

    Current score: 2
    • Oni says:

      …Void Dogs is also gone. :-/ That was my favorite.

      Current score: 2
      • Mike says:

        Is that her old super hero one? I lost the link for that a long time ago. I liked it too.

        Current score: 0
        • Lunaroki says:

          Star Harbor Nights was the superhero one. Void Dogs was the space story starring Regan, the mighty warrior bard, among others. It’s also the story where the bed Mackenzie was sitting before she got teleported into the Labyrinth disappeared to.

          Current score: 0
          • Order of Chaos says:

            I was reading More Tales untill we lost it, I hadn’t started any of her others. 🙁

            Current score: 0
      • Anonymous says:

        Not quite complete, but you an always use

        Current score: 0
    • Robert says:

      You can read MToMU using archive(dot)org. At least that is what I did.

      Current score: 0
  7. tomclark says:

    “No, I’m afraid I really don’t expect that,” she said. “When I said ‘talk to him’, I suppose what I really meant was let him know that you’re willing to listen. Emotional support. Mackenzie. That’s what I’m talking about here.”

    “Oh,” I said. “I can probably do that, yeah… probably.”

    That was a bit painful to read, really. Was it really that hard for Mackenzie to realize what Acantha meant? It seemed obvious to me from the start…

    Current score: 0
    • Yumi says:

      I feel like she was a bit blinded by searching for Acantha’s ulterior motive or manipulation. It sort of reminds me of when she was working on paying more attention to her senses but still missed things. If you focus too much on one aspect, others pass you by.

      Current score: 3
      • P says:

        There’s also the fact that Mackenzie thinks of herself as someone who has bad social skills, is clumsy at providing support, and not very good at giving advice. Her self esteem has improved a lot since the beginning of the story, but this is still how she is used to thinking about herself and the ideas are pretty deep rooted. We’ve seen her mature to the point where she has given some pretty good advice and been supportive to people, but when push comes to shove it still surprises her that someone would come to her if they need someone to provide emotional support. It’s outside her comfort zone in a way enchanting isn’t.

        Current score: 1
    • Readaholic says:

      I’d need exactly that sort of explanation as to what Acantha meant. Less socially gifted individuals can require surprisingly specific direction.

      Current score: 1
  8. Potatohead says:

    I like Andreas. And I like the insights into dwarven culture we see here…the indirect worldbuilding is always my favorite part of updates.

    Did Acantha ask Andreas to be open to Mackenzie, and report back to her about the conversation? Is this why he’s wondering about Mackenzie, in case they’ve been tricked into spying on each other as the two most likely weak points in the Project?

    Current score: 2
    • Lunaroki says:

      Considering Mackenzie admitted to him that Acantha asked her to talk to him about his misgivings, and that he does genuinely seem to have misgivings, I would have expected him to have made the same confession to Mack if that were the case. I think those two have more reason to trust each other than either does to trust Acantha.

      Current score: 4
  9. Sher says:

    God, it’s so obvious what Acantha wants Mack to do…why does she have to keep on repeating her question? It’s as if she’s being intentionally thick.

    Current score: 1
    • Lunaroki says:

      Sometimes what seems obvious to one person is completely outside someone else’s experience. I’m not sure that anyone has ever asked Mackenzie to be there for someone else before.

      Current score: 4
  10. Cadnawes says:

    I’m sure Acantha has an angle here, but this was also a really good idea. If you’re heavily involved with something and you have nobody with whom to speak, you WILL lose your noodle.

    I like Andreas’ perspective on a lot of things in this chapter.

    Current score: 1
    • Order of Chaos says:

      Acantha could just be trying to keep the group together by making them bond together.

      Current score: 2
      • Cadnawes says:

        That qualifies as an angle, although a good one.

        But it’s true that I also just don’t think it will do to forget that she’s a known liar. And not the “Oh, sorry, I meant to tell you” kind. That doesn’t mean she’s ALWAYS going to be lying, but it does mean “handle with care”.

        Current score: 0
  11. Aran says:

    “Thanks,” I said. “That actually makes me feel better.”

    Which was pretty much the point, I’m sure. Giving her that task makes Mack more invested in the team – Acantha completely (deliberately) glossed over the part where Andreas is only one of the two people who might feel obligated to talk to Hazel or Shiel.

    Current score: 0
  12. The Librarian says:

    Jesus so I started reading this yesterday and I’m on book05/148 back in the beginning of 2008. I found your story on the topwebfiction list and I’ve been loving it. But then I get curious to see how much left I have to read and HOLY SHIT this’ still a WIP.
    Ever done a wordcount? I’m curious. It’ll be nice to know byt the time I’ve read up-to-date.

    Current score: 0
  13. Breksta says:

    I’m having major deja vu reading the end of this chapter. Was a preliminary version of this chapter posted some where before? Perhaps closer to a year ago… or did I just dream this up? o__o

    Current score: 1
  14. William Carr says:



    Stone Soldiers.

    Spells that make things bigger or smaller, like Mackenzie’s staff.

    Stones that hold magic charges.

    I just got the image of an invading army you can put in a box, mock it, drop the mocked box on the battlefield and have it suddenly explode with merciless, full sized, trained warriors.

    If they snatch up “real” weapons, the wounds they cause would be real too.

    Then the mocking spell fades, and they vanish.

    No evidence left behind.

    Is this the MU-verse’s version of drone warfare?

    Current score: 0
    • Ilya says:

      I’m not sure it’s possible.
      The rules of mocking are a bit foggy, but I’m pretty sure that whatever they do, whatever damage they inflict, with any tools, it would be still an illusion.
      Like, if I hit you with mocked staff, I first hit your shirt and then the shirt’s fabric hits you, but the damage is still an illusion.
      On the other hand, when Mack thew the kobold girl to the ceiling with mocked staff, she was a bit concerned about her being damaged by the ceiling…

      Current score: 1
  15. Mist42nz says:

    I must ask myself how many others readers also have 3d printers….

    Current score: 0
    • Ilya says:

      Yea, as soon as they talked about mockboxes and stone soldiers in same chapter I thought about mini-quick-mass-mock-box for copying stone soldiers. You buy one of each kind, you mock it before the game, they disappear after.
      Or, when I think of it now, even better, stone soldier charged with mocking enchantment that mocks itself, including the rest of mock charges, thus making it possible to continue mocking it. Lol, recursive mocking…

      Current score: 2