See also: Mosaics

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I gather this one is titled "The Archdemon." Not "The Three Archdemons," and I'll get back to that. Good construction here. A nice balanced carving, if you consider Tevinters to have equal weight to the dragon's arse. Not a bad comparison, you ask me.

Seven magisters and some easy symmetry to give a host something to sound smart about after dinner. If I had to guess, they'd go on about how four lines, and four magisters, are part of the dragon and favored. Two lines are piercing it, so they do more damage than good. And one, that big one farthest out, has missed the thing completely. If this was carved around the Third Blight, that gets you three heads. Doesn't matter, those are all shallow details, probably followed by "and it speaks to me because my soul something regret whatever."

Now, the first thing those spits don't understand is that carving isn't just what you see. They've never made a physical thing and don't know the how of it. Depth is all tricks of shadow and such; the actual cuts are only as deep as the sculptor wants. And if you take a flat edge to this thing, what she wanted is strange. Because what I'm thinking is that this is one Archdemon and the three heads are the reaction to the three lines. Because piercing-line-one is on the same tier as the Tevinter second from left, and the middle head turned away. Piercing-line-two is the same tier as Tevinter fifth from left, and the first head turned away. And the line that misses it, that's the same tier as the big Tevinter, farthest out. And the dragon is looking straight at him. So the ones who did damage, the dragon doesn't care. The one who faked it, the dragon gives him an eyeful.

Now, add to that: artists like to hit big targets, but this carving has no faces. If she wanted to carve specific people, they'd be there, she has that skill. So, what if she's not after the magisters, she's carved Tevinter itself? You've got four ages of the empire where they're part of the dragon, two where they damage it, and one where they miss the point entirely and it gets them eaten. Think about it too much, and I bet you could come up with five different ways match their calendar, including your favorite aunt's birthday.

So, there you go. That's how to go from "balanced" to "not invited next time." At my house, anyway.

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