X. Fortune

The first section of the Fortune chapter takes place at Elspeth Sprengel’s Kenwood mansion that was introduced in the Magician chapter. She meets with Balzador and follows through on her agreement to obtain a copy of Liber Iadnamad, the Guild’s principal grimoire. The use of floppy disks to transfer the file is a bit of an anachronism at this point since most modern computers no longer use them, but at the time the draft of the story was completed they had been in use for a very long time and no substitutes seemed to be on the horizon. If I get a chance to revise the book for future printings I might replace this with some sort of smart card or USB device.

University Avenue Neighborhood, Minneapolis: The story then follows Balzador as he returns to to his rented house that proves sparsely furnished, appropriate to his single-minded pursuit of power. From Minneapolis he travels along Interstate 94 crossing the Dartmouth Bridge over the Mississippi River before exiting on Huron Avenue, the first exit after crossing the from west to east.

The University of Minnesota is visible in the background past the bridge. It spans the Mississippi river, which divides the campus into the east and west banks.

The University Avenue neighborhood in which Balzador lives is in the shadow of the Prospect Park water tower, another structure that like the Kenwood water tower looks like it could be the home of a fantasy-novel wizard.

In the original draft of Arcana Michael lived in Prospect Park rather than Como Park, but when I put together the final revision I lived in Saint Paul near Como Park myself and decided to change his place of residence on that basis. I then decided to use the Prospect Park location for Balzador’s home, as there are a number of rental houses along University Avenue. I recently drove by the area and found that the house I was thinking of when I wrote the story is now boarded up. Coincidence?

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