Spell Casting Side Effects: Magic In Quaraun's Universe | Author Interview
Is a mage/wizard/sorcerer affected by his/her own spells in your system?
Yes. Yes. And yes. To all of your examples. Magic and spell casting side effects in Quaraun's world can and often do cause physical injury.
A "powerful" wizard is one who can harness the forces of nature and manipulate it to his will. This does not mean he will not be burned when casting fire magic, or escape the damages of frost bite when casting ice spells. In fact the opposite is true. Spell casting side effects can be deadly to the caster.
Amature wizards, those new to the craft, are often killed early on in their training, killed by their own magic. A wizard who makes it to old age, is one that has withstood a lot of pain, suffering, injury, and both physical and mental damage as a result of using his physical body as a conduit for powerful energy forces in nature, that were not meant to be driven into a flesh body.
Elves are more likely to become wizards then other races, because they are hardier, heal faster, live longer, and are less susceptible to emotional or mental breakdowns. And even then, wizards still go mad or die a horrible death from one of their own spells.
It is no wonder, few dare take up the art of wizardry. Few are brave enough to risk their lives in a career that has so little reward. Those who do take the risk are often seen as raving lunatics and become outcast by society.
Quaraun lives branded "The Insane", a label that he abhors. A label that distresses him terribly. And yet a label he can not run from. Every town he enters, he's greeted with the words: "Look, it's Quaraun The Insane, The Pink Necromancer."
Quaraun is on one hand, considered by pretty much everyone on the planet to be the most powerful wizard to ever live. (Except for his close friends and his family, who point and laugh whenever anyone suggests he's close to very powerful at all. They just think is a crazy, adel brained bumbling idiot, which he kind of actually is.) People (bad guys especially) come up against him with way more powerful spells then they really need to.
People meet him and at first they are terrified, but then they see him "do his thing" and they start asking "THIS is HIM, really? How is THIS the world's most powerful wizard?"
Quaraun's problem is, yes he is VERY powerful magic-wise, but he's also a drug addict and it can be hard for him to tell the very real fire breathing dragon about to kill him, from the hallucinated purple spotted pink dragon chewing bubble gum and pooping rainbows.
Young Quaraun had no head for magic and no desire for drugs. Older Quaraun took drugs to alleviate his suffering and fast grew addicted, with his addiction going out of control and becoming an obsession.
Drug addiction being a common problem for wizards, especially older wizards who've had time to completely destroy their bodies with prolonged detrimental sell casting side effects.
In his world magic is something anyone can be taught to do, but it's seen as evil, by the general public, so practitioners are few and generally seen as criminals (even if they use their magic for good). Over all this resulted in no one taking up magic studies any more and over time old magic users, afraid of their craft dying out, took to kidnapping small children and raising them as "priests". The priesthood was a false front for what was actually a "wizard school". This resulted in Wizard-Priests like Quaraun.
The problem with magic is it takes decades to master and learn, it being a mixture of mental self control, psyonics, and energy manipulation, combined with very elaborate rituals involving herbs, crystals, runes, etc, along with magic words and phrases. The whole thing is very convoluted and even the "best" have a hard time remembering all the details, steps, etc and so, mistakes happen - often - all the time.
The entire process requires decades of deeply devoted learning, and Quaraun... he spent most of his decades skipping classes, sneaking out to feed the wild horses, planting roses, and embroidering the elaborate fancy beadwork on other wizards' robes. He went on to become a tailor specializing in cloth magic items (robes, capes, etc) for other wizards.
But then the Guild and it's Wizard Hunters rose up and killed most every wizard on the planet leaving Quaraun to "be the hero". A wizard with LOTS of missed classes under his belt, WAY too much opium clouding his head, and no desire to be a wizard in the first place.... resulting in, even when he does know what he's doing he's going to get SOMETHING wrong...
Spell casting side effects in Quaraun's life are worse then those seen in other wizards, partly because he is so powerful and partly because he is also so reckless.
Quaraun cares nothing for fortune, power, or fame, He has all and wants none of them. An aristocrat whom has cast everything aside to roam aimlessly across the planet like a homeless vagabond, he seeks only one thing: to love and be loved in return.
He has watched the horrific side effects of his spells cause the deaths of every one he loves. Throughout the series, he watches, 4 wives, 2 male partners, and 8 children all suffer and ultimate reach horrible ends: all of their deaths being direct side effects of his spell casting. He goes on to live tormented by the agonizing guilt that rips forever at his mind, knowing that the ones he loved most in life, died by his own hand.
While others run to magic, thinking of it as a cure all for everything, Quaraun runs from it, horrified by the power he possesses and does not want.
>So, if a mage creates and shoots out a fireball, does it hurt the mage? Like, if it's reflected back at him or if it misses and his a wall and it burns the wall, does that heat hurt the mage? Does it hurt his hands to use it?
"Doing his thing" includes, him burning his hands, setting his cloths on fire, and running around screaming like a flaming idiot setting everything around him on fire, when trying to cast a fire spell. Thus he avoids casting fire spells. It's not that he can't do the spell right, it's that he's forgetful and he forgets to wear his flame proof robes and gloves; tends to cast spells spur of the moment instead of carefully planned ahead, so isn't very well prepared when casting spells. First step to casting fire spells: wear protective clothes (this is true of all wizards in this world. Fire burns - even magic fire.)
Quaraun, however is a Necromancer and if he's casting fire spells, he's likely sending flaming zombies at someone. But he's likely to create them indoors and set fire to his own house in the process.
If GhoulSpawn was casting it, the spell would likely backfire. He's a Half Elf Half Chaos Demon. Passes for an Elf, but has all the bad luck of a Chaos Demon. Casting a fire spell is most likely going to result in the spell blowing up in his face and him needing to be rescued. Likely resulting in Quaraun grabbing his wand and attempting to zap water at the flaming Demon Elf and flooding the house or teleporting both of them into the middle of the ocean.
Worse case scenario of GhoulSpawn casting a fire spell, is a portal unexpectedly opening under his feet and sending him and everyone near him into a fire and brim stone hell dimension.
GhoulSpawn, 400 years younger then Quaraun and barly yet an adult, jumps headlong into his spells and lets lose some of the most drastic mishaps of the series, often injuring himself terribly in the process.
Poor GhoulSpawn is a very young wizard with no skill or training on any level at all. Desiring to become a wizard and not knowing where to look, he one day fell through a portal that landed him in the very distant future: the 1980s, where he discovered, spell books written by the Dungeon Master Gary Gygax and takes them back into the past with him, devoting his life to mastering every spell in the books. Spells that he has no idea are not real and are part of a children's game called Dungeons and Dragons, he a very real wizard, figures out how to unleash these spells on the world, but he, a Chaos Demon, can do nothing without causing chaos, and his spells always end in disaster.
If Unicorn casts a fire spell, moments later he'll be standing there staring blankly at his hand and saying: "Look at that! I is melting! Why is I be melting?" (He's a Frost Lich, a super powerful ice golom, susceptible to fire, but rather slow to think.)
Also, Unicorn is suicidal. He's likely to cast a fire spell on himself just to see if it'll kill him.
TRIGGER WARNING: EVERY volume in the series features at least one suicide scene, usually Unicorn killing himself. But being a Lich (an undead golom made of ice, animated by the soul of a suicide victim) he is unable to stay dead and, comes back to life no matter how many times he kills himself. Being a suicide victim, he is also unable to stop killing himself over and over again for eternity.
Suicide is the primary theme of the series.
Quaraun, deeply depressed, also often attempts suicide and is prone to both cutting himself and intentional drug overdoses.
>When a mage creates an illusion does that affect the mage as well? If you made an illusionary construct that walks around your house and you forgot about it, would it continue to do its thing if you forgot it was an illusion? Is it an illusion still or is it an actual thing now?
When his lover BoomFuzzy died, Quaraun was so distraught, that he created a snowman (in the shape of a unicorn) and put his lovers soul into it. The result was an ice golem. A Lich, shaped like a unicorn. On some levels it was still his lover, because it had his soul, but in this would the soul and spirit and mind are 3 separate things, so the frozen Lich-icorn lacks certain elements, emotions, memories, etc, that made up the original lover's person.
Unicorn, retains some memories, emotions, feelings, etc of BoomFuzzy and believes himself to be BoomFuzzy, but in fact, BoomFuzzy is dead and Unicorn is a separate entity that house's BoomFuzzy's soul. Originally Quaraun knew this, but Quaraun is an Elf, and 300 years have gone by. Now a forgetful old Elf, he's forgotten that Unicorn (a statue carved of ice) and BoomFuzzy (a real person) were two separate beings, that each shared the same soul. He's forgotten that BoomFuzzy died and Unicorn is nothing more then an illusion made out of animated ice.
Quaraun was a young Elf when BoomFuzzy died and they 2 of them had only been together 30 years (in comparison to being with Unicorn 300 years) While he still loves BoomFuzzy. It's been so long that he can't really remember who BoomFuzzy was and he in fact has a much stronger love now for Unicorn, even though Unicorn is in fact, not alive and not "real" and would simply stop existing if the wizard who created him (Quaraun) ever died.
Quaraun once saw a field of dead butterflies. Feeling sorry for them he cast a resurrection spell. Unfortunately it was a poppy field and he got sidetracked mid spell with harvesting opium tears. The butterflies came back to life as flying, pink goldfish with a taste for Elf blood. The school of Elf Eating Flying Pink Goldfish set of after GhoulSpawn. In trying to undo the spell while rescuing GhoulSpawn, Quaraun inadvertently turned half of the fish into pink undead zombie turkeys that went stampeding off to the nearest village (Quebec) in search of humans to devour. Unicorn, feeling left out of the excitement, saw a herd of rabbits bouncing along through the field and turned them into giant flesh eating marshmallow easter bunnies.
(In life BoomFuzzy had been a candy maker in Santa's Village and now Unicorn is a candy wizard in undeath now as a result - everything he does turns into candy and he lives in a gingerbread house.)
>If you set a magical trap, can the mage trigger his own trap? How does he disarm it if he does? Does he just cast dispel on it?
If Quaraun sets a trap, chances are VERY high that within 10 minutes of setting it (or even 10 seconds) he will have set it off, can't remember how to uncast it, and be stuck in it until one of his friends (either Unicorn or GhoulSpawn) can figure out what the hell spell he used to set the trap and get him out of it.
If Unicorn sets a trap, chances are high Quaraun is gonna get stuck in it, usually because Unicorn pushed Quaraun in it, just so he could laugh while watching Quaraun try to get back out of it.
If GhoulSpawn set the trap, they'll probably all three end up trapped in it before he finishes casting the spell.
Side note: Quaraun's favourite colour is pink. People call him "The Pink Necromancer" because he only wears pink, he lives in a pink lighthouse (wizard's tower by the sea) and no mater what spell he is casting, anything effected by the spell turns pink (thus the pink goldfish and pink turkey's previously mentions.)
The spell that Quaraun is known for (his "trademark spell") is the "Lightening Bolts" from his Rainbow Wand. The effect varies from small sparks of lightening, to full blown tornadoes dropping out of the sky blasting entire cities to ruble with tens of thousands of lightening bolts.
Quaraun, gained the reputation of "most powerful wizard" because of his ability to simply point a finger at someone and say: "DIE!" and blast of lightening bolts burns them to ask. The side effect of this spell however, is it damages Quaraun's brain, literally the same effect of electric shock treatment. While people around him die, he, himself is also hit by the blast and frequently has been put in a coma as a result. Usually he wakes up with no memory of having cast the spell at all and doesn't know the people he killed are even dead.
Also, because magic in this world, is a result of wizards using use amounts of mental control mixed with harnessing natural energy found in nature, the side effect is most wizards end up being frail and sickly. Prone to getting every cold and flue around.
After casting a particularly big spell, they often pass out and may be unconscious for days. By the time period of the novels, Quaraun has begun using magic so much, so often, that he's passing out daily and has become fearful of casting a spell when alone, afraid someone will find him unprotected and hurt him (a thing that has happened before, thus why he now fears a repeat of it happening).
The more power a spell takes to cast, the more stress it takes on the wizard's health and the longer it will be before he can cast another spell. (It can be several weeks rest required between each spell, depending on the wizard and the spell.) Wizards tend to have bodyguards and trusted servants/minions who are with them at all times, to protect them from harm while they are resting between spell castings.
No, this is NOT a picture of Quaraun.
I know people thought it was.
This is his son King Vielder.
The side effects of spell casting are what ultimately destroy Quaraun, bringing him to the brink of madness, turning him from the sweet, happy little Elf, into the horrifying evilest of all evils that unleashes Ongadada on the world.
Quaraun is the Elf, said to be the most beautiful creature to ever live. He's saught after by men and woman alike. His life is filled with sexual encounters with everyone, based off the fact every one is spell bound by his hypnotic enthrall beauty.
Feeling truly loved by no one, Quaraun thrives on any bit of "love" from any one, relying on others' addiction to his beauty to get any kind of affection he can from any one willing to give it to him.
As the years march on, Quaraun becomes very old. An Elf now crossing 750 years old, but still looking only 18.
Hidden from every one is the fact that Quaraun has been aging, and the madness that is slowly creeping into his mind, is caused by his addiction to and prolonged use of glimmer spells.
Glimmer spells stop any hint of aging, essentially being an "eternal youth potion".
The aging Elf starts using them to hide his age, but uses them minimally at first...
...until he is burned.
Massive 3rd degree burns that destroy most of his face and leave him ashamed to be seen by anyone and result in his massive addiction to casting glimmer spells on top of glimmer spells. Ever more powerful spells using dangerous levels of static energy, flowing through his ever weaker brain cells.
This is the ONLY book in the series to feature an image of Quaraun, himself, on the cover.
Yes, that is a boy.
Yes, Quaraun is a transvestite.
In later volumes,
My Two Favorite People
you see Quaraun disfigured so horribly that he takes to illusion spells, casting a permanent glimmer spell on himself to hide his crippling scars and injuries from Unicorn and GhoulSpawn.
A vain beauty who cares more about his looks then anything else, it's not the deaths of his family and friends that push him over the edge, as much as it is the loss of his beauty. He becomes horrifically burned, while trying to protect his pregnant half-Elf wife. In spite of his attempts to save her, she dies anyways. (This is the birth of his twin sons King Vielder & Melaca, btw.)
The illusion spells are harrowing on the mind. They are spells that should only be done in short bursts, a few minutes here, a few minutes there. They are not meant to be maintained continuously or cast permanently. But he's so devastated by the horrific burns he's suffered, and goes so far to hide them, that he starts casting spells that begin draining terribly on his already weakened mind.
Worse then the scarring he hides from them, is the fact that he loses his ability to speak. The burns were not just external, but internal as well, burning the flesh off his face and burning his tongue and throat. The massive 3rd degree burns are crippling for him. He goes into hidden, with Unicorn and GhoulSpawn unable to find him for weeks, and calling in the help of the psyonic vampire leprechaun FarDarrig to uncover this bizarre change in Quaraun.
Because of the illusion spell, they can not see what has happened. They do not know how badly he was burned. They don't understand why he's refusing to talk to them.
While FarDarrig can see through the spell and tries to get Quaraun to tell Unicorn and GhoulSpawn about it, the poor Elf keeps his injuries hidden. Injuries that have scarred nearly his entire face, blinded one eye, and his leg twisted so bad he can barely walk. It is in these two volumes that the horrific side effects of spell casting rear up the worst.
Young Quaraun was full of joy and life.
Old Quaraun, becomes bitter and angry.
Young Quaraun had a family. A big one.
Old Quaraun is alone.
Young Quaraun was kind, gentle, and peaceful.
Old Quaraun goes on to become The Grand High Emperor of The Triple Planets - the evil villain in the Twighlight Manor series.
Everyone knows that wizards are mad, driven mad as a side effect of the magic they cast. Tossed into a spiral of insanity they can not escape and which will ultimately consume them.
The age of wizardry ends, when one wizard, outlives more horrific side effects of magic then any one should, and in his last spiral of insanity, kills every one to stop magic from ever hurting any one again.
It's in My Two Favorite People & Zebulon's Captive, that you see the events that led to his dramatic change in personality, from the kind loving Elf to the hate filled murderous monster. The peaceful gentle wizard, becomes the horrific necromancer who destroys the world, ultimately killing all life on three planets and leaving no one, any where left alive at all.
And thus the Quaraun series ends, where the Twighlight Manor series begins. The final volume of the Quaraun series is also the 1st volume of The Twighlight Manor series.
1978 - 2018
The 40th Anniversary Edition of
Friends Are Forever
This article was originally written on: March 20, 2017
This page last updated on: March 20, 2017