Welcome to the New Space Dock 13! Helping Authors Write Weird, Bizarre, Absurd, Psychedelic Horror-Fantasy Since 1996! (We've Moved & Changed URLs; Space Dock 13 is now EelKat.com) (We are also novel-writing-tips.com, a-pink-unicorn.com, & of course are still SpaceDock13.com)
Want To Meet EelKat and The Dazzling Razzberry (Autism Awareness Car) in Person?
We'll Be At PortConMaine 2018 June 21 - 24
See PortConMaine's Website For Times, Location, Directions, & Ticket Prices: http://portconmaine.com
If you are coming from out of state and plan to stay at the hotel, room info can be found here: http://doubletree3.hilton.com They give discounts to PortCon members, so be sure to mention you are attending PortCon when you reserve your room!
I'm livestreaming making this costume. If you want to see it being made, check out my Avallac'h Costume Making Vlogs on YouTube!
See You There!
Who is Avallac'h? This is Avallac'h (Note, this character comes from an "adult entertainment" video game Witcher 3 Wild Hunt, and you must be 18 or older to buy the game. Assume all videos and pages featuring Avallac'h are NSFW. This guy's a major pervert)
FAQs: Yes, you can take pictures. You don't have to ask to take pictures of the car, but please ask first before taking pictures of me.
No, I'm not an actor, I do not do the masquerades. No interest in such things. No, I will not join your group in a skit. I don't do skits. Sorry, I Just don't do them.
No, I do not enter the workmanship contests - I am a professional seamstress, with a college degree in theatrical costume making and pattern design and do not qualify to enter such events. I am also driven by my love for the characters, not winning prizes and have no incentive to enter such things.
While I'm not doing an official book signing at PortCon, you are more then welcome to bring books for signing, and if you catch me in the hall, I'll be more than happy to sign them for you.
PortCon takes place in 4 separate buildings: the 2 DoubleTree towers, at the Maine Mall across the street, and starting in 2018, now also in the new Hilton building next door to the two towers.
Almost ALL the events I attend are in the second tower, the shorter one at the back of the gardens, seen here --->>>
In between events, you can usually find me in the main hall of the second tower hanging out with other CosPlayers. We are the annual HallWay CosPlayers of PortCon and we'd love to have you join us!
I will be there at all days of the event.
I live around the corner from the DoubleTree Hilton where the convention is held, so you can usually expect to see me arrive between 7AM to 8AM. (Yes... 2 HOURS before the doors open, the lines to get in ARE that long! If you arrive at opening time, you won''t get in the building before noon time at BEST.)
I typically leave around 3PM to go eat, and return around 4PM (this time fluctuates depending on the daily event schedule. We, my boyfriend will be there, usually go to SubWay at the BullMoose mini-mall) Other then leaving this one hour for lunch, I stay at PortCon all day till midnight/1AM
IMPORTANT NOTE: PortCon is the ONLY convention I will be at in 2018!
I have been CosPlaying since 1987, 2018 is my 31st year as a CosPlayer. In that time I've done 200+ costumes and usually am seen at as many as 12 events each summer. I know, you usually expect to see me at lots of events throughout the year, however, I've been doing this for 31 years now, and both my age and my health are preventing me from being very active of late.
I have arthritis, hip dysplasia, Parkinson's Disease, Autism (Kanner's Syndrome), PTSD, have 3 ruptured discs in my spine, am blind in one eye and fast going blind in my other eye, am deaf in one ear and can not hear well in the other, and since being attacked by a stalker who left me paralyzed for 5 months and 18 months relearning to walk, I'm now on a cane. My health is not good of late and I am no longer able to make full season of event runs. While I have no plans to retire from CosPlaying, I will be doing far fewer events than you saw me doing in the past.
Since 2013, I've only CosPlayed disabled/crippled characters who use a cane or staff to walk, thus allowing me to incorporate my cane into the CosPlay. That is the case this year. The character Avallac'h is both elderly and crippled and that is why I picked him to CosPlay. The Avallac'h CosPlay includes a staff, which will be replacing my cane.
PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH THE STAFF! It is NOT a prop! This is an ACTUAL MEDICAL GRADE staff that I have had custom made for this costume.
I know people like to touch my extremely elaborate, over the top CosPlays, but please be aware, I am EXTREMELY CRIPPLED and RELY HEAVILY on the cane to be able to walk. The staff you will see with this costume is real, and I CAN NOT walk without it.
(If you didn't know I am a senior citizen, I'm not sure why, but most people tend to think I'm some 20 to 30 years younger then I actually am, but, yes, I'm old enough to be your grandmother, in fact, you're grandmother is probably younger than me. I seem to be older then most of my fans' grans these days. I does get tiring, young kids in their 30s walking up to me and saying "Gee I wish I was young like you, I'd date you." You're in your 30s, that's means you're a child to me. I was YOUR age back in the 1970s - 40 years ago.)
The emails I'm getting this past week, have made it necessary to add this notation:
No, I will not make a Witcher character costume for you for free and you likely can't afford to hire me to make one for you either. These movie-set quality costumes cost several thousand dollars and 400+ hours to make, with the standard dressmaking cost being $25 an hour + 3 times cost of materials, while it is costing me around $3,000 in materials to make this, you've not counted in the time it took and the cost per hour I would charge you. $3,000 x 3 + ($25 x 400hr) = $13,000. You are looking at around $13,000 to hire me to make this Avallac'h costume on this level of craftsmanship for you.
As you know, most of the year I publish 2 to 3 articles a day.
However, every year during convention season, I take a break from that to go full swing CosPlay.
From early April 2018 to late June 2018, article posting schedule will be sporadic, while CosPlay Season and Convention events are going full swing.
During this time period, you can expect most, possible all new articles to be focused on costume making, CosPlay, and the characters I'm CosPlaying.
UPDATE: It's now divided into 7 pages. The primary page "Meet Avallach" is now over 20,000 words long. At this rate, it'll cross 60,000 long before the costume is finished, and that's not including the other 5 pages. The primary page has now crossed 60,000 words and counting, the whole set of Avallac'h pages are now more than 200,000 words long, and more then 500 pictures of Avallac'h and his friends have now been uploaded on these pages, plus there are now 400+ hour-long videos f the costume making process as we record live, every second of this insanely elaborate, over the top CosPlay project.
Magic Systems and How to Build Them | Writing Fantasy Books with Eelkat Wendy C Allen
I am answering random questions today about world building, over on Reddit and decided to take my answers from there and expand upon them even further over here. So that's what this page is. Me rambling on about various aspects of world building techniques I use when writing the Quaraun series. The questions I am answering are embedded here. Clicking the link in the embedded question will take you to the original Reddit page where you can see the original answer along with other people's answers. If you wish to comment, you can do so on the Reddit page where a place to do so is provided.
I don't know either of the examples you gave here. I've heard of Tolkien, but other then knowing the name of the book he wrote was Lord of the Rings, I don't know anything about him, his books, his characters, or what type of magic system he wrote. I know there's wizards in it, so there must be some sort of magic, but not knowing the book, I can't say if my magic systems are like it or not as I don't know what magic system it uses. i assume since Dungeons and Dragons was inspired by Tolkien's work that Tolkien's work is therefore very rules heavy with specific step by steps of "do this to get that" type magic.
I've never heard of Sanderson before at all, so no clue what that might be referring to. Is it a book? A game? Movie? Who wrote it? What is it about? I'm afraid I can not give you a specific answer as you have not been specific with your question and I've no clue what you are talking about. I will therefore try to make a guess instead.
When you say:
structured and predictable
I think Dungeons and Dragons, Harry Potter, or Pathfinder.
As mentioned above, when you say Tolkien, my thought was rules-heavy, because D&D is supposed to be based off Tolkien and I know D&D inside out, though I don't know Tolkien. What confuses me here is the fact that you define Tolkien magic as the OPPOSITE of rules-heavy magic.
I'm sorry, but when magic has step-by-step instructions you have to follow or else, that is in fact the very definition of magic that is rules-heavey.
I'm now left wondering, if you think extreeme OCD, annal retention of rules to the point of having to carry a spell book with you because there are too many rules to remember (which is what D&D wizards have to do - literally - if the wizard loses his spell book, he's sunk, because the D&D rules don't allow for a wizard to have a good enough memory to do his spells without his spell scrolls.) If you think THAT sort of magic is NOT rules heavy, and classify is as the opposite of rules heavy when saying this Sanderson is rules heavey instead.... then dang... whatever this Sanderson this is, it must be rules out the wooo to the point of being mgi-tech and not actual magic at all! (Which actually doesn't inspire me to want to look it up to find out what it is, as it sounds like something I've no interest in.)
When you say:
ones that depict magic in a more mysterious way
I think Enochian Magic, Ceremonial Gardnerian Wicca, or Merlin the Magician, wizard-priests and monk-mages floating around in love struck hippie like ways because their god is the best danged thing ever and they are so full of god's ever loving love that now they can poop out magic spells and no one cares how it works because god gave them the power to poop out magic spells so it must be good.
So... that's the images that popped into my mind when reading your question.
I'm not sure that I have a preference for one way or the other. I think this is partly because my world is so huge (130+ novels since 1978) and features so many characters (the 3 primary characters each have friends and family and relatives, and meet new people each volume, which means there are close to a 1,000 named "active" characters in the series, not including random unnamed cast characters.) The series follows one family through the generations from early medieval times (800) till the end of the world (2525), though the bulk of the series takes place in the 1400s and the 1970s. Which means, magic changes and evolves over time.
As the series is so massive and each character so different from every other, and magic changes over time, the end result is no one magic system is seen exclusively. Each character that uses magic has their own system, unique to them, their religion, their culture, there race, where they live, and what time period it is, etc.
I'm trying to think, is it rules heavy or not?
I think it's not, rules heavy, in that, in Quaraun's world magic is an energy field that exists in everything, and depending on the person tapping into it, it can be used to do pretty much whatever you can think of.
On the other hand it does have rules to some extent, in that, you can't just grab hold of the energy and sling it around all willy nilly. It requires years - decades- of training to learn how to focus your mind and be able to control magic, bending it to your will.
I think if I was to try to compare it to a well established magic system that it is somewhat like "The Force" used by Jedi and Sith in Star Wars, though it's not the same as that, but that's the closest one I can think of for being similar.
I think the magic is Quaraun's world is very spiritual-esoteric type, but that at the same time it takes a hell of a lot of time, dedication, and patience to master using it to your advantage, thus applying rules to it. So, I think my world's magic falls in the middle somewhere, of being both esoteric and rules.
Most people in Quaraun's world view magic as distant and mysterious and it's not seen as useful or practical for everyday use. Most people see wizards as silly old men who are too overly obsessed with religion and are too busy trying to play gos to get real jobs. So there is definitely an esoteric mindset about magic from the population as a whole.
On the other hand, the men who are actually using magic, the wizards themselves, they see it as very serious business and are devoted to mastering it and have built up this vast ritualistic system of step by step rules and guidelines that they have to follow exactly in order to master using magic successfully.
So I think too, there is a matter of character perspective at play, because some characters see it all as a load of hooey, while others see it as an exact scientific art, and other characters see it as mysterious and godlike, while others see it as a way to use people (scam artists often use magic, for example.)
Plus there are dozens of different types of magic systems, each one is then changed depending on the group teaching it to others. Schools teach magic very scientifically, while churches and temples teach magic with reverence to a god allowing them to use it by his/her will. Every school has a different method and philosophy, and so too does every religion. It's further complicated by the fact that each teacher or priest or scientist is a different individual who their own set of beliefs around magic and so each teaches it slightly differently even within one system.
In the end, I don't think magic in Quaraun's world falls neatly into either esoterical or rules based and that it is fully dependant on the character in question and how that character was taught to use magic, combined with their personal beliefs regarding science and or religion and how those beliefs effect how they use magic.
For example: In Quaraun's world, magic is a force or energy that exists in everything. It can be harnessed and controlled, by someone able to focus their mind with intent of purpose. Thus a wizard can create a fire ball, seemingly out of mid air, when in fact what he is doing is pulling the life force/energy out of things (plants, trees, other people) around him. Fire ball or lightning bolt type magic is rarely seen in my world however, because attempted to harness enough energy to to that, weakens the wizard's immune system making him very weak and prone to sickness. Also it can kill whatever it is he pulled the energy out of... thus a side effect is the area may go barren because he sucked the life force out of the grass and shrubbery.
#2: Know what magic CAN do.
For example: In Quaraun's world, magic on it's own doesn't do much. Any body COULD do magic if they tried, but few people try because it takes decades to learn how to harness and control magic. Most Mages are content to be "street magicians" entertaining children at the market with simple tricks.
Wizards are people who spend decades studying and learning advanced magic skills. Wizards can control the weather, use psionic powers to "hypnotize" people to make then do things they would not normally do, and some are advanced enough to "reshape" things (turn a flower into a butterfly, turn leaves into ears of corn.) The most advanced wizards can grant wishes.
Wizards are rare, only 100 or so are known to exist (on a planet with about 3 billion people).
Most wizards were good people who used their skills to help people. However...Because Wizardry can be used to cause harm (kill crops, kill people, send storms to cause floods, etc) and the wizards who did bad things, caused a lot of harm, wizardry is now illegal.
#3: Know what magic CAN NOT do.
For example: In Quaraun's world, love spells do not work. This is because magic can not change a person's mind. While it is possible to cast a "temporary love spell" to hypnotize a person, say long enough to get them in a wedding dress and saying 'I do' the mind control wears off soon (only a few hours) and they will quickly realize what you made them do. You can alter a person's mind to enslave them, but you can not force their free will. Their body will follow commands, but their mind will hate you for it.
There is one story in the series which focuses on exactly this. A man (a Pixie) wants a woman (a Lilac Fairy) to fall in love with him and hires a wizard (Quaraun) to make a love spell. In spite of Quaraun's explaining magic doesn't work that way and no love spell is going to work, the man persists.
The man takes to threats against the wizard when the woman announces her wedding to another man. Reluctantly Quaraun makes the spell potion the man requested, but warns the man will live to regret it.
The love potion seemingly does as intended. The woman marries the man, cancelling her wedding to the man she actually loves.
As instructed the man drugs his new wife's food every night in order to keep the spell "working".
However, Quaraun is a wandering vagabond wizard and is not in the area long. A year after the wedding, the man runs out of his love potion and is frantic to find the wizard who made it as, the truth of the situation has hit him--- she doesn't love him and she never will and if he doesn't get more of the "love spell" drug fast, she's gonna leave him.
In other words, the love spell is not magic at all, but rather a potion made to bend someone's will against their will. We know this today as drugs and drug use, but in medieval times people didn't know about drugs and thought drugs were a type of magic.
Potions in the Quaraun series are classified as a type of magic, but potions are in fact not magic at all. A wizard who makes potions is simply a Wizard with the knowledge of which drugs/herbs produce which side effects and use that knowledge to trick people into thinking they are doing magic when they are in fact not using any magic at all.
This is also the primary difference between Witches and Wizards in the Quaraun series. Witches being well versed in herbs and roots and mixing them to produce a desired effect. Witches rarely use magic and focus mostly on potions and charms (charms relying on a person's faith). Whereas Wizards are using magic and can actual cause physical changes (turn a person into a dragon).
"Always bargain during the planting season."
"What?" Kelim felt confused, as though he's missed something.
"Tis planting season and you are bargaining for a great cause..."
"A great cause?" Kelim didn't understand. The Moon Elf seemed to be speaking only half of what he was thinking. Either that or he was insane and not capable of thinking too clearly. Kelim didn't think he had ever met an insane person before so he wasn't sure what to expect from this man who was rumored to be insane.
"Love is a great cause. Perhaps the only cause truly worth fighting for," Quaraun stopped what he was doing and turned to the Pixie. "Would YOU fight for love?"
"Yhm is not an answer. You hesitate at too many things, Boy." The Elf snapped his perfectly manicured fingers in Kelim's face."It's a simple answer, Boy, yes or no. There's nothing to think about, no ahhs or uhmms, it should be just automatic: yes or no."
"I'm just a boy, you know!" Kelim pouted. "I don't know all the right answers yet, I'm not some ancient wise old wizard who'se spent a life time studying brick a brack tomes."
"You think I'm old?" The Necromancer stopped what he was doing, stepped back and stared dumbfounded at the Pixie. His voice sounded wounded, and Kelim instantly regretted his sudden outburst. He had not intended to hurt the Elf's feelings. And clearly this was highly narcissistic egotistical Elf suffering from some serious vanity and pride issues. It occurred to Kelim that calling the Elf old, could ruin his chances of getting any help from the Elf.
"I... I'm...I'm sorry, that didn't come out right. I wasn't thinking, I..."
"You seem to do a lot of that." Quaraun turned back to a shelf full of strange looking curio objects. Jars of bird's feet and lizards tongue and such other things. "Lack of thinking is a serious flaw on your part. Of course you're a Fairy, so what else is there to expect? It's why you're here is it not? Hasty thinking, don't know what else to do, ain't got enough sense to jerk yourself off, or find yourself a whore, no! Let's run to the local wizard whom we think is more powerful then the wizard whose daughter I want to fuck."
"I didn't say I wanted to..."
Quaraun turned and stared at the young Pixie.
Kelim fell silent. The strange transvestite terrified him. Quaraun said nothing. He didn't need to say a word, Kelim could see from the look on his face, that Quaraun was acussing him of lying. Kelim hung his head and looked at the large wooden table. The Moon Elf strode across the room and flung himself into a large pink velvet cushioned throne like chair. He sat there staring at the Pixie waiting for him to say something.
Kelim slowly lifted his eyes to meet pink pupiled eyes of the albino Necromancer. Quaraun was sitting very stiff, leaning forward with his thin elbows on the arms of the chair and his long boney gold plated fingers crossed in front of him. Kelim thought the Elf looked very smug and regal, almost Kingly, well queenly, the guy was wearing a pink dress after all. Kind of hard to take a fearsome Elf like Quaraun totally seriously when he was sitting there sparkling from head to toe in pink sequins. But still, his cold blue eyes were formidable and warned that this was not an Elf to be reckoned with.
"You do understand, Boy, that these things always come with a cost. Don't you?"
"How much do you want?"
The Moon Elf laughed wickedly, "I’m not talking about money, Boy."
Quaraun slid off the huge pink throne and glided back to where Kelim stood. Kelim leaned over cockeyed trying to see if the Elf's feet were touching the ground or not. He seemed to be floating several inches off the ground, but Kelim couldn't tell as the pink silks were fluttering on the ground and the Elf's feet could not be seen.
"Love is a deep and important thing. It lasts forever. I loved once. I still love. But my lover is dead. But love, true love is forever. It never dies. Souls can reach across time and space and touch each other, long after death. He is long dead, but I can still feel soul. Forever's a long time, Boy. If you truly love her, you'll still love her, when she's dead and gone, and you won't replace her with another, because love doesn't do that. Only lust replaces a lover, because lust isn't love. Lust is you following your dick into nearest skirt you see. Love is loyal. Love is devoted. Love is faithful. Love is forever. Do you love her or do you lust after her?”
“I love her.”
“And yet you don't know her.”
“Never meet her, even.”
“How can you love someone you never meet? Never talked to. Don't even know. That is not love. That is lust. You lust for a pretty thing. You want to stick your cock in her and once you've done that, your burning passion for her will die and you'll find another. Love doesn't do that. You don't know what love is. No one who thinks they can buy a love potion does.”
“I love her.”
“Are you sure? You want to buy a love spell. Doesn't sound to me like you love her. Sounds like you just want to enslave her. That ain't love, Boy. Do you wish for love or do you just wish to be fucked? If you want to fuck someone, go fuck a whore. There are plenty of them in town. They'll take your money and show you a good time. Get your itch off your chest and out of your pants and let you think more clearly when your saluting cock ain't leading the way."
"I'm not...I don't..."
"Not what? Not low enough to fuck a whore? Don't need to fuck a whore? What are you? A eunuch? I know you're not a eunuch. You know how I know you're not a eunuch? Because I am a eunuch. I have mastered the art of ignoring any need or desire for any man or woman of any kind. That's why I'm a powerful wizard. My mind isn't clogged up with petty, useless desires for sex. The only thing that leads a man to a woman, is his dick. Not his head and certainly not his heart.”
“Your dick ain't leading the way? Ha! Do you have any idea how many horny men come to me, thinking they want love, begging for love, pleading for love, desperate for me to make them a love spell, when all they really wanted was to shove their dick up her skirts? Once they are done fucking her, they'll dump her and leave her, ain't got no more use for her once they've emptied their aching balls into her. That's all they really wanted. They didn't care about love or commitment or forever. They couldn't tell the difference between love and lust. Love lasts forever, Boy. Be sure you ain't just lusting after the little bitch, because you'll live to regret it if you didn't really love her and went and cast a love spell to bind your soul to her."
"Too much for you to wrap your mind around, Boy? You know what? I don't think you know what you want. I think you should go home, stuff your hand down your pants, relieve the tension you're feeling and see if that helps you to think more clearly tomorrow. See if you still love her, once you discover you don't need her to make your little baby factory work, you can do that all on your own, seeing how you are too good for the likes of a lowly whore."
"Do you go to whor..."
Quaraun glared at Kelim and the Pixie shut his mouth.
"Do you know what a eunuch is? I don't have sex anyone. I repress all desires."
After a moment of silence Kelim said: "I told you I'd pay."
“You think I want money?”
“I killed a dragon.”
“Dragon's have hoards of gold.”
“So, I'm very likely the wealthiest person in the galaxy, not just on this stupid little hick of a planet. I can buy anything or any one I want. Except for BoomFuzzy. He's dead. You can't buy back life. I know. I tried. I sold my soul for love and then he died and now I'm alone. What price are you willing to pay for love, Boy?”
Kelim reached into his pocket and pulled out a gold coin.
“But I told you I can pay you.”
"You still don't get it do you? I’m not talking about money. You want to buy a love spell? Yes? Love spells are not like other magic. Most magic you use on yourself. When people come in here looking for love spells they want me to wave a magic wand over the head of their chosen one and POOF make the bitch fall madly in love with him."
"Ofelia's not a bitch!" Kelim was getting impatient and becoming offended by the Necromancer's vulgar tongue.
"Ah! We hit a nerve. You'll defend the little whore then?"
"She's not a whore!" Kelim stamped his foot, quite forgetting he was supposed to be cowering in fear at what was supposedly the most powerful wizard of all time, but the Elf both looked and talked like a prostitute and it was hard for Kelim to accept that Quaraun was anything other than insane.
“Really? Not a whore?”
“No! She's not. You are!”
“I'm a whore? And on what do you base that? My clothes? Don't judge a man by his clothes. Don't judge a book by it's cover. The most fearsome looking wizard, is always going to be the least dangerous. Nothing is as it appears, Boy. Did you pass an old woman on the way here. The one that sits under the street lamp, feeding the pigeons? Old and grey and wrinkled, with one foot in the grave. She's a whore. Did you know that? Best whore in this town. Men pay her three times what they pay the pretty, young slutty things. And you know why? She has experience. She knows how to service a man beyond his wildest dreams. Don't judge a book by it's cover, Boy. I'm no whore. Pink is my favourite colour. I like glitter. Silk feels marvellous against my skin. And I've got big balls, pants are uncomfortable. Chafe and bruise. I prefer to let my balls swing free between my legs. I'm not a whore. I just dress in a way that is comfortable for me and pleasing to my eyes.”
“Yes I am.” Quaraun took out the wanted poster and looked at it. “Yes, apparently that's what people call me now. Quaraun the Insane. Oh dear.”
“Can we stop talking about your problems and get back to my problems?”
“You mean your whore?”
“She's not a whore!”
"Really, now? And you know this, how? Because YOU haven't fucked her? She could be fucking the whole damned town and you wouldn't know would you?"
"How dare you!" Kelim yelled. "You take that back!"
The Elf mumbled something in a squishy, slithery jelly fish language, Kelim had never heard before, as he turned away and went back to the shelves at the far side of the room.
"You have a temper to you, Boy. Scared shitless of everything around you, oh, I know that feeling, scared of everything, fainting over everything. It is so hard to stay upright and awake some days, but you're willing to defend a woman, whom you freely admit you do not know and cannot speak to. Fascinating. Love not lust. Ha, ha! Ready to piss your pants at the sight of an Elf in a dress, but you can be goaded. Takes love on some level to get a reaction like that, even from a coward like you."
"I love her."
"Are you sure?"
~Kelim and The Necromancer
#4: Theorize what magic maybe COULD do if any one was crazy e
nough to try it.
For example: In Quaraun's world, magic can do pretty much whatever you want it to do, but it requires so much energy to do big, powerful, or long term spells, that magic becomes impractical for everyday use. There are some alchemists (quasi-scientists?) who theorize that machines can be built to harness and store energy, in a way that would make magic casting safely available for everyone. The idea is "crazy" so no one dares test it out.
#5: Know WHY it is that there are some things magic can do that are FORBIDDEN or otherwise taboo.
For example: In Quaraun's world, magic CAN bring the dead back to life, however, the life is different. Worst case, they return as a shambling dead (mindless zombie with rotting flesh). Or they may come back as a soulless beast/monster (Vampire, Lich, Ghoul, etc). If they do come back with a soul, it may not be the same soul they had in life, meaning person A is alive again in person B's body, so while you resurrected your lover's body, you did so with someone else's mind/memories. Because the risks far outweigh the advantages resurrecting the dead is forbidden.
#6: Magic always has consequences, what are the consequences in YOUR world.
For example: In Quaraun's world, magic can not be used extensively. Magic is similar to the flow of magnetic energy. Harnessing it, means you are forcibly directing the energy to flow into and through your own body. While the energy is in you, it energizes you, allowing you to do supernatural things (like shooting lightning bolts from your fingers). But you can only do it briefly, and may not be able to do it again for several days or even several weeks, as it physically drains/exhausts you. Wizards often collapse unconscious after casting a powerful spell because of this, and it may be days before they wake up.
Also in my world, magic is unstable and unpredictable, spells often back fire and wizards are often injured by their own spells. (A wizard may burn his hands to the bone in attempting a fire ball, for example.)
Because of this, wizards tend to be a frail, sickly lot, and magic has no practical uses in warfare.
In The Lich Lord's Lover the government tested out wizards in their army - the Wizards turned out to be a liability - their magic was too unstable and unpredictable, and it was days before they could cast another spell.
In that novel, Quaraun is kidnapped by a rouge commander who is convinced the studies are wrong and that having the world's most powerful Wizard on his side, will help him win. He, however failed to consider what magic is, how magic is used, what magic can and can not do, and the fact that magic's ability to do anything at all is dependant upon the emotional stability of the Wizard casting it.
Quaraun is already a nervous wreck to begin with. His personality was high strung and anxiety prone before becoming a wizard. When he is relaxed, able to meditate and focus for several hours, he is then able to cast spells that other wizards only dream of.
Quaraun truly is the most powerful wizard of all time, but, his ability to tap into that power, requires him to go off by himself and meditate for days on end, to be able to fully use his powers. Denied this, and his ability to cast spells becomes laughable at best.
The more nervous he becomes, the greater chances his spells have of literally blowing up in his face and hurting both him and anyone around him.
In the Lich Lord's Lover situation, Quaraun is being held captive against his will, and his lover Unicorn is being used as a blackmail bargaining chip, with the soldier's beating his lover whenever Quaraun doesn't do what they ask. The end result is a very high stress situation that completely shuts down Quaraun's ability to cast magic at all. Yet the soldiers are forcing him to cast spells on command in a battlefront. Which results in many members of their own army being injured by Quaraun's inability to cast spells in this situation. This in turn causes them to beat him up claiming that he miss cast his spells on purpose with the intent to harm them.
The soldiers, know nothing of magic and think magic can do anything, so they refuse to believe Quaraun is telling the truth about the limits of his ability to cast magic in a battle front or while they are holding his lover hostage or while they are threatening him. They think of Wizards as being like a vending machine - pop in a coin and out pops a toy, only in this case, tell a wizard to to cast a spell and his does no questions asked. The soldiers next decide to punish him, by forcing him to watch while they beat his lover to death. This triggers the other side of Quaraun's magical ability, and the true reason people are scared of him.
In situations where his life is threatened, Quaraun will make random attempts to cast spells of protection. However, with his fear levels off the charts and his adrenaline going overtime, he inadvertently sucks the life force out of everything around him. Quaraun is physically unable to contain the amount of energy passing through his body and passes out. No one knows what happens, not even him. All he knows, is when he wakes up, everyone is dead. EVERY ONE. Everyone as in, everyone for miles around. Every person. Every animal. Every plant. Every bird. Every tree. This magical overload, happens in several novels, including BoomFuzzy, Swamp of Death, and Lich Lord's Lover and results in people calling Quaraun the Most Feared Wizard, because his powers when not under his full control are lethal.
I like this list and actually use several of these things in the series:
Requires large quantities of resources
Depends on the spell. For example, you often see Quaraun seek out a volcano to cast his spells near. This is because he's drawing on the energy of the fire inside the volcano. Bigger spells require more energy and bigger items (such as a mountain) have bigger energy sources for Wizards to use.
Requires extremely specific resources
Potion making does, but potion making has more in common with medicine and drug use, then with magic arts, in the Quaraun series.
Can only be performed at designated times
Superstitious magic users say one must do this spell by that moon phase, or whatever, but more advanced Wizards like Quaraun, laugh at this and same it does not matter the time, what matters is you belief. They then point out if a spell only works at certain times, it's because said caster BELIEVED the spell would ONLY work at that time and it was the power of the caster's faith, not the spell itself that caused this to happen.
Quaraun inadvertantly kills all of the Katopas in Swamp of Death.
Physically harms the world as a whole
It can and often does, though this is not always the case.
Cannot be completely controlled
Magic is a wild, untamed, chaotic energy that exists in everything. To use it, it has to be harnessed and controlled.
Can only be performed by people lucky enough to have been born with the capability (or potential therefor)
This one is not used. Any one can use magic if they take the time to learn.
However, Wizards are generally people who had a natural gift for psychic abilities and usually as people with a calm temperament, able to meditate quietly.
Creates an equal and opposite effect elsewhere
This has been mentioned. Quaraun cast a very big spell in one scene in Into the Swamp of Death, then later in the same novel, he's at a tavern and a random stranger approaches him, accusing him of having killed the Katopas, a herd of gentle gazelle like beasts. Quaraun is clueless as to why the herd died, but later realizes, that by casting a big spell, he has to suck the life energy out of something somewhere....
...before this point, Wizards in his world were unaware of how magic worked and did not realize they were pulling life energy out of living beings, killing them, in order to cast their spells.
Once Wizards realized this was happening, many ceased to practice magic, thus why Wizards became so very rare.
don't remember." Quaraun looked down at his glass. The bubbling
red liquid was now the same shade of glowing blue as the stranger's
blood. "What is this?"
Ecstasy Mystery Brew as she calls it, eh?" The grey skinned
beast-man with large leathery demon wings said to the pale Elf. "It
smells like rose perfume and fasts metallic, but leaves a delicious
after taste of bananas and pine on yar tongue. Patrons seem to become
addicted to drinking it, the more they drink the more they want, it
is rumoured to be made by a local wizard, with apricots as its key
grown on demon trees.”
drink was still changing colour and form as he held the glass and
watched it. It was sapphire in colour with bubbles and smoke coming
from it and now it smelling like chocolate covered apricots.
back to BoomFuzzy, isn't it?”
know he did.”
was my fault.”
killed my father.”
don't eat Elves.”
be a Thullid. The Elf in you died a long time ago.”
most certainly have.”
not an Elf any more.”
haven't been an Elf in a long time.”
turning into a Thullid.”
don't want to be a Thullid.”
can't help that.”
like being an Elf.”
friend. Probably only one ya has left.”
do you say that?”
remember in time.”
are very cold. You feel like a Lich to me, but you look like a
gargoyle. What are you?"
is Vampire. I tinks.”
can you not know?”
think everyone here is dead.”
looked at the lifeless people moving slowly around the room, some
with no limbs, their bodies rotting and decaying as they circled
slowly around the room. The room seemed to be fading into the fog,
the walls becoming alive with the dead. Quaraun cringed and looked
back down at his drink. “Everyone here is dead.”
don't feel dead.”
ya recognize any of them?”
killed them all.”
looked around the room. There were seemingly endless hundreds crowded
into it, the walls stretching onward forever.
couldn't have been so many.”
The Katopas didn't come here. They were innocent, they went straight
I do that?”
tell me. Tell them."
couldn't have killed everyone here.”
woman I meet before, she said her husband killed her.”
used to have a wife.”
remember the children. I killed them too didn't I?”
loved my children.”
killed them four hundred years ago. And then you killed your wife.”
did I do that?”
a psychotic JellyFish living in your head, telling you what to do.”
here is dead?”
you a Vampire?”
can you not know?”
wasn't a Vampire yesterday.”
wasn't...” Quaraun stared at the creature, blinking and trying to
process the information he'd been given. “Did I kill you?”
Vampire who plans to haunt you for the rest of your life.”
everyone here is dead and I am here, then am I not dead?”
does seem logical.”
you can't haunt me for the rest of my life.”
I will haunt you for the rest of your death.”
makes no sense.”
feels like a nightmare.”
are very much awake and this is no dream.”
can I be awake if I'm dead?”
nightmare, not mine. I'm just here to torment you for all eternity.”
don't look like a Vampire.”
look like a Gargoyle.”
I should go perch myself on a French cathedral.”
~Quaraun and The Vampire - Into The Swamp of Death
Can only be performed in designated places
Not usually, though there are some instances of this. Usually if the spell requires a designated place, it's because of the place itself and not the spell. For example, blood rituals need to be done in the place where the end result is desired. If you are sacrificing someone to call up a demon, you have to go to the place the Demon chooses. Or another example is resurrecting a person, needs to be done in the exact location where they died, not their grave where they are buried, because the spell needs to grasp hold of their life energy, if it is still on Earth at all.
Physically harms the user
Often, yes. Small, simple spells tend to be harmless, but bigger more advanced spells often have serious side effects. If a Wizard wants to cast fire balls, he better have fire proof robes and something to protect his hands, because he WILL get burned. It is for this reason fire casting spells are rare and the wizard will use a wand, so that the fire comes from the wand and not his hands.
In City of the Screaming Statues, Unicorn is mortally wounded by the Sun Elves' wizard. Upon discovering he has lost the ability to cast healing spells, he instead casts a spell to kill off every last Sun Elf, except for the village's alchemist, whom had tried to stop the others from hurting Unicorn.
Mentally harms the user
This is a big one. Thus why people call my Wizard "Quaraun the Insane". He's done what no other wizard before him has done, reached levels of power no one thought possible, and has done so at the expense of his mental stability.
In Quaraun's world one fact about magic remains consistently true regardless of any other variation: wizards are all insane.
The rigors of their studies, push them physically, mentally, and emotionally, beyond what the normal body can hold. Becoming a Wizard has the same general side effects of becoming a "test pilot" for experimental air craft. The mind is not made to deal with the things Wizards must face, and so the deeper they delve into magic, the more desperately insane they become.
There is no known case of a Wizard not sinking into madness.
Developing power in one form of magic prevents them from developing power in another
This was mentioned briefly in one of the Quaraun novels, though it was not explored in depth. But there was a scene where his friend & lover Unicorn, was wounded by another Wizard, and Quaraun tries to use healing magic to help his friend, but the spell fails. Quaraun has cast healing spells in the past, but it was a long time ago, before he became a Necromancer, before he had used magic to take a life. Before he had become a murderer, using Blood Magic to kill people.
The scene shows Quaraun confused, not understanding why he, a Wizard who's reached levels of power beyond anything he ever could have imagined, is unable to cast a simple healing spell that a student would have cast with no trouble. The Sun Elf Wizard laughs and points out that Quaraun's inability to cast a healing spell is a side effect of his having become too far advanced in Necromancy and Death Magic.
In essence what happened was the more he used Death energy and Blood Magic, pulling life forces out of the living.... the more it corrupted (corroded?) his ability to work with life energy in a positive way. He became so adept at taking life, that the energy in his body was now rejected the ability to restore life any more (in much the same way the ends of a magnet reject each other.)
Outside of this one scene, however, I have not explored this side effect magic has in any greater detail. I should because it would make for interesting stories, to see what other abilities he has unknowingly lost to gain the abilities he now has.
Quaraun looked around the room. Several of the Sun Elves wore the distinctive hood robes of the Guild. Radical racists known for killing everything and every one they did not like, by simply virtue of "they was different from me".
"You monsters," Quaraun growled as he hugged Unicorn close to him and began chanting a healing spell.
"If you are a Necromancer, then you have not the power to heal the sick. Evil beings cannot harness such spells. Monsters like you abuse magic, twist it to your own purposes."
Quaraun closed his eyes and ignored the Elven King, as he placed his hand over Unicorn's chest and continued chanting. He could feel Unicorn's body relax, as the pain eased and the burning sensation left his body. Unicorn opened his eyes again, his breathing becoming more steady. Quaraun leaned over and kissed Unicorn's face.
"They are right, I can not heal you," Quaraun whispered into Unicorn's ear. "I have not that power. But I can reverse the spell he put on you and ease your pain."
Quaraun kissed the Phooka's face, than laid him back down on the ground.
"My poor Unicorn. You will have to heal on your own now. I'm so sorry this happened to you. You did not deserve this."
Quaraun looked back to the King. "Why did you do this to him?"
"I told you..."
"You told me nothing! You had no evidance that he hurt me, and any fool could have seen he is too old and too blind to have done anything to me or anyone else. He is in ill health, you could see that, he could not fight you, he was a threat to no one. How dare you!"
Quaraun rose to his feet to face the Elven King.
"You took advantage of his weakened state to torture him for no reason at all! You racist pig! How dare you call me a monster! You speak to me of absusing magic. You're the Guild members here, not me. I'd never stood to your levels of deviance. Using magic to abuse the innocent is your kind of dirty tactics, not mine. I'm not the one using magic to bully a defencless, elderly, invalid creature who's incabable of harming anyone. You Guild bastards are."
"Our people have been under constant attack by the Fae of this region. We had no reason to believe he was no one of them."
"You are too quick to judge. You should not have hurt him. He would never have hurt me or any of you. He is a peaceful Faerie."
"We had no reason to believe the lies of a Faerie. He claims to be your bonded mate."
~The City of The Screaming Statues
Their power starts out weak the first time you try it, and they have to practice extensively to make it stronger
This one is used as well. Humans rarely become Wizards because it takes so long to master advanced spells. Quaraun (an Elf) studied for 300 years to reach his level of skill.
Their power drains and has to recharge after the fact
Spells take an amount of energy in tune with the size of the spell. A simple spell, like making tea sweeter, may have no noticeable effects for a powerful Wizard, but could seriously drain a student just learning. Likewise, calling up a tornado to attack a town, takes tremendous power and could put even an advanced Wizard into a comma.
Wands are like rechargeable flashlights. Good for so many uses and then you have to recharge it. Number of uses and methods of charging vary depending on the skill of the Wizard, the type of spell, and the material the wand is made from.
Their power has to be specifically charged before using it
This is used a lot. Wizard's like Quaraun have to meditate and focus their mind on their intent, and it's not a quick, think it and it happened. They have to meditate for hours - sitting silent, not moving for 8 hours or more. This factor about advanced wizardry is one of the reasons there are so few Wizards in the world, because few people are able to just sit and do nothing for so many hours on end.
There is also a similar method, where wizards charge not only themselves but also their tools (wands, staves, crystals, etc). Quaraun has multiple wands, and he charges each one separately with a different intent. If stored properly the wands will stay charged until they are used. Typically in the Quaraun series, each wand has a separate use, and only very advanced Wizards are able to charge multiple spells into their wands. Quaraun has a "Rainbow Wand" that can hold 6 spells, each attuned to a different colour. He's one of the few Wizards whom has mastered the art of multiple spells in one wand, but, he's a bit absent minded and frequently forgets what each spell does, and often casts the wrong spell when using his Rainbow Wand.
I am wondering why has Amazon moved the Quaraun books to the category "Transgender Romance" and also "Gay Erotica"? The base story is a deeply depressed, suicidal, drug addict Elf who's lover commit suicide and he's trying not to do the same. It's an old Elf in a tavern, monologuing a lot of flashbacks and back story scenes of his youth. These stories are dark, bloody, angsty, full of drug use, murder, rape, Medieval torture, mental/physical/emotional abuse, and references to depression and suicide - no romance in it, unless you count the occasional (and usually brutally violent) rape scenes that show up in nearly every volume - sorry - no clue what Amazon is thinking or why they moved these to Romance and Erotica, but these books are NOT even close to being Romance or Erotica on any level at all. When I published these books I put them in "Dark Fantasy" and "Yaoi". If they show up in any category other then "Dark Fantasy" and "Yaoi", it's because Amazon put them there without my authorization or approval.
The 4 door white truck continues to sit at the end of my drive way (146 Portland Ave, Old Orchard Beach, Maine) near every night around sunset, reeving it's engine and squealing it's tires, with the driver yelling anti-gay threats and obscenities out the window. He continues to do the same thing at my dad's apartment building (Biddeford Maine) a few times a week, usually in mid to late afternoon time. He continues to follow me to shopping to various stores in various towns throughout the states.
Phrases he yells from the truck include:
"Kill or be killed remember Saco Shaws all transsexuals are alike"
"I keep a gun under the seat of my truck, I'm gonna use it to shoot you in the head, you transvestite freak"
if cars are going by he yells to them: "that thing is Ken's son, look at how's it's dressed; it's insane, it has autism, we can't allow that thing and it's gay cars in our family friend town of Old Orchard Beach"
He often babbles deranged ramblings about something he calls "the gay-pocalypse", raving lunacy about how "all the gays are gathering" on his doorstep. He raves some crazy nonsense about how Armageddon is coming and the war to end all wars will be "the gays against the Christians" and Christians have to be ready to "kill the gays"
My car is the Autism Awareness Car and had 2.5million marbles glued to it (I have Autism - savant - Kanner's syndrome) he claims tat my car "is gay" because of what it looks like. My car has been vandalized several dozen times, including to have the tires slashed 7 times in 6 months.
After dark often around 10PM, he stands at the end of the logging road across the street from me and shoots at my motohome (in February 2014 he shot holes in my neighbour's barn while doing this). I have video footage of 3 of his shootings at me here: https://youtu.be/NUebzJ9sz9U and here: https://youtu.be/C4dZbgG-Smw
This has gone on since August 2013 now, in addition to all the vandalism, hate crimes, pet beheadings, etc that has happened, including the bomb that blew up our house in 2006.
As you know, that whole time I had not been able to get a plate number on the truck. He as just here again, and I just realized why I could not get a plate number... there are no plates on the truck, either on the front or on the back. However, as he was driving away today... I noticed, there is a plate, stuck up in the back window of the truck, where it can barely be seen, deliberately obscured from view behind a silver tool box.
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