Tag Archives: Clockpunk Wizard

Homunculus and Butterflies

Bestiarum Vocabulum: Homunculus

The Bestiarum Vocabulum is the wizard’s encyclopedia of faerie beasties and mundane crossovers living in the lake and forest near Lita’s castle.

Homunculus
Homunculus

homunculus [hoh-muhng-kyuh-luh us] noun, c.1650; < L, homun- homin- homō man + -culus; also automation, automata, homunculi, bantam, metal-man

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. A magical sentient creature made of metal or wooden clockworks. A wizard summons a minor demon from the nether planes that animates the homunculus body and gives it consciousness. See demon in the Bestiarum Vocabulum.
  3. Personages: Copernicus, Wizard Kadmeion’s airship pilot in Forever Boy and Old Bony Blue Eyes.
  4. See “Copernicus, One of the Minor Demons” and “Potential Energy: Curse of the Metal-Man
Dryad's Chair in the Woods

Bestiarum Vocabulum: Dryad

The Bestiarum Vocabulum is the wizard’s encyclopedia of faerie beasties and mundane crossovers living in the lake and forest near Lita’s castle.

Dryad
Dryad

dryad [ˈdrī-əd,-ad] noun, c.1400; Gr drys tree < L dryad-, dryas; also wood nymph, hamadryad, naiad, sylph, or nymphet.

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. A flora magician, about 3 feet tall, with a beautiful woman form. Typically a shepherdess in orchards, pine coppices in the highlands, or oak groves near planting fields. Makes its home in the largest tree (called the “monarch”) and uses the monarch’s roots to supply earth magic to the trees in its care.
  3. Personages: The malevolent orchard dryad on Hurt Island in Ephraim’s Curious Device.
  4. See “Review: Delphinia’s Willow
Cynanthrope

Bestiarum Vocabulum: Cynanthrope

The Bestiarum Vocabulum is the wizard’s encyclopedia of faerie beasties and mundane crossovers living in the lake and forest near Lita’s castle.

Cynanthrope
Cynanthrope

cynanthrope [sy-nan'- thrōp] noun, c.1680; Gr kun-, kuōn ‘dog’ + anthrōpos ‘man’ < Fr cynanthropie (after lycanthropie ‘lycanthropy’); also cynanthropy (the spell that causes the transformation) and weredog.

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. A shapeshifter who alternates between dog and human forms.
  3. Personages: Furgo in Forever Boy, Ephraim’s Curious Device, and Old Bony Blue Eyes.
  4. See “Treasure Under Furgo-Boy’s Bed” and “Go Fer and Furgo
Will 'o the Wisp

Will ‘o the Wisp: Swamp Siren (Part 2)

A Will 'o the Wisp's Seductive Light
A Will ‘o the Wisp’s Seductive Light

Last time, we put on hip boots and splashed around in the fen near Lita’s castle. We met the swamp’s malevolent siblings, Will and his sister Wisp.

The Will ‘o the Wisps invited us to dinner. Shall we join them and exchange some small talk? Lita must tell Gentle Reader a story about a wizard’s swamp date with these sirens.

Swamp Siren

Wizard Kadmeion, his assistant Sir Bright, and some thick-witted goons had to travel through Murphy Swamp. It’s a bog on floating Hurt Island where everything goes wrong unless the traveler is a pessimist.

Have a Care, Sir Wizard, If a Will 'o the Wisp Asks You to Stay for Dinner
Have a Care, Sir Wizard, If a Will ‘o the Wisp Asks You to Stay for Dinner

During the night, Wisp and her gal pals sang a siren song to lure the doomed wizard and goons into the swamp’s chill water. Guess what was on the girls’ dinner menu? Tasty wizard’s flesh, served tartare and still warm on the bone.

Another Fine Mess

The dangerous spell woke Bright. His half-elf nature provided scant protection from the evil magic, but he still plunged into the knee-deep muddy swamp water and went after the enthralled wizard. Bright’s poor aim with a flung stone missed the siren’s light and instead knocked Kadmeion out cold.

The ravenous Will ‘o the Wisps swarmed, settled onto the wizard and his assistant, and prepared to feast. Bright was a mage still coming into his magical powers, and had just one desperate way to get them out of this mess.

We’re Late

So sorry Lita is a tease, but we must run now and catch the last airship home. We can stop along the way if Gentle Reader would like to read more about how their adventure began in the Clockpunk Wizard world of Ephraim’s Curious Device.

Will 'o the Wisp

Will ‘o the Wisp: Swamp Siren (Part 1)

Beyond the forest and rim-ward of Lita's castle is a fen.
Beyond the forest and rim-ward of Lita’s castle is a fen.

Beyond the forest and rim-ward of Lita’s castle is a fen. Let’s put on hip boots, splash right in, and meet its resident sirens. Just like mermaids, these girls love wizards to death.

The Will ‘o the Wisp only comes out at night. This fiery little witch has many names: ignis fatuus (“foolish fire”), chir batti, jack o’ lantern, hinkypunk, spook-light, hobby lantern, pixy-light, marsh ghost-light, Luz Mala, friars’ lantern, corpse light, Min Min light, and orb. Let us call her Wisp.

Wisp and her ilk are mischievous and malign. Here are stories travelers have told Lita.

Wisp Left the Traveler at the Edge of a Precipice
Wisp Left the Traveler at the Edge of a Precipice

Follow Me Not

Wisp carried a lantern and guided a late-returning fellow all over the countryside. She took him to the edge of a chasm, leapt across, doused the lamp, and laughed.

Wisp left the man far from home, standing in pitch darkness, at the edge of a precipice.

Blacksmith Will (Wisp’s brother, methinks), made a deal with the Devil and won a piece of glowing pit coal. Will uses it to warm his hands and light the way on desolate walks through the marshes. Wisp’s helpful bro leads wanderers into the swamp and abandons them when they come close to Will’s hell light.

The Curious Follow the Will 'o the Wisp's Path
The Curious Follow the Will ‘o the Wisp’s Path

Graveyard Path

Will and Wisp’s lights are also death omens. Curious nighttime travelers see the siblings’ small flickering flames in graveyards and call them “corpse lights.”

The blue-green flames mark the path of a pending funeral. If Gentle Reader follows the path away from the graveyard, it takes you to the soon-to-be deceased’s home. Usually yours. See? Curiosity killed more than the cat.

Next time, we join this nighttime siren and her brother for dinner. Guess what’s on the menu?

Unicorn Woods

Bestiarum Vocabulum: Unicorn

The Bestiarum Vocabulum is the wizard’s encyclopedia of faerie beasties and mundane crossovers living in the lake and forest near Lita’s castle.

Unicorn
Unicorn

unicorn [yoo-ni-kawrn] noun, c.1170–1230; ME unicorne < OF < L ūnicornis; also sparkly horse (derogatory), narwhal (aquatic form).

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. A protean (shape shifter) magician. In its land-based form, a small horse with a red, black, or white coat. In its ocean-based form, a small whale. Both have a long spiral horn on its forehead called the alicorn. To weave their magic, unicorns whip their heads so the air (or water) whistles through their alicorns. This mournful sound mimics native elf-kind enchantments.
  3. Personages: Dances on the Wind, Herd Leader, Elder Unicorn, and Silverteen in Glitter Ponies.
  4. See “Concerning Unicorns in the Clockpunk Wizard World” and “Care of a Fey-Folk Fairy (Part 2)
Boggart in a Box

Bestiarum Vocabulum: Boggart

The Bestiarum Vocabulum is the wizard’s encyclopedia of faerie beasties and mundane crossovers living in the lake and forest near Lita’s castle.

Boggart
Boggart

boggart [ˈbɒɡət] noun, c.1680; OE puca < Welsh bwg; related to bog, variant of bug + -ard; also bugbear, bogle, boggle, bogyman, bogeyman.

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. Boggart has two forms:
    • Shy household fey-folk goblin that lives in boggart boxes tucked away in attics and root cellars.
    • Malevolent genius loci inhabiting sink holes, marshes or other natural features.
  3. Boggarts are carrion eaters of broken spells; they also collect discarded magical trash such as busted charms and unpaired dirty socks.
  4. Personages: the many boggarts in Glitter Ponies.
Harpy Aerie on Strophades Island

Bestiarum Vocabulum: Harpy

The Bestiarum Vocabulum is the wizard’s encyclopedia of faerie beasties and mundane crossovers living in the lake and forest near Lita’s castle.

Harpy Queen
Harpy Queen

harpy [ˈhärpē ] noun,  c.1400; < L harpȳiae (plural) < Gr hárpȳiai (plural); literally, “snatchers” probably associated with harpazein, personification of hurricanes and whirlwinds.

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. A lovely, woman-shaped creature with wide wings and long sweeping tail. Her feathers and hair color range from glossy brown to shimmering silver. Only the Queen has red tresses and tail feathers. These graceful aerial magicians live in aeries on the dual floating islands of Strophades (the larger of the two) and tiny Arpia (with the Queen’s private residence).
  3. Personages: Queen Tkun’winddance, Aello’stormswift, Celaeno’dark, Podarge’fleetfoot, and Ocypete’swiftwing in Ephraim’s Curious Device.
  4. See “Harpies are Misunderstood” and Siren in “3 Naughty Ladies of Fantasy Fiction
Mermaid's Island

Bestiarum Vocabulum: Mermaid

The Bestiarum Vocabulum is the wizard’s encyclopedia of faerie beasties and mundane crossovers living in the lake and forest near Lita’s castle.

Mermaid
Mermaid

mermaid [ˈmər-ˌmād] noun, c.1300-1450; OE merewif (see wife) < ME mermayde from mere “sea, lake” + maid; c.1600 merman; also siren, merman (male equivalent), and merfolk (both sexes).

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. A saltwater creature with the upper body of a human woman and the lower body of a fish. Generally magic starved. To gain magical power, merfolk will tear apart and consume wizards that fall into their inhabited waters.
  3. Personages: mermaids under Nottinghamshire Isle in Forever Boy who loved Kadmeion’s mentor to death; merfolk riding the Water Pearls in Old Bony Blue Eyes on the way to Rim’s End Island.
  4. See “3 Naughty Ladies of Fantasy Fiction” and “Lita’s Magic Show: Mermaid Fare and a Dragon
In The Fairy Forest

Care of a Fey-Folk Fairy (Part 2)

Here is more about Tinker Bell’s naughtier cousins—the fairies flitting about in the woodlands near Lita’s castle.

A Water Fairy Helps a Friend
A Water Fairy Helps a Friend

This post is the second of two (go here to see the previous one) with tips on how to care for fey-folk. Last time, Gentle Reader learned the practical aspects of fairy care. Today’s topics focus on their magical matters.

Pixie Dust

Because they are so small, fey-folk cannot sing word spells like wizards, nor can fairies whistle magic like elf mages. A fairy instead sheds its magic when it flies and leaves a glittering trail. This fairy magic (also called pixie dust) settles, sparkles for a while, then fades. If pixie dust is kept in a corked bottle, the fey magic lingers indefinitely.

In the Clockpunk Wizard world, fairies are wee fluffs of trivial magic and disregarded by all serious magicians. Only elf mages, and a certain unconventional human wizard, find the fey-folk’s enchantments useful. Some humans are allergic to pixie dust–it makes them sneeze rainbows.

A House Cat Who Ate Too Many Enchanted Mice
A House Cat Who Ate Too Many Enchanted Mice

When they can find it, unicorns, boggarts, and dragons inhale pixie dust for its intoxicating effects. You could say that for a while they become fey.

Mice that chew shed alicorn (unicorn’s horn) also become a bit mad. They go about collecting pixie dust and create jewelry from it, namely sparkly tiaras. The bling, unfortunately, makes it easier for predators to spot them. House cats who eat these enchanted rodents develop a predilection for pearls. They caterwauler spells to transform their bell collars into luscious pearl necklaces.

A Woodland Fairy Hurt Her Foot
A Woodland Fairy Hurt Her Foot

Deepest Magical Sorrow

Fey-folk are carefree creatures. Their pixie dust brings happy thoughts and temporary silliness to the partakers.

But the fairies have a deepest sorrow. These tiny magicians are so closely tied to their habitat, they cannot survive without it.

In the plate-shaped ocean world of Clockpunk Wizard, its floating islands drift outward from the hub to the rim. The ferocious Rim Storms tear apart these spent lands, obliterating everything on them that cannot flee. The resident fairies sense their floating island’s pending destruction. They lie down, close their eyes, and will themselves not to awaken.

Sometimes a kindhearted mage will coax dying fairies to accept a binding enchantment to replace their habitat magic instead of taking the longest sleep. Here begins the tale of a young wizard who tried that very thing to save the fey-folk of doomed Hurt Island.