Welcome to Lita’s castle here in the Northern Realms. Step into her magical laboratory and see what’s on the slab.
Lita has reached the midpoint of the draft for the next story, Glitter Ponies.
In this Clockpunk Wizard tale, Lady Luck’s young daughter helps Wizard Kadmeion discover the cause of a mysterious unicorn illness.
Despite that lovely unicorn magic, Glitter Ponies is not only for little girls who fancy unicorns. Kadmeion and his assistant Sir Bright do the unthinkable–they try to take a vacation on floating Wuddlekins Island. This wintry locale is the highest island in the elf realm’s archipelago. Bright’s brother is the island’s magical steward, and Wuddlekins boasts the largest herd of unicorns in the entire plate-shaped, ocean world of Clockpunk Wizard.
Our magic men face the most dangerous challenge of their budding wizardry-for-hire careers. Girlfriends.
Amorous women like elf-kind Madam Loveday, and the local schoolmarm of the Bullfinch Conservatoire of Gauds, Baubles, and Glamour, Headmistress Thomasyn, vie for the guys’ affections.
Even their accompanying guest on this trip, Lady Luck’s daughter Miss Probability, discovers that boy kisses aren’t all that bad. Plus, all three vacationers learn that when they mix wizardry, luck, and unicorns together, love is deliciously unpredictable.
Welcome to the forest near Lita’s castle. Travelling wizards have camped here all night in their colorful carts and put on magic shows.
Dawn approaches, and morning birdsong surrounds us. We have time for one more wonder before we must break camp and go on our way.
A half-breed elf stands and tugs his immaculate magic worker’s tunic to rights. His azure eyes dazzle and he holds us breathless with a mere glance. This son of a prince whistles his spell, and the enchantment echoes as if we sit in the canyon lands and not the forest. We lean in to listen.
“How horrible and lovely mermaids be,” the elf-kind says. “Why do love-struck merfolk tear an unlucky wizard’s flesh from his very bones? And a mage’s promise is no small matter. When we mix it with a dragon’s enchantment and Lady Luck’s kiss, wizardry might even persuade Sir Death.”
A wizard finds out–the hard way–about mermaids’ affection when he faces a dangerous journey to Sir Death’s castle to win a powerful spell book for a love-starved dragon.
Enchantments dazzle in the forest near Lita’s castle–a place where wandering wizards pull up their colorful carts and put on magic shows.
An elderly dog jumps up on a stool. She is an unattractive mutt with faded brown spots and a drooling mouth.
But her clear eyes shimmer with magic. She taps her paw and conjures an image of another pup, a sleek and handsome wizard’s familiar with a wonderful trick.
“Minor demons animate mandrake roots in this wizard’s enchantment,” the old dog says. Her voice is a lovely alto and rich with marvels. “The flora looks like little people, and the plants walk and talk. Even the dogs can weave enchantments in this fantasy world, but the price is oh, so dear.”
We take another trip today into the forest near Lita’s castle–a place where wandering wizards pull up their colorful carts and put on magic shows.
A young magic man with eyes the hue of dirty sea water stands before the campfire. He forgoes the traditional mage’s cowl and instead wears a starched formal shirt and tail coat. He clears his throat, then says:
“Watch your language in Lita’s forest.” He cups his hands. “Look in here. I’ll weave a stony path across dangerous waters to an islet with a marvelous bush. My story is about a lost familiar. And let me show you how a wizard’s harsh words turn into bats.”
This wandering wizard (the young mage tells us) sought a magical thingummy in his plate-shaped ocean world to free his kidnapped familiar.
Welcome to the forest near Lita’s castle–a place where wandering wizards pull up their colorful carts and put on magic shows.
This is the first of a series of posts about the comings and goings of the folks at the ongoing magic faire outside of Lita’s castle. When dusk settles in, the mages gather and tell their stories around the campfire. They form images and sounds from the flames and smoke. Let’s pull up a stool and listen to the first tale:
“Glimpse dragons so tiny, they perch on their masters’ shouldersand coo like doves. Discover a magician’s secret that threatens all he holds dear.”
Time to set the facts straight about this four-legged sentient creature with a long spiral horn on its forehead.
If Gentle Reader were to cast a searching spell about unicorns in our fantasy world called internet, the spell would say that unicorns are made-up bits of fantasy fluff.
Lita says horse feathers (with apologies to Pegasus) about that parcel of nonsense.
The upcoming story Glitter Poniestells about Lady Luck’s daughter helping Wizard Kadmeion discover the cause of a mysterious unicorn illness. It will be a while until Kadmeion’s airship travels to floating Wuddlekins Island to visit the unicorn herd, so here are some facts from the wizard’s Bestiarum Vocabulum.
Appearance and Magical Ability
Unicorns are the size of ponies with red, black, or white coats. They share the physical features of horses and goats: they have manes, long flowing tails, cloven hooves, and many have a goat-like beard.
Their single grooved spiral horn sprouts from the middle of their forehead and has a lace work of holes. When a unicorn whips its head, air whistles through its horn. Elf spells mimic the haunting and beautiful unicorn horn whistles.
A powerful elf magician (or a wizard under special circumstances) can enchant an entire unicorn herd and coax the animals into bobbing their heads in unison. The mage then uses the unicorns’ combined whistles to fuel potent spells.
Unicorns are a paradox of gentle and aggressive behavior. Elf magicians service unicorn herds to temper the extremes of unicorn comportment.
About the Pure Girl Fascination
The unicorn is a wild woodland creature and is the magical incarnation of purity and grace. Its preferred magicians are young female virgins, elf-kind of all ages and worldly experience, and fey-folk.
The shy unicorns avoid other magic types (such as human wizards, demons, or clockwork automatons) unless a mage has substantial intervention with the unicorns’ favored magic (i.e. virgin, elf, or fairy spells).
The unicorn, through its intemperance and not knowing how to control itself, for the love it bears to fair maidens forgets its ferocity and wildness; and laying aside all fear it will go up to a seated damsel and go to sleep in her lap, and thus the hunters take it. – Leonardo da Vinci
A unicorn is especially vulnerable to the Pure Girl Fascination. The best way to entrap a unicorn is to ask an innocent young lady to join the hunt.
About the Narwhal Horn Issue
A land-based unicorn sheds its horn, also called an alicorn, naturally in late winter.
In addition to virgins, unicorns have a magical vulnerability to salty water. When it swims in the sea, a unicorn turns into its aquatic form called a narwhal. A narwhal retains its horn, but otherwise resembles a dolphin. If a narwhal washes ashore in the Clockpunk Wizard world, it dries out and takes on its land-based pony form.
Commends [the unicorn horn] against the bite of a mad dog and other mischievous beasts, [and] also of worms…[Make] cups of it…[that] they might defend themselves against poison, drunkenness, cramp, falling sickness, and other malignant diseases. – Joannes Jonstonus, translating the text of Conrad Gesner
The alicorn has many magical, medicinal, musical, and decorative properties. The narwhal horn also has the same magical properties as unicorn’s pony horn.
More than bragging rights at stake here. The top three videos win valuable marketing and promotion prizes. These lovelies are oh, so important to indie authors. There are great video entries in this month’s contest. Go ahead. Cast a spell and vote for your favorite book trailer.
Watch the Old Bony video and see Lady Luck’s lovely face. The equally beautiful Madam War also appears. Get a glimpse of the perils waiting for Kadmeion in the desert. Learn who does the cooking in Death’s castle. Discover exactly what kind of wizard, what kind of guy, Sir Death really is in Old Bony Blue Eyes.
Here is your chance to see Wizard Kadmeion, his half-elf assistant Sir Bright, and the wizard’s familiar, Furgo. Join Kadmeion on his journey to Sir Death’s castle. You might spot a mermaid or a hydra along the way. His visit with the lovely Lady Luck is there, along with the bickering couple, Lord and Madam War. Also catch a glimpse of Death’s most curious of blue-eyed magicians, Wizard Mephistopheles.
Lita was busy the past few weeks with drafting the next Clockpunk Wizard story, Glitter Ponies. There were also some wonderful reads, so here is the first of three reviews for those stories.
Echo of a Siren by Sonya C. Dodd is a fantasy romance about a young man named Greg who is rescued from drowning by a revengeful mermaid. It is also an unusual courtship between two loners swirling in tragic circumstances.
Greg accompanies his foolish friend Jake on an ill-advised boat ride into a ferocious storm. The waves capsize the craft and plunge the men into the unforgiving sea. The lovely siren Rachel, who gave up her human life to instead seduce and kill men floundering in the ocean’s embrace, feels a twinge for the near-dead Greg. Following the faintest urging in her once-human heart, Rachel rescues him instead of devouring his life force.
For Lita, who lives in the middle of the continent, Echo of a Siren wove a vivid world about living next to that harshest of mistresses, the sea. Water’s chill, the rotten fish reek in the tangy ocean air, and love’s desperation between Greg and Rachel made Lita shiver and reach for her coat.
Greg’s guilt, plus the mistreatment from the bullies grieving for drowned friends, was heartbreaking. Loved ones can lash out at survivors, and survivors punish themselves for making it through.
Rachel had good reasons to hate men when she was alive. Her backstory was wrenching, yet her kind treatment of Greg was a compassionate touch. Even as an undying mermaid, she too was subjected to heartless treatment from her siren kin. Dodd’s story plunges Gentle Reader into a chilly fantasy world and watery heartbreaker.