“Award-winning author Lita Burke describes the unusual blend of traditional fantasy with the gritty Steampunk genre.”
Author Lita Burke has released a new video that explains the merge of fantasy magical elements and Steampunk into the hybrid genre she calls Clockpunk Wizard. The free video is available for immediate viewing on YouTube.com. Lita Burke’s stories take place in a Renaissance-style world featuring the young Wizard Kadmeion and his half-elf assistant, Sir Bright.
Lanith spent her childhood as a poor farmer’s daughter. When she was a teenager, Lanith’s parents sent her to the city. At a young woman’s finishing school, Lanith learned a lady’s genteel ways that would prepare her for acceptance into city society. During a Church-sponsored event, she met Guild Maji’ker (“Magician”) Tredan. After a proper courtship, they married. She now lives the comfortable life of an urban middle class merchant’s wife in the seaside city of Isor. After nine years, their union has yet to produce children.
Soon after marriage, Lanith attended classes at the Merchant Guild. She and her husband run a well-respected magical curios shop. They import more than half of their stock, and buy the rest from Isor’s local magical tradespeople. Tredan’s skill is with making pleasure charms, which they sell in their shop.
Lanith owns a rare pet—her blue male dragonette named Arnl’jhott. This affectionate and talkative creature joins her on monthly visits to the Church orphanage, where she holds a crafts workshop in amulet making. The merchant woman and her dragonette are a favorite with the children.
Lanith lives a magically unusual life. Her husband is a former Enchanter, and these magicians are the most powerful mages in her world of Sye. They hold the key for producing magical essence, which fuels all the spell casting arts.
Practicing Enchanters have delicate magic and are surprisingly vulnerable. They live apart from society in one of five enclaves to protect themselves from hostile magicians. Among other peculiarities of the Enchanters’ magical profession, the Church refuses to let them marry. Tredan left the Enchanter discipline and adopted the Church-approved life of a secular magician. Although he no longer can produce magical essence in the same quantities as before, he has plenty to lavish on his wife, dragonette, and custom curios in his shop.
This essence-rich environment gives Lanith the luxury of cultivating her native magical talents. Tredan’s magical essence has also enhanced her natural beauty, and made his wife especially attractive to the Enchanters.
Lanith’s attention to details makes her an exceptional trade magician and proficient in these thaumaturgical skills:
Charms. Her skills include many spells to create, diagnose, and repair all types of magical charms, lockets, and fetishes.
Soma Touch. Lanith’s magical empathy ability allows her to sense the emotions in her store customers and recommend the proper charm, especially when she can touch their hand.
Paersenwierding (“person warding magic”). Cultivated by her husband Tredan, this skill allows Lanith to protect other magicians while they cast spells. Powerful mages, especially Enchanters, are at risk from attack while distracted with the intricacies of spell weaving.
Read more about Lanith in these Enchanter of Sye stories:
Where did Gentle Reader find the enchantments in Lita Burke’s fantasy worlds during 2014? Three is a magical number. Let’s take a look at the three most popular blog posts that came out before 2014.
The most visited classic blog post in 2014 talked about the magic behind the curtain in Lita’s worlds.
World-building techniques have always fascinated Lita. High Fantasy and Epic Fantasy books were her delight as a young reader. She poured over the maps on the book’s end papers, studied every entry in the glossary in the back, even marveled over the lengthy character name lists in the front. Read more at “6 Critical Elements for Fantasy World Building (Part 1)”
The second most visited classic blog post in 2014 was about a favorite resident of Lita’s Clockpunk Wizard world.
Madam Harpy, our Winged Sister of the Sky. Who did a disservice to this magical creature, turning her from a beautiful woman with feathery wings, into a fearsome hag? Read more at “Harpies Are Misunderstood”
The third most visited classic blog post in 2014 went back behind the curtain and talked about making fantasy characters real.
This post explored how to build rich fantasy worlds to immerse readers. Part 1 looked at two “big picture” elements in building a fantasy world: maps and politics. This second post took a “medium-sized” view and showed why meat and grog are wimpy.
The Enchanter magicians in the Enchanters of Syeworld celebrate Midwinter Festival by allowing the ghosts of former Enchanters to enter the five Schools of Magic. The ten Grandmasters adjust the Schools’ foundation spells to coincide with the Priests’ spell weaving at Soul’s Midnight. This coordination keeps Sye’s fundamental magic in balance.
The visiting ghosts are confined to the common areas of the schools. The living and dead Enchanters exchange stories and magical wisdom during the three days of Midwinter Festival. Sye’s ghosts are intellectual beings devoid of emotion, and the quality of the ghosts’ memories have many variables. The living Enchanters plan for months what they will discuss with certain ghosts. Sometimes this preparedness is for naught if a ghost does not visit during the Midwinter Festival.
During the three nights while the ghosts roam the schools, even the Enchanters who normally sleep alone find bed partners. They retreat into their private rooms where the ghosts cannot go.
Whether bedding other Enchanters or their favored Consents, the most powerful magicians in Sye weave spells to share loving dreams during their Midwinter Festival slumbers. Their emotional and physical intimacy during these three nights stave off the madness that would otherwise result from commingling with the ghosts.
Sciomancers in the Enchanters of Sye world honor the wandering dead during the three-day Midwinter Festival. These Church magicians visit every tomb in the Burial Yards and catacombs during the weeks before the Midwinter Festival.
The Sciomancers leave unlit candles in sheltered niches on the doors of the dead’s homes. They also recite traditional prayers to prepare the tomb for its ghost.
Unlike the window candles that secular magicians use, Church candles do not burn Enchanter essence. They are traditional paraffin candles protected by containers that hold Church magic. The Sciomancers leave charms in the candle niches to link the candles magically.
At Soul’s Midnight of the first morning of Midwinter Festival, the town’s Priest leads his Sciomancers in weaving one of the Church’s foundation spells. This magic lights all the linked candles in the Burial Yards. During the Midwinter Festival, the wandering ghosts will seek out the lighted tombs and catacombs instead of visiting the houses of the living. The Priests stop the illumination spells at Soul’s Midnight of the fourth morning.
The Guild Matters Sye book whispers the arcane secrets of the Magic Workers and Merchant guilds. This is the first of three stories about Sye’s Midwinter Festival.
The Midwinter Festival in the Enchanters of Sye world is held on the three darkest days of the year, when the sun shuns the northern sky. The yearlong snow fields of the mountain passes creep down the slopes and claim all but the low coastal towns and arid desert in the continent’s interior.
Almost all of Sye’s mountain dwellers abandon the heights during winter and join their family and friends in the more hospitable coastal towns. They begin this journey in late autumn because the ghosts walk during the three darkest days of winter. Without the proper magical preparations, ghosts can drive the living mad.
Sye’s living denizens adorn the windowsills and the outside of their homes with small charms that shed light fueled with essence. Because the dead do not care for the Enchanters’ magical essence, the ghosts avoid the magical glows.
The living decorates the inside of their homes during Midwinter Festival with rich colors, sweet-scented pine branches, and musical charms that play soft tinkling melodies. The secular magicians gather friends and family for feasts on all three Midwinter Festival nights.
Next time: Midwinter Festival for Church Magicians