Tag Archives: fantasy worlds

Welcome to the Dark Circus

Enter Here for Madness

Not all enchantments are fairy glitter and unicorns. In some fantasy worlds, it is always half past dark and Halloween time. Today is Samhain. Let the screams begin.

The Autumn People Have Come to Town
The Autumn People Have Come to Town

Every October, the Autumn People come to town in a field near Lita’s castle. First we hear screaming train whistles in the dead of night, and then their pale tents growing like mushrooms in the dark.

In the chilly dawn of Samhain day, the carnival’s faded colors become nothing more than an afternoon’s romp with the Ferris wheel and games of bash the bottles.

But at night? That is when madness lives.

Lift the tent flap to see the wonders of Lita Burke’s Cirque du Méchant, the dark autumn circus filled madness, magic of a different sort, and killer clowns.

Don’t go just yet–the children are having such a screamingly good time. Have some cotton candy. Doesn’t it look like sugar-spun cobwebs?

The delicious madness is everywhere. The Cirque du Méchant has so many things to see. Look, this tent sells real lady fingers we can munch on while the children play. Not really, but enjoy the pastry anyway.

A Handsome Carny Wearing a Top Hat
A Handsome Carny Wearing a Top Hat

Going so soon? No need to run for the exit.

You tripped. Good thing that handsome carny wearing a top hat was there to catch you. What does he whisper? Something about wonder beyond your wildest desire.

Why resist?  You surrender only money, not your soul, for a ticket to this freaky show.

Step right up.

Ghost Sumer

Dramatis Personæ: Sumer

The Dramatis Personæ is the roster of conjurers and sentient magical creatures staying in the many rooms, grottos, and byways of Lita’s castle. Here is the guest book for the Enchanters of Sye Tower.

Sciomancer Sumernor’mylnburne
Sciomancer Sumernor’mylnburne

Sumer [ˈsu mər] proper noun, c.3300 BC; Sumerian < Akkadian; also Sumernor’mylnburne

  • Profession: Ghost
  • Race: Human, male, deceased
  • Appearance: Brown eyes, brown hair, medium build
  • Common Name: Sumer (“Summon”)
  • Private Name: Sumernor’mylnburne (“One who summons from the millstream”)
  • Church Title: Sciomancer
  • Native Magic: Mer (water), Causa (mind)
  • Education: Seri Finishing School, Sciomancy Isor Church School
  • Milieu: Ghost Sumer is a denizen of the Enchanters of Sye world
Sumer Penned Beautiful Copies of the Book of the Dead
Sumer Penned Beautiful Copies of the Book of the Dead

Sumernor’mylnburne was a Church Sciomancer magician in the seaside town of Isor over one hundred fifty years ago. Known for his talent with calligraphy, he produced beautiful custom copies of the Church’s Book of the Dead. He was also a natural seer of ghosts. Sumer counseled the confused ghosts of the recent dead to finding their way to the Fields of Yalu.

A flirtatious woman compromised his magic by marrying him so she could learn his private name on their wedding night. She used his powerful magic to steal money from the Church, and then fled Isor and her hasty marriage.

A Resident Ghost in the Old Church Catacombs at Isor
A Resident Ghost in the Old Church Catacombs at Isor

Sumer faced expulsion and a life of shame. He petitioned the local Isor Enchanter School for intervention. The Enchanters agreed to help. Grandmaster Sahn gave him a new private name so Sumernor’mylnburne could return to sanctioned Sciomancy. The Church annulled his marriage, and the Sciomancer never remarried.

The deep wasting sickness claimed Sumer in his seventieth year. At his request, he underwent the preparation for ghostly interment. Upon his death, Sumernor’mylnburne became a resident ghost in the Old Church catacombs at Isor. Because of the skillful magic of his fellow Sciomancers, Sumer was a biddable ghost. He willingly answered summons from Church and Enchanter magicians and had remarkable mental skills for the incorporeal. Two generations of Isor Sciomancers tended his relic cache in the catacombs, and Sumernor’mylnburne flourished as a land-bound ghost.

Sumer Left for His Final Home in the Fields of Yalu
Sumer Left for His Final Home in the Fields of Yalu

A mad miscreant attacked the Isor catacombs and  disturbed many of the ghosts’ caches. Among others, she destroyed the relic that kept Sumer tethered to the earthly realm.

The Isor Sciomancers were unable to restore Sumer’s relic. As per protocol, the local Church erected a proper tomb in the Old Burial Yard, placed what remained of Sumer inside, and performed the rites to send for his ghost. Sumernor’mylnburne responded this last time, conversed a while with his former colleagues, and then left for his last home in the Fields of Yalu.

Visit some more with Ghost Sumernor’mylnburne in these Enchanter of Sye stories:

Dragonette and Snake

Necronomicon Enchanter: Alternate Essence

Within the pages of the Necronomicon Enchanter book in Lita’s library, the curious may learn the Enchanters’ magical matters. Beware, for the knowledge might drive the reader mad with bitter desire and luscious regret.

Previously:

Some of Sye’s wild plants still produce magical power. These sources are weak compared to the potent essence that the Old Forest trees produce for the Enchanters’ consumption. The essence plants grow in the central highlands. Magically dependent animals, such as dragonettes, eat the magic plants to get their essence.

Tame Dragonettes Take Magical Essence From Enchanters
Tame Dragonettes Take Magical Essence From Enchanters

Except for a few abandoned experiments that yielded poor results, magical essence is only available for Sye’s human population via the Enchanters. Tame dragonettes live in the cities under the care of magicians who have a ready supply of Enchanter essence.

City-dwelling dragonettes no longer need to eat essence. They absorb it through skin contact with their human masters.

Magically satiated tame dragonettes can converse in simple sentences and are affectionate with dragonette keepers, and of course, with all Enchanters. The tame dragonettes like to gather in small groups on rooftops, sunbathe, and talk about their preferences for tasty fish and plants. Their multi-colored scales glisten like jewels in the sunshine.

Next Time: Clergy Secrets

Find out more about the Enchanters, Sciomancers, and their ongoing struggles in the books from the Enchanters of Sye world:

Enchanters Today

Necronomicon Enchanter: Sye’s Magic Today

Within the pages of the Necronomicon Enchanter book in Lita’s library, the curious may learn the Enchanters’ magical matters. Beware, for the knowledge might drive the reader mad with bitter desire and luscious regret.

Previously:

The sensual Enchanters and moralistic Church magicians share an uneasy interdependence in Sye today. The Enchanters’ ability to create essence has grown until they are the most powerful magicians in Sye.

Enchanters Are the Most Powerful Magicians in Sye
Enchanters Are the Most Powerful Magicians in Sye

Church magicians’ craft has also grown. The Sciomancers’ magical care of ghosts and afterlife matters are a strong counterpart to the Enchanters’ earthy pursuits.

Tensions have escalated since the current head Church magician, His Divine, took office. Early in his tenure, His Divine enacted the élite Enforcers.

By weaving spells to find the Uslar rings that only Enchanters wore, Church Enforcer Magicians used harsh measures to steal Enchanter essence. Enforcer persecution included harassment, kidnapping, and torture. Early Enforcers penetrated the Healer’s School and sabotaged one of the foundation spells. The ten Enchanter Grandmasters were able to correct the damage. To prevent other opportunistic Enforcers from entering the schools disguised as students, the Enchanters stopped teaching secular magic craft such as charm making, and spells that produce fire, water, wind, or soil.

An Enchanter With an Uslar Ring and Wearing a Personal Protection Charm
An Enchanter With an Uslar Ring and Wearing a Personal Protection Charm

After banishing the Magic Guild and Church magicians from the five schools, the Enchanters created myriad personal protection charms to thwart Enforcer magic when the Enchanters were outside the school walls. In a drastic measure to protect the fragile Enchanter spells, the Grandmasters forbade all but Enchanter Consents from entering the schools.

The Magic Guild is the go-between for the Enchanters and the Church. Only a quarter of the guild magicians have Enchanter Consent. The rest see to the magical dealings of the Merchant Guild and other non-Enchanter magical interests. Some non-magical guild members have Enchanter Consent, and these people must wear an insignia on their guild uniform that identifies their relationship with the Enchanters.

Next Time: Alternate Essence

Find out more about the Enchanters, Sciomancers, and their ongoing struggles in the books in the Enchanters of Sye world:

Handsome Young Man Awaits a Magical Elevator Pitch

Ephraim’s Elevator Pitch

All sorts of odd things happen at Lita’s castle. Even a trip on a mundane lift turns magical when a sorceress goes along for the ride.

The Box Beyond This Door Whisks You From the Ground to the Clouds in a Magical Minute
The Box Beyond This Door Whisks You From the Ground to the Clouds in a Magical Minute

The fun of fantasy worlds is that anyone can turn the mundane into the fantastic. Consider the magic of elevators. You enter the box on the ground floor of a lofty office building, and faster than an eagle can fly, it transports Gentle Reader to the building’s peak among the clouds. See? Magical.

Let Lita spin an enchantment the next time Gentle Reader rides in one of those lovely magical boxes. Now suppose this happens instead. Press the Up button to call enchantment. The doors rumble open. You, Madam Lita, and two others step inside the compartment. The elevator doors close, and then sigh as if whispering magical words. One of your companions, a jeans-clad guy all curious and handsome, sits down in front of the doors. “Madam Lita, tell me your tale,” he says. “But you have only a minute to beguile me.”

Press the Up Button to Summon Enchantment
Press the Up Button to Summon Enchantment

Well. Lita would smile, rub her hands, and weave this spell called Elevator Pitch.

“Let me tell you Ephraim’s sad and lovely tale,” Lita says. “It is about a wizard who seeks a magical thingummy to free his kidnapped familiar.”

Your other elevator companion, a suit-clad businessman whose face looks like he eats unsweetened lemons, shakes his head. He sets down his stuffed and tired leather briefcase, and then crosses his arms. “Tell me more, Madam Lita. Good luck enchanting this doubting fool.”

“The young Wizard Kadmeion struggles with getting his magician-for-hire business off the ground.” Lita goes on about the wizard’s adventures in the skies filled with islands floating above the sea. [Find more of Lita's spell here]

Beyond the Lift's Doors Stretches a Grassy Airship Field
Beyond the Lift’s Doors Stretches a Grassy Airship Field

The satisfied young man blocking the exit stands. He steps aside and the elevator doors bang open. The lemon-faced man jumps.

Lita and the jeans-wearing man grin. Beyond the lift’s doors stretches a grassy airship field from the plate-shaped ocean world of Ephraim’s Curious Device. Take a deep breath and smell the grass and engine oil. Hear the screeching birds and the thumping of the propellers. Shiver a bit, because it is chilly beyond the doors.

“That’s impossible,” says lemon-faced man.

The handsome guy makes a grand gesture. His hand leaves a ribbon of glittery magic in the air. “See the fantasy world for yourself, doubting sir, and be a fool no more.”

The Enchantment So Beguiled Him, the Visitor Forgot His Briefcase
The Enchantment So Beguiled Him, the Visitor Forgot His Briefcase

Lemon-faced man nods, adjusts his tie, and steps across the threshold. The elevator doors close. Oops. The enchantment so beguiled him, the visitor forgot his briefcase stuffed with mundane world cares. Not to worry. He can fetch his Case of Cares during the return trip.

“Ah, Madam Lita. Tell me another Elevator Pitch?” jeans-clad man asks. He punches the Down button, again settles to the floor, and awaits the next story.

Lita again rubs her hands. “Let’s find more beguiling tales at Lisa’s Elevator Pitches.”

Ephraim’s Curious Device on Amazon US

Ephraim’s Curious Device on Amazon UK

Ephraim’s Curious Device on Goodreads

Read about Lisa Hall’s Elevator Pitches

Kadmeion sen Magica Vir

Dramatis Personæ: Kadmeion

The Dramatis Personæ is the roster of conjurers and sentient magical creatures staying in the many rooms, grottos, and byways of Lita’s castle. Here is an entry in the guest book for the Clockpunk Wizard Wing.

Wizard Kadmeion
Wizard Kadmeion

Kadmeion [‘kad mē ôn] proper noun, c.1300 BC; Gr> Mycenaean acropolis palace complex at Thebes; lit ‘Son of the East’; also Kaddie (childhood nickname)

  • Profession: Wizard for Hire
  • Race: Human (full blood), male
  • Appearance: brown eyes, dark brown hair, medium build
  • Full Name: Haldemare Kadmeion Dorian Trentworthy
  • Formal Title: sen Magica Vir (“Magic Man”)
  • Honorifics: Wizard Kadmeion, Sir Wizard
  • Education: Doctorate of Wizardry in the Demon Sciences, egregia cum laude, Agatha University of Magical Arts and Sciences
  • Milieu: Wizard Kadmeion is a denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
One of Young Kadmeion's Favorite Flying Machines. A Cat Aviator Sat On a Cushion Under the Balloon and Steered by Pawing At the Strings.
One of Young Kadmeion’s Favorite Flying Machines. A Cat Aviator Sat On a Cushion Under the Balloon and Steered by Pawing At the Strings.

Kadmeion is the only child of Wizard Trentworthy and Sorceress Dorian. His mother’s father, Haldemare, is also a wizard. Kadmeion grew up on the floating island of Gogogogo, named after his family’s popular rest home for elderly magicians.

Kadmeion showed his wizardly tendencies at birth. Trentworthy describes the delivery room drama thusly:

Dorian had just produced that most wonderful of enchantments, our little boy Kadmeion. The babe did not immediately cry. Midwife Mary held him up and slapped his rump to get the youngster to breathe. Kadmeion let out a squeal, and then belched a flaming hiccup that singed away Mary’s eyebrows and bangs.

Kadmeion's Enchantments Kept the Airborne Cats From Harm
Kadmeion’s Enchantments Kept the Airborne Cats From Harm

The wizardling lived a sheltered childhood with his parents, various cats, and the eccentric magicians living at the rest home. Considered a magical prodigy, the retirees doted on the handsome, but introverted lad.

Kadmeion’s boyhood hobbies were ice gliding and building scale models of flying machines. The boy based his replicas on the full-sized versions from Leonardo’s Airborne Contraptions.

No Hurt Feelings--The Seagulls and Cats Were Great Friends
No Hurt Feelings–The Seagulls and Cats Were Great Friends

Kadmeion taught his cats to use the small flying machines. The proper enchantments made the cats float with or without their contraptions, and kept them from harm. The furry aviators zoomed around the cliffs and terrorized seagulls and little dogs. This was done all in fun, for the seagulls, dogs, and cats were great friends. The feline pilots were a must-see attraction for Gogogogo Island visitors.

See “Kadmeion’s Magic” and “Concerning Magical Thingummys, Dodads and Whatnots.” Find out more about Wizard Kadmeion’s many adventures in the Clockpunk Wizard stories:

Entrance to Authors' Cave

Interview: Authors’ Cave Showcase for Lita Burke

Lita sat down with the folks at Authors’ Cave and ‘fessed up about the characters at her writing desk.

Lita Set Everything Straight and Explained Clockpunk
Lita Set Everything Straight and Explained Clockpunk

Interviews are such fun, and Lita just never knows what will come out of her mouth. This time, the interview was in one of the lovely grotto rooms over at Authors’ Cave.

“What is Clockpunk?” they asked. “Is that…like Steampunk?” Or is it all just Lita’s mad fancy? So Lita set everything straight and explained which part is her very own made-up hokum.

Nosy is good when it comes to interviews, so here are the juicy details about the menu. While answering the Authors’ Cave questions, Lita ate dainty finger sandwiches topped with cucumber slivers, and sipped citrus-fragrant Earl Grey tea.

Lita finished with dark chocolate candies so delicious, that talking was quite impossible while the confectionary melted on her tongue like an essence kiss from an oh-so-handsome Enchanter.

Ask a Dragonette Which Hand is Better, the Left or the Right?
Ask a Dragonette Which Hand is Better, the Left or the Right?

Lita explained to Authors’ Cave which hand she liked better, the left or right, and somehow made sense of it all when talking about dragonettes in Tredan’s Bane.

Then it was back to the Clockpunk Wizard world, and a serious discussion about why the inside of a boggart box is so interesting.

Virtual tea time became spooky when the matter of the murderous masked ghosts came up. Lita first used a napkin to dab chocolate off her lips, and then explained the ghost thing in her next Enchanters of Sye story, Ghost Orchid.

Lita is afraid she made a mess of things here describing what really happened during the interview. Perhaps Gentle Reader should follow the white rabbit and hop on over to Authors’ Cave–their version of the chat is not so discombobulated.

Some of the Authors’ Cave grotto rooms: