Tag Archives: magician

Studies in Phrenology and Obscure Languages

Lita takes Gentle Reader to the Clockpunk Wizard world today, with an excerpt from Ephraim’s Curious Device.

Young Wizard Kadmeion, and his half-elf assistant Sir Bright, have received a coded map. They must read the bespelled map, follow the decoded clues to a magical thingummy made by Wizard Ephraim, and return the device to Lord Hissalumieon.

They Put the Fragile Parchment on the Table
They Put the Fragile Parchment on the Table

They put the fragile parchment on the table. Bright did not recognize the diagram’s writing, but Kadmeion did. The wizard requested a reference book. Bright fetched the volume from Kadmeion’s library and opened it to the indicated page.

“Good and bad news,” Kadmeion said.

“Do tell.”

“It is written in an obscure magical language, but I can translate the map.”

“That’s encouraging. What is the bad news?”

“The map will take time to translate properly.”

“That’s no problem. What do you need?”

“A paper and writing quill for you to write the translation.”

“Why can’t you write it?”

Wizard Ephraim Bespelled the Map
Wizard Ephraim Bespelled the Map

“Ephraim bespelled the map so it couldn’t be copied,” Kadmeion said. “Then he used a bewitched alphabet so the reader would forget the words. So I’ll translate the letters, and you write them. Then we’ll read the message from your paper.”

“So you’re going to read a map that cannot be copied, and I’ll write your translation for the alphabet that cannot be remembered.”

“That’s correct.”

“Do they teach wizards to be this sneaky at the University?”

Phrenology is the Art of Measuring the Skull’s Dimensions
Phrenology is the Art of Measuring the Skull’s Dimensions

“Absolutely. It’s an upperclassman course called ‘Studies in Phrenology and Obscure Languages.’”

“Phrenology is the art of measuring the skull’s dimensions?” Bright asked.

“I’m impressed you knew that.”

“What do head sizes have to do with writing unclearly?”

“Not much. That was the intent.”

“What was the classwork like?” Bright asked.

“We learned the seven traditional ways to make written words unclear.”

“Seven? That many? Which was the most effective?”

The Spell Seals the Lips of the One Casting It
The Spell Seals the Lips of the One Casting It

“Poor grammar skills.”

Bright blinked. “Profound. I’m surprised this wasn’t a graduate class.”

“Another of the techniques was to make contradictory spells.”

“For example?”

“A spell that must be sung aloud, but it seals the lips of the one casting it.”

“How would you weave that spell?”

“That’s why wizard assistants are so useful. I would think loudly so you could hear me, and have you cast the spell in my stead.”

(Ephraim’s Curious Device excerpt Copyright 2012 by Lita Burke. All rights reserved.)

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Bestiarum Vocabulum: Goon

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

Goon
Goon

goon [gün] noun, c.1580; < L  gonia < Gr  goneia and gon(e) meaning “that which is borne”; from gony “simpleton” used by sailors for the albatross and similar large birds with clumsy movements; 1921 stupid person; 1938 hired thug; also demon oaf

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. Summoning goon demons is the easiest of the Demon Sciences magical discipline. Goon automatons are loyal, and make practical bodyguards. The cost of hiring a wizard to build a goon body, and call its demon, is prohibitive for all but the wealthy or political elite. There are two types of goons:
    • The classic goon is a homunculus made from animal parts. An unintelligent, but biddable minor demon animates the creature’s body. Because animal heads do not have the physical parts to produce human speech, the summoning wizard must add a durable enchantment that allows the inhabiting demon to talk.
    • Wizards grow modern goon bodies in crockery vats. These large creatures have slow-moving human forms. Although the vat-grown body improves the modern goon’s appearance, the inhabiting demons are the same type as in the classic version.
  3. Personages: Lord Hissalumieon’s goons Martook, Cess, Hoytt, and Messen in Ephraim’s Curious Device.
  4. See “Dramatis Personæ: Kadmeion” for the biography of a university-trained wizard who holds a Doctorate of Wizardry in the Demon Sciences.

Bestiarum Vocabulum: Will-o’-the-Wisp

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

Will-o'-the-wisp
Will-o’-the-wisp

will-o’-the-wisp [wil ə ðə ˈwisp] noun, c.1660; means “Will of the wisp” from the masculine proper name William + wisp, a bundle of straw used as a torch; also will-o-wisp, foolish fire, chir batti, hinkypunk, pixy-light, corpse light.

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. A malicious sentient magical creature that lives in fens and marshes. It consolidates the rotting magic from decaying plant and animal matter, and burns the fouled magic with a weak light. It craves living flesh, and a group of will-o’-the-wisps can strip a living animal to the bone within minutes. Wizards and sorceresses can counter a will-o’-the-wisp’s appetite by giving it a small metal object soaked with human magic.
  3. Personages: The hungry sisters in the Murphy (“Wrong”) Swamp on Hurt Isle in Ephraim’s Curious Device.
  4. See “Will o’ the Wisp: Swamp Siren (Part 1)” and “Will o’ the Wisp: Swamp Siren (Part 2)

Praised by Readers’ Favorite with a 5 Star Review: Lita Burke’s Forever Boy

Forever Boy – 5 Star Review by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Forever Boy – 5 Star Review by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

Readers’ Favorite recently read Lita’s fantasy short story, Forever Boy, and awarded it with a lovely 5 star review.

In Forever Boy, a dog flees his cruel master, befriends a wizard, and discovers his shapeshifting magic. It is the first story in Lita’s Clockpunk Wizard series, where wizards with ~twisty~ magic live on a plate-shaped ocean world. The wizards fly their fantastic airships between islands that float far above the sea. Here is what the Readers’ Favorite  reviewer had to say:

“Forever Boy: Clockpunk Wizard, Book 1, is fabulous and filled with magical adventure.”

Kadmeion is a gentleman wizard, just setting out on his career, with Sir Bright at his side, and their partnership, though quite new, is a marvel to behold. Read more of the review…

Read Chapter 1 of Forever Boy for FREE now, then view the Forever Boy book trailer.

The Forever Boy e-book is available now with instant gratification for Kindle US/UK, Nook, and Kobo.

Continue your visit to the Clockpunk Wizard world in  Ephraim’s Curious Device–read Chapter 1 now for FREE.

Bestiarum Vocabulum: Hydra

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

Hydra
Hydra

hydra [hahy druh] noun, c.1350; L < Gr hýdrā < ME ydre < MFr; also sea snake, water serpent.

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. A magical sentient creature that lives in freshwater lakes and marshes. It has nine heads atop long sinuous necks, and a barrel-shaped body with front flippers and webbed hind feet. The hydra’s primary magic is the ability to regrow its severed heads. Hydrae are immune to enchantments. Wizards can kill a hydra by burning all nine neck stumps with mundane acid before the replacement heads sprout.
  3. Personages: Sir Death’s ferryman in Old Bony Blue Eyes.
  4. See “Old Bony Blue Eyes Book Trailer

News Release: Clockpunk Explained

More chit-chat around the web about Lita’s goings-on.

Clockpunk Wizard Blends Traditional Fantasy with the Gritty Steampunk Genre
Clockpunk Wizard Blends Traditional Fantasy with the Gritty Steampunk Genre

Check out this news release: Clockpunk Explained: Fantasy Author Releases New Tell-All Video at 1888 Press Release.

Here is what they had to say:

“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.

“Many fantasy fans are familiar with Steampunk and its icons of corsets, top hats, and welder goggles…more at 1888 Press Release…

Find Old Bony Blue Eyes on Amazon US, UK, Goodreads, Smashwords, B&N, and Kobo.

Visit YouTube to watch Lita’s video Clockpunk Wizard World and Old Bony Blue Eyes.

Read about Lita’s other News Releases.

Explore Lita’s Fantasy Worlds.

Dramatis Personæ: Lanith

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.

Lanith A’edredohr Vendbebelot
Lanith A’edredohr Vendbebelot

Lanith [lān ləth] proper noun, c.1614; Sumerian lilla, a demon < Akkadian lilītu < H lîlît; also A’edredohr

  • Profession: Vendbebelot (“Curios Seller”)
  • Race: human, female, age early thirties
  • Appearance: Beautiful. Lanith has blond hair, hazel eyes, and fair skin. She has an average build, but tends toward slender.
  • Common Name: Lanith
  • Private Name: A’edredohr (“Stream Daughter”)
  • Native Magic: Lanith is a superior tradeswoman magician. She has expert level skills with the many spells for charms, magical lockets, fetishes, and amulets.
  • Education/Vocation: Isor Convent Finishing School
  • Milieu: Lanith is a denizen of the Enchanters of Sye world.
Lanith is a Merchant’s Wife in the Seaside Town of Isor
Lanith is a Merchant’s Wife in the Seaside Town of Isor

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.

Lanith and Arnl’jhott
Lanith and Arnl’jhott

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.

Tredan and Lanith Run a Magical Curios Shop
Tredan and Lanith Run a Magical Curios Shop

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.

Tredan's Magical Essence Made Lanith Beautiful
Tredan’s Magical Essence Made Lanith Beautiful

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: