Bestiarum Vocabulum

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

Baal (link coming soon)

Boggart

Boggart

boggart [ˈbɒɡət] noun, c. late 1600; 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.
House Brownie

House Brownie

brownie [brou-nee] noun, c.1505–15; brown + -ie; brounie or urisk (Lowland Scots) or brùnaidh, ùruisg, or gruagach (Scottish Gaelic); also hob, hobgoblin.

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. Tiny magician that aids in household tasks. Most house brownies work at night in exchange for small food gifts (especially porridge with honey). To get rid of house brownies, either call their gifts “payments” or mistreat them. Wild brownies live outside in dens near streams and waterfalls.
  3. Personages: Dell in Glitter Ponies.
Carnivorous Eel

Carnivorous Eel

carnivorous eel [kahr ‘niv er uh s ēl] noun, c. 1650; < L  carnivorus, c. 1000; ME ele, OE ēl, ǣl; also ribbon fish.

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. An aquatic magic eater about the length and girth of an adult human’s arm. Carnivorous eels inhabit freshwater ponds and lakes containing strong enchantment sources, such as the “heart magic” of a swamp. These opportunistic feeders will attack magic workers that enter their waters, tearing away leg flesh so their victims cannot flee.
  3. Personages: Murphy Swamp Eel Pool in Ephraim’s Curious Device.
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
Demon

Demon

demon [dee-muh n] noun, 1350–1400; ME < L daemonium < Gr daimónion; also minor demon and daemon.

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. An imp-sized spirit that lives in the nether plains until summoned by a wizard.
  3. Personages: Copernicus in Forever Boy and Old Bony Blue Eyes; Fraus, Martook, Cess, Hoytt, Messen, and Ozomene in Ephraim’s Curious Device.
  4. See “Copernicus, One of the Minor Demons

Demon, high (link coming soon)

Demon, minor (link coming soon)

Demon, oracle (link coming soon)

Dog (link coming soon)

Dog, Go Fer (link coming soon)

Dragon

Dragon

dragon [drag-uh n] noun, 1175–1225; ME < OF < L dracōn < GR dracon; also fire lizard.

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. A four-legged winged magician, covered with scales and sporting a long sinuous neck and tail who lives on the edge of the Veldt Island savanna. A highly intelligent aerial acrobat and accomplished spell caster.
  3. Personages: Lady Betrayal in Ephraim’s Curious Device and Old Bony Blue Eyes; Perfidious and Perfidious’s Son in Old Bony Blue Eyes.
  4. See “Enchanting Veldt Island
Dragonette

Dragonette

dragonette [drag-uh n ɛt] noun, 1175–1225; ME < OF < L dracōn < GR dracon + ette; also dracon (informal), Seri or Madam Drracon’el (formal)

  1. Denizen of the Enchanters of Sye world.
  2. A dragonette is a miniature five-pound dragon; typically 4’ long with wing span almost 5’ wide.  Domesticated dragonettes are the pampered pets of powerful magicians and Enchanters.  Along with a basic omnivore diet consisting of fish and fresh vegetables, dragonettes must also consume magical essence daily to stay alive.  Because they eat magic, the owner must acquire and register the dracon through the local Magic Guild. These sentient magical creatures are the colors of the four magic types: Earthe, Mer, Aer, and Fyre.
  3. Personages: Arnl’jhott in Wrath and Tredan’s Bane; Taithleach in Tredan’s Bane.
  4. See “Dragonettes in Sye” and “Here There Be Dragonettes
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
Fire Fairy

Fire Fairy

fairy [ˈfə rē] noun, c.1250; ME fairie < OF faerie, fae, fairy < L ftum < Vulgar L fta; also fey-folk fairy, faerie

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. One member of the fey-folk class of diminutive magicians, distinguished for its multi-lobed gossamer wings. Their magic is flighty, fanciful, fragile, fantastical, fickle, and foolish compared to the other fey-folk. There are four types of fairies: highland fairies with wings the color of sunshine, water fairies with turquoise wings that sound like murmuring rills, woodland fairies with emerald and jade wings, and fire fairies with smoky orange and black wings the color of flames.
  3. Personages: Izlyesende (a boy-fey), Allura-ella and Tessa-marine (girl-fey) in Ephraim’s Curious Device, Old Bony Blue Eyes, and Glitter Ponies.
  4. See fey-folk, brownie, and boggart in the Bestiarum Vocabulum. Also see “Care of a Fey-Folk Fairy (Part 1)” and “Care of a Fey-Folk Fairy (Part 2)
Sorceress's Familiar

Sorceress’s Familiar

familiar [fə milyər] noun, c.1325; ME < L familiāris; replacing ME  famulier < MF < L; also totem, animal spirit, mage’s critter

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. A sentient magical animal that bonds to a human wizard or sorceress. Human mages can acquire many familiars, although one is the normal number. Depending on the quality of the magician, a familiar’s magical ability ranges from a few simple spells, to using mind voice and other advanced magic. Only the most talented mages acquire a familiar that is a magical hybrid, such as a cynanthrope, werecat, or faun.
  3. Personages: Furgo, Wizard Kadmeion’s magical hybrid familiar in Forever Boy and Old Bony Blue Eyes. Also Vixen-shay, the Winter Wizard’s mink familiar in Glitter Ponies.
  4. See “Dramatis Personæ: Furgo” and “Go Fer and Furgo
Boy-Fey

Boy-Fey

fey-folk [ˈfā fōk] noun, c.1100; OE fǣge and fāh hostile, outlawed < High OGer feigi doomed < ME feye; also boy-fey (masculine), girl-fey (feminine), fay, fah, fae, faerie, fairy, sprite, pixie, imp, brownie, puck, boggart

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. A class of diminutive magicians as tall as the length of a human’s hand from the wrist to the tip of the middle finger. Weighs about as much as a heavy thought. Called “fey” for their impression of vague unworldliness.
  3. See fairy, brownie, and boggart in the Bestiarum Vocabulum.
Ghost

Ghost

ghost [gōst] noun, c.1200; OE gāst  < ME gost, gast; also spirit

  1. Denizen of the Enchanters of Sye world.
  2. A wandering spirit that appears solid and wears similar clothes to when it was a live person, but has empty eyes. A good-quality ghost retains intellect, but is incapable of emotions. Summoning ghosts and binding them in amulets is Sciomancer magic.
  3. Personages: Sumernor’mylnburne in Wrath and Tredan’s Bane
  4. See “Ghosts Abide”, “Charming and Housing Ghosts in Sye“, and “Sciomancers

Gibson Buffalo (link coming soon)

Glitter Pony

Glitter Pony

glitter pony [ɡlidər pōnē] noun, c.1350; ME < Old Nor glitra; OE glitenian, OHG glīzan to shine, glitter; c.1650; powney < ObFr poulenet, < L pullānus; also alicorn-eater, shiny horse

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. A small horse-shaped sentient magical creature that has unicorn parentage; also any bird, rodent, or small mammal that eats alicorn and transforms into a miniature glitter pony. Unlike unicorns, glitter ponies have small gem-like protuberances on their foreheads instead of alicorns. Glitter ponies are more tolerant of non-virginal adults than unicorns.
  3. Personages: Alomar, Lurch, Jigger, Triples, Archie, Krystal, Jingo, Happenstance, and Fearghus in Glitter Ponies.
  4. See “Halfway: Glitter Ponies” and “Finished: Glitter Ponies
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 wizardry’s 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 about a university-trained wizard who holds a Doctorate of Wizardry in the Demon Sciences.
Grassland Satyr

Grassland Satyr

grassland satyr [gras lənd sey ter] noun, 1325-1375; ME < L satyrus < Gr sátyros; also centaur.

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. One of two types of magical sentient creature who are attendant on Wizard Bacchus. Grassland satyrs are part human and part horse. Grassland satyrs live on open prairies, veldt, and grassy meadows. They are notorious for their love of wine, lasciviousness, and boisterousness. All satyrs are male. They are affectionate with all women, but can only reproduce with sorceresses and other powerful female magicians.
  3. Personages: Grassland satyr herd on Veldt Island in Old Bony Blue Eyes.
  4. See “Enchanting Veldt Island” and woodland satyr in the Bestiarum Vocabulum.
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

Heat Demon (link coming soon)

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

Hoot-bill (link coming soon)

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
Ice Devil

Ice Devil

ice devil [īs devəl] noun, c.900; ON īss < Ger eis < OE īs < ME; c.1100; Sanskrit gurate; dia- + ballein to throw < Gr diabolos < LL diabolus < OE dēofol < ME devel; also ice hate

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. A non-sentient magical creature composed of strong, negative emotions encased in ambulatory frozen water. An ice devil stands almost four feet tall, and bristles with icicles. The creature has a head, but no eyes. Ice devils immobilize their prey with a spell that numbs the limbs, and then stabs with the icicles. They feed on the victim’s blood and magic.
  3. Personages: Ice Devil pack in the Wager Island highlands in Old Bony Blue Eyes.
  4. See: “Ice Devils

Land porpoise (link coming soon)

Mandrake

Mandrake

mandrake [man drāk] noun, c.1200; Gr < mandragoras  L < OE < ME mandragora; also nightshade, mayapple.

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. A vegetable-based homunculus inhabited by a minor demon. Only mandrake plants cultivated in soil underneath gallows and other places of execution will produce inhabitable roots (wizards can find abandoned gallows fields by consulting with the local carrion crows). The mandrake-summoning spell requires a blood sacrifice, which the minor demon claims with a deadly shriek.  The minor demon uses the life energy of the sacrifice to animate the mandrake plant’s human-shaped root.
  3. Personages: Go Fer’s demon in Forever Boy.
  4. See: “Lita’s Magic Show: Mandrakes and Minor Demons” and “Dig Dog, and Die
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
Mink

Mink

mink [mĭngk] noun, c.1425; ME mink; also magic kit/kitten.

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. A small land creature the size of a fox, with a luxurious coat ranging from silver white to black. This sentient magical creature is capable of vocalized speech enabled with a wizard’s (or sorceress’s) magic, and also uses mind voice. It enjoys cold weather and aquatic environments. Its enchantments include spells for warmth, agility, and skill with fishing.
  3. Personages: Vixen-shay, the Winter Wizard’s mink familiar in Glitter Ponies.
  4. See “Bestiarum Vocabulum: Familiar
Nymph

Nymph

nymph [nimf] noun, c.1350; ME nimphe < L nympha < Gr nýmphē bride; also water demon, wood demon, or air demon.

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. A class of minor demons that inhabit automaton bodies, conceived of as beautiful maidens inhabiting the ocean, rivers, rills, woods, trees, air, mountains, meadows, etc., that attend a rural sorceress. Nymphs are known for their amorous freedom, which separates them from other minor demons. The nymph’s sexual forwardness is especially dangerous for male travelers far away from home.
  3. See dryad in the Bestiarum Vocabulum.

Rhinoceros, Beach and Saltwater (link coming soon)

Rig Monkey

Rig Monkey

rig monkey [rig muhng kee] noun, c.1520; < LowGer moneke, equivalent mone- (obsolete Fr monne she-ape) + -ke diminutive suffix; also airship rigger

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. A type of small homunculus inhabited by a minor demon, shaped like a miniature fur-covered human, that attends the sails, lines, and superstructure of an airship.
  3. A human or magical hybrid (e.g. a harpy, or the half-human and half-elf narfleet), that performs the heavier tasks of airship rigging that cannot be done by the homunculus rig monkey.
  4. Personages: Sir Bright worked at the Agatha Island zeppelin yard as a Rig Monkey before becoming Wizard Kadmeion’s assistant.
  5. See “Dramatis Personæ: Bright,” “Twice-Seventh Son Elf Magic” and “Monkey Business About Old Bony Blue Eyes

Siren A femme fatale who lures sailors to run their ships aground on rocky shores.

Sylph (link coming soon)

Troll (link coming soon)

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 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)
Wee Wildebeest

Wee Wildebeest

wee wildebeest [wē wildə bēst ] noun,  c.1835; < Afrikaans  wildebees < Dutch  wildebeest, means “wild”  wild + beest  “beast”; also gnu.

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. A herbivore herd animal that eats grasses containing trace levels of ambient magic. Mature females stand six hands high (24 inches) at the withers; males reach nine hands high (36 inches). Males weigh 4-6 stone (55-75 pounds), and females are 3-5 stone (44-64 pounds). Because wee wildebeest are not sentient magical creatures, they cannot cast spells. Predators hunt them for the traces of residual magic in their flesh. Wild wee wildebeest thrive in the sere interior grasslands on large floating islands. Heat demons and wild wee wildebeest congregate for protection from predators. Grassland satyrs were the first to domesticate wild wee wildebeest.
  3. Personages: The wild herds on Veldt Island in Ephraim’s Curious Device, and the domesticated herds on the Raeburn Island ranchland in Old Bony Blue Eyes.
  4. See “Bestiarum Vocabulum: Grassland Satyr
Will-o'-the-wisp

Will-o’-the-wisp

will-o’-the-wisp [wil ə ðə ˈwisp] noun, c.1660; means “Will with the wisp” from the masculine proper name William + wisp, a bundle of straw used as a torch; also 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, orb.

  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 groups of will-o’-the-wisp can strip a living animal to the bone within minutes. Wizards and sorceresses can counter the will-o’-the-wisp’s appetite by giving it a small metal object soaked with human magic.
  3. Personages: The hungry sister will-o’-the-wisps 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)
Woodland Satyr

Woodland Satyr

woodland satyr [wüd lənd sey ter] noun, 1325-1375; ME < L satyrus < Gr sátyros; also faun.

  1. Denizen of the Clockpunk Wizard world.
  2. One of two types of magical sentient creatures who are attendant on Wizard Bacchus. Woodland satyrs are part human and part goat. Woodland satyrs live in oak, beech, or aspen forests. They are notorious for their love of wine, lasciviousness, and boisterousness. All satyrs are male. They are affectionate with all women, but can only reproduce with sorceresses and other powerful female magicians.
  3. See grassland satyr in the Bestiarum Vocabulum.

11 thoughts on “Bestiarum Vocabulum

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    1. Lita Burke Post author

      I compile the glossary as I write the stories. It helps me keep the people and animals straight–that’s so I don’t get the details mixed up in later stories.

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      Reply
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