Tag Archives: world building

Rigging of the AS Patsy Nottle

Cover Reveal Party for Glitter Ponies: Welcome

Welcome aboard the AS Patsy Nottle for the Glitter Ponies cover reveal party. Before we head into the forward parlor for refreshments, Copernicus, the airship’s navigator, explains the specifications of Wizard Kadmeion’s airborne home.

About the Good and True AS Patsy Nottle

An Airship Operating in Its Water-Surface Mode

An Airship Operating in Its Water-Surface Mode

The Airship (“AS”) Patsy Nottle is a carrack class wooden and stone airship invented in the 16th century. The carrack airship comes with six sails: a bowsprit, foresail, mizzen, spritsail, and two topsails. The hull is fashioned from floating rock to give the ship neutral buoyancy in airborne operations. The sails provide wind propulsion and steerage. Perpetual enchantments see to basic operations, defense, and personal comfort of the crew and guests.

Carrack airships are square-rigged on the foremast and mainmast. The mizzenmast is lateen-rigged. They have a high rounded stern. The carrack airships have a large aftercastle, forecastle, and bowsprit. The carrack airship can also operate as a water-surface ship.

Specifications for the AS Patsy Nottle

Airship Class: Carrack

Origin: Agatha Island Aerodrome and Shipyard

Initial Year of Service: 1625

Commissioning Agency: Agatha Island Magic Guild, for operation by human wizards and sorceresses in good guild standing.

An Airship Weathering a Magical Storm

An Airship Weathering a Magical Storm

Captain: (Wizard) Haldemare Kadmeion Dorian Trentworthy sen Magica Vir

First Mate: (Honorable Mage) Wolverhampton Brighton M’Choakenchilde

Navigator: (Minor Demon Homunculus) Copernicus

Crew: 40 (mostly clockworks rig monkeys or demon-inhabited homunculi)

Length: 75 feet

Beam: 25 feet

Draught: 6 feet

Displacement: 223 long tons (minus floating rock displacement)

Machinery: Standard sailing magical clockworks. This vessel has typical below decks gearing and linkage to accommodate the sailing spells.

Speed: 6.7 knots (unaided by magic)

Range: Unlimited

A Fairy's Point of View of the Oak Forest on Kadmeion's Airship

A Fairy’s Point of View of the Oak Forest on Kadmeion’s Airship

The airship inside volume is much larger than the outside hull dimensions due to perpetual Inverse Magic spells. The AS Patsy Nottle has spacious crew quarters, private sitting rooms, parlors, galley, spell casting workrooms, and a quercetum for Sir Bright’s miniature oak tree forest. Kadmeion’s fey-folk fairies live in the quercetum.

Next: Refreshments and origin of the Glitter Ponies story

Mage's Parlor

Visit the Mage’s Parlor

Lita is pleased to announce a new room here at her castle in the northern realms. The Mage’s Parlor is where the characters in Lita’s Clockpunk Wizard stories come for interviews and general chitchat about magic and silliness.

My, how the characters in Lita’s stories love to talk. With so much to say, they clamored until Lita gave them a place to sit and chat about their stories, worlds, and magical matters. Please step into the Mage’s Parlor.

A Unicorn from Glitter Ponies

Interview: Wizard Kadmeion Talks About Glitter Ponies

On Wizard Kadmeion’s airship, the forward sitting room has the best views and conversation. Lita invites Gentle Reader to join the chitchat with the characters in her upcoming story, Glitter Ponies.

Wizard Kadmeion

Wizard Kadmeion

The twenty-something-year-old wizard takes a seat on a nearby Chesterfield, and studies us with his handsome dark brown eyes. His unstarched casual white shirt has a discreet gold-embroidered Magic Guild insignia near the left collar.

He wears a souvenir from his Glitter Ponies trip on the right side of his head. Kadmeion has braided an intricate gentleman’s hair clasp into some tendrils of his long brown hair. The wizard’s boy-fey, Izlyesende, clings to the clasp. When the fairy fans his beautiful green-mottled wings, they brush Kadmeion’s cheek.

How Magical Interviewing Works

Lita Burke: Hail, fellow wizard well met, Kadmeion sen Magica Vir.

Kadmeion: Greetings to you, Madam Lita. So good of you to honor me with what you call an interview. I’m curious to meet the Gentle Reader friends of yours. You do carry on about their charming ways. Is it true they read my stories that you scribe?

LB: Your mad wizardly yarns fascinate them.

Explaining eBooks to a 16th Century Wizard

Explaining eBooks to a 16th Century Wizard

K: Do they hear my words now in this interview, like mind voice?

LB: I hear your words with mind voice, and a magical device transcribes them onto what you would call an “everywhere parchment.” Gentle Readers use, hmm, let’s call the contraptions “magical amulets” that show them the words in the everywhere parchment. [Lita’s Note: Yes, that was a clumsy way to describe computers, the Internet, and eBooks. How else would Lita explain such things to a wizard who lives with 16th century technology?]

K: In your world, would a person be considered mad if she hears voices in her head?

LB: Not if the person is a writer of books.

A Plate-Shaped Ocean World Where the Islands Float Above the Sea

A Plate-Shaped Ocean World Where the Islands Float Above the Sea

How Wizards Take Vacations

LB: Tell us about your visit to Wuddlekins Island for the Glitter Ponies story.

K: Wuddlekins Island is in the Elf-Kind Royal Archipelago, and is one of the five free-floating islands on the plate that is home to a unicorn herd. [Lita’s Note: Kadmeion lives on a plate-shaped ocean world where the islands float far above the sea.] My assistant Bright and I promised Lady Luck’s young daughter that we would take her there to visit unicorns. One of Bright’s brothers, Sir Andrus, is the magical curator for Wuddlekins.

LB: So were you working on this visit?

K: Not at the beginning. My only magical duty going in was to be Miss Probability’s guardian. I also looked forward to quiet research into the local magical flora and fauna.

LB: So wizards consider “quiet research” to be a vacation?

We Call This Ice-Skating on Our Ocean-Covered Ball of a World

We Call This Ice-Skating on Our Ocean-Covered Ball of a World

K: Library work relaxes me. Because Wuddlekins was floating so high in the clouds, the weather was wintry during our stay. I got outside and did some ice gliding. [Lita’s Note: We call this ice-skating on our ocean-covered ball of a world.]

LB: Based on the story you had me scribe, your Wuddlekins visit was no vacation.

K: The Wuddlekins unicorns had a grave magical illness. I am a wizard-for-hire, and the cranky equines hired me to investigate. Then many matters took a wrong turn, and the disrupted magical threads there almost slopped the oceans off the plate’s rim.

LB: Would you tell us some of the delicious magical details?

[Lita’s Note: Izlyesende grasps Kadmeion’s ear at this point, leans in, and whispers something only the wizard can hear. The wizard nods, and gives us an apologetic smile.]

Izlyesende Whispers in Wizard Kadmeion's Ear

Izlyesende Whispers in Wizard Kadmeion’s Ear

K: I beg your forgiveness, but I must step out and see to something straightaway. Madam Lita, you’ve been so good with scribing my Wuddlekins vacation. Would you let your Gentle Readers know when they can read these delicious magical details in Glitter Ponies?

LB: I shall tell them when Glitter Ponies is ready. Until our next mind voice meeting, fare thee well, Sir Wizard.

Next time: Sir Bright Talks About Glitter Ponies

Other interesting places to go snooping:

Fyre Enchanter

Necronomicon Enchanter: Aer and Fyre Magic

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: Necronomicon Enchanter: Earthe and Mer Magic

Overhead View of an Aer Enchanter's Essence During Spell Weaving

Overhead View of an Aer Enchanter’s Essence During Spell Weaving

Because the Enchanters of Sye take the diluted magic of their world and concentrate it for human use, they organize magical abilities into five categories.

Four categories favor ambient Sye magic: Earthe, Mer, Aer, and Fyre.

The last category represents all non-Enchanter magic, primarily spells by the Church, plus unclaimed and forbidden magic. Today, the discussion focuses on the ambient Sye enchantments of Aer (air) and Fyre (fire).


Aer Enchanters use their powerful magical essence to form spells that cleanse air for breathing, and to shape clouds into whimsical forms. These magicians hold friendly competitions during the Midsummer Festival, and create complex misty sculptures from a mere dish of water. The most talented Aer Enchanters can animate their foggy creations, and make their enchantments whisper words to onlookers.

An Entry in the Aer Novice Category at the Midsummer Festival Contest

An Entry in the Aer Novice Category at the Midsummer Festival Contest

The Aer Enchanters also bring rain for crops. For farmlands with excess rain, these magicians can also divert rain to produce more arid conditions.

To influence the weather over a large area, several Aer Enchanters must combine their efforts. They use the considerable essence from a nearby Enchanters’ School to fuel these large weather spells.

Aer magicians also influence the winds. They encase their most common spells inside of charms, which produce breezes to stir the stuffy air in a room. Aer magicians also delight in the antics of birds and other flying animals. Almost all Aer Enchanters keep dragonettes as pets.


Fyre Enchanters Burn Magical Essence to Create Cool Flickering Flames

Fyre Enchanters Burn Magical Essence to Create Cool Flickering Flames

Enchanters that practice Fyre magic specialize in two aspects. The first specialty creates flames and light.

Fyre spells burn magical essence, so Fyre Enchanters constantly refine their spell craft to create ever-more-efficient light and flame enchantments. Fyre charms and spells are cool to the touch, and can be handheld. Fyre Enchanters put these charms  in wall brackets, lamps, and sconces.

The second Fyre specialty favors the production of heat, using traditional fire that consumes combustibles. These Fyre charms function as hand warmers. Talented Fyre Enchanters can create long-lasting consumable fires by interlacing the spell with burning magical essence

Next time: Necronomicon Enchanter: Fifth of Uslar, Whose Name Was Lost Magic

Also see:

Wager Island Highlands

Bestiarum Vocabulum: Ice Devil

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

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

Guild Matters Sye: Bird-of-Paradise

The Guild Matters Sye book whispers the arcane secrets of the Magic Workers and Merchant guilds.

An Earthe Green Dragonette

An Earthe Green Dragonette

The Bird-of-Paradise Flower resembles a dragonette in flight.

Wild blooms are blue, orange, and white. The plants grow in the warm and sunny coastal regions of Sye.

Maji’kers (Magic Guild mages) who keep dragonettes use the Bird-of-Paradise blooms in bouquets to represent their adored sentient magical pets.

Enchanters cultivate the Bird-of-Paradise in their gardens at the Five Schools, and use their magical essence to coax the flowers into the seven colors of the stones in their Uslar Rings:

  • Earthe (brown and deep green)
  • Mer (aqua and blue)
  • Aer (clear)
  • Fyre (scarlet and amber)


The Bird-of-Paradise retains spells fueled with Enchanter essence.

Easy spells make the flower flap “wings” and dip its head. More difficult spells detach the bloom,  make it flutter, and hover the bloom above the plant. The most advanced enchantments turn the flower into a tiny dragonette form. Enchanters can bespell an entire garden of Bird-of-Paradise. They turn the blooms into mewling miniatures, and the transformed flowers fly about and play with real dragonettes.

Also see:

Arthur Lives in Underwater Avalon

Review: Shadow Over Avalon

Shadow Over Avalon by C. N. Lesley is a science fiction story about young Arthur, who puzzles out his heritage in the technology-filled underwater city of Avalon.

The Archive is Everywhere and Sees Everything

The Archive is Everywhere and Sees Everything

Arthur is a telepathic young man who rebels against the life dictated by others. He is an orphan, and haunted by nightmares about a courageous young woman who lives on the primitive surface of his world.

Not knowing why he does so, Arthur uses the ubiquitous computer system called the Archive to relive the recordings of her life. It dawns on him that he and this woman have a mutual enemy. These all-powerful manipulators will stop at nothing to destroy this harmless-seeming young woman. They also want to destroy Arthur’s idyllic city hidden under the ocean. By the end of the story, Arthur connects his twisty fate to this woman, and we learn the horrifying motivations of their common foe.

Not About This Merlin

Not About This Merlin

Shadow Over Avalon is a delightful redux on the classic Arthurian Legend. It translates the fantasy into a science fiction treatise. It recasts Arthur, Merlin, and others into new personas. They have the same motivations as the originals, but struggle in a vastly different world. The clever plot kept Lita second-guessing.

C. N. Lesley has an expert touch with creating sympathetic and engaging characters. And the bad guys? The innocuous introduction lulled Lita at first, but by the end of the story Lita was all but squirming when she learned their motivations. Lita must read the sequel to see how Arthur and his out-matched friends figure out how to beat these utterly despicable bad guys.

Gentle Readers who enjoy Arthur’s classic struggles would like Shadow Over Avalon. C. N. Lesley’s story has delightful surprises, and the best part is figuring out the villains.

Shadow Over Avalon on Amazon US

Shadow Over Avalon on Amazon UK

Shadow Over Avalon on Goodreads

C. N. Lesley on Goodreads

C. N. Lesley website and blog