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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Guest Post: Magic Systems in TC Southwell’s Sci-Fi Fantasy Books

Today, I'm happy to feature fantasy author TC Southwell as my guest. She's talking about the interesting and varied magical systems in her books. As a special offer for my readers, she's also offering a 15% discount on her book Demon Lord II, Dark God. The promotional price of $2.54 is good for today only. Use coupon code: JX99Z And be sure to note that Book 1 in each of her series is permanently free.
Magic Systems in TC Southwell’s Sci-Fi Fantasy Books
Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to talk about my books, Marsha. I had fun writing this post, and hope readers will have just as much fun reading it.

Demon Lord Magic System

In Demon Lord, there are six types of magic: the darkness, the light, the golden or healing power, the blue or neutral power, and spirit and mind magic. The darkness is evil, able to destroy everything except itself, and corrupt spirits, condemning corrupted people to the Underworld when they die. While this can be through no fault of theirs, apart from being weak and allowing the shadows to invade them, it can also be deliberate, as in the case of black priests, black mages and dark gods. Black priests have no true power, except to corrupt others with their influence, and the promise of rewards in return for worship. Dark gods don’t need worshippers. They use them for their entertainment, but dark worshippers inevitably descend to the Underworld to provide further entertainment there. A black priest may also be a black mage.

Black mages wield considerable power, due to the shadows’ destructiveness. They, too, are corrupted. The reason they live for many hundreds of years is that the shadows preserve their flesh through a process similar to mummification, thereby slowing down the ageing process. The black power’s wish to gain power causes it to preserve its users, so they may continue to serve it. While black mages are in charge of their thought processes, up to a point, the dark power inflicts its own thoughts and feelings upon them. It is, therefore, impossible for a black mage to do good deeds. Black mages are invariably sickly, prone to headaches and suffer nausea whenever they wield the shadows. If injured, they heal slowly, but use the power to shield themselves.

The light is the purest power, and worshipping it protects against invasion by the darkness, to a certain extent. It also uplifts its worshippers, who strengthen light gods. Although stronger than the darkness, the light is a gentle, healing power that protects and nurtures, and is, therefore, not suitable for use as a weapon, at least, not by those who have it, since they’re too gentle to use it in a destructive manner. It can, however, be used destructively when wielded correctly.

The golden or healing power is an offshoot of the light, and is gained from direct sunlight. Only a few have a talent for using it to heal, although some illness can be cured if the afflicted spend a lot of time in the sun. On rare occasions, the eternal flame, the embodiment of the white power in the mid realm, can be used to generate the golden power. The eternal flame also forms hallowed ground, upon which no demon, demon beast or black mage can step without being destroyed.

The blue power is the weakest, and is a combination of light and dark, owning a little of their qualities. Blue power can be used for healing, but it takes a long time and requires immense amounts. The healing aspect is the reason blue mages live for hundreds of years, as it rejuvenates, as well. Used destructively, it can cause a great deal of harm, and certainly kill. It stands no chance against the black or white power, however.

Mind magic is the commonest form of magic, and does not require any form of outside power. Lay witches use mind magic when they scry, and some can manipulate certain elements with it, like water and fire dancers, also known as fire or water mages. Much rarer are air, earth and music mages. Mortal gods and demigods have the ultimate mind magic, being able to manipulate any element by changing, moving or reforming it. Light gods also possess mind magic, but not dark gods, since mind magic requires a living mind. The power to summon spirit beasts and elementals such as demons is spirit magic, and belongs only to those with souls.

The Broken World Magic System

This magic system is quite complex, but revolves around one type: elemental. All the denizens of this world are able to manipulate the elements, using them for whichever purpose they best serve. Water heals, earth builds, fire destroys and air conveys. When made into ice, water can also build. The user, due to his or her affinity with the world and the knowledge that they are a part of it, is, therefore, able to manipulate every aspect of it as if it was a part of them. There is no penalty for elemental magic. It is merely a natural part of Shamarese, and, for the denizens of this world, using water to heal is as simple as it is for us to use it to wash.

Form changing is a gift only Mujar possess, however, and was given to them solely to become man-like and communicate with humans. The power extends to all human world forms, so terrestrial animals are as easy to change into as a man shape. Form changing also utilises the elements, of which all living things are made up, to different degrees. The element required depends on the natural habitat of the beast, air for birds, water for water animals and earth for land animals.

Every element also possesses a spirit, and these can be called upon to provide a semblance of elemental magic, but it is performed by the element’s spirit, not the one who calls upon them. The ability to communicate with spirits is rare, and requires a Mujar mark as a mental gateway. Inanimate objects can be blessed with certain powers, and this magic depends on the object’s element.

The staffs are ordering magic that rule the elements, and a staff wielder can, therefore, command the elements via the staff if he or she possesses the knowledge. Staff magic, however, is dangerous, as ignorance can cause a breakdown of the laws. The Staff of Law holds the ultimate power over all the elements and the staffs of Life and Death. The Staff of Life commands water and air; the Staff of Death commands fire and earth. Therefore, the Staff of Life can be used to heal and convey, and the Staff of Death can be used to destroy and rebuild; that is, change life into death, or flesh into an inanimate substance. The Staff of Law is both inside and outside this world, containing it, and being contained by it. While it orders life, it is surrounded by death. The Staff of Law, however, cannot be wielded in a destructive manner, since it is sentient, and, therefore, able to refuse. There is no way to force the Staff of Law to destroy, save by destroying it.

The Starsword is an object of elemental magic, originally imbued with the powers of the elements that comprise it: fire and earth. Later, Chanter added healing, via water, and did this by allowing the sword to convey its user’s Wish to the water. The sword cannot heal without water. Due to its imprinting upon a single person, the sword also has the ability to interpret its user’s commands, or Wishes. When not in the hands of its user, the sword cleaves to its prime element: earth.

The Cyber Chronicles Magic System

Yes, there’s magic in The Cyber Chronicles! It’s one of my cross-genre series, and the magic system in it is an energy-based one. It uses life force, or biological energy, to achieve magic. This is drawn from the surroundings when the mage incants a spell. Mages also use potions, powders and energised objects to increase the potency of their magic, which stems from the mage’s ability to envision the required result, along with the words that invoke the spell. It’s more similar to traditional magic than my other magic systems.

Mages have different fortes, some being able to locate and retrieve lost objects and tap into modern communication frequencies, while others have more talent for illusions, transportation, and enhancing the innate abilities of others and themselves. The amount of damage a mage does to the environment depends on his ability and willingness to cause harm. Most try to cause minimal damage, but less moralistic ones will draw so much energy from the life around them that they will kill small animals and plants. Energy can also be drawn from the soil, leaving it barren for decades to come. Even for the most powerful mages in this discipline, however, it’s impossible to draw so much energy from a person or large animal that it would kill them, but some weakness may result.

Energy magic also takes a toll on the mages, which they counter with strengthening spells to replace the lost vitality. These mages have normal lifespans, since the give and take of energy cancels each other out, unless a mage did nothing but draw energy to bolster his strength and rejuvenate himself, in which case he would live quite a bit longer than normal. The temptation to use their power to gain riches and respect inevitably leads to these mages using their magic for such rewards, and curtails their power’s life-lengthening properties.

Technology has a blind spot when it comes to magic, being unable to perceive illusions, so, in a battle between the two, technology wins. This type of magic could be considered energy-enhanced mental abilities such as telepathy, teleportation and telekinesis, when looked at from a modern standpoint, although there’s no logical explanation for the mages’ ability to draw energy from their surrounds. To the uneducated, modern technology would also appear to be magic, so the definition of it can sometimes depend on the observer’s mindset.

For daily tour updates and a tour overview on Thursday, 15 August, visit TC Southwell’s blog.

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Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance: Book One, SEEKING A SCRIBE, Book Two, HERITAGE AVENGED, Book Three, LOST VOLUMES, and Book Four, STAUROLITE. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.


Vanessa Finaughty said...

Intriguing and original. I enjoyed reading this post. Thanks for sharing, ladies!