A Little Bit of Magic

Sparring with Justin Ring

Hit 50k words in the novel last night, and just begun introducing the magic system for the series. Jaela, the main character, comes from a culture that is anti-magic, and is travelling to a city that is full of mages.

I've been kicking the system around in my head for decades. I've always been inspired by Julian May's "Operant" system from her books, so it's absolutely the base.

The city of Pender has five schools of magic: Gin, Sha, Tul, Shusa, and Ko. The names of the schools are based on five types of trees, that are the symbols for each school. There's been some changes in language over the millennia, so Gin comes Ginko, Sha from Ash, Tul from Tulip, Shusa from Thuja/Tsuga (sorry, tree nerd), and Ko from Oak.

Gin is akin to telepathy. Sha is the ability to move things remotely. Tul is for healing. Shusa is mind control. Ko is the creation or control of light.

Some aspects are common, and low key, but training results in more complex application. Shusa, for example, is used by the adepts of the Church of the Silent Queen to control their own bodies, so they can handle extremes of heat or cold, and endure intense physical training. The more advanced adepts can boost their physical selves to superhuman levels and are the elite soldiers of Pender. Other, extremely rare adepts can reach out and affect the minds of others to have some of the same abilities, or control or change their thoughts. Each discipline has its own complex layering of abilities and potential.

It's been a bit of a struggle for me to fit this into the start of the book, because it begins as a pretty low fantasy, no magic world. But when we hit the end of the series, it's going to be an all out war between powerful mages and non-mages, balanced by new abilities arising on both sides...

Randy Packer

Randy Packer