How Do Auras Influence Magic?

Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter

Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter

This question was asked by L.Marie.

I mention auras and magic a lot in my books and blog.  They are the core of magic in Windemere and I spoke about their origin in a post from long ago.  The basics are that the plane of magic (Mylrix) crashed into the physical plane, which merged the auras with their real world owners.  Doing so means there is a higher chance of people becoming casters and demonstrating unique powers.  For example, Luke’s sound sight and Sari’s immovability exist because of this event.  These powers still could have appeared, but they would not be as potent if they did emerge.

Still the question is how the auras influence magic.  Well, they are the source.  A person utilizes their aura or the aura of someone else to create a spell.  This means that when Nyx hurls a fireball, she’s transforming her aura into flames and throwing them.  It also means that when the Lich hits with a decaying spell, he is using someone’s aura against them.  It brings a bigger sense of violation to necromancy, which revolves around altering the energy of someone else instead of your own.

Now this doesn’t mean everyone can become a caster.  You still need a certain amount and potency of aura as well as the ability to control it.  For example, Luke has the power without the ability to turn it into spells.  Such an aura can develop unique abilities for a person, but there typically needs to be a trigger.  So, casters are not around every corner even though they are common.  This is why you don’t see a lot of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ when Nyx or Sari cast magic.  People maybe find it pretty and the level of power on display is impressive, but the overall awe isn’t much.  Unless you’re at the wrong end of the spell, but that’s more fear than awe.

That’s the overview of auras since there are a lot of nuances.  Here are a few more pointers:

  • Most undead do not have auras.  Ghosts are composed entirely of aura and Dawn Fang vampires (new worlds) are not really dead.  All other undead species come up as voids when a caster is using magic sight.
  • Mental and physical trauma can cause an aura to go dormant.
  • Certain levels of spells opens the caster to getting phantom effects or connecting with the targets.  For example, Nyx casting the genocide spell caused her to feel the death of every goblin that she struck.  This leads to aura-harming trauma.
  • There are some special caster types as listed in the linked post above.  Each one does something different with aura.  (The truth about Nyx is not on that list.)
  • Priests use a combination of their own aura and the ‘donated’ aura of their deity after praying.  Sometimes they can get a mid-action boost from their deity.
  • Magic items have their own auras, which synch with the user’s aura.  This is why you don’t have to be a caster to use most of these items.  Some still require activation words, rituals, and motions.  Also, just because you can activate the deflector axe doesn’t mean you’ll know how to use it as a weapon.
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Who has a Halloween Book?

Charles Yallowitz:

An opportunity for anyone with a Halloween story!

Originally posted on chrismcmullen:

Spooky Word Scrambles

As you may know, I have a Halloween word scramble book (Spooky Word Scrambles) with a cover designed by Melissa Stevens.

While I have a series of word scramble books, I only have one Halloween book.

It’s much easier to promote a series of similar books than it is to promote a single book.

So I have two choices if I wish to promote this book: I could promote the series, or I could promote a bunch of Halloween books, including mine.

The advantage of promoting a bunch of Halloween books, instead of a series where only one relates to Halloween, is that it would be much more suitable for the holidays.

I’m not quite sure what I intend in the way of promotions, but (usually) anything is better than nothing.

I thought I would ask if anyone has a Halloween book, which you…

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How Powerful is the Kingdom of Serab?

Map of Middle Earth

Map of Middle Earth

In Beginning of a Hero, Luke Callindor is hired to protect the heir of Serab from the Lich and the Hellfire Elf.  In Prodigy of Rainbow Tower, he has to escort the heir back home.  In Allure of the Gypsies, Luke and his surviving friends finally meet Duke Solomon in the capital city of Gods’ Voice.  Then the kingdom of Serab kind of fades into the background, which has people wondering how important it is.  Honestly, it’s something I had to think about for a bit.

The truth is the Serab is a kingdom with smaller ‘kingdoms’ and systems within it.  Think of it as the federal government that handles widespread emergencies and keeps peace among the various groups.  One could even say the United Nations since being part of the Serabian Kingdom guarantees assistance from fellow members in times of trouble.  This makes the Solomon family influential, but not all-powerful.  There are still the Grand Counselors of Gaia, Queen Ionia of Darkmill, and the racial factions that have their own cities and cultures.  They have a lot of autonomy even though they pay taxes to the Solomons and donate military might.

The question of how laws and decisions are made come up.  Well, that is a little complicated and paints the Duke as more of a figurehead.  You have the Kingdom Laws that go for everyone such as military qualifications and tax laws.  Yet every region of the kingdom has their own laws that tend to be suited more for the region.  For example, Maritime laws wouldn’t make much sense in a landlock town like Fyric.  This situation is why you have such a variety of systems and some places that are overly corrupt like Rodillen the City of Thieves.  It does make the Duke look weak since he would be hard-pressed to enforce his laws there.  Yet, it is agreed that in a situation where the entire kingdom is at risk, he is the one who makes the decisions and calls a council.  Every group and city has a member on this council, which is headed by the Duke.  This is how the big laws and decisions are made.

How did it get to this point?  Well, the Great Cataclysm did a lot of damage to Windemere and changed the whole landscape.  Many kingdoms and species were lost during this 10 minute interval.  People found themselves having to change their lives because of what happened.  Serab was one of the few kingdoms to have survived on the Southern continent, which became Ralian.  To help the rebuilding, the Solomon family ventured to the other regions to discuss unification under the Serabian flag.  Places like the southern desert and the Yagervan Plains rejected joining, but agreed to a treaty.  Other areas simply ignored the request, but the societies found within the central and western coast regions agreed.  Of course there had been problems like a brief war with the Snow Tiger tribe and strange messages that lead to them discovering the northern city of Everthorne.  As time went on, the royal family fell to a less controlling role, but they will always have an influence over the kingdom.

So that’s the story of Serab and the Solomon family.  Both important and low key in the world of Windemere.

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Midweek Head Mess

I Climbed!

I Climbed!

No school for weeks
While mommy is away
No more time for Frozen
Only time to play
Trains going down the hallway
Books scattered on the rugs
Legos oddly clean

One nightmare’s all it takes
Because mommy can’t stay up
Leaving daddy to try his best
A bath at 2 AM?
Then chatting for an hour
Daddy not look good today
Perfect time to play

                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Really hope this day runs smoother than the night.  No idea what to do with him, but I don’t have it in me to go very far from the house.  Maybe make it a backyard day and possibly head out somewhere for lunch.  Need to fix his library card too since people never seem to spell his name right.  Even if it’s in front of them, they still put an ‘e’ instead of an ‘a’.

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Nicholas on Sale: All books now 99c

Originally posted on Nicholas C. Rossis:

All of Nicholas C. Rossis books on sale, August 20-27

In case you’ve missed the huge sale banner on my blog (and it’s okay if you have, I, too, filter out banners and such most of the time), here’s the deal:

Between the 20th and 27th, all of my books will be only 99c!

As I’ve kept the book prices on various offers for a while now, this is the last chance (for a few months, anyway) to get the best-selling Pearseus epic fantasy books for less than a cup of coffee.

You can also grab a copy of The Power of Six, which contains seven short sci-fi stories, plus a bonus link to an otherwise unreleased one. Again, eight short stories for less than a cup of joe. So, don’t be shy, give it a try (sorry, I always wanted to say that!).

Any help getting the word out,will be much appreciated! :)

Buy Links:

Buy the Pearseus epic fantasy bundle (3…

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If you have Magic Healers, why are there still diseases?

White Mage from Final Fantasy

White Mage from Final Fantasy

This is a fair question since magic can do so much, especially when you have healing potions and magic doctors.  So many people get confused when people are dying of diseases and injuries.  It gets even more baffling when you have priests who heal people for free.  That removes the concept that people can’t afford a healer, which happens a lot in an attempt to either explain the existence of diseases or make all priests in the world come off like greedy bastards.

Windemere has a few reasons why diseases still exist.  The smaller reason is that priests are not everywhere.  You get sick in the wilderness, at sea, or in a town without a healer then you can die.  Priests are also not stationed everywhere so there are areas where you need to send for one or pray to the gods that one happens by.  Even then, there is no guarantee that the disease can be cured.  That brings me to the main reason people still die from getting sick.

I’ve mentioned a few times that everything in Windemere has a magical aura.  I mean EVERYTHING!  For example, inanimate objects have them even though they rarely put up a form of defense against magic.  So it isn’t too hard to believe that disease possess their own aura and magical resistance.  This means that a priest needs to get his or her aura to override the disease, which factors in the following:

  • Experience of the priest.  Younger followers will be weaker and only get stronger through experience.  Old priests with a high cure rate rarely travel too because of their age.
  • Severity and duration of the disease.  The longer and more severe, the harder to cure.
  • Resistance of the disease much like how we have Antibiotic Resistant Viruses.
  • God of the priest.  Neberith the Goddess of Healing would give more oomph than Skragor the God of Disaster.
  • Overall health of patient’s aura.  A priest can boost their own success by utilizing their patient’s inner magic, but you have a problem if that has been weakened.

So you can see how curing a disease in Windemere isn’t as easy as hurling a fireball at a goblin.  This is why priests don’t charge for the service because they can never guarantee success.  There are a few potions that can do it, but those take a long time to make and cost a lot.  Potions, scrolls, and other items like that are how temples make money beyond donations.  Even then, there’s always a chance that the disease might react poorly to the potion and the situation gets worse.

Guess now everyone can see why Aedyn Karwyn spends so much time praying.

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What Do the Dragons of Windemere Eat?

Dragon from Record of Lodoss War

Dragon from Record of Lodoss War

One question that comes up a lot for fantasy in general is what dragons eat.  You would think meat and you’d be right.  The question really stems from wondering how a creature so massive can exist without wiping out an ecosystem.  I’ve seen responses about very slow metabolisms to make meals last longer, eating lava, and other interesting concepts.  Now it’s my turn to explain the diets of the Windemere dragons and I’ll be starting off with the easy ones.

Weapon Dragons

These are the evil beasts that mysteriously appeared in Windemere and decompose or explode if their corpses are disturbed.  They are occasionally called ‘Fake Dragons’ because they’re constructs.  The Fortune family builds them from cultivated or stolen dragon parts and machines.  So they ‘eat’ oil and consume victims that are not digested so much as left to rot in their non-functional stomachs.  Now there have been one or two that were more creature than machine and they fed off corpses.  Not that I have a future story where this comes into play or anything.  :)

Drite

Everyone’s favorite tiny dragon makes this answer obvious.  Fizzle eats fruit and cookies, but he can eat bugs if he feels like it.  Drites are omnivores in harsh times even though they prefer fruit.

Natural Dragons

Here is the one where a true explanation is needed.  These creatures will eat meat, fruit, vegetables, and whatever else they have a hankering for.  Yet, this nourishment is supplemental and more common when they have babies to feed.  The real meal comes from Windemere itself.  Dragons are magical creatures that constantly absorb the ambient aura of the world.  There is no risk of them having too much, but if there is ever a time where magic is lost then they could die out.

Now, each dragon does have a method of getting extra aura by eating something from their environment.  This happens when they are sick, need more magic for breeding, or the area is having an aura drought:

  • Sirynian Dragons- Glacial dragons eat pure ice found on the underside of floes.
  • Aquestar Dragons- Desert dragons that eat wet sand and they’ll do this as a snack too.
  • Verenstone Dragons- Volcanic dragons that eat lava and heat.
  • Darkvawn Dragons- Jungle dragons that eat leaves and certain jungle vines.
  • Kelynmire Dragons- Swamp dragons that drink clean water.

That’s the diet of Windemere dragons.  Not as complicated as one would think, but it does show how potent the magic of the world is.  After all, it can sustain such large and powerful beasts without weakening.

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