Monday, October 17, 2016

The Magic of the Joined Kingdoms

Last week I discussed the geography of Korthlundia. Today I discuss its magic.
The most important thing to remember about in my world is that it results from mixed blood, usually a mix of races, but occasionally a mix of classes will work. The more mixed the blood or the more unusual the mixture, the more powerful the magic. The requirement of mixed blood is the primary reason there is so little magic in the joined kingdoms any more. Korthlundia is a small, isolated country with a mostly homogeneous population. To make things worse, the church in Lundia, the southern half of the joined kingdoms, insists that the mixing of blood is an abomination to the goddess. The clergy refuse to believe that the great Sulis would bless such an outrage against all that is sacred with her holy gift. Sulis is the goddess of healing, and her clergy are supposed to be able to heal both body and soul, but because of the ignorance of the clergy, there are few Lundian priests with true healing magic. The Korthian church, the northern half of the joined kingdoms, has a more tolerant view of mixing blood, so they have a higher percentage of true healers among the clergy.
There are three main classes of magic users. The first, as I have mentioned, are healers. Healers are able to go into a trance and join their consciousness with that of the patient. In this way they are able to feel the disease or injury and manipulate the tissue to promote healing, or they can as easily use their gift to harm. Healing is exhausting, but produces intense pleasure for the healer. Most healers exist outside the church and are looked down because of their mixed blood; they are seen as witches or demons and are not infrequently killed. One of the two main characters in The Kronicles of Korthlundia, Robrek, is one such healer. Slavers kidnapped Donella, Robrek’s mother, from her homeland, a far distant land whose people had never mixed with those of Korthlundia. Because of the unusual mixture of his blood, Robrek grows into the most powerful healer the joined kingdoms has seen for centuries. However, having such power is not without its drawbacks. Because of his power and dark coloring, he is often called “demon seed.” The local priest wanted him exposed at birth and tried to have him burned at the stake as a young man.
The second class of magic users are the auroras. An aurora can see the multi-colored aura that surrounds all people and reveals their character, including their honesty. Since the magic of an aurora rests in the womb, they are always female.  The onset of an aurora’s power happens when she first bleeds in the way of a woman. However, she cannot fully control her power until she has given birth to a child. Samantha, the crown princess of Korthlundia, is an aurora. One might think that such an ability would be invaluable in a monarch, but there is a problem. To be an aurora, a woman must have a mixture of common and noble blood. Since Samantha’s mother was indeed noble, the fact that Samantha is an aurora means that she is not the true daughter of the king. She is, in fact, a bastard. Her gift, therefore, becomes a liability that she must hide to preserve her position and even her life.

The final class of magic users are the Bards. Bards are able to affect the emotions of their audience with their music. There has not been a true Bard in Korthlundia in over a century, and little is known about them. That is why the Bard Alvabane is such a powerful enemy of our heroes. Since Robrek and Samantha do not understand bardic magic, they have great difficulty figuring out how to stop her.