The World of Faehunter: The Tuann (and New Release Update!)

Hello!

I am so pleased to announce that I have a novella in the works, a small project that I work on when Faehunter gives me agida.

Potentially titled Into the House of Souls, it will be set in the same world as Faehunter but far away up in the mountains of the south with characters completely unrelated to Mara, Deaglan, Finnian, and Shannon. My tentative release date will be some time in November for another Pippi Longstocking birthday gift to all you dear readers!

Instead, it focuses on The Tuann (too-ahn), a loose group of people who gather in family clans and travel from place to place as it pleases them, inhabiting houses and castles left behind by others, are known for being skilled craftsmen and artisans, and operate with a very loose set or rules and laws. The Tuann do as they please.

Looking For Group

Tuann clans can be as small as 20 and as many as 200 people, generally big extended families with long histories together.

Each Clan has its own colors, banners, and sigils, although these vary wildly. Some Clans may adopt elaborate coats of arms like the nobility in the North, while others may carry flags with simple stripes or checkered patterns with their family colors.

One simple way to distinguish which Clan someone belongs to is by their cloak, or taeocai (tay-oh-kai), huge quilted fabric pieces designed to keep the Southern chill at bay. Each one is sewn and dyed with the family’s crest and colors and are worn at all kinds of Tuann gatherings – or whenever it’s cold.

The main character of my upcoming novella, Hopper, belongs to Clan Dennach who wear orange and blue.

Say What You Want to Say

While most Tuann have since learned the Common Language of the North, there are many words that lack translation. These words are often spoken in Tual (too-ahl), their unique language.

Few speak it fully, however, aside from some remote Clans with little outside contact.

What’s In a Name?

Tuann names generally refer to a characteristic, talent, or appearance of the person. These names are given by the Canneral (can-uh-rul), the head of the Clan on the person’s fifth birthday but can be changed at their fifteenth and fiftieth or with specific petition. Until their first Naming, children are often called various terms of endearment (“my dear”, “sweetheart”) or by their relationship with others (“Potter’s daughter”, “Fletcher’s son”).

Tuann names include Hopper, Weaver, Mason, Tailor, and Walker.

Heavy is the Head

Tuann may lack a central organization or government, but one Clan has been the representative of the Clans to the nations of the North for generations. Generally, the Clans accept this but some – often the more wild or remote groups – resent the “oppression”.

The Canneral of this Clan and his closely chosen allies help settle inter-Clan disputes, visit with foreign dignitaries, maintain a roll of all recognized Clans and record and legitimize new ones.

Faery Friends

The Tuann are much closer with their local faery Firelights Court than the other peoples of the North. Faeries will often travel and trade with mortal merchants, entertain the children, offer healing to the sick or elderly, and are known to be generous gift-givers.

Unlike the mortals of Twinefold that see the closeness of the fae as a curse, there is a much more benevolent relationship between the two among the Clans.

Tensions can sometimes be high, however, Hopper and her Clan struggle with a local faery noblewoman who has less than good intentions for her people.

Stay tuned for upcoming news on the Tuann, Hopper, and Into the House of Souls!

See Also:

The World of Faehunter: Magic
The World of Faehunter: Magical Plants and Other Herbaceous Things
The World of Faehunter: The Solitary Fae
Short Story: “Shannon in the Wilderness”

Pink Moon on the Rise

The Pink Moon – when not an amusing euphemism – is the full moon in the month of March, this year falling on the 31st. It is also the moon that sets the date for Easter for those who celebrate.

On top of all of that, it is the title of one of my very favorite albums of all time with one of the strangest covers.

220px-NickDrakePinkMoon

Seriously, what is going on here.

Much of Faehunter was written while listening to this quick half-hour length beauty, when it wasn’t epic soundtracks or Spotify’s Stomp and Holler playlist.

One man, one guitar, the occasional piano, and haunting lyrics make “Pink Moon” the real, raw thing. Nick Drake‘s voice carries the kind of vulnerable innocence of a confessional while his complex guitar work is nothing short of a masterpiece.

A popular urban legend (which has been since debunked) states that the famously shy and reclusive musician dropped off the final version tape at the desk of the recording studio without a word and walked away.

Nick Drake once said, “If my music did anything to help anyone, it would be worth it.”

I certainly think it has.

This one’s for you, Nick.

See Also:

Soundtracks to Write Fantasy To
What to do With A Writer’s Block

The World of Faehunter: Magic

Magic is an important part of the culture, industry, and lifestyle of Rosinaire and the world of Faehunter, but it isn’t always an easy matter.

Mortal Magic

Magic for mortals is incredibly difficult and cumbersome, usually requiring long preparations or very involved rituals for anything but the most simple of tasks.

Stones

kira-auf-der-heide-328511

At the very least, a spell requires a catalyst, some kind of stone or cut piece of glass with many facets to multiply weak magical powers. The average person can light a candle or cigarette with a small piece of glass, but the more geologically complex the stone the more powerful the potential for magic. Diamonds are highly sought after for this reason.

Those who regularly draw on magical powers will often wear a number of rings with inset stones to have spells ready on-hand (so to speak). Bars and inns will have small bowls of cut glass for lighting smokes, and jewelry among the rich usually serve some magical purpose.

Furthermore, stones can be carved with runes and symbols to “tie” a spell to it. Instead of constantly concentrating on one action, one can focus that energy into the stone where it will last until the spell or catalyst is broken.

Herbs

jessica-ruscello-99577

Herbs are an important part of any major ritual, from purifying sage to banishing nettle and rosemary.

Herbs will often be burned as a part of the ritual, the smoke permeating a space with its magical effects.

Symbols and Runes

Book_of_Ballymote_170r

Symbols, runes, and other powerful imagery and writing can help guide energy as well as focus it to certain places, objects, people, or intentions.

Runes are most commonly used although the Shard Islanders of the North use Ogham lines and the Challissani to the West are famous for the symbols of dots and lines.

Limit Break

Mortal magic is extremely limited, only certain people are able to harness it, and even then there is only so much that can be done.

While there is no true ceiling on the possible, the common person can really only light a candle, generate a small breeze, freeze a small amount of water into ice, or change the color of a small object.

When one reaches the limit of their powers, they feel weak and fatigued. Often, food or drink – especially the variety high in sugar content – will remedy the physical affects, but continuing on will only worsen these feelings.

If one pushes their limits too hard, the results may even turn fatal.

Faery Magic

samuel-henry-497346.jpg

Faery magic is different in mortal magic in that they do not need catalysts or symbols or really any other focus on their energy.

The main component of faery magic is concentration as well as intention; so long as the faery wants something strongly enough, it is done.

That being said, should that attention divert or their concentration break, so does the spell.

Always Glamour-ous

The fae are also capable of powerful transformation magic, called a glamour. They can transform any object into another, change their own appearances, and even generate new matter so long as they concentrate, focus, and remember the changes that were made. The spell will break, however, as soon as the object leaves the faery’s line of sight. Transforming a copper coin into gold may serve its purpose only up until it is placed in a pocket.

See Also:

The World of Faehunter: Magical Plants and Other Herbaceous Things
The World of Faehunter: Twinefold
The World of Faehunter: The Solitary Fae
The World of Faehunter: The Court of Air and Darkness

Images from Unspalsh.com and Wikimedia

The World of Faehunter: Magical Plants and Other Herbaceous Things

Please do not use the following information to treat, prevent, or cure any ailment or disease. Talk to your doctor before taking any herbal supplements for treatment.
And don’t eat Tide Pods.

Herbs, plants, and roots are all very important to the people in the world of Faehunter. They’re used for healing, for food and, of course, for magic.

So, to research a bit more about the plants and herbs that appear in Faehunter, I went to Flower Power Herbs and Roots in New York City and took a look at what magical stuff was in store.

img_20180111_141441.jpg

Sage

Baskets of candles, potpourri sachets, and bundles of sage for smudging sat between shelves heavy with scrying glass and magic mirrors and other helpful tools of the trade.

In many cultures from Native American tribes to Witchcraft, burning sage (or “smudging”) is used to purify an area, person, or even an object.

Sage for smudging will often come in small bundles that make burning easier and the smoke smells fantastic.

In Faehunter, sage smoke is often used for similar purposes, to purify before conducting any major magical undertakings. Magic for mortals – beyond something simple like lighting a candle – takes a lot of effort and preparation.

Hawthorn

img_20180111_135612.jpg

The clearing before her spread a wide circle tucked into the cradle of a gently rising slope, ringed with small, white stones and dotted with thorny Hawthorn trees.

One of three plants considered sacred to the fae in Celtic literature, hawthorn is often viewed as the most holy. It is believed to mark the entrance to the Annwyn (an-NOON) or the “Otherworld”.

Legend tells that it is incredibly unlucky to cut down a Hawthorn bush when it is not in bloom, although it is an integral part of Beltane (May Day) traditions.

In the city of Twinefold, hawthorn shrubs grow abundantly, especially in Langley Park. They surround and protect the holy faery Rath where the Court of Air and Darkness meets under every quarter moon – and every seven years for the Tithe.

Milk Thistle

Deaglan swept a fingertip along the delicate trickle of crimson blood at Mara’s wrist before Shannon could apply the pungent ointment, sticking it in his mouth.

“Sleep Toxin,” Deaglan named, “And a lot of it. Concentrated essence of nightshade, we need milk thistle.”

Milk thistle is currently being studied for its detoxifying properties and potentially as an aid for alcoholism, liver problems, and cancer prevention.

As large-scale agriculture is hard to maintain in the dense forests of The Cradlelands, milk thistle roots are often eaten for food in the city of Twinefold, most typically roasted with butter.

Its healing properties are also invaluable when healing magic is often difficult for others to manage. It is used in oils, ointments, and poultices and is integral in first aid when it comes to poisonings and toxins.

Morning Glory

More and more arms of ivy, living and green, climbed up and around the spindly metal desk and twined with morning glories and lilacs.

Morning Glory is said to have magical properties relating to peace-keeping and preventing nightmares, much like lavender.

In the city of Twinefold, morning glories often climb up walls of buildings as well as twining in the trees, blooming in the late mornings when the sun climbs over the treeline.

Outside the city, the “water spinach” variety blooms in the Adalasia River which forms the city’s southern border. The water spinach is harvested and eaten for food.

And who can forget, of course, the most powerful spice of all?

img_20180111_140424.jpg

Thanks again to Flower Power which is located at 406 East 9th Street, between Avenue A and 1st in New York City.

 

See Also:

Short Story: “Shannon in the Wilderness”
The World of Faehunter: The Solitary Fae
The World of Faehunter: Twinefold
The World of Faehunter: The Court of Air and Darkness

The World of Faehunter: The Court of Air and Darkness

The mysteries of the night belong to the Court of Air and Darkness, fae (faeries) who live for ruthless political intrigue, secrets, and lies.

Their Court lands are the Cradlelands and their main seat of power is in the city of Twinefold.

Black Pawn crowned - chess

Gods Save the Queen!

The Queen of Air and Darkness is generally chosen by some show of force – a coup d’etat, assassination, or on rare occasion a duel or trial by combat.

When she is crowned, she gives up her name and simply becomes “The Queen”. Her previous name isn’t exactly a secret, but it isn’t spoken or used either.

The current Queen of Air and Darkness came into power almost one thousand years ago and while many have challenged her rule, none have succeeded.

Phases of the moon as it is eclipsed

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

Under every quarter-moon (both halves and every New and Full Moon), roughly once a week, the Court holds a Gathering. They discuss recent happenings, political news, and mortal movements, as well as new orders from the Queen and the successes or failures carrying out previous orders. The Queen makes announcements and all listen.

Fear My Rath

The seat of the Court’s power and where all Gatherings are held is the Rath, a circle of white stones set into a small hillside.

Towards the back, against the hill is a half-circle of white stone carved with flowers and plants and vines so realistic they seem to be alive.

On this dais is the Queen’s throne, a rough-hewn chair made of stone.

The vaulted ceiling of a very dark cathedral

Royal Palace

Set into the hill is a door of white stone, with carvings similar to the dais.

Inside is the Queen’s palace, which seems much bigger than the small hill can hold.

Within are dining halls, libraries, services like laundry and tailoring and kitchens, as well as the prisons and torture chambers.

Few mortals have seen the palace and none have left it alive.

All the Lords and Ladies

Other nobles of the court include the twelve Lords (and Ladies) of the Hours, who are appointed – or dismissed, and often violently – by the Queen.

The Court also includes the royal guards, other fae who have made Vows to the Court, and of course, the Solitary fae living in Court lands, should the Tithe be completed.

Photos from Unsplash and MorgueFile

See Also:

The World of Faehunter: The Solitary Fae
Twinefold Begins
Faehunter Characters