Welcome to my A to Z Challenge 2019 posts. This year I’ll be writing about the world of Kinyal which is the setting of my epic fantasy novels and short stories. These posts offer insights into the world’s history, locations, and factions, but do not spoil any of the events or secrets from the novel.
You don’t need to read them in order, and as the challenge progresses, I’ll do my best to add links to related topics for each post.
A handful of lingering magic
One of the first lessons every arcanist learns is that magic doesn’t naturally belong Kinyal. But as their schooling progresses, they also learn of ways to keep it in the world.
One of them is circles. They allow to spells a desired effect to be triggered at later time, usually when an arcanist or another person enters it, so before Cataclysm they were widely use for traps, alarms, or even lighting a corridor when somebody entered it. Yet, circles are only as durable as the surface they are drawn or carved into, and once set, the effect can’t be changed.
Another, more versatile way are imbued stones. In theory, they could be any objects, but stones were often chosen for their durability, and the name stayed. They contain a portion of a yalari’s power that can be released at any point and pace, though that energy can’t be shaped, and thus is useless as a source of magic for spell casting.
Lore claims that for some reason, higher demons aren’t fond of those stones and rarely allow arcanists to use their power for such purpose, but there are many lower beings, including asalari (demonlings) who don’t display signs of conscience and therefore can’t object. And since creating an imbued stone captures only a portion of yalari’s power, more creating a pact-like link to the human world rather than taking it away, and it doesn’t kill them or hurt them, such practice is commonly-spread.
Inventions big and small
Even though Gildya Magna’s primary interest is to ensure the world’s progress without the help of magic, imbued stones provide many opportunities for creating devices that require power supply. From street lamps to stone-enhanced weapons and armors, there’s a huge interest in such items, and both merchants and private patrons are willing to pay well for them. And where is demand, there is money to be made, so many less inventive adepts or those who are still beginners focuses on providing the requested items. This also creates the need for arcanists’ services as they are the only ones to supply the stones.
This also means that Gildya’s adepts, though in a limited way, study arcane language. Even though it’s enough for the non-arcanist user to focus their will to switch a device on or off, achieving a more complex effects on the devices themselves requires wise application of specific arcane words on them.
They are more versatile than circles and sometimes long-lasting, but imbued stones’s power isn’t endless. Exact reasons for their magic running out aren’t know, but arcanists have a few speculations. Even though the stone doesn’t kill the yalari, something else – or someone else – might, thus severing the link with the stone, and yalari’s world is believed to be a violent one. Another theory claims that since imbued stones aren’t an actual pact and because there is no human will to maintain it, their link to demon realms fades naturally over time. After all, magic does not linger in Kinyal for long.
If you’d like a taste of the world, my free collection contains two of the stories from my free short story collection are set in Kinyal. The Arcanist and the Mage Killer and Scourges, Spells, and Serenades tell of the early adventures of Kamira and Veelk, the main protagonists of the upcoming novel.
You can get the collection by signing up to my newsletter.
All posts in this year’s challenge (links updated with new posts):
Arcane Magic || Barriers and Circles || The Cataclysm || Devanshari || Essence || Free City of Kaighal || Gildya Magna || High Magic || Imbued Stones || Juamha || Kamira Altrainne || Languages || Mage Killers ||
Joanna Maciejewska is a fantasy and science fiction author who enjoys all things SFF: books, movies, and video games.
Her short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies in Polish and in English.
Her epic fantasy adventure series, starting with By the Pact, is available in ebook and paperback at all major retailers.