Rather than just do another boring update on the status of revisions to BEYOND THE PROPHECY, I thought I’d blog about the magic system, instead.
The first kind of magic we encounter is the Spirit magic of the semi-nomadic, plains-dwelling people. They live in clans, each of which has an animal totem and the initiation ceremony for each clan forges a spiritual connection to that totem animal. It’s mostly a perceptive magic. A member of the Lion Clan, for example, can sense lions in the vicinity and usually tell whether they’re hunting or resting. That’s about it.
One complicating factor is that these people are highly superstitiously opposed to any form of magic (think Salem witch trials reactions). They just don’t call what they have magic. They also don’t talk about their Spirit magic with outsiders. There’s an historical reason for this that isn’t really important in this series, but would figure strongly when I eventually write the prequel series. Someday.
The second kind of magic is inherited within certain bloodlines in the ruling class of the coastal cities. This is a more active form of magic. Those possessing it can communicate over distances. Given a connection to follow, they can also see things that are happening at a distance. And the most Talented among them can work Transformations. The lowest-level Transformation are merely visual, making themselves or another object appear to be something or someone else. The high-level Transformation actually change the nature of the person or object temporarily. There are also other gifts which occur with varying frequency from fairly common to so rare no one knows much about them because the last person who could do that lived six hundred years ago.
These same Powers, with minor variations, occur in an isolated group of people living in a distant mountain valley. Again, there’s an historical reason for this that I’m saving for that prequel series, but it’s pretty easy to guess that these two groups are related somehow.
In the coastal cities, these Talents are used to support the power of the rulers. Only. And the existence of their magic is a secret. Therefore, the magic is jealously guarded and fairly draconian measures are taken to make sure that no one with Talent escapes the control of the rulers.
But no control is ever perfect and the main character of these novels is the proof of that. He has both kinds of magic. Though he initially tries to deny his inherited magic, because of those tribal superstitions. And he is temporarily severed from the Spirit magic during part of THE SHAMAN’S CURSE.
The real fun starts in THE VOICE OF PROPHECY, when he is in control of both kinds of magic and they start bleeding into one another, interacting and sometimes reinforcing each other.