Monthly Archives: August 2014

Magic in the Arcane Realm Part 3: Ordered Spellcraft

Arcane Magic

Also Called

Ordered Spellcraft

Original users: Jinni

Current users: Jinni; Faerie; Kami; Automoetons, Dragons,Phoenix and a few other arcane animals and plants, pretty much any non-human or non-angel being


General mana, the universal energy of existence present in all matter and energy, mainly undetected by most earth-based technology. It is a by-product of the creation of the universe as a near-invisible force that is generated and surrounds all places and things. There are at least 2 limiting factors to consider when using magic, the amount of mana currently in an area until it replenishes, and the amount of mana a user can draw and hold from the area.


The spirit linking part is similar to natural magic but raw mana has to be converted or ordered with the user’s intent and will before it can do a specific action. This can be done with various actions such as Sign (tracing a symbol in the air), Gesture (Specific or precise movements and stances), Ward (geometric mandalas made from glowing raw mana), Incantation (specific words and phrases), Component (spell specific ingredients), Focus (magic assisting device).

Species that can perform arcane magic also have inherent abilities that resulted from internal mana being naturalized into the genetics and biochemistry of their ancestors. That is to say there are magic-like but natural actions they can do without spells.

The appearance of spells can be observed in any number of ways such as puffs of smoke, bolts resembling lighting, energy rays, glittery sparkles, or things spontaneously happening.


It affects the caster’s world mainly by bending the current physical laws like the traditional idea of magic. The major limit is that Users are limited to defying the laws of physics, and cannot rewrite or manipulate universes themselves, save for artificially created pocket dimensions. (Gravity still pulls down, even if it takes a really long time to do so. Unless gravity in a confined area is reversed, then vice-versa.) Arcane Magic can often disregard certain observed scientific laws such as thermodynamics and energy conservation based on the users intent, but only as long as the spell is in effect or the source of it is supplying.

Arcane magic is traditionally defined by spells designed for these purposes:

Divination- Gathering information, sensing the future, immediately relevant events, or sending the senses beyond their usual range

Elemental– Manipulating the various forces or materials of nature in multiple ways

Mentalism– Powers affecting the minds and emotions of others.

Nature– power over or using the physical abilities of plants, animals and the like.

Summon– Having assistance from others or the creation of a servant or companion

Transmutation-Turning something into something else or altering its properties

Dark Magic– Giving misfortune to the opponent with the intent of benefiting the user.

Blithe Magic-Fortunate or beneficial effects and purposes

Necromancy– Manipulation of soul and spirit which often involves the dead


Vanessa Fly Trap Characters: Kate Scout


Kate Scout is the 8-year old sister of Tony Scout and adoptive step-sister to Vanessa and Victor Sprout.

 photo KateBioPic_zpsa56feba1.png


Kate is a young averaged sized eight-year old girl. She has light brown colored eyes and a fairly light complexion. She has frizzy dark brown hair that is usually coiled into a soft curly Afro with a hairband, although her hair can also become naturally wavy with typical shampoo. Her favorite outfit is a dark and light purple shirt with a pink butterfly in the front and jeans, paired with pink laced white sneakers. She also has two small yellow earrings.

She is biracial black and white, with both Jamaican and Haitian heritage. Although American English is her go to language,  she can also speak conversational Jamaican patois and Haitian creole.


Around those that she is familiar with, she is very chatty. With friends and family, she is basically a motor mouth who can talk exceptionally fast. In fact, she can talk faster than most people while still saying the words properly.

However she doesn’t like to offend others (except for Tony) and hates the idea of being on someone’s bad side. As such she might seem like a completely different person around unfamiliar and professional looking adults. When expected to keep up a conversation with them, it might be hard for her or take a while to say something. She is quiet around new people, and more also more adept to listening.

Kate has a liking towards music, often humming notes and is easily touched by music. She tends to pick up on the moods of songs, like high tempo dance songs or slow love ballads. A lot of this has to do with the fact that she really gets into the feelings of a song. The more passionate the singer of a song is, the more she gets into it when she sings the lyrics. Because of this, she sometimes can change her mood with her favorite songs. Her appreciation and enthusiasm for music is what led to hear to play and practice the violin.

Likes: Beef patties, Listening to music: Pop, Electropop, Dancehall, Love Songs, Cooking like her mother, speaking Haitian Creole to her father

Dislikes: Vegetables not prepared by her parents, Talking to new adults, bugs, Seeing the fly traps eat bugs, Gangsta Rap

Hobbies: Playing the violin, Singing, Talking to her best friend Meiying


Mother: Elizabeth Scout
Father:Georges Scout
Her brother is Tony and her adopted siblings are Vanessa and Victor.

Best: Meiying ”Amber

  • Vanessa
  • Sam
  • Dlyan
  • Hina’ea



  • She was taught by her mother since she was five how to use a stove and oven, as well as properly chop vegetables without cutting herself.
  • Another interesting skill is that she can mimic many voices that she hears, especially those around her the most. This includes her parents, friends and siblings although her voice will get tired after excessive use, especially for male voices.
  •  She can play the violin, and was inspired to learn it after hearing “the best song I didn’t understand”
  • She can speak conversational Jamaican patios. She also can also say Haitian Creole phrases and likes to say them to her father who praises her for speaking the language.

Magic in the Arcane Realm Part 2: Raw Sorcery

This post is about the magic unique to all humans in the Arcane Realm Universe. I wanted to get into the mindset that if humans were magical creatures like fairies, unicorns, and elves, what would an uniquely ”human” magic take form as but still have humans be well human?

Natural Magic
Also Called

  • Raw Sorcery
  • Mana Plasma Magic

Original users: Humans

Current users: Humans (Homo sapiens, Homo prehensus, and Lunarians)


Mana from ambient particles and energy (background electromagnetic/electro-weak forces) and from celestial objects


In this type of magic, the practitioner’s spirit resonates with ambient mana in the electromagnetic field of the earth and eventually the more energetic fields beyond the atmosphere.* This brings the amount of energy the person can obtain with their mana capacity from the planet and the far reaches of space, to within their general area, instantaneously. The influx of raw mana energy partly ionizes the air at a rate that generates a room-temperature plasma (35-40oC) called mana plasma. The plasma is an ionized gas that is at first light and airy, but is mold-able by a person’s movements and internal flow.


The applications of natural magic involve

  • Amplifying the force and range of forceful actions
  • Creating a personal or extended layer of protection
  • creating constructs of varying states liquid like/solid like
  • affecting EM fields
  • sanitizing areas of microorganisms
  • channeling bio-electric energy, etc.

Although most of the natural properties of this cool plasma are bound to the laws of physics, mana plasma does have a few properties outside the norm. As the density can be changed with skill, increasing the amount can make it useful for concussive force as the mass is tossed around. The consistency of the object can be changed in different states, for example, it can be made into an amorphous glop that either hardens upon impact or absorbs the shock by staying soft, depending on the user’s skill. It can even be made to dissipate in explosion-like shock waves without producing shrapnel.

This kind of magic evolved as an extension of martial arts, particularly breath work called qigong. Thus it seems that the best way to develop this trait is with qigong training, sensible since both rely on the body’s electromagnetic field as a component of their true potential. Also the particular techniques for this magic type are called skills, while in other magic types, they are called spells.

Natural Magic Categories


  • Shooting

(Aimed):targeted before firing, or accelerated material
freely controlled projectiles during its course to target

  • Bombardment: aimed attack firing a cone/bundled stream or multiple projectiles concentrated at a single target
  • Melee: require the users physical movement to strike the foe with something on the users person
  • Area of Effect: affect multiple targets within a certain area
  • Device: Device is used directly as a weapon, including energy constructs


  • Barrier:Erect defensive barriers usually in spherical or hemispherical shape. They can defend in all directions, but are not suited to repeated/combination attacks. They work by absorbing the power of an attack in order to reduce damage.
  • Shield:This type describes spells that generate powerful shields. In contrast to barrier type skills, shield type spells can only guard in one direction, but are much more difficult to penetrate. Also unlike a barrier type defense, these skills defend by repelling the energy driven against them.
  • Generate: opposing energy is generated outwards from the user to a specific range


  • Caging: surrounding object with barriers or otherwise restrict their actions, so they can move inside but have no way getting out.
  • Binding: surrounding object by robes/chains/lines that keep them confined so they can’t move at all, or at best wiggle slightly.
  • Disabling: disabling the target by preventing their bodies/nerves from reacting.
  • Anchoring: object is locked/immobilized on certain spot but can otherwise act.


  • Healing:recovery from physical damage like injury, wounds
  • Replenish:cleaning, recovery from fatigue, or enhancing effects or other skills
  • Interference: weaken or canceling the effects of other skills
  • Transportation: increase speed or range of movement
  • Illusion: Altering the target’s sensory information

Natural Magic Styles

Varieties of raw sorcery with specific focuses like that of martial arts

Full ActionGrand physical actions generate plasma that extends the range and amplifies their force

Two schools or mind-sets of Construction Style:

fluid & dynamic materials for on-the-fly situations
Solid Set
dense and sturdy constructs for the long term

RangedFocus on effects from a distance including energy discharges

Tacticthe use of indirect effects like surroundings, hidden traps, and binding locks set up to disadvantage the opponent

ArmamentA recent school based on understanding and relying on the unique capabilities of one’s magic assisting device

Akashic- Mana plasma is used to ionize, shape, and enhance the duration of chi techniques


Compared to other Magic

Natural magic is an natural defense mechanism and possible for all human beings (regardless of whether they are aware of its existence or how to apply it).
Whereas arcane magic beings can only use raw mana as a physical force projectile or use to create signs to order mana, raw sorcery takes it as dynamic power.

Unlike beings who use arcane magic, natural magic beings are restricted to only their inherent ability (generating mana plasma) but since they all do this, it levels the playing field between natural sorcery users. Also, many beings have unique differences in how much they can generate at one time, the type of consistency, and whether or not they train their skills.

World Building: Wild Kratts Style

So as I mentioned on the about page, from time to time I’ll blog/reblog about worldbuilding. I figure since I am currently worldbuilding the setting for my Arcane Realm stories, I post some of my inspirations on the site. Often I find myself finding a muse in places I never expected. For example, a children’s television show known as Wild Kratts.


So even though I am nearing the end of my college education, I sometimes think about my childhood, well, late elementary school anyways. Say what you will about the late 90’s but things were simpler, the economy didn’t fall yet, and I actually watched television as the internet didn’t really have video sites. I was still at the age where watching PBS kids didn’t get you laughed at by the other kids (except Arthur. Nobody messed with Arthur.)

As part of the PBS line-up was two brothers, a junction, and a talking lemur. It was the days of Zoboomafoo, the first show I watched about the Kratt Brothers. In it the show they hung out in Animal Junction, where animals that wouldn’t be together in wild came together,  including a leaping lemur named well, Zoboomafoo who liked to chat after a snack. It was fun, has a couple songs I still remember,  and of course, taught me about animals.


So about two years ago, I accidently stumble on another show with the Kratt Brothers, Chris and Martin. Only know, they got animated! And have a crew of new friends in a turtle shaped ship! And Villians who abuse animals! Oh, and high tech morphing suits that give them the powers of any creatures they touch but that’s like, the obvious logical conclusion when Kratts get a cartoon.


Tortuga Trio



Now watching the show, this time they go to various natural locations in a variety of environments to meet the creature of the day. But they also meet the other animals of a location, again teaching me about what animals would really live in a desert or on the prairies. Finally bringing this post back to world building, a natural environment you create is more believable and authentic when animals that are fit for it live there. The Arcane Realm is mostly composed of real animals, brought over by the Pioneer Jinn or end up there through random portals from Earth. There are also a few fantasy creatures who live along aside them, (because who doesn’t want dragons, I mean, come on) but I know how the real ones work, I can give the fantastic ones traits where they can live there just as well.

Wild Kratts - Alan's Character Design

So to show how helpful this line of logic has been working, here is a list of the biomes on the show with the animals mentioned. I haven’t seen all the episodes of Seasons 2 and 3 so I’ll probably update the post now and again. Also note there is more than one desert so not all the creatures might live in the exact same place in real life (but in a fantasy world…)

Prairie dog (a ground squirrel)
Prairie wolf/coyote
Prairie chicken
Prairie falcon
Rattle snake
King snake

Prairie buffalo (bison)
Pronghorn Antelope
Buffalo birds
Harris Hawk (Packs)
Ferret (black footed)
Buffaloberry (bush)
Spider monkey
Harpy eagle
Eyelash Viper
Whitetail deer
Arrowroot- herb cultivated for a starch from the rhizomes. A thicking agent for soups, sauces, and puddings.
Coconut- fruit, cooking oil, palm sugar,
Opossum (snake venom immunity)
River Otter
Crocodile*only where salt mixes
Gar (predatory fish)
Dragonfly (swamp dragon)
Mosquito fish
Milk Snake
Coco plum
Cardinal plant
Arid deserts can also have patches of grassy areas
Sanoran Desert
Rattle snake
Saguaro cactus
Elf Owl
Gila monster
Spotted Skunk(tree climbers)
Ground Squirrel
Cactus Finch
Morning Dove
Mountain Lion/Cougar
Hooded Snunk
Long nose leopard lizard
Great Horned Owl
Golden Eagle
Burrowing Owl (Mimic Rattlesnake)
Jumping Beans (Caterpillar> Moths)
Collared Lizard
Kangaroo Rats
Prickly Pear cactus
Barrel Cactus (Fruit)

Ever feel alone in a crowded place? This artist gets you

Adam Magyar struggles with the speed of time. (Who can blame him?) In response, the Hungarian artist and photographer captures densely populated urban areas at extremely high speeds — then slows each moment down so you can experience every breath and blink. The result: hypnotic videos that reveal the hidden depths of everyday experiences. One conceptual series, Stainless, turns a mundane subway commute into a meditation on mortality and human perception. In Stainless, Magyar creates both videos and still photographs, the latter using a line-scan camera (the same kind of camera used in a scanner) to turn a speeding train into “a frozen image of impossible clarity and stillness, a reality imperceptible to both passengers speeding into the station and bystanders waiting to board,” writes Joshua Hammer in Matter. “The individuals in his trains ride together yet apart, lost in their own thoughts, often transfixed by their hand-held devices.”

Below, see five haunting gifs…

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A Post For The Ladies: Dealing with Periods while Travelling

I admit that I’m a bit squeamish to things relating to menstruation but the post is too important and useful to women to not reblog to my potential viewers as well.

Godspeed To A Mighty Balloon

Let’s not go round the houses: a good portion of the population menstruates. Don’t be ashamed, don’t speak of it in awkward hushed tones: we bleed- and so what?

Menstruating while travelling poses its own little problems however:

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If You’ve Ever Heard Of A Rock Hyrax, Raise Yer Hand

Vanessa Fly Trap Characters: Tony Scout

Anthony ‘Tony’ Scout is the 11-year old brother of Kate Scout and the adoptive step-brother of Vanessa and Victor Sprout.

 photo TonyBioPic_zpsf3b9dd68.png

Tony is a slim, young tan boy with curly, dark brown hair. He often sports a small afro with a red visor. Most often he wears a orange collared shirt with a large red stripe across it, brown cargo shorts and red/white sneakers.

He is biracial black and white, with both Jamaican and Haitian heritage. Although American English is his go to language,  he can also speak conversational Jamaican patois and Haitian creole.

Tony is relatively laid-back but is said by Vanessa to have a ‘casual confidence’ air about him. He tends to be hands-on and pragmatic if he can’t do something the usual way. He is comfortable with ‘just do’ activities instead of worrying or wondering about them a lot. Even when cooperating or part of a team, he most often he prefers do simple tasks independently and doesn’t like to inconvenience others.

Tony likes to play the mediator role, telling others to calm down and look down on those who “can’t control themselves” and find them annoying. Other times, he says things he might not necessarily believe in order to get a rise out of people.  Whether he’s gently teasing or deliberately trying to cause mayhem generally depends on his mood or who he is talking to; either way, he always brings the joke far enough to cause annoyance, confusion, anger, or laughter.

Tony also has an appreciation for older aspects of culture than expected. For example, he enjoys old school reggae, Jackson Five, world history videos, and looking older versions of phones, music players, and video games. A lot of times, his father comments he has an “old soul”.

Likes: BBQ Chicken, Marcus, Suzie, detective comics, Detective Comics, old school/classic reggae, Bob Marley, Jackson Five, Michael Jackson, House and Club music, Party Zouk music

Dislikes: Celery, Stuffy people with no sense of humor, teen gang members, teenagers, country music

Hobbies: Climbing, neighborhood kid detective, drawing, reading comics, YMCA, urban parkour

Mother: Elizabeth Scout
Father:Georges Scout
His sister is Kate and his adopted siblings are Vanessa and Victor.


  • Marcus
  • Karyme
  • Andres
  • Suzie
  • Thomas
  • Ollie
  • Tatianna
  • Janice


  • Tony is very observant, noticing little things others might not catch
  • Great at climbing and jumping due to taking Parkour lessons with his father
  • Can run on a wall for a second
  • Can draw faces pretty well, but prefers drawing cartoons and comics
  • Has scattered knowledge on older versions of things likes phones and recorders

Magic in the Arcane Realm Part 1: Principles of Magic

This is the first post of the magic system of the Arcane Realm. One of the self-imposed challenges in this that I want the Arcane Realm to incorporate the major concepts of almost every type of magic there is (or at least the one’s I’ve exposed to) so let’s see how this goes.

In general, there are 2 broad types of magic.

Belief magic is built on the idea that supernatural powers can be compelled, or at least influenced, to act in certain ways for good or evil purposes by using ritual formulas. As such it is more like a religion or belief system. Magic can also be a term for a phenomena that is currently unexplained through natural processes.

Applied magic is defined as the extra-ordinary manipulation (either consciously or unconsciously) of natural and spiritual forces towards an intended result. This is what mages and wizards are known for.

Magic is though to came about as a natural defense mechanism for sapient beings that possess intent and will power. Angels were believed to be created with the gift of divine magic, Jinn with arcane magic and Humans with natural magic.

Principles and Phenomenon unique to Magic


As suspected by Polynesian culture, it is a force that is inherent in all objects, plants, and animals (including people) to different degrees.

It’s the energy needed to do magic, the fuel or magic power/points. It’s what gets attacked by anti-magic and referred to when the potential for magic is stored or arguably “measured”.

The main idea is simple; all matter; all things emit energy including consciousness. All sentient creatures, when they think or feel emit a wave of energy which on a micro scale changes the energy around them to resonate at that same vibratory level– the vibrating energy is ambient mana and magic happens when the practitioner is in sync with its vibrations.

This means that Mana itself has more or less an infinite source, but the practitioner cannot preserve any Mana if he exhausts his own willpower/consciousness/sanity/ and especially intentions. In this state, the practitioner can be said to be out of Mana. An idea that is also important to chi (something I get into one day), even though magic is separate, is that drive is a replenish-able, but finite resource.

There are individual differences when it comes to Mana capacity, it is an innate talent or ‘gift’ difficult to develop through training. One way to increase Mana capacity is to reinforce ones drive, which governs Mana. It is believed that by intense meditation and self-hypnosis, one can be more naturally aware of mana around them and the ability to hold Mana also increases. Another method is to improve the efficiency of the techniques used to convert the energy in the atmosphere to Mana. If the amount of willpower used can be reduced by this process, then Mana capacity can increase as a result.
Sympathetic magic

is a principle that applies to specific types of magic spells. It is based on the principle that “like produces like.” For instance, whatever happens to an image of someone will also happen to them. This is the basis for use of Voodoo dolls in the folk tradition of Haiti. If someone sticks a pin into the stomach of the doll, the person of whom it is a likeness will be expected to experience a simultaneous pain in his or her stomach. Spells that have aSympathetic magic is also referred to as imitative magic.

Equivalent Exchange

While mostly applicable in alchemy, this rule can also be true for other types of magic. The desired effect of magic must be equal to what the user brings forth (whether in terms of aura gathered during the spell or in the use of focii and magical aids). The only way to truly understand this law and the equations it requires is through study and experimentation.

The majority of spells that operate on this principle either manipulate relatively huge amounts of energy or involve multiple transformations of matter and energy in one ritual.For most other types of spells there actually does need to be exchange, it just doesn’t always have to be equal coming in or out.

The Power of the Spoken Word and True Names

In the magical sense, words are powerful and can have a great deal of effect on connecting one’s intent with ambient mana. For these magic users, words are their bond and hold a great deal more significance than just communication. As a result, magic ritual and practice is always strengthened when it is paired with an appropriate incantation. The same goes with Names, which allow wizards to exert their power. Knowing someone’s true name creates a strong link between the magic-user and the person, spirit and vice-versa.

 Contagious Magic

Once two objects or energies have come in contact with one another, they continue to affect each other even if they are separated. In other words, it is believed that there is a permanent (or at least long lasting) relationship between an individual and any part of his or her body.  As a consequence, believers must take special precautions with their hair, fingernails, teeth, clothes, and droppings.  If anyone obtained these objects, magic could be performed on them which would cause the person they came from to be affected.  For instance, someone could use your fingernail clippings in a magical ritual that would cause you to love them or to fall ill and die.

The Oneness of All

This one is subject to much debate and controversy due to being more of a belief than an observable phenomena.  It contends that all energy and life is one and interconnected, founded upon the fact that magic users are not able to create energy, rather can only draw in and manipulate what is already present in an existing form. But this view can be seen as at odds with traditional magical understanding. Some contend that mana can be “re-written” to fit a practitioner’s purpose regardless of where it came from, but others argue that doesn’t mean that everything is the same.  Others see the concept as more in a social sense or that everything is at least connected by mana.

The Process

Gathering Energy

Magical energy is gathered, usually by the practitioner from some source of mana. This source can be the practitioner themselves or some other source. Common sources of energy are living things, items of power (also known as focii or focus), and natural elements, such as dirt, plant life, shells and so on. In the Arcane Realm, there are imaginary lines said to track how the largest amounts of mana flow throughout Kaf, called ley lines. Certain supernatural beings can also lend their power to a practitioner, or in other extreme cases it can be taken by force (such as sacrifices). It is important to remember the source one gather’s from or the effect of a ritual could turn out very different.

Focusing Energy/Preparation

This could be described as where “the magic happens”. The practitioner takes the gathered energy and begins to focus and refine it to achieve a desired result. There are many methods with which to focus and refine the energy:

This can be done with various actions such as Sign (tracing a symbol in the air), Gesture (Specific Dances),Step (precise stances and walking), Ward (geometric mandalas, imbued tattoos, runes, gylphs), Incantation (specific words and phrases), Focus (charms, wands, magic assisting device), or Component (item metaphorically relevant to the spell, like physical ingredients-roots or related abstract concepts)

The key component however is the user themselves. They are always the source of the focus and cannot be replaced in a ritual. (In other words, some mages have the power to cast great spells with no focus aids at all, some require many)
The energy in and of itself is not used up but simply altered to have an effect. This is also the most dangerous part of magic…If too much energy is gathered or too little, the effect can be much different than what was desired. Also, if the proper methods of focusing are not utilized properly (poorly drawn circle, wrong crystals, or if the practitioner is in the wrong state of mind).

The Effect/Activation

The result of the practitioner’s hard work. There are variables associated with effects that even an accomplished magic-user cannot always predict so each user should be keenly aware of what is at stake when using certain magic (especially when it comes to one’s intentions). Of these concerns are mainly with high level, complex, or combat related magic most often. Magic users should also be wary of  contagious types of magic when it comes to the effect of the spell since, the energy does not dissipate but rather returns to the aural plane. The contact it makes with the material can have a unintended lasting effect or fade unexpectedly (on the person, object or place where magic rituals have been conducted or items have been used).

World-building Series: Diversity

Blood & Ink

file0001398448986 What do the various people that populate your world look like?

Diversity is the spice of life and has brought humanity several great things from tasty foods, fun festivals and a variety of sports to different arts and music. However, diversity can serve as a double-edged sword, resulting in conflicts, because — let’s face — it humans often have a fear of “otherness.” Whether that “otherness” is another race, culture, sex or sex orientation, sometimes it brings out the worse in other people, which is sad to see.

No matter what diversity is being used to describe — race, culture, sex or sexual orientation — it has become a buzzword in today’s world. Movies and books might very well find themselves criticized for not having enough diversity. Perhaps fearing this criticism, diversity is introduced just for its sake in a variety of creative projects, including in the adaptations of books…

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Andrew McDowell

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