Much in my writing life is changing lately. Last Word Before Dying, my online fantasy serial, is written and the last installment will appear online on July 8th. With my poetry collection, The Renaissance Cycle, published I’m now able to return my attention to my fantasy novel, Where Light Devours.
Viewing the time between now and July 8th as a unique block, I’ve decided to examine the Hartise partial’s colleges in my fantasy world, Ontyre.
But what or who are partials? The subject is only lightly addressed in the online tale, but its important to the novel.
Fortunately, I’m going to keep this brief. I have a notebook devoted to magic and the section on partials is 24 pages long (not counting the college maps, blueprints, and diagrams showing how their magic operates).
World building madness.
Anyway, humans who are partials are called such because they develop a specialized magic gift. There are five singular gifts that routinely occur (seers, healers (soothers), sylvans, seekers, and sirens) and there was a college built for each.
It was Queen Pressa who first envisioned training partials, but it was her grandson, Craus, who oversaw building the five colleges when he was king. Please note that in Hartise, unlike outside its borders, partials are often referred to as “senses” because they were viewed as extensions of the various kings and queens. A poem captured the thinking:
Seers of Vistus watch over us and their marble columns gleam.
Soothers in Meacine heal amidst the bright gardens of a dream.
Sirens in Asbray sing praise in tune with their waters cascading.
Sylvans of Horthure grow bounty from the Land of Lands surrounding.
Seekers from Lorne divide good and evil from the cliffs of Pressa.
These senses of our kings and queens serve us as they would Genessa.
This week’s college: Meacine
Specialty: Healers (Soothers)
Year completed: 3401
Location: Western Hartise along The River of No Beginning
Although those healers who don’t possess magic (nons) can be male or female, those who possess the gift are always female, though wizards have the ability to heal via their gift). Despite possessing their gift, it’s also necessary to possess conventional healing knowledge. For instance, when they make contact with someone they see within the body. Understanding what they’re seeing is crucial. The degree of clarity depends upon skill and their gift’s quality.
Contrary to popular belief, they don’t impose healing upon the body, but instead must either utilize the patient’s own defenses or administer natural remedies. There is leeway, though. For instance, they can lend strength (at the expense of their own system) and bolster someone else’s defenses. They also have the ability to set an biological ward that acts as an internal bandage. A fringe benefit is that since they can probe someone’s system they can tell if that person possesses magic.
As with any partial the effectiveness they possess is directly related to the quality of the gift and every gift has many facets. It’s the combination of elements and their individual effectiveness that makes every gift different. Elements like power, focus endurance, and harmonizing are vital.
The primary structures at Meacine red brick buildings often disappearing beneath various climbing plants. Bridges connected the primary islands and boating was a popular activity. Though all the colleges were special, spectacular in some cases, no other college could match the romantic feel that Meacine possessed.
Meacine was built almost entirely on islands on Dreamer’s Lake. Besides having close proximity to The River of No Beginning it was also in the larger region known as the Sentinel River Valley, one of the more fertile in Hartise. Besides the natural beauty, and extensive array of plants, herbs, and flowers were grown for medicinal use and study.
The college was perhaps best known for the Synapse Bloom gardens, a plant best known for their ability to exchange electrical charges between them, a sight best viewed at night…
Synapse blooms crackling at midnight…
each petal releasing raw magic’s light.
as if sweetened lightening,
life’s charge bloom-to-bloom in the dark.
Beneath the stars where the water glistens
I’ll gaze with wonder upon the show—