New guest entry today from fellow Magic Appreciation Tour author Karin Rita Gastreich. Her novel Eolyn is now available as an audiobook narrated by Canadian voice-actor Darla Middlebrook. In support of the new format, Karin is touring blogs, and has included an excerpt from Eolyn for your perusal. Enjoy, and don’t forget to enter the drawing at the end of the post for your chance to win an Eolyn audiobook!
The Origin of Magic in Eolyn
by Karin Rita Gastreich
Mathew has asked for a guest post about the origin of magic in Eolyn’s world. Rather than writing the story anew, I thought it would be fun to share the legend as it is told by the people of Moisehén.
The mastery of magic in the Kingdom of Moisehén requires many years of study. Most novices start when they are very young. By tradition, one of the first stories these children receive is the legend of Aithne and Caradoc.
Eolyn is no exception. When she chooses the path of magic, her tutor Ghemena reads the story of Aithne and Caradoc from an old and much-loved tome kept safe in her personal library. This story is one of countless legends of Aithne and Caradoc, and forms an integral part of the larger mythological fabric of Moisehén and its surrounding kingdoms.
Novel excerpt on the Origins of Magic, taken from Chapter 5 of Eolyn:
At that time a young man named Caradoc fell in love with Aithne. He learned the arts of Simple Magic and mastered them quickly. Aithne, seeing he understood her, fell in love with him. They consecrated their love under a full spring moon, and the heat of their hearts sparked a fire in the center of their village. The villagers gathered in awe to observe the blaze. With branches of pine they divided the flame so that each family took a piece back to their own home. This is how fire came to our people.
Together Aithne and Caradoc discovered the secrets of Middle Magic. The joy of their love illuminated the world, allowing them to see the stones are not cold, but rather vibrate with the wisdom of the ages. The plants and animals are not silent, but whisper timeless secrets for the well prepared ear. Aithne and Caradoc taught Middle Magic to all those willing to learn it.
At this time the Gods from the deepest and highest places of the world took notice of Aithne and Caradoc, and a division grew among them. Some of the Gods saw great beauty in the initiative of these humans. They recognized how their magic illuminated and improved the lives of the villagers. But other deities felt threatened.
“Are we to let them continue down this path?” they objected. “To become Gods like us?”
Spurred by this division, the Gods sent two messengers to Aithne and Caradoc, each representing a different side of their argument. The first messenger, Thunder, pursued the lovers through the forest and filled their hearts with fear. At last Aithne and Caradoc found refuge in a small cave in the mountains. Thunder raged all over the hills looking for them, but eventually gave up and faded away.
In the silence that followed Aithne and Caradoc realized they were not alone. A dragon-serpent sat in the cave observing them with sharp silver eyes. Like all serpents, Dragon spoke only through silence but Aithne and Caradoc, long accustomed to listening to the animals, adapted to this dialect with ease.
Do not fear, said Dragon, for the Gods who sent me find pleasure in your magic. They offer you the gift of High Magic so you may use it for the prosperity of your people.
“But Thunder told us the Gods are displeased and we can no longer use magic,” Caradoc objected.
The Gods of Thunder are jealous and fearful, responded Dragon. They believe your power threatens their dominion. You have nothing to fear from them. If you choose this path I will show you how to protect yourself from their wrath.
Caradoc hesitated but Aithne stepped forward and asked, “What must we do?”
Dragon instructed Aithne to bring three elements and Caradoc to bring four. She sent Aithne east in her search and Caradoc west. After three days both returned having completed their quest. Dragon helped each of them forge their first staff from these elements. Then she gave them a single command.
Practice magic as you will, but do no harm with this gift.
KARIN RITA GASTREICH lives in Kansas City and Costa Rica. An ecologist by trade, her past times include camping, hiking, music, and flamenco dance. Karin’s first fantasy novel, EOLYN, was released by Hadley Rille Books in 2011. The companion novel, HIGH MAGA, is also available from Hadley Rille Books. Karin’s short stories have appeared in Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, 69 Flavors of Paranoia, and A Visitor to Sandahl. She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency. Follow Karin’s adventures into fantastic worlds, both real and imagined, at Eolyn Chronicles and Heroines of Fantasy, or on Twitter @EolynChronicles.
With experience of 34+ years as a Speech-Language Pathologist, more than 20 years as a stage & film actor and over 20 years as a trained singer with knowledge and insight into the mechanics of the voice and speech, Darla Middlebrook brings a wealth of experience to bear to develop character voices (male, female, mature, extremely elderly, creepy, bright exotic, etc) with an impressive emotional range.
Currently, Darla is one of many voice actors who narrates podcasts for AIRS-LA (an audio internet service for individuals with visual challenges) in addition to narrating audio books. She is able to produce retail quality audio books from her home studio in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan – Canada.