Enchantments of Camelot

Road of Leaves coverRoad of Water cover2In the Ways of Camelot fantasy series, numerous magical enchantments are mentioned. Magic in this series is something that is crafted, using elements distilled from magical plants and animals. (Those into the Dark Arts will also distill elements from magical beings that have been killed.)

Magic is a skill that can be taught to almost anyone, as long as they have an ear for hearing the rhythmic sounds of the various elements. However, it is not something that is learned easily. Most magicians go through decades of training before they even reach the journeyman level and most do not attain master magician (wizard) status before old age creeps up on them.

Below, is a list of these enchantments, sorted by level of difficulty, including brief quotes from the novel(s) they are mentioned in:

Apprentice Level Enchantments

1. Whisper of Warning– Sets a magical boundary that, when violated, will warn the magician. Advantage is that it is a weak enchantment often unnoticed by other magicians.

Quotes from ROAD OF LEAVES:

He took some dried and pulverized ear of a Bearded Night Hare to recreate the impressive hearing of those extraordinary rabbits. He also took some powdered tongue of Western Tufted Martlet, for that magical bird was well known to whistle in warning whenever an intruder entered its territory. The final element was crushed leaves of a Whispering Elm to give the magic a softer sound. Next, he took out some of the mundane elements he needed to add to the mix: lodestone shavings, powdered glass, and a tad amount of silver dust.

* * *

Thom mixed it all in the wooden bowl and then spat into it numerous times, tuning the magic to himself. A magician always added something of himself when crafting an enchantment, using spit or tears or sweat or even urine. He once read of using blood, but his master had told him blood was a dangerous thing to work with.

He then added water until the mixture reached a soupy consistency. His inner ear picked up the change in sounds as the different elements intermingled. He was crafting an enchantment known as the Whisper of Warning. He listened to his work as it came together, making sure all remained in careful rhythm. Although he had crafted this particular magic often enough, it being one of the few enchantments taught an apprentice, he still wanted to make sure he designed the magic correctly.

When satisfied with the concoction, he dabbed some on his ears and then took the bowl in hand and walked a small circle around his blanket, dribbling the mixture on the grass. He listened to make sure the magic’s rhythm didn’t alter or weaken as he set it in place. Once the circle was completed, it gave off a beat so faint that most magicians wouldn’t even hear it. Should anyone or anything pass through the circle, Thom would awaken.

2. Wizard Light– Provides a sphere of light that can be sent to hover over a distant object. More accomplished magicians can handle multiple lights at the same time, sending them in different directions.

Quotes from ROAD OF WATERS:

He opened his magician’s box and quickly pulled out the vials he needed: powdered Azure Fireflies, powdered Meadow Dragon wings, and dried and crushed Glow Berries.

* * *

Thom snatched vials of powdered Azure Fireflies, powdered Meadow Dragon wings, and dried and crushed Glow Berries. He quickly mixed the elements and added his spit. He formed small balls of the resulting paste, balls that started glowing as he worked them. They were Wizard Lights, which would provide a soft light but no heat. Touch them and your finger might tingle, but they certainly caused no harm.


3. Fire Starter– A spark or small flames, used to light campfires, lamps, or other combustible objects

Quote from ROAD OF LEAVES:

He hastily pulled out his magician’s box and pulled out three elements and then shut and shoved the box back into his knapsack. Not worrying about the waste, he dumped the contents into his palm, mixing it with his other hand. His hand tingled and warmed as the elements mixed into the Fire Starter enchantment. Before it could do more than blister his hand, he flung the powdered mix at the small fire burning around the fallen torch. The fire surged in size, green grass shriveling and then bursting into flames.


4. Teasing of Air– a small windstorm that a magician can guide somewhat, much like an enhanced exhaling of air.

Quote from ROAD OF LEAVES:

If done right, the Teasing of Air would be able to send the smoke at the riders, but Thom was uncertain he remembered the whole enchantment. Fumbling in the dark, he opened his magician’s box and selected the elements by their sound. Having no time to dig a mixing bowl from his pack, he cupped his left hand and poured the elements into it, stirring the powder with his right index finger and adding his spit to attune the magic… Thom touched some of the moist powders to his lips and then threw the rest at the smoke. He made a sweeping motion with his arm and blew toward the charging knights. Surprisingly a wind stirred, sweeping up the smoke and enveloping the knights in its billows.

Quote from ROAD OF WATERS:

The sorcerer crafted a simple Teasing of Air and gave the other craft a push. The burning galley floated down the canal and seemed to linger for a breath, but then the Road of Waters caught it and whipped it away.


Journeyman Level of Enchantments

1. Twist of Air– a whirlwind that the magician can guide. Much stronger than a Teasing of Air.

Quotes from ROAD OF LEAVES:

Francis didn’t look pleased at the idea, but he motioned for Thom to pull out his magician’s box. “Then I’ll need your powders, both magical and mundane, for I have none.”

So Thomas supplied the elements while Francis crafted the enchantment. The monk waited a bit to start, letting evening settle in. When it was about an hour before the nightly winds would stir, he judged it time and began mixing, adding his own spittle to attune the magic to himself. Thom watched and listened, for this was the best way to learn a new enchantment.

Francis’ last step was smearing some of the potion on his lips and hands so that he could direct the brewing breeze. A miniature whirlwind rose from the mixing bowl. The monk directed its shape with his hands and then blew it into motion, sending it up the Road and around the corner.

Quote from ROAD OF WATERS:

Desperate, Thom started mixing a response. The first thing that came to mind was a Twist of Air, an enchantment that he had never tried himself but had learned from Francis. He filled his bowl with the powders of Snow Hummingbird feathers, Saber Leaf Dandelion seeds, and Midnight Petrel wings. To that he added the mundane elements of water and his own spittle to attune the magic to his bidding.

Following the example of Francis, his last step was to smear some of the potion on his lips and hands so that he could guide the brewing breeze. A small whirlwind rose from the mixing bowl, one far smaller than the windstorm that had just struck them. He directed the swirling air with his hands and then blew it into motion, sending it to intercept the fireball that was already racing in his direction.

2. Cloud of Mist– a fog or dewy mist that can be used for concealment

Quote from ROAD OF LEAVES:

He handed over all that he had of four specific powders, curious about the monk’s choice. These were precious elements that he had taken from the sorceress’ stash at Wizard Cruthen’s urging, but he had never worked with any of them. He only knew of their potency and value from his master. Thom was almost tempted to linger and watch how Francis would use such elements for magic. However, he had his own magic to craft.

They were to leave Francis to do his enchantment from here while they moved farther down the canyon. The monk stood over the small pool of water, mixing elements in a bowl and then stirring them into the pool. Soon a mist appeared, slowly swirling over the water and then streaming off to follow the water over a small fall and on down the slope.

3. Fireball– a burning sphere that can be thrown great distances by a magician.

Quote from ROAD OF WATERS:

She (Vivien) stirred together powders of Phoenix tongue, crushed Azure Fireflies, and Crested Black Eagle feathers, along with Spotted Pine oil. She added the mundane elements of oak pollen, black powder, and lamp oil. When she added her spittle, she lifted the mixing bowl close to her face in an almost dainty move, so unlike Thom’s usual loud spitting.

He watched and listened as she mixed, for it was a new enchantment to him though it nagged at his memory somehow. She then coated her dampened hands with a powdering of white sand, almost like a baker coats his hands with flour to keep the dough from sticking to his fingers. It was not until she scooped her hands into the resulting goop and starting forming a glowing ball that he realized what it was. A fireball.

4.  Glowing Man (unnamed in the novel)- an enchantment that coats a person and causes them to glow brightly. Used to highlight a speaker or to intimidate an enemy.

Quote from ROAD OF WATERS:

Six glowing men appeared in the opening. Thom couldn’t recognize them from so far away, but he was still certain at least one of them was Merlin.

Centaurs rushed through the shattered gate, swerving around the shining wizards and galloping after the enemy.

5. Tarn’s Call– Amplifies a voice or sound so that it can be heard from far away.

Quote from ROAD OF WATERS:

Levitanus now concentrated on the journeymen with him. “Vivien, does your magician’s box contain the elements needed to craft a Tarn’s Call?”

She nodded, swinging her knapsack off her shoulders.

“Wait to open the vials until I order it, for I want to limit the revealing of our position to the shortest time possible,” warned Levitanus. “Thomas, get your mixing bowl ready, along with the necessary mundane elements. You are to stir the powders quickly but thoroughly. Pause only long enough for me to add my spittle. The magic must be attuned to me, for I will have to be the one to sound the horn.”

Levitanus held the horn in his left hand as he leaned heavily on the staff in his right. He needed them to be his hands for the mixing.

Vivien quickly retrieved the appropriate elements, handing them to Thom. He mixed them as quickly as he could, adding the mundane elements as directed since this was a new enchantment to him. He was very aware of the noise the elements made.

He held it up for his master to spit into it, then finished the blending. When the mixing was done, Levitanus let his makeshift staff fall and dipped his hand into the watery paste. He smeared the enchantment on his lips and the horn’s end.

The wizard paused a moment to gather his breath and then sounded the centaur horn. Its voice was greatly enhanced, echoing in the inner ear as well. He blew a series of short and long blasts in some code known to the horse-men.

Thom guessed that the clarion call would have been heard by anyone on the island who knew how to listen with their inner ear. The sorcerers would know where to look now.

Master Level of Enchantments

1. Dark Passage– creates an area of total darkness

Quote from ROAD OF LEAVES:

Francis went aside and did his mixing in a wooden bowl. The final brew was a dark, bubbling goo that he carefully set to one side. He then retrieved a rope from his saddlebags and tied it around his waist. When ready, he stated that only the pixies should join him. “This magic doesn’t mask sound and we’ll disappear to ourselves as well as becoming invisible to our enemy. Leave your deer here and prepare your bows in advance.”

Thom became suspicious. “Is this like the dark passage we came through earlier?”

Francis grimaced. “It is, though I could never sustain anything as vast as what the sorceress made.”

2. Eagle’s Spying– a way for a magician to see things far away.

Quote from ROAD OF WATERS:

Thom had never witnessed the creation of an Eagle’s Spying but he knew it was used to see things at a distance. His master had used it to find him a few times when he had been much younger and more prone to scamper off into the wilderness around their cottage.

Cath mixed the magic, attuning it to himself with a drop of blood from a pricked finger. A tiny, purple-glowing sphere rose up from the mixing bowl, like a floating eyeball. It shot away from the galley, heading toward the enemy’s boat. It had a very distinct click to its fast beat and Thom wondered how long it would take before the sorcerers noticed it and reacted. Cath sat down on a crate and just stared at nothing, his vision somehow linked with the enchantment he had just created.

3. Water Fire (unnamed in the novels)- a larger fireball that is capable of burning underwater

Quote from ROAD OF WATERS:

“Thomas, who is on the other boats?” asked Francis in an urgent whisper. “They start enchantments that are beyond anything I have ever seen or heard. What wizards have been hiding on the other boats?”

Thom finally realized what Francis meant. Apparently, Merlin and Levitanus were crafting some great enchantment because he could hear the elements being stirred and blended. He wasn’t certain of all the sounds, but he recognized five of the magical powders by their distinct rhythms and noted at least three others. Thom had never mixed more than three magical elements together. He couldn’t imagine what it took to craft something so complex.

“They make something with fire and water combined. Who are they?” asked Francis again.

Thom dared not reveal too much. “There are two wizards among us, but I’m forbidden to reveal their names.”

The abbot grunted and Thom realized that he had been listening.

Francis raised an eyebrow at Thom’s refusal. “Well, warn the captain that they are about to release something bright and loud. Most likely some kind of fire that can burn underwater.”

4. Hand of Lightning (unnamed in novels)- An enchantment that allows a magician to throw up to five lightning bolts, one from each extended finger.

Quote from ROAD OF WATERS:

Gweir quickly crafted an enchantment unlike any Thom had ever seen or heard. He completed his crafting by plunging his hand into the mixing bowl. When he lifted it up, lightning sparked off each fingertip.

5. Wall of Water– an enchantment that sends water shooting into the sky. More accomplished magicians can make the Wall of Water move across a lake or sea.

Quote from ROAD OF WATERS:

When the Royal Lion sprang around the headland, its hastily patched sail was full of Cath’s magical wind. Before it rose Ector’s Wall of Water, geysering up from the lake and providing the lion’s roar. The boat ran toward Mordred’s galley which sat still in the water, just outside the archway exit.

Overhead, the sky was beginning to darken in the east as sunset arrived. Ector’s water wall stayed ahead of them, its top edge feathering back from the speed at which it moved.

6. White Sun (unnamed in novels)- a bright light that can illuminate a wide area

Quote from ROAD OF WATERS:

A great white light bloomed in the sky high above the hedge wall, a light so bright that it caused shadows. And then another enchantment was released and everyone heard a booming voice.

“Dalrake! I am here and I challenge you now. Come and fight me, you betrayer of our brethren. You call yourself the Great Sorcerer; let us see how great you are. Cease your hiding and slinking from me.”

It was Merlin. He had finally arrived.

7. Rushing Waters (unnamed in novels)- an enchantment that will dam a river or stream and then suddenly release a flood of great force.

Quote from ROAD OF WATERS:

Finally, he heard something- a new rhythm of magic forming. An enchantment was being crafted, but Thomas didn’t recognize it. The fog shredded, wisps caught in a sudden wind. The stiff breeze made Thom swallow nervously, for he remembered the disturbing winds of the Road of Leaves. But he heard nothing wrong with the Road of Waters’ magic.

“Hurry!” ordered Merlin, finally looking back at the others. “Cross the bridge and get up that stairway.”  

He didn’t wait to see if anyone complied, but strode quickly off the bridge and to the wooden stairs that he had indicated. Levitanus gave Thomas a commanding wave and hurried to follow. Vivien lifted her long dress and scurried over the bridge.

Thom chased after them, rushing onto the bridge. As he crossed over the canal, he looked up its length. The wind now blew so hard that his eyes watered. He noticed that the water seemed lower but he could hear a rumble a few blocks away- heard it with both his ears and his inner ear. He slowed as he tried to understand what was happening.

“Keep running!” yelled Francis.

Thom realized that the three monastics were charging past him.

“Run or drown,” shouted Francis, again urging him onward.

Thom ran, although he still didn’t understand what was happening. The four of them made it over the bridge and onto the stairway just as that rumbling turned into a roar. Astonished, Thom looked down the stairway, over the monks’ heads, to see the bridge now gone and a wall of water charging down the canal.”

8. Shield of Power (unnamed in novels)- a  magical dome or covering that protects those under it from physical objects and most types of attacks.

Quote from ROAD OF WATERS:

The great sorcerer crafted an opaque shield around himself and Mordred. Arthur, splayed at his son’s feet, was also inside.



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