Supernaturals 4: Elemental Supernaturals — Water

~Elemental Supernaturals continued

As discussed previously, the Deva are the supernaturals with the closest ties to witches and orthos, and are an accepted part of society, though often secretive about their status. Deva have their own cultures and religions, though they appear to have evolved somewhat in tandem with humans, so there are similarities and overlaps, especially in terms of witchery. There is a theory of dual evolution from a common ancestral core which cites as evidence the ability of the Deva to interbreed with witches and orthos to produce viable children.

Deva are often tied to the physical manifestations of their element, i.e., Dryads to forests, Naiads and Nereids to water, and all Deva can feel their Element wherever they are.  Of all the Deva, naiads and nereids are probably the closest related to each other.

Water Deva – Naiads and Nereids

Naiads are the basis for the freshwater nymphs of Greek myth. Naiads live in clans, which are matriarchal, ruled by Elders, all women, all witches. Most often, the office of clan elder is hereditary, passed from mother to daughter. Each Elder has her own advisors from within her extended family group. Advisors are both witch and ortho-Naiad, male and female, and are selected by family ballot. The advisors attend council meetings with their Elder and are considered an adjunct to the council itself.

Clans consist of several enclaves and take part of their names from the bodies of water they inhabit. All Naiads inhabiting a body of water belong to the same clan, but not to the same enclave or even the same family.

Naiads don’t have family names, per se; they use a matronymic system, meaning that a child will take their mother’s name as their last name. Therefore, they also differentiate themselves by naming both their clan and enclave; i.e., Jarvi’s full name is Jarvi Vada of the Saginaw Bay Huron Clan. For simplicity, most Naiads prefer to use their clanwater as their surname when mingling in human society.  

As clans can be extensive, Naiads prefer larger lakes or a large series of lakes, inland seas, and the great rivers as habitats, though some enclaves will live by smaller lakes. These enclaves are almost always allied with or a cadet branch of a larger clan. They don’t live entirely in the water. Their homes are constructed so as to be partially submerged, partially above the waterline.

Naiad passive metaskills include the ability an ability to tell another Naiad’s homewater, enhanced stamina, and a greater ability to endure water pressure and temperatures. Naiad active metas include the physical manipulation of their element, including changing the molecular makeup of the water once inhaled to allow them to breathe it for a period of time; the time varies according to the naiad’s innate abilities, of course. Some naiads can even tell what water a Water witch prefers, though this ability is stronger in the males. Naiad witches tend to lose the ability to manipulate water on the molecular level (i.e., they can’t break down water in order to extract oxygen to breathe underwater) for their witchery.

Naiads are physically very human-looking. They are disposed to be broad in the chest to accommodate their expanded lung capacity, which allows them to hold their breath for extended underwater stays. There may be a blue or green sheen to the hair and perhaps the nails, but they are the second most human-looking of the Deva, the Ailur being first.  Naiads, like all the Deva, can interbreed with humans, both witch and ortho, and produce viable children with either witch or naiad characteristics. Unlike the mythology, there are male naiads. They don’t appear in the mythology because the clans are matriarchal, and  the naiads most often encountered were the Elders in power and their advisors, thus giving rise to the myth that male Naiads do not exist.

Naiads do travel from their clanwater for various reasons, including going to college, diplomacy, or just for adventure. If the naiad opts to stay somewhere for a period of time (attending college, for example) they will form a temporary Bind, much as Dryads do. The process is much the same; the naiad will bring a worked bottle of homewater to mix into a small body of water that is easily accessible. A standing body of water is preferred, such as a small pond, as then the bind won’t need to be renewed as often. Again, the naiad will also need to periodically return to their homewater to renew themselves and to retrieve fresh water for the Bind. The length of time between home visits are determined by the naiad’s individual abilities and strengths, and, of course, whether or not the naiad is a witch. A witch will not need to bind as deeply – they can often make do with “water feature”, for example, small desk fountain or an aquarium, where they can combine a portion of their homewater with water from a source native to their location. A naiad – witch or ortho – whose bind fails will suffer a Withering, much as a Dryad will.

This has become rather lengthy, so Nereids will be discussed in a later post. However, as an FYI, note that nereids are the ocean-dwelling water Deva. While some may look similar to naiads, and share an Element, they are not the same species.

~to be continued~

James says:  Our world – PCEarth – is getting crowded.  We are starting to see not just witches (which already have us fascinated with the new things we keep “discovering” about them) but the many supernatural peoples that also populate the world.  We’ve already looked at some historical figures who were witches in PCE, and we could very well see some historical supernatural figures in the not-too-distant future.  (You can take that as a hint of an upcoming blog post if you want….if you want to be right, that is.)

Mickie says:  Nice job Sid!  Now we have to write about some of these supernaturals. Or are we already doing that?   One of the most fun things about this series is incorporating real history and mythology into the world we’ve created.  We’ve really put a lot of thought and work into the details…as you can see.

8/9/2017 → Wednesday Skype & Write

Writing session last night; unfortunately, the heads-down-fingers-on-keyboard meetings make for really boring updates. Perhaps I need to start taking screenshots of the cat visitors we get when writing in order to add a bit of color.

That said, yes, it was heads down and tap-tap-tapping away last night. We are working diligently to meet our self-imposed deadline.

There is one small update to the blogsite. We’ve added to the Links page; Sid added a couple of authors she likes, and a couple of useful sites for writers.

Tune in next week for another (probably short because revising) update!

8/2/2017 → Wednesday Skype & Write — MONTHLY MEETING

Yesterday was our monthly meeting. Sid submitted a timeline update, and the group agreed on a deadline for having the first trilogy completed and ready for pitching. It’s not too far off – yay! We are very, very close now.

We set some individual, smaller, monthly goals as well. We seem to work better when we have stated goals and deadlines for each other.

Finally, we have updated our blogsite with some contact information. There are email addresses as well as a contact form for your use. However, the easiest by far is to use the contact form. So, feel free to drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you!

7/26/2017 → Wednesday Skype & Write

Last night, for the first time in a while, we did an actual writing session. The timer was set, fingers poised over keyboards, and off we went!

Mickie and James both spent the time on reading/editing/critiquing Cursebreaker’s Dance. They should be finished soon, and will pass the book back to Sid for another round of revisions. She’s looking forward to diving into this third (or is it the fourth?) draft of the book. This should be the final draft, the one that will be included in the pitch package.

Sid worked on the August blog, which she sincerely hopes will come together and actually be published in August (meaning within deadline). For August, she’s returned to the supernaturals in PCEarth series.

As previously discussed, we are working on the blog site with an eye to turning it into an actual, interactive website in the future. That said, we’ve made some updates you may wish to check out.

Blog updates:

  • We’ve added some new questions – with answers! – to the FAQ
  • We have updated the Links with a list of where the Perfect Coven can be found on social media
  • There is now a link in the Other Projects section for M. L. James’s other urban fantasy series, Wake The Clans

After reading this update, please poke around the blogsite and let us know what you like, what you don’t, and if there’s anything else you might like to see!

7/19/2017 → Wednesday Skype & Write

Skyping, but writing consisted of note-taking. However, we have made significant progress with plotting the second set of books, the Ortho, Siren, Were Trilogy.

We have plotted out the details of the overarching storyline, and how we will sprinkle those snippets throughout the three books – meaning we’re deciding who shows what in which book; fun, fun, fun!

We also discussed what new characters will be introduced in this trilogy as well as what secondary characters from the first trilogy will take center stage in the second.

Finally, we did some minor character building, mostly for the first and second books, Chloe’s Quest and Siren’s Secret.

We also established the final timelines for Cursebreaker’s Dance and Jasper’s Song; still working on Charlie’s Web. We’ll consolidate those timelines, so we can jump into planning when events will happen in the next trilogy.

For now, James is working on finalizing his read-through of the current version of Cursebreaker’s Dance. Sid is working on the August blog, and an outline for the Shaman, Water, Bard Trilogy synopsis. Mickie is working on getting her current draft of Charlie’s Web ready for edit and critique.

Tune in next week for more updates!

ALCHEMY – A WITCHERY SCIENCE

In medieval Europe and Asia, in the world we know, many scholars and learned men pursued the art of alchemy.  This forerunner of chemistry has been discredited on this Earth, but on PCEarth, that is far from the case.

While all witches are able to use physical items as a focus for their workings, those with the Earth Talent are most likely to do so.  The solid nature of their element makes working with tangible objects a reasonable and easy channel for their witchery.

Before the Pact and its spread to most of the world, many witches felt the need to hide their workings from their Ortho neighbors; this required secrecy that was not easy in most cases and not possible in others.  Earth witches took to working plants and creating potions with their workings embedded within the liquid.  A plant known to cleanse the body would be worked by an Earth witch and become a potion that purified wounds and enhanced healing.  The witchery would be used to bring out the inner properties of the plant and to enhance them, then the worked plant would be changed into a form that would make it useable by anyone, witch or Ortho.

This spread to include all manner of materials.

Before long, Earth witches had developed the science of alchemy.  Careful studies of natural objects and the inherent properties of each became treatises of how to use each in a plethora of potions, powders, unguents, and material transformations.  Each of the elements of earth, air, fire, and water was represented in the alchemical art, and witches of each Talent began to practice it.  However, alchemy remained the especial province of Earth witches, as their Talent has the greatest strength in drawing power from and granting power to materials found in and grown from the earth itself.  Other Talents, dealing as they do with elements that are less solid than Earth, are not as adept at this sort of working.

For a time, alchemy was the science for medical treatments and the improvement of people and things through witchery.  As other sciences grew, however, and became more widely known, alchemy fell out of favor.  While a witch skilled in the art of alchemy could produce a potion to counteract a poison, so could any pharmacist or physician – Ortho or witch – who had learned the medical sciences.

Alchemy could only be practiced by a select few, and the number of those few doing so began to dwindle rapidly.  Before many generations had passed, alchemy was nothing more than a brief aberration in the practice of witchery, no longer a subject of anyone’s concern.

Now, in the 21st century, that is changing.  A new generation of Earth witches is finding promise and potential in alchemy again.  A new witchery practice is being developed.  This new practice is known as Thaumaceuticals; it is a new attempt to embed witchery workings into medicines, allowing healing witches to expand their work beyond the few people they can personal attend.

The inspirations for this field of study come almost purely from ancient alchemical practices.  Other than updated materials and equipment, most of the workings done in thaumaceutical work is identical that what was done by alchemists.

Will this new form of alchemy become a viable and respected part of witchery or will it fade away as it did once before?

 

 

Sid says:   The world of the Perfect Coven grows yet again! I have to confess that alchemy has always fascinated me, from the accounts of John Dee to the mysterious St. Germain to its inclusion in the Harry Potter books. James has dropped a few hints about what’s to come next, and now to know that there will be an alchemy element makes me even more eager to get the first trilogy wrapped and move on to the next books!

 

 

Mickie says:   One of the most fun things about writing is that you can invent stuff and then make it work in your world.  Thaumaceuticals – such a nifty concept.  I love the connection to alchemy.  I enjoy the esoteric mystery of it all.  And again, it gives us another opportunity to incorporate real world history into our story world, as there are some very famous (Isaac Newton) and infamous (Faust) Alchemists whose secrets may have major impact in our timeline!