Ennara and the Fallen Druid
by Angela Myron
Eleven year-old Ennara Gaern has a serious grudge against the dragon on her right hand.
Born with a caul—a mask that foretold magical powers—she was immediately inked with the fiendish, fire-breathing tattoo that forces her to study boring texts, cover her hand continuously, and worst of all, keeps her from visiting the beautiful capital city, Dordonne. But her quiet life changes when one night she is attacked by a shadowy demon.
Tork, an old friend and wizard, is enlisted to help. But when he arrives, he informs Ennara’s parents that she is her world’s only hope of finding the legendary Sword of Gisilfrid, which is needed to destroy the curse that is creating the demons. Ennara doesn’t want to leave on the dangerous quest, but when she learns the curse threatens her world, she reluctantly agrees.
Ennara and the wizard begin a perilous journey to the Sunken City, pitting them against dangerous oceans and pirates intent on claiming Ennara’s magic as their own. With only her friends at her side, including the intelligent, aquatic cat Smoos, Ennara must defeat monsters guarding the sword and servants of the Fallen Druid. When her world is covered in darkness, will she know how to dispel the curse?
A twig snapped. A damp chill surrounded Ennara, picking up goose bumps on her arms. The girl hugged herself and stomped her feet to fend off the cold. Why couldn’t the cow make things easy for her tonight?
She took a tentative step between two wild rosebushes. The sun slowly sank toward the distant hills across Lake Coeur. If she hadn’t stayed so late fishing at the docks with Kithe, she’d be home by now, cow tucked safely in the well-lit barn.
Ennara glanced around the gloomy forest. Long shadows stretched across the pasture between her and the farmhouse. She shivered. Her father, Lir, had warned her to bring Misty back before sunset. She wasn’t afraid of the dark, but she didn’t want to meet one of the monsters stalking around at night that Kithe told her about.
She heard the familiar clang of the cow’s bell and called again, stepping near the sound. Trees blocked her view. She peered between them, trying to catch a glimpse of the exasperating bovine.
The life-filled woods departed as the last rays of light slipped behind the hills, leaving a hollow version of its higher self. The girl shivered a second time and rubbed her arms.
The bell sounded once more. Ennara jumped and spun around. She ran a few steps in the direction of the sound, further into the trees.
Through the approaching dusk, she caught a glimpse of metal. There it was—the cow’s bell and collar hung on the limb of a young cottonwood. How had Misty managed to get it off? Confused, the girl stepped toward the bell.
Behind her, a twig snapped. She froze. She turned to see a tall shadow flitting among the trees. Her heart fluttered as she backed away.
“M … misty?” she whispered.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Like many writers, I have a full life in which I juggle many duties and joys. I love to cook, garden, and play with my twins. As a mother to toddlers, I write whenever I am not helping them navigate their day--which typically means in the early mornings and early afternoons when they sleep, and sometimes when Grandma comes to visit.
I was twenty-two when writing became a passion of mine. I've been doing it in one form or another ever since. But it took me a very long time to follow my heart's desire to tell stories.
For years, I simply journaled. I delved into writing articles for newsletters and grant proposals. I settled into technical writing, often finding myself a one-person writing, editing, design, app development, and publication team. I learned the basics of journalism, and finally, when on maternity leave with my twins, I turned to writing fiction.
I am grateful for every reader I have. Writing can be a solitary pursuit, but it can also be a dialog, a meeting of the minds. I invite you to connect with me:
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Creating Magical Worlds
Thank you for having me at your great website today, Deal Sharing Aunt!
Today I was asked to write about a topic of my choice, so I’m going to talk about one of the influences behind my fantasy stories.
Orson Scott Card, author of many volumes of fantasy and science fiction, helped to shape Ennara and the Fallen Druid in subtle ways. I’ve read many of his books and, frankly, can only hope that someday the style and quality of legendary authors like him, Martin and Rowling will show in my pages.
Card wrote a book called How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy that helped to guide how magic would work in Ennara’s world. He asserted that in a magical world you can’t allow magic to cause anything to happen. There have to be rules and limits to magical use. By giving a structure to how magic works in the world, you open up possibilities for story. Card and many other authors have shown effective use of the limits of magic many times in popular fantasies.
In Rowling’s Harry Potter series, for example, spell use was limited to knowing the exact wording, to the age of the caster, and to the magical persons and beings in Harry’s world. When magic spilled out of its boundaries and into the normal “muggle” world, there were serious consequences.
Similarly, in A Song of Ice and Fire, Martin’s magical world appears to be limited partially to the existence of dragons. In this extremely restricted magical world, most people don’t even believe that magic exists. It’s a part of history that is irrelevant to present-day reality. Except for a few rare individuals.
In Ennara’s world, I limited magical use to mental energy. The more spells a person in Lan uses, the more downtime he or she needs to recover. This is a common limitation of magic in fantasy role-playing games, so I felt it wouldn’t be difficult for my readers to accept. However I shifted some of the details to make this magical world unique. The energy required for spell use—and the spell itself—comes from meditation and knowledge of the world philosophy built around “the Source”. A wizard must focus his mind to regain his powers—he can’t just take a rest and start casting again. And if he’s in the middle of a fight and runs out of energy, he’d better be a quick runner! I built in one work-around for emergencies; an energy elixir that will allow one, maybe two more spells out before the caster can simply do no more. Unfortunately, the elixir doesn’t help Ennara and her friends very much!
Ennara is unique in her world. Magic is highly regulated. Not many people are able to perform magic—it is passed down in families. All of magical families are connected to the Druidic Council in Icelan, the regulating body of magic users. Ennara doesn’t have magic in her family, but her birth carries a rare sign that foretells her magical ability. As a newborn, she’s immediately tattooed to warn others she’s a magic user, but her parents bribe the midwife to not report the birth to the royal house in Dordonne.
Tork, an old friend of the family and a wizard connected to the Council, maintains the girl’s secret so that she can be raised at home. The family remembers the story of the last caul child born in Estlan, to a family in Dordonne. Word spread quickly of the other child’s birth and the city celebrated the birth of a hero. Amid the festivities, the baby was kidnapped and never seen again. Rumors alleged that King Gisilfrid, born miraculously to a barren queen, was that child. The King then went on to defeat the sorcerer Ardewynn, keeping the tale of the lost caul child in the local taverns for centuries.
And so, Ennara’s world of magic is one of limits. Ennara is unique in that world, which sets her up for conflict, demanding personal growth, and adventure. If I’m lucky, I did half as well as legendary fantasy authors like Card, Martin and Rowling did before me.
Angela will be awarding to a randomly drawn commenter during each week on the tour, a wall calendar print from http://www.cafepress.com/ennaraswag (Items can be exchanged for other equal or lesser value items from Ennara Swag on Cafepress.), and will award a t-shirt from http://www.cafepress.com/ennaraswag to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US ONLY).
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