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Medieval Musings:

Your Newsletter from Paul J Bennett

"Hard to put down, I read until I fell asleep, and then finished it the next morning. ." - Kathy

In this week's Medieval Musings:
  • Magic Circles in Merceria and beyond 
  • Win a free Digital Audiobook
  • When my interest in Military history began
  • Mercerian Tales: The Call of Magic - Reviews
  • Work in Progress Update
  • Author Spotlight & Book Giveaways

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Magic Circles in Merceria and beyond!

Scattered throughout the lands of Merceria and beyond, are magic circles. These structures are built to amplify and enhance the magic that is cast from within their boundaries. Earth Mages use circles of stones, literally stones covered with magic runes that form a rough circle. These are nowhere near as impressive as, say, Stonehenge, instead, they are about five feet high.

For most of the other schools of magic, their circles are usually created on a floor, made of stone and then inlaid with precious metals and gems. These valuable materials are used to host the magic that will empower the circle. The typical construction will consist of two solid loops of stone, one within the other, with magic runes between the two of them. Inside the innermost one is where the casting will take place. Water Mages tend to use magic pools, but still, they must be built to hold the water, and are of a similar construction as the other schools.

A stoneworker is needed to chisel out the stone markings along with a master smith or metal worker who can inlay the gold and/or gems. Once this construction is complete, the circle needs to be empowered, which requires a mage to carry out a special ritual that can take hours. The actual time varies with the strength of the circle.

Once empowered, any mage that has studied the circle can use it, though there are a few restrictions. Mages cannot utilize circles of an opposite school, so a Fire Mage cannot use a magic pool, for example. Also, any mage of a different school will receive less of a boost to their magic. Thus if Aubrey, a Life Mage, uses the circle of stones in the Whitewood, she would gain less of a bonus to her spells that would Albreda, who is an Earth Mage.

In addition to adding power to spells, they have one more important feature: they allow the use of the recall spell. Recall is a type of teleportation, or instant travel, but the destination must always be a known magic circle. More detail on circles, including a description of how they are empowered, will appear in Burden of the Crown.

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When my interest in Military History first began.

Why do I find military history so fascinating? That’s an excellent question. There’s something about the technology of war that I find intriguing. When I was a kid, lots of boys my age were building model cars, but I always favoured tanks, ships and, perhaps most of all, aircraft. Such was my interest that I later joined the Air Force. I should mention that my father had been in the Royal Navy during World War Two, so he may have been an early influencer. He’s also the one that encouraged my hobby, primarily by buying me the model’s that I used to build.

My bedroom had aircraft hanging from the ceiling, with shelves full of ships and tanks. I’d always found the British vehicles the most interesting, I suppose due in part to my heritage, I was born there after all. I can still remember building the Wellington Bomber, and my joy when my father bought me a plastic Lancaster. It was not a normal Lancaster, but the Dam Busters version, with the special rotating bomb mounted underneath. This led me down a whole new avenue of investigation as I strove to learn more and more about these technologies.

I don’t build models anymore, I have other interests to keep me busy, but I still enjoy military history. My focus these days tends to be the medieval and dark age periods of history, but I’ll still occasionally find something of interest concerning the World Wars or Victorian era. Since my military service, I’ve taken a stronger interest in Canadian history, even becoming, at one time, a War of 1812 re-enactor with the 8th Kings regiment. (I still have the tunic that my wife created for it.)

On that topic, if you want to see an interesting war movie with a distinctly Canadian feel, I can heartily recommend Hyena Road. It was written and directed by Paul Gross, who also produced Passchendaele, another great Canadian production.

Mercerian Tales: The Call of Magic
The reviews are in: 4.9 stars on Amazon!

"This is a fascinating tale which I highly recommend!" - Emily

"I did not want the story to end, I was so involved" - Marlys

"You won't be able to put it down and then after you are finished...you want more - Saftyt

"Damn fine adventure! I will be impatiently waiting for the next book." - GB

"If this is the first book in the mercerian series you read, you will be hooked" - Justin

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Work in Progress Update

This week I’ve been delving into the last 1/3 of Burden of the Crown. Although it primarily deals with a conspiracy among the nobles, there are other forces at work and the return of an old foe. This story is shaping up to be focused on Aubrey as we see her spell repertoire expanding, soon eclipsing that of Revi Bloom. Don’t worry, though, Revi’s still around and dealing with his own problems. In a lot of ways, Burden is similar to Servant of the Crown in that a lot of groundwork is established for the books that follow. As many of you know, I like to use things like foreshadowing, so there are some clues as to what might come in the future.

I expect to finish the first draft of Burden of the Crown by the end of next week, give or take a day or two. After that, we’ll have to see. I’m already 2/3rds the way through plotting out the detailed outline for the next Athgar and Natalia story (even though Ashes hasn’t been released yet) and I’m considering another origin story, possibly about Baron Fitzwilliam. It seems the more I write, the more ideas I have for future stories!

The next Frozen Flame story is tentatively entitled Embers, and it will be a full-length novel. After that, it’s on to Defender of the Crown. I’ve already developed numerous subplots that for that book but I may decide to push a few of them to the next story, Fury of the Crown.

Until next time,
Happy Reading!

Author Spotlight!

Check out these featured books that are free, discounted, or new releases. The authors are returning the favour by sharing my books with their readers.

Toric's Dagger: It takes a gang of thieves to catch a gang of thieves. Toric's Dagger is just another religious relic. Until it's stolen.Twins Belwynn and Soren volunteer to lead a team tasked with its retrieval. Drawn into a world of danger and treachery, they must rely on Soren's magical abilities...

Oath Breaker: ***Limited time special - grab it now for only $0.99*** A century since the departure of the Gods, the Three Nations are now united beneath the Tsar. Magic has been outlawed, its power too dangerous to remain unchecked. All Magickers must surrender themselves to the crown...

Cinders & Fae: What really happened after the ball? As the Fae girl chosen to marry the wolf prince, my joining with Trystan will unite the wolves and the Fae Realm against a long-standing enemy. But now my bloodline is in question, our marriage forbidden unless I pull off an impossible feat of magic to prove myself...

Star Venger: Jet Rusco, black market arms dealer and hustler, faces off against the Star Lord: warlord, magician, psychopath. With each new conquest, the Star Lord uses ruthless force to terrorize colonized planets with his fleet of hi-tech warships. He sends bounty hunters after Jet Rusco who has stolen an alien device...

Book Giveaways!

Check out these featured books that are free, discounted, or new releases. The authors are returning the favour by sharing my books with their readers.

- The Frozen Flame Cover reveal
Gamers Corner
- Hanson's Voice
- Who are the Saint's

-Spells of Merceria
-What is the Volstrum
-Who are Therengians
-More Contests

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Happy reading from Paul J Bennett,
Author of Epic Fantasy in the Land of Merceria and beyond!

Medieval Musings: A Paul J Bennett Newsletter

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