Atara Tower

Want to know more about thought magic?

You ask the Librarian at Aurora Library's front desk to use the Atara Tower telegem. 

"What's your interest, traveler?" The Librarian's left brow rises with his question.

Caught off-guard by his suspicious tone, you reply, "I'm just curious."

He presses, leaning on the counter. "About the grounds, the lens, or in magic?"

"Yes?" you respond.

A smile covers the Librarian's face, his brown eyes glinting with his laugh. "I have to ask," he says apologetically. "Atarans live there, you see, and don't like to be disturbed for just any tourist."

He reaches under the desk and fiddles around for a moment where you can't see as he continues. "We try to be sure there's at least a real interest." His voice lowers confidentially. "I hear about it otherwise. Don't like to make the atarans unhappy." He hands you a green gem with two levers labeled in gilded writing. "Know how to use it?"

Examining it a moment you ask, "Pull the one labeled Atara Tower to head there, and then pull the other to return?"

"You got it," he says with a genial side nod. "About as straightforward as it gets."

You bow your thanks and flip the lever labeled "Atara Tower."

The world blurs, then fades and you blink. Suddenly, new blurry colors greet your eyes, more muted than before, while a chill gusty wind prickles your arm hairs. The blurred colors resolve and you realize you stand before the arched wooden door of a soaring stone tower. Craning your neck, you see a glass panel leaning out to accommodate a large room at the top. It has a strangely violet look to it. Pocketing the telegem, you strain a bit to pull the tower door's iron ring outward, and enter.

Warmth brushes your face as you quickly work to close the door, lest you let in too much cold. You turn to find a roaring fire to your right, merry flames dancing under a stone arch. Gilded letters reading "PROTECT AND UNITE" decorate the arch. On your left, a small counter sports a hanging sign, which says, "Ring chime for questions." You realize a single gigantic copper tube dangles from the ceiling to the counter's left, and a small padded hammer rests on the counter's top. Another arched door stands ahead with a painted sign above it: "Library."

Tempted to ring the chime just to hear how loud, low, and long it lasts, you consider the Librarian's comment about atarans' distaste for being bothered and decide against it. Instead, you push through the next door to the Library, hoping its elongated creak doesn't disturb the residents, either.

You smell leather, burning oil, and ink. Dim light reveals bookshelves lining rising circular walls. A spiral staircase grants access to rows of landings as its wooden steps twist upward, disappearing into the stone ceiling where a strange violet light shines in. Thin wrought-iron rails guard the steps and landings, dotted with book-strewn desks and misaligned chairs.

Determined to check out that upper room, you begin the long ascent, boots leaving more footprints on the dusty steps; there aren't many. Quite a few steps later, you finally break through the top to find a large, circular, open room walled by floor-to-ceiling outward-slanting glass. Here, daylight and violet light mix, but the panoramic view of the isle is stunning: the shorter, but majestic keep and its city; the farmlands; orchard; pasture; training grounds; cliff-like battlements surrounding the entire isle; and even the large stone bridge connecting the isle to the closest shore - all encircled by calm, blue water with the barest hint of land in the distance.

Looking up, you see the source of the violet light through a glass circle in the ceiling. The tower's famed lens reflects the sun's rays in a fascinating display of human ingenuity that can be seen on the far shores of the lake, reflecting different colors depending on your distance from it. The spiral staircase continues upward, and, ascending, you open a door -  only to discover a biting wind. The door bangs closed in your haste to escape the chill, and you wince, pausing a moment. Hearing no complaints, you decide you can see the lens well enough from here. Besides, you're curious about how magic works.

Excerpt from "Magic and the Mindseer" by Taleth Andryll,
year 1238

“The mindscape, known by some as the realm of the soul, is comprised of - but certainly not limited to - the perceptions, thoughts, and emotions of all sentients. One could consider it a conglomeration of everyone's point of view - yes, even of animals, as they are sentient, too. The spoken word (language, if you will) can clearly affect a sentient's point of view, and therein lies its power. This is where singular magic derives its strength. Interestingly, music can affect the mindscape as well, since it affects sentients' emotions, which is where sirens gain their power.

“Thoughts, however, are far more subtle than words. Thoughts are not like other things in our reality - things that can be seen, felt, heard, smelled, or tasted. Such things affect perceptions from the outside. Thoughts, however, move within the mindscape, being part of it - its very essence.

"Singular magic is like trying to fold a piece of paper through a cloth sack; you must first move the sack itself up against where you think the piece of paper is, then maneuver the sack to affect the paper. Such is the magic of words and why it is so taxing. Thought magic is already inside the sack. Therefore, one can not only 'see' the paper, but also pluck it from its place and form it to one's desire with relative ease.”


Those who use magic

  • Spellcaster - a sentient who can use any form of magic.
  • Druid - a dwarf spellcaster who uses singular magic
  • Enchanter - a human spellcaster who uses singular magic
  • Mage - an elf spellcaster who uses singular magic
  • Witch - a Renn spellcaster who uses singular magic
  • Mindseer - any spellcaster who uses thought magic
  • Sorcerer - a Renn spellcaster who uses thought magic

Magical Terms

  • Singular Magic - magic in which spells are performed by chanting, using word and sound to affect the physical realm.
  • Thought Magic - magic in which spells are performed with one's mind, utilizing the mindscape to affect the physical realm.  
  • Mindscape - some call this the realm of the soul. It is the place where thoughts, perceptions, and emotions exist. Mindseers have discovered how to "enter" this place to effect changes (spells).


While magic truly only uses 4 elements, political equality created the idea of 6 elements. The Renn follow 4-element cannon, while the blessed races follow 6-element cannon. Each of the blessed races (dwarves, elves, and humans) is strongest in 2 elements. These elements are:
  • Fire & Earth - dwarves
  • Heat & Air - elves
  • Water & Light - humans


Thought magic spells are cast using one of three techniques:
  • Visualization - A mindseer pictures what they want to do and where to get existing elements to do it. Most spells use this technique. One could think of it as using your own thoughts to impress your will on the world.
  • Perception - A mindseer changes something by believing it’s different. This technique has limits, due to others’ thoughts and beliefs. This is easier to accomplish with multiple people.
  • Transfer - A mindseer transfers his or her own energy or life force, either to another living being or to power a spell.
Advanced techniques include:
  • Impression - A mindseer impresses his or her will or thoughts on one or more others to strengthen a spell. This can allow a mindseer to create something in the mindscape - often through sensations - and then impress it upon others in order to use their thoughts to help manifest your creation in the real world.” Impression can be used with either the visualization or perception technique.
  • Enhancement - when any sentient links with a mindseer in the mindscape to actively help with Impression. The one who discovered this technique kept it secret, and it has only recently been re-discovered.

Magical Ability

A mindseer's level of magical ability is generally determined by the following four factors:

  • Level of understanding of how the three cultures use and relate to their elements = speed
  • Amount of detail one puts into a spell = accuracy
  • Frequency of use/pushing one's limit = amount one can wield
  • The way one's brain processes information & how to handle it = natural talent
    (Some purists of old researched those with great talent and taught how one should think)

Additional Details

In the interest of not giving spoilers, I will leave this section until after my book has been published awhile. I will likely then rename its heading "Spoilers" and give some additional clarity.
Deciding to take one last look at what else there is to read, you grab the lantern you found on a hook next to a wooden plaque painted with large letters reading "MAGICAL BASICS." You glance at a number of title plaques, making your way down the stairs until you reach the bottom. On the far side, away from the stairs and at the back of the room, you find a title plaque that piques your curiosity: "LUCIAN THEOLOGY." Now what is that?

Do you wish to peruse the shelf, requiring you to place your lantern on the nearby hook, or return to the city?


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© 2019 Jenari Skye