Literature / Elcenia
is a series written by Alicorn (author of Luminosity
and Hi to Tsuki to Hoshi no Tama
), and is currently in-progress. It consists of six novels (so far) and several single-chapter 'shorts'.
- Summons opens when two school-age wizards summon half-elf kama Rhysel from her home world, Barashi. This would normally be mostly harmless... except that no one can undo the spell, which means Rhysel is stuck on Elcenia until someone can. Rhysel adjusts to the new planet itself fairly well, but finds herself both experiencing and creating various upheavals, ranging from the personal to the romantic to the magical.
On the bright side, she does suddenly have a lot of time for her research.
- Blood is the story of Talyn, who was a secondary character in Summons. He can read minds, and does. The story starts with him breaking his arm cliff-diving, chronologically a little after the beginning of Summons. Talyn is very interested in how things work; for example, he chose to leave his arm broken longer so that he could see the healing done slowly and learn more about the process.
- Silver is the story of Ehail, who was a tertiary character in Summons. She is a silver shren and the wizard of her house. The story starts at the very end of Summons. Ehail starts dating Gyre, Rhysel's brother.
- Empaths is the story of Ilen, another tertiary character in Summons, a jade shren that takes care of babies and suffers panic attacks over even the mention of the outside world.
- Siaddaki is the story of Mallyn, an abused teenager who comes to Elcenia to seek help.
- Red is the story of Finnah, a shren who lives in the Kep Island Shren House until she moves to Binaaralav Academy to learn kamai.
Elcenia's discussion thread
- Adult Fear: in Silver when the egg-parents of Ehail and Gyre's adoptive children start showing up to claim them.
- All There in the Manual: Two main indices, one for setting and one for characters.
- Alternative Calendar: One for each world. Neither particularly resembles ours.
- Beware of the Nice Ones: Tekaal, polite, cordial, sometimes distant. Don't anger him.
- Blessed with Suck: Hearers, vampires that hear objects talking about themselves. Every object, all the time. And they can't turn it off. Vampiric Inanimate Audition is considered a mental illness because it eventually does make the vampires crazy.
- Bittersweet Ending. Not to all novels, only with Empaths, it ends with Ilen and Hallai breaking up due to her using empathy to manipulate him, Ilen is left alone and still unsure how to take care of himself, but he at least has family and friends now
- Body Surf: Barashin demons.
- Bond Creatures: Wolfriders are magically bonded as infants with sapient wolves.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The magical abilities of Elcenian dragons are linked to their color.
- Cursed with Awesome: Spontaneous kyma, who have less control over their powers.
- The Dark Arts: A subset of kamai is called the "forbidden workings" and includes transferring lifespan from one person to another. This is implied to be one of the least nasty parts of the forbidden workings; the forbidding came after a worldwide war against the abuse of power by kyma.
- Didn't Think This Through: How Summons starts. Korulen and Saasnil co-cast a summoning spell to prove a point to Nemaar... the problem is, co-casting can't be used for reversals. Which means Rhysel's stuck until one of them can reverse it on their own.
- Elemental Powers:
- Rhysel is an elemental kama, which means she can manipulate all four elements.
- Mages on Elcenia get power over one such element after "dying" by that element: for instance, a water-type would drown, but be alive at the end.
- Fantastic Racism: Elcenia seems mostly free of this, with the notable exception of anti-shren sentiment from dragons. Biologically, shrens seem to be the same species as dragons, but dragons and shrens agree that shrens are not dragons. In Barashi, magic is viewed with suspicion.
- Hearers, who are considered insane, despite actually having the power to hear objects; see Blessed with Suck.
- Barashin Dragons are far less kind to humanoids than the Elcenia couterpart.
- The nation of Ryganaav is brutal to all non-humans, as well as everyone with magical abilities.
- Fish out of Water: See Trapped in Another World.
- Flat World: Elcenia is one; planets there are naturally regular polygons (though the moon is round, gray, and dusty...)
- Functional Magic: Several kinds. Barashi has kamai, which is Force Magic fueled by mana, and the gods will sometimes intervene if requested and paid. Elcenia has several, of which the most prominent in the story so far is wizardry, a form of Rule Magic or Ritual Magic that mostly behaves like engineering, and witchcraft, which is alchemy.
- Geometric Magic: Wizardry (see Functional Magic above) uses circle diagrams for some spells. The website uses summoning circles as a design motif.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Rhysel and her siblings are half human, half elf.
- Healing Hands: Lights have the ability to heal anything from grievous wounds to minor headaches with a light they form by cupping their hands, but they cannot heal themselves or other lights. Lights find sunlight to be very pleasing, even nutritious.
- Homosexual Reproduction: Directly stated to be possible via magic, though male couples require a surrogate, and female couples can only have daughters.
- Human Outside, Alien Inside: Not quite human, but vampires resemble pale half-elves externally, but have dramatically different internal anatomy without a discrete circulatory or digestive system.
- Idiot Ball: Talyn,
- I'm Having Soul Pains: In Elcenian dragons not flying causes a longing called esu. After a while esu will manifest as physical pain and steadily grow worse without upper limit. The only way to end esu is flying under their own power.
- Shrens are dragons who can't fly with their natural wings and therefore suffer from esu continuously until they are old enough to shift into a different flying form (which is not affected) They eventually stop caring about most pain as irrelevant; a shren who broke most of her bones wasn't particularly bothered by it.
- Immortality Begins at 20: Not actual immortality, but Elcenian dragons' human forms age ten times slower than actual humans (with the equivalent age for other races), and stops at equivalent age 20. Barashin elves and Barashin halfbloods all stop aging at 25 and stay in that age for a few centuries, then start aging again. Vampires are a straight example of this trope.
- Inconvenient Summons: Rhysel getting teleported while asleep kicks off the plot of Summons.
- Interspecies Adoption: Of shren babies, mostly by Barashin elves, during the events of Silver.
- Interspecies Romance: There hardly seems to be any intra-species romance. As of Chapter 12 of Summons, all romantic involvement has been between people of at least partially different species.
- As of Chapter 13 of Silver only three of the twelve most prominent couples that appeared so far are the same species through and through, with three other couples involving a partial species match with a mixed species partner.
- Word of God is that this is because the writing focuses on interactions between Elcenia and Barashi.
- Empath, the fourth book, is the first one to have a protagonist couple of the same species and planet.
- This is part of the Draconic "culture": before marrying a dragon mate for life, they have several marriages with humanoid species.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Ryganaav: land of sand, camels, religious fundamentalism, and strongly defined gender roles.
- Language Equals Thought: By any real-world standard, shrens are dragons with a disability. The Draconic language, on the other hand, makes it very clear that shrens are not dragons at all. Another concept baked into Draconic is that a shren ceasing to be a shren by any method other than dying is a miracle — which makes it hard for Rhysel to point out that she's not a god.
- Life Energy: The fuel for kamai.
- Loophole Abuse: How Rhysel's summoning is finally broken. Elcenian summoning spells don't work on Elcenian natives, so Tekaal digs up an obscure spell that "resets" Rhysel's homeworld to Elcenia, and the summoning vanishes in a Puff of Logic. She's still on Elcenia, but now she can use sendings (which only work on Elcenian natives) to go back to Barashi any time she wants.
- Mage Tower: An established cultural system on Barashi. A tower means "a kama lives here and is available to provide magical aid". Rhysel recreates her tower on Elcenia, but is slightly disheartened by the fact that on this world, it's just a tall building she lives in.
- Magi Babble: with several different magic systems at once, there's a lot of this.
- Magic A Is Magic A: True within each planet, although not between them. Which is unsurprising, given that they have different laws of physics.
- Mindlink Mates: At least two married couples that we know of, in addition to the entire wolfrider species.
- A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: Hearers go mad from constantly reading the minds of inanimate objects.
- Mythopoeia: Mostly in the background at the present moment, though a goddess does appear.
- One-Word Title: The title of the series as a whole and all the individual books. The series title is also an example of The Place, being the name of the world that the story is set on, at least, initially.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Barashi and Elcenia dragons come in several varieties each. Elcenian dragons are Colour-Coded for Your Convenience, voluntary shapeshifters, and much friendlier to humanoids than the Barashin kind. Both kinds live very long, breathe fire, and fly.
- Our Elves Are Better: Elcenian elves age like humans, only three times slower, while Barashin elves age like humans until they reach adulthood, then stop aging entirely for a millennium or so.
- Our Gods Are Different: Barashi has a singular set of 24 gods with physical forms (which they disguise to resemble whoever is looking at them) and omnipotence in matters of their own world. Their existence is a universally known fact. Elcenia has a number of mutually contradictory religions and no gods stepping forward to settle the issue.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Elcenia's vampires aren't undead in the sense of being created from other creatures, but rather a race that reproduces on its own like any other. They can shapeshift between bats and pale humanoids, and need to drink blood for sustenance. At one time they hunted other creatures for blood, but now they have a religious prohibition against taking blood from the unwilling. Their life spans depend on the lifespan of the creature whose blood they drink. They are harmed by the sun in humanoid form, but not in bat form. They can also use a spell for protection.
- The Place: The title of this series, and also a One-Word Title, as it's the name of the world that the story is set on, at least, initially.
- Plant People: Lights have some elements of this, being able to photosynthesize, and needing more water then others.
- Power Incontinence: Talyn's kamai, and Vampiric Hallucinatory Audition. Also, spontaneous kamai, at first.
- Puberty Superpower: Kamai generally manifests around 12-13, or the developmental equivalent for races other then humans. Spontaneous kamai manifests a little later (around 14-15), and innate kamai manifests earlier.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivered by Tekaal to Rhysel's parents
- Ship Sinking: Invoked by Samia, because she doesn't like the idea of Narax getting together with anyone she knows.
- Standard Time Units: Played straight within each world, and averted between them. The day-night cycles of the two worlds have different lengths, among other things.
- They Call Me Mister Tibbs: Aar Kithen repeatedly declines Rhysel's offer of changing to First-Name Basis and keeps calling her Aaral Camlenn. Once they start dating he agrees to call her Rhysel and be called Tekaal in private.
- Translator Microbes: In the form of a natural dragon ability and various wizard spells and kamai.
- Trapped in Another World: The premise of Summons. An unusual example in that Rhysel is also from a Magical Land.
- Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Mages need to get into a situation where they would otherwise die from their associated element (falling from a height for air mages, burning for fire mages, drowning for water mages, being trapped in a cave-in or landslide for earth mages)before they can access their powers. Not all potential mages choose to go through this for obvious reasons, air mages being the most likely to do it.
- Two of Your Earth Minutes: The characters occasionally mention the need to convert between the two worlds' different timekeeping systems.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: One of the abilities of Elcenian dragons. Can also be done with kamai and, at least for cosmetic changes, wizardry. Vampires can shift between humanoid and bat form. Thudias can shift between their birth form and a miniature dragon form of their dragon parent's colour.
- Wizarding School: The Binaaralav Academy of Wizardry.
- Wrong Context Magic: the use of Barashin magic in Elcenia, and the exploitation of the differences, is a major plot driver.