Felicia, Sorceress of Katara is a comedic furry fantasy series spanning a number of print comics, short novels, and webcomics by Chuck Melville. They center around the titular sorceress, who uses both white and black magic in defiance of the Magi council and the forces of evil.
Felicia was originally a minor character in the print comic Champion of Katara, later re-posted and continued online, but she proved to be rather popular in comparison and went on to star in the graphic novel Melari's Wish and a number of novellas. Most of the books and comics are currently out of print but they can be purchased second-hand, and at least one story, Felicia and the Wrath of the Elder Glops is in e-book format.
A short story intended as a preview for an upcoming full-length novel "The Magi Decree" was published in the anthology What Happens Next.
The novel Felicia and the Night of the Basquot was published in 2017.
Unfortunately, Melville died on August 20th, 2022 after a lengthy battle with colon cancer. Leaving another novel, the current Felicia webcomic, and Champion of Katara unfinished. However Comicfury hosts many of his comics including the distant prequel Seeker.
Includes Examples of:
- Anachronic Order:
- Felicia's stories are not published in anything resembling chronological order. The chronologically earliest story is Night of the Basquot (published 2017) while Champion of Katara is chronologically the latest and started in 1986.
- Champion of Katara itself starts with an Action Prologue set during the Champion's final battle with the Murk after Felicia's apparent death and then rewinds time to his arrival in Katara.
- Anti-Magical Faction: The Lep'kruft, or rabbits, are religiously opposed to magic on account of losing their homeland in a magical catastrophe. Flagstaff being an outcast among his species due to his unusual fur color and talent for magic.
- The Apprentice:
- In the webcomic "The Sorceress' Apprentice" Felicia has two apprentices at once. A teenage feline who's established when the comic starts and a young puppy whom she takes on during the story.
- Another apprentice of hers, named Merryweather, is introduced in The Message.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Count cla di Howler killed Felicia's family and seized their lands after accusing her father of worshiping the Murk. After she flees to Katara he periodically attempts to kill her again until his death of old age, his descendants have their own schemes but largely leave her alone, leaving her to continue the feud.
- Bag of Holding:
- In one novelette Felicia keeps a small library worth of books, a bathtub, and the water in her purse.
- In Night of the Basquot she stores her furniture in a thimble before moving into her tower.
- Bigger on the Inside: Felicia used some extradimensional space spells on her tower to add several rooms too large to fit within its walls.
- Blank White Eyes: Felicia's apprentice Merryweather has solid white eyes, in contrast to most other characters who are drawn with pupils. Possibly as a homage to Little Orphan Annie.
- Blob Monster: An old Ra Kunan wizard bound a lesser demon to a fruit gelatin dessert to make a gelatinous guardian monster.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: While fighting a mime's invisible box, Felicia comes across the fourth wall and addresses the readers.
- Brotherhood of Funny Hats: The Cult of the Rubber Nose is a secret society of clowns who take their work to religious extents, and are rumored to use their buffoonish arts for assassinations. Though in the novella of their name they turn out to be framed and the only person they actually kill is the one who tried to frame them.
- The Chessmaster: Felicia has her moments, in the "Sorceress' Apprentice" she uses her apprentices and a glassblower she had a fling with to ferret out a slave-trading sect of the Black Flame, without their knowledge.
- Classical Tongue: Old Kataran, Old Ra Kunan, etc. Often used for magic as the old tomes were written when they were commonly spoken.
- Clown Car: The Cult of the Rubber Nose manages to do a medieval version, with several clowns hiding inside a horse costume.
- Court Mage: Felicia's adoptive brother Flagstaff is employed by the king of Katara, while she prefers to freelance.
- Crystal Ball: Felicia's preferred means of scrying and divination is crystal balls, the comic Chuck Melville was writing at the time of his death would have covered her obtaining of a crystal ball that could see through time as well as space.
- Cunning Like a Fox: Felicia relies on her vulpine wits at least as much as her immense magical power.
- Dead Artists Are Better: In "The Cult of the Rubber Nose" several artists being featured in the same gallery are unexpectedly murdered by what appear to be clowns, it turns out their patron put out a hit on them so he could sell their mediocre works for higher prices.
- Enemy Mime: Mime assassins are among the enemies faced in "The Cult of the Rubber Nose," whose mimed weapons seem real. Felicia manages to turn their magic against them and traps one in an invisible box.
- Familial Foe: After Count cla di Howler dies of old age Felicia continues her feud with his descendants, while she promises to leave his son Edmund alone on account of their past relationship she resumes scheming against the count's grandchildren and later descendants. Melari's Wish features a Duke cla di Howler who appears to be a couple generations removed from the killer of Felicia's parents and she still plots his downfall.
- Fantastic Drug: Felicia uses Magikdust from the Black Mines of Fungor to replenish her magic. But it has side effects such as a tendency to bring up old memories.
- Five-Finger Discount: Felicia is not above shoplifting in certain circumstances. As when she swipes a dress from a clothesline in an attempt to blend in to Sharilah.
- Forced Transformation: Felicia turned a number of Dogonian assassins into lemon trees for burning down her garden.
- Furry Female Mane: A number of female side characters have long, sometimes differently-colored fur growing from the top of their heads, though Felicia herself does not.
- "Have a Nice Day" Smile: Aln's holy symbol is described as a golden circle with two beady eyes and a wide friendly smile. The Murk uses a frowny face.
- Haunted Castle: Felicia's Mage Tower hosts the ghost of an ancient librarian bound to the place long before she bought it (from a realtor who was very quick to leave). Initially she doesn't notice the ghost, only its effects on her spatial spells, but afterwards they have a fairly congenial relationship.
- Hereditary Curse: The Tailcutter's Curse was laid upon the descendants of a feline warrior who managed to injure the physical manifestation of the Murk, tied to the sword he used. If the sword is in close proximity to his descendants people around them die messily. Felicia is initially dismissive of Lord Frisky's concerns due to the Magi's records indicating that the sword was melted down and the line of descent is extinct. But it turns out only the male line died out and Lady Frisky is a descendant, while the steward has a box of thumbtacks made from the sword's metal.
- Inept Mage: Night of the Basquot makes reference to Felicia during her apprenticeship having a good grasp of magical theory, but barely able to cast the simplest spells with immense effort. Her reluctance to explain her sudden rise in power (magical drugs from a servant of the Murk) keeps her from being accepted by the Magi Council.
- Impoverished Patrician: Lord Frisky, his steward is constantly hocking his (and his guests') possessions in order to pay for his extravagant parties.
- Interrogating the Dead:
- At the start of "The Dreaded Book of Un" Ginger kills a room full of cultists and partially reanimates one to ask him where the book is, after he explains that he doesn't know she doesn't bother to undo the spell and leaves him lying there until Felicia turns up and he agrees to help her track Ginger down.
- In Night of the Basquot Felicia temporarily summons the ghost of her client to ask who murdered him. He repeatedly tells her that he cannot stay while she's asking him questions.
- Interspecies Adoption: After her birth parents were killed Felicia (fox) was adopted by an immortal feline known as The Sorceress, later on joined by a green rabbit named Flagstaff.
- Interspecies Romance: Felicia has a number of liaisons with cats, one with a wolf, another with a rabbit, and even one with a mouse.
- Knowledge Broker: Rodentia is an entire country of them, with news an official form of currency.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: In Melari's Wish Melari hires Felicia to find a wishing ring so she can wish for the child she's been trying to have. Instead, she adopts the child of a young slave who died in childbirth.
- Lethal Chef: Benja Bruin, his attempt at soup could be cut with a knife.
- Ludicrous Gibs: Victims of the Tailcutter's Curse resemble the smears left by a flyswatter, except bigger,
- Magic Knight: Felicia occasionally has reason to don armor and wield a sword, such as in "The Magi Decree" where she becomes a general in the Dogonian army and the Council forbids her from using magic.
- Magical Clown: In the novella "The Cult of the Rubber Nose" the cultists do things like make vicious balloon animals and cram dozens of themselves into a two-person horse costume (cars haven't been invented yet).
- Magical Society: The Order of Light, aka the Unending Circle, aka the Mage's Council. Who don't particularly like Felicia.
- Medieval Stasis: The world has been at a medieval European state of technology for thousands of years, though there was a 2000 year ice age after Aln left. And Felicia occasionally makes reference to how things like indoor plumbing and automobiles haven't been invented yet. It's also stated that the Apes of Bananaland were once rather technologically advanced, before the Cataclysm when agents of the Murk set off one of their nukes.
- Military Mage: In the short story "The Magi Decree" (published in the anthology What Happens Next) Felicia takes a general's commission in the Dogonian army. Though the Magi Council forbids her from using magic except to counter any used by the enemy, and given her history with them it takes a lot to convince them the enemy is using magic.
- Mouse World: Rodentia is quite well-known to other countries, but everything is scaled for creatures less than a foot tall.
- Older Than They Look:
- Because Magi can live for hundreds of years, and Felicia unsubtly changing the subject whenever somebody asks about her age, it's implied that while she appears to be in her twenties Felicia is considerably older than that in most stories.
- The Sorceress, formerly known as the Seeker, Felicia and Flagstaff's adoptive mother, is one of the few surviving Firstborn, a group of immortals charged with protecting and guiding the mortals by Aln thousands of years ago.
- Our Dragons Are Different: They tend to be servants of the Murk, such as Felicia's Magikdust dealer Maramanos. Another one was a noblewoman cursed by a wizard to turn into a dragon at night and ravage her estates.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: Several types of ghost appear; spectres with unfinished business, bound souls, summoned apparitions, in one comic Felicia even transports her party to a plane where the shades of the recent dead gather.
- Pass the Popcorn: Felicia makes popcorn while watching a procession of ghosts pass by, and offers the bag to her stunned companion. Helping to cut the dramatic tension of the scene.Benja watched the eerie procession from his hiding place in the grass, afraid to move or speak, all of the fur on his huge frame standing upright in terror. Even more chilling than the last march of the dead army was the absolute silence that pervaded it. There was no footfall, no rustle of grass as they passed, nor was there any sound from insects or night-birds. Even the wind had fall still. The unnaturalness of the event caused him to tense like a tightly wound clock spring as the bear crouched lower still behind the clump of grass.
He nearly died of fright when he felt a hand suddenly grip his shoulder from behind. He whirled about, eyes huge with terror. A hand held out a small bag to him.
"Popcorn?" asked Felicia. She crinkled the bag, and it sounded like thunder across the plain.
- Physical God: The Murk manifested as a mortal being in order to wreck havoc with the world. When it became clear that the mortals couldn't (or at least wouldn't) defeat him Aln manifested as well, as a mouse. They killed each other and started the 2,000-year ice age.
- Prequel in the Lost Age: Seeker takes place thousands of years before Felicia's stories, during a time when Aln and the Murk both walked the earth.
- The Red Mage: Her fur color aside, Felicia uses Black Magic and White Magic in equal measure, being one of the reasons the exclusively light-using Magic Council distrusts her.
- Religion of Evil: The Order of the Black Flame are a variety of covert groups that worship the Murk, and often engage in ritual sacrifices or slavery. Felicia's father was caught up in a Dogonian purge of the cult, though an actual cultist claims that his sect were trying to turn their practices into an esoteric form of reverence for Aln.
- Seven Deadly Sins: In "Competition and Rivals" Felicia falls under the influence of a set of artifacts that amplify base desires. Starting with Envy and Pride, followed by Greed, Sloth, Wrath, and Lust.
- The Shangri-La: Sharilah, a paradise in a pocket dimension accessed from the peak of an inhospitable mountain range infested with horrific monsters, and populated entirely by animals with snow-colored fur.
- Silver Has Mystic Powers: A silver box can contain cursed items, Felicia often wields a silver blade.
- Single Line of Descent: Subverted in The Tailcutter's Curse, Felicia is dismissive of claims of the Wagajop family curse because the records indicate that line died out years ago. Turns out they only bothered to record the male lineage.
- Size Shifting: Felicia uses a spell to shrink to mouse size sometimes.
- Slave Race: Dogonians were once enslaved by Bananaland as punishment for letting the Murk loose. When they built Dogonia they launched a crusade to end the practice.
- Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Dogonia was founded by escaped slaves and they hunt down slavers mercilessly. Naturally the Cult of the Black Candle engages in the underground slave trade, as do some corrupt Dogonian nobles.
- Sorcerer's Apprentice Plot:
- Ginger from The Dreaded Book of Un stole a bunch of artifacts from her master looking to fast-track her way to power.
- Merryweather in the arc starting with "The Message" is shown to have a few accidents during her training, but nothing worse than aggravating and growing Felicia's bees and it's treated as comic relief.
- Stock Animal Diet: Primates love bananas so much they named their country Bananaland. Rodentians have a thing for cheese, with Felicia once using an ancient recipe for beer made from cheese to renew her subscription to their espionage newsletter. While Felicia's favorite food is implied to be chicken a few times.
- Teens Are Monsters: Ginger, a teenage poodle who seeks out the Dreaded Book of Un (which can destroy the world) in an attempt to become a vampire.
- Thieves' Guild: The raccoon nation of Ra Kuna not only has a thieves' guild, it's practically part of their government. Stealing is even legal within their borders.
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Dreaded Book of Un, an ancient spellbook with spells that could be used to make undead, or unmake the world.
- Trapped in Another World: The premise of Champion of Katara, with the titular Champion getting pulled through a portal from a furry version of the modern world to Katara, along with his car (which crashes) and his cousin.
- Truth Serums: In "The Cult of the Rubber Nose" Felicia uses sodium pentathol on a captured mime, it's enough to make him talk.
- Wizards Live Longer: Magi can live for centuries. Felicia gloats to Count cla di Howler on his deathbed that she will personally outlive his family line.
- World of Funny Animals: Some animals are anthropomorphized, some are not. Cats, dogs (including foxes), raccons, primates, skunks, and mice are anthropomorphic and have their own countries, while rabbits lost their homeland to a magical cataclysm and live scattered throughout other lands. Toads and giant ants largely serve the Murk and serve a similar role to orcs and goblins. Horses, cattle, and most other livestock are not anthropomorphized, as are squirrels and chipmunks.
- You Didn't Ask: In "The Dreaded Book of Un", Felicia says that they need to find the titular book soon, and Norm the bear ranger replies that he knows where it is, but he hadn't heard the title before then.Felicia: Why didn't you tell us before that you knew where the Book of Un was hidden?
Norm: You never said what book it was you was lookin' for, until now."
- Your Mime Makes It Real: In The Cult of the Rubber Nose, Felicia runs into a group of mime assassins who not only use invisible walls to try and stop escapes, but mime things like invisible bows and arrows. She captures one by turning his powers on him and miming a small box around him, then gets him to talk with sodium pentathol.