Epic Wednesday – The Magic System of the Ruon

Of charms, magic, and textile arts

Can you guys believe it’s July already? It’s like this year is flying by and static all at once!

This week I’ll be looking at the magic system of the Ruon in The Ruon Chronicles. The magic system and the whole world of Airtha-Eyrassa as it stands at the moment really came from this idea that embroidery (at first it was only embroidery) and other textile arts really do contain magic.

Another type of hero

One thing that is very important to me, is that you didn’t have to be in tip top shape or always healthy to be able to make use of this nith (magic). A large part of it is because of my own chronic illnesses (and bad knee), as well as the chronic illnesses of my sister and my best friend.

My friend and I actually spoke about this specifically one day when gushing about various fantasy stories and how we’d like to see heroes who aren’t your traditional weapon-wielding hero/heroine. By this time I had basically the whole of the magic system figured out, but built it out still further along with the Ruon characters that I already had.

Being enamoured with Piecework magazine since I discovered it a few months ago has also helped tremendously in not only building the ins and outs of the magic system, but also the world as a whole.

The Ruon magic system in breakdown (part 1)

Okay, so while the main charms of the Ruon are worked in embroidery, there are also other forms of needlework and weaving that can contain the Ruon nith and can be used in various ways.

The types of mediums used for Ruon nith can be divided up as follows:

  • Embroidery

  • Tapestries

  • Weaving

  • Knitting

  • Crochet

  • Tatting and lacemaking.

Let’s first have a look at embroidered charms.

Embroidery

The embroidered charms of the Ruon can be divided into two main types - healing charms and guarding charms. The healing charms may include such charms as those against pain, fever, and to knit bones, as well as those to ensure safe delivery in difficult pregnancies.

However, some of the guarding charms may also be used for new mothers and babies; usually in conjunction with healing charms. Some of the most potent of the guarding charms are those which guard against the Khalver and weapons. These, however, are seen and used very seldom because they are so difficult to make and take such a large amount of Nith or Talent (this refers specifically to the Ruon talent gifted to an individual by the creator and not just the talent to create needlework) to make.

Most of the knowledge of making these charms were lost in the Great Burning, during which all but a handful of the books of the Ruon were burnt and their knowledge ruined and forgotten. This burning took place before The Ruon Chronicles start. There may be a short story about it in the future...

The hiding cloaks some of the Ruon can make are also counted among the guarding charms because they are mostly used to hide a Ruon from the eyes of those who are not Ruon and specifically those who are the enemy of the Ruon. However, these cloaks are not easy to make, can only be worn by those with Ruon nith, and uses nith while it is being worn, unlike other charms which has all the required nith “built in”, so to speak.

The Nithin have also found a way to make hiding cloaks, although they are not as potent as the Ruon hiding cloaks. The Ruon are still able to see the Nithin even when they wear the cloaks although they are invisible to non-Ruon eyes. The role that the Nithin plays in "weeding out' the Ruon from among those living in Agraver and in some of the Mountain Kingdoms (like Ogjan) is also tackled in The Ruon Chronicles.

Thanks for reading and supporting this newsletter!

Next week Wednesday I’ll have a look at the tapestries of the Ruon, while there will be another flash story this week Sunday.

Until then, stay safe!
Carin