Worldbuilding Wednesday 6/29/22: More Narnian Magic (Narnia XXXIV)

Queen Susan's Horn, by Kurt van der Basch

Queen Susan’s Horn, by Kurt van der Basch

Magic is everywhere in Narnia; yet the characters don’t use it in the way the Harry Potter kids use it, or even how a party in a fantasy RPG would use it. Only in the first book is magic used fluently and for purpose by the main characters, in form of Peter’s sword and shield, Susan’s horn and bow, and Lucy’s healing cordial, all of which were gifts to them from Father Christmas.

In the rest of the series magic, unless used by Aslan or his minions, is a thing with dangerous or sinister connotations. Caspian’s half-dwarf teacher makes it clear he’s bucking the tide by saying even a simple spell, and Lucy gets in trouble in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader when she is tempted by the spells in Coriakin’s magic book and the alluring look the sea-girl shepherdess gives her. The rest of the crew narrowly escapes being turned to gold on Deathwater Island and they are later tormented inside the black cloud of the Isle of Dreams. Even the magic feast on Ramandu’s island seems sinister, until it’s OK’d by Reepicheep. (This is another reason why I dislike that mouse. If the Star’s daughter had been merely average looking, would he have ascribed to her such virtue?) Later, the Green Witch’s magic enchants Rilian and nearly enspells Jill, Eustace and Puddleglum into dull acceptance of the never-ending Underdark. In The Last Battle, even Aslan’s magic is made out to be a fraud, by Shift, Puzzle, Ginger, and Rishda. And let’s not forget Jadis and the most powerful magic of all, The Deplorable Word. (There was no magic in The Horse and His Boy, unless you count the Hermit’s scrying-pool which is more of a plot device to tell the reader what’s going on with the battle.) Anyway, the trajectory is clear, particularly if you take into account Lewis finished The Magician’s Nephew after The Last Battle.

Magic means bad news, unless you’re Aslan. Wizards, witches, and magicians in Narnia are to be avoided and not sat down with for tea.

That said, if you want magic in Narnia, here’s more randomgenned spells.


More Narnian Magic for an RPG

Rejuvenating Green Elixer: An emerald green potion made from the essence of the bark, leaves, and water pools of the Wood between the Worlds. A single sip carries the drinker to that place.

Queen Swanwhite’s Cape: A powerful relic of pre-White Witch Narnia that was forever lost after Jadis came to power. This cape was made from the white down feathers of Narnian seabirds. It granted awe-inspiring beauty to the wearer and the ability to leave a reflection for a year and a day in any pool of water… a reflection that also acted as an extra set of eyes and ears to eavesdrop on everything around it.

Hornpipe of Trumpkin: Makes even the dourest and stodgiest of dwarves get up and dance when played.

The Terrible Dank of the Underdark: Makes a room and anything in it smell mildewed and moldy. The temperature will be lowered and the air feel damp and chilly. Any light in it is shadowed or works at half efficacy. Altogether the spell creates an atmosphere of gloom and despair.

Sallowpad’s Wondrous Physic: A potion invented by the Raven sage to bring stamina to the body and mental fortitude to the mind, enabling the drinker to travel up to three days without food or rest.

Naiad Hood: When thrown over the head the wearer looks like a naiad version of themselves and gives them swimming and diving ability.

Brittle Portal: There are many doors, both permanent and temporary, into Narnia from other worlds. This spell disrupts one of those doors so it works intermittently or none at all.

Poison Bow: An evil being created this weapon, which is an exact likeness of Queen Susan’s bow. But any creature that uses it even once is horribly poisoned as if from snakebite.

King Edmund’s Circlet: This magical crown was lost after the Pevensies left Narnia. It granted the wearer skill and grace in battle and also the skill to negotiate an effective truce.

Golden Almanac Of Queen Lucy: Another lost item. This book detailed everything that happened in Narnia during Queen Lucy’s reign. It doesn’t contain magic, but magic leaves it preserved.

Wooden Fruit: Makes any kind of fruit the recipient eats taste bitter, hard, and woody.

Yoke of The North: A spell developed by the witches who dwell in that area to force others to serve them.

Father Christmas’s Lapdog: This is a special gift given by Father Christmas to those who are in the depths of despair and feeling all alone. The Lapdog is a magic beast with silky, pale gold hair and large brown eyes. It is intelligent, but not a Talking Beast. It gives companionship and comfort to those who need it most and raises their courage and ability to endure.

The Tisroc’s Libram of the Western Mountains: In Tashbaan this jewel-studded book with golden covers and elaborate illustrations lists everything that is to know about this area of the Narnian continent. Unfortunately, 75% of it is either false or distorted. It’s up to the reader to decide. The book is magic in that it won’t open until the reader recites a spell praising Tash, which would be anathema to Narnians.

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