Worldbuilding Wednesday 7/19/23: From the Spellbook of the Green Witch (Narnia XLIII)


The Lady of the Green Kirtle, IMO, is one of Lewis’s most terrifying creations in the Chronicles… so terrifying she doesn’t even get a proper name! Duplicitous, poisonous, beguiling, only when her power is defied does she show her true nature: she morphs into a giant snake that is more dragon than serpent. Her role as the villain in The Silver Chair is part of Lewis’s experimentation with the dark side of Medieval Romance, a theme that continued into The Last Battle (last in the series, but written after Chair) and The Magician’s Nephew, where the darkness is relieved by laughter at Jadis’s and Uncle Andrew’s expense.

As sorceress as powerful as she surely had some spellbooks and magic items in her closet. Unlike the White Witch who used the physical assaults of cold and stone, her powers are those of the mind: seduction, enslavement, control. Here’s a few of them.


The Green Witch’s Spells and Magic Items

Bathtub of Fragrance: This ornate silver tub has no plumbing fixtures. Instead, the bather is cleansed and refreshed without water in a haze of magical perfume, which adds +2 to their charisma and +1 to their mind control attacks. The effect lasts for 8 hours, less if the bather is exerting themself and sweating heavily.

Enchant Gaze: An adjunct spell cast in addition to any mind control spell, which lets the user “save” the spell mentally until the recipient meets his or her gaze.

Foul Blast: The opposite of the Green Witch’s image of demure prettiness, the Foul Blast is an area effect spell that assaults the senses with a horrible stench and a feeling of being engulfed in sewage, offal, and slime. The blast is invisible, which makes it that much harder to avoid. Those caught in it will struggle not to vomit and feel they are being choked. The Green Witch used this spell as her last resort (fortunately not on Puddleglum, Eustace, and Jill.)

Intellectual Vertigo: Numbs the victim’s mind, so when they try to think about their former lives above ground in the sunlight, they become dizzy, uncomprehending, and give up. The Green Witch’s hypnotizing¬† powder was made from this spell cast on Becalming Dust (see below.)

Lunar Sail: A silk sail the pale green color of a lunar moth’s wing, the witch used this to travel at night, powered by the moon as the wind powers an ordinary canvas sail.

Mental Confinement: Locks the victim inside his or her mind, unable to move or talk, for a certain period. The time depends on the victim’s magic resistance, intelligence and wisdom, and mental fortitude. On ordinary folk, it lasts for a few hours.

Orb of Sunshine: A clear yellow orb that, when stroked, emits a strong yellowish light. The witch used this to convince her victims that it was the Sun, and that the Sun was owned by her and under her control. The orb is as smooth and heavy as a solid globe of glass.  It can also be used to keep undead and other dark creatures at bay.

Ring of A Thousand Tassels: One of the rare magic items owned by the witch that had no evil function. When worn, the ring creates decorative tassels on anything made of fabric, rope, or leather: harnesses, curtains, clothing, etc. Some say it was a courting gift to her from the Tisroc of Calormen.

Syar, the Ring of Armoring: The witch wore this when she went into the upper world; it protects her like a full suit of +2 plated armor. Like physical armor, it can be damaged by attacks from weapons and eventually fail.

The Becalming Dust of Empress Anull√©: When thrown on a fire this powder creates a thick, perfumed green smoke that envelopes those in the vicinity in a benumbed torpor. In this state, they are ready victims for any of the witch’s other spells. The powder came from a distant nation of the world of Narnia, and there is a limited supply.

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