Earlier this year I joined Magical Fantasy Books to not only promote my work but to help other writers that share a love of magic.
Today, I’m introducing to you another member of the group, T.C. Southwell, author of the Queen’s Blade series. She has graciously provided a guest post on the how familiars work in her fantasy setting.
Familiars’ Relationship with Humans in The Queen’s Blade
James, thank you for this opportunity to share one of my favourite topics with you.
The relationship between humans and animals in The Queen’s Blade fantasy series is quite complex, and sometimes, it seems, can be a little confusing. Every person is born with a predilection to resemble a certain beast, depending on their character, and their familiar also moulds it, to a certain extent. Children bond with a familiar from the age of five or six, but it can happen as late as the early twenties. Finding a familiar depends on the child’s exposure to the beasts he or she has an affinity to. Generally, people who would bond with fish end up alone if they don’t spend time in the sea or a lake. People, however, are also drawn to those environments where their familiars are likely to dwell.
A familiar lives as long as its human companion, even if it’s a short-lived species, such as a butterfly. In this case, it will die when its companion does, but, if it’s a long-lived species and its human companion dies prematurely, the familiar will outlive him or her, and retain its uncanny intelligence. Animals will shun a human who has no love to give them, or who has an unpleasant personality. A human companion is able to communicate with his or her familiar through thoughts and images, give commands to it and receive information from it.
The only magical familiars are radiant dragons, which are also the only ones who are able to communicate their thoughts as words. While in other cases, the link to a human companion raises the intelligence of the familiar, the reverse is true of radiant dragons, which increase their companions’ intelligence and precognizance.
Domestic familiars will spend more time with their companions, due to their lack of fear of people, while shy wild familiars usually live in the wilderness. People bonded to wild familiars will also tend to live in rural areas and forest villages. Certain wild avian familiars will accompany their companions everywhere, although not into crowded places like alehouses. Even wild familiars that are not so fearful of people will generally stay outside if their companion goes into a crowded place. Dogs are the only familiar that will remain at their companion’s side constantly, and are also the commonest familiar. While horses, sheep, goats, pigs and cattle would also do this, they’re not usually welcome in houses and taprooms. Domestic familiars are commoner than wild ones.
If you enjoyed this post, I’d be honoured if you’d read Book 1 in the series, The Queen’s Blade, which is permanently free on Smashwords.