Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A hostile magical practice—the Conus magus charm--excerpt from fantasy novel La Maga

Sofia La Maga from the fantasy and occult fiction novel La Maga

Leonard could now clearly hear his father griping to someone that the “folk-woman” (“Reverend Lady” Professor La Maga, that is) was in for it and that Leonard should be told to join his father in Dr. Bruno’s office on the other side of the pavilion. Dr. Giordano (Danny) Bruno was the dean of the graduate school and chief administrator of the secondary school.
Then, as if beaming with pride, Professor La Maga announced: “Mister Leonard de Lux, Junior. Can you explain to the class the origin of the term the ‘Conus magus maneuver’?”
As if awestruck, Leonard uttered, “Yes.”  He had spent the summer studying its legend and swimming in fantasies about how he had discovered its lost key.
 “Go ahead, then, Leonard. Please tell us,” the professor coached.
“In common parlance, the term ‘Conus magus maneuver’ means that a sorcerer or mage has pacified a foe, but the meaning, mostly among  sorcerers, is that the sorcerer has paralyzed his opponent—that the opponent is too mystified to act,” Leonard began.
“It’s an insult,” the professor announced to the class, “mostly uttered by ‘sore winners.’
Continue,” Professor La Maga requested.
“It’s a figure of speech,” Leonard said, “about a hostile magical practice—the Conus magus charm—which involves striking and then absorbing energy from an opponent.”
“And when is this hostile practice typically used?” questioned Professor La Maga.
“All the time, but no one ever admits it,” Leonard responded.
 “Indeed, it’s rampant even among Commons in the Outer Plane,” the professor confirmed. “Go on, Mr. Junior de Lux. We’re waiting to hear about the legend.”
“The term ‘Conus magus charm’ refers to the legendary charm of the same name, which is much more intense than the charm used today,” Leonard said. “According to legend, the original charm was discovered by a sorcerer named Mare Maré who lived around 250 BCE. He was a Melanesian sorcerer who was very familiar with venomous cone snails of the South Pacific, particularly the snail that millennia later would be christened ‘Conus magus’ by Outer Plane marine biologists,” Leonard explained.
 “He was a sea-charmer,” Professor La Maga interjected, adding that sea-charming was how Mare Maré “managed to cross great expanses of ocean long before the invention of luxury cruise liners. The name Mare Maré means ‘Nightmare of the Dark Sea.’”
The professor magically materialized the tapered shell of a cone snail. Grasping it between her thumb and forefinger, she held it out so all could see how harmless it looked: white with brown and tawny bands and dapples. Red, needle-like claws jutted out of the shell’s opening.

 “But this is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg, isn’t it, Mister de Lux, Junior,” she said and lobbed the deadly creature into her audience. Students ducked and screeched, but the snail vanished in midair. 

Excerpt from Chapter 1 The Conus Magus Maneuver from La Maga A Story about Sorcerers and Magi. Available at amazon.com

La Maga fantasy and occult fiction