Welcome to J.K. Cheney, the author of the Golden City series. Thanks to her for her post. A short story up free at Amazon.com ( https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HZV0PTM ) through September 5.
Bienvenue à J.K. Cheney, l’auteure de la série The Golden City. Merci à elle pour le post ! Une nouvelle est disponible gratuitement sur Amazon.fr jusqu’au 5 Septembre ( https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B01HZV0PTM )
On the Edge of Exposure
One of the conundrums that faces authors who are writing magic in historical settings is determining whether the average person on the street knows about it. When I started working on The Golden City, I decided quickly that I needed to define my magic, so in my world we have natural powers (witchery) and unnatural ones (witchcraft). In addition to that, some creatures are inherently magic, like sereia, selkies, or fairies.
I’m working in Portugal, where the Catholic Church is very important, so I had to consider their potential stance on these issues. Now, the inquisitions were not about witchcraft, but in a world with magic, I suspect that if there had been witches during the various inquisitions, they would have been turned in. (I would rather not argue about the purpose of the inquisitions here, but I do understand they are still very controversial to some people.) I wondered if witches might not find themselves working for the Church instead. So I stuck most of my clerical witches into the Jesuit order, a new order founded about the time of the inquisitions, where they would be closely watched and used.
The Freemasons were growing in power as well, and were very anti-Catholic (so much so that in 1783, the Church forbade members from joining the Freemasons, and those who do are still forbidden to receive communion to this day). I could see a lot of witches ending up in this organization instead of the Church.
But my world ends up being one of compromise. By the time the 20th Century has rolled around, the inquisitions are over. Witches are still a little wary of the Church, but the Portuguese Church, at least, isn’t hunting them. The Jesuits even have a truce of sorts with the Freemasons (which the Lady helps negotiate). It’s a new world, one with more possibilities for those with magic of any sort.
So what does a witch do? Expose themselves to the world?
One of the things that has come out in another piece I’m writing in this setting (a