The Warlock Diaries, Part 1: In Which the Party’s Attacks Are Not Very Effective

For those of you who don’t want to pick up a copy of The Warlock Diaries, but still want to follow along with my recaps, you can read the first 20-or-so pages of Part 1 here. Also, I apologize for not having scans up, but I don’t have a scanner on hand, and I’m not trudging through the snow halfway across town to the university library just to make scans. If there are specific things you want to see from the book, please comment, and I’ll put everything in a nice Warlock Diaries image post.

I’m also going to be testing out a new format for my recaps, since I might be using it for the last couple of Avalon books and most entries on my non-Avalon blog. So don’t get weirded out.

Lovely, super-long recap after the break.

Dramatis Personae (or, The Party for Noobs)
Each issue of The Warlock Diaries starts with this handy-dandy character sheet that explains the party members abilities, character class, and other stuff. Quick run-through, because I don’t want to recap this again:

  • Emily is the healer mage, she’s equipped with a Rainbow Jewel (which for some reason looks like her Rainbow Jewel +1, instead of the upgraded one she just obtained), and she’s tuned to water. Her abilities are healing, mind control, being bonded to all animals, and aura sight.
  • Ozzie is equipped with a Ferret Stone (which looks like a ball of fluff — not at all how I imagined it), and is tuned to air. His only ability is amplifying sound. Wow, that’s a sucktastic power.
  • Adriane, the warrior mage, is equipped with a Wolf Stone (which looks like four circular jewels arranged to look like a wolf paw — again not how I imagined it), and is tuned to earth. Her abilities are enhanced reflexes and strength, and world walking. Dreamer, her bonded animal, can take mist form and track magic.
  • Kara, the blazing star mage, is equipped with a Unicorn Jewel, and is tuned to fire. Her abilities are magic amplification (symbolized by the Sunstone from Jewel Riders) and … power shopping? Wait, shopping is a magic power? Anyway, Lyra, her bonded animal, is an empath and can fly.

Section 1: Ozzie Recaps the Series So Far for Newcomers
The story starts with Ozzie hanging out at the Ravenswood library, explaining the general premise of the Avalon series. Basically, Ozzie is an elf in a ferret’s body sent by the Fairimentals to help three teenage girls on a quest to find Avalon. The party needs to find the correct portal sequence in order to reach Avalon, but they can’t figure out the sequence unless they obtain a more complete map of the Magic Web. Of course, the girls have bigger things on their mind: middle school.

Section 2: Great, the School Gets Attacked … Again
This is where the nifty online preview starts, if you want to take a peek at that.

The party is advertising the latest Ravenswood fundraiser: the Adopt-a-Beast Dance. I guess attendees donate money to “adopt” the animals, and proceeds go to food, medicine, and supplies.

The Catty Girl Posse congratulates Kara for organizing the fundraiser, which I guess is in character for them at this point in the series because they started that grassroots campaign to keep Ravenswood open in Ghost Wolf. However, the Catty Girls have something more important on their minds: the hot new exchange student. Kara, who usually knows everything about everything going down at Stonehill Junior High, is surprised that she doesn’t know about the new exchange student.

But there’s no time to worry about that, because the coach (?) runs out of the gym! Apparently a “monster from Ravenswood” is trashing up the place. But that’s okay, because Kara, Adriane, and Emily are main characters Ravenswood tour guides and can totally handle it.

So the girls enter the gym, and find … a giant wolf-thing! Emily casts Aura Sight, but she can’t read the monster’s aura. Adriane summons Dreamer, and the two attack the monster. Unfortunately, Create Lasso and Dreamer’s attacks aren’t very effective. So Kara casts Magic Missile, but that’s not very effective, either.

And that’s when a mysterious boy enters the gym and scolds the monster … which promptly turns back into a cute little critter and jumps onto the boy’s shoulders. The boy introduces himself as Donovan, and promises the party that he won’t tell the rest of the student body about their use of magic.

Once outside, the Catty Girls swoon over Donovan and his cute pet. Kara also thinks that Donovan is hella cute, which is why she thinks Donovan isn’t a bad guy.

Section 3: Suspicious Happenings
Kara may have been a little hasty in concluding that Donovan is a good guy. Sometime after the incident in the gym, Donovan visits his locker. Something in his backpack decides that this is a good opportunity to get excited about finding the party….

Section 4: A Recycled Scene
So, remember way back when I recapped “Dragonfly Wrangling 101”? Well, the same scenario shows up again here.

Kara and one of the Catty Girls are chatting about Donovan in French class. Suddenly, Goldie appears and tells Kara that monsters have arrived at Ravenswood! The French teacher hears all this … but only tells them to repeat the entire conversation in French. Wow, humans are stupid in this book….

Section 5: Random Battle and Exposition Time!
The entire party manages to return to Ravenswood (I presume sometime after school), where Tweek and Ozzie tell them that rock monsters have somehow breached the Protection from Evil dreamcatcher. The rock monsters then approach the party, so they fire an Improved Magic Missile … but it’s not very effective. (See a pattern here?) When that doesn’t work, Ozzie steps up and yells at the rock monsters … and they stop!

But it turns out that Ozzie wasn’t responsible for the rock monsters stopping. Nope, it was Donovan, who uses a magic sphere to absorb the creatures’ magic and destroy them.

After the battle, Tweek examines the monsters’ bodies and discovers that they were golems powered by a type of magic that’s the exact opposite of mage magic, which probably explains why the party’s attacks had no effect on them. Kara then introduces Donovan to the rest of the party. After some questions about how he’s able to cast spells, Donovan reveals that he’s a warlock. Apparently this is a big deal, because warlocks were a race of magic-using humanoids once thought to be extinct.

Donovan claims that he arrived at Ravenswood very early in the morning. He was very impressed by the Protection from Evil dreamcatcher, since he’s never seen one before. Tweek explains how the dreamcatcher works: it keeps out any creature who wants to harm Ravenswood. Donovan, of course, doesn’t want to harm Ravenswood, so that’s how he got in. It also explains how the golems managed to enter Ravenswood: Donovan’s father sent them to retrieve Donovan, not to harm Ravenswood.

However, that thing in Donovan’s backpack may want to harm the party, because it tries to steal Emily’s Rainbow Jewel. Luckily, its attempt fails, because it falls on top of Ozzie. Donovan reveals that the thing in his backpack is Crumble, a minion who has served his family for over 2000 years. The cute thing that previously attacked the party is Frizzle, Donovan’s personal minion. Minions are the warlock equivalent of bonded animals — warlocks use them to produce magic.

Donovan then reveals his purpose for coming to Ravenswood: he wants to study mage magic with the party. The warlocks have sealed their realm off from the Magic Web long ago, and their realm is now running out of magic. Warlocks are a very xenophobic race; they don’t want to work with others. Donovan thinks differently, and wants mages and warlocks to team up.

Adriane isn’t very open to the idea of having Donovan join the party, since a) he used magic at school, and b) she doesn’t want more monsters to arrive and trash Ravenswood. But Donovan tells the party that he can help them with their quest to find Avalon, since he possess a warlock map of the Magic Web. His map contains sections that aren’t in the party’s map, so theoretically the party can combine their map with Donovan’s and obtain a more complete map.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t work in spectacular fashion. It turns out that warlock magic is the exact opposite of mage magic, so their spells and magitech repel one another’s. Emily tests this out by casting Aura Sight on Donovan … but the spell bounces right back at her.

Donovan decides to work with the party so they can find a way to safely combine their maps and find Avalon. The party thinks this is a good idea … as long as someone keeps an eye on Crumble, because he’s obviously suspicious.

Section 6: Girly Drama Stuff, Ugh
The next day at school, the Catty Girls try to weasel some information out of Donovan about where he comes from. Of course, Donovan is purposefully vague. Kara then pulls Donovan aside and gives him a guide to surviving middle school … which is just instructions on asking her out to the Adopt-a-Beast Dance. So of course Donovan is very confused when he reads the book out loud, and Kara says, “Yes, I’m totally going with you to the dance!”

Section 7: Obviously Suspicious New Character Is Suspicious
Meanwhile, at Ravenswood, Crumble and Frizzle are making some sort of potion. Crumble is really pissed that he’s been Donovan’s family’s minion for over 2000 years, so he wants to get some power of his own. And by power, I mean “minions”, and by “minions”, I mean “the Ravenswood refugees”. So Crumble uses a tiny dose of his new potion on a pegasus … but it’s not very effective. He gets so pissed off that he throws the potion vial … and then is glad to see that the potion really did work! Crumble now has a pegasus minion, who he immediately orders to make him a sandwich. I’m not sure how a flying horse can make a sandwich, but whatever….

Section 8: Warlock Magic Tutorial
Sometime after school, Donovan decides to give the party a primer on warlock magic. Warlock magic is a combination of alchemy and spellcasting, powered by minions. So, say you want to make a tiny golem, like what Donovan’s going to do right now. A warlock requires some raw materials (rocks, in this case) and some magic, provided by his minions. And in order to get that magic from his minions, a warlock uses an object (Donovan uses that magic sphere of his) to order his minions to do his bidding.

Now, the whole ordering animals to use magic thing really pisses off the party, since they think Donovan has enslaved Frizzle and Crumble for their magic. Donovan’s all like, “What? No way, Frizzle loves being my minion! And besides, I can take magic from other creatures, too.” So he orders his tiny golem to take magic from one of the Ravenswood refugees … who flat-out refuses. This confuses Donovan.

So now the party explains how mage magic works: mages share their magic with animals instead of taking it from them. It’s all a process of feeling the magic and going with the flow. Of course, Crumble thinks the mage method is a bunch of hippie-dippie bullshit.

Donovan is skeptical of the mage method, but he decides to give it a shot. He holds Kara’s hands … and suddenly his golem sprouts a tuxedo and top hat and starts dancing! Once Donovan realizes this, the spell is broken. Donovan wants to try again … but things blow up instead. He’s still interested in bonding with an animal and trying out mage magic, though. Unfortunately, Emily can’t find an animal whose aura matches Donovan’s, so he’s shit out of luck there. (Though quick question: why is Emily able to see Donovan’s aura now?)

And while all this is going on, Crumble is busy scheming how to make all the Ravenswood refugees his minions.

Section 9: Another Random Battle!
Suddenly, the dragonflies show up and tell the party that more monsters have entered Ravenswood! This time, it’s a bulwoggle. The girls fire an Improved Magic Missile, but it’s not very effective. Donovan casts a Magic Missile of his own, but the bulwoggle just absorbs it. The entire party then casts Improved Magic Missile, but even that’s not very effective!

The bulwoggle reveals that he wants the warlock map. And then the party is surrounded by even more bulwoggles….

Supplemental Materials
There’s some pictures of the main party members (Kara, Adriane, Emily, Ozzie, and Tweek), and some nifty background on magic jewels and the exact workings of mage and warlock magic. First, the book’s section on magic jewels:

Magic jewels are formed from concentrations of wild magic. The jewels focus magic and change as the mages’ powers evolve. Each jewel is totally unique and its powers can only be fully used by the mage it’s tuned to. Adriane and Emily found their jewels in the Ravenswood Preserve. Kara’s is a transformed unicorn horn.

The exact workings of mage magic:

  • Bonded animals work with mages, creating renewable magic that becomes more powerful as friendship grows
  • Jewels amplify and focus magic created with animals
  • Uses elemental magic based on the five elements of nature: earth, wind, air, water, and time
  • Improvisation, flexibility, and adaptability are key — each mage has a unique approach
  • Emotions power and direct mage magic

And finally, the exact workings of warlock magic:

  • Powerful spells bind minions who must obey their warlock masters
  • Spells, charms, and potions store magic
  • Uses spells based on arcane science handed down through generations
  • Extremely rigid, every warlock practices the same unchanged ancient methods
  • Must be unemotional and scientific

Status Update!
Donovan joins the party! (Donovan comes equipped with a Magic Sphere, and controls two minions: Frizzle and Crumble. His abilities are Magic Missile and Create Golem.)

Next time: Crumble screws up everything.

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2 comments

  1. So this was pretty fun. Some observations:

    1) The constant switching from Junior High School to Middle School and back again irritated me. They’re technically not the same thing.

    2) May 11 fell on a Friday in 2007, 2012, and 2018, so those are the possible years that this series occurs in.

    3) Wait, it’s May? Wasn’t an end-of-year dance mentioned back in…book 9? So did book 10 occur over a weekend or something, and then this is an extra benefit dance that the girls got permission to throw?

    4) Kara’s mom is stated to be a lawyer. Was this ever mentioned in the novels?

    1. 1) Yeah, the name of the girls’ school is wildly inconsistent.

      3) There’s a month-long gap between Heart of Avalon and Dark Mage, which gives the girls plenty of time to hold another benefit dance.

      4) Kara’s mum’s job is mentioned briefly in Spellsinger. It’s also mentioned in the dramatis personae on the official site.

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