These are the rules that define a standard chess game: It’s played on a board made up of 64 squares in an eight-by-eight grid. There are two sides, each given sixteen playing pieces of six varieties. The varieties of these pieces are:
- Pawns (eight designated to each side),
- Castles (two designated to each side),
- Knights (two designated to each side),
- Bishops (two designated to each side),
- Queens (one designated to each side), and
- Kings (one designated to each side.)
Each variety has its own designated set of rules by which it may move across the board. The object of the game is to capture the King of the opposite side.
Fairy chess refers to variants of this standard. It could be played over more than one board, and/or with some pieces added, and/or the rules for existing pieces modified.
When describing wishcraft, I should begin with the statement of intent. An example could be the ultimate goal, such as “capture the king and end the game at a win.” It could be shorter-term goals such “move that Pawn one square forward. Any goal would suffice, as long as there would be movement across the board, but to even have a goal and movement, there must be structure within which that value would even develop.
So, instead of the statement of intent, I begin with the paradigm…which means that I don’t actually know where to begin. Paradigms are often vast and variegated things with a myriad of details and fiddly little connections.
Above, I designed a round chessboard, just because I like circles. This rounded chessboard is made up of four circles. The outermost circle represents the worlds, or the elements that make up a world: Castles, Knights, Bishops, Queens, Kings. The circle immediately within that represents the Pawns or what I think of as the agents between the elemental forces and the front lines. The front lines are the circle immediately nested within the Pawns’ circle, this is the event horizon, where the movement of the goals are and where translation happens. The innermost circle is like a chrysalis or crucible, where transmutation happens.
When the pieces are in play, of course, everything gets everywhere. While I keep referring to movement, too, the destination is innate even if the wish is aimed at the world rather than my world.
This, I hope, would still be a useful way to illustrate the all-too-abstract wishcrafting process.