1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

Question: Witches customizing their broomsticks

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Jay_Ehm, May 27, 2015.

  1. Jay_Ehm

    Jay_Ehm Scribe

    38
    11
    8
    (If this isn't being posted in the right forum, please let me know. This is the first post I'm making after my introduction thread. I'm posting it here because it's a question about an aspect of my worldbuilding, but it could also fit in the research or art forums.)

    I am currently in the process of writing, drawing, and world-building for a potential comic pitch in which witches feature heavily, in fact many of the main villains and a couple of the main protagonists are witches. I am giving some of the villainous witches a biker-like aesthetic and I want to give them some really souped-up broomsticks to fly on. These magically mutated men and women practically worship the broomsticks they ride. Here's where I'm a bit hung-up: How could I customize a broomstick in the vein of a motorcycle while still having it look recognizably like a broomstick? What kinds of accessories or weapons could I or should I attach to one? The world in question isn't highly realistic, but I'm at least trying to keep things consistent.

    Once I get some suggestions from people who reply to this thread, drawings of these broomsticks will be the first pieces of artwork in the artwork thread I will be posting here!
     
  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    6,302
    4,141
    313
    Are you going for comedy? I would then just lift stuff straight across.

    But if you are going for something more serious, I'd stay away from anything too obviously borrowed. I guess I would start thinking about how a broomstick--which is simply a flying device--could be improved.

    Frickin' lasers.

    OK, sorry. But seriously, why not have some firepower? The stupid thing has two tricks: it flies, and it sweeps. Give it a third.

    I've often wondered about bugs in the teeth. Seriously, if the thing is flying, that puts the witch in weather. So either some protection on the broom (windscreen, or a whole shell) or else leathers on the witch.

    I know I said I wouldn't borrow too directly, but a sidecar just seems cool.

    Does it even have to be a broom? Why not a mop? Ok, I said I was sorry. But ... I dunno ... a tree limb? That doesn't have to be as dumb as it sounds because certain trees have magical associations anyway. I'd stay away from spruce. (see apology, above) At any rate, between flying brooms and flying carpets I think there's room to re-think the whole flying platform concept. Much will depend on whether the broom is going to be simply for transport (like a motorcycle) or is itself a platform for conducting in-air battles (more like a fighter jet).

    Come to think of it, material would be a good candidate for variation. A diamond broom! Or at least brooms painted with different colors (which word itself has biker connotations). Maybe sounds as well? Smells? Vapor trails?

    All in all, I'd say you have room to work here.
     
    StoryTypewriter, Laurence and Jay_Ehm like this.
  3. Snowpoint

    Snowpoint Sage

    270
    60
    28
    Let's be practical - Headlights and handlebars... for safety.

    Seat belts? like if the witch rolls over in the air.
     
    Jay_Ehm likes this.
  4. Jay_Ehm

    Jay_Ehm Scribe

    38
    11
    8
    Some of the situations and characters are definitely comedic, but I would like to have the world they live in not be completely goofy. These witches treat broomsticks as Serious Business.The laser idea is very good, I could probably find a way to build wands into the broomstick. The broomsticks are used way more like motorcycles than fighter jets, but having a combat purpose for them is definitely something I like the idea of. Weather protection was also something I hadn't considered, but I will now that you brought it up. Thanks for your helpful and thought-stirring post, and just because you mentioned the idea, one of my brooms will have a sidecar!
     
  5. MineOwnKing

    MineOwnKing Maester

    621
    176
    43
    Hmm,

    I hate to be a Debby-downer but...

    If they are going to be modern witches, I would think they might want to have modern modes of transportation.

    Take this advice with a grain of salt because I'm in no way a witch-aficionado.

    How about having them fly first class on witch airlines?

    First class, get's you a coupon for your favorite love potion.

    The cheap seats come with a free soul possession.
     
  6. Jay_Ehm

    Jay_Ehm Scribe

    38
    11
    8
    I wouldn't really call this world modern, so to speak, its time period doesn't quite have an earth equivalent. There aren't airplanes in this world anyway, but there are nice battleships out on the seas. Air travel aside from witches and some non-magical people using broomsticks hasn't quite taken off yet. Thank you for posting your thoughts, though, any response to this thread is very much appreciated!
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  7. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

    3,052
    1,019
    163
    Well, when it comes to a more modern idea for broom riding, I can't help but be unoriginal.

    I'd have something very similar to the Imperial Speeder Bikes from Return of the Jedi.


    [​IMG]

    I'm sure everyone knows what they look like but damn.., they're so freakin' cool.



    The only thing I would change is from two forks in the front to one.



    *EDIT*

    I got ninja'd so please disregard this post. I have no good ideas on customizing regular brooms.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
    Jay_Ehm likes this.
  8. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

    3,058
    1,802
    163
    If it's like a motorcycle, then just see what you can transfer over from the motorcycle. Of those things that can't be transfered make an analogue. I mean most modes of transport have fuel sources, engines, storage space, passenger space, and a way to traverse the medium in which the vehicle travels (eg. tires, skids, pointed hulls). Each of those things can be broken down into component parts. This is not even taking into account aesthetics and/or things to enhance comfort and performance (eg. slick paint jobs, soft seats, and spoilers).

    I wish I could be of more help, but this is your world, and it's difficult to give help without knowing practical details. Ideas sprout from other ideas, but if you water the wrong seed, you just end up with something you don't want.
     
  9. valiant12

    valiant12 Sage

    353
    89
    28
    I always wanted to see a witch's broomstick equipped with heat seeking missiles. On a more serious note, some magical upgrades that boost speed and customizing the aesthetics is probably where most witches will start with. What customization will each witch install on her broom depend on her personality- for example a rich snobby witch will replace the mundane parts of her broom with golden or platinum parts.
     
  10. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    6,302
    4,141
    313
    Not just heat seeking missiles. How about missiles that seek something else? Tracks magical energy, or a particular kind of magical energy. Or even tracks a named target. Here I picture Thulsa Doom and his arrow snake. Could put any number of interesting things into saddlebags.

    But also, inspired by Snowpoint: turn signals.

    *chortle*
     
    Snowpoint likes this.
  11. Snowpoint

    Snowpoint Sage

    270
    60
    28
    This might be stupid, but.... What if you have to actually use the broom for sweeping to refuel the broom's "gas"?
     
  12. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

    1,105
    283
    83
    Wow, it's a bit weird seeing you make a point of thanking everyone for their posts JM. You don't have to be so formal around here. =P

    Hm, for me I would suggest not limiting yourself to just brooms. Baba Yaga flew on a mortar and pestle after all. You could also have them be brooms in name only. Depending on how long brooms have been used for flight you could be looking at centuries of development for an entirely different function (flight) than the original one (sweeping) and that's going to lead to entirely different design choices. Hell, a flying broom might end up being completely rubbish for actually sweeping. Hrm, I also want to suggest doing something inspired by how in ye Olde days they supposedly poked a broom bristle into cakes and if it came out clean the cake was done, but I don't know what you could to do with that. Maybe some sort of diagnostic thing?

    Also keep in mind what people look for in transportation, things like function, comfort, safety, aesthetics, and so on.

    (Also, you better make sure you get your brooms figured out before Red attacks the dinner or my giant wasps are going to steal their air superiority right from underneath them. >= 3)
     
  13. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

    1,795
    657
    113
    Hi,

    Fluffy dice?

    Sharks with frickin lasers?!

    Personally I think riding a broomstick would be damned uncomfortable, so how about a seat of some sort for those who ride long distances and maybe stirrups to stop people falling off. How do you carry stuff if you haven't got a back pack? So paniers maybe.

    But also more important would be what do the witches wear while riding them. It's going to be cold - especially as you go higher - so heavy leather jackets, pith helmets, gloves and chains, and of sunglasses. A witch has to look cool you know!

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  14. ChasingSuns

    ChasingSuns Sage

    304
    49
    28
    I too thought of the saddle bags on a motorcycle. There's ways to make that work. I am also a fan of the weaponized idea. Another thought though... in thinking of the relation between the flying properties of brooms and carpets... what if it had something to do with certain enchanted household objects? In Bedknobs and Broomsticks they used the bed kinda like that. And there was also Hocus Pocus, in which there was the use of both a mop and a vacuum cleaner. So yeah... there might be some fun possibilities amongst the house items.
     
  15. Truck nuts. I've seen truck mammaries on a girls truck.
     
  16. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

    1,474
    406
    83
    Originally, witches weren't supposed to ride broomsticks at all. They rode "forked sticks," and I suppose a broom was just an easier way to picture those or show how the witch had hidden it in plain sight. Something to think about.
     
  17. Noldona

    Noldona Scribe

    46
    22
    8
    First, the concept of witches frying brooms came out of a couple actual traditions. First, the bessom (ritual broom), was used to sweep away negative energy in your ritual space, not specifically dirt. Second, the bessom was jumped over during some ceremonies such as handfastings to symbolize overcoming negativity. These facts might help spark some new ideas.

    Second, depending on the tire period the story is set in, take a page from Sabrina the Teenage Witch and upgrade to vacuums. This could lead to easier customization with different motor sizes and such.

    Even if you stick with the regular brooms, depending on how they are powered, you can have different models with different levels of power similar to motorcycles that have different CC engines. Of course, materials the broom is made out of would modify it's weight thus changing its power to weight ratio. So, you could have a sport broom which is made out of lightweight materials with a high powered spell driving it. You could have a chopper style where the handle is stretched out. You could have a bobber style where the bristles of the broom are cut short. Baggers/Touring with saddle bags hanging off the sides/back.

    As far as specific equipment, you can look at adding things like different styles of handle bars (low and straight, ape hangers, etc), windscreens, cup holder, gps/cell phone holder, clock, different dashboard configurations (speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge light, etc), or even some sort of sound system like you find on the 2 wheeled cars (Goldwings).

    On the more magical side of features, different brooms could come with different spells built in. To pull some names from actual motorcycles, you could have the Shadow line which includes an ability to cloak yourself. The Shadow Aero would also include some form of air based attack/ability. The Shadow Spirit could include some form of spirit summoning/binding spell.
     
    Jay_Ehm likes this.
  18. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

    1,795
    657
    113
    Hi Noldona,

    I saw this - "... depending on the tire period ..." And had to ask. What would you suggest for Goodyear?!!!

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  19. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

    1,505
    376
    83
    Different charms for different effects. Shields for the rain. Extra speed. Sheathed in flame to burn people that come within range. Stirrups to keep them steady (like on harry potter's nimbus 2000) killer paint jobs. Streamlined bristles, for better aerodynamics. Summon portals, allows for instantaneous medium or long range travel.

    I imagine they'd have places to go to buy upgrades to their brooms, like an auto parts store.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. Jay_Ehm

    Jay_Ehm Scribe

    38
    11
    8
    As much as I want to make the twists on broomsticks my very own and not use something like Sabrina the Teenage Witch as inspiration, I actually do like the idea of having vacuums as alternatives to broomsticks in one way or another. Witches who use vacuums would probably be seen as taking the easy (and perhaps even wrong) way of making a flying broomstick, however, with witches who own and maintain actual broomsticks gaining more respect from the hardcore broomstick traditionalists. I haven't detailed the ritual and process that entails becoming a witch too much, that'll probably be another thread on its own, but one of the first things you do after the initial ritual is go out and make your own broomstick.
     
Loading...

Share This Page