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META: Defining the Wizards
META: Defining the Wizards
I thought it was probably appropriate to put this here, as it is intended to be about the Wizards (the "Harry Potter" fandom faction), before magic is known to exist in Fenspace.

What have the Wizards got that works in Fenspace? Their brooms are
pretty obvious, with an 'enchantment' that lets them have an air
envelope, and keep the air good. Cauldrons for potion making, that
interact with their wands, and make all those wonderful WWW products:


Do they have Polyjuice? I'd be inclined to say "Yes", with the
restriction that is doesn't create or destroy matter, even on a
temporary basis. And, sometimes glitches or quirks in 'amusing' ways,
such as Hermionie Granger's catgirl incident. Note that this would be
an amazingly powerful thing to have.

Do they have Veritaserum? If they do then the effect on various judicial systems could be... interesting.

Having a list of Wizard spells and an idea whether they can or can't be
simulated by wands (or which mark wand?) might be worth while:

and answers as to whether the Wizards have various people who are
biomodded to be functioning werewolves, vampires, veela, half-giants,
centaurs, etc.

A Dark Lord might be very interested in the CGM to make their own Trolls and Giants. Not to mention Dragons...

Space Dragon with a speed drive as a fully organic part of it? And, plasma breath?
Quote:Rob Kelk wrote:

Ace Dreamer Wrote:Maybe the
Wizards got hold of a Catgirling Machine, really early on, and adapted
it to help them create all the 'magical creatures' that they want for
their fandom? Then, found some of those creatures turned out to be a
lot more magical than could be easily explained by handwavium and
biomods?I think I'd prefer the first generation of "magical creatures" to be one-offs, rather than produced by any sort of machine.
There is at the very least a social pressure against biomod-machines,
after all - That's Something The Boskonians Do. It'll take the research
project that Jenga carries out to break that prejudice... and by then
it'll be too late to use machines to produce the first of the magical

"It is the business of the future to be dangerous" - Hawkwind
I am not sure Handwavium can do Polyjuice... you might simulate it with holograms or get a permanent biomod, but I am not sure about temporary transformation.

But lets not forget that the Wizards had a rough time until 2014... I would say the Wizards (both good and "bad") do NOT use any kind of CGM on living beings. To much bad things happened to their children during the war.

But when the Soviets publish their things on "true magic", they will happily dive into the research and experimentation! I am curious if they publish everything they learn... yes, they are Fen... but Wizards don't talk about their secrets. Wink
My idea:
2014. The Wizards faction is in ruins; they are, by almost an order of magnitude, the faction which suffered more losses in the war (only the Belters, never the most united faction, come close), and most of their settlements, including their capital, have been attacked and heavily damaged. The survivors face the peace with a combination of relief, post-traumatic shock, and fear, and face one question: What do we do now? in the normal course of events, they would have retreated to their asteroids, rebuilt, and eventually return, having lost their illusion, which would take a long time to rebuild and doom their faction to the mid tier.
But that course of events was sidetracked when Noah Gordon called a secret conference of a few independent SMOFS and the leaders of  several factions, including the Minister of Magic and Queen Serenity. He revealed a part of the Fenspace Catalog that had been kept secret due to the security issues during the war, a part that would change the Wizards forever: Magic is real.
The danger was not gone, so Noah asked those leaders to keep the data contained for the time being. The Minister of Magic first idea about hidding magic was to blow up in anger and reveal the whole thing, but with all the suffering his (her?) people had gone through , the wizards had reached the height of paranoia. He promised Noah that, while he could not keep magic secret to his faction, the wizards would not reveal the secret until it was time.
As soon as he went back home to Hogsmeade he summoned the entire Wizengamot and ministry in a secret meeting, and for the next six years the wizards began the Mad-Eye Regency. First the Wizengamot, and in the next few weeks as the news were passed, the entire faction in a private referendum, passed the Statute of Secrecy.
The wizards faction retreated to the Belt. The rest of fenspace noticed it, of course, but passed it as the result of the war: The Wizards were licking their wounds. Indeed, they were licking their wounds: They rebuild, and fortified, their cities, trained more Aurors, and rebuilt their faction. They also went back to their Towers and began exploring Magic with a passion. They did not manage to keep the secret fully -rumors appeared form time to time- but no one really paid then much attention, thinking that it was just the usual handwaved "magic" they had used since the beginning.
The Statute was finally lifted in (insert date here: either 2020 or 2023, in the new season).
Just a suggestion - "Cynthia Luckwold" for the Minister of Magic.

Cynthia is an ex-British Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Liberal Party. She was a lecturer in Sociology at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and a long-time Liberal Party local government councillor, believing in "duty of the individual to the community".

Cynthia had as a hobby an interest in mythology, and fantasy literature. She was fascinated by the "Harry Potter" books when they appeared, and dived into Harry Potter fandom. When handwavium appeared on the scene she was one of the more effective organisers of HP-themed conventions, and was senior editor of more than one online HP collaborative fiction site and information archive, for would-be fanfic authors.

She "went up" and discovered herself among disorganised Fen trying to create a magically-inspired society. Against her better judgement she found her political and bureaucratic skills put to use, and somehow she eventually found herself Minister of Magic. Initially as a bit of a joke, then it became all too real. Though several times she's tried to organise people to replace her, each time this has been spotted, and discussions have shown she's the best person for the job.

Cynthia frequently protests that, in canon, the Minister is supposed to be an ineffectual figurehead. So far all this has got her is smug looks, and polite requests that she keeps on doing as good a job as she has so far.

Cynthia in particular didn't want to be a "war leader". If the man, Albreth Durer, hadn't proved to be a Boskone sympathiser (and maybe even financed by them) she might have got her way. As it is, she's doing the job best she can, and hopefully looking around for someone who looks trainable to replace her.
"It is the business of the future to be dangerous" - Hawkwind
@Rakhasa: Three thoughts about your idea...

first, were the Wizards really hurt that much more than the other belters and the ninjas?

second, would Noah give the secret of Magic away early for a section that just have been traumatized and might loose it completely?

third... if they managed to rebuild during their "secret times", would they really go out into the open with their knowledge, or would they just tell the rest of Fenspace "we do magic... no, we will not tell how." ?
The Belters were protected by being so widely distributed.

The ninja have a culture which trains in hard tech weapons, and is definitely into self defence.

The Wizards were mostly clustered in one place, relied on 'magic' for self defence, and have little combat training.

So, if you wanted easy 'recruits', and were the Boskone, who would you pick on?
"It is the business of the future to be dangerous" - Hawkwind
The Belters and Ninja were hurt, too, but since they are not interested in magic, they will have to wait for some other time when someone cares to talk about then Big Grin. In raw numbers, actually, it is likely that the Belters are the ones who suffered more, but since they are so widespread and independent, it took a long time to notice.

First, I have to confess that my idea was based in a wrong assumption, that I have discovered was wrong after reading more closely the posts (the assumption was "Noah told the soviets something about magic before Lulzset revelation"), but still, I'll explain it further because I think some variation of it is necessary.
My idea was formed trying to keep the heart of fenspace ("we are friends and we help each other").  Noah discovered magic and kept it secret due to Boskone danger. Thay is undertandable, even if it can cause problems eventually (it did break relations with the Soviets). But the soviets core is in freedom, equality and socialism. They were upset about "keepimg secrets" not about "magic". The core of the  Wizards (well, duh) is Magic.
It's a very nasty combination of factors for the wizards: They have been attacked and hurt badly, their faction has lost its status, it's likely they have never had the full respect of the more sci-fi factions, and now they discover this. An important political leader of fenspace discovered magic and kept it secret. The soviets made a fuss about it... but then they started their own secrtef magic proyect. (Fnord Dixit: "Very privately, the Ministry of Science authorizes the Amalthea Engineer District and the Ravenholm Engineer District to begin work on the items found in the redacted sections of the Whole Fenspace Catalog."). This is breeding grounds for populism and paranoia.
Yes, they weren't the only ones who suffered like this, but when one thing piles after the other, and it is dealt with the wrong way, it can end very badly. Given the way the break between Stellvia and the Soviets went, "calm", "compromise" and "delicate political touch" weren't exactly at their best in those years. Unlike the soviet point of view ("Capitalist looking for his bottom line: Nasty but we expected it"), in the magical point of view this is a mayor betrayal of trust.
We can deal with it, of course. Full break between the magicals and Stellvia, scandals, political maneuvers to try and keep the magical factions inside the convention... but all that comes way too close to dystopism.
So we can avoid it and use the fact we have been ignoring the wizards, and fit it into the story. Noah did not hide the info for self interest (well, mostly), so he may have been willing to tell a (very) few people, and asked for secrecy (not forever, just for a while) due to the war. The Minister of Magic is of two minds: A) Magic! And you expect us to keep it secret? and B) We are at our weakest and need to rebuild.
Luckily, they have a canonic response that will be understood by most of her people: The Statute of Secrecy. Most of the wizards retreat, and rush to examine the new toys. Yes, part of the Secret will leave the group, but most Fen will simply think they are talking about handwavium "magic", not the real thing.
But this can stand because it is temporary. Real magic is, at last, vindication of all their dreams. They do not want to keep it secret, they want to tell everyone. So they promise Noah some time (say, ten years), until the Lulzsec revelations open the secret before it is time.

This may also explain why only some factions got angry with Noah instead of Stellvia becoming a system wide pariah: Several factions already did know parts of the catalog were redacted, and they had agreed with the reasoning.

Edit: Ninjas, of course, will be lookign if Ninjutsu can be done with magic. But since Noahs' dislike of Ninjas is well known, no one, even then, would expect him to reveal his secrets. On the other hand, ninjas may have been the ones who broke the secret and told Luzlsec... which means they would have kept a copy and started their own research before the secret broke....
That makes sense to me, Rakhasa.

You might also want to think about the ninja as at least two group: cos-playing ninja, and hard core ninja. Assassination was very much a secondary role for the classic ninja, information acquisition (and maybe some sabotage) was what they were really about. Things like deep cover, being hidden in plain sight because "you should be there", and "you've always been there".

If you were a real ninja, or someone prepared to put a lot of effort into using handwavium to become a real ninja, where would be the best place to hide in Fenspace, at least part of the time?

Of course the best ninja are in such deep cover that almost all the time they think they actually are the role they are using... [grin]

Ninja magicians can be one of the truly scary things...
Being able to add real magic to the ninja array of gimmicks would be really popular...

Strangely enough, most of the above isn't about things "Naruto!" derived, or related anime. There have been ninja fans ever since people heard about the idea, and certainly since the early 1980s... ... ng_game%29
"It is the business of the future to be dangerous" - Hawkwind
Correcting one assumption: The VVS had the data because Sora had the data. She had access to a complete, unredacted copy of The Database (not yet called the Whole Fenspace Catalog) for a couple of weeks between the Interdimensional Intrusion Incident and her leaving StellviaCorp to join the VVS. Noah would have been quite happy to sit on the data for decades. The world had just gone through one paradigm shift - the appearance of handwavium - and a second paradigm shift so close to the first one would have been bad for his business. (Whether this is true or not doesn't matter; it's what he believed to be the case.)

As for helping the Wizards rebuild... Hmmmmm... Hmmmmmmmmmm... They aren't friendly with StellviaCorp, but they aren't an antagonistic faction either. Somebody's going to have to convince Noah, and at this point he's still paranoid about Convention-wide security so that "somebody" will have to be a person or group that he already trusts. Can you tell me why Yayoi, Kohran, Jake Hansen, Kelly Harrison, A.C. Peters, Buckaroo, Blackstone, or Katz Schroedinger could get Noah to change his mind? (Keep in mind that only the first two know about the redacted portions of the Catalog although the others may have their suspicions, and Katz is even more paranoid than Noah.)
Rob Kelk
"Governments have no right to question the loyalty of those who oppose
them. Adversaries remain citizens of the same state, common subjects of
the same sovereign, servants of the same law."

- Michael Ignatieff, addressing Stanford University in 2012
It would have to be Yayoi or Kohran. The important thing here is not the "unknonw redacted parts of the Database" but "Magic", so it must be someone who known about exactly what is redacted.

After checking the wiki (and the other wiki) on Yayoi and Kohran, I think Yayoi is the best bet, because she is both Stellvian and Senshi, so she would be more aware of interfactional conflicts.

Magic is the only true Paradigm Changer; the rest of the catalog (including the hidden parts) are mostly improvements of tech -nanotech, FTL drives, genetic engineering, etc, etc. All important, but in all honestly thing that every Fen was absolutely certian are coming Any Day Now.
Magic is different, because, well, magic. It also is special because there is one mayor faction (and probably several minor) that is centered on magic. My point on the Wizard revelation is not a matter or "friendship" or "trust", actually; it wold be The Right Thing to Do. So Noah would no be revealing the secret to the Wizards because they are his friends: He is revealing the secret because not doing so is a direct slap to the face in their deeper beliefs, and the Wizards are not Stellvia's enemies. Something like that is so utterly against the heart of fenspace that it would not be done frivolously.
So the question is not "should I do it" but "can I afford the risk of doing it" and "can I afford the risk of not doing it". This may have been a matter of heavy debate among the Stellvians since June 2013, and probably for the entire catalog, not only the censored parts.
If Noah eventually comes to believe that he should release the magical info to the wizards (or the lsee dangerous parts of it), then the question shifts to the best way to release it and prevent a dangerous paradigm shift and lack of stability. There are some things to consider:
-While Fenspace in general does not believe in magic, the Wizards either already do or, deep down, want to believe. They wold not suffer a paradigm shift, or act much differently, because they are already using wavemagic.
-Noah will know the Minister of Magic (for the sake of this discussion, let's accept Cynthia, which I like for minister). She may not be Noah's friend, but, at the very least, he knows her from SMOF and war meetings. She is a reasonable woman, a competent politician, and Noah will respect her even if he has some reason to dislike her.
-Noah will know how much the wizards have suffered, and so be aware that they will want some quiet years to recover.
This would not be sudden, it will grow slowly during the last months of the war and the first month of reconstruction, until it crystallizes in a private meeting. This meeting may get loose form Noah's initial plans, so even if he originally did not want to reveal so much to so many people, it may be too late: Let's say he summons the secret meeting in an impulse of disclosure and post-war celebration, so even if he later thinks better the meeting is already on.
In the meeting, he probably only meant for the Minister and maybe the  department head to know, but the minister thought otherwise. Some negotiations later, they agreed with the Statute of Secrecy for an indeterminate number of years -between ten and thirty. No one left fully satisfied with that treaty, but no one left angry either.

P.D. The catalog and Noah is yours, so don't think I am trying to press you into anything; the decision is yours to make.
I disagree about most of Fenspace disbelieving in magic... because Handwavium is a similar powerful "out of context problem".

Some will just say that Handwavium has been "solid magic" anyways, other will say that magic is just Handwavium they don't understand.

There is no reason to believe magic is much less or more powerful than Handwavium could be.
I'm not so sure. Yes, most believe that Handwavium is magical in some way, but form that to believing in hocus pocus magic is some distance, and many fen are sci-fi fans.

That said, I do believe that the revelation would not be such a big paradign shift, exactly for that reason. They are used to the miracle goop, so moving to full magic is just one more step into the weird, not something truly shocking (Oscar would be one fo the Fen that believed handwavium as magic from the start).

But the one whose beliefs about paradigm shifts matter in this problem is Noah's, becuase he is the one who has the grimoires...
Nanotech is also arguable a game changer, as in "Hello Singularity!", but I guess we're talking about Magic here.

Magic may well be the screwdriver to hard tech's hammer - two different tools, don't try using one as the other. Handwavium may allow you to mix the two effectively. As Rob Kelk says, looking at how ritual makes handwavium more effective could be very instructive.

One approach might be to research parapsychology, but, if that is the route to psionics rather than magic you could really mess yourself about.

Doing some serious analysis of what goes on when something is waved-up, with or without ritual, both of the process and the person doing the waving, might help. This assumes that handwavium instruments don't conspire to hide how the process works, but you could use your best hard tech instruments too. We've talking brain scans, multi-spectal imaging, checks for gravitic, magnetic or temporal anomalies, the lot. While you're at it, probing for changes in radioactive decay rates, quantum anomalies, interesting 'ghost' particle emmisions...

And, doing some thorough analysis of the Professor's "Meson Burst Detector" is definitely worth it.
"It is the business of the future to be dangerous" - Hawkwind
Even more interesting is figuring out which pieces are full Wave and which ones are Wave and Wand. I'm tempted to say that R. Lime Zor-El is a wave-tech android shell housing a "wand-tech" soul/AI. The reason VF can't normally awaken AIs is that he's too mystical about souls. If someone could convince him he had mystical talent, even if it's, in GURPS terms, "Magery 0"... But then again, he might fall prey to the centipede's dilemma.
''We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat
them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.''

-- James Nicoll
I'm running on the assumption of "free soul with every incarnation", which interesting enough is something the Dalai Lama once talked favourably about in a (BBC Radio 4?) radio show I heard:

This means that any AI which is more than a "glorified expert system" gets its own soul or spirit, which I think fits with the Fenspace theme of treating AIs as equivalent beings to humans (I'm assuming all humans who are not in a persistent vegetative state, and maybe even then, have their own soul or spirit).

It is interesting to speculate whether a pure hard tech AI would also get a soul/spirit... The Dalai Lama seemed to think one would, but I don't think we can consider him to be authoritative on matters Fenspace. [grin]

If you're talking about the right magical talent being needed to "summon a soul" then mechanics from something like WW/ST "Mage: The Ascension" (not to be confused with "Mage: The Condescension" [grin]) might be worth looking at. I think you'd need at least Spirit 2 and the right tradition to make a android with a soul (only Spirit 2 because ensouling things like androids is considered a 'natural process').

The M:TA mages, particularly the more tech-orientated ones, might fit better what happens in Fenspace than a lot of other RPGs. The downside is that their world is based on a 'consensus reality' view, where even physical laws are derived from commonly held beliefs and expectations, and Fenspace appears to have solid underlying physical laws, that function even when no one is looking. [grin]
Edit: One alternate way of looking at the 'Mads' or 'Sparks' of Fenspace might be to consider them M:TA 'Sons of Ether':
"It is the business of the future to be dangerous" - Hawkwind
Quote:This means that any AI which is more than a "glorified expert system" gets its own soul or spirit, which I think fits with the Fenspace theme of treating AIs as equivalent beings to humans (I'm assuming all humans who are not in a persistent vegetative state, and maybe even then, have their own soul or spirit).
It dovetails nicely with some of Doug's cosmology -- which isn't necessarily the Ultimate Truth, but like a school of magic is a model that works well enough to be useful -- in which just about anything with a nervous system has a soul (see the beginning of DW-13 chapter 1 for an example of this in passing). It's just that more complicated neural systems provide access to "bigger" or "more complex" souls -- and those "neural systems" don't need to be biological.
-- Bob
Then the horns kicked in...
...and my shoes began to squeak.
I have been thinking that on the matter of Magic vs. Wizards it may be better to not confirm anything: Those commies may like messing with their soviet industrial technomagic, but real wizards thrive in secrecy, Tovarisch. Wizards may have known about magic before the Lulzsec revelation. Or not. Until someone actually needs the plot of a story, we may never know for sure...
My take on the wizards, 2014-2020, version two:
The Mad Eye Regency:
After the Boskone war, the wizards were heavily damaged, and the entire faction was on the verge of a downwards spiral of depression. For several years after the war, the entire faction retreated to seclusion, dealing only with other Fantasy fen, and began to arm thenselves and rebuild. Fen call those years the Mad Eye Regency, due to the paranoia and preparations the faction went through those years. The Regency lasted from the 2015 elections, which saw the war minirter Cynthia Lucklold narrowly avoid losing her post, to 2020, when the wizards finally signed the PEPPER teatry, the last important faction to do so, and returned to fenspace.
As with most sweeping statements, this is actually a load of rubbish. The faction did stop being so involved in interfactional intrigues and Convention politics, because they did have a lot of work to do, and centererd in rebuilding. But wizards kept going our in their own businesses, visitiors kept coming to Hogemeade, prank wars and Quidditch went on, and so on.
Of course, fen have never seen an explanation that cannot be improved with several extra helpings of melodramatics, so the Regency somehow has become the established truth in memory, even to wizards themselves who did not actually retreat -their personal experiences becoming the "exception".

The post-war reconstruction looked hopeless at first, but in the end it managed to bring back life to a faction that had been steadily losing ground to the sci-fi fen. The Minister, both in the last few months of her mandate and after she was re-elected, decided to hold the bull by the horns and stop the dangerous spiral of emo before it could even start; she was going to bring magic back to her faction kicking and screaming -and if necessary, it wold be her personally the one to deliver any kickings needed.
She signed on a number of magical proyects, some silly and some deep (a few of which even had results). She rebuilt, and where necessary, built, the armed forces and he Aurors, and had then design new defenses. She got the magical society movers and shakers help in stamping out the nascent anti-catgilrl racism, and all other related Pureblood thought. She reached over to all fantasy fen and minor factions. She plotted the complete reconstruction of the capital at Hogsmeade, which until then had been a rather boring medieval british village, and turned it into a full fantasy city of soaring towers and floating castles. She impulsed the construction of dozens of smaller magical settlements in the Belt near 10 Hygiea, and had her goverment help any wizard who wished for solitude to build their own magical tower in an asteroid, and still keep contact with the rest of the faction.
By 2020, the faction had recovered a vitality that many who had seen Hogspeade after the Howarts Battle would not believe.

Myths of Fenspace: The Statute of Secrecy.

In 2019 the soviet research lab in Black Mesa published he results of astonishing experiments with the existence of a magical force, called "Manasphere", and the scandal about the Fespace Catalog redacted parts, wich included magic, exploded.
Many looked at the wizards for their reaction, and were suprised by the calm way the reacted to the news. This gave birth to the rumor about the Statute of Secrecy, a myth so widespread that quite a few conspiracy theorists are certain it was spread purposely.
The Statue, in the most common variation of the myth, is a secret Referendum that all Wizards made sometime during the Mad Eye Regency, were they agreed to keep the existence of magic secret. How they discovered magic comes in three man variants:
-Noah Gordon personally told the Minister the secret, and gave a copy of the unredacted catalog. Depending on who you ask, that was done due to friendship, it being The Right Thing, unclear (but much speculated upon) blackmail material, and even a torrid affair between Noah and the minister of Magic herself.
-The wizards stole the secret from Noah, by themselves or with the help of another fantasy faction (Ninjas being the most common culprit)
-The Wizards discovered the existence of magic independiently sometime before 2019.

Wizards themselves refute the existence of this Statute, but they also claim that they have been doing Magic all along. This has stumped any conspiracy researchers, because any published magical papers before the revelation do not actually make any distinction between Handwavium and magic, so they cannot point to a moment when wizards started writing about "real" magic; the first wizarding published magical study that mentioned Magic and Handwavium as different forces is a comparative of Handwavium magical rituals, and which parts of then are using Magic; this was published in 2021, unfortunately for conspiracy theorists.
I think this could work well for the Wizards in Season 2...

I especially like the "myth" of the Statute of Secrecy... no need to validate it or not, but it keeps the other factions at the edge without spoiling the fun. Wink

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