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Author Topic: People Proposal - Anti-Magic Political Movement  (Read 6659 times)
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Fox
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« on: 04 September 2007, 09:55:33 »

*waves*

Okay, I've been thinking lately... and have been getting somewhat annoyed over how Utopian of a society Santharia seems to be at this point in time. ;) While we may have political disputes, thief undergrounds, and trade concerns, Santharia doesn't seem to have any globally controversial issues kicking around... issues that could reasonably cause violent reactions and clear divisive sides among society, even with powerful political support for the "wrong" side. At least from a general look-see on my part.

So, what I was planning on was to bring up the issue of magic as a controversial subject, due mainly in that magic is what I enjoy as well as it has numerous dichotomies that can be debated over as well (IE, whether clerics are considered "proper" and only Ximaxian/non-religious magic is seen as wrong, the treatment of elves and other 'magically tuned races', etc.)

My proposal would be a political faction is aiming at banning magic and demonizing its practitioners. I was thinking that this faction does not have much direct power in the upper ranks of nobility, but due to a very strong grassroots support, is steadily gaining power, enough to put a good deal of pressure on Ximax. The implications of this would be that magic would become largely reviled by the common folk, where most of the support for magic comes from high nobility (which furthers peasant resentment who believe that magic is only accepted in the courts because the mages are corrupt nobles who are using bribes and sorcery to keep their political power).

I'm asking for approval to go with this route as, until now, I was under the impression that magic is something we've established as being fairly commonly accepted. I'd like to give it a powerful political and peasant opposition that would make it so that mages have to worry about being resented by those not like them, and that their rights are actually something that could be at stake depending on how the movement progresses.
« Last Edit: 04 September 2007, 09:58:30 by Fox » Logged
Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #1 on: 04 September 2007, 12:11:30 »

I, for one, am in support of this, Fox.  Like you, I want to see some controversy in this world.  It is a bit too utopian for my liking.  (Hence my Remusian revision, and my cult....though i REALLY need to get back to that again).

So, my humble vote (like i get a vote, lol) is for you to be able to develop this, though I see this as a LOT of work.
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« Reply #2 on: 04 September 2007, 15:08:02 »

Not much time now, as I'm at work: But yes, of course this is something I fully support! More comments later.
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Takór Salenár
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« Reply #3 on: 04 September 2007, 19:10:25 »

This seems to be a nice concept at first sight, but I don‘t know, if it will work as you lined it out.

Before I display my argument against it, I want to remind you all who don‘t like the „Utopian“ feeling of our current time that we did agree, that the last, say 30 years, are a peaceful time with not much trouble in Santharia, the precondition of a kind of renaissance where the arts and the „science“ flower, inventions are made and ships are sent out to explore. This has started already with Grothunc the Wise but finds its culmination under Tiandor.

Fox, my  argument against your current layout is that you can‘t fear, what you don‘t know. As I understood, mages are rare, even if Ximax has a fair number of absolvents (don‘t think at the many on the RPG-board) they are spread very thinly and so a commoner might not see one in his entire life. Why then should he fear him?

We discussed some  time ago that we might increase the number and find an occupation for them like helping  building houses or a bridge etc, or whatever (though we could need some spells in this regard and thoughts about spells which are not just used for battle), some might be in the bigger and smaller cities to find the magical gifted children.

I don‘t see how they should „draw aggro“ (I‘m definitely playing too much WoW ;) )

As the history table says, war related magic was lost:

172 to 547    The Golden Age of Kings
Throughout this age, Ximax grows in knowledge and magical power, though war-spells are slowly, surely, and happily lost.


So I don‘t see, why Ximax should be a thread for those who know it and their absolvents a bit better.

I don‘t find it a good idea to involve Elven magic as long as we don‘t know how it looks like. Maybe the humans - and I think this might well be only a human conflict - don‘t recognise the elven magic at all. Do elves and humans normally mingle  frequently? I don‘t think so (except in places like Seraia).

Maybe it would be an idea that the elves oppose now Ximaxian magic as unnatural- but for this we need to put Elven magic down first.

Who then could be against Ximaxian magic? Better educated people, landlords etc who know about mages and magic, but can‘t afford their services themselves?

Before we start to create such a conflict, we should define and know the the different kinds of magic better.

And at this point I have spend quite a time thinking. ;)

But I post this in an extra thread.(Magic - a classification)
« Last Edit: 04 September 2007, 19:18:18 by Takór Salenár » Logged
Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #4 on: 04 September 2007, 19:47:44 »

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Fox, my  argument against your current layout is that you can‘t fear, what you don‘t know.


Takor, my friend, I think that history has proven over and over that not knowing is precisely why people hate.  Rumour, inuendo, assumptions, these are the lifeblood of hate.  A powerful group of people with mysterious powers, kept distant from the common people.... sounds too easy for false info to spread. ;)

gypsies....jews.....black africans.....and many more suffered persecution because of misguided belief....

north american native shaman were not allowed to perform magical rites.... buddhist monks were persecuted for healing.... others as well, but its 4 am...mind has stopped.....

I do agree that it will be difficult to integrate properly.
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Takór Salenár
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« Reply #5 on: 04 September 2007, 19:58:14 »

Maybe I should have worded it differently:
You don't hate somebody you are not really aware that he exists.

I think these people have other problems than to hate somebody who don't touches their lives. They are no threat.

You need to encounter those you hate at least a tiny bit, the Gypsies on the fair, the black people or the Jews in your neighbourhood. You don't need to know them, that is true, otherwise you might not hate them anymore.

Why should common people bother about persons who are so far away? They have other problems

"north American native shaman were not allowed to perform magical rites" - I think they were  known a little bit.. they were threatening the "daily life" because they showed that things might be different than the normal (white) people thought...
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Fox
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« Reply #6 on: 04 September 2007, 20:45:20 »

Hmm, you do raise an interesting concern, Takor. The way I was thinking it was that people would spread rumors and false information, and that it is the very reason that people have not met mages that they believe those rumors and so on.

I was thinking, that this movement would try and build on that kind of fear by, at least in certain cities, publishing notes and conspiracies blaming various real life disasters on some mage. And that, plenty of times people who aren't even real mages would get persecuted because people believe that they are a mage and had some kind of involvement with said disaster (IE, a bridge falls down while it is being constructed and there just so happens to be a fisherman rowing along the river at the time, and the people blame him for "magically" causing the bridge to tumble. Or say people pray to Jeyriall for a good harvest and instead the harvest turns out badly, propaganda could be spread to blame "mages" (even if no mages are actually around) for the bad harvest, tainting the boon and denying Jeyriall.). Something along the lines of how witchcraft in the middle ages (in regards to unjust persecution only, not any of the warts/brooms/etc stuff of modern creation) or the Red Scare in the mid 1900s in democratic countries were overly hyped and even though the rumors never actually were true, people thought they existed in very numerous quantities.


I was thinking that this movement would know that mages don't actually touch people's lives often. So instead, they build a propaganda machine in order to blame mages for every catastrophe that transpires, bringing them to the people's attention even if there are no actual mages around through which to blame. Ultimately it would be the landlords and noble people who are actually aware of mages on a realistic front who would be mobilizing this movement, and the way they would build the movement would be to put mages in a negative light through rumors and misinformation, fooling the common folk who don't know better.


Perhaps this movement could be one that doesn't have grassroots movement as I originally thought, but instead be a purely court debate. Then the common folk could not really care about Ximax, but instead be more wary of 'at-their-doorstep' magic, the Wild magic thing you mentioned in the other thread. Though I'd think the movement would try and build on that Wild Magic concern and then link it to Ximax in order to get grassroots support.



Quote
Before I display my argument against it, I want to remind you all who don‘t like the „Utopian“ feeling of our current time that we did agree, that the last, say 30 years, are a peaceful time with not much trouble in Santharia, the precondition of a kind of renaissance where the arts and the „science“ flower, inventions are made and ships are sent out to explore. This has started already with Grothunc the Wise but finds its culmination under Tiandor.

Was the Renaissance perfect in every regard, though? It has been a long time since I studied history of that era. I mean, it is possible for even model societies to have a bit of dirt and grime, I think?

« Last Edit: 04 September 2007, 21:02:41 by Fox » Logged
Gwai'ayia Quillouf
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« Reply #7 on: 04 September 2007, 21:30:48 »

Takór Salenár said:

Quote
Before I display my argument against it, I want to remind you all who don‘t like the „Utopian“ feeling of our current time that we did agree, that the last, say 30 years, are a peaceful time with not much trouble in Santharia, the precondition of a kind of renaissance where the arts and the „science“ flower, inventions are made and ships are sent out to explore. This has started already with Grothunc the Wise but finds its culmination under Tiandor.

To which Fox responded with:

Quote
Was the Renaissance perfect in every regard, though? It has been a long time since I studied history of that era. I mean, it is possible for even model societies to have a bit of dirt and grime, I think?

Fox is indeed correct the Renaissance Era, depending on how define the era merely as the period of great art and scientfiic achievement or based on the rough guide of years which history books provide us, was nowhere near perfect.

Magic persecution was indeed common in actual history too.  This does not exclude the Renassissance Era from the 1350-1550 (give or take depending on definition of what is the Renassissance Era).

Witchcraft was indeed believed to practice, feared, and escewed as evil.  Things such as the evil eye, curses, and love spells were purchased commonly by nobles who wished to curse their enemies or to win a lover.  Also never has there been any time in history when the common people (losely defined as peasant and middle class) were not willing to blame their woes on a stranger passing through or lay the blame on a "witch" or "wizard" passing through.  History records many gyspies, old woman, and Jews being hung by the neck from being falsly accused of witch craft in this era also.

Know personally, I have lost the books which recorded this early trend of witch hunting, but there is another fact which turns the Renassiance Ugly.

There was in those days, certain schools called "Safe Houses" which were reputed to be of good social standing and were by order of the Catholic Church to "give education to those who have the mind to take but not money to fonder such a gift, and to provide for the simple needs of those who if but raised from the common mud of society could in pure heart and concisse take care of themselves".

These schools were grave yards in all but name.

Overseen by religious monks and various clerics of the Catholic Church, these "Safe Houses" were the dump grounds of oraphans, the malformed, the physically broken, the disabled, the blind, the mute, the lame, and the mentally retarded.  Nobles often used these places to put the children which to many centuries of inbreeding had created, and indeed any that rich society could not stand to know about and acknowledge.

These children, disabled, broken, or otherwise impared people were forced to work in basically slave labor.  They were also subject to various tests to "cure them".  There is even one famous case in 1419 of the priest taken two orpahned twins and talking to the one while being completly quite around the other.  Both were taken care of physically, but the lack of communcitation soon killed the child that heard no human speech for five years of its short life.  The other twin died shortly afterwards when the monks were experimenting to see how lighting effected the human body.

Countless died at these schools hands.  Society meanwhile turned a blind eye to these things.  And it wouldn't be to the 1940's-1960's till these schools were reveleaded for what they were, and disbanded.

So much for Utopia.

Now, I would be the last to foster such a dark thing on this world or any world for that matter, but I think for my part that a little political conversevity cannot but help expand the society's diversity a little and to break the honey coated unreality of Santharia.  No world is perfect.  And niether is this world.

Therefore I support Fox's idea, and I hope that it will prove as interesting to deal with as it is to discuss.
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Takór Salenár
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« Reply #8 on: 04 September 2007, 21:46:18 »

I never said that it should be an utopia, but we don't have to introduce all evils of that time here . Your long and detailed list of what evil things have happened at this time on earth doesn't prove that they have to happen!

The following was written without reading the last post.

Fox, I‘m feeling unwell when you just replace „witch“ with „mage“. I don‘t like very much to introduce at the recent time a society which was so paranoid - or evil - to take the next fisher as you say and blame him with the colliding of the bridge. I know there were times in the middle ages were women were accused to have the evil eye just because they went past a stable and then the newborn calf died - and then they burned. But this were ordinary women - I don‘t know why people should apply this thinking/this magic onto a normal fisher. 

I think what I don‘t like in this concept is its „generality“, that it is so broad spread without any reason. you say, the renaissance had its crime and bad sides as well, that might be correct, but I think the society has to be sane at least to a certain degree.

But I could imagine a  bit a differently set scenario.

What about:

Don‘t let this be the case just now, but a bit farther back in history, so that the main „illness“ is healed by now, maybe it was the case under the rule of (have to look at the rulers table first).

Let it have a beginning, a reason, let a complot stay at its beginning.

E.g. A group of mages with criminal powers and noble origin who did not well were expelled at Ximax. The founded a secret organisation with the goal to get revenge. They gathered others discontent people around them, talk evil against ximax and  get support from many (half-educated) people who have a resentment against Ximax. Mix in some fear originating in wild magic and you have your poisonous brew. The core of these mages and the persons they trust now form a plan to really do harm to Ximax and the mages. They spread rumours etc.. but not only that, they actually let bridges crumble and set then the rumour in the world. They may hire assassins and other criminals to do such errands. After some time the whole thing is running on its own.

Let this run for say, 50 years?By then the society is ill enough to need a cure. Then a king could step in and try to end this insanity and finally he succeeds, maybe even the plot comes into daylight.
My basically plead would be : give it a beginning and an end - before the current time. (there would always be some single cases left and not all doubts removed)

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« Reply #9 on: 04 September 2007, 23:25:01 »

This is similar to what I had in mind for the CotM, except it was more of a War for Magical supremacy then to abolish magic...
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Fox
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« Reply #10 on: 05 September 2007, 00:46:57 »

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Fox, I‘m feeling unwell when you just replace „witch“ with „mage“. I don‘t like very much to introduce at the recent time a society which was so paranoid - or evil - to take the next fisher as you say and blame him with the colliding of the bridge. I know there were times in the middle ages were women were accused to have the evil eye just because they went past a stable and then the newborn calf died - and then they burned. But this were ordinary women - I don‘t know why people should apply this thinking/this magic onto a normal fisher.

That was more of an extreme example than anything else, my apologies. I didn't intend for it to go that far in terms of random bypassers being accused, but was just to get across the point of using propaganda to present a negative image without any mages actually having to be present.


Quote
But I could imagine a  bit a differently set scenario.

What about:

Don‘t let this be the case just now, but a bit farther back in history, so that the main „illness“ is healed by now, maybe it was the case under the rule of (have to look at the rulers table first).

Let it have a beginning, a reason, let a complot stay at its beginning.

E.g. A group of mages with criminal powers and noble origin who did not well were expelled at Ximax. The founded a secret organisation with the goal to get revenge. They gathered others discontent people around them, talk evil against ximax and  get support from many (half-educated) people who have a resentment against Ximax. Mix in some fear originating in wild magic and you have your poisonous brew. The core of these mages and the persons they trust now form a plan to really do harm to Ximax and the mages. They spread rumours etc.. but not only that, they actually let bridges crumble and set then the rumour in the world. They may hire assassins and other criminals to do such errands. After some time the whole thing is running on its own.

Let this run for say, 50 years?By then the society is ill enough to need a cure. Then a king could step in and try to end this insanity and finally he succeeds, maybe even the plot comes into daylight.
My basically plead would be : give it a beginning and an end - before the current time. (there would always be some single cases left and not all doubts removed)

Well, my goal was hopefully to foster some kind of controversial subjects in our current era. I mean, we have plenty of bad things that have gone on in history, just nothing current. Maybe it's just me, but I prefer darker struggles and periods of history, heh.

However, I do see your point. What we could do is tone it down so that the major bad stuff happens prior to our time, rather than outright end it. Say it starts violently, the king comes in and puts a stop to it. But this stop is not concrete, not all violent cases can be identified etc. So the organization reforms and reorganizes itself into a more politically correct movement, abolishes any ties with direct violence and rumor spreading, and then works by the laws of the kingdom to peacefully try and argue its point. Publishing essays, books, etc in an attempt to legally act against Ximax and magic users as a whole. There may still be isolated cases of extreme rumor spreading, but not as bad as, say, the extreme example that I listed before. But still enough to cause general suspicion (note that I personally don't want extreme examples either, but enough that mages are kept under a not so equal, but accepted eye. Like in today's world where racism and hate against certain types of people still exist, but that it is very subtle and subconscious, IE, we don't have the Red Scare anymore, but anyone who identifies them self as a Communist is going to be looked on at least a bit suspiciously...)

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Fox
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« Reply #11 on: 05 September 2007, 00:49:07 »

This is similar to what I had in mind for the CotM, except it was more of a War for Magical supremacy then to abolish magic...

There could certainly be ties between the two. CotM would probably be in part built on countering the anti-magic movement, or in some way have a heavy hand in fighting against the movement once it arouse.

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« Reply #12 on: 05 September 2007, 03:35:24 »

I very much support any kind of conflict in Santharia as it makes things realistic. Especially a lot of superstition regarding magic coming from the normal folk is fully in order, same as conflict between scholars in Ximax fighting for a secular/scientific view on magic against others who want to go back to the roots the elven way. And the Ximaxians surely don't like necromacy as here they get also in conflict with clerics I assume etc. These conflicts make a society alive while in an Utopian society everything is solved and people live in eternal bliss. A living society is a society with irregularities, inequities, where there is tension between classes and people in general.

It is natural to be skeptical of all things magical considering what magicians are said to be able to do, and rumours feed superstition. And that these powers that the magicians possess are considered to be associated by some with evil nature. This regardless of the age we are living in. The question is the amount this takes, and letting it flare up for 50 years and disappear again is not to be desired in my point of view.

The conflicts with magic date back until the War of the Chosen, its abolishing and re-introduction and this is a conflict that is for me deeply rooted in fantasy world design. Conflict makes everything interesting, so while there might have been a time where this conflict broke out openly, it should still be prevalent and people fighting against magic in the one way or the other should be still organized, maybe as a much more secret organization than initially, but I don't see a reason why this conflict should end. It provides great possibilities for currents stories, gives the role players something to play with and is generally a good thing for fantastic world design. - Great idea, I'm all for it with little restrictions.
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Marvin Cerambit
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« Reply #13 on: 05 September 2007, 05:33:32 »

I don't really see how this could be a true organization given the previous arguments on how rare mages are. That doesn't mean there won't be any superstition, just that it isn't organized.
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Fox
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« Reply #14 on: 05 September 2007, 05:53:33 »

I don't really see how this could be a true organization given the previous arguments on how rare mages are. That doesn't mean there won't be any superstition, just that it isn't organized.

We have an entire city built for and by mages, a city that is actually the capital of a whole province. That's hardly what I'd call 'rare'. Individual magi may not be present in a person's everyday lives, but that doesn't mean they are rare enough that nobody knows or cares about them.

We have groups in the modern world that are far rarer than mages that are both backed and opposed by organized political movements.


Ximax itself is a political movement and has enough sway in the courts to be given legitimacy. There is no reason that there would not thus be a counter movement against Ximax's legitimacy. Then once such a political movement forms, the way that movement manipulates its resources determines how popular it becomes and how well it can build grassroots support. And building grassroots support does not necessarily need those people to actually have a clue about what they're supporting, with enough propaganda you can accomplish anything. To use the extreme example, people can be made to believe that 50% of their neighbors are actually mages, no matter how rare 'real' mages actually are!

« Last Edit: 05 September 2007, 05:55:42 by Fox » Logged
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