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A few in game questions

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Hmm...if the enchantment was placed before the living being in question develops an identity, or at least less of one than you'd find in an average adult, would that increase the chance of the enchantment not going awry? Is it known, in universe, whether or not the odds of success is effected? Because honestly that seems like a rather...unethical thing to test...

Regardless, in the rare cases where such an enchantment is placed successfully and stabilizes, what happens if the bone in question is later broken? Does that, as a rule, disrupt the enchantment as well? Or if the bone is outright removed, does that absence cause any issues? Can such enchanted bones be replaced with a regular bone afterwards (although where you'd get a replacement bone is probably a question in it's own right)?

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I suspect you came up with this idea because it is said that the aura of an unborn can be manipulated by some experts. I personal expect that a unborn still count a part of the body of the mother. If my suspicion is correct both the aura change and the enchanting of any bone of the unborn baby is best be done by the mother to increase the chances for it to work.

Beside that Academagia have a way to enchant ? your hands that they partial work as wand replacement but the duration of this magic is probably counted in months and not years.

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Not quite where that question comes from, actually. The inspiration in this case...eh, honestly it's a great, big mess. Though that's not unusual for me :rolleyes:.

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Metis;

Apologies, I had this answer yesterday, but got caught up and forgot to post it:

"Let's just say it's speculated that if this kind of enchantment was inflicted on a very young being - child, animal, whatever - the odds of success would indeed be higher, but the being in question would grow up very much attuned to the kind of magic in question (though not necessarily in control of it) - and probably very strange.

But, as you say, there's not a lot of respected magical scholarship on the subject.

The result of a broken bone would depend to some degree on the nature of the enchantment.  Something subtle and passive - like a permanent pseudo-Glamour to make you more attractive - might just fizzle out, or it might go slightly wrong (i.e., your reflection in a mirror is as glorious as ever, but you yourself seem tired and distracted).  Something more ambitious - you can stand out in a storm once a year to get hit by lightning that then makes you physically stronger and infuses all your magic for the next twelve months - could result in massive damage to the individual and his or her immediate surroundings.  But a lot of it is down to luck (since a real basis for understanding is lacking), as well as to how well the wizard in question is able to compensate in immediate practice for the damage done.

It is fairly well documented that enchanted bones can be removed safely, as long as the body's health isn't reliant on the enchantment.  As for replacements: there's precedent for that, too, but it's almost entirely dependent upon the skill of the magical surgeon.  As a rule, if an enchanted finger bone is removed, your average magical physicker will be much more comfortable suggesting an enchanted prosthetic hand than with inserting a new proximal phalanx made of bone.

But an elite surgeon could pull it off before lunch.  It's intimidating, but hardly impossible."

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Hmm...good info ;). Do such removed magical bones have a measure of value to them that something like a regular wand given the same enchantment doesn't? In either the practical applications sense or the financial sense (though if the former is a bust I imagine you probably wouldn't want to meet the kind of people who'd nevertheless say "yes" to the latter).

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M;

"Now things here get extremely complicated, in a magical sense.  Bones are mixed blessings as raw materials for wands, as a rule, because they possess something of an imprint of the living being from which they came; even if they don't passively resist the will of the user, they can twist magic in slightly unexpected directions - and it's not at all uncommon for phemes drawn with bone wands to appear to be in unfamiliar handwriting (as it were).

There are certain magical traditions that try to use this to their advantage - a generation of wizards might use wands made from their parents' or grandparents' bones, with the idea that the wand will be inherently more protective (or will even keep loved ones' spirits close in certain circumstances, though that obviously verges on outright Gates theory).

So why wouldn't a wizard gain a kind of empowering resonance by using an imbued wand made from his or her own body?  Well, it depends on whether the removal of the bone was consensual; if so, the wand would have "an aspect of renunciation," in that the wizard had already severed a fundamental connection.  At the least, that would make it less effective than a more generic tool; under some circumstances it could be downright hostile (although in a non-sentient kind of way).

On the other hand, if the bone was separated from the body in a traumatic way, then you're likely to have "an irregular affinity," in which the trauma of the loss can actually make the use of the wand... well, magically addictive.  One's metaphysical body wants to be whole.  Under these circumstances, yes, the wand is likely to be an unusually powerful tool, but when you stop using it you're likely to suffer phantom pains, nightmares, and stranger symptoms still.

Shorter answer: there is a practical reason why wizards don't generally run around digging up graves.

But, yeah, financially, there are people who will buy wands of bones made from famous or powerful wizards - assuming the pedigree can be proved.

For the most part, these are not pleasant people.

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Hmm...less useful than a more generic tool/downright hostile towards the original owner, or towards anyone?

Either way this plan is starting to come together :).

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Given a bit of diving back into this topic I'm sure you'll be able to find plenty of things. I'd do so myself, but I'm, eh, busy designing flying bricks spaceships, yes. Totally :ph34r:.

Actually, isn't there like a list of 20+ questions in our PM topic that haven't been answered since I first asked them years ago? No clue how relevant any of them still are, though. I suspect this topic might yield some more juicy queries.

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Actually, here's something that might be relevant to my interests really shortly:

On 1/19/2020 at 6:36 PM, Rhialto said:

Any update about what a typical service to Iudocia would be like?

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And:

"Anyway: primarily toward the original owner, if we're talking a "renunciation" scenario, but to a lesser degree new owners might feel similar effects.  But that would largely depend on the individual wand and the individual user - someone in particular magical sympathy with the wand might even gain minor spellcasting benefits from the adoption."

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OK:

"There are local, idiosyncratic exceptions, but the basic service generally goes something like this:

 
1)  A devotee, usually a young boy or girl, will pour water on the altar.
 
2)  The temple's Magister Sacrorum (generally an elderly priest or auspex who no longer conducts services in any other capacity) will then magically cleanse the altar.
 
3)  An auspex (priest-astrologer) will look for signs of divine favor - or at least a lack of opposition.
 
4)  The temple doors are opened, and bells are sounded to banish hostile or unclean powers.
 
5)  Gifts of penitential bread are offered at the altar.  If a supplicant doesn't bring his or her own, most temples usually have plates of the stuff you can buy for a pim. Gifts of coin are directly accepted at the altar (usually placed in a box of ashwood) in lieu of bread.
 
6)  Sometimes, people (generally wealthy and influential people) come with really spectacular gifts/donations/sacrifices.  These come after the "simple offering," and are usually coordinated with the temple beforehand.
 
7)  Sacred music is sung.
 
😎 The officiating priest, or Antisto, will cast an Astrological benediction spell over the crowd.  (These are often faked or botched, particularly in poor rural areas, simply because the priest lacks magical training.)
 
9)  The Simple Prayer is offered by the Antisto - an appeal to the power in question (in this case Iudocia) for intervention on behalf of the faithful.
 
10)  If there was an exceptional offering back in stage 6, the Antisto holds a special prayer - "the appeal to the star" - on behalf of the celebrant or his or her cause.  Another astrological spell is generally cast to bring luck to the proceeding.
 
11)  The auspex will perform an astrological ritual (not a spell with a wand, as a rule) to see whether the offerings are accepted and whether Iudocia's good will can be expected.  It is very, very rare for any significant response to occur; this is almost purely pro forma.
 
12)  More sacred music is sung while the offerings are carried to a chamber beyond the altar.
 
13)  When the offerings are gone and the sacred chamber is sealed, the congregants, still singing, file out of the building.  In some cases there's dancing once everyone's outside, but it's not mandatory.
 
14)  The Antisto follows the congregation outside and offers one final benediction.
 
15)  The Antisto goes back inside.  When the temple doors close, the crowd is free to leave.
 
16)  The Magister Sacrorum reconsecrates the altar."

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Looking back through our PM topic here's one that could probably be useful down the line, if nothing else:

Quote

3. It was confirmed that mermaids "exist" in the Academagia setting:

On 8/23/2015 at 7:48 PM, Legate of Mineta said:

8. Do mermaids exist in setting? Even though there is relatively little water...?

There are mermaids, although their habitat is pretty minimal for obvious reasons.

But exactly how does your average mermaid look? Disney's Little Mermaid (Ariel, IIRC?) "human with a tail fin instead of legs", basically the same as Xu and Chi are described, or do they have features that are more "monstrous" like a Sahaguin? I'm asking because I'm trying to figure out (more) exactly where the line between "looks human, but isn't" and "looks human, but might as well be human" is - I intent for Xu and Chi to fall into the former category at least a little, not entirely, but definitely not squarely within the latter category either.

Of course notice that both categories still starts with "looks human", and as far as the lore is concerned I think them looking perfectly human actually makes perfect sense - neither Iustus or Leopold you can take one casual look at and say "werewolf/half Fey", Neta has been...accused(?) of "obviously" not being entirely human, but again, I can't just look at her portrait/read her adventure and go "oh, part Satyr" or whatever. So I don't see why Xu and Chi would be different in that regard.

(Pardon me as I briefly look back on these innocent, pre-15K stage "ending" a six/five adventures saga days with a nostalgic look in my eyes...)

Okay that's enough of that. Anyway, recall what I mentioned later about the two girls' ancestry. If necessary there is wiggle-room as far as their looks go when compared to "regular" mermaids, depending on what their ancestors are.

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M;

"There are two major species of merfolk, with radically different origins.
 
The first, and most Sahaguin/Creature-of-the-Black-Lagoonish, are - ironically enough - the ones with human origins.  Actually, this almost falls under the heading of "proper curse," one of those draconic afflictions that tend to reoccur in different populations across history for apparently different causes.  The first examples of the Ninaco (Homo Ninacus, after the Ninacii people) were sea-farers who attempted to rebel against the dragons and were cursed to become at home neither in the water nor on the land.  Fishy scales, ape-like faces, and legs that could be either fused into a fin or usable on land - about a fifty-fifty chance which they were stuck with.
 
They all died out - but early in the days of the Empire another human community attempted to build permanent homes under a lake in what's now Meryonne.  Folk tradition says it was Gates magic gone wrong - but, whatever happened, the Ninaco phenotype reappeared.  This time around it seemed to be something that would periodically reappear around the known world, though the means of transmission is hard to determine.  Is it a vampiric plague?  Does some Gates cult like creating these things?  Are some children just born monstrous and make their way to the water?
 
There are no known Ninaco communities in the present day, but if Gates magic is a serious factor that doesn't mean much.
 
The second are your classical Sirens, and they look like Ariel or her dad.  Again, though, this batch seems never to have been human to begin with; they were either summoned to the world via Gates magic or created outright, and in their earliest centuries they were generally unavoidably lethal (though they were also unspeakably beautiful, and there were legendary romances between them and human beings).  Curiously enough, it seems that the Satyrs helped tame and humanize the more contemporary generations.
 
They too are extremely hard to find, but they seem to exist in family groups - or larger communities still.

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Hmm...that does not seem to fit the girl's stated ancestral origins in either case, nor does it seem to describe their current appearance/abilities. And I have to assume that their historic knowledge on the former subject, as shaky as that credibility ultimately is, must have some weight to it. In that case I'm inclined to go with my theory that the river girls have a completely different ancestor entirely, and are completely unrelated to the known kinds of merfolk on Mineta's side of the Wall. Which I think can easily work, given the time tables involved and the whole "Exile" thing, but it begs multiple questions about the time before the Exile. Might have to get an historian/archaeologist involved in that discussion, at some point...I at least know one person who'd be interested in digging up that history and presenting it in a strictly historic fashion, at any rate...

As for more questions, well, here's one that could be an interesting read:

On 3/23/2019 at 2:14 PM, freespace2dotcom said:

2. Are there any steam engines on campus?

On 3/23/2019 at 3:00 PM, Legate of Mineta said:

2) No, iirc the only they had was destroyed a few years ago. 

On 3/23/2019 at 3:26 PM, freespace2dotcom said:

I'd like to ask how that steam engine was destroyed. Surely a good story is in that.

Got a few others, too, but those will have to be PMed as otherwise I'd have to [redacted] like three quarters of it.

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M;

"Ah, the steam engine.

With the tacit support of Finus Piaxenza, then Professor Giovanni di Lucca Alazzo melted the thing to slag in 1653 - which impressed the heck out of Mineta's Golden List (the old, aristocratic families, for the most part) and probably ensured GdLA's ascent to the Vernin Regency.

Why?  Well.

The Great Steam Engine was a parting gift from the outgoing Durand Regent in 1650.  It was also a subtle insult to von Rupprecht, since it was in no way magical and yet the von Rupprecht family had had a hand in its design and construction.  It was meant as a big, expensive reminder that von Rupprecht was from the far northeast and couldn't really be a part of Minetan magical culture.

And that was fine as far as it went - though Vernin's patrons always thought it was too ugly and coarse to hold a prominent place on campus.

The thing was, starting in about the Spring of `52, the Great Steam Engine was adopted as a kind of symbol of revolution by one of the Pievran Republican conspiracies that periodically flare up.  The world doesn't need ancient magical bloodlines (and their libraries and vaults) to keep running!  Even the non-magical proles can have their labors eased by simple mechanical devices!

Well, after a Republican prank stained the trousers of one Philander Chard - publicly! - the city elite were in the mood for a dramatic, and possibly bloody, reprisal.  Piaxenza came up with the idea for something dramatic, symbolic, and (to his mind) likely to beautify the campus, and kindly offered the idea to GdLA, who needed a publicity boost in his campaign for the Regency.  And, of course, it ensured von Rupprecht's support as well.

The students don't generally know this story unless they're really into Academy politics, of course."

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So Professor Briardi assumed her position as Durand regent in 1650, unless there was someone who filled it for less than seven years, eh? Either way that puts her as having been the Durand Regent for less than 15 years.

Now as soon as I remember why that detail was important I'll be in business :rolleyes:.

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14 hours ago, Legate of Mineta said:

OK:

"There are local, idiosyncratic exceptions, but the basic service generally goes something like this:

 
1)  A devotee, usually a young boy or girl, will pour water on the altar.
 
2)  The temple's Magister Sacrorum (generally an elderly priest or auspex who no longer conducts services in any other capacity) will then magically cleanse the altar.
 
3)  An auspex (priest-astrologer) will look for signs of divine favor - or at least a lack of opposition.
 
4)  The temple doors are opened, and bells are sounded to banish hostile or unclean powers.
 
5)  Gifts of penitential bread are offered at the altar.  If a supplicant doesn't bring his or her own, most temples usually have plates of the stuff you can buy for a pim. Gifts of coin are directly accepted at the altar (usually placed in a box of ashwood) in lieu of bread.
 
6)  Sometimes, people (generally wealthy and influential people) come with really spectacular gifts/donations/sacrifices.  These come after the "simple offering," and are usually coordinated with the temple beforehand.
 
7)  Sacred music is sung.
 
😎 The officiating priest, or Antisto, will cast an Astrological benediction spell over the crowd.  (These are often faked or botched, particularly in poor rural areas, simply because the priest lacks magical training.)
 
9)  The Simple Prayer is offered by the Antisto - an appeal to the power in question (in this case Iudocia) for intervention on behalf of the faithful.
 
10)  If there was an exceptional offering back in stage 6, the Antisto holds a special prayer - "the appeal to the star" - on behalf of the celebrant or his or her cause.  Another astrological spell is generally cast to bring luck to the proceeding.
 
11)  The auspex will perform an astrological ritual (not a spell with a wand, as a rule) to see whether the offerings are accepted and whether Iudocia's good will can be expected.  It is very, very rare for any significant response to occur; this is almost purely pro forma.
 
12)  More sacred music is sung while the offerings are carried to a chamber beyond the altar.
 
13)  When the offerings are gone and the sacred chamber is sealed, the congregants, still singing, file out of the building.  In some cases there's dancing once everyone's outside, but it's not mandatory.
 
14)  The Antisto follows the congregation outside and offers one final benediction.
 
15)  The Antisto goes back inside.  When the temple doors close, the crowd is free to leave.
 
16)  The Magister Sacrorum reconsecrates the altar."

Wonderfully detailed description - perfect for my adventure.

Is ethnomusicology a recognized field of study?

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Schwarzbart;

This particular steam engine was built for demonstration, without using magic. The 'production' engines used by Ruckmarn in their ships are magically enchanted or enhanced.

Rhi;

No, not as such.

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Been a while, so I check back, and I see questions being answered! :)

13 minutes ago, Schwarzbart said:

What is this Great Steam Engine powering during demonstrations and what fuel is it using?

SB; Odds are it would not be powering anything. It would just be a demonstration for the masses. Kind of like here:

Legate!

How is Y2 Progressing? It's gotta be pretty close to beta now, right? :)

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I still think it powering something like a sawmill because I suspect that there enough people who can't beliefe that something powered by wood, charcoal or coal could move anything without magic. Unlike in our modern time where it is common knowledge that you can use fuel to move a car in Academagia working example are still rare to find so that this common knowledge is missing!

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Schwarzbart;

It turns out it was a bit more elaborate:

"It was used to power kind of a room-sized, clockwork "zoo" that had been built on top of the engine itself.  Elaborate metal animals would move back and forth in complicated ways, driven by a system of gears under the floor of the display.

The creators of the piece actually had people shoveling coal into its guts back home in Priestadt.  At the Academy, though, students just enchanted a few hundred stones to give off obscene amounts of heat whenever the sun was in the sky.

Nobody even thought it was cheating."

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