An Introduction to New Acoma Territory

Deep in the desert, a culture of wizards and magical creatures arose that refused to sign on to the 1692 Statute of Secrecy that controlled most of the Wizarding World.

An Introduction to New Acoma Territory

Postby Gellert Grindelwald » Wed, 2009.09.16 15:04

This has been copied whole-cloth from Meht's Hogwarts, and a fair portion of it was written for that later time in this AU by Mitzi Tish. While we lack explicit permission to reproduce this information, the same admins ran that site as currently run this one. Grindelwald is attempting to back this information up about thirty years, as it was originally written for a game set in the late 1990s.


New Acoma Territory
In the Americas, wizarding territories only infrequently share boundaries with Muggle territories. Thus the territory of New Acoma, which the school serves, is actually comprised of the whole of New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada, as well as the greater part of Texas, Utah, and the Mexican states of Sonora, Chihuahua, and Coahuila, and smaller sections of Southern Colorado. Within the New Acoma Territory, a high percentage of Muggles retain a belief in magic and Magical Beings, and Wizards are able to live more openly, if not fully so, in most parts of the Territory. Many Muggles even seek out magical assistance from known Wizards and Magical Beings in the area. As might be expected, New Acoma refused the International Statute of Secrecy in 1692, instead, taking on a far less restrictive version of the same, and is one of the few places to do so that still survives, today.

The territory is primarily populated by people of Hispanic descent, who arrived between the 1500s and the 1700s, leading to a peculiar dialect of Spanish being spoken by the 30+ percent of the native population who speak Spanish. It is primarily Old Castillian, with many native words for the land and natural features, and English words for new inventions. Since 1967, Muggle government paperwork has generally been available in both English and Spanish, and Wizarding paperwork, as is standard, is available in Latin, English, Spanish, and Navajo, to cater to the 7% of the population who still speak Navajo. The Pueblo languages are unaddressed by both the Wizarding and Muggle governments.

Most Muggles living in the region (about 28%) practise Catholicism, with another 50+ percent involved with other forms of Christianity. On the reservations, native religions still have a foothold, but more firmly with the Wizarding populace than the Muggles, who have largely turned to the Catholic missions.

The City of Vortex
Vortex is the wizarding hub of the American Southwest. Customs are different than they are in wizarding England and so is some of the language. In referring to natives, the word "Wastelander" is in common usage, as comparisons have often been made between Vortex and T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land".

Chaos is a common ground for most of the magical creatures, here, and the language of Discordianism is widespread in the magical community, within Vortex proper, even among those who don't practice it. Instead of 'Merlin' as the wizarding man to swear both by and with, people say 'Her Ladyship'.

Mishra Eberhardt wrote:Locals in Vortex are different than in most other places in the muggle world. It is not at all uncommon to hear people discussing potion ingredients, or the results of esoteric spellwork in public. Local muggles simply assume that the wizards in question are a part of either local gamer or pagan communities. This suits the local wizards just fine, and if asked what we're talking about, those are usually the answers we'll give. Most muggles, however, are not any more comfortable with actually witnessing obvious wizardry than they are in other places, so actions, at least , remain somewhat covert.


Time in Vortex is not like it is in other places. Or rather, at least the way the locals look at it isn't. This may have been influenced by some of the local Native American tribes, as some of the ways of looking at things are similar, but no one's really sure. People describe events in terms of things that took place at around the same time, and the things that took place both before and afterwards. This changes people's perceptions in ways that are hard to put a finger on, but which flavour expression and interactions as well.


This guidebook will be divided into post-chapters, and most of the new information will be provided by the Moderator of Vortex, Mitzi Tish. This will become a guidebook to surviving in Vortex.

1) Places to Go
2) Meet the Species

Glossary:
Bruja - what the English call a witch
Kachina - an archetypal spirit, sometimes physical
Technomancer or Technoshaman - a person who has developed the art of combining Muggle technology with magic
Witch or Skinwalker - what the English call a dark wizard
Quidquid latine dictum sil altum viditur.

"It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been looking for evidence which could support this." - Bertrand Russell
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Gellert Grindelwald
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Places to Go

Postby Gellert Grindelwald » Wed, 2009.09.16 15:09

1) Places to Go

CoffeehellCoffeehell is never where you left it. However, the people inside seem to always be the same ones. The coffee is average and the bagels are day-olds, but the conversation is usually worthwhile.
[title="NPCs"]Julle Fraise
Age: 34
- Julle worked in various coffeeshops around Vortex before opening her own. She makes no distinction in the species of her customers -- anyone with manners and money will be served.
[/title]

Nightingale'sNightingale's is a tiny bookshop that deals in anything with words on it that isn't a textbook. Bizarre magical treatises have been known to appear in the back of the shop, from time to time. The cats, Maroon and Kasha, are generally friendly, although Kasha has a tendency to sit on top of the shelves and tap people on the head.
[title="NPCs"]Mishra Eberhardt
Age: 78
- Mishra fought alongside the Order of the Phoenix in the First Wizarding War, against Grindelwald. He has since retired to Vortex, where he focuses most of his energy on the acquisition and duplication of rare old books. A book, after all, is no good to anyone if it has disintegrated under the weight of time

Dahlia Eberhardt
Age: 62
- Dahlia is more precise than her husband, and cringes every time he gives a book to someone to whom he has taken a liking. She maintains the shop's accounts and remembers to feed the cats.
[/title]

ShikkaAn Arabic restaurant that serves the best mint tea in the Western world. There are both indoor and outdoor tables which are usually filled with foreign wizards who come to negotiate with technomancers an fae for treasures and knowledge to bring back to Europe. The restaurant is owned by a Jordanian family of wizards.
[title="NPCs"]Mahmoud Al-Suha
Age: 72
- Mahmoud has brought the things he loved about Jordan to Vortex with him. The restaurant is decorated in handmade tile, hammered copper plates, and fantastically improbable hookahs. Although he disagreed with the way his homeland was run, he still adores the people and the foods.
[/title]
Quidquid latine dictum sil altum viditur.

"It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been looking for evidence which could support this." - Bertrand Russell
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Gellert Grindelwald
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Meet the Species

Postby Gellert Grindelwald » Wed, 2009.09.16 15:15

2) Meet the Species
Vortex is primarily inhabited by non-human magical sentients, Muggles, and strange half-breed combinations of the two. Wizards, in the English sense, are somewhat more peculiar.

European Transplants
BrujaBruja are witches, but these are not quite the same cut of cloth as their NA counterparts. A bruja has loose alliances, and in some areas, are actually a sort of were-coyote. Brujas tend to be of Mexican heritage, and often follow Santoria, a strange version of Catholicism.

Every bit as dangerous as the voudoun and witches and Wizards, never take a bruja lightly. Evil magics are as quick to their hands as good, they do as they please and use all means available for that.

Bruja are usually known by their tendency to have numerous pieces of silver totems and medallions on their person. Most have a spicy odor clinging to them. The bruja who has attained the hide of a coyote to wear as the beast tends to have a strong 'doggy' smell. Unlike European weres, silver is not a deterrent. Often they are beheaded and their feet and hands removed, but the pelt of the coyote must be burned, or they will return as the were-coyote.

The longer a bruja uses the coyote hide, the more likely it is to become one.


LeananThe Leanan are astoundingly beautiful in every culture in which they make their homes -- which results in a wide range of appearances between tribes. They are fanatical patrons of the arts, encouraging the creation, performance, and display of as much art as their home communities will support.


PookaThese shapeshifters, depending on their emotional state, become either rabbits or skinless horses. They are famed for their attempts to evade the truth, and while one will not outright tell an untruth, they will imply many things that are not wholly accurate. Pooka are rabid button-pushers, and will make any situation worse, purely to amuse themselves.


TrollTrolls are strong, loyal, and huge. Normally, they are found working as bouncers or security personnel, in Vortex, but never as police. Trolls have an innate distaste for certain kinds of corrupt behaviours, and a Troll bouncer at the door is a good sign that a bar or club does not engage in those practices.


Succubi/IncubiThese strangely attractive creatures arrived with the Spanish in the 1500s. Ever since, they have been drawn to strongholds of those most likely to submit to their nearly always fatal bondage. Succubi (as they appear most commonly) have the ability to drain energy from anything they engage in passionate acts. They are also able to teleport instantly, unerringly, and soundlessly.


Native Creatures
The DesertAll things here are not bad or nasty, but all things here have the capacity to become horribly nasty when wronged. If they can not make themselves known, be assured that more powerful beings will be quick to take their case. The Deer Maiden wronged, for instance, there is little she can do if one is outside of her power, however, Puma will quickly take all she desires for vengeance and then some.

As a general guide Most Native American beings accept milk, bread or tortillas, tobacco, strong alcoholic spirits, and shiny trinkets as offering. Cold iron is not the deterrent to them that it is to their European counterparts, nor are most of the usual methods of driving them away. Salt, sage, water, and fire are all purifiers.

It is preferred to attract good spirits, or the good humour of even a 'bad' spirit, thus, there are more ways recorded to secure their favour than to drive them off. Shamans, Bruja, Medicine Men and Women will drive off the purely evil usually with specific song and contents of a medicine bag. The medicine bag is analogous to both the gris-gris bag and cauldron.

In general belief, what is good shall endure. What is evil shall be put down. If the humans fail to manage this balance, the supernature steps in. Humans are tested, found wanting, they are punished. Found to need guidance, they are guided. Found to be good, often, they are taken up to the heart of the supernature and given place among them. Other times, they are given back to their people and left to guide others.


ElementalsElementals are beings of pure energy, as Kachinas are beings of pure belief. Commonly, elementals come in four varieties earth, air, fire, and water, but with certain shifts in the cultural climate, wood and metal elementals have been known to make brief appearances. Elementals are generally short-lived, but they are not known for naivete.


Hunting Hyena (Chasmaporthetes ossifragus)As large as a bear, this is the only hyena ever to become native to North America. Called the 'hunting' hyena, this creature had long legs and the wide jaws of its modern descendent. Large, lethal, with the teeth of all the "bone crushers", as both a predator and a scavenger, it was highly successful.

It is presumed the creature possessed the ability to make the vocalizations of its kin to come, hair raising 'laughter' that once heard, can never be forgotten.

Long extinct as the ice age overtook the continent, of course.

Except...

In the Vortex, time moves of its own volition, mists open out into over dawns, the veil is exceptionally thin.

Any predator finding sufficient food will thrive where it has come to. Or even when.


KachinaKachinas are manifestations of local deities and other mythological figures. A kachina is not the essence of the figure, but a local manifestation brought into being by local belief. One mythological figure may manifest several kachinas, at once, each one slightly different.


PumaPuma or Cougar is closely akin to the Mocker, or Raven. These are Devil-like beings who do evil for the sake of doing evil. Puma will appear either as a puma or as a strong man wearing a Puma mask. This being is closely allied with its totem animal, suspect any puma of holding Puma.

Puma strikes from behind, and is silent only until he does strike. Then he screams in a voice stolen from his victim. Given opportunity, Puma will do anything required to create discord. The angry or emotional person is a much easier kill.


The MockerThe Mocker, or Raven, is a large raven by totem and appearance. Taking human form, Mocker appears as a vastly aged man, for he steals the years of life from his victims. This makes him live longer and look older (contrary to similar year-stealers who look eternally young).

Mocker is far more of a scavenger than Puma. While Puma will scavenge, he is primarily a hunter. Mocker seeks out the ill, and his voice sucks away their vitality ever more until he can devour their remaining years in their death. Mocker can be driven away by the proper songs and medicines (holy objects). Puma is far less easy to deter.


The WendigoOnly the depths of winter could watch in mute horror as the wendigo created itself. It is manifestation of the madness the freezing cold brings to the unwary, unlucky, and unprepared. Said to have been originally a man who fell to cannibalizing his companions during a severe winter, it has gone far beyond that.

Running between seven and ten feet tall, the wendigo is a hideous, twisted thing, as if a Yeti frostbitten black, burnt on ice. Limbs are hooked, deformed seeming, it is an eater of human flesh, yet will gladly turn upon its eldritch kin for a meal. Its head has elongated at the jaws to facilitate this taste.

The wendigo cannot be seen from the side easily. It appears as slender as paper. From the back, there is only one thing it can be, itself. From the front -- looking into the eyes of the monster will freeze the heart, and sent the poor unfortunate down the same path of madness that will make them into the next wendigo.

Brawny, disgusting, with the strength of the trolls -- and not nearly so pretty or nice. There are dire consequences for facing these far flung beasts that follow the snows. It is recommended on hearing their cry -- a chilling moan -- to run. Never look at their eyes, and get away.

Though the fledgeling touch of the wendigo can be undone, once it has progressed to the eating of human flesh, the victim is doomed.


Yucca SylphsThese spirits of the Agave plant enjoy tempting travellers into dangerous games, frequently involving enormous quantities of tequila. If you are born and raised in the community they call home, you are exempt from their trickery, and if you greet one, you may be invited to stay for a bowl of posole. They enjoy hearing tales of trickery from other natives, and are frequently found in the company of pooka.


The Little PeopleThough Cherokee can be almost considered a universal language of the Natives, it is difficult (this is why it was used as code), and Hopi is as prevalent as Navajo, so, for the sake of the eyes, simply the English "Little People".

There are four tribes of the Little People. Roughly analogous to 'house elves' or 'household spirits', 'brownies' and the like, these are literally small versions of the natives nearby. Their defining characteristic, other than size (usually between two and three feet in height) is their beauty and long hair, often as long as they are tall.

There are those that live in the mountains and stony places. These like to drum, and are usually kindly to humans near at hand. Another tribe prefers the waters, and will punish those misusing those waters. The air tribe lives closest to humans, for they are usually invisible. Both mischievous and helpful, when called on, their help in healing is invaluable. The last tribe is not fire, as may be expected, rather, they're forest dwellers, and likely will be rare seen on the desert.

Suspect the very good looking midget of Native American appearance of being a Little Person. Treat them kindly, and good fortune follows. Treat them badly, and bad fortune follows, though restitution may be made.

Pester them with questions and curiousity past what they feel is polite, and earn forever the curse of Puzzlement. Closely akin to the curse "may you live in interesting times", this curse causes the sufferer to be constantly confused and to never grasp what they seek. In its most severe form, it is aphasic, meaning, nothing going in or out makes any sense at all. The sufferer literally babbles idiotically, and hears everything as disjointed and bizarre.
Quidquid latine dictum sil altum viditur.

"It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been looking for evidence which could support this." - Bertrand Russell
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Gellert Grindelwald
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Posts: 111
Joined: Mon, 2009.06.01 08:43
 


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