wintercreek: Silhouette of a person with an umbrella under a multi-colored rain with the text "starshowers." ([misc] starshowers)
[personal profile] wintercreek
Another worldbuilding question:

Is Christmas (and, by extension, Christianity) a Wizarding thing, a Muggle thing, or some combination of the two? If Jesus is considered to be a wizard, was he always a wizard, or has there been a historical rewrite? Or is the whole thing glossed over as not religious but cultural, which perhaps has not-to-be-discussed roots in Muggle history?

It seems to be acceptable for wizards to reference and swear by Jesus - [livejournal.com profile] alt_mcgonagall's Oh Christ Jesus on Halloween's Grim Truth, which prompted an [livejournal.com profile] alt_fen discussion with an [livejournal.com profile] alt_player. It looks from that discussion as though general mention of Jesus in a "language developed in a predominantly Christian culture" kind of way is acceptable, but worship or belief in Christianity wouldn't be.

We have a few mentions of Christmas and the Christmas season, holiday parties, and so forth. More recently [livejournal.com profile] alt_sirius gives us a passage in the latest Grim Truth that reads
And this time of year is perfect for it. The season of Christmas is approaching, and I see from much of your writing that you are all preparing for the pleasantries as your means permit. But amid the bustle, I ask you to pause and think about the things they would rather you not consider. I ask you to pause in your scurrying about laying in the pudding and the goose and the presents, and think about the true lessons and spirit of the festival. It’s not just a time to gather our loved ones and neighbours to us. It’s not just about our gifts to our own, but the affirmation of generosity and graciousness to all—and that includes halfbloods, Muggle-borns and Muggles alongside ‘purebloods.’ ... Especially in this season, the time of year when tradition encourages us to remember those less fortunate, to give to loved ones and neighbours, do not allow the lies to cloud the Grim Truth.

So perhaps this is another case like McG's mention of Jesus - more cultural than religious, with Sirius invoking a general sense of "peace on Earth, goodwill to all" without carrying the religious tradition with it?

I'm wondering if this is a case where my Americanism makes it hard for me to read this properly - the US is awfully sensitized to invocations of specific religious traditions and inclined toward replacing those invocations with nonspecific terms. Hence "Winter Break" and not "Christmas Break/Hols," "Spring Break" and not "Easter Hols." If Christmas is the generic term for the winter holiday season in British culture (and please tell me if I'm reading that right!), then it seems like Christian terminology in that regard is not only nonthreatening to the LP's regime but also too much trouble to change.

Are there wizards who follow religious traditions, or is that solely a Muggle thing? Were there wizards who formerly followed Muggle-based religions and can't do so (openly) any longer? Has Jesus been retconned to be a wizard, as I think we saw done earlier with Muggle musicians? (Reference for that, anyone?)

mystery

Dec. 4th, 2008 08:43 pm
ext_11796: (Default)
[identity profile] lapin-agile.livejournal.com
I love a good mystery!

So Draco is itchy and having trouble breathing.

Have we got a situation where [livejournal.com profile] alt_amycus is poisoning pigeons students? Or is it just really cold in the castle? (Others, including McG, have noted how cold this early winter is in Scotland.) Is Draco having an allergic reaction to something? (Pansy suggests that you can develop allergies as you get older; Draco says no one in his family has allergies. This Muggle wonders if in-breeding has unfortunate effects...)

Or has someone hexed Draco? (And have the house elves suddenly this term happened to forget how to make savory food?) Or is it a dry run for a student game of AK? Or is there something going on we don't yet have enough information to understand?

Does this take us back to Halloween and the mystery of the troll? (Who set it loose in the castle?) Does it connect with Harry's broom's malfunction during the first Quidditch match? Does it connect with the reported sightings of Quirrell?

...

Or is it really the obvious (a situation where [livejournal.com profile] alt_amycus is poisoning pigeons students)?

Oh, how wonderful is a well-crafted mystery!!

:)
[identity profile] longstrider.livejournal.com
I'm reposting this from the previous thread as it isn't really related to the original topic and that thread is now humongous. I've made a few additions.

I was actually thinking about the camps and the different classes of people in Voldie's England. (Has it been established what portion of the Isles are behind the wards? Is it just Britian, B & Scotland, B & S & Wales or does it include Ireland as well?) I assume at minimum B&S and Seamus's presence would seem to indicate Ireland as well.

We have 4 to 7 classes of people, (1)Pure bloods, blood traitors, those of 'mixed' heritage but several generations back, (2)half-bloods, (3)muggle-born, (4)muggles and squibs.

A couple assumptions/questions here. In canon the muggle to wizard ratio is HUGE (UK pop minus N Ireland in 1981 was ~55,000,000, Ireland and N Ireland add another 3.7 million & even the most generous estimates of wizarding pop are in the 10,000 range unless JKR ignored hundreds of students at Hogwarts or failed to mention multiple other schools in the UK) multiple 1000s to 1 at best for wizards, specifically 5,900:1. If those numbers hold and there hasn't already been a massive slaughter/exodus of muggles this is a logistical problem of control so those in power need to be looking for an intermediary population to control the muggles or even more draconian population controls. When I say massive I mean MASSIVE, 90% reduction in muggle population still leaves the ratio at a barely manageable 600:1. Modern high-tech prisons have a prisoner to guard ratio of 4 or 5 to 1. I tried to find some numbers for the British in Imperial India, but couldn't. Found lots of over all and breakdowns of the native population but no numbers for Anglo or British born. And that's a massively different situation, not camps, very large intermediary population, old government basically coopted and then repeatedly reworked. The best I could find is 45 million in the British Isles and 256 million 'total souls' in India.

However in Wizarding Britian I see no intermediary population for them to coopt. Squibs haven't been touched on as to there treatment (but the absence of Flich speaks volumes,) Half-bloods are being integrated into the wizard population (see numerous examples in the journals,) and the most obvious choice, muggle-borns, is verboten by the PTB. Along with this we've seen no indication of a class of muggle 'foremen' or collaborators given special privileges. Arthur works with a 'mayor' but it really looks like the exception rather than the norm. There's nothing on the order of the Brahmans & Rajputs. This means (barring the aforementioned draconian population reductions something higher than 95%, quite possibly higher than 99%) that Voldie's regime is headed for problems, see real world British Imperial India & Apartheid South Africa.

Now we may just be hand waving the population problems (as JKR did, it's hard to reconcile Hogwarts student numbers and the Quidditch Cup audience numbers and well we're all familiar with her maths... issues) or working with different world assumptions or it's just not plot relevant so it's being ignored but my analytical brain and world building experience makes me want to poke at this sort of thing.

PS there's some really disturbing stuff out there from that era produced by the British, 'Aryan and higher class natives' is just the beginning.
ext_11796: (am_dumb)
[identity profile] lapin-agile.livejournal.com
I. How many journals are there?

    * I'm puzzled. I thought that the Lord Protector had distributed journals to everyone in Wizardom, even out-of-country wizards and those in hiding (a daunting thing, logistically, but he's Voldemort, so he could probably pull that off).

    * Sirius said early on (September 6) that he'd received two: his own and one for his cover identity: "Bloody Hell... another journal. This one to my official persona. Brilliant. It brings up an intriguing question of what to do with this journal."

    * Now Frank Longbottom posts to say that "Alice made me get one of these but I'm not certain I know how they work." This statement implies something very different about the journals and how they *do* work.

      * Did Voldemort fail to reach everyone (particularly some, like Frank, who are flying beneath the Ministry's radar)?

      * Has the Order filled the gap by adding some Order-only-spelled journals to the "network"? That would seem to require a retrofit of some magnitude on top of Bill Weasley's impressive bit of curse-breaking that allowed Order-only posting.


II. How do the journals work?

    * I'm not sure whether it's been suggested in the game, but I think we've discussed the likelihood that these journals are like Tom Riddle's diary in having some sort of enchantment to coerce the owner to write -- otherwise, they'd not be much good as a surveillance tool.

    * If every witch and wizard received a journal and most are posting in them, there are many posts that we readers are not seeing. (I'm cool with that. I'm not a Ministry drudge assigned to track all of the journals, and I don't want to see every dreary detail of every little life across Wizardom.)

    * But... what are we to imagine that each journal owner sees on the pages of her/his journal? Is every post being recorded on every journal like a great and all-encompassing flist on LJ?

    * Sirius's Grim Truth posts seem, indeed, to appear in every journal across Wizardom and in the camps, but perhaps that has required a special spell to achieve?

    * Perhaps others are able to read only those posts they ask their own journal to show them (aside from Sirius's unavoidably intrusive posts that turn up in your journal without your permission)?

    * If everyone's seeing every post by every witch and wizard, then it's hard to imagine anybody being able to keep up with a set of 40+ journals like we've got in game -- it's hard to imagine anybody (besides Ministry drudges and a few extremely disturbed persons) remaining at all curious about what others are posting in that sort of info-dump morass.

    * Sirius wrote (in that same September 6 post) that he imagined it would take some time before his posts would be noticed by the Death Eaters, but he was then formulating his plan to make his posts noticeable: "I suppose if I keep posting, eventually some Death Eater will find it, but it seems only fair to give them a sporting chance. All my cousins and in-laws out there, enjoying their fatted calves, hear that? That's right, I'm not afraid of you. Perhaps I ought to use this [journal] as an opportunity to give Malfoy and those Ministry toadies exactly what they want: Information about the state of the Wizarding world outside their fascist, oppressive regime."


III. Why does it seem that some people aren't using their journals?

    * The meta-answer is that they haven't been cast yet, but I'm asking about the game's explanation not that pragmatic answer.

    * Some, like Ernie and Frank, have entered play with posts that suggest they have not been writing in their journals (Ernie says he's been busy; Frank seems only recently to have gotten a journal at all).

    * Might others be able to ask us to assume they've been posting all the time but without our taking notice until now? Perhaps someone has to reply before a writer gets caught up in the web of inter-related journals we can see... or something like that.


    * Might some (Snape? The Carrows?) be better equipped to resist the powerful pull of the journal (if that is indeed a feature of these Protectorate-provided devices)?


ETA (11/15): Molly has just remarked in passing that once she learned who the twins dog turned out to be, she "charmed" her journal to allow her to read [livejournal.com profile] alt_terry's back posts. So. Molly is capable of cooking up a spell that manipulates what her journal shows her. Interesting!
[identity profile] longstrider.livejournal.com
Two questions/comments:

I'm too lazy to go search through it all. Has Sirius identified Harry as Lily and James son or has Draco pulled a Flint?

and

Would wizards really swear by Jesus? I know this is something that has been discussed elsewhere, but I haven't seen anything one way or the other in Alternity's context.

On the other hand, oh is this going to be kicking a hornet's nest. This is going to be fun to watch.

Voldemort

Sep. 19th, 2008 12:47 am
[identity profile] black-dog.livejournal.com
Hello, alt_fen! This looks fun.

There have been a couple of interesting comments about the game’s Voldemort lately. [Bad username or site: @ livejournal.com] in the post below suggests that Voldemort may still be consolidating his power if he’s only recently abolished Muggle Studies, and [Bad username or site: @ livejournal.com] in an associated comment, reminds us that “Voldemort is claiming to be the good guy, who protects and cares for his subjects.”

I'm not sure we have enough info to really run with this yet -- but there’s a really interesting issue here that bears watching as the game develops. And that is that Voldemort as Gothic Bogeyman cannot really survive the experience of Voldemort in Power. This game’s Voldemort is necessarily a politician. He may have dictatorial ambitions, but he has to work with and through other people, other powers. And some of them are potentially independent, unruly, tricky to manage from day to day. This is going to be fascinating to follow along with.

Read more . . .  )
ext_2472: (Default)
[identity profile] radiotelescope.livejournal.com
Someone commented on this on a blog post I made, but I thought I'd mention it here:

The game is using the 2008 calendar in some respects. September 16, 1991 was *not* a full moon. Of course, this is well within the bounds of "Just go with it, it's a game thing" but I would be betraying the principles of HP fandom nitpicking if I didn't point it out.

Similarly, in February, game time should experience a leap day (Feb 29 1992) but we won't see it.

ObPamelaDean: Remember to watch for comet Shoemaker-Levy hitting Jupiter in 1994!

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