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08:20 am: Magic Spells Help — part two.

You guys were a great help yesterday!

But, from your good comments, I realized that you could probably be more help if I gave a few more specifics. So, here's a question or two:

 

1) Love Spells…there is love enchantment…but the enchantment is music with a scent and visible sparkly lights. So, it's not subtle. Still…you could play it on a sleeping person or something.

My question is: In a culture where there were love spells…what disasters and legal problems/solutions do you foresee that might be different from what we have?

 

2) Conjuring. They can conjure stuff that lasts up to a day. It can be made permenant under certain circumstances, but that is a different issue. My question is: What uses can you think up for temporary stuff?

I've already thought of:

Plates…you could learn to conjure really nice dinnerware. So that every night, you would have this beautiful table. You would eat. Then you would just thorow the plates away. When they vanished, the food left on them would be left in the trash. No washing dishes.

Candy…making food with Conjuring not that wise, since it disappears. But you could make a quick vanish sweet that you could eat and would then disappear.

What other uses of being able to make anything temporarily can you think of?

Thanks in advance!

 

Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon. (link)

Comments

[User Picture]
From:jordan179
Date:September 6th, 2012 01:06 pm (UTC)
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Rape becomes horribly easy, assuming whatever form of contact permits the application of the love spell. Possibilities are:

(1) Society treats application of love spells as "force" for the purposes of laws against rape, molestation, etc. and treats the unwanted application of spells in general as "assault and battery." Much like our society, save that people now have more to worry about.

A lot depends on how easy the past application of spells is to detect. If it is easy, then the law can deter such rapes, molestations, etc. If it is hard, then it becomes plausible that such acts will proceed to not merely rape but even forced marriage.

If it is difficult or impossible to detect the spells, then the other two alternatives appear:

(2) Society treats magic as "less serious" than other types of force. This is very improbable, because the possibility of such magics being applied would terrify both sexes. If this happens, then society becomes very sexually fearful -- think of Saudi Arabia on steroids -- and people only meet each other under behind layers of magical protection, unless there is great mutual trust. More likely

(3) Society treats magic as "more serious" than other types of force. Depending on how easy it is to apply and hard to detect the love spells, this may take the extreme of outright forbidding all magic and treating magicians as criminals until proven otherwise. This was the (imagined) reality of the 16th-17th centuries in Europe, and of the present day in parts of the Mideast and Africa.

Given your stated limits, people would not meet other people alone unless they really trusted them, or unless they had magical protection. And the application of love spells to the non-consenting would almost certainly be treated as rape, molestation or fraud, depending on the intent and consequences.
[User Picture]
From:marycatelli
Date:September 6th, 2012 11:58 pm (UTC)

evidence

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The witch craze entirely depended on relaxed standards of evidence. When it ended, and in regions where it never really got going, what stopped it was judges demanding evidence up to the standards of other crimes. For instance, the Spanish Inquisition demanded evidence that the illness blamed on the witch was actually unnatural, and then there were questions about whether the witch had really caused it, even if it were unnatural.
[User Picture]
From:jordan179
Date:September 7th, 2012 12:20 am (UTC)

Re: evidence

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The witch craze entirely depended on relaxed standards of evidence.

Well yes, which in turn stemmed from panic. And the panic came from the general belief that, in fact, witches were being used by Satan as instruments to destroy society by sowing death and discord.

Now suppose that there really were witches and they might cast love spells to seduce you, or your mother, or sister, or daughter, or beloved? Suppose that every day the papers were reporting women raped by magic, pregnant, driven insane? You don't think there'd be a panic at least as bad as that of the 16th-17th century witch craze, which was founded on paranoia, delusions and lies?
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From:justjohn
Date:September 6th, 2012 01:40 pm (UTC)
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I imagine users of love spells would be as respected in their world as people who use roofies on others are in ours.
[User Picture]
From:johncwright
Date:September 6th, 2012 02:56 pm (UTC)
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"My question is: In a culture where there were love spells…what disasters and legal problems/solutions do you foresee that might be different from what we have?"

First, no maiden would ever be left alone and unchaperoned with a man, ever, ever. because here you have a world where a crime worse than rape can be carried out, and the seduced victim cannot even testify against her rapist, because (thanks to the love spell) she loves him and consents.

Second, any instrument capable of such a spell, musical or otherwise, would be treated the way we treat a firearm, as a dangerous instrumentality to respect.

Third, every maiden would carry earplugs charmed with a 'besilencing' charm.

Fourth, every marriage ceremony would have a magical examination to ensure those who take vowed were not under the influence of a charm or enchantment; and, depending on how love spells work, the same would be true for signing contracts, and so on.

Fifth, any girl who eloped would be presumed to be under a spell even if she were not.

Sixth, the punishments would be severe and horrifying.
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:September 6th, 2012 02:57 pm (UTC)
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Luckily, drawing a ward stops the effect...so no girl would ever go anywhere without her familiar.

From:(Anonymous)
Date:September 6th, 2012 06:37 pm (UTC)
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Wouldn't her familiar be blocked by a temporary magic wall? Also, can a ward be drawn on top of a pre-existing ward? Either way would seem to block your defense. In a meta-sense, Rape would seem to be a crime committed by women against men in your world. The hot burning anger and shame that seems to be the catalyst for male Rape would attract Succubi quite strongly, and given the weak wills of those who act on those urges, I can't seem them surviving to make "real women" suffer. On the other hand, I can very easily see women rationalizing that they are just "helping him Man Up" by using a love spell. There's a story for you, given the tendency of women to fight over men. What happens to the guy who gets hit with six or seven "love spells" at about the same time?......
[User Picture]
From:marycatelli
Date:September 6th, 2012 06:25 pm (UTC)
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Under Roman law, rape by seduction was treated worse than rape by force, because it meant you deluded the woman into loving you for your injury.
[User Picture]
From:jordan179
Date:September 7th, 2012 12:21 am (UTC)
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Good point, and the Romans didn't have to deal with real magic -- though they believed that they did, sometimes.
[User Picture]
From:marycatelli
Date:September 6th, 2012 07:31 pm (UTC)
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Men would probably not be allowed to be alone and unchaperoned with women, either.

For that matter, there would probably be a way to charge third parties with rape, if you fed a love potion to both parties and shoved them together.
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:September 6th, 2012 07:41 pm (UTC)
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Yeah...that's a very good point.
[User Picture]
From:johncwright
Date:September 6th, 2012 03:03 pm (UTC)
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"What uses can you think up for temporary stuff?"

All murders would be done with temporary weapons. Large scale building, or any operation where moving a crane to a location was difficult, would be done with temporary equipment rather than hauling things around. All military equipment or emergency gear such as fire ladders would be conjured on the spot rather than hauled to it. Instead of tents, campers would conjure temporary castles and palaces for the evening.

Perhaps Houses would have no doors, you would just conjure one when you wanted to go in and out. Or you might live in burial mounds, and conjure light and air rather than open a window.

Fashion changes too quickly for dressmaking to be worthwhile: donnas would conjure dresses and gowns only for a single ball, and have their glass shoes vanish at midnight.

Ditto for carriages made of pumpkins and such: no need for grooms and stables if your horses only exist for 12 hours.

The magicians would never build bridges. Stream would be crossed on boats or bridges conjured out of flowers and spiderwebs.

If you make a conjuring society the way I suggest above, your look and feel will not resemble too closely the book on which your book is based -- which may be a good thing.
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:September 6th, 2012 03:18 pm (UTC)
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Hmm...I realize it might be helpful to say a bit more:

Only small and simple things can be conjured by the average conjurer...so those kinds of things could be conjured on a regular basis. Knives, certainly.

Big things or things with any complexity would need to be conjured by an expert, of which there are few. The military, for instance, would really want someone who could conjure a bridge...but whether there would during any given engagement be someone available who was able to do it would be an issue.

A realy good conjurer is about as rare as a really good artist.

In a few years, 3-D printers are going to make our world look a lot like this society, aren't they?
[User Picture]
From:cmzero
Date:September 6th, 2012 04:00 pm (UTC)
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This handles my suggestion/concern: how to deal with fraud and counterfeiting. Conjure a contract, complete with realistic signature. Buy a lottery ticket, then when the winning numbers are announced, conjure a duplicate with those instead of the ones you bought. Create lots and lots of money and spend it while you can.

But if "really good conjurers" are rare, then so long as currency and other legal documents have sufficient detail, it will require the best to duplicate them, and that risk is no greater than dealing with the very best counterfeiters in this world.
From:robert_mitchell
Date:September 6th, 2012 06:57 pm (UTC)
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What about, say, rat poison? Do the rats stay dead? What about a simple clay mold? Do the items stay molded? Conjuring what you think of, or Platonic Ideals of what you want? Is ignorance bliss? Can you summon an unbreakable shield because you think they are possible?

Does it work in reverse? If so, then doors and windows are "made" as needed. Certainly stairs would be conjured as needed. Save effort and space!

No fireplaces or teapots, just conjure Heat as needed. Few things simpler...

Can people learn to conjure a complex thing with knowledge and practice? I.E, is division of labor why your world has cities?
[User Picture]
From:marycatelli
Date:September 6th, 2012 06:29 pm (UTC)
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Gee, that would be a fun world to write in.
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:September 6th, 2012 06:50 pm (UTC)
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Go right ahead!

This is such a small part of my general background...and due to story constraints, I am severely limited in what I can do with it,(Mine has to look like modern earth,)that your version would definitely be quite different from mine.

So, write away!

From:(Anonymous)
Date:September 6th, 2012 06:26 pm (UTC)
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On love spells...

I could see it being used for arranged marriage. It could be a matter of pressure to make sure it works out, or simply what two people DO when they're forced to marry and want to make it bearable. Even when the marriage is not arranged, it might be something couples do of their own will every few years if they feel the passion is going out of there relationship. Hm, are there non-romantic versions? I could see a love spell variation being used for adoption or stepchildren, making familial love bonds so that appropriate relationships are made at once?

Is there a way to cancel natural love? If so, expect it to be used a lot, so every unwanted urge could be taken care of by a potion? Could a spell work on a class of people? "I cannot be attracted to my cousins out to the 3rd generation." "As a high school teacher I can never romantically love any of my students."


Other, similar emotions to love, such as loyalty? I could see all or most oaths being magically binding, granting a sincere desire to uphold the oath. Depending on how hard it is, it might be part of every contract, or at least major ceremonies such as joining the military or becoming a citizen of a country.

Such magicians would view love very differently from us, of course. They would view it as a matter of duty or perhaps choice. Their marriage traditions might have nothing like our own courtship, replaced with something closer to a business deal or job interview.

Strangely, if it was ingrained enough in the culture, it might produce the opposite effect of John's view, where men are routinely trusted NOT to have bad intentions towards woman, as they'd be assumed to magic any unwanted or troublesome feelings away. It could lead to an extremely trusting culture, where anyone who refuses to have general mind control on them to only have socially approved relationships would be viewed about as well as we view pedophiles.
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:September 6th, 2012 06:47 pm (UTC)
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I had been thinking that one definite use might be concenting couples making their relationship more fun.

>Is there a way to cancel natural love?
For plot reasons, no...but BOY! It is amazing that most magical traditions don't include a cure for infatuation. I think that would make a mint.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:September 6th, 2012 07:36 pm (UTC)
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Agreed, it's basically one of the most socially useful things possible...

Now, as a thought, gender segregation might not be a solution here. When males and females are cut off from each other, homosexuality becomes more common. Homophobia might become intense in this culture, especially among men. It might reach the point where EVERYONE is chaperoned, not just women. Society might not have much privacy at all, outside perhaps blood relatives. Fear of being mind controlled could lead to architecture being extremely open to limit opportunity, and everyone might travel in groups? People might even sleep exclusively in dormitories of several people, even as adults.
From:robert_mitchell
Date:September 6th, 2012 10:59 pm (UTC)
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Consenting adults? I think it far more likely that arranged Marriages would be the order of the day, the "love" spell cast on the happy couple before they can speak or walk. Natural Marriages would probably be against the Law, allowing as it does the horror of wife and husband beating, child abuse, and adultery. As well not vaccinate your children....
(no subject) - (Anonymous) Expand
From:(Anonymous)
Date:September 7th, 2012 02:11 am (UTC)

The Principle of the Dishes

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If you can conjure a plate, you can probable conjure a mold for casting parts. Suddenly investment casting gets a lot easier. You could create a temporary mold (or copy it from an existing master if that is easier) fill it and then let it vanish leaving a part behind. Or create complex sand molds by conjuring a specific part, embedding it in sand, and then let it vanish but leave the mold cavity behind in the sand.

If you can conjure fairly simple chemical compounds, you purify anything. Conjure the relevant solvent (which could actually be quite chemically simple), let it work on the base material, pour the solution off, and then let the solvent vanish leaving your desired purified material behind.
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:September 7th, 2012 02:15 am (UTC)

Re: The Principle of the Dishes

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They could definitely do the mold casting. A liquid of a particular chemical would be harder...but somebody could learn to do it...probably.

In this system, it is much easier to conjure things people dream about at night than things that they don't.
[User Picture]
From:annafirtree
Date:September 7th, 2012 06:50 pm (UTC)

Re: The Principle of the Dishes

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I'm far more likely to dream about castles and dragons than about plates and butter knives.
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:September 7th, 2012 06:52 pm (UTC)

Re: The Principle of the Dishes

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True...but one has less uses for twenty-four hour castles than for twenty-four hour plates. ;-)

Some...but less.

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