Gajihsondis Jemison's "History of Magic on Turtle Island, Volume I" • /r/harrypotter
A fellow flaired user on Reddit wrote up this great reimaging of New World magic for the Harry Potter universe that I wanted to share. Hope you enjoy!
Meta-Introduction: This is something I’ve been working on off and on since March. The primarily inspiration came from a conversation we had over at/r/IndianCountry about how Native American lore was handled in Rowling’s History of Magic in North America. The in-setting author is Gajihsondis Jemison, a Seneca wizard who I picture as a professor of History at Ilvermorny as well as being the wizarding world’s equivalent of Arthur C. Parker. He’s writing in response to the publication of a text similar to theHistory of Magic in North America. Volume I is concerned with pre-colonial and early colonial history up to about 1692, and is divided geographically.
- The Northern Path
- The Southern Path
- The Eastern Path
- The Southwestern Path
- The Northwestern Path
Volume II will be concerned with Native American influences the early days of Ilvermorny and the affects of the Statute of Secrecy and the expansion of MACUSA on indigenous communities in North America. It’ll be a while before that’s ready though.
When I learned that the esteemed professor of history at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry had undertaken the challenge of penning a history of magic on Turtle Island - as North America is often called in indigenous circles - I was thrilled. This is an admirable task. There is much that students at Hogwarts and elsewhere can learn by studying this topic. However, after reading the initial samples submitted for review, I must confess I found the work thus far lacking, particularly in its understanding of indigenous traditions. In light of this, I find myself compelled to supplement this work so that students may gain a deeper understanding of the rich history of this continent.The magical history of Turtle Island is as old and diverse as the continent itself. That said, there are some general issues that we must address early, especially for the benefit of those students more familiar with the magical paradigms of Europe.For as long as there have been people, there have been those who study and draw power for the Mystery that surrounds us. In English, we are known as wizards and witches today, though many traditional practitioners reject these terms. While I respect our European brothers’ and sisters’ right to reclaim names that have long been demonized in their own lands, this rejection is completely understandable. These terms came to us in their vilified forms and have long been associated with those who have succumbed to the Dark Arts. In our own languages, we are known by many names: támali, wakondagi (Old and New), tarriassuit, halait, yaya’t, nagual, and countless others. These are prefered, but in this work I will also be employing “magician” as a general term for a practitioner of magic.Until the imposed segregation by MACUSA in 1692, most indigenous societies made little distinction between magicians and no-majes. Magic is just one of many ways a person may accrue power and prestige and not necessarily regarded as the best due to the temptation of the Dark Arts. That distinction, between practitioners of the Dark Arts and everyone else, is given far greater importance.It is also important to note here that, while there are religious magicians, there are no magical religions. Religious beliefs in the Americas are no more tied to magic than they are in the Old World. What power religions possess appears deeper and more mysterious than our current theories of magic can comprehend, and also do not distinguish between magician and no-maj. Religions, therefore, are beyond the scope of this work and should not be confused with magic.Since magician and no-maj have historically been socially integrated, the concept of a magical government separate from its no-maj counterpart is a colonial imposition. That said, magicians did create formal societies for the spread and maintenance of magical knowledge. We might call these “schools” if that term did not call to mind the erroneous notion of an academic institution, which were rare in the Americas where systems of apprenticeship abound. Instead, they are known as Paths and five dominate the history of Turtle Island prior to 1692.
THE NORTHERN PATH
Of the Magician Paths, the Northern Path is the oldest in its current form. The Tuniq magician Kulluittumuk established the path in the 9th Century, drawing inspiration and followers from all over the tundra and taiga. Initially, the teachings of the Northern path emphasized protective magic, such as warding Enchantments and counter-Spells. Such skills remain essential. The long winter nights and the sparse human population of the high Arctic have allowed all manner of Beings and Beasts, many malevolent, to flourish.
The Northern Path is composed of two major communities. The more numerous are the tarriassuit, a hidden society much like the reclusive wizarding communities of Europe. Today the tarriassuit are a multi-ethnic people, but originally they were Tuniit who chose seclusion over confrontation during the Inuit migrations of the 11th Century. The later infusion of Inuit into tarriassuit society led to their language become the lingua magi of the Northern Path. The tarriassuit live in communities composed mostly of magicians and any no-maj spouses and children they may have. From a young age, tarriassuit magicians are taught spells to befuddle the senses and cloud memories to elude the detection of outsiders. If a no-maj does happen to catch a glimpse of a tarriassuq, they often confuse the magician for an ijiraq - a caribou-headed humanoid Being that live among the tarriassuit. Antlered headdresses, as common among the tarriassuit as pointed hats are among European magicians, no doubt contributes to this confusion.
The second community of magicians are the angakkuit. They maintain the old traditions of the Northern Path, living among no-maj communities to protect them from malevolent entities and maintaining the peace between humans and the other Beings that dwell in the Arctic. Technically anyone - magician and no-maj - who performs this function is worthy of the title angakkuq. While a few angakkuit are born in tarriassuit communities, most have lived among their own people all their lives. Due to suppression by both Scourers and MACUSA, there are few angakkuit magicians left practicing. Despite their own preference for secrecy, the tarriassuit offer whatever aid they can to any magician (and even a few no-majes) who take up the mantle of angakkuq in the face of such adversity. They know all too well the necessity of such protection.
The magical dangers of the North are many but have changed over time. In Kulluittumuk’s day, the principal threat were the inugarulligait, diminutive goblins famed for their ability to Transfigure their own size. While an individual inugarulligaq may still seek harm humans, the protective magic of the Northern Path prevents them from being a wide-scale danger and they have since become more accustomed to living alongside, though rarely among, humans. The 12th Century saw the rise of the Dark Witch Nava who founded a tribe of werewolves known as the Itqiliit (also commonly known as the Ts’el’eni in the western forests). Though Nava herself was defeated long ago, the Itqiliit still prowl the Arctic forests, disorganized but always eager for a chance to avenge their great Den Mother. In 1384, the Hekslov banished the infamous Durmstrang instructor Yngvar the Burned to Greenland. The Dark Wizard terrorized Inuit and Norse alike, until he was ultimately defeated by the angakkuq Ukaleq in 1408. The qallupilluit, scaly humanoid Beasts that lurk in frigid Arctic waters, have been one dreaded constant. To them, a crying child is the sweetest music and they will stop at nothing to seize one to “sing” in their dens within sea ice and glaciers.
To aid their struggle against such dangers, a Northern magician’s most important tool is their tupilaq. This is a wand-like device used to channel and focus one’s magic. The magician carves their tupilaq from antler, ivory, or bone, tapping into some residual essence of the creature. Crafting tupilait from any part of a Being is tantamount to, and often preceded by, murder and thus rightly condemned and punished by the Northern Path. Dark Wizards may seek to make tupilait from their victims; the more powerful and intelligent the source was in life, the more powerful the tupilaq will be. Such tupilait also seem possessed of a will of their own and seek to avenge themselves as Nava’s did. While some European magicians have claimed that the tupilaq must have been inspired by their own wands, it is well established that such items existed before contact with Europe. Kulluittumuk himself possessed a legendary tupilaq made of mammoth ivory.
THE SOUTHERN PATH
Over its long history, Mesoamerica has been home to numerous magical schools. Sadly, only one has survived to the present day. The B’alam-hal Naah, secluded in the forests of the Yucatan, has long set the standard for the Southern Path, emphasizing arthimancy, astronomy, weather Charms, and many practical skills associated with good governance. Though the Southern Path has its origins among the Maya, a dialect of Nahuatl soon became the lingua magi of the region. Today, the prefered general term in the region for a magician is teixcuepani - a term adopted from incredulous no-majes who could not believe the feats performed by their magical kin. Magicians of exceptional skill, having past their final tests and become an Animagi1, are universally hailed as nagual.
In ages past, the various kingdoms of Mesoamerica had been ruled by kings and queens well versed in the magical arts or attended by magical advisers. In the 9th and early 10th Centuries, the common people - magician and no-maj alike - rebelled against these magical dynasties. In 907, a common-born magician from Uxmal, Itzamnaaj the Builder, overthrew the previous magician-king. Hoping to quell any further calamity caused by the rebellions, Itzamnaaj summoned representatives from a dozen kingdoms throughout Mesoamerica. Together they formed Council of the Thirteen Nagual Lords.
To accomplish their goal, the Thirteen Nagual Lords founded the B’alam-hal Naah to instruct magicians, not only to safely harness their powers, but also to manage the affairs of their kingdoms justly. The famed Toltec prince Ce Acatl was among the first to graduate from the school. He excelled in both magic and governance, overseeing a golden age for both his own city-state of Tollan and much of Mesoamerica in general, where today he is even more revered than either Arthur or Merlin are among Europe’s magical communities.
Under Ce Acatl’s reign, the chiquacolli became a popular tool among the teixcuepani. Originating as a magical variant of the atlatl, or spearthrower, overtime chiquacolli became increasingly elaborate and ornamental, until they could no longer perform such a mundane function. They are made primarily from cypress or kapok wood that, like European wands, are imbued with a bit of a magical creature. Ce Acatl’s own chiquacolli was made of cypress, spiralling at the end, and containing the feather of a vision serpent. Chiquacolli produce powerful spells, but slow the casting to the point that defense spells are difficult, if not impossible, to cast reliably with them.
The 15th Century saw rise of the most insidious Dark Wizard in the history of North America. Born to the royal family of Tenochtitlan, Tlacaelel attended the B’alam-hal Naah in the 1410s. He mastered both magic and politics. Returning home, he quickly became the prime minister and forged the Aztecs into a brutal, conquering empire. He instituted new laws that oppressed his no-maj subjects. His forces ransacked the magical schools at Texcoco and Cholula, destroying any teachings that did not adhere to the new hegemony. In 1446, he harnessed the Aztec war machine to provide a nearly endless supply of human sacrifices to fuel his dark magic. The Tlamatini resistance movement tirelessly opposed Tlacaelel. The core of this group were teachers from the Texcoco and Cholula schools prior to their corruption, with clandestine assistance from the B’alam-hal Naah. They saw little success against Tlacaelel until the 1470s, when the magicians of the Kingdom of Tzintzuntzan joined the fight. In 1487, Tlacaelel himself was finally defeated, at great cost, by anonymous Tlamatini agents, but his followers continued to control the empire until its ultimate defeat at the hands of the Spanish.
Relief that the cruel excesses of Tlacaelel’s empire had finally ended was short lived. The Spanish brought with them a brutality of their own. In 1536, Bishop Zumarraga founded the Mexican Inquisition, bringing the formal persecution of magicians that had begun fifty years earlier in Europe to the Americas. Zumarraga’s Inquisition devastated the indigenous magical communities in the Valley of Mexico, destroying even what Tlacaelel had left behind at Texcoco and Cholula and making room for the introduction of European magical teachings now taught at the Palacio de los Milagros. The B’alam-hal Naah escaped the attention of the Mexican Inquisition until 1562, when Bishop de Landa collected thousands of Maya documents destined for destruction and learned of the school’s existence. Shanarani, a student from Tzintzuntzan, saved the school by channeling her magic into ancient enchantments created by Itzamnaaj and causing it to move beyond de Landa’s reach. The inquisitor spent years searching for the school until he again discovered it’s location in 1579. Shanarani, now a teacher, successfully led the defense of the school when any further attempts to alter its location failed. With de Landa’s death, the location of the school has safely remained secret for its enemies. Ever since, it has continued to promote indigenous magical teachings for any who wish to learn.
1. Students of herbology may well question how pre-Columbian magicians became Animagi as today this requires the use of mandrake root, native to Eurasia. In the Americas, moonflower seeds has long filled the same role.
THE EASTERN PATH
The Eastern Path will be most familiar to students of Ilvermorny, as it is the indigenous tradition to which our school owes the greatest debt. As it is currently practiced, the Eastern Path emphasizes the studies of herbology, potions, and divination. In ancient times, the Old Wakondagi also mastered the arts of geomancy and Patronic Charms that have long since been lost. For all their wisdom, the Old Wakondagi fell to their own folly in the 5th Century, leading to a nearly complete loss of magic from a huge swath of North America in an event known as the Binding of the Council.
By the 5th Century, the influence of the Old Wakondagi spread from the shores of the Atlantic to the slopes of the Rockies. Everywhere they pursued new ways to unravel the Mysteries of magic and in particular hoped to claim powers that had thus far been the purview only of other Beings. The miagthushka, elf-like Beings that form their own societies throughout North America, became increasingly concerned at the power the magicians’ accumulated. According to the miagthushka accounts from the Payiihsa Nation, Keešaakosita Mamahkiihsia - their leader at the time - devised a plan.
When the Great Council of Wakondagi convened, he walked among them, secretly offering to teach each all he knew of magic on the condition that they would never speak a word of what they have learned to anyone. So tempted, the Old Wakondagi all agreed and all failed to see the trap Mamahkiihsia had laid for them. From that day, no magician of the old Eastern Path could teach magic. As the old masters died, their arts and their knowledge died with them. Of course, many magicians doubt that Mamahkiihsia could be so clever or so powerful, or the Old Wakondagi so foolish, for such a scheme to have been successful and blame some yet unknown cause for the temporary loss of magic in the region. Perhaps they are right. The effects of the Binding appear to have been more far-reaching and long-lasting the Payiihsa account would suggest.
Following the Binding, only the use of magical plants persisted with any level of continuity, as such skills can be taught without ever speaking a word if the student is dutifully observant. Those with a proficiency for divination arose from time to time, though that it has always been a skill that is more cultivated than taught. Armed with only these talents, the New Wakondagi gathered on the banks of the Mississippi and in 1054 finally broke the curse that had long withheld the ability to teach magic. This first new generation of magicians established the Eastern Path in the city of Nondse Wacpe, and from here the New Wakondagi set about hoping to restore the grandeur of their predecessors. Because of their influence, an archaic Dhegiha dialect is the most commonly employed lingua magi in the Eastern Woodlands, though it is not as dominant as Inuit or Nahuatl is in the North and Southern Path.
The 1130s saw the rise and redemption of the Iroquoian Dark Wizard Tadodaho. When Tadodaho abandoned his wicked ways in 1142 and helped establish the Haudenosaunee - the Iroquois Confederacy - he also initiated a schism within the Eastern Path. The New Wakondagi taught only those who could demonstrate ancestry with the Old Wakondagi and, consequently favored those of high birth. While Tadodaho himself had benefited from this elitism, he became convinced that if magic remained only in the hands of the powerful, there would be too few to stop him, or another like him, should he once again fall to the Dark Arts. He proposed to the Great Council that anyone who displayed a talent for magic should be permitted to learn, provided they can find a mentor willing to instruct them. The majority of wakondagi disagreed, fearing that magic in the hands of many was more dangerous than in the hands of a few, but they had no authority of stop the Iroquoian delegation from pursuing such a course if they chose to do so. While the elitist faction of wakondagi continued to look down the more egalitarian faction established by Tadodaho as reckless, as the centuries rolled on, they found themselves increasingly outnumbered. By the early 17th Century, the egalitarian wakondagi were the overwhelming majority.
Much has been made about the absence of wands from magic in the Eastern Path. While it is true that wands were introduced to the area from Europe, practitioners of the Eastern Path have long had their own magical tools which are typically more subtle than those wielded elsewhere and are often incompatible with the use of wands. The most commonly used is the magic bundle. The bundle is a satchel made from the specially prepared animal skin. Otter or ermine is prefered while snakeskin is shunned. Like wands, the bundle receives its initial magical spark from some part of a magical creature, such as a the jeweled scale of horned serpent, the claws of a water panther, or a strand of hair from a flying head. Unlike wands, which can be purchased, a bundle must be crafted by its owner or inherited from a mentor or relative. Without a proper heir, the bundles become dangerously unstable and must be destroyed. To avoid this problem, most are now enchanted to seek out an heir upon the death of their owner. Over time, magician fills his bundles with tokens of his power, and each further augments his power, allowing the magician to perform feats that few others could perform - wand or no wand. Today the art of bundle-making is practiced only by the most traditional magicians of the Eastern Path as most have come to prefer the immediate benefits of a wand over the long-term investment of a bundle.
THE SOUTHWESTERN PATH
For centuries the Southwestern Path has been entangled in a clandestine war between two principal factions, along with several minor factions that have allied themselves to one or the other major players or seek to take advantage of the chaos to their own ends. On one side stands the the Yaya’wimi, the general magician society in the region; on the other are the Kwitavit, a society that long ago embraced the teachings of the Dark Wizard Powaqtaqa and seized power. While skillful use of magical stealth and subterfuge has become essential, the Southwestern Path is now subdivided into numerous secret societies, each with their own specialization.
The Southwestern Path formally began in 1060, when the Yaya’wimi united and agreed to create the first magical school north of Mesoamerica. Built into a cleft of a canyon wall, the now infamous Palangw has countless rooms spirally deeper and deeper into the rock. A century later, the Dark Wizard Powaqtaqa became the leader of the school and corrupted all its teachings. Those who followed him became the Kwitavit, while those yaya’t that resisted went into hiding for their own safety.
Throughout the 12th Century, a brutal war raged between the Yaya’wimi and the Kwitavit. The end result was a great calamity that brought down the societies of the day and forced magician and no-maj alike to flee to safer refuges. While the Kwitavit retained Palangw and a few hidden pueblos exclusively for themselves, the Yaya’wimi integrated into the surrounding no-maj communities. Around this time, Navajo and Apache magicians introduced powerful protective magics from the Northern Path into the region and shielded the Yaya’wimi from the Kwitavit scrying. Since they could not practice their magic openly, the Yaya’wimi formed or joined various secret societies modeled after the ceremonial societies common in the region. They soon learned new ways of casting their spells through song and dance, so that they might disguise their actions in such performances.
This has not gone unnoticed by the Kwitavit, who seek to infiltrate and undermine the works of both magical and ceremonial societies. Failing that, they also infiltrate the magical and no-maj organizations charged with apprehending, trying, and punishing those who practice the Dark Arts, turning them against the enemies of the Kwitavit or upon some hapless no-maj caught in the middle of this secret war. Tragically, however, paranoia and fear run high in the region; a Dark Wizard is not necessarily behind every overzealous accusation and misplaced punishment.
At the very end of the 16th Century, the Spanish Empire conquered the Southwest and brought the Mexican Inquisition with them. While the Inquisition did help break the insidious domination of the Kwitavit, they treated the Yaya’wimi and no-maj just the same. Many yaya’t assisted the no-majes in the Pueblo Revolt which drove the Spanish from the region for more than a decade. When the Spanish did return, most of the Yaya’wimi fled west to the Hopi pueblos that continued to remain largely independent of imperial influences. For this reason, a dialect of Hopi has become the lingua magi of the Southwest, though many of the secret societies also maintain the language of their ancestors. The Sioyaya’t, for example, speak Zuni regularly and employ it in their own magic.
The turmoil of caused by the Mexican Inquisition and the subsequent revolt allowed another faction of Dark Wizards to gain a foothold in the region. They are known euphemistically today as the Crawlers because they often travel in animal disguises and have cursed the usage of their true names. While the Kwitavit have sought ideological domination of the region, the Crawlers are driven primarily by desire for wealth. The Crawlers have their origins among with Navajo and Apache traders who kept the supply of moonflower flowing in the region even after it was outlawed by the Inquisition. Anyone could be a Crawler today, though Navajo and Apache Crawlers still dominate. They have moved onto smuggling all manner of illicit magical plants, but still ruthlessly slay anyone who stands between them and their profits.
Monster hunters, both ancient and recent, have extirpated most species of magical creatures from the Southwest. Only a few like rock-eagles and ghost-owls, which nest atop inaccessible peaks, remain, but even these are exceptionally rare. Because of this, the Southwestern Path does indeed lack any direct parallel to wands. Yet it is not without a host of inventive magical devices. Crystallomancy is highly developed, and many yaya’t keep a collection of magical gemstones, often disguised as a common piece of jewelry. The Southwestern Path was the also the first in North America to develop flying devices. The paatuwvota is the most commonly employed, functioning similarly to the flying carpets of the Middle East, except that they are usually disguised as articles of clothing and come in a variety of styles.
THE NORTHWESTERN PATH
Compared to the other major precolonial Magician Paths, the Northwestern Path is quite young. The Southern Path was already facing off against the Mexican Inquisition before the magical communities of Pacific Northwest united during Sxwayok’s War. The legacy of that war forged a strong alliance between the magicians- known locally as the halait - and the other Beings that inhabit the region. The Path is renowned for its advances in the art and science of Transfiguration. Quick and creative uses of such spells has allowed many halait to become famed duelist, such a Gwilkshanaqs who won the championship for both the men’s and women’s leagues in 1912.
In the first half of the 16th Century, the ogress Sxwayok roused the fury of her people against humanity and the other Beings of the Pacific Northwest. Above all else she craved children who had not yet begun to manifest their magical abilities. She had discovered a way of consuming their latent magic and channeling it into herself. Armed with this hideous magic, she dried up rivers, battered the coasts with monstrous waves, and toppled mountains with rain-soaked landslides. In 1566, the Makah halait Haatse gave his life to defeat Sxwayok in a cataclysmic battle on the slopes overlooking Ozette Lake. Without a charismatic leader to galvanize them, the ogres succumbed to infighting and factionalism. Despite that, Sxwayok’s War never truly ended. Ogre attacks eventually diminished, but even to this day, one band of ogres or another will claim that Sxwayok has been reborn among them and strike out against their enemies. Fortunately none of these new claimants has succeeded in uniting the ogres.
During Sxwayok’s War, humanity did not fight alone. They were joined by communities of kushtaka and sasquatches who also suffered from the ogres’ attacks. The kushtaka, or Land-Otter People, live up and down the coasts and along the major rivers of the region. Stories abound with tales of humans becoming kushtaka after being saved from drowning (sometimes after the kushtaka capsized the victim’s canoe). Before the alliance, kushtaka often rescued drowning men and women only to enslave them. After the alliance, people rescued in this fashion have been obligated to work for the kushtaka for a brief time before being allowed to return to their own people. The kushtaka adopt the names of any person they rescue, and refer to the individual only by their occupation (often simply calling them “servant”) even after the period of servitude has been completed.
While sasquatches are found throughout North America, they are most populous in the Pacific Northwest. Unlike humans or kushtaka, they do not form nations, tribes, villages or large communities of any sort and instead prefer to live in relative isolation even from their own kind. Combining tremendous physical strength with mastery of stealth and evasion, the sasquatches are fearsome warrior when stirred (as MACUSA discovered to their detriment in 1892), but fortunately they are slow to anger.
The Northwestern Path employs two principal tools. The magician’s staff is an ancient device, found throughout the world since deepest prehistory. Northwestern magicians still hold it as a badge of honor. While European wizards miniaturized their staffs into the wands, the Northwestern Path went in the other direction. Totem poles had been carved by no-maj artisans for generations, but in 1605, the Haida halait Sandlenee successfully merged the techniques of staff carving and pole carving. She had her new pole erected with the others in her village. So long as she remained within a few miles of the pole, she found she could cast spells without needing a staff at all. After Sandlenee’s initial creation, the technique spread rapidly. As totem poles grew ever larger and more elaborate, so too did the radius and amplifying power of their magical counterparts.
Though far removed from the initial wave of European colonialism, the magicians of the Northwestern Path were not completely isolated from the rest of the world. Magical transportation in the form of spirit-boards, resembling a cross between a totem pole and surfboard, have allowed halait to travel great distances. Following the advice of Aleut and Yupik fishermen, Kaasanak flew her spirit-board all the way around the northern coast of the Pacific in 1613, and arrived at Japan’s Mahoutokoro. Inspired by her brief encounter with the magical school, she returned home and established the Heixwaa Hit, which is less a school and more of a feasting hall for magicians. Still, young practitioners from far and wide came to the Heixwaa Hit to find a mentor willing to instruct them further.
Unfortunately, those across the sea did not forget Kaasanak’s visit. During the Topattumi, the Ainu Dark Wizard Ramaushain guided his followers east to raid and pillage the coast of North America. They came in search of slaves and bark of the Sun Cedar, a critically endangered magical plant endemic to region. For Ramaushain, the raids against the people of the Pacific Northwest were merely a means to his ultimate goal: victory in the Tapottumi and the conquest of Hokkaido. He had no interest in establishing a permanent presence in North America. Reliably as the change of the seasons, Ramaushain and his minions swept out of the setting sun each spring to terrorize the coast. In 1678, Ramaushain met his final end near the mouth of the Columbia River, thanks to the efforts of Chinook halait and their kushtaka allies, with some assistance from a mysterious figure from across the mountains known only as the Interpreter.
The lingua magi of the Northwestern Path is a mix of an archaic dialect of Sm’algyax - the Tsimshian language - overlaid with a later introduction of Chinook Jargon. Even before the Northwestern Path formally came together, Tsimshian halaits crafted the finest magical tools, including not only staffs but spirit-boards and soul-catchers (devices to negate the power of curses laid upon a victim). Even after the introduction of magical poles, Tsimshian halaits continue their legacy of exceptional craftsmanship and create most of the enchanted chisels necessary for such work. Today, wands made by Sga’tiin are as highly regarded by halaits as any crafted by Shikoba Wolfe or Ollivander. As the epicenter of magical trade on the Pacific Coast, the Tsimshian have been able to influence the magical terminology for quite some time. Whether the halait is creating a staff, a pole, or a wand, moksgm’ol bone is the most popular choice for providing the initial magical spark. After the unification of the Northwest Path, Chinook Jargon became the language of more mundane trade, but eventually the halait adopted bits and pieces of it, too. The words used for foreign magical concepts, items, and creatures in particular are typically based on Chinook Jargon rather than Sm’algyax.