bibliomancer

In an unprecedented first, the Congress of the American Wizarding Confederation unanimously voted today to support the decision of newly appointed President Marla Bolton not to meet with the newly elected President of the United States, Donald Trump. Since the inception of the AWC and its Muggle counterpart the USA, the President of the Wizarding Congress has met with every Muggle President to discuss the true nature of the magical world and reinforce certain pacts of secrecy and mutual cooperation between the two nations. While some of these meetings went more smoothly than others, the tradition has been a constant for over two hundred years.  

President Bolton released her decision last week in a press-conference that shook the magical world to its core: “After much deliberation and a careful observation of Muggle President Trump, my offices and I have decided that while the long-standing tradition of cooperation between the magical and mundane worlds is valuable one, we cannot in good conscience expose our world and the people and creatures in it to man such as President Trump. There are serious concerns not only about how Mr. Trump would take the news of a magical world existing alongside his own, but about his discretion in such matters. We will, of course, continue to provide protections for the Muggle leader in the form of highly trained Aurors and members of the DSO, but at this time and for the foreseeable future, we will not reveal ourselves to the current administration or any of its offices.”

Congress immediately entered into deliberations, but after numerous and lengthy meetings of the whole counsel, which included briefings from the Department-Heads of the nine governmental agencies and the Headmasters and Mistresses of the Seven Schools of Sorcery, it was clear that Madam President’s decision would stand. The leaders of our esteemed centers of education were especially vocal in their support of the President’s decision, with Headmistress Mariame Odinson of Black Gate delivering a pointed speech punctuated with ringing blows from her hammer, and Headmistress Theodora Dimon of the Laveau Academy showing how all divinations on the matter implied utter disaster if the President was ignored. The fact that the Laveau Headmistress’s dire proclamations seemed based at least in part on the fact that such an act would upset her, personally, as well as all of her staff and alumni, was not lost on members of the Congress.

“We have not always trusted or liked the leaders of the Muggle world,” said Headmaster Lanskey of the Salem Institute, who closed the comments section from the Seven School’s representatives, “And I am certain they would not always have approved of ours, had they been in a similar position to judge, but until today there has always been a sense that the Magical Congress could trust the motives and discretion of the Muggle President. Sadly that is not the case now. Though I do not agree with many of President Bolton’s views on the matters of Wizarding-Muggle relations, I think she has made a well reasoned decision to keep the Trump Administration in the dark concerning our existence. I can only pray that this particular period in our mutual history will be a short one, and no long lasting precedent will be set.”

-Charles Goodwin, The Boston Bibliomancer, March 1, 2017.

They call him the keeper of writs, the doctorate scribe, the inksmith. He is the bibliomancer, wielder of knowledge itself. He binds it to the physical world with his ink and his pen. 

Lalna was once a human who desired knowledge above all. Fascinated he studied every subject, and where there was no written knowledge to find he would conduct his own experiments and research. Unafraid he dove into subjects such as alchemy and witchcraft, but being a foolish mortal with an overwhelming desire he quickly got in too deep.
Lalna has traded away many things, all in the name of science. He bargained with many beasts and has given away parts of himself to the point where little of him remains human.

So heres my idea for Urban Magic Yogs Lalna! I wanted to portray Lalna as a source of knowledge, wisdom, and the result of a deranged scientist who got a hold of magic. I’ve got a whole bunch more content for him, more to come later!

“Transformation is the definition of life.”

I still remember the look in Professor Vega’s eyes as she said that, looking right at me through cloud colored cataracts. I was only 11, but she was already more than a century old, and somehow I knew that she knew the things about myself I had only started to guess at. She was the first person I turned to three years later when I couldn’t bear my own secret anymore. I remember her eyes then too…the way the lines around them folded up in warm regard, and her small silver spoon rattled in the little ivory tea-cup she favored. It didn’t phase her in the least that that same cup had spent the better part of the day as a rattlesnake, any more than it did that the man sitting in front of her was, in fact, a young woman.

But Professor Vega had sat at the knee of Marie Laveau herself. She was the daughter of a Muggle prostitute and some unknown man, and so her own blood status was a matter of the purest speculation. She’d traveled the world in her youth, after losing her husband to a tribe of Amazonian Blemmyes, and her travel logs had been best-sellers for over 50 years. It was going to take a lot more than one misgendered young witch to make her bat an eyelash.

There aren’t many people like me, even with the Muggles taken into account, but she had met my like before, and she took my problems seriously. She said some people were just destined to be born more than once, and I wasn’t done yet…so she took me to Headmistress LaFort and explained the situation, and to her credit Lady LaFort didn’t raise a fuss either. She simply asked me a few questions, watching me with her strange, gold colored eyes, and then made a note of it and dismissed us both. A small thing, but from that day till my graduation every one of my teachers referred to me as Miss Bottle, without a single hint of rancor or mockery. No one said a thing to me when I started wearing gowns and using little transfigurations (taught to me after class by Professor Vega herself) to alter my appearance.

Well…Elisa Marsh was nasty about it for about a week, until Professor Deshayes caught her mocking me after Potions and escorted her off for a private conversation. Elisa didn’t talk at all for a week after that, and then never again about my gender.

Since graduating I’ve looked for other people like me…people born in the wrong skin, itching to be something else. I found out not all the schools are like the Laveau Academy.

Marcus, a young man with a regal bearing and the face of an angel, told me that RPI holds itself to the high standards of southern gentility. “You are,” he told me, mixing an elegant cocktail in his silver tumblers that would make my breath purple for the next three hours, “What you are. They don’t ask questions, and they don’t answer them. Every case is unique, and needs a special touch…by my 6th year I was clearly a young man, but I didn’t want to leave darling Clarissa behind…we’d been roommates for so long. So I became Mr. Dearborne and switched back and forth between my skirt and slacks with nary a raised eyebrow..though Professor Switchback did give me a verbal thrashing when I wore a wrinkled skirt and didn’t properly knot my tie. I’ll never forget the red of his face, ‘You may be a boy or a girl as you need, Young Dearborne, but you will certainly be a Lady or a Gentleman about it!’”

The Salem Institute finds its strength in tradition, but prides itself on being forward thinking. Halleigh Goode’s family was not accepting of this truth, but Headmaster Lansky was unwilling to turn the girl away; Halleigh became a resident of the school year-round when her mother cast her from the house when she was 15, and Lansky himself signed off on a change of uniform and a privacy curtain for the dorm…but refused to change his rooming situation entirely.  

“He was trying,” Halleigh tells me, over coffee at the Wand and Wimple, Boston’s premier shop for the Mage in need of a caffeine fix, “But I could tell he wasn’t entirely comfortable with the situation…but he was trying, and that meant the world to me,especially after my mom booted me. He and the other professors kept the other students from pestering me…mostly. It was really the Ghosts that got me through, especially the Drowned Ferryman. He took a special interest in me, after I came out, and rallied a bunch of the other spirits to me as well. Its because of them that I went so far in Spirit Studies, and got a job with the IMP Board managing adolescent spectres.”

Frederick Niggel was a student at Blackgate in the 1950s, “It was a real no-go then. The Headmaster of the school wasn’t an especially open minded man…he had a military background and was hard as iron, and had some very set notions about what as proper for boys and girls. Luckily, Blackgate has always had private rooms for all its students, so at least had privacy, and Headmistress Odinson is dead set on dragging the school into the modern age. She supports students being free to express themselves, and treat their school as a place where they can be free to learn and grow without being afraid for themselves. I think she understands a bit…being descended from giants…she faced a lot of persecution in her time, and she hates seeing other people face the same stupidity. Damn fine woman.”

“At Allegiance it was all about your Pack,” Rhonda Tyne tells me. She graduated from that prestigious, island academy in 1970, when the militancy of the school’s original founding had been reborn in the post-King Civil Rights movement, “Your Pack was your second family, and your lead professor was your guiding star…it has changed a lot since then, of course, but I think that atmosphere still exists, from what the more recent alumni are saying. I got lucky…my Pack was great, and very supportive, and Professor Hyatt…he’s passed on since….was an animorphmagus, so gender didn’t mean much to him. But I knew another boy…sorry…girl…who was younger than me by a few years…he didn’t get that support. One year he just didn’t come back…found out a few years later that he’d gotten kicked out, fell through the cracks, and died a year or two later. Murdered in Chicago.”   

Mesa Academy has always stood out amongst the seven schools, being the least inspired by Anglo-European culture. The Native American tribes had their own definitions of what gender meant, and in the last bastion of their magical knowledge and tradition, those beliefs are kept alive. “I was what I did,” Alejandro tells me, as they clean their potion’s lab, “And I did what I wanted. I never asked to be a boy, and I don’t want to be a girl…so I just do what I want, and that was fine. I had a purpose, and I had reasons, and even that old bastard the Alabaster Man couldn’t change me if I didn’t want to change.”

La Academia Occidental, the academic child of Catholicism, Asian philosophies, and a deep appreciation of the aesthetic and artistic, is perhaps simultaneously the most and least accepting of its differently gendered students. My own partner, Randi, majored in the magical practices of Feng-Shui and Runes. He’s a brilliant designer if I do say so myself, and I bother him for more details about LAO as he rearranges our tiny apartment to warp as much of the space as possible. I’m fairly certain he could make us a grand ballroom by tilting the couch the right way and hanging a prayer to our personal kitchen god.

“I had to wear a habit,” he says, in annoyance, “And I boarded with the other girls, even when I wasn’t a girl…but most of my teachers dropped the ‘Miss’ when I told them. I got to lead in dance classes and on off hours I put on slacks and couldn’t get in trouble. Most of my teachers even told me to explore it fully…and not just the artsy ones either. My charms professor, Mother Tennebrac, asked to talk to me one day after class. We’d been learning basic glamours, and she said my unique situation could really open up my magical abilities in that area. So much of magic is how you see things, and I didn’t see gender or sex or attraction the way most of my classmates did so I should explore it. I got full marks on that AWE too.”  



-An excerpt from Bethany Bottles, “My Magic, Not my Wand,” an article that appeared in The Boston Bibliomancer last fall, exploring Ms. Bottle’s life as a transgender mage living in the AWC. Ms. Bottle is the leading advocate for Transgender Rights in the AWC, and also an advocate for the end of the Statute of Secrecy.

American Inter-School Quodpot Tournament Between Mesa Academy and Salem Institute Shapes-up to be Spectacular Match -June 22, 2014

By: Mason Wheeler of the Boston Bibliomancer

It has certainly been an outstanding year for Quodpot fans and aficionados. As fans wait with baited breath to see which teams will make it into the National Finals in late July (hosted, as always, in the National Stadium of Stoppelwald, Pennsylvania), the finalist teams from Mesa Academy and the Salem Institute are gearing up for this weeks final showdown for the Inter-School Cup. As last year’s champions, the Mesa Academy will have the honor of hosting the championship match on their school’s pitch.

Mesa is currently the fan favorite, having taken the Cup consistently over the last three years. Though last year’s conquest was somewhat marred by the disqualification of the Laveau Academy’s team early on in the match for illicit charm-work, the Mesa Academy Cactus Cats have proved themselves to be a formidable team, hungry for victory and confidant in their abilities.

Others are not so sure. Mesa has, afterall, lost three of its most valuable players, including the twin defensive-linesmen, Mayra and Mario Cortez, and former team-captain, and top scorer, Julian Yazzie. Meanwhile, the Salem Institute’s new team captain, Priscilla Connolly, has proven to be a tactical genius in her last several matches, and has made good use of the school’s most recent addition to the team, Pierre Tremblay, who scored five goals against the Allegiance Academy Wolves in their last match. Tremblay has proven a fearless scorer, holding onto a smoking quod until the very last moment. Rumor is he is already being scouted by several teams.

If the Salem Institute Falcons take this year’s cup it will be a major coup for the school, who have not won the competition in almost fourteen years, and have lost some of their standing in the Inter-School Dueling League in the last two decades, having placed third last year and fourth this year, being beaten by Allegiance and the Randolph-Poythress Institute both times, and Blackgate in the most recent competition. Indeed, only the school chess-team has held their coveted champion status despite all challengers.

As for the National Playoffs, the Miami Firebirds will be facing off against the Chicago Comets next weekend to see who will playing against the Black Plains Banshees for the coveted Finch-Amphora.