Fantasist's Scroll

Fun, Fiction and Strange Things from the Desk of the Fantasist.


Magical Law

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

Not “laws of magic” but laws governing magic.
I’m reading a book called Industrial Magic at the moment and the author has some interesting ideas that she tosses around. What interested me the most, however, was a secret justice system for magic. Well, more specifically, for people who use magic or “are magic”. And that really makes sense. After all, would a “normal” court, who has no real concept of how magic works or what is magically possible, be able to effectively render judgements that involve magical crimes? I don’t think so.
So, if you have magic in your created world, whatever its purpose, have you thought about this issue? How do courts deal with curses? Or the withholding of a blessing? Or “unfair competition” that was aided by magic? How about murder that involves magic? These are important issues. And, of course, all potentially important plot devices. Do lawyers have to go through a special school before they can work in courts that involve magic? Does every court use magic to determine the facts of even mundane cases? A little truth spell goes a long way! Are spells a closely guarded asset that one can sue someone for stealing, like intellectual property is today?
So many issues to think about. And every issue can be a potential story. Dealing with any of these problems, or any others in this vein that you might think of, can produce any number of good stories. Just remember what Lawrence Watt-Evans said about magic, “If a story can be written without a fantasy element, then don’t bother with the fantasy element.” It’s a good rule.

So, now I’ve given you some ideas, go! Write!

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