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where is the breach at?

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I thought the whole point of the gathering to open the breech in America was BECAUSE it was sparsely populated. I could be misremembering but I thought the world's practitioners gathered in a western local in the United States specifically because it was theoretically neutral territory, in an established magical tradition way, and there were less people around to snoop and spy, as well as threaten should their attempt to restore magic to the world fail or come to a disastrous end.

 

That makes sense to me - then towns spring up around the Breach as people attempt to harvest the resources therein, akin to the real life gold rush.  I can see Mississippi's Oxford becoming all the more prominent for magical study if it's physically closest to the Breach.

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I thought the whole point of the gathering to open the breech in America was BECAUSE it was sparsely populated. I could be misremembering but I thought the world's practitioners gathered in a western local in the United States specifically because it was theoretically neutral territory, in an established magical tradition way, and there were less people around to snoop and spy, as well as threaten should their attempt to restore magic to the world fail or come to a disastrous end.

When you talk about misremembering, do you mean that there is some fluff somewhere that actually names America? Because the story at the beginning of the M2E book is wonderfully vague, giving no information what so ever about nature of the locale where the breach is opened.

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From the 1.0 rulebook is what I'm remembering, or misremembering, as the case may be. It was still vague, but I got the sense the breach was in a western area of the United States. Your definition of Western of course may vary, as you mentioned, it was very vague, most likely by intention.

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In case anybody missed this, magic explicitly exists on Malifaux Earth, it just became weak closer to the present date, which is why soulstones are more valuable on Earth than Malifaux. Earth magic used to be very powerful. Also, Asia is full of Oni too (Ama No Zako, Tengu, and Kamitachi are all from Earth).

I highly, highly doubt all of history developed the same way it did in real life, and attempting to apply real history to the setting is probably a poor move. They've left Earth deliberately vague, which I like. It adds more mystery.

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In case anybody missed this, magic explicitly exists on Malifaux Earth, it just became weak closer to the present date, which is why soulstones are more valuable on Earth than Malifaux. Earth magic used to be very powerful. Also, Asia is full of Oni too (Ama No Zako, Tengu, and Kamitachi are all from Earth).

I highly, highly doubt all of history developed the same way it did in real life, and attempting to apply real history to the setting is probably a poor move. They've left Earth deliberately vague, which I like. It adds more mystery.

This is part of my point, a vague mystery makes a lot more sense commercially than spelling the Zip code of the Breach. Then everyone can have their own preferred location...

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That makes sense to me - then towns spring up around the Breach as people attempt to harvest the resources therein, akin to the real life gold rush. I can see Mississippi's Oxford becoming all the more prominent for magical study if it's physically closest to the Breach.

These are some strong points, but still problematic. Communication and transportation in the 18th century means that it would be difficult to gather a lot of people in a faraway location like NA. There's no way you could gather, say 100.000 magicians in, say Prague, either, but because it was so much easier to travel between European countries it would be easier to get the message out and gather people in a relatively remote location (there was still quite a few vast wildernesses in Europe back then). If 100.000 mages were to cross the Atlantic there's no way it'd be a secret, and it would require a huge part, if not all, of Earth's civillian shipping capacity for a very, very long time...

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These are some strong points, but still problematic. Communication and transportation in the 18th century means that it would be difficult to gather a lot of people in a faraway location like NA. There's no way you could gather, say 100.000 magicians in, say Prague, either, but because it was so much easier to travel between European countries it would be easier to get the message out and gather people in a relatively remote location (there was still quite a few vast wildernesses in Europe back then). If 100.000 mages were to cross the Atlantic there's no way it'd be a secret, and it would require a huge part, if not all, of Earth's civillian shipping capacity for a very, very long time...

 

We still need to add in the effects of magic, as has been mentioned.  I'm not saying "a wizard did it" and forget it, but given that we know spells and such exist that can turn people into animals or transport them across distances, several mages operating in secret could likely mystically hop, skip, and jump their way to a remote location without tying up mundane resources.  Some obviously would utilize them, but it wouldn't be a noticeable mass exodus.

 

We also have to determine the overall effects of magic on earth on our assumed timeline - "communication and transportation in the 18th century" for real life is going to be different from the Malifaux-verse.  Even earthside we have spirits and demons that were mucking about prior to the Breach cracking open.

 

I'd say the lingering notion of "but we weren't capable of that!" would work in a setting where magic burst into being at the Breach opening, but instead we have a world where magic has slown down to a trickle...and then suddenly a wealth of it was discovered through some crazy hell-portal.

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You're also assuming there were that many practitioners. The RPG books mentions traditions from across the globe, but for all we know 1,000 practitioners might have been the upper limit of those who opened the breach. Perhaps it was 500, or 200, or less. All we know is that a gathering of practitioners from across the world gathered somewhere to make the attempt.

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Magic was very weak at that point though, so if transportation and/or communication had at one point been dependent on magic, it should, if anything, have been worse than it was in the real world by 1787.

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You're also assuming there were that many practitioners. The RPG books mentions traditions from across the globe, but for all we know 1,000 practitioners might have been the upper limit of those who opened the breach. Perhaps it was 500, or 200, or less. All we know is that a gathering of practitioners from across the world gathered somewhere to make the attempt.

I'm assuming that there were a lot of based on the fact that a city grew up around the gathering that culminated in the opening of the original Breach. 200 people or less would constitute an exceptionally small city...

Also, in the original fluff (M1/Chronicles) it's mentioned that countless died in the cataclysmic event that was the opening of the Breach. 200 shouldn't be too hard to count... But fair point, numbers could be lower, I guess 10.000 in the middle of nowhere in the wilderness would constitute a vast city compared to the surroundings, and then transportation issues would be reduced significantly.

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Magic was very weak at that point though, so if transportation and/or communication had at one point been dependent on magic, it should, if anything, have been worse than it was in the real world by 1787.

 

I wasn't saying transportation was magically-fuelled on a large scale - rather than certain individuals would be capable of utilizing it for transportation.  I don't envision a few dozen shamans suddenly sprouting eagle wings and flying across the Atlantic in a flock, but I could see a few to enhance their travel or skip from ship to landmass to ship as needed. 

 

More of an option than a requisite, I mean.

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The fact that thousands died in the destruction of the city doesn't mean those thousands were still all practitioners. That would mean that the street sweepers, grocers, teamsters, farmers, and all the other support people who are required to make a functional city work were all practitioners. It could still be, and I'm not arguing this fact that it had to be, that the upper limit of actual magi working on the breach was between 200 and 1000 people. Anyone even remotely in the region could then have traveled to the wizard's enclave and began to create the city around them.

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We still need to add in the effects of magic, as has been mentioned. I'm not saying "a wizard did it" and forget it, but given that we know spells and such exist that can turn people into animals or transport them across distances, several mages operating in secret could likely mystically hop, skip, and jump their way to a remote location without tying up mundane resources. Some obviously would utilize them, but it wouldn't be a noticeable mass exodus.

We also have to determine the overall effects of magic on earth on our assumed timeline - "communication and transportation in the 18th century" for real life is going to be different from the Malifaux-verse. Even earthside we have spirits and demons that were mucking about prior to the Breach cracking open.

I'd say the lingering notion of "but we weren't capable of that!" would work in a setting where magic burst into being at the Breach opening, but instead we have a world where magic has slown down to a trickle...and then suddenly a wealth of it was discovered through some crazy hell-portal.

This is another valid point. I don't feel it's entirely convincing, partially because of the points Bengt makes, but also because it hardly seems like magic is in deep trouble if you can effortlessly teleport thousands of people across the world. Not saying it's impossible, but it'd be somewhat of a stretch...

Also, if you had a great council that was able to teleport countless people across the world, and they were desperate their magic was disappearing, consider how they would've spent their resources. Would they've spent their last collective power on teleportation, or would they select a spot closer to home and conserve their power for the great ritual?

Not saying it sounds impossible here, and you are making me come around sufficiently that I think it all less ridiculous than I did yesterday, but still a little off IMHO... :-)

Edit: and even though I've enjoyed this discussion immensely thus far, I still definitely feel it was a mistake to be explicit on the location in Hannah's fluff. Oxford, Mississippi is FAR inferior to Oxford, Wherever-makes-sense-to-you... IMHO of course! :-)

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I definitely agree their are a lot of vague points - probably by design.

 

Assume magic is running out - we have a last ditch effort to try and restore it by cracking open the Breach and harvesting accordingly.

 

Knowing this is probably dangerous (mages are often arrogant, but in groups they tend to show a bit more wisdom than the mundane folk), do you do it in a heavily populated area like most of Europe or do you look for a more "frontiersy" setting?

 

Even at a heavy cost to magical resources, I can see that being "worth it" in the long run to avoid apocalyptic-level cataclysm.  I'd probably look at Europe as the least likely location unless every group of Malifaux-verse magi is completely self-serving.

 

...now watch, we'll find out that the Breach is in the middle of the Australian Outback...

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I definitely agree their are a lot of vague points - probably by design.

Assume magic is running out - we have a last ditch effort to try and restore it by cracking open the Breach and harvesting accordingly.

Knowing this is probably dangerous (mages are often arrogant, but in groups they tend to show a bit more wisdom than the mundane folk), do you do it in a heavily populated area like most of Europe or do you look for a more "frontiersy" setting?

Even at a heavy cost to magical resources, I can see that being "worth it" in the long run to avoid apocalyptic-level cataclysm. I'd probably look at Europe as the least likely location unless every group of Malifaux-verse magi is completely self-serving.

...now watch, we'll find out that the Breach is in the middle of the Australian Outback...

...and hence Crocodile Dundee McTavish! ;-)

I completely agree they'd probably choose somewhere secluded, but even though the population was huge compared to North America there were stille vast forests, it was still fairly concentrated, and there were huge, wild forest and mountain areas without human habitation. The main difference is that they could get supplies from diverse supply lines; a "vast city" would require lots of food! If it was a week's travel away from the nearest village, people would be quite safe, but food would still be fresh when getting there. If we assume a truly large number of people (say 100k or more), Northe America at the time would have a hard time supplying just thr food. Grain would have to be grown in Ukraine and Germany, baked to bread in Germany and the Netherlands, shipped for several weeks across the Atlantic, and then carted through the vast American continent.

If they had gathered in Schwartzwald in Germany, they could have found a location where the nearest population was a few week away, so safety would be satisfactory, yet the supply lines would be almost infinitely shorter.

Not the only possibility, but seems far more likely/believable to me at least...

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Except, if you want to look at it that way if the breach was located within the boundaries of a country with a long history of direct control over its territories the breach would have been, without question, seized and directly controlled by the government if that country. If the Breach were located anywhere in Europe it almost certainly would never have been in the control of anyone but the government of that country.

Go far enough west in America, or far enough into the outback in Austrailia during that time and it would have been very difficult for the nascent governments of that time to establish any direct control.

It makes almost no sense, to me, for the breach to be located anywhere else.

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Except, if you want to look at it that way if the breach was located within the boundaries of a country with a long history of direct control over its territories the breach would have been, without question, seized and directly controlled by the government if that country. If the Breach were located anywhere in Europe it almost certainly would never have been in the control of anyone but the government of that country.

Go far enough west in America, or far enough into the outback in Austrailia during that time and it would have been very difficult for the nascent governments of that time to establish any direct control.

It makes almost no sense, to me, for the breach to be located anywhere else.

This could be the best argument so far! I still don't think it would've a problem if they chose a location on the fringes of an Empire, say South-West Russia, or a small state, like some of the German states where they didn't have strong central government.

Also, if the powers to be realised something big was happening in North America, I think British, Spanish and French troops would have arrived en masse before the wizards...

The way I've imagined this has been that the practitioners either had the cooperation of the major powers ("we're going to have an academic symposium, nothing you need to worry about"), or, far more likely, they gathered near but apart from their designated meeting place, and when time was right they all congregated upon a spot and started their experiments. If so, Central of Easter Europe seems more realistic to me...

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The problem with all these arguments is they are ignoring the storytelling elements for specific personal verisimilitude. 

 

You have a gigantic problem with the travel involved and can't seem to let that go in the ability to accept the breach could be anywhere but Europe. 

 

For myself the political situation is too hard to ignore. No, I cannot accept, that even on the fringes of Europe, that a governmental power would willingly allow a major city to be constructed within its borders, and not exercise any direct control over such an operation. ESPECIALLY considering the stated goal of the people who founded such a city. Magic in such a time period would have as much importance as Oil would in ours. Even given the speed of communications, if a city were founded in any country with even a modicum of political coherency, or near a country with such, even if the territory itself didn't, there is no way on this earth it would not come under the control of someone. If nothing else there would be wars and conflicts big enough to have received notice in the story should this have been the case. No mention of nations warring over the city the practitioners founded is found in the RPG or fluff of the miniatures game. And there is no way a "deal" could be reached with a governmental agency.

 

Consider, even if you can theoretically accept, in your previous example just to highlight this point, that the practitioners who founded the city might have had the degree of political unity to actually negotiate a treaty with Germany to found their city and to have non interference, what exactly was stopping any of the surrounding countries from taking such a city away from Germany, or if not conquering it, from destroying it? If you are willing to argue it was because Germany was willing to go to war with those nations to prevent it, now you have to explain why Germany is willing to fight and expend millitary resources for a city they have no control over. And if you argue it is because of trade interests of favorable infusions of magic by the practitioners if they succeed, then your argument that the city was set up as an academic collective and Germany would have nothing to worry about falls apart.

 

Additionally your central European theory falls apart in real world verisimilitude because there is no evidence of such. Most likely because the creators of this story are American, and as such were immersed in a diverse culture that can recognizably be traced to british roots, but the culture, language, and systems that are recognizably the Guild all share elements of such. So unless you are postulating that in the game World of Malifaux that Britain had a larger influence over the world, and sooner than it did in our world, that also causes problems.

 

Now ultimately as I said, these arguments are pretty pointless because the creators of Malifaux, especially at the time the basics of the game were being created, weren't trying to create a hyper gestalt world that tied into the geopolitical, economical, and demographic history of this world to any great extent. They were trying to tell a story, and one where a level of suspension of disbelief is required to enjoy that story.

 

For myself I'm 100% convinced that the Breach is located somewhere in the American west. To me that makes the most sense. At the time there would have been vast tracts of land, empty of any organized Geopolitical control, far enough from major trade routes, or the more commonly desired and harvested resources, which would have given the practitioners the solitude and distance to create their great working. Additionally the language, political system, and even clothing of the tradition that came to control the Breach, IE the Guild, all fit within a recognizably British/American milieu. Additionally I cannot in anyway see how the Breach could possibly be located in Europe, especially at the that time period, without major wars being fought for control over it after the breach was opened, and the shadow and proxy wars for control that would have gone on prior to the opening of the Breach.

 

However if it doesn't work for you, then more power to you. I'm certain this vagueness was intentional by the creators of the game. They wanted those who played to be able to invest in the game on a personal level by being able to imagine the breach being in an area they could picture or have some personal connection to. Ultimately we are all going to have our own view on where there Breach is, and barring the creators coming out and directly saying "You're all wrong, the Breach is located at precisely these coordinates..." there is no one argument that really has any merit over any other when trying to use real world verisimilitude to back itself up.

 

I can very easily come up with well thought out support for the Breach being located in any point of the face of the earth, including on the ocean's floor, on the mythical continent of Atlantis, or at the top of Jack's beanstalk, and there would be very good reasons to support that fact, while there would undoubtably be some niggling details that would just cause such a theory to break down in someone else's estimation. And that's fine because we are dealing with at its base an entertaining story that has nothing to do with the actual reality of our world.

 

If you personally think that the Breach is located in Eastern or Central Europe, cool, I'm glad that works for you. I personally don't think you could be more wrong, but that's the great thing about stories, we make them be what we want them to be. ;)

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Excellent points, Fetid. I would like to add that Germany was not unified until the later half of the 19th century. I don't know whether this strengthens or weakens the argument for a European breach. Of course, the caveat being that a magic-infused alternate history would still playout similarly.

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Personally, I'm inclined towards western France:

  • Central location for mages to gather
  • Easy to find a secluded city, that's still a city, for them to blow up
  • I'm not too worried about the political problems mentioned by Fetid Strumpet since 1) The countries were mostly ruled by royalty that were related, thus more inclined to cooperate (until they decided not to)  and 2) Academics have a long history of not considering the politics of their actions.
  • Malifaux is a distinctly french word, suggesting that the first to arrive after the BOOM an go through the Breach were French-speaking.

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The first explorers did not name the world. They translated the language they found there And the translated word is MALIFAUX.

If the translated word is made up then the translator made it up. The place is supposedly named something in Neverborn that the first explorers decided to interpret as Malifaux. That said, how French is Malifaux really? All western scholars at the time would have been prone to make up names based on either Latin or Greek, so is Malifaux specifically French or just Latin based?

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