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-   -   Study of Folklore and Magic in Texas and the Gulf Coast (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=161066)

Icelander 12-22-2018 07:19 PM

Re: Folkloric Association of Various Fruits, Nuts and Seeds
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SionEwig (Post 2230419)
For this you're looking at something possibly approaching book length. Especially considering both the commercially grown items and those not but still out there. Also a lot of imports including some that have gone wild so to speak and are well acclimatized. Give me some time to look in some of my tree books and I'll give you some with information.

I'm mostly thinking wild or home grown. Commercially grown fruit, herbs and other flora are available from all over the world with the wonders of modern transportation, but I'm trying to figure out what a backwoods conjure man or bayou wise woman might collect near their homes or have growing in their gardens.

Especially interested in what grows in East Texas, near the Gulf Coast and Galveston, as well as the traditionally Cajun parts of Louisiana.

'Nonc' Morel, the Cajun swamp druid, wants to carry his helpful Herb Lore potions as sweet-tasting fruit grown and harvested with Herb Lore incredients, deliver hostile grenade elixirs by chucking less apetizing sour, bitter or rotten fruit infused with Herb Lore concoctions, as well as making various Charms and enchanted items from seeds, acorns, nuts, branches and wooden carvings and any other naturally grown materials.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SionEwig (Post 2230419)
Tougher for me to find, but I'll loofk around. Hopefully someone else will be able to help more with this.

Any help and suggestions greatly appreciated.

Tom H. 12-23-2018 03:18 PM

Re: Study of Folklore and Magic in Texas and the Gulf Coast
 
Although maybe not directly relevant to some of your requests, Galveston has several features that can be incorporated into your theme.

Over a decade ago, I worked for American National Insurance Company in their headquarters on the island. The office building is very tall, prominent, and hurricane resistant.

The company was founded in 1905 by the Moody family. The headquarters features (at least at the time I was there) a sort of museum on the top 20th floor that affords a wide view of the entire island.

University of Texas Medical Branch is an important school headquartered on the island as well. While not particularly relevant to your request for hidden lore, it could serve as a secret facility to conduct physiological and other experiments upon the "monsters." In fact, Galveston has a large homeless population that is served by care from the school. We already used to joke that this assistance may have come with ulterior motives. ;-)

Another interesting location on the island is the Moody Gardens theme and education park. It features three large, modern pyramids. They are designated: Discovery Pyramid, Rainforest Pyramid, and Aquarium Pyramid. Of course, the true purpose of such primal structures hasn't been disclosed. ;-)

There is other historical lore associated with Galveston. Regarding ghosts, I found this site on the web. Although not mentioned there, I had heard rumors of an apparition that I never got to explore. Some had claimed there was a building or warehouse on the island that would present upon one side a large, ghostly, historical face in the light of sunset.

Anyway, it sounds like you have a lot of fun narratives to explore with your new campaign.

Icelander 12-23-2018 04:45 PM

Re: Study of Folklore and Magic in Texas and the Gulf Coast
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom H. (Post 2230569)
Although maybe not directly relevant to some of your requests, Galveston has several features that can be incorporated into your theme.

Over a decade ago, I worked for American National Insurance Company in their headquarters on the island. The office building is very tall, prominent, and hurricane resistant.

The company was founded in 1905 by the Moody family. The headquarters features (at least at the time I was there) a sort of museum on the top 20th floor that affords a wide view of the entire island.

What is it a museum of? The Moody family history?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom H. (Post 2230569)
University of Texas Medical Branch is an important school headquartered on the island as well. While not particularly relevant to your request for hidden lore, it could serve as a secret facility to conduct physiological and other experiments upon the "monsters." In fact, Galveston has a large homeless population that is served by care from the school. We already used to joke that this assistance may have come with ulterior motives. ;-)

Done. Stolen wholesale.

J.R. Kessler, the Patron funding the PCs, spends at least $10 million a year on endowments and donations to universities in the Gulf Coast area to ensure that he has all the academic support and cooperation he needs for his secret network of monster hunting professionals.

I expect that his hometown of Galveston receives a disproportionate share of that and he absolutely needs a 'no-questions-asked' medical facilities and biological research labs.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom H. (Post 2230569)
Another interesting location on the island is the Moody Gardens theme and education park. It features three large, modern pyramids. They are designated: Discovery Pyramid, Rainforest Pyramid, and Aquarium Pyramid. Of course, the true purpose of such primal structures hasn't been disclosed. ;-)

I wonder if I should posit a connection between J.R. Kessler (the PCs eccentric billionaire Patron, born and raised in Galveston) and the Moody family.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom H. (Post 2230569)
There is other historical lore associated with Galveston. Regarding ghosts, I found this site on the web. Although not mentioned there, I had heard rumors of an apparition that I never got to explore. Some had claimed there was a building or warehouse on the island that would present upon one side a large, ghostly, historical face in the light of sunset.

Heh.

The first encounter of the campaign is set in the Walmart Galveston Supercenter on 6702 Seawall Boulevard. It is, obviously, haunted as all heck, being located at the site of the former St. Mary's Orphan Asylum, where ten nuns and ninety children drowned in the Great Storm of 1900.

And I have to thank you for the wonderful gift of Dash Beardsley, who will now be an NPC in my campaign. Completely without any discernible magical talent or ability, but knowing just enough to manage to turn up at sites of supernatural activity in time to get into the kind of trouble that wearing sunglasses at night is just going to make worse.

Beardsley will regard the PCs as his professional colleagues and fellow believers, full of admiration and envy for Lucien Lacoste, the gifted medium with Weirdness Magnet with a spirit theme.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom H. (Post 2230569)
Anyway, it sounds like you have a lot of fun narratives to explore with your new campaign.

Not as much as you'd think.

Most of my time has gone on working with players on developing their characters from concepts to fully detailed GURPS characters, using Ritual Path Magic rules that none of us have much experience with.

I haven't really mapped out any adventures or, indeed, any of the setting detail that will be needed for a healthy campaign. I just have an initial encounter set in a Walmart stockroom, a basic concept for an NPC in an antagonistic role and a few associates for him, a McGuffin and... well, then it's a blank. I've not even named the antagonist yet, and the PCs might meet him next session.

Working on this post, though, I've already thought of a couple of other NPCs, another potential location for an encounter and some additional background on the PCs' Patron. So that was nice, thanks.

Tom H. 12-23-2018 10:18 PM

Re: Study of Folklore and Magic in Texas and the Gulf Coast
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Icelander (Post 2230582)
What is it a museum of? The Moody family history?

You know, I don't actually remember everything, but it was a bit eclectic. I used to go up there to walk a track along the circumference with great views for a break. Sure, there was some of the family and company history, but there were other just general historical pictures and patriotic artifacts too I believe.

I do remember a handwritten note of advice on display that was passed down from an elder Moody to his sons. There was also probably an exhibit about the major Texas City disaster in which a ship of fertilizer blew up in the port in 1947. (Reviewing, it is indicated as one of the worst industrial accidents in U.S. history.)

Texas City is close by in the Galveston Bay. In fact, the BP refinery there was notorious for having accidents. We actually witnessed the aftermath of an explosion there from the American National tower in Galveston one day at work. We all felt the shock and got to observe the lingering black clouds of smoke during the day.

Going back to 1947, that year keeps resurfacing: the Roswell crash, Kenneth Arnold's flying saucer sightings at Mount Rainier, and now the Texas City disaster.

~~~

Also, I had forgotten to tip you off to some other campaign tie-ins.

Just 30 miles inland up Interstate 45 from Galveston in the Clear Lake area of Houston is NASA's Johnson Space Center. Who can pass up some paranormal or conspiratorial connections with such an advanced institution?

And if you're looking for more college locations, there is the nearby, albeit smaller, University of Houston Clear Lake campus. (I even participated in a gaming club there for a time.)

Anyway, I hope all goes well with your gaming.

Icelander 12-24-2018 10:26 AM

Re: Study of Folklore and Magic in Texas and the Gulf Coast
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom H. (Post 2230636)
You know, I don't actually remember everything, but it was a bit eclectic. I used to go up there to walk a track along the circumference with great views for a break. Sure, there was some of the family and company history, but there were other just general historical pictures and patriotic artifacts too I believe.

Ah, excellent.

The museum with strong family connections with one of Galveston's most influential and well-known families, at a no doubt significant location in karmic and ley line terms, not to mention the odd McGuffin or two, seems like a place where one of the Moody heirs, were s/he aware of the supernatural phenomena that started to emerge in the 1980s, might allow magicians connected to an old family friend to practice, when it is necessary to, for example, scry Galveston as a whole.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom H. (Post 2230636)
I do remember a handwritten note of advice on display that was passed down from an elder Moody to his sons. There was also probably an exhibit about the major Texas City disaster in which a ship of fertilizer blew up in the port in 1947. (Reviewing, it is indicated as one of the worst industrial accidents in U.S. history.)

Texas City is close by in the Galveston Bay. In fact, the BP refinery there was notorious for having accidents. We actually witnessed the aftermath of an explosion there from the American National tower in Galveston one day at work. We all felt the shock and got to observe the lingering black clouds of smoke during the day.

Going back to 1947, that year keeps resurfacing: the Roswell crash, Kenneth Arnold's flying saucer sightings at Mount Rainier, and now the Texas City disaster.

In my setting history, the years 1890-1980 or so are identical to real history. No known supernatural phenomena were observed between the beginning of the First World War and the end of the Vietnam War, with a continuum of scholastic views as to the cut-off points, with most occultists believing that there were no significant supernatural events between 1890 and 1985 and none at all between 1900 and 1979.

As far as anyone knows, no interstellar travelers have ever visited Earth. There are aliens, of course, but like what humans have dubbed faeries and the like, they are ultraterrestials, not extraterrestials, i.e. they come from other worlds outside of this reality, not other planets within it.

~~~

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom H. (Post 2230636)
Also, I had forgotten to tip you off to some other campaign tie-ins.

Just 30 miles inland up Interstate 45 from Galveston in the Clear Lake area of Houston is NASA's Johnson Space Center. Who can pass up some paranormal or conspiratorial connections with such an advanced institution?

Certainly. The PCs will be overjoyed to visit a place of advanced scientific study, considering that technology has an effect on local mana level and their powers will be much less in such locations. Of course, the same should apply to anything that goes Bump in the Night, unless it's other humans with nefarious goals.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom H. (Post 2230636)
And if you're looking for more college locations, there is the nearby, albeit smaller, University of Houston Clear Lake campus. (I even participated in a gaming club there for a time.)

Cool.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom H. (Post 2230636)
Anyway, I hope all goes well with your gaming.

Thanks and merry Christmas!

Icelander 12-30-2018 07:37 AM

Anthropology, Caribbean Studies and Comparative Folklore, What Languages?
 
Alice Talbot, a part-time research assistant on the Penemue, is a graduate student at Rice University. She's an anthropology student, specifically working in cultural and religious anthropology as it concerns the interaction of African. European and Indigenous folklore, mythology and religion in the Caribbean during the Atlantic Slave Trade and after it. She's very close to a PhD on some suitably esoteric subject in the field, likely the survival and evolution of Caribbean folklore and religion with immigrant groups in the US (so she doesn't have to travel anywhere really far for her 'field' research).

In her undergraduate studies, she likely had some courses in Latin American and Native American cultures, especially folklore and mythology. She might even have ambitions to produce a scholarly analysis of the totality of 'American' folklore as her post-graduate research project, i.e. investigate all the different ethnic and religious ingredients that went into American folk beliefs, how they spread and how they developed in the New World.

Oh, and there was a time when she thought she'd be writing her Masters dissertation on the comparative study of the concept of demons in different cultures, when she spent quite a lot of time researching demonology, which necessarily required the study of medieval theology in Christianity, Judaism and Islam, as well as more superficial study of other religions, history and literature of the medieval era. A touch of classical and ancient studies too, as demons weren't invented by medievals.

The question is, what languages is Ms. Talbot likely to speak or at least to be somewhat familiar with?

Apollonian 12-30-2018 08:41 AM

Re: Anthropology, Caribbean Studies and Comparative Folklore, What Languages?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Icelander (Post 2231961)
The question is, what languages is Ms. Talbot likely to speak or at least to be somewhat familiar with?

English natively, and French and Spanish for getting around the Caribbean and the Gulf. These should probably be her most fluent languages, as they'll get the most use.

She'll probably know bits and bobs of various Native American languages, but not enough to speak or translate without a dictionary handy. If there are exceptions, they're probably going to be Yucatec Maya and Cariban. She might also be pretty good at Haitian Creole, and may know a smattering of Dutch.

She might also have a smattering of West African languages - enough to recognize key terms, but certainly not enough to speak it - based on the languages brought over by the slave trade. I probably wouldn't charge points for that, just fold it into her general knowledge.

It might also be fun to have her be completely fluent in one or two very obscure Caribbean/native languages just because she's taken a special interest in the folklore of the speakers. Given the state of said languages, she may be one of the last fifty-odd fluent speakers of such a tongue...

As for the demonological studies, she can probably do medieval/renaissance Latin, Arabic, Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew, and old German, but I'd put those mostly at Accented or (more likely) Broken, and one step less for spoken versions.

johndallman 12-30-2018 09:25 AM

Re: Anthropology, Caribbean Studies and Comparative Folklore, What Languages?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Apollonian (Post 2231966)
English natively, and French and Spanish for getting around the Caribbean and the Gulf.

She'll also be familiar with some of the West Indian English dialects, possibly surprisingly so for an American.

adm 12-30-2018 12:33 PM

Re: Study of Folklore and Magic in Texas and the Gulf Coast
 
Depending on how much interaction with Brazilian sources, she may know some level of Portuguese as well.

malloyd 12-30-2018 01:41 PM

Re: Anthropology, Caribbean Studies and Comparative Folklore, What Languages?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Icelander (Post 2231961)
Alice Talbot, a part-time research assistant on the Penemue, is a graduate student at Rice University. She's an anthropology student, specifically working in cultural and religious anthropology as it concerns the interaction of African.

I think all you really need for history and anthropology in the Caribbean would be English and Spanish. But Rice calls it's relevant department "Spanish Portuguese and Latin American Studies" so Portuguese seems likely. For the demons, you probably really need the Latin. They teach Arabic, but not with a lot of depth (it looks like you can take 3 years worth). Rice does have a serious Jewish studies program, so a student there with these sorts of interests might well pick up some Biblical Hebrew. For the current crop of Anthropology professors Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Swahili (the field archaeology project this last decade seems to have been Pemba Island, Tanzania) and Icelandic. For an odd option, there looks to be a lot of depth in the catalog the last few years for Tibetan.

Edit: Hey, there's an actual Gnosticism, Esotericism and Mysticism program over in the Religion department that apparently offers Koine Greek, Coptic and Syriac.


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