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Old 02-14-2010, 11:02 AM   #21
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Default Re: Witchcraft and Swashbuckling

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Originally Posted by copeab View Post
All-Star Jam 2004 had a chapter called "Alchemical Baroque" which has magic in a fictional TL5 setting, although piracy doesn't get more than some boxed text (IIRC).
This has a more recent manifestation.

But that isn't really intended to feature much witch-hunting. The emphasis is very much on a fairy-tale approach, where the odd rustic witch (or smart-alec philosopher) can brew potions, do a few rituals, and talk to cats, without more than a raised eyebrow from the neighbours. And the primary centre of things is the world's Europe-analogue (and overseas travel is meant to be much more Gulliver's Travels than Pirates of the Caribbean.
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:41 AM   #22
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Someone of course has to mention 'Pirates of the Carribean' here.
What needs mention is Tim Powers' On Stranger Tides.
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For historical stuff, wasn't Blackbeard rather infamous for the semi-satanic image he tried to project?
Did I mention that this is addressed in On Stranger Tides?
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Old 02-14-2010, 05:12 PM   #23
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Default Re: Witchcraft and Swashbuckling

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Actually witch hystaria was more common in protostant countries than in Catholic, and the punushement for it more virilant.

I wouldnt go that far, but yes, the reputation for witch-hating from Pope & Co is greatly overemphasized, mostly because of prejudice, both from Protestants and from people of the Enlightenment who saw Catholicism as the example of horrible superstition. The infamous unexpected Inquisition ended witchhunting in Spain, for instance. It didnt fit with their doctrine.

Most witch hysteria was, as I noted, not something perpetuated with authorities, religious or not. They were started and kept alive by regular folks on a local scale. This is as opposed to the hunt for heretics, which would always have political overtones, especially Protestants on the lookout for Catholics and the opposite.

I have always wanted to play a campaign with "witchunters" in a world where actual witches exist but who is kept being troubled by peasants jealous of their neighbour for having higher-milking cows than themselves, etc. ...

Erik
Numerically there were more witch trials, materials produced and persecutions in protestant countries. Part of the problem was that people in those countries whose actual religious beliefs hadn't changed with the reformation could no longer adopt practices that they thought protected them from witches and so were ready to accuse anyone of witchcraft to protect themselves.
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:41 PM   #24
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Default Re: Witchcraft and Swashbuckling

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In Sweden, more people were executed for bestiality than for witchcraft.
Goat-shagging witches? Ewww....
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:14 AM   #25
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Goat-shagging witches?
No, the two were generally (if memory serves) separate.
Just as "more people being hanged for murder than robbery" does not mean
that more robbers also murdered their victims than didn't.
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:54 AM   #26
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"Zorro and the Witch's Curse" by John Whitman actually mixed the two story elements a bit. IIRC, d'Artagnan even started out on his way to Paris with a magical potion of some sort, though that factoid is and has been easily excised from most retellings of the story.

Certainly Manley Wade Wellman's character "Silver John" could be moved back to swashbuckling time easily enough and perhaps buffed a bit to be the swashbuckling hero. I think that sort of fiction would work quite well.
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Old 02-15-2010, 01:25 AM   #27
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Default Re: Witchcraft and Swashbuckling

Gah. I can't believe I hadn't remembered this earlier: the Solomon Kane stories by Robert E. Howard. Although a lot of the "witchcraft" he encounters comes from an African shaman who is on his side ...
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Old 02-15-2010, 01:34 AM   #28
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Default Re: Witchcraft and Swashbuckling

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Gah. I can't believe I hadn't remembered this earlier: the Solomon Kane stories by Robert E. Howard. Although a lot of the "witchcraft" he encounters comes from an African shaman who is on his side ...
The Solomon Kane stories are brilliant examples of what we are talking about in this thread. Howard did some other period stories with occult elements, some of which appear in The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard published by Ballantine.

Recently, C.C. Humphreys has written a couple of books- The French Executioner and Blood Ties that also do a nice job combining swashbuckling and the occult in a 16th century setting.
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:42 AM   #29
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Default Re: Witchcraft and Swashbuckling

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The Solomon Kane stories are brilliant examples of what we are talking about in this thread. Howard did some other period stories with occult elements, some of which appear in The Horror Stories of Robert E. Howard published by Ballantine.

Recently, C.C. Humphreys has written a couple of books- The French Executioner and Blood Ties that also do a nice job combining swashbuckling and the occult in a 16th century setting.

Wasn't Red Sonya (Howard's spelling) originally a 1500s era adventuress operating out of the Russian Turkish border area?
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:42 AM   #30
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Wasn't Red Sonya (Howard's spelling) originally a 1500s era adventuress operating out of the Russian Turkish border area?
Yeah. Wikisource has the story, The Shadow of the Vulture, online.
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