On Mon, 16 Oct 2000, Muke Tever wrote:

> > From:    Yoon Ha Lee <[log in to unmask]>
> > Subject: Re: conlang website
> >
> > Magic exists in my conculture but is generally regarded in an animistic
> > sort of fashion.
> There's magic in my conculture too, but I haven't worked out the metaphysics
> of it yet.  I know there ought to be several very different systems, all
> based on a set of as-yet-undiscovered basics...

I handled it similarly.  :-)  There are several superficially different
systems but they all run off the same general metaphysics.  The Rekken
school uses gestures (I call them "foci"--they're more aids to
concentration than anything else), often abbreviated by skilled mages to
twitches of the fingertips (or toes, if they're desperate).  The Qenaren
schools tend to use more meditative methods, and islander mages use origami.

> And I'm finding a need for a maglang in it...  I'm debating whether to
> invent it _a priori_ or to use an existing language (Greek?) or artificial
> dialect thereof...

Poul Anderson's _Operation Chaos_ has a system where any "exotic"
language *to the mage* can be used as a magical language.  Thus Americans
learn Hausa or Chinese or Sanskrit, and people from China or whatever
learn Pig Latin or...<G>

> I know I've seen at least one or two maglangs on here in the past... why
> don't I hear about any anymore?  I'd like to hear what yall have thought of!

Some culture in my con-setting probably does use incantations as foci,
but I've never been fond of the idea myself.  It'd sure be fun, though!

I think you can also find an amusing almost-maglang in DBA (Das Schwarze
Auge), a German roleplaying game; at least, it shows up in the translated
English manuals to their crpgs, whose titles I can't remember offhand.
Star...something Axe...Starblaze?  ARGH!