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Thread: Wizards of Yesteryear

  1. #1
    GinnyRules
    Guest

    Wizards of Yesteryear

    By yesteryear I mean really old times. Part of my new fic occurs in the time of the founders and in the time of the Peverell brothers. So here are my questions:

    ~ When exactly does History say the witch burnings happened (and where)?

    ~ How long did it take to build Hogwarts?

    ~ How many students might there have been at Hogwarts during the Founders Era?

    ~ Did the Peverell brothers come before or after the Founders?

    ~ When did the Tri-Wizard Tournament first take place?

    ~ What kind of tasks could be held during the tournament? (I need lots of task ideas...)

    ~ When did the Founders die?

    ~ Is Merlin- As in "Order of Merlin, First Class" -just a figure of speech in the HP books or did he actually exist at some time?

    ~ If so, when did he exist?

    I know that's a lot of questions but if anyone can answer any of them that would be really helpful

    -- Mel

  2. #2
    apollo13
    Guest
    ~ When exactly does History say the witch burnings happened (and where)?
    Well, in the UK, witch burnings happened just about everywhere in the 14th century, mainly.

    ~ How long did it take to build Hogwarts?
    We don't really know, all we know is that it was built 1000 years ago. Seeing as it was probably built with magic, we can assume that it was quicker than most castles take to build.

    ~ How many students might there have been at Hogwarts during the Founders Era?
    This is a difficult one. While populations usually increase as the years go by, it has been said several times in the books that if wizards had not intergrated with muggles, they would have died out. There were Muggleborns at that time, but from Slytherins reaction to them we can probably assume that they were rather resented, and mixing with them would not really have happened.

    So, I think that there would be roughly the same number, but I think that about half would be Muggleborns, and as the founders argued over Muggleborns should be allowed into the school, there were probably about half the number, whereas the other half were trying to get in.

    ~ Did the Peverell brothers come before or after the Founders?
    Nio idea - you can do whatever you like with that, really/

    When did the Tri-Wizard Tournament first take place?
    700 years ago.

    ~ When did the Founders die?
    Well, as the average life span of a wizard is 150 years, I think... we don't know. It depends on how old you want them to be when they first founded Hogwarts.

    ~ Is Merlin- As in "Order of Merlin, First Class" -just a figure of speech in the HP books or did he actually exist at some time?
    Merlin features in Arthurian legend, which was around Anglo-Saxon times.

    I'll come back later if I can think of any tasks...

    ~Evie

  3. #3
    LucillaJoanna
    Guest
    ~ When exactly does History say the witch burnings happened (and where)?

    In the middle centuries, the 13th-15th centuries, fear and superstitions of witchcraft were rife. Boston and Salem are the most famous places of witch burnings. For 'exactly', I suggest you research on the web. You will likely not only answer your question but also get colorful material you can incorporate to your fic.

    ~ How long did it take to build Hogwarts?

    My idea is it was a gradual process. Four people, however powerful, can't conjure a whole castle into existence, unless the castle was already there. Even so, castles are not comfortable places to inhabit. They are fortresses. The Hogwarts as we know it now is probably a product of centuries' worth of improvements and changes. During the time of persecution on magic, it is plausible that the castle is every bit a fortress as castles are wont to be in those times.

    Rowena Ravenclaw has a tiara. Tiaras are not common jewelry. It is safe to assume Rowena is of noble blood, and she can easily might have had a castle to her name, judging by Helena's hauteur-- the Ravenclaws were not peasants.

    So, the castle that became Hogwarts can be there already, only hidden by countless charms and protections, and altered through the years.

    The presence of a lake indicates that Hogwarts is in Scotland. It is canon/fanon even that it is in Scotland. There are many castles here, many nobles.

    ~ How many students might there have been at Hogwarts during the Founders Era?

    Perhaps about the same amount as modern times, discounting JKR's erroneous delusion that Hogwarts holds a thousand students. Probably seventy to each House, in a schoolyear with all levels filled. Then again, in the Founders' era, there probably aren't levels yet. I think the Founders choose their Houselings and then teach their Houselings. This would have led to the Slytherins being the pureblood snobs that they are, being exclusively taught their founder's world view...

    Consider travel: if Floo powder and portkeys are things developed only later, students might have a harder time reaching the school. This will affect Hogwarts' population, unless the Founders fetch each student.

    Consider the era as well: aside from the paranoia regarding magic, in those days, almost everyone farms and farms hard if they hope to survive winter. This is a twelve-hour occupation. Only the very affluent and their children have time to spend on studying magic.

    A Muggleborn peasant's parents will need a lot of persuading and maybe even some gold, before allowing their child to go.

    Just ideas as I type...

    ~ Did the Peverell brothers come before or after the Founders?

    After, I think. From the Tale of the Three Brothers, there seems to be an air of some modernity already. The Peverells' ring is crude, certainly, which suggests Medieval times. But then, if Slytherin is a descendant instead of the ancestor, I think there will have been some record of him using the Elder Wand against Gryffindor... I don't think he will have rested until he got that wand, like Voldy.

    ~ When did the Tri-Wizard Tournament first take place?

    Probably after the three largest European schools were firmly established. They say Durmstrang came next after Hogwarts, and then Beauxbatons. Dumbledore states it was established 'some seven hundred years ago', so this puts it the first tournament at the twelve hundreds.

    ~ What kind of tasks could be held during the tournament? (I need lots of task ideas...) Research of the era will help you here. Try mythology, especially.

    ~ When did the Founders die?

    Give them enough time to establish the school, enough time to enjoy teaching, enough time to see several batches of trained adult wizards and witches, and then enough time to have the fallout, an almost-truce in which Slytherin makes the Chamber (sneaky!), and then the true fallout, and then their slow but peaceful expiry (except Rowena's heartache over Helena). So... several decades more after the founding of Hogwarts. I think they lived even longer than Dumbledore but several centuries short of Nicholas Flamel, who had the Stone.

    ~ Is Merlin- As in "Order of Merlin, First Class" -just a figure of speech in the HP books or did he actually exist at some time? ~ If so, when did he exist?


    He certainly existed for the Wizarding world. He is an icon, and the Order of Merlin is like the Order of the British Empire in some sense. OOM awards wizards Classes according to magical contribution and talent, and championship of worthy causes and Muggles. Lockheart has an Order of Merlin, Third Class, Snape has Second Class, Dumbledore has First Class... see?

    Merlin existed along with Arthur, way before the Founders' era. Around the 5th Century. Whereas the Founders gained notoriety around the 900's A.D.

    There you go. Good luck with your fic!
    ~Joanna

  4. #4
    GinnyRules
    Guest
    Thank you for your help guys! I have a much better idea of what to do now. If anyone else has ideas for tasks or timelines, I still need plenty of help

  5. #5
    apollo13
    Guest
    Tasks:

    Hermione says in GOF that in 1792, a cockatrice the champions were meant to be catching went on a rampage and all three school heads were injured. Dumbledore also says that the death toll was very high. So, obviously, the tasks must be very dangerous, and they seem to have a recurring theme of magical creatures.

    I spent ages scouring through Harry Potter Fan Zone and found some interesting and dangerous creatures that you could use as prompts for tasks:

    ACROMANTULA (Dunno if I spelt that right - you know, the giant spiders)

    ASHWINDER (This is an animal which forms when fire is left to burn for too long. It is grey and serpent like, and lives for only one hour, but lays eggs, which hatch when they ignite.)

    CHIMAERA (Greek monster which has a lion's head. Apparently it will kilol you as soon as look at you.)

    DOXY (Little fairy thing with an extra pair of arms and legs. Has a lethal bite, although there is an antidote in canon. Eggs are also lethal in large doses.)

    DUGBOG (Good camoflauge which makes it look like a log. Not especially dangerous, but has a nasty bite. Think of it like a vicious, small dog.)

    ERUMPET (large African creature which looks almost like a rhinoceros. It isn't aggressive and will not attack unless provoked. Its horn contains a poisonous substance, which will cause anything that is injected to explode. Once it starts to charge, there isn't any hope for the victim.)

    GRAPHORN (It's large and is a purpley grey colour. It has very large horns and big feet, it's extremely aggressive.)

    KAPPA (Japanese water demon found in ponds and in rivers. Has a hollow in the top of its head which contains water, it looks similar to a monkey, but has fish scales instead of fur. The cleverer mind will fool it into bowing, which will make the water leak out and hence, it will be deprived of energy. A person could quite easily pesuade it not to harm them by throwing a cucumber at it with their name on it. It feeds only on human blood.)

    LETHIFOLD (It is found in tropical climates, and is quite rare. It wears a cloak, thicker than the average. It also widens just after it has eaten. It glides around during night time hours. The latest account was written by Flavius Belby, who was fortunate to survive an attack in 1782 whilst on holiday in Papua, New Guinea. The only spell known to repel a Lethifold is the Patronus. It attacks the sleeping hence it enters the house, suffocates the victim there and then then exits slightly fatter.)

    MANTICORE (It is a very dangerous and rare Greek beast with the body of a man and head of a lion. It also has a scorpion tail. Its sting causes death....instantly, and its skin is known to repels most charms.)

    NUNDU (This is said to be the most dangerous magical creature in the world. It is east African, and its breath is a poisonous gas which could wipe a whole village at a time. It still hasn't be subdued, not even by a hundred skilled wizards working together. It is a leopard like creature and is exceptionally dangerous)

    OCCAMY (It could reach up to a length of 15 feet, it has two legs and wings, feeding on rats and birds. Its eggs are made of pure silver, and it is aggressive to anyone who approaches it, or its eggs.)

    QUINTAPED (A highly dangerous beast, finding its favourite taste, the human. Its body is covered with thick reddish hair, and it has five legs each ending with a club foot. It is only found on the north most tip of Scotland.)

    RUNESPOOR (It originated in a small African country. It reaches up to a length of six to seven feet. It is orange with black stripes and is very easy to spot, so forests have been designated for the sole use of Runespoor's. It is a serpent-like creature with 3 heads instead of one.)

    SNIDGET (This is a protected species of bird. It's extremely rare and is golden coloured. It is completely round and has a sparkling beak. Its eyes and feathers eye so valuble that at one time, it was nearly hunted to extinction for these. Jo said that Snidgets were the first forms of Snitch, so perhaps you could have the Champions catch it?)

    STREELER (On an hourly basis, this creature changes colour. It is a snail and it leaves a trail of slime so venomous that it kills the very vegetation that is passes over.)

    TEBO (It's an ash coloured warthog, it inhabits Congo and Zaire. It has the power of invisibility and it's extremely dangerous.)

    WINGED HORSE (They exist world wide and are extremely dangerous. There are many different breeds and at least each one has its own speciality. It has, like some others, the ability to become invisible.)

    YETI (It is a native of Tibet. It is meant to be related to the troll, though no-one hasn't got quite close enough yet to perform special tests to prove it actually is. It grows up to fifteen feet in height, and is covered in white hair. It can be repulsed by skilled wizards and one of its fears is fire.)

    I also had the thought that you could have, as one of the tasks, like a Gladiator ring, with all the students watching from the stands. Each champion would take it in turns to stand in the centre, and out of the sides, various dangerous creatures and spells would come out. The champion would fight them off for as long as possible. When the champion cannot go on any longer s/he sends red sparks into the air, and all the animals/spells freeze. The are then vanished for the next champion to come out.

    It would test you reaction time, no?

    ~Evie

  6. #6
    AurorKeefy
    Guest
    On Witch Hunting and Burning...

    "in the tenth century king Athekstan introduced the death penalty for murder by witchcraft, a penalty reduced after 1066 by William the Conqueror to banishment. The death penalty returned under Henry VIII, but only for a second offence."

    "In all, in England, around a thousand" people were executed for witchcraft - and those were hung rather than burned. "On the Continent and in Scotland, however, where torture was not only allowed but actively enouraged, over a hundred thousand unfortunates perished in the flames."

    -Quotations and paraphrasing taken from Cawthorne, N. 2006. Witches: A history of persecution, London: Capella.

    So, unless Wizards did not acknowledge Scotland as seperate from England - a distinct possibility given Hogwarts' geographical location - any witch burning in England seems distinctly unlikely - and the misconception is likely to stem from the cinematic influence of the film regarding Matthew Hopkins - the self titled "Witchfinder general" (Who nonetheless must feature in the top ten biggest scumbags ever to be born in England, though his presence in the world rankings may be in question). For witch burning, try Scotland, Germany, France and particularly Spain - where the practice was rife. Even in these countries however, it seems that most witches burnt at the stake were strangled to death first - though not after a considerable amount of torture. "It is [however] estimated that, all in all, 4,400 witches were burnt in Scotland."

    On a side note, anyone wanting to sleep at night or hold the contents of their stomach may do well to stay away from Cawthorne's book. Ignorance and Religious fundamentalism seem to have been less important in the hysteria than greed for money and political power. Deeply, deeply, grim.

  7. #7
    GinnyRules
    Guest
    I really like the idea of the gladiator ring. It would also test your resistance and versatility as a wizard/witch. I've also narrowed it down to two or three creatures to use for a task. And I was thinking the last task could be a kind of race all around the grounds, or maybe a treasure hunt in the forest. Thanks for the help

    On a side note, anyone wanting to sleep at night or hold the contents of their stomach may do well to stay away from Cawthorne's book. Ignorance and Religious fundamentalism seem to have been less important in the hysteria than greed for money and political power. Deeply, deeply, grim.
    I started to read that book once when I was really young, and quit right away. I think I'll try again though. It seems like a good resource, however gruesome it may be. Thanks!

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