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I wasn’t very good at paying attention in the easy classes at college. This following bit of gibberish was jotted down in the notebook I was suppose to be studying for midterms with in my animal diseases class. I’d like to state for the record that I got an A in the class. 


Chapter 8

In which are discussed The Effects of Magic on a few of the social, economic and political elements of Malburnia

Malburnia is a middling large country with high property value and a Hierarchical political scene. It has giant forest, rolling plains, mountain ranges, just enough desert to be well rounded and ocean front, lake front, river front, bayou front as well as numerous crick, stream and pond fronts. Moat front property is available but, frowned upon as they carry a bad image, decreasing the land value of the surrounding area despite being worth a little more the average, because all moats come with castles. 

The country was well rounded due (so the Realtors tell us) to the high infusion of magic the land has when compared to its neighboring countries. In fact, Malburnia is practically flooded with it. This is considered unfortunate in the long run however as magic is more likely to kill you then be profitable in its natural form. (Taught magic however are very safe when used responsibly, or so the wizards keep telling everyone.) This has produced some rather curious economic, political and social phenomena of which a few of the more well known we will look at in no particular order. 

1-              Wood is the most expensive fuel in the country. You can heat the royal castle to comfortable using nothing but candles for cheaper then it would cost you to use fire wood. The only people who used it as their main source of heat are the woodcutters themselves since they don’t have to buy it. These individuals are always single and generally male because woodcutter’s children are extremely susceptible to magic, however being strong and rugged they don’t stay single very long and obliged to retire into other lines of work. No one knows how this particular phenomenon started. Some scholars theorize that a woodcutter cut a magic tree and started a chain reaction of career hazards. Others say a spelled prince became a wood cutter and that is what started it all. It’s chicken or the egg really and I doubt anyone will ever get to the bottom of it. 


2-              Coal, being the lead means of fuel gives Malburnia a higher then average Dwarf population. This has led to kings of that country who have a single daughter and no sons being unable to remarry in the event of the first wife dieing. The new queen would become, if not upon the wedding day already, corrupt. She inevitably would poisoning the king and turn the princess into a drudge and the girl would have to run off to live with the Dwarves until the evil queen either succeeded in poisoning her as well or the queen died. As added measure to protect against such particular political turmoil Dwarf housing has a cap of 6 members per house hold.


3-              Kings with one daughter and 8 (or more) sons also may never remarry. The sons inevitably end up as swans, owls or with a less powerful stepmother, pigeons. It is interesting to note that queens can marry as many times as they want.


4-              Queens of Malburnia are very rarely of royal birth. Most fall into one of two categories.  A) Daughters of single fathers who are weavers. B) Peasant or fallen gentry’s daughters who take pity on princes whom have been spelled by fairies to correct character flaws. * Category A- This type of queen is not so popular due to the fact that the first child she bears to the king usually spirited away by unlikable mythical creatures and is very rarely seen again. Category B is rather rare of late, and many second sons or daughters takes the thrown in these cases as (usually) the character flaw is too severe to be appealing and no peasant girls are willing to take on the task. This brings us to category C. This is the scenario where there is a minor noble who marries a second time and then dies leaving his only child under the harsh hand of the step mother. These girls end up marrying a prince nearly without fail. This happens almost never anymore due to the dreadful unpopularity of Fairy godparents.


5-              Fairy godparents are never appointed to children at their christenings if it can at all be avoided since a study on fairy godparents proved that magic is actually 60-79.8% more likely to find the child at some stage during their life if they are appointed a fairy godparent. (Study brought to you by the Malburnian Social Services.) It’s been statistically proven that it’s better to have no magic aid to begin with then have said magic aid draw nasty magic to you.


6-              Magic is drawn to orphans who are fostered out. Another study was done (by a sister company of the Malburnian Social Services) that concluded magic drew itself to orphans based on the “like attracts like” theory. Example: Misery loves company, only in this case magic loves misery, all that romance about tragic tales and angst and what have you. This unwanted burden was almost eliminated when some queen or other along the way stated that all orphans not taken in by family or friends of the family would automatically be put under care of the state and then placed in the army once grown. This made sure magic avoided them. (So long as they didn’t become anything higher ranking then a captain, magic is drawn to generals and such, more so if they own white horses, which they don’t since the army doesn’t buy nor breed white horses solely based on that fact.) Children who were fostered out generally grow up to be woodcutters, single parent weavers or stepmothers if they were unlucky and female. (Lucky females went to work at the palace and married nobles with fairy godparents. This hardly ever happens any more, see item 5.)


7-              Malburnia has a high tendency for random, short term marshal law. This is indirectly because of the lack of wood as a fuel. I would like to note here that there is no lack of wood for things like nick-knack carving, building materials, mirror frames and the like. No study has been done, but arguments based on the debate in item 1 are abundant. The other leading theory is that wood just doesn’t like being burned (but has no objection to being hammered, shaved, chopped, stained, warped or any other such abuses in the line of creating. Moving on however…) There are lots of witches in Malburnia and you cannot burn witches over coal and an unfortunate amount of witches are evil, 99 -105%. (some may argue me here but the fact is that all the “good” witches are in fact fairy godparents whom have taken up occultist hobbies, such as the study of all things toad, as they have a high unemployment rate.) Every few years or so these communities of witches (or the M.A.E.W. Malburnian Alliance of Evil Witches) gets to causing too much evil and the army takes over for a couple months. (These periods are decreasing due to the formation of the Bog Fillers Union) Soldiers chosen by lottery go chop down trees to burn witches on. These martial laws are actually rather popular with the public since individuals who turn in more then 10 witches during the active period are tax exempt for 5 years or until the next marshal law is instated whichever comes first.


8-              The Bog Fillers Union. This group was revolutionary at its beginning and is one of the highest paying occupations for the non-land owning peasant. All the witches in Malburnia are bog witches. (The wood cutting industry is too small to support the candy house building, child eating sort.)  This name has nothing to do with where they live (though some do live near them.) It is a as of yet unexplainable and direct ratio between bogs and witches. The more bog you have the more witches you have and visa versa. The Bog Fillers Union fills in bogs which, in turn gets rid of the witches. No one knows why this is though the question “how many bog witches can a two acre bog support?” is a very popular philosophical question among bored lower nobles (along with “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?”) and the leading Universities of Thought (Thought being the name of the city they are in and a poor reflection of the universities standing.) Consequently the adventure of travel and native witch management is a big draw to noble families with restless younger sons. These sons are sent to the union to enjoy a very safe minor adventure or two and to see the world (as it applies to the desert where they get the bog filling sand and what ever bog they’re filling while on tour) without losing them to man eating giants, cursed fountains or a rouge sorceress.


9-              The Malburnian wool industry is one of its most profitable exports. This is because sheep are too boring to attract magic. Lots of magic-paranoid people who can’t afford to leave the country become shepherds and shepherdesses. No one has yet to discover why weavers, who use a lot of wool, are not protected by aforementioned boringness.



Of theses and many other impacts of magic can be found in more detail in the records of Nar the Woodcutter. The only known copy of which is currently missing from the Raven Lake Libraries.



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