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New World Magischola
New World Magischola: A College of Wizardry Larp
New World Magischola: A College of Wizardry Larp


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Tickets for New World Magischola 2017 have opened!

Come be part of the magic!

NWM5: Second Semester
June 15-18, 2017, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA

NWM6: Second Semester
June 22-25, 2017, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA

NWM7: First Semester
June 29-July 2, 2017, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA

NWM8: Second Semester
July 6-9, 2017, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA

We've launched our site at today!

Of interest is the "Which House Do You Belong In?" Quiz. We've actually some revisions planned for the quiz scoring and questions, but since the quiz is just for entertainment, we have had to push that back some in the face of other critical items that needed priority.

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The final house of New World Magischola is Lakay Laveau (Lah-kai Lah-voh), which was added to the school in 1835 after Chancellor Solomon Gundy invited the House founder, a wizard known publicly as Marie Laveau, to the school. Lakay is the creole word for house, and its use demonstrates Laveau’s heritage. The crest of Lakay Laveau features the North American alligator, an adaptable predator that haunts the bayous around New Orleans and the swamps and coastal waters of the southeastern portions of the continent. Alligators lie in wait patiently, then move quickly and decisively to seize their prey. The mere suggestion of their presence can cause people to change course and a confrontation with one is ill-advised without intense firepower, teamwork, or a somewhat foolhardy bravado. Laveau house members can be as patient, cunning, and intimidating, but also like the alligator, they are fiercely protective of their own, as their “jaws of death” can become “jaws of love.”

House colors are deep purple and dark gray. Purple is the color of royalty and wealth, the deep colors that emerge from sunset and the color of Marie Laveau’s hypnotic eyes. Gray is the color of twilight, of the in-between spaces of dusk and dawn, a mixture of light and dark that some say is an absence of color, but is a palette for Laveau to work with. In voodoo, the deep purple is recognized for power, psychic abilities, and contact with the spiritual world, a very useful color for seances and necromantic rituals.

The ivy on the crest represents tenacity. There is a dual nature to ivy: it is beautiful and useful, to control erosion for example, or to train and prune into artful shapes. Like Laveau members, ivy is not something to be underestimated or to ignore. What starts as the tentative embrace of a tiny tendril can transform into the clinging claws of a choking vine that is difficult to control.

Laveau herself was a powerful artificier (art-ih-fish-ee-er), and house members in particular use this French spelling and pronunciation, both as homage to Laveau and as a philosophical differentiation from those who craft objects based merely on their function and not their artistry. Artificiers believe in both form and function, and that the most powerful objects also have an aesthetic, and that the aesthetic itself adds magical power to the artifact. It’s believed that Laveau did not teach her students her most powerful artifact creation techniques, and many house members strive to discover or reverse engineer her secrets. The house motto is, “With Mind and Skill,” speaking to a combination of theoretical and practical knowledge. As master artificier and artisan, Laveau felt that those two values were the only ones of importance, and held contempt for those who advocated creating with prudence or restraint.

The skulls on the crest are for death, merely another state of reality according to Laveau, and not something to be feared or prevented. Show me the dark places and there I will dance, Laveau is reported to have said with a smile, and house members do not fear the unknown, unexplored, or what lies beyond. Laveau hand-picked students with exceptional intelligence, skill, creativity, tenacity, and a willingness to take risks.

Laveau possessed great magical powers and knowledge of arcane lore, and was both feared for her prowess and revered as a wise wizard with a strong connection to the spiritual world. It is said that she created a potion made from vampire’s blood that keeps her eternally youthful and beautiful. She spoke four languages: English, French, Spanish, and Creole, and was considered the foremost authority on relics, bonded objects, numerology, and controlling the inanimate. She was a very successful businesswoman who commanded considerable wealth in both mundane currency and Leeuwendaalders.

As a potent artificier, she was consulted by mages of all traditions, sometimes for dark or dubious purposes, such as to regain a lost lover, to take a new lover, to eliminate a business partner, or to destroy an enemy. She frequently hexed hairpins, which she would use in the elaborate updos that she was known for among her clientele. Laveau herself had a beautiful cloisonné hair comb that allowed her to see through the eyes of another, living or dead. Her love potions and talismans were legendary as well, and she was often consulted for matters of the heart.

Among Laveau’s interesting theories was that wizards are themselves artifacts, and that artificiers in particular are compelled to continually improve themselves in order to become an evolving self-aware artifact.  House members often bristle at lessons that appear to teach material that’s already known or won’t provide any measurable improvement of their skills as wizards. Others sometimes view this attitude as recklessness or arrogance, though usually from a safe distance.

Hi folks! Among the list of things we need to do, and to get right, is to create our Larp's code of conduct. With that in mind, we would welcome links to resources about what should be contained in our code of conduct.

Thank you!

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Here is the Crest for House # 4 of 5.  Special thanks to +Whitney Beltrán for the assist with editing the text content as well, definitely helped us improve over our draft text.

Casa Calisaylá is named for its house founder, the last surviving member of the Karankawa, a group of Indigenous North Americans who lived along what is now the coast of Texas and its islands. Karankawans were completely wiped out by war and disease after contact with the Spanish conquistadors.
The house colors are red and gold: red for the blood of the ancestors shed in battle, and for the lifeblood of those who carry on their memories, and gold for the sustaining warmth of the sun. The Karankawa were renowned longbow hunters, especially in shallow water. The arrows on the crest evoke this history, but now also represent the trueness of one’s path and the ability of the skilled archer to determine it. The pearl between the faces represents the inner truth that is hidden within each person, formed over time from a source of vexation into something of great value and beauty. Karankawans also were skilled pearl divers, and lived as well in the water as on land. The coyote is powerful not only for its role as friend of humanity but also as the mediator between life and death. Coyote is a trickster, associated with both creation, and equivocation. The Karankawa people were particularly beloved of Coyote; the name Karankawa means “dog-lover” and domesticated coyote pups lived among them as companions and guards. LIke Coyote, interactions with Calisayláns can be a mixture of cunning and mischief.
Casa Calisaylá is about borders and crossing between them. The two faces at the top of the crest look back to the past, to those who have gone before whom we honor, mourn, and respect, and to the future that awaits, that is left to the living to create. It also means never forgetting what has been lost, the ancestors and artifacts eradicated by conquerors, and the fierce protection of family, beloved, and precious cultural and magical objects to ensure their safety. The faces are indistinguishable as male or female, as Calisaylá refused to use gendered pronouns, and is referred to as they by house members and in school history.
As a powerful wizard who could walk between the world of the living and the world of the dead, Calisaylá’s body and face were covered with tattooed symbols, incantations, and mystical sigils in unknown languages. They kept their naked body shrouded in magical red and gold smoke that never faded or faltered. Calisaylá was not given to overt displays of merriment and displayed an incredible willpower and sense of focus. According to Étienne Brûlé, Calisaylá possessed more raw magical power than any of the founders, and among their magical feats was a talent for summoning storms and controlling destructive weather. It’s alleged they had the power to conjure and pilot a hurricane and it is known that they could wield arcane fire.
Casa Calisaylá is most associated with the cursebreaker path in honor of its founder, whose ability to decode curses included an as-yet-unable-to-be-replicated method of temporarily suspending a curse while keeping it intact, and leaving no trace of tampering. This talent was particularly useful for obtaining secret information, and Casa Calisaylá cursebreakers still strive to emulate their founder’s coolness under pressure and knack for getting people and objects to divulge their secrets. A few of Calisaylá’s own warding spells remain on the school, since their casting appears to be impossible to duplicate by wizards in the modern era. Cursebreaker students in Casa Calisaylá are driven to use their talents to unearth the truth, but they are also quite talented in hiding it. House members are very often into runes, rites, magical theory, secret codes, uncovering past knowledge, and solving puzzles and riddles (or making them). No knowledge or type of magic is considered off-limits, and members of Calisaylá flirt with the borders of traditions and laws in their quest to honor the past and embrace the future, the house motto.
There is a strong oral tradition among the house members, of storytelling told around a communal fire, and of magic through sound and music, especially from instruments made from natural objects, such as shells, wood and stones. Calisayláns are known for their bold thinking, inclusiveness, and a general distrust in institutions. House members have a history of pursuing their own projects instead of coursework, and have a certain disregard for rules that limit creativity and autonomy.

Got our first external coverage about our new game today. Any ideas on handling misconceptions about the game, LARP itself, or this kind of larp vs. the more typical boffer LARPs most Americans are used to?

Also learned that we've been spelling "Marshal" incorrectly this whole time.

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To share something a little different, here is the wall of post its where we have the 2nd and 3rd year student characters sorted into houses, with their previous school in columns, path of study, and their magical heritage status. On the left wall is the 1st year students, and on the right wall is school staff.

So right now, while Maury is sleeping off feeling ill in Sweden, I (Ben) am about halfway through transcribing about 21 minutes of our promotional video's interview with us talking about the larp.

I have learned that I do not type quite as fast as I perhaps imagined I did.

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A lot of folks have asked us about helping to bring New World Magischola to life. If you want to be part of the NWM Worldcrafting Brigade, please visit this Google form to tell us more about you, your interests and availability.

In other news, we are also on Twitter (, where you can learn a bit more about day-to-day happenings at the college.
Thanks for your support and please share the good news! ‪#‎anewworldawaits‬

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This is from our promotional video shoot on 10/09/2015 with our actors and the film and sound crew.  Doesn't quite look it, but it was quite hot out that day in the sun, and everybody was working incredibly hard to make this happen.
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