Harry Potter: Isn’t 007 the most powerfully magical number?

Years after Hogwarts, Harry Potter is the top Auror in the Ministry of Magic. The Death Eaters are gone. But what happens when an international Dark wizard ring rises out of the shadows, and Auror Potter must join forces with his muggle opposite number in MI6? If anyone’s interested in exploring this question, I offer the following titles to help get you started…

  • For Your Mad-Eyes Only
  • A View To Avada Kedavra
  • From Azkaban With Love
  • License To Curse
  • On Dumbledore’s Secret Service*
  • The Auror Who Loved Me
  • Thunderbroom
  • The Man With The Golden Wand
  • Dragons Are Forever
  • Octopeevesy
  • GoldenSnitch
  • The Wizarding World Is Not Enough
  • You Only Die Seven Times
  • Quidditch Royale
Potter. Harry Potter.

Potter. Harry Potter.

*Actually, On Hermione’s Secret Service is funnier because it sounds very close to the original title.

Dream Images

A bridge through a dark space, made of luminescent energy. The bridge is a simple flat rectangle, perfectly sturdy, about two meters wide. There are no rails or supports, and the bridge is so long, and the void it crosses so dark, that one cannot see one side from the other.

A huge, underground edifice. Encountered deep beneath the surface, after a long climb down. It is in a clearly ancient architectural style in an enormous subterranean chasm; it can be viewed from above from a ledge on the way down. Its size and design inspire awe and fear; surely no surface creature has ever been down here before. But then, who built it?

A long-abandoned island city, viewed from afar. The buildings are all ruined, the streets overgrown with weeds. No one has set foot here in ages. But despite the dereliction of the place, the green plants juxtaposed with half-standing towers leads one to think that the place could be rebuilt.

A room, deep in the insides of a massive starship, where all the walls look like the insides of a modern computer. Literally covered in microchips and circuitboards, this is the brain of the starship. To fix a malfunctioning component would require a ladder and a magnifying glass.

An anthill on a grass-covered highway median. The ants who live there have never ventured outside the median for generations upon generations, for they would surely be crushed by the high-speed traffic. The fact that there is even life outside their little grassy island is totally unknown to them.

A small sign on a streetcar, asking travelers to yield their seats to the elderly and infirm. The commuters see that sign every day. Their eyes gloss right over it. Someone spent an afternoon just deciding what font the lettering should be.

A basement corridor in an old building that’s since been put to better use. No one goes into the basement anymore except to access a few key rooms. No one ever goes into that corridor. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with it; there’s just no reason to.

A basement of a community center, with a closed door leading to a staircase down. The children play in this community center all the time, and sometimes activities are held in this basement, but they are told never to open that door. Some children have peeked, and know the stairs go down somewhere. But no one has ever gone down there.

A tiny pothole in a paved elementary school play yard. Every night, at midnight, the pothole changes shape. One day it’s a circle; the next a triangle; the next a square. It’s always slightly irregular, so one cannot be sure that it’s really changing. But it is.

A secret set of footholds along the edge of a royal palace. They lead down from the prince’s bedchamber to the royal woods beyond. No one but the prince knows they are there, but he did not make them. His great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather did, when he was a boy.

A book in a big public library that no one has ever checked out. The book contains the rules to a game that’s long been out of print. The book was donated by a family whose two boys used the book to play a make-believe game. But they did not own the game, nor did they follow the rules properly.

A secret room, hidden away in a certain chain store. Step into the room, and the doors slide closed, revealing a map of all this store’s locations. Touch one of the other locations. The room vibrates for many seconds. Then it stops, the doors open. It looks like you’re in the same store. Until you leave the store, it’s hard to tell, but you’re actually in the location you selected.

A tiny island, a minuscule mound of land no more than 40 square meters in area. Nothing but ocean around it. The island is a little grass-covered hill, with a circular hole at the very top that’s maybe a meter wide. The hole seems to go down forever. The geographic coordinates of this island are 31.78° S, 144.77° W.

An old park bench. Once a old jogger with an undetected heart condition felt a pain in his arm, staggered over to the bench, sat down, and died. Another time a pair of young lovers sat next to each other on the bench, confessed their true feelings to each other, and kissed. Their initials are carved into the wood at the exact spot where the jogger’s head rested. It is an old bench. The city is thinking of replacing it.

Secrets of the Crowd

If I do another D&D or Pathfinder campaign in the world of Meier, it will almost certainly take place in Silverstream, and involve the vast criminal underground known as the Crowd. Almost none of this would by known by the characters, but it’s interesting enough to share here. (For more information about the Meier setting, click here.)

The Queendom of Lasant’s cities are considered some of the safest places in the world of Meier. The law is fair and strictly enforced, not just by the town guard, but by the elite Knight-Captains, a noble order sworn to a constant war against crime. They are beloved by the people, and considered competent, vigilant, and fair. While any city has its slums, the Knight-Captains maintain general order better than any other crime-fighting organization in the world.

Of course, along with an organized crime-fighting force must come organized crime. Silverstream, one of Lasant’s oldest and greatest cities, is home to what is perhaps the most secretive and dangerous of all criminal syndicates north of the Bocan Islands. It calls itself the Crowd.

According to Her Majesty’s government, the Crowd does not exist. There is no such group: any tales of their exploits are fantasies for misbehaving children, and anyone claiming to work in their name is a delusional maniac. All decent people are encouraged not to worry about such nonsense.

Unfortunately, the Queen’s firm insistence on the non-existence of the Crowd is often taken as proof that it really does exist. Rumors about the organization have even taken on legendary proportions, as almost any suspicious incident or behavior can be blamed, absent evidence to the contrary, on the influence of the Crowd at work. The fact that next to nothing is really known about the Crowd only helps circulate the stories.

As for the Crowd itself… it Continue reading

Top 20 Judah Maccabee FACTS

Just spreading some holiday cheer. Credit for all of these goes to me. You’re welcome.

  1. Judah gives his kids nothing but chocolate gelt for Hanukkah, and they never complain. The gold foil is 24 carat.
  2. It was Judah’s idea to put that ninth candle on the menorah, just to make things a little more exciting.
  3. How did they make more olive oil in only eight days? It took seven days to collect all the olives, and one day for Judah to crush them in his bare fists.
  4. Judah Maccabee doesn’t have to deliver presents. He just glares at the gifts and they go where they’re supposed to.
  5. The three wise men also tried to visit baby Judah Maccabee, but they weren’t on the guest list.
  6. The only reason there’s a “war on Christmas” is that nobody’s brave enough to attack Judah Maccabee’s holiday.
  7. King Antiochus was about to set fire to a Torah scroll, but Judah Maccabee snuck up behind him and took his Torah. The King said something about burning the Torah, and Judah was like “Dude you HAVE no Torah” and ran off.
  8. Judah Maccabee was the original Inglourious Basterd. He’s going to be doing one thang, and one thang only: killin’ Seleucids.
  9. There are lots of mall Santas. There is only one Judah Maccabee, and you do not sit on his lap.
  10. Hanukkah was supposed to start on the same day as Christmas, but Judah got tired of waiting.
  11. Judah Maccabee can play with dreidel BEFORE it’s dry and ready.
  12. Judah can eat a sufganiyah (jelly donut) without getting any of it on his face.
  13. Judah Maccabee knows the correct English spelling of “Hanukkah.”
  14. Judah Maccabee doesn’t have to cook latkes. Potatoes are so scared of him, they hide themselves in frying pans just to get away.
  15. No other holiday hero besides Judah Maccabee has ever been described as a giant, fire-breathing lion. (Chapter 3 of 1 Maccabees, look it up.)
  16. Judah Maccabee’s SUV gets eight times the MPG of your Prius. (It runs on used latke oil.)
  17. Judah once spun a dreidel so hard it didn’t fall for 8 days. Then it landed on gimel.
  18. Three words: “STOP. Maccabee time.”
  19. Judah doesn’t object to Hanukkah bushes. They make great kindling for when you don’t have any oil.
  20. 2100 years ago, the Seleucid Empire of King Antiochus contained what is now Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, together with parts of Turkey, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Today, there is no Seleucid Empire. But Judah Maccabee’s people are still here.