|Piscataqua & Balch||
In the late winter of the year 8835, or 1435 in the short sited European calendar, we found ourselves persecuted to the point of death by both the secular and religious leadership of the mundane world in which we lived. This was certainly not the first time this had occurred but, to make matters worse, our own leadership in answer to this "Witch Hunt," decided to go underground and, "...wait for the whole thing to blow over." A large group of us decided to seek out a new land where we would be free of the tyrannical secular, religious and increasingly incompetent magical governing bodies to which we had been forced to submit.
Having spoken with various nordic mages we discovered that there were lands as yet "unclaimed" far to the west. We sent several scouting parties and found these stories to be correct, or so we thought at the time. Over 20 magic using families, some ancient and some relatively new, made the trip to settle in this new place, this new home, where we could at last live without constantly looking over our collective shoulders.
Within days of our arrival, much to our surprise, we were greeted by a group of indigenous peoples who called themselves the Beothuk. These lovely people, quite to our delighted surprise, welcomed us with opened arms, and over time introduced us to several other tribes with whom they were loosely allied: the Innu to the West and the peoples of the the L’Nuk or Mi'kmaq Nation to their Southwest, and the Wolastoqiyik, Panawahpskek and Peskotomuhkati slightly farther South. Altogether, with some few others with which we had little contact, they represented something they called the Wabanahkik, or, "People of the Dawn Land." It seems so sensible in retrospect, but it took ages to work all this out. Luckily, they all spoke what were essentially dialects of the same language base, and once we had developed a translation potion, minor adjustments to the tincture were a relatively easy process.
We had troubles in those first months. We found that the magical creatures and plants which we had relied upon for their specific and well researched foci and purposes, were thin on the ground in this new world, and that rather, we were surrounded by flora and fauna which we had never encountered! To make matters worse, many of the absent species were directly related to the raising and creation of sustenance. Evanescing to England and back, though feasible, was impractical for transporting material goods of sufficient quantities. How on earth were we going to subsist...it is not as if any of us had ever, "farmed," before!
To our rescue rode the first-comers, eager to share, and trade knowledge and technique! We gladly outfitted them with seeds and cuttings of our native European plants, in return. Interestingly, and surprisingly, it was not long before the peoples with whom we now communed began to notice small signs, unbeknownst to any of us, that indicated with clarity that we were users of magic...something in our naivety we considered well hidden. As it happens, however, these first-comers had an indigenous form of wizardry called M'téoulin, which it turns out is the name of the practitioner of magical arts, and the name of the magical art itself, a fascinating elision! This usage of magic was neither secretive nor obscured with quasi-mythic explanations. It was simply an open part of their culture!
True camaraderie was fostered in those early days, as each of us strove to learn and commit new information to new purpose. Together, we seemed to create a new whole that was greater than the sum of its parts. This symbiosis the first-comers labelled, "Piscataqua," a word in their language that seemed to mean the coming together of two independent streams or rivers, to create a new entity of greater, flow, force and intent. To us it seemed as is we had truly come home, albeit to an occasionally strange and wondrous one!
It was just after the autumnal equinox of that first year that our friends surprised us greatly by escorting us all to a lovely lake located in the general territory of those called Panawahpskek. The lake was called by the M'téoulin, "Pamole," as the aerial view of this aqueous body resembled the head of a creature of great power referred to by the same name. Here, on the shores of this lake we could build a settlement. In fact, the most exciting part of this general proposal, was to build a school on a large island within the lake itself. They proposed a training program for M'téoulin and witches/wizards that would allow focus on both branches of magical dedication, that would encourage a true and practicable Piscataqua. We agreed immediately, insisting only that we name the institution after the first-comers that had assisted us so warmly, and the Beothuk Academy was born.
Several partnerships were born in the initial years of the settlement on Pamole, a town that would come to be called Cobham's Glen, after the Duchess of Gloucester, Eleanor Cobham, who had underwritten the emigration of many of the wizarding families of less fortunate means... Perhaps the best known of these hybrid endeavors is the firm of Piscataqua & Balch, a conglomerate of two M'téoulin families and the ancient and honorable house of Balch, known across Europe as preeminent crafters of wands with exquisite abilities.
I wonder now, and often, if I knew then what I know now, would I have acted differently. If all of us would have acted differently. I truly wonder if we would have come at all.