The Hammer

Semper Vigilantes

Her Majesty's Magical Regulator, colloquially known as The Hammer, is the government division responsible for overseeing the magical community from the Norm side, although themselves are overseen by the Secret Service. While previously their relationship with the Wytches was one of mutual cooperation, since the death of Grand Inquisitor Sir Henry Doubleday their outlook has changed dramatically. The general public now know of the existence of magic and perceive it to be a threat, and in response the Hammer have now charged themselves with rounding up the Wytches before they can cause any more 'incidents'.

In accordance with Paragraph 12, Subsection d of the HMMR Employment Regulations (Revision 6: 1946), it is expressly forbidden for known magic users to be official employees of HMMR. This is enforced through mandatory blood tests for every new HMMR employee. As such, it is not possible to generate a character who is a registered agent of the Hammer. - removed in November 2014.



(See also: History > Witch Trials)

Starting in the 1500s, the Norm population of Britain started to become increasingly suspicious of 'witches', and so, among rising social and religious pressures, magic became illegal and the infamous Witch Trials began. Across the country, vigilante witch hunting groups came into being - locating, hunting, and punishing those accused of witchcraft, in all manner of cruel and unusual ways. As the craze progressed, from these hunting groups came the 'professional' Witchfinders - self-styled inquisitors who travelled from village to village, driving out unholy elements.

In the middle of the 1600s, a particular enterprising Witchfinder, Matthew Hopkins, came to prominence. Deciding that without affirmative action magic would never be truly defeated, he set about finding the most prolific and talented Witchfinders in the land, and with them formed The Hammer. Acting as a united force, this twelve-strong team, with Hopkins at the head as 'Witchfinder General', soon brought results, executing hundreds of witches in their time, and expanding to encompass many subsidiary inquisitorial groups beyond the original twelve men.

The Time of Peace

(See also: History > The Accord of 1735)

Time passed, and public attitudes towards witchcraft changed. Many different leaderships of the Hammer had passed, and in 1735 a deal was struck between the Heads of the Magic Schools and the Hammer's Council. This resulted in the Witchcraft Act of 1735, repealing the ban on magic-users, and replacing it with laws preventing anyone from claiming magic to be real.

The Hammer was amalgamated into the Government's security services, and their cause altered. They were now charged with maintaining the separation between the Magical and Norm worlds. In return for going into hiding, the Wytches were allowed to continue their existence, under Hammer oversight. It took some years for the two factions to learn to work together, but in time the Norm culture forgot of their existence, magical society recovered in secret, and the Hammer were able to report success to their masters, as magic once again began to fade from the world…

Present Day

In recent times, the Hammer and the Wytches enjoyed a fairly uneventful truce. The vast majority of Wytches stayed out of sight of the general populace, upholding their end of the bargain. The Hammer still kept tabs on them, of course - keeping a careful record of all Wytch births and deaths, and restricting foreign travel to all but the most extenuating of circumstances.

From time to time however, magic would threaten the country, and in these instances the Hammer were swift and decisive in their response. The perpetrators were usually rogue elements of the magical community, and it is rumoured that leading Wytches would occasionally be brought in to help the Hammer deal with these crises. Once these situations had been resolved, the Hammer always ensured that plausible, non-magical explanations were provided to the Norm public, and the Wytches would return to hiding.

The Death of the Grand Inquisitor

One month ago, this careful balance was broken. Reports of precisely what happened are hard to come by, but sketchy television and print news reports, coupled with word-of-mouth, indicate that strange balls of fire were seen rising from a location just outside Glasgow. As the media began to converge on the location, an immense fireball was seen to ascend from the site, and Grand Inquisitor Sir Henry Doubleday was soon reported killed in this event.

Originally this was thought to be some kind of explosion, however after much media probing as to exactly what department of the secret service Doubleday worked for, coupled with intense online speculation over recordings of the fireball looking a little too 'clean' to be conventional explosives, government spokespeople began to change tack, and revealed the existence of a 'hitherto unknown' threat: 'Wytches'.

In the month that followed, the Hammer, now under the leadership of Grand Inquisitor Joseph Morton, did much to reassure an initially sceptical Norm public that every step was being taken to deal with the threat posed by magic. The truce with the Wytches was quietly dropped, and while little direct action has been taken yet, the extensive publicity campaigns undertaken by the Hammer have left many in the magical community convinced that something big is about to happen…

People of Note

Sir Henry Doubleday (Deceased)

The previous Grand Inquisitor of the Hammer, Sir Doubleday was a respectable, kindly man who was seen as a great leader by the Hammer and an important ally by the Wytches, having done much to improve relations between the two groups. One month ago, he was killed seemingly by Wytches in mysterious circumstances; this event led to the cancellation of the Hammer-Wytch truce, the recent Hammer crackdown, and the public revelation that magic is real.

Grand Inquisitor Joseph Morton

Doubleday's replacement is a man by the name of Joseph Morton. Little is known about him, save that under his leadership, the Hammer has undergone a radical change in its outlook and operating procedures. In the days following the death of Doubleday, he gave an impassioned speech to the public about the existence and inherent dangers of witchcraft, in which he urged the Norm populace to exercise the utmost caution and report any suspicious behaviour to the authorities. Many in the magical community have taken this as a sign that bad things are to come…

Gregory Newell

Gregory Newell is the official Hammer spokesperson; or so most Wytches assume, anyway, given the number of press conferences and prepared statements he has delivered of late. He appears to be behind the Hammer's recent spate of public relations exercises, extolling the inherent dangers of witchcraft and the Wytches.

the_hammer.txt · Last modified: Tue 3 Jun 2014, 16:43:20 UTC by gm_susannah
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