Junior Inquisitor

Junior Inquisitor

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Keeping it real in my fantasy world

I was having a twitter discussion with Fiona Quinn, who spends a lot of time researching the things that sometimes trip up authors like police procedures, how gunfights actually work, the effects of drugs on people and so on; you can find her excellent blog here http://thrillwriting.blogspot.com/, about why my characters have to avoid the police.

For me it seems simple, Inquisitors are fighting a hidden guerrilla war against witches and the forces of darkness. Modern man does not believe in witchcraft or magic or monsters. Trying to explain to a cop you were killing a werewolf will likely end up with you in a psyche ward at best. More likely you'd be charged with everything from disturbing the peace, to unlawful discharge of a firearm, to premeditated murder. Modern law also really hates vigilantes, and will go after them with everything they can.

Works in comic books not so much in real life

Some enlightened places will arrest you for possession of a firearm, even a flintlock pistol.


Police usually show up when reports of gunfire are called in pretty quickly. Toss in explosions and monsters and you can bet that more than one squad car will be investigating.

You maybe able to avoid one, but all of them?

Even if all that is there when they arrive are scorch marks and bullet holes, the crime techs will be called out to help figure out what happened. Evidence will be collected and entered into databases which are shared nationwide. Shoot a witch in Seattle and then another in Kansas City and if the spent bullets that are recovered match, both police forces will know as will Federal law enforcement like the FBI and ATF, who have even better resources in tracking people and their movements.

That means the Inquisitors have to move fast and leave very little trace behind when they are done.

Imagine big gun fight erupts in a city. The police arrive and see a bunch of heavily armed people. Do you think the police will be calm? Would you be calm, or would you be calling for back up and ready to fire at a moment notice?

Lets say my group of monks gets caught, do they throw down on the cops, or surrender? Inquisitors are charged with protecting the innocent, not laying waste to the local constabulary. Even if the cops don't know, even if they are wrong, and inadvertently endangering the innocent, can you see any realistic situation where a gun fight with the police ends well for my heroes?

In the end it made sense for me to have my Inquisitors to avoid the police.

The same is true for witches, but for different reasons. In my world witches are the apex predators, but they hide out not because they fear cops, but they fear other more powerful witches who will enslave them, sacrifice them or just kill them out of hand. Use magic recklessly and others will notice like sharks notice blood in the water. Witches hide, while plotting to gather more power, more minions, more magic, so that they are “safe,” and will flee sacrificing their minions and followers if another more powerful witch comes calling or Inquisitors arrive.

In some ways I may have made things more difficult for me, by keeping law enforcement as it is in the real world, but I think the realism makes for a better story.

I hope you agree.

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