The Mishipeshu Province consists of the midwest US and Canada.
A large and sparsely populated province, Mishipeshu extends as far south as the mundane city of Dallas and as far north as the rugged islands of the Nunavut province in Canada. The south eastern border follows the western edge of the Ozark mountains to the southern tip of Lake Michigan. The province borders Lakes Michigan and Superior on the east and extends west to the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountain range. Mishipeshu Province takes its name from the powerful magical creature of the same name, the underwater panther or great lynx, which has the body of a large feline, the horns of a deer or bison, upright scales on its back and a long serpentine tail. In Ojibwe magical legend, the Mishipeshu is pitted against the Thunderbird, and this rivalry extends to mages and wizards of these two neighboring provinces.
The scattered population is considered one of the desirable features of Mishipeshu, particularly for Wizards who crave a level of privacy that is simply impossible in crowded areas of the Magimundi that share space with the Mundane world. Mishipeshu’s wide open spaces make it the best Province for projects of considerable size, be it hatching and rearing a dragon’s brood, or constructing an artifact colossus. In addition to wild magical creatures, Magical Agriculture thrives in this province, from the mass production of food worthy of a wizard’s palate to the carefully cultivated ingredients for the Magimundi’s most popular and powerful potions. This includes both flora and fauna, so it is not uncommon to see great fields of skullcap, dogbane or astragalus, copses of slippery elm and quaking aspen, or large farms raising magical creatures for food or items of use in artificery and other magical arts.
It’s a hard Province, and its Marshals, Fonctionnaires, Magisters, and Justices are hardened folk too. The adult Magimundi in Mishipeshu Province are for the most part a no-nonsense sort, and cast a skeptical glance at innovation, especially for what is seen as “no good reason,” i.e. for art or pure joy at creativity. Magic should be useful, and one of the ways it is most useful is in making everyday life easier and enriching the pockets of enterprising wizards with Leeuwendaalders. There’s a harsh survival of the fittest mentality among Mishipeshu Magimundi, many of whom often appear cynical, jaded, or even bitter to outsiders. This comes from a particularly dry sense of humor, and a general disdain for too much whimsy and frivolity.
Mishipeshu Province is home to the Avernus Prison, located within the Yellowstone Caldera. The Caldera itself extends into Thunderbird Province, but the prison is on the Mishipeshu side. Notorious Wizards and mages who have crossed the line in their magical use, or who have had the misfortune of not being able to command enough Leeuwendaalders to influence Justices, are housed in Avernus, where the noxious fumes and layers of curses make escape nearly impossible. No one has ever been successful since the Chupacabra have been added as the prison guards. These creatures are immune to the vapors and are able to drain the sanity and the magical energy of wizards through their blood draining bite. Repeated exposure to the Chupacabra bite is alleged to permanently diminish the victim’s ability to cast spells. The Chupacabra are trained by Hudson Unlimited, a military-industrial company with the exclusive contract granted by the Council of Five to supply Avernus with its deadly guards, as well as Marshals with their regulation wands and other combat gear.
Much to the embarrassment of the Province, a persistent piece of questionable lore continues to emerge about magical power to be gained from practicing cannibalism, which occasionally is brought to light when one or more of the students transforms into a Wendigo. While it appears that any person could potentially become Wendigo, what with the first symptoms being a persistent recurring nightmare, those that practice cannibalism become especially vulnerable. The afflicted person becomes gaunt and emaciated, and experiences a permanent hunger for human flesh. With each person consumed, the Wendigo gains considerable mass and height, but retains the emaciated appearance. As part of the object lesson about being too hungry for power, students of Great Plains are conscripted into a hunt to slay their former classmates who have succumbed. Modern examinations from Wizards speculate that the affliction is a result of an ethereal parasite that searches for young, immoderate wizards, and that if caught quickly enough with early symptoms, intervention can save the student before the transformation occurs.
The Province is also home to a special form of magical transportation. They can travel by Inunnguaq, or stone sculptures that represent a human that dot the landscape primarily in the north of the Province. Originating in Inuit Culture, Inunnguaq are signposts that were built to make the way easier and safer for those who followed. When traveling, mages must use the proper incantation, throw a handful of enchanted alfalfa seeds so that they rain back down upon them, stand before the Inunnguaq in imitation of its form, turning thrice counterclockwise and imagining one’s destination. An improvising Wizard can construct their own Inunnguaq as a means of personal transport from any particular position. However, the structure remains behind, which can confuse later travelers. The overpopulation of Inunnguaq led to an edict calling for the dismantling of errant Inunnguaq by province officials to monitor their “invasion.” Many in the Magimundi adhere to the Inuit belief that once an Inunnguaq is built, one who destroys it will be cursed with bad luck and a shortened life. Inunnguaq dismantlings are seen as problematic and cleanup efforts often met with protests.