In the 16th century A.D. the Magistrate of East Hampton in Eastern North America, which formed following European colonization, called for an annual witch hunt, in which wizards and witch hunters from all over the world congregate to hunt witches.

It is rumored that on this year's hunt, there will be a lunar eclipse on the super Blood Moon, which will last 9 minutes. During this time, thousands of unicorns will emerge from the woods to mate. The witches, who long for immortality, will seek the rarest of the unicorn, the Ethereal Azure Horn.

It is a rare mutation among the unicorns, and only a handful have been spotted throughout history. It has been said that any human to have their heart pierced by the Ethereal Azure Horn shall gain immortality. However, only a virgin whose heart is filled with extreme grief and sorrow can touch the horn. The worst part is that any dead unicorn will turn into a vengeful, bloodthirsty zombie centaur that cannot be subdued by any conventional means.

The magistrates, while aware of the threat of dead unicorns, want to seize this opportunity to round up all the witches. They also want to put up perimeters around the woods to prevent the likes of commoners from getting involved - only hunters should be able to get in and out.

  • The witches can transform into werewolves upon nightfall and gain immerse strength. They can detect presence of magic within miles.

  • The unicorns must remain fantasy creatures at all costs

  • The perimeter must prevent entry to commoners (muggers/no-mags)

How can the magistrates build a perimeter that only keeps out non-magic humans, that also doesn't look like a trap to the witches?


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    $\begingroup$ Good Lord. I'm not sure what to say to that. It's quite difficult to pull the actually important data out of that block. Would you mind cutting back on the specific detail on Unicorns and Were-Witches and focus a bit more on the question? $\endgroup$ – Ieuan Stanley Nov 21 '16 at 10:44
  • $\begingroup$ @I Stanley: my objective is to setup a perimeter which can only be accessible to people with high affinity to magic but would not arose suspicions. This is a witch hunt of the century so everyone will be very busy especially the animals. $\endgroup$ – user6760 Nov 21 '16 at 10:50
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    $\begingroup$ 1. Why would commoners go into the area, Normally? Specifically on that night? 2. How exactly do you plan to trap the witches if nobody else is allowed in the area? 3. Why would anyone want to kill a unicorn? 4. If a unicorn is believed to be a fantasy creature, how does the Magistracy know about them, and what are their intentions? 5. Why would they set a trap there, of all places, if unicorns are fantasy? How does anyone know about the area in the first place? 6. Who are we supposed to be rooting for? 7. What do the witches want with the unicorns, anyway, assuming not all of them're virgins? $\endgroup$ – nzaman Nov 21 '16 at 12:50
  • $\begingroup$ Put up signs around the perimeter that say in nice friendly letters: "Commoners keep out. This isn't a trap for witches. Beware of the unicorns." $\endgroup$ – a4android Nov 21 '16 at 12:56
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    $\begingroup$ Are you paying attention to Sanderson's first law? Compared to the content you've chosen for the rest of your story, a magical perimeter like that would be so reasonable that you might not even need to explain it. What about this perimeter has you stumped? $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Nov 21 '16 at 15:02

Assuming the authorities can't use magic themselves...

They could have a nobleman buy (or pretend to buy) all the land that contains the perimeter - spread it over a much wider area to prevent suspicion. Designate this area as private property, and make it clear and well known that no unauthorised people are allowed to enter. Try and have the land contain as little valuable land as possible, so as not to give anyone any other reason to go in (you don't want angry farmers crossing the perimeter because they wanted their cows to graze there)

Now don't make it particularly heavily guarded - just enough so that people without good reason will keep away (strongly worded signs, maybe just a few watchmen), but the witches who are desperate to get to this unicorn zone (and maybe a few poachers) will try to get in anyway.


Another possibility if the time scale allows. Start to spread rumours that the area is haunted by evil ghosts, ghouls and goblins. The commoners will be afraid to go in, but the witches, who actually know about real magic will know the rumours are all a load of rubbish ("that's not how magic works! Those idiot commoners!") and go into the area anyway.

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    $\begingroup$ Tell everyone it's full of evil witches... $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Nov 21 '16 at 12:26

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