How’s that for topical?
I remember my first exposure to the Loremaster Series (Iron Wind and Cloudlords). One aspect that made an impression on me was the barrier aspect to the “Essence Flow”–magical currents that also acted as real physical barriers. This was more pronounced in Cloudlords where Tanara was physically isolated from other parts of Jaiman and featured very different and unique cultures. The underground, goth Duranaki, the Viking like Muri, the Inca style Yinka, the rural, gentle Suline and the Roman/heroic cloudlords. Pretty unique and cool!
This Essence Barrier element allowed for niche cultures, isolated civilizations and hidden lands; a major flavor to the SW setting and a reason d’etre for the Navigators. Many secret and hidden areas were the result of pre-defined, permanet Essaence Flows: Nexus, Karilon, Dream Island, Secrets, etc.
But over time, has this aspect of SW been minimized? Terry has included some parts of this in the Jaimani Crowns and touched upon it with the time barriers/Jinteni…BUT…do you feel it’s still a significant part of the SW story? Does enforcing physical barriers create gaming problems for travel and sandbox issues?
Just curious what everyone thinks. Do you incorporate Essaence Barriers in your campaign? How does that work?