Shadow World Earthwardens and Arcane Magic. pt2

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This blog series started in my post on the relationship between Shadow World and the Rolemaster Companion I. That got me thinking a bit more about a topic that was percolating in my head for a number of years: what would the
Essaence powers of the Ka’ta’viir and Earthwardens look like exactly. In the first part of this blog series, I did a quick review of existing Arcane spells lists found in the first 4 Companions.

What would these proto-spell lists developed by the Ka’ta’viir and ultimately the Earthwardens look like? I think it’s illustrative to see what Terry says about the Earthwardens and what they did. We know that:

-They were a group of Ka’ta’viir that left Kulthea, were trapped in a time dilation and only returned after Kulthea was laid waste.

–They created Essaence artifacts like Flute Keys, Twig Bridges and Shell Shields and magical crystals, but they also constructed the Coral Roads, Sea Tunnels and left megalithic structures and Guardians throughout the hemisphere.

The powers in that second section above are very much in line with the central ideas of Arcane Magic, but we also know that the Earthwardens had the knowledge and technology of the Althan/Ka’ta’viir civilization as well. In my SW campaign, the Earthwardens are one “splinter group” of the Ka’ta’viir that returned to Kulthea. These groups were not monolithic, but were general philosophies within the group as follows:

Erudites. These members were more focused on developing their knowledge of Essaence and science and it’s believed they initiated the early separation of the realms of Essence and Mentalism.

Elementalists. The Ka’ta’viir delved into the fundamental and raw powers of the Elements and manipulation of the physical world. Much of their legacy is found in the Magician Base lists.

My goal was to define and finish 10 Arcane lists f or use by the Earthwardens. The goal was to encompass most of the powers hinted at by Terry and be illustrative of early magic before the split into the three basic realms.

My rough ideas with loose spell list titles:

  1. “Creations”. This list would encompass the various magical creations attributed to the Earthwardens: shaping crystals, sentinels, golems, flutes and similar artifacts.
  2. “Essaence Mastery”. Spells related to Foci, Flows, travelling, recharging PP’s.
  3. “Dimension Mastery”. Making of gates, interdimensional travel and similar powers.
  4. Shapechanging. Basically a polymorph list leading up the higher level “Mage-drake” spell and the Ritual of Ascension.
  5. “Time Mastery”. I wrote a time spell list for BASiL, but it really feels like it needs to be a Arcane list. Given the Earthwardens history with time dilation, it’s logical that they would master time via Arcane magic. Plus chronagenic statis tech is a SW element.
  6. “Mana-fires”. I will skew this more towards plasma, but it’s feels like a good foundation for later Elemental Essence spells.
  7. “Earthworks”. The Earthwardens had the power to build megalithic structures, major earthworks and similar edifices. More than Earth Law, this should be epic in scope. These spells would encompass stone, metal etc.
  8. “Sound Mastery”. This needs more thought, but there is something here that feels very ancient and fundamental. Ideas include levitation, disintegration etc.
  9. “Life Mastery”. The Lords of Essence created and manipulated many living beings. This might be too similar to Shapechanging…
  10. “Words of Power”. I’ve always felt that instantaneous words of Power needed to be Arcane (and require Iruaric or Kugor)
  11. “Warding”. Many of the Earthwardens works included protective powers. This would be protective magic: prototype of wards, runes, symbols etc.
  12. “Physics”. BASiL also has a physics mastery list I might revise and include given the Lords of Essence’s technology level.

In part 3 I’ll have the finished draft lists. But for now, can you think of any “proto-magic” that should be included and fits with the Earthwardens and Lords of Essence in Shadow World?

3 thoughts on “Shadow World Earthwardens and Arcane Magic. pt2”

  1. I’m not sure about proto-magic, but most of what you describe in this post makes me think of the Crystal Mage and their spell lists. They work with Earth, with fire, with crystals. After reading your post, if I had to quickly prepare an Earthwarden, I’d throw a lvl 5o K’ta’viir Crystal Mage.
    On a different note, I disagree with the Time facet of Earthwardens. to be trapped in time-dilation does not make you an expert in it, quite the contrary, it was clearly not their specialty. Also I don’t think that the earth/crystal/fire theme matches with the time wizard theme, and we already have Jinteni for crystal+time magic. Last tought: Earthwardens are clearly the ones behind the Warding Power spell list, it’s like a list of recipes for many artificial stone defenses found in Kulthea.

    1. First, thanks for the detailed response!

      1. Crystal Mage I’m not familiar–I’m going to look it up!

      2. Time facet. Ok, I see your point. However I would argue that Ka’ta’viir caught in a time dilation, and figured out how to escape, might research that once they got back to Kulthea and were able to access the Essaence once again. Plus, they are using chronogenic capsules that might be mostly tech but certainly slows/halts time.

      3. The Jinteni “time aspect” was introduced much later by Terry and it sort of felt out of left field. He tended to mix ancient cultures quite liberally (see the various tombs under Haalkitaine). And IIRC, the Jinteni were a native race (Worim and Taranians were extra-terrestial) so their time skills might have been a legacy of the Earthwardens and/or Ka’ta’viir?

      4. Warding Power spell list? Which book is that in?

      Good stuff!

      1. 1. The Crystal Mage is an Essence/Channeling hybrid in RMCo III. Then they get Crystal Law in RMCo V.

        2. Even if they got out from a time situation, that wouldn’t imply they will take an interest in it. And chronagenic devices might have been readily available to those rich/powerful enough, so they won’t necessarily know the inner working of those machines. Our society uses a lot of tech that isn’t understood by those using it.

        3. I’m quite invested in the Jinteni since we played a 3-year-long campaign in SE Emer. I love the fact that they were advanced enough to invest in time tech as a fancy/recreation stuff. It’s like telling someone about instant video transmission and they go “oh imagine the possibilities” and then you show them we use it for TikTok 😐

        4. I got it from here but it’s not working now. Also they are included in SWMA 1st and 2nd editions. Not sure if they were also uploaded to the Forum Vault.
        Wayback machine seems to have it:

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