A Handy Guide to Lost Earthdawn
Way back in the days when FASA was publishing Earthdawn, they brought out a line of novels, which ran for seven books in the United States before being cancelled. However, there were other books, scheduled to come out, which were aborted by the premature ending of the line (at least in the US; the European line of novels continued.) These are the books of Lost Earthdawn.
Now, strictly speaking, the Lost Earthdawn novels are not part of the canon in the US. But for those out there (like myself) who are just a little on the fanatical side about the secret history behind everything, I provide this handy reference guide, focused on the interests of my site.
Liferock by Jak Koke
- A new Sperethiel word was introduced:
'The lost islands,' referring to the tops of mesas (tepui) poking above the clouds.
- We learn something about the process of orichalcum mining, including the rather interesting use of a type of minor horror to eat through the rock. While it has been suggested before that obsidiman liferocks are potent sources of True Earth, this particular liferock houses a significant lode of orichalcum as well.
- New expressions of blood magic are revealed in this novel, especially a form of sacrifice magic used to protect the liferock from the Scourge. Of particular interest is the blood magic used by the obsidimen without a liferock, which sheds greater light on the obsidiman brotherhood known as the Corrupted.
Scars by Caroline Spector
Scars is the first in a trilogy that was supposed to have spanned the gap between Earthdawn and Shadowrun, but due to the cancellation of the Earthdawn series, the only novel to see print, until the Lost Earthdawn books were printed, was the last novel, Worlds Without End.
Aina, an immortal elf. As a young elf before the Scourge, Aina's parents were slain by Alachia for dissenting against her rule in the Wyrm Wood. Later, away from the Wood, Aina fell under the sway of the Horror Ysrthgrathe during her training as a Nethermancer. This began a long and tragic relationship that stretched throughout the duration of the Scourge and beyond. To cut this sinister tie, Aina set about collecting her Pattern Items (including one kept by Alachia herself), intending to commit an elaborate form of suicide by unmaking herself. At the end of the novel, it appears Aina has, with the aid of the Grat Dragon Mountainshadow thrown off the Horror's mark.
Aina demonstrated considerable mastery of Nethermancy, pattern magic and blood magic during the course of this novel, as well as some proficiency with elemental magic.
- Aithne and Aina grew up together in the Wyrm Wood, but their budding love was crushed when Alachia slew Aina's parents. Aithne grew up to become a Blood Warder, utterly loyal to Alachia and the Blood Wood, and a skilled wizard and torturer. In the novel, he was sent by Alachia to find Aina - which he did - and on the way he began a relationship with a skyship captain.
- Alachia, Queen of the Wyrm (and then Blood) Wood, is cast in her usual light in this novel, though she shows more power and less subtle plotting than in other works. The spell she used on Alachia's parents was invoked in an odd language - probably Precursor Sperethiel, though Theran is also a possibility - and appears to rely on the links she had forged to the Pattern Items of her victims, which is reminiscent of other magical assassinations in Earthdawn, such as that of King Varulus III of Throal. As both Alachia and the Denairastas Clan learned something of their art from the Great Dragons, it is possible this type of spell originated with the dragons.
- It is mentioned that orichalcum, when held in the correct light, displays a rainbow-colored nimbus. It is possible this is due to crystalline deposits in the ore.
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