Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Broken Hourglass: A Look at Elementals

I was about to announce that the proofreading was finished and had, in fact, started some research for the next bit of work I'm doing, but then I found a 70-something page document that still needed work. So--I'm working on that, though I do have a (small) pile of books on weaponry out.

By the way, are any of you weapons lovers or experts? I'm not in charge of the weaponry in general (for which everyone gives thanks), but I am looking to add a few descriptions and specialty items, and would be grateful for any book or web page suggestions sent my way.


In the meantime,  here's an in-game excerpt, a book found in the university and (IIRC) one or two other places, modified from the world-design doc, written others, including Corvis, In the Beginning....

Dinopes' Bestiary: Elementals

Elementals are rare, hard to create, and harder to control, being fierce and unpredictable in nature.

The best known are the fire elementals summoned by the sun-priests of Hallilh and used as temporary guards, powerful warriors in battle, or as a display to awe a visiting dignitary. The fact that they are unruly and difficult to control for long makes their extended use impossible. A single elemental may be summoned for a night as an assassin or before large battles. During the War of the Red Rivers, the Tolmiran legions' initial defeats were caused in part by the two or three elementals the Hallihsh horde would summon as a matter of course. They were used to great effect as siege-breakers until the Tolmirans developed countermagics.

As fluid as fire itself, the actual physical appearance of a fire elemental varies. A fire elemental may appear as a simple sphere of flame ten feet in diameter; a man-shaped creature of the same height; or as a jet of flame that can pass under doors, through pipes, between fences, or any other conceivable obstacles.

A weakness of the fire elemental is also that which allows it to survive: flammable materials. A fire elemental in a wooden house will set the floor, walls, furnishings, and ceiling on fire, spreading, growing, and all the while tearing itself apart as it feeds. This suits the lands of Hallilh well, as most buildings are made of sandstone or other inflammable materials, but it also restricts the places the sun priests can use these powerful magics. A fire elemental unleashed in a forest is as dangerous to the summoner as to his foes.

Other forms of elementals can exist, but they are even more rare than those made of fire as the mastery of the magic involved is almost impossible to attain, so there is less information available about their form and character. Presumably, they are similar to the fire elementals in their ability to vary their form, and, like fire elementals, share the weakness of their formative elements.


  1. If you just need a basic armament guide: I remember when I was a kid, the Eyewitness book was the one I loved:

    While I was searching for that, I accidentally found this (really large) site aimed at SCA folk:

  2. This one also looks good:

  3. Thanks! I have them both on hold at the library. Looks like the Eyewitness one may be in as soon as tomorrow.