by Ben Lyngfelt and Colin Chapman
In the standard rules, Crystalomancy is listed as a sub-field of Geomancy although, as noted, it is quite different in style and presentation, focused through natural crystals and always used in conjunction with nature, never damaging the environment or upsetting the natural order.
Although Crystalomancy is listed with its own unique Mode rules in the 10th Anniversary Edition (repeated later in this document for ease of use), the Physical Components, Advantages, and Limitations need obvious revision, so much so that Crystalomancy is effectively an Order unto itself. For example, the Elemental Magic description notes that "physical accouterments are not required [when spellcasting]", which does not allow for the fact that Crystalomancers always need crystals to use their powers. Also, the Elementalists' Advantage of immunity to their chosen element works for a Pyromancer, who can't be hurt by fire - or even a Geomancer, who can survive rockslides and immersion in magma - but immunity to crystals is obviously ludicrous. Finally, Crystalomancy would be considerably more subtle and harmonious in use than a traditional Elemental Order, thereby rendering the standard Limitation useless. Bearing these factors in mind, here is Crystalomancy written up as a unique magical Order:
The Gnomekin Crystalomancers view their magic as a reflection of Terra, the Earth Mother, and regard Crystalomancy as a divine gift. Both the Crystalomancers and Daughters of Terra use magic of this Order, refusing to burden Terra with requests for aid, and working their spells in accordance with Her protective nature. Like caring gardeners or foresters, they tend to the crystals, grow new ones, and use them for the good of their people and the environment.
But protect also means defend. Crystalomancers do not hesitate to use destructive forces when needed; creating landslides, producing cave-ins or blasting their enemies with harmful magics, if their homesteads are threatened, although the Daughters of Terra are even more reluctant to use destructive magics. However, these powers are used with strict discrimination. The thought of violating the harmony of nature for personal gain is completely alien to the Gnomekin.
Therefore Crystalomancy is considered a great responsibility and requires unclouded judgement. Only those who have a deep respect for life, a compassionate nature and an acute sense of balance and harmony can be Crystalomancers or Daughters of Terra. Few non-Gnomekin are judged to meet these requirements; and outsiders are rarely, if ever, allowed to learn Crystalomancy. All are Terra's children, but experience has taught the Gnomekin that those who do not understand Her nature cannot be entrusted with Her secrets.
Crystalomancers do not use written works. The precepts of this Order are passed down by oral tradition. Every aspiring Crystalomancer or Daughter of Terra also spends a lot of time tending crystals, and learning their properties by taking part in their growth. Over time, the student develops a deep understanding of the nature of the crystals. Often a kind of bond is established, and most Crystalomancers, including Daughters of Terra, prefer to use crystals they have grown themselves.
Use of Crystalomancy is subtle, drawing magical energies from and through the appropriate crystal, causing it to glow and sometimes pulse softly, and the majority of Crystalomantic spells are cast by softly speaking a humble incantation in Terra's name.
All Crystalomantic spells require appropriate crystals; see Limitations below.
Store Crystalomantic Force. A Crystalomancer can store spells to be used at a later time. This effect, basically a one-use enchantment, requires a storage procedure of 10 rounds per level of the spell. The stored power can be used by the caster or by someone else, all at once or a little at a time; but it cannot be reused, or even re-stored. Once a Stored crystal is emptied of its powers, it is dead and thus useless for all magical purposes, including regular enchantment and spellcasting. This limitation is due to the storage procedure, during which a total merging between the crystal's innate properties and the properties of the spell takes place. Reluctant to burn out the precious crystals in this way, Crystalomancers are very restrictive in their use of Storing. Also note that Stored crystals count against the maximum number of enchanted items a person can carry.
Crystalomancers get a +1 bonus to spell-casting rolls when using crystals they have grown themselves.
A Crystalomancer cannot do magic without crystals. Each Mode requires a specific type of crystal (see below), and the level of the spell cannot exceed the number of carats of the crystal. Also note the ethical restrictions of Crystalomancy.
Not available: Illusion, Influence
Bonuses: Heal +3, Defend +3
Penalties: Attack -3
A broken object isn't hurt, the way living beings get hurt; its parts are simply separated. By gently moving a Variagate crystal back and forth over the edges of the pieces - first making them soft, then hard again - the Crystalomancer fuses the parts together, and the repaired object looks as if it has never been broken. Some artists use a version of this spell while sculpting.
Terra's Touch (Heal)
The healing power of the Earth Mother flows from a gently pulsing Emeralite crystal into the sick or wounded recipient, soft green light seeming to bathe the wound.
Tunnel Hold (Move, Defend)
This spell, a protection against cave-ins, comes in two versions. Either a barrier is created to hold the roof of the collapsing tunnel (Defend) or the falling earth is levitated (Move).
The Wrath of Terra (Attack)
Rubiate crystals, stored with Crystalomantic force, are hurled towards the target, exploding with a blast of crimson energy with they reach the target.
Common enchanted items made by Crystalomancy include:
- Healing crystals (Heal)
- Crystal blades, with an enchanted Topazine crystal at the pommel (Alter)
- Crystals of Sealed Passage, vs. e.g. Darklings, Kra, or Subterranoids (Ward)
Modes and Crystals
||Clear with refractive properties|
* The Illusion and Influence Mode details have been included for those players who do not utilize the optional Mode rules.
The art of growing crystals is covered by the skill Agriculture (Crystals) in the standard rules. Crystals grow 1 carat per week, and need close supervision during this time. A Crystal Grower can maintain one growing crystal per level of ability; thus, a +10 skill means being able to nurture 10 crystals at the same time. Once harvested, a crystal cannot be grown further. Note that a Crystal Grower does not necessarily have to be a Crystalomancer.
The Earth Mother also harbors wild crystals, not grown by Crystal Growers. Such crystals are unpredictable; most of them cannot be used for Crystalomantic purposes at all, and the rest only at the Crystalomancer's own risk. Any Crystal Grower can determine which crystals (1 out of 10) are pure enough for spellcasting and enchantment, but, short of Crystalomantic Scrying, there is nothing that can tell which of these will yield the desired results. One full fourth will have other properties than expected, and even those who are what they look like are difficult to control (-5 penalty on all spellcasting and enchantment rolls).
Still, Crystalomancers value the wild crystals and take care of all they find. These crystals are Terra's gifts just like grown crystals are, and they should be handled and appreciated accordingly. Also, despite all their modesty, Crystalomancers are not completely without ambition. There is always the possibility that the unknown properties of a wild crystal will lead to the discovery of new uses for Crystalomancy.