|Doctor Doom <jch8169@*******.TAMU.EDU>
|ShadowRun - Earthdawn Crossovers (New & Improved!)
|Wed, 20 Jul 1994 18:34:30 -0500
list's FAQ, reproduced here with gracious permission by Dougal Campbell,
of the Earthdawn list.
EARTHDAWN Frequently Asked Questions . . .
Chris Ryan (chrisr@****.qut.edu.au)
Michael Garoni (Michael_Garoni@*********.com)
David R. Henry (dhenry@******.NoDak.edu)
10. How is Earthdawn related to FASA's Shadowrun game?
There are a number of links that prove that Earthdawn takes place on the
same world as Shadowrun; and is, in fact, the Fourth World (as opposed
to Shadowrun's Sixth World). The obvious proof to this is that the FASA
folks admitted it when questioned at a convention :-), but to help
back that claim, here are most of the printed and observed links between
ED and SR:
SHADOWRUN RULES: In the introduction to the Critters section, reference
is made to the possible origins of Dragons. One of them includes the
idea that Dragons may have "slept" somehow until the mana level reached
a sufficiently high point.
Also, Sperethiel is given as the name of the Elvish language, which is
the same name the Elven language has in ED.
SEATTLE SOURCEBOOK: The Atlantean Foundation is reviewed. While a minor
link, it should be noted that the AF believes that a lot of the true
"mystic" history of the SR world could be revealed if they could find
the remains of Atlantis. Thera, in ED, is the actual name of an island
near Greece which is commonly held to be the site that Plato based his
Atlantis stories upon -- both were destroyed in some horrible accident.
BOTTLED DEMON: Arleesh the Great Feathered Serpent remembers a previous age
of magic where she and other Great Dragons banded together to destroy and/or
abolish the evil forces behind the Bottle. First establishment of fact that
the Dragons did exist in a prior age of the Earth, and first establishment
that there are metaplanes quite beyond the eight established SR metaplanes,
and that the inhabitants of such places are not only immicible to normal
life, but purely evil as well; obviously the Horrors of ED.
HARLEQUIN: The first confirmation of immortals beyond Free Spirits and
Dragons in the SR world, Harlequin and Ehran are both shown to have
lived in pre-Revolution France, and make reference to have lived for a
long, long time before that. The chal'han that Harlequin performs here
is a specific form of the Ritual of Challenge mentioned in the TIR
TAIRNGIRE sourcebook, which is also similar to like rituals performed
in Thera, as per the BARSAIVE sourcebook. Harlequin and Ehran also
converse in a language that predates Sperethiel, a mystery language
that is mentioned in both DENIZENS OF EARTHDAWN I and TIR TAIRNGIRE.
"Wyrm Talk": A source of a lot of tie ins, being as it is a conversation
between Dunklezahn the Dragon and Harlequin the Elf, both holdovers from
at least the Fourth World. Both make obvious references to having been
around a while, and both refer to the Invae, remarking that humanity
seems to be holding their own against the Invae without too much trouble.
As per the BARSAIVE sourcebook, the Invae are clearly confirmed to be
the Insect Spirits from SR.
GUIDE TO PARANORMAL ANIMALS OF EUROPE: The Sprite is shown, which is
obviously a Windling from ED. Likewise, under the Wraith description,
the netter -H- (an abbreviation that Harlequin has used in the past)
says "Kill these Horrors whenever you encounter them. They are Evil,
if anything is." -H- also says that the Wraiths will be just the fore-
runners of something much worse if Earth cannot stem the tide now.
In the ED rules, in the history of Barsaive section, descriptions
given of the Signs of the Scourge describe mist-like wraith beings
driving men to violence against one another, which matches exactly
the description and powers of the SR Wraith.
"Never Trust An Elf": A novel, in which more references to immortals
are made -- indeed, the fact that some elves may be immortal is a major
point of the plot. Lofwyr mentions to Khan the Ork that the Orks were
once the slaves of the Elves, a long time ago. In ED, the Orks were the
only Name-Giving race regularly enslaved by all the rest.
TIR TAIRNGIRE SOURCEBOOK: A feast of plenty for immortal elf evidence,
including a large conversation between confused runners and Dunkelzahn
the dragon, pointing to, among other things, the fact that some elves
are immortal, the fact that there was a Fourth World (and a Second --
the Dragon Age, according to ED -- as well), and that there is a "secret
language" that the ruling elves of Tir Tairngire speak that isn't
Elvish (c.f.: Harlequin and Ehran's discussion in HARLEQUIN).
Likewise, mention is made by some runner that some Druids in Tir Tairngire
are shamans, but they follow "Passion" instead of totems (to which
Harlequin replies "You're a dead man. I'll send flowers."). The Passions,
of course, are the great guiding spirits of life in ED. A Prince of
the Tir is called "our dear sweet Blood Queen" by Harlequin, and an
anonymous report from a runner says that they saw a picture, in that
Prince's house (Prince is a title that can refer to male or female Elves
in the Tir) of apparently the same woman, but with thorns growing out
of her body. The Blood Elves of ED, of course, have the same condition.
Another of the Princes is reported to have blasted to atoms some rose
bushes that his wife planted behind their house without his permission.
Meanwhile, Crater Lake receives a lot of discussion, and facts are
revealed that it would have been created some 7000 years before the
current SR date, which fits in neatly with the end of the Fourth World
and the beginning of the Fifth (the Mayan Long Count, which Dunklezahn
himself says is "more accurate than most"). High amounts of magic
are associated with the lake, and the Tir cordoned it off after the
general knowledge that it was believed to have been created 7000 years
ago leaked out.
TIR NA NOG SOURCEBOOK: More immortal elf evidence, which by now is
so commonplace that it's almost not worth noting -- in this case, the
spike baby elves in Ireland "knew" of the Awakening before it was
going to happen, and thus were able to arrange things so they could
more easily take over Ireland when it came around.
Most blatantly, the description of the Ways and Paths is nearly exactly
the same as the Paths described in DENIZENS I. Likewise, the function
and purpose of the Seelie Court in TIR NA NOG is that of the Court of
the Elven Queen (at least before the Corruption) in ED (presented in
DENIZENS I), that of preserving and setting by example the strictures
of Elven society. Likewise, both sources mention the unique spirits
of the Great Firey Path.
"Harlequin's Back": A short story, this one has a strange spirit that
resembles, in conduct and appearance, the Passion Vestrial, visiting a
drunken Harlequin late one night. Obvious overtones to the Scourge are made,
with Harlequin desperately trying to convince himself that it won't happen
again, and Vestrial insisting that it will, especially since the Great Ghost
Dance helped things along. Reference is also made to the "Nothern Isles" and
the Knights of the Crimson Tower, which is the setting of the famous Elven
City of Towers in DENIZENS I. Harlequin is apparently the last surviving
member of that order. Harlequin also refers to the metaplanes as
"netherworlds," and then corrects his error, which is the usual term used
for them in ED.
"Night's Pawn": A novel, in which Alamaise the Great Dragon (Lofwyr's
"brother") plays an important part. Nothing upfront about ED, but
Alamaise is listed as one of the Great Dragons of Barsaive in the
A Great Form earth elemental is referred to in the opening history of
Thera and Barsaive; SR has Great Form spirits. In the same story,
Wraiths from the PAoE are mentioned, as well as insect beings that
take over Name-Giver bodies and souls -- the Insect Spirits (Invae)
The races (or at least the humanoid ones) are the same as SR. Sperethiel is,
once again, the name for the Elven tongue. References are made to immortal
elves. Dragons are divided into two types, normal and Great, just like SR.
Of the Great Dragons, Alamaise (from "Night's Pawn") is listed under
that name, while the Great Dragon Mountainshadow is said to have a "human"
pawn/servant known as Darktooth. In German, Darktooth is Dunkelzahn.
Given Mountainshadow's similar personality to Dunkelzahn, it's pretty
clear that they're the same Dragon. Magicians are divided into adepts and
full spellcasters, like SR (although the ED adepts have, admittedly, far
greater powers than their SR counterparts).
The magical theory of both games is similar. Astral beings can't pass
through unmolested earth (thus the sanctity of most kaers), emotional
trauma (including the Scourge) pollutes astral space, and so on. The
Passions are also described, matching the reference to them in TIR
TAIRNGIRE and "Harlequin's Back." References are made to ages of magic
cycled with ages of nonmagic, just like in TIR TAIRNGIRE. Both games
make use of orichalcum, a rare magical alloy.
The map of Barsaive fits the description of the lower Russian landmass
between the Caspian and Black Seas.
BARSAIVE SOURCEBOOKS: The Invae are clearly described and are obviously
the Insect Spirits from SR. They even have partially invaded/taken over
a cult (of Chorollis), just as in SR.
Mountainshadow's personality is more clearly defined; he's obviously
Dunkelzahn. Thera is said to lay far to the southwest of Barsaive in
the Selstrian Sea, which is an obvious match to the Barsaive map being
in Russia if Thera is Atlantis, located at the real-world Thera in
the Mediterranean Sea.
There's a short rundown of Theran society, which shares many similarities
between that and Tir Tairngire.
"The Longing Ring" and "Poisoned Memories": Novels, good only to
the belief that Mountainshadow is Dunkelzahn. Well, they're good for
other reasons, but for our purposes those are all that apply. :-)
DENIZENS OF EARTHDAWN VOLUME I: Mentions that Elvish language older
than Sperethiel, again. Mentions that Alamaise killed the Elf Queen.
Gives the theory of the Great Wheel of Life and the Five Paths that the
Elves walk on it, which is functionably the same as the Ways and Paths
of TIR NA NOG.
The human section brings up the ED "theory" that humankind is the only
Name-Giver to exist in low mana periods, and that when the magic arises
it causes some humans to change into other forms of Name-Givers. This
is SR's Goblinization.
While I'm convinced that ED and SR share the same world, here's some
meandering guesses on what the events in SR have to do with the events
Tir Tairngire is almost certainly the rebirth of Thera, or at least
Shoshara, the original renegade Elven nation. They share the same rituals,
and general attitude of adopting new technology to help them keep their
powerbase in the world. To counterpart them, then, Tir Na nOg is the Wyrm
Wood once more, if its not obvious enough from their insistance on being the
true repository of Elven culture.
This does make it a bit difficult to explain why the Blood Queen is
currently in Tir Tairngire, however. My take is that Alachia is listed,
in the BARSAIVE sourcebooks, as having some second thoughts about how
great an idea the Ritual of the Thorns was, really. Pride and her position
would keep her from admitting it in ED right now, of course, but if she
ever did come around and try to say she was wrong, her subjects in the
Wyrm Wood, angered at their Queen actually trying to say that all this
pain they went through on her account was a mistake, and that they
really should be ashamed of themselves, turn on her. She flees to
Thera/Shoshara for protection, and that sets up matters for the Sixth
World. Tir Tairngire is heavy into genetic research so they can find
a way to remove the "grow painful thorns" portion of their DNA before
the mana level gets high enough for the Ritual of Thorns to have power
As to why Elves hate Dragons, the Great Dragon Alamaise nuked their
Queen and all her attendants some centuries before the Scourge. That
would undoubtfully go a long way to fostering bad Elf/Dragon relationships.
Questions and comments on this list, of course, are gladly taken.
Send them to dhenry@******.nodak.edu.