Effects to Bury or Exhume Objects within the Earth

Two spells from previous editions which I though of as “almost classic” were The Liquid Earth and The Buoyant Earth. Both were Muto Terram spells and effected an area of earth near the caster with interesting effects, the first to sink opponents and buildings into the earth, and the other to raise buried things back to the surface.

(because of my desire to not infringe copyright, I’m re-writing these effects for 5th edition, and making some alterations to their effects and descriptions so that both spell effects different from the Ars Magica 4e material)

Subsume the Irritating Hovel

Muto Terram 20 / Auram, R: Voice, D:Mom, T: Part

This spell alters the ground within the target area so that it is briefly transformed into air, and then quickly back  again. Anything within the target area will fall as they lack the foundation of the earth.

The spell will affect mud, sand, dirt and stone, and anything upon these surfaces will be quickly buried and also potentially wreck a buildings stability.

If the spell is targeted beneath a specific spot, such as beneath a particular person a targeting roll is required. The effect is designed to create a cubic area, with a volume of 100 cubic paces of earth (5x5x4 paces), or 10 cubic paces of stone (roughly 2.2 paces per side). The difficulty of the targeting roll should be adjusted accordingly.

(Base 3 to change in to a liquid and add Au req, +1 to affect stone, +1 area increase, R: Voice +2, T: Part +1)

As a level 20 effect it is on the edge of spells which a wizard might choose to learn, but is potentially powerful enough to cause significant damage to creatures and structures.

A simpler version specifically designed to target beneath a person might be:

Subsume the Irritating Knave

Muto Terram 10 / Auram, R: Voice, D:Mom, T: Part

This spell alters the ground within the target area so that it is briefly transformed into air, and then quickly back  again. Anything within the target area will fall as they lack the foundation of the earth.

The spell will affect mud, sand, and dirt, and anything upon these surfaces will be quickly buried and also potentially wreck a buildings stability.

If the spell is targeted beneath a specific spot, such as beneath a particular person a targeting roll is required. The effect is designed to create a cubic area, with a volume of 10 cubic paces of earth (roughly 2.2 paces per side).

(Base 3 to change in to a liquid and add Au req, R: Voice +2, T: Part +1)

The degree of difficult in the targeting roll will vary, I’d suggest a 2 pace wide area is reasonably easy to get close to a standing person, although still tricky to get perfectly centered. Perhaps a targeting roll of 6+ which allows the target some change to avoid it, or 9+ to center it perfectly. YSMV. The targeting roll for a 5×5 pace area in the higher level version should almost be moot.

The original version of this effect from the Ars Magica 4e Grimoire transformed the target earth into water, and had the effect last for a slightly longer duration. I prefer a transformation to air in this case, as anything affected will fall faster. Mechanically the use of T:Part also wasn’t common in 4th edition (if it even existed).

Exhume the Bounty of the Earth

Muto Terram 30 / Rego, R: Touch, D: Conc, T: Part

This spell alters the ground within the target area so that it forces all materials it contains to its surface and ejects them. Everything unlike the surrounding earth is slowly pushed to the surface touched by the caster. While this spell does not directly affect any other non-terram materials, the unnatural quality of the enchanted surrounding material can still move other items. Heavier items may move more slowly, requiring the caster to concentrate for many rounds.

The spell effects stone and glass surfaces, as well as dirt, sand, and mud. This spell is excellent for exhuming lost items, coffins, and the like; although the gracefulness of the approach is questionable.

The spell affects up to 100 cubic paces of earth, or up to 10 single cubic paces of stone or glass; with a final shape and size determined by the caster.

(Base 4 to change earth so it is highly unnatural and adding Rego req, +1 to affect stone and glass, +1 to allow flexibility in shape and size, +1 to increase the area effected, R: Touch +1, D: Conc +1, T: Part +1)

A lesser version of this spell could affect only earth and sand, or effect far less material but my intention was to create a spell which allowed for a reasonable size, a breadth of use, and flexibility in it’s use. It could be used to clear the earth within a field of debris and rocks hidden below the surface, to make the ground more suitable for growing crops, or to exhume all manner of buried items, minerals, or junk.

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One thought on “Effects to Bury or Exhume Objects within the Earth

  1. Pingback: Necromancy spells, part 3 | The Iron-Bound Tome

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