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Old 06-05-2019, 03:08 PM   #1
Engurrand
 
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Default Powerstone historical names

I'm looking for traditional/mystical/theological names for what GURPS calls powerstones.

I find myself consistently needing to come up with names for things that store mana/rpm energy/fp for use in magic. Sometimes 'powerstone' is fine but I keep wondering if the idea of a powerstone is really so recent that we don't have ancient words for it?

The spiritual energy which powers magic is a concept familiar to mysticism since ancient times. It's been called jeeva, anima, spiritus, breath, chi or ki, shakti, just off the top of my head. Thaumatology is helpful here, with a variety of traditions described in various ways, but the sections on powerstones doesn't help me.

I've been scouring my brains and books of lore and failing to come up with anything at all, which makes me feel like I must be missing something obvious.

Ideas?
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Old 06-05-2019, 03:13 PM   #2
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Default Re: Powerstone historical names

The words reservoir and vessel come to mind.

They may not have special names because they are not the magic itself, just the container.
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Old 06-05-2019, 03:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: Powerstone historical names

The concept of a magic points isn't really historically accurate; what you're basically looking for is material components.
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Old 06-05-2019, 03:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: Powerstone historical names

You missed manna off the top of my head.
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Old 06-05-2019, 03:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: Powerstone historical names

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
The concept of a magic points isn't really historically accurate; what you're basically looking for is material components.
Yeah energy that you can save and store for later use is more a modern concept.
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Old 06-05-2019, 03:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Powerstone historical names

Most common terms have been repurposed for specific types of RPG magical items, but I think of talismans, amulets, and periapts.

The Wikipedia List of mythological objects might be helpful or, specifically, its sections on gemstones or stones.
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Old 06-05-2019, 03:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
Yeah energy that you can save and store for later use is more a modern concept.
Well, plenty of things were seen as having magical potency that could be made use of later, but it tends to be specific in purpose rather than generally useful, and not really rechargeable.
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Old 06-05-2019, 03:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Powerstone historical names

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
The Wikipedia List of mythological objects might be helpful or, specifically, its sections on gemstones or stones.
That was indeed helpful! Bless wikipedia, and bless whoever makes lists.
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Old 06-05-2019, 03:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Powerstone historical names

Quote:
Originally Posted by Refplace View Post
You missed manna off the top of my head.
This is sort of a digression but it's fun so... I'm not aware of any mystic tradition which uses that word for that purpose. To my understanding, mana means bread, specifically, the kind of bread given to the Jews wandering the deserts to keep them alive during the exodus. If you know of a traditional use of the word as reference to spell energy I certainly would enjoy knowing about it, since I've driven my friends bonkers referring to all the mana cards in magic the gathering as "bread producing territories" and creatures as "bread nom nom nom."
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Old 06-05-2019, 04:14 PM   #10
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Default Re: Powerstone historical names

Quote:
Originally Posted by Engurrand View Post
This is sort of a digression but it's fun so... I'm not aware of any mystic tradition which uses that word for that purpose. To my understanding, mana means bread, specifically, the kind of bread given to the Jews wandering the deserts to keep them alive during the exodus. If you know of a traditional use of the word as reference to spell energy I certainly would enjoy knowing about it, since I've driven my friends bonkers referring to all the mana cards in magic the gathering as "bread producing territories" and creatures as "bread nom nom nom."
Technically, the breadlike stuff is manna. The word mana with one n is Polynesian and refers to a quality of sacred power that inheres in chieftains and ritual objects. There's no etymological relation between the two.
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