Shadowrun General > The Secret History

Did the mana cycle predate the 2nd age?

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Beta:
In ShadowRun there is a bit of knowledge of the 4th age (out-of-game: the age which had EarthDawn at its end).  Perhaps some dragons have knowledge of the 2nd age, the previous high-mana cycle, which was presumably quite some thousands of years earlier, far before humans were keeping much in the way of records.

But if this is a continuous cycle, shouldn't there have been a huge number of cycles before that?  The earth has been around for billions of years.  If it somehow depends on sentient beings, there have been on the order of two hundred thousand years of fairly modern humans, which should have been enough for many mana cycles (and associated visits from -horrors- terrors).

Is there information on this anywhere?

Stainless Steel Devil Rat:

--- Quote from: Beta on (17:42:07/01-28-19) ---In ShadowRun there is a bit of knowledge of the 4th age (out-of-game: the age which had EarthDawn at its end).  Perhaps some dragons have knowledge of the 2nd age, the previous high-mana cycle, which was presumably quite some thousands of years earlier, far before humans were keeping much in the way of records.

But if this is a continuous cycle, shouldn't there have been a huge number of cycles before that?  The earth has been around for billions of years.  If it somehow depends on sentient beings, there have been on the order of two hundred thousand years of fairly modern humans, which should have been enough for many mana cycles (and associated visits from -horrors- terrors).

Is there information on this anywhere?

--- End quote ---

Whatever information exists is likely no longer binding, since Earthdawn and Shadowrun IPs are now completely split with no ongoing relationship.

Reaver:
Not to my knowledge.

You're not wrong in thinking about the cycles of magic, as they seem to wax and wan on a 5000+ year cycle. So think about that number for a minute.

That means the 5th age began somewhere around 3000 BC!

And the 4th Age started roughly 8000BC!

The 3rd Age... 13,000 BC!

And finally the 2nd Age roughly 18,000 BC.

That's a LONG time ago! So long in fact, that it is roughly 15,000 years past the oldest known writings; The Sumerian archaic (3400 BC est). In fact, that puts the Sumerian archaic in the closing eras of the 4th and the early 5th ages.... which basically means the events of those ages pre-date any surviving known records.

Now, Maybe there is some knowledge bout the second age passed down in the Dragons' collective memory or history, but they aren't talking. (I'm not even sure if Dragons have a written language..) And even dragons and elves can be killed...

Beta:
SSDR: I'm not worried about 'current canon' and entirely welcome hints, lore, and speculation-with-a-bit-of-supporting-evidence.

Reaver: And cave paintings of animals go back ~40 000 years (found in Indonesia) and very strong evidence that European ones date to over 30 000 years ago (but interestingly for this topic, there is then some thousands of years with no new rock paintings that we have found .... ).  Now, one potential argument against many cycles of terrors is if they can only feed on the emotions of beings that are a) sentient and b) hold the seeds of magic use in their species.  Perhaps earlier humans had not yet picked up the potential for magic (although how to balance that with abundant types of paracritters, I don't know)

Stainless Steel Devil Rat:
There's also the very profound impact of real life anthropological theories about human prehistory being potentially completely wrong in the in-universe Shadowrun "reality."

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