Sunday, May 7, 2017

Out of left field.. Was Games Workshop's warpstone inspired by the New Age moldavite stone?

I've been playing Mordeim: City of the Damned on Steam these last couple of days, which is based on the beloved skirmish tabletop game by GW. Like the tabletop game, you have a warband in the abandoned magical Chernobyl that was Mordheim looking for the magically green warpstone (aka wyrdstone) to sell to your patron.

My gang of killers meets and dispatches other gangs of killers looking for the precious stone, as I did here in this screenshot.


The computer game reminded me of the origins of GW's ubiquitous warpstone, and that it came from a comet that destroyed the city of Mordheim.  This intro from the game explains it.

 

Warpstone/wyrdstone is a staple in the Warhammer fantasy universe as it's everywhere and used especially by the Skaven for their artillery.






I see it's even in Bloodbowl.


While I have been playing the game, I kept calling the warpstone "Moldavite" unconsciously and only now did I realize it and got a good laugh.

Let me explain..

I'm a bit of a New Age guy, so I am familiar with a lot of the discussions going on among my fellow New Agers. One hobby that I have is collecting crystals as I find them unwordly, nice to look at and soothing to the touch.

Moldavite is a rare tektite from the Czech Republic, named after the nearby town where it was discovered, Moldauthein. A tektite is a glass-like deposit formed from the heat of impacting meteors.

This is what Moldavite looks like. 


In Moldavite's case, a meteor slammed into what is now Southern Germany and the Czech Republic about 15 million years ago, and like Mordheim, it created this greenish stone.

Moldavite is rare, as the meteor only managed to generate 275 tons worldwide.. Rare like warpstone.

I happen to own some rare Moldavite myself, as part of my crystal collection.


Moldavite is sought after in the New Age community, so much so that a fake cottage industry has been born, selling worthless glass to eager buyers.




The reason there are so many cheap fakes is because, like warpstone, real moldavite is very expensive..




Why am I talking about this tektite with respect to the magical warpstone of GW?

Well, Moldavite is reputed to have all sorts of "magical" qualities.. healing, seeing ghosts, "raising your vibration", etc, as these people say:








There are a lot more testimonials on YouTube.. I personally have not had any experiences.

Anyways, in both cases, there is a celestial impact, and a magical green mineral forms that is sought after.

I don't think GW staff were aware of the similarities, but it is an amusing out-of-left-field thought..

Supplemental: Someone pointed out that Southern Germany/ Czech Republic is approximately where Mordheim would be given that old time Warhammer Fantasy was set in this faux Holy Roman Empire setting.

Also, I've gotten some strange comments. Clearly, this post was written tongue-in-cheek and I was not positing a theory on the origin of warpstone. I just wanted to draw the similarities between the two rocks. 

6 comments:

  1. I'm pretty sure that there's a Sasquatch connection here somewhere.

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  2. I think you might be surprised by how much the staff at GW knew about this to be honest. Quite a few of the original creators of the Warhammer world were university graduates. With degrees in fields like Archaeology, History and Literature to name but a few. A few of the city names in the Oldworld were piss takes too i.e. Middenheim

    So I wouldn't be surprised if the creation of Mordheim was based on some history. Seems more likely than pot luck...too many similarities to be coincidence I think.

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  3. Well, the Empire in Warhammer fantasy is definately copied from the Holy Roman Empire, down to the German names and having Electors... for sure, these guys at GW were versed in European history. :-)

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  4. Great post! A very informative and interesting read. I wanted to get the game myself but I believe my laptop won't be able to handle the graphics.

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    1. It's an enjoyable computer game. I found out yesterday that the same company is doing one now for Necromunda.

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  5. It is even more awesome as a tabletop game. But the PC-version is good too.

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