Building in a swamp with magical support

I have got a Jerbiton magus (fresh out of gauntlet) with Terram focus and high Craft: Architecture (stone, wood, etc. but all related to building). My plan was like "Pit of gaping earth" to excavate the building site. Then "Stone to clay" and "unseen porter" (and potentially other utilities) but in the end craft the building by hand. Through "stone to clay" it should still be as if from a single block of stone, so the building itself shouldn't have a problem with the swamp, given I find solid ground beneath. But the "Pit of gaping earth" will fill pretty quickly with water I fear. ReAq20 (ward mundane water) is way beyond my capabilities.

Any idea of how to cope with the water? Using "Pit of gaping earth" to build a drainage system maybe, but that will be too huge with 6 pace wide holes...

Any comment on the way to craft buildings (as if cut out of a single block of stone) would be appreciated as well.

You did not pay enough attention while playing Dwarf Fortress.

Just make an obscenely huge pillar and force it down until you hit bedrock. Maybe start with something permanent and then put pressure on it with a larger concentration or sun duration stone.

Take a look at Mold the Earth Within Sight (MoH p.40).

Well, I want to avoid Rego, as I don't plan to go crazy with Finesse. That's why I came up with the Muto variant that actually counts on the temporary nature of Muto magic.

can you use MuAq to transform the water into something that will prevent more water from getting in?

How is you PeIg?

Level 15 water freezing ring? It will quickly dam itself.

No Aquam nor Ignem. Muto is better than Perdo, as is Rego.
Muto, Rego 5
Terram 12
Herbam 4

Minor magical focus on glass, but that doesn't help much either...

I don't know the exact conditions yet, but I suspect a muddy and swampy surrounding, so magic on liquids is probably not the most effective...

I'll probably test, how fast a pit fills up with water. Maybe we can build faster than the water level raises...

Unless the structure is properly insulated you will have a water or moisture problem eventually.

Suggest cooperation with your covenant Magi, find a compromise. Being fresh out of gauntlet limits many reasonable plans, but if you have fellow magi who will either get benefit from your work or that you can make a deal with - win win.

Have you checked out how polders are created for potential inspiration?

maybe a moon duration MuTe to turn a cylindrical shell of mud to glass? use this to line your pit, and recast every half moon cycle.


How would the water or moisture get in? Directly through the stone?
Aren't there medieval castles built into or directly adjacent to water (e.g. a moat)? How are they insulated?

Couldn't he just use his Craft: Architecture to drain a part of the swamp by building dams and trenches with ReTe and ReHe Craft magic? With ReTe and ReHe he could also cut the wood and quarry the stone needed and bring it to the site planned for the buildings. It is a slow, but solid approach well in keeping with the technology of Mythic Europe.
Especially Cistercians were quite famous for their hydraulic engineering already in the 12th century, for using it to drain swamps and making the land thus retrieved arable. Draining just the site of a covenant or tower - if reasonably chosen - would be a minor task for bearded brothers and monk engineers of a Cistercian monastery.


That's an idea I could try out. Though finesse 2 could be a problem, depending on the required ease factors.

I was thinking about stone to clay also for quarrying the stone, but ReTe would be an option depending on finesse ease factor again. There is probably either no buildings or shabby ones and no labs whatsoever. So ReTe and ReHe would have to be spontaneous... So both fatigue and botch would be a problem.

I don't think there are monks available... Though I can't rule it out of course. There are some grog level workers available though. But I should know quite a bit about building and utilities, techniques and engineering. Craft architecture is at 4 (6 with puissant).

We are on Zealand, Denmark. Looking around Google even finding quarry spots will get challenging...

The magus should use his Craft: Architecture to simplify the single Craft magic tasks, and thus reduce the Finesse he needs. But putting xp obtained from his construction activities into Finesse makes a lot of sense.

Go ahead, if that works better for you.

Replace the bearded brothers with magic! I use the Cistercians as an example, what mundane hydraulic engineering can accomplish in 1220. For local building material look up Faxekalk (only German and Swedish), and this folder (in Danish) for its quarry.


I'll check that with the troupe. I don't think there is no reference in the books for reducing craft magic finesse requirements with Craft though.
What could work is the other way around. Using craft architecture and speed up the work with low finesse craft magic.

Well, I have no experience yet, whether that works out. I'll try but keep craft magic in mind.

Was that used for construction? Kalk is probably a material than indeed imposes problems with moisture and water I suppose. Not the most dense stone on earth, right?

If your magus uses his high Craft Ability to properly organize the single tasks he has to perform, he should reduce the complexity of the single Craft magic tasks, and make those few Formulaic Craft magic spells he has count.

Faxekalk is limestone, often including petrified corals, and is used in construction for centuries.


I found a site about Permeability which state that some types of limestone, in particular chalk, are quite permeable.

While chalk is probably still good building material, it will indeed have problems with the water and moisture of a swamp.

Faxekalk was quarried since the 13th century: see here (the English site is inferior). It is not chalk, but proper, though soft, limestone.


Ok, will read the material properly. Was probably just irritated by the word Kalk, which is German for chalk.

I see your problem.

The German translation of limestone is Kalkstein. The English chalk has many meanings: it typically translates to German Kreide (to write on blackboards with), but can mean also Kalkstein (of the very soft variety, like the Kreideklippen of Rügen), Kalk (like lime in geology) and even Magnesia (like MgO). Faxekalk is just the Danish name of the local limestone of Zealand.