To the Shaftbuilders of legend, digging was magic and prospecting was sorcery. The shaftbuilder prospector was part mining engineer, part magician. Masters of tunnelcraft, capable of imprinting their designs upon green stone, the shaftbuilder prospectors were capable of shaping the earth to their will. To the ancient dwarves, miner came to mean wizard. They were responsible for incredible feats such as the construction of each initial shaft, often a sheer pit kilometers deep or pathways such as The Shaftway. This crucial function gave them great power, and while shafts were generally led by Imperial Dreamers, the prospectors had great influence.
The Wizard's Ax was a symbol of the prospector's power and position.
"Inch by inch we make our way into
the dark depths
we heard its calling"
The prospectors understood the ways of digging, the ways of utilizing green stone, and the ways of finding more of it. Thus, the tunnels of the shaftbuilders followed the designs of their prospectors, frequently for the cause of locating more green stone to further enable the prospectors to utilize their powers of imprinting. As green stone was utilized for an infinite variety of tasks by the shaftbuilders to enable life in their deep shafts, the prospectors both found and used the fuel required for their cities to function.
By all available information, the social status of prospectors was high indeed. While the Imperial Dreamer who typically led the shaft was not themselves a prospector, it appears that in a typical shaft, almost everyone who advised the Imperial Dreamer was a prospector. Today, shaftbuilder archeologists debate if the Imperial Dreamers truly ruled at all in many places, or if it was the prospectors who wielded power. Whatever the truth may have been in each shaft, the prospectors were invariably treated as the indispensable masters they were.
Prospectors themselves were divided into Junior and Elder prospectors, with a Prospector General appearing to have been the highest ranking prospector, second in authority only to the Imperial Dreamer in a shaft.