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Nature of Metals

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6 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

What happens to metals that get enchanted or inflicted with a Chaos rune? What's a Chaos metal like?*

Sandy is convinced there are twisted dwarves in the Tunneled Hills working pitchblende. Given the mutagenic properties of their weapons it probably qualifies, if it exists.

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1 minute ago, scott-martin said:

Sandy is convinced there are twisted dwarves in the Tunneled Hills working pitchblende. Given the mutagenic properties of their weapons it probably qualifies, if it exists.

eww, Chaos lead?

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17 hours ago, Joerg said:

 

That was the RQ3 sample scenario and only tentatively placed halfway to Tink north of the Creek, IIRC. A Gateway scenario.

The terminology is Gloranthan, I'll grant you that. I have yet to see real world brass (the zinc stuff) a) turn green from oxidation outside of moist soil and b) being used for mill fittings. Bronze rather than brass sounds more believable.

 

11 hours ago, Joerg said:

Yes. Gloranthan brass is terrestrial bronze. Gloranthan (storm) bronze is different.

The words 'bronze' and 'brass' have been used interchangeably in history, and I think that all of the mentions of "brass" in Gloranthan sources just mean bronze, and I don't think that the writers meant Glorantha to have two kinds of bronze, even if Gloranthan bronze can be found pure and made by mixing two other metals.

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2 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

What happens to metals that get enchanted or inflicted with a Chaos rune? What's a Chaos metal like?*

I know there's no independent Chaos metal because that's not how Chaos works, I mean: if Chaos infected a mine so thoroughly while they were there they smelted, idk, copper into a weapon, then wielded it, could there be truly foul weaponry?

I imagine a festering mine would clear up with some minimal spiritual work once the Chaos was removed, but in the meantime?

* do not attempt with Iron

This is an entire topic in linguistics. Languages develop color words in fairly predictable ways. Welsh still has glas, and Irish borrowed it, to refer to what to us is an extremely wide range of colors.

If I'd make Chaos metals, I'd make them look normal, but be "radioactive", ie. spread diseases or you give Chaos Features over time. And the metal type would depend on what the god was before his corruption, eg. Ragnaglar would have bronze bones since he used to be a Storm god.

e: My favourite colour linguistics anecdote is that the word for the orange colour comes from the fruit's name, because Europeans didn't have a word for that particular colour earlier.

Edited by Brootse

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1 hour ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

What happens to metals that get enchanted or inflicted with a Chaos rune? What's a Chaos metal like?*

Metals appear to pretty resistant and contrary to Chaos, as creating the Copper Sands from the bones of a significant part of his followers were a means to cover the retreat of other, weaker allies from the disaster of Godsfall.

I don't think there are Chaos metals. Lots of runes are without their own metals.

1 hour ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

I know there's no independent Chaos metal because that's not how Chaos works, I mean: if Chaos infected a mine so thoroughly while they were there they smelted, idk, copper into a weapon, then wielded it, could there be truly foul weaponry?

I would expect that smelting chaos-infested raw material to yield any useful material for shaping.

But the thing Chaos does well is make things amorphous and become tentacles. Now a metal tentacle with a handle might be an interesting weapon if moving on its own, but how do you keep it from attacking the wielder?

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2 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

that's a thing?!?!?!

Haha, it is! When I ran into the same problem, I asked a mod to raise the limit. Perhaps it needs to be raised again.

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18 minutes ago, Brootse said:

The words 'bronze' and 'brass' have been used interchangeably in history,

It is possible that this was the case in English history. In German, the two terms are completely different words (brass translates as "Messing", while bronze even uses the same spelling as the English terms).

18 minutes ago, Brootse said:

and I think that all of the mentions of "brass" in Gloranthan sources just mean bronze, and I don't think that the writers meant Glorantha to have two kinds of bronze, even if Gloranthan bronze can be found pure and made by mixing two other metals.

There are godsbones with special properties which make them suited to be po unded into long blades, and there are those which aren't. Alloyed bronze cannot replicate godsbone structure unless you have a mostali shaping it for half a year or so...

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2 minutes ago, Joerg said:

It is possible that this was the case in English history. In German, the two terms are completely different words (brass translates as "Messing", while bronze even uses the same spelling as the English terms).

Yeah, I was talking about English, Finnish too uses 'messinki' for brass, and 'pronssi' for bronze. And then there's also the older Uralic word 'vaski', which has meant copper, brass, or bronze, and which modern Hungarian uses as 'vas' for iron. 'Vaski' was used for 'brass' in Greenbrass' name in the translated edition.

 

2 minutes ago, Joerg said:

There are godsbones with special properties which make them suited to be po unded into long blades, and there are those which aren't. Alloyed bronze cannot replicate godsbone structure unless you have a mostali shaping it for half a year or so...

The RQ Game Master and Adventure book says that: "Bronze is the most important metal of Glorantha. It can be mined on its own but is more commonly made by alloying copper and tin." It doesn't say that there's any difference regardless of origin.

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I've seen Brass refer to gold + copper, too, but heck if I can tell you where.

Don't the Kimantoring and Kitori use lead-copper amalgams? See above for "heck if I can tell you where".

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1 hour ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

What happens to metals that get enchanted or inflicted with a Chaos rune? What's a Chaos metal like?*

I know there's no independent Chaos metal because that's not how Chaos works, I mean: if Chaos infected a mine so thoroughly while they were there they smelted, idk, copper into a weapon, then wielded it, could there be truly foul weaponry?

I imagine a festering mine would clear up with some minimal spiritual work once the Chaos was removed, but in the meantime?

Ahaha, I love it. That is vile. It makes me ponder just how the Lunars turn their Scarlet Scimitars red... (Borderlands and Beyond p.222-223)

I don't see why there couldn't be a Chaos metal. Wakboth had bones, didn't it? Or when someone beats part of a Chaos Gaggle, maybe. Ooh, or the bat? What happens to the Bat's corpse when Broyan kills it? (Apart from very nasty things to everyone below.)

4 hours ago, Joerg said:

I simply assumed that electrum is alloyed from gold and silver, and that there are no electrum bones to be found anywhere. Same for pewter.

If the bones don't exist (even if none are present in the Middle World) can the alloy be created by mortals?

4 hours ago, Joerg said:

Read the Sourcebook before even touching Glorious ReAscent with a ten foot pole. The presentation of the major players in the Sourcebook is the basis for all the variant and then dissenting Gloranthan mythology people like me get so excited about.

I do have that one, but I've more skimmed it than read it. I've got the Guide finally too, though I mostly use it for the maps and trying to find location information for my campaign. The Sourcebook's also a bit of a Name Stew :P, though it is more palatable.

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3 minutes ago, Crel said:

though I mostly use it for the maps

I would literally murder children for a clear map of the Lunar Empire, like, WHY

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2 minutes ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

I would literally murder children for a clear map of the Lunar Empire, like, WHY

In the spirit of Sedenya!

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3 hours ago, Crel said:

In the spirit of Sedenya!

well she abolished human sacrifice (and slavery!); the moonbat went out of her hands as a weapon of war as she ascended. It used to be fed on the battlefields.

blood sacrifice returned in 1492 (yes, I checked) with the "New World" crop cult of Hon Eel.

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Did she completely outlaw slavery, or was there just a series of celebratory manumissions? I forget how extensive it was.

It's my understanding that the Living Goddess, herself an abused orphan slave taken and used in a religious ceremony she knew nothing about, abolished it in Lunar territory entirely. Following her lead, the last Dara Happan Emperor (i.e. emperor who was Dara Happan) ran mass manumissions but did not abolish slavery.

After she ascended, slavery came back via criminals, war captives, and eventually every other way.

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I'm a fan of the neon weaponry sometimes shown in King of Dragon Pass. I really love the interactions between Runes and metals described in this thread.

Perhaps some of these are answered in RQG, so forgive me...

Are there any recorded minerals that are unique to Glorantha?

Does kohl in Glorantha come from minerals?

Why do all enchanted metals, like the Water Rune metal, become hard like bronze? Is there a mythological reason? I'm imagining that there are myths to enchant metal that involve picking up the bones of dead and using them as tools or protection, for example.

Do Mostali have stone stories, use alchemical formulae, and/or a version of sorcery when using metal and minerals? It seems they are capable of much more than other races in this regard, so perhaps for them, a sort of periodic table exists? Or do we just say it's derived from Law and forget about it?

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1 hour ago, Sub said:

Are there any recorded minerals that are unique to Glorantha?

Truestone, Adamantium, Dragonbone, Moonstone (blue/red), Godsbones, Crystals of the Gods (congealed divine blood), Falangian Diamonds, Organstones harvested from the remains of the Faceless Statue

 

1 hour ago, Sub said:

Does kohl in Glorantha come from minerals?

Soot/lamp black is another source. Otherwise, the Caladra and Aurelion cult might be the source for this.

 

1 hour ago, Sub said:

Why do all enchanted metals, like the Water Rune metal, become hard like bronze? Is there a mythological reason?

More like a practical one - you can use your favorite magical metal like the everyday metal without (many of) the drawbacks of that material. (Weight remains.)

1 hour ago, Sub said:

I'm imagining that there are myths to enchant metal that involve picking up the bones of dead and using them as tools or protection, for example.

I don't know about myths for that, but people making such talismans is quite likely. Identifying the source of the bone might be tricky without Lhankor Mhy magic, though.

1 hour ago, Sub said:

Do Mostali have stone stories, use alchemical formulae, and/or a version of sorcery when using metal and minerals? It seems they are capable of much more than other races in this regard, so perhaps for them, a sort of periodic table exists? Or do we just say it's derived from Law and forget about it?

The Mostali probably use the same elemental succession as their theory of the material world as the theists and sorcerers. If you look at their castes, they have Stone as the primary matter, and diversify Sky into three subclasses (so that besides Tin there are Brass, Silver and Gold). Iron and Diamond (from Clay) are additions that most orthodox Mostali accept, but there are Octamonists, e.g. in Teshnos.

If the Brithini and related magical traditions are about extracting magic from the world and turning it into energies, Mostali are about turning magical energies into (improved, enlivened) matter.

Their automatons or artificial creatures are alive, and so is the world machine - just not in a biological sense (of "Growth").

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We're I to be a Mostali, I might well consider that the bronze derived form various storm gods was a substandard material for world machine maintenance and instead synthesise a less unpredictable analogue for it where no other alternative was acceptable. I doubt they approve of all that chthonic tin either.

I like zinc.

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4 hours ago, Byll said:

I like zinc.

Is there zinc in Glorantha? I mean, I feel it's perfectly reasonable that metals outside those detailed in RQG's article (and its predecessors) exist, but I don't personally know of other references to them.

I think that's part of why I was wondering, generally, what the nature of metals is in Glorantha. Each example I've seen seems to be the substance of a "species" of deity, or an alloy of multiple such "species."

To me, there seems to be something inherently divine about Glorantha's metal (which is why my imagination keeps spinning back to the dwarves making iron).

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On 8/19/2019 at 9:06 PM, Joerg said:

There are a number of celestial metals. Gold, of course, for the sun. Silver, for the stars, and for the entities of the Celestial Court (including Uleria after whom that Gloranthan metallurgist named it), and Tin.

Tin was also a Storm Metal, associated with both Lightning and Thunderbolt. Presumably, when Shargash stole Lightning from Umath, he also stole Tin.

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11 hours ago, Crel said:

Is there zinc in Glorantha?

Not in mine. Glorantha is a world of the ancient coin metals (including lead and quicksilver here), and some rare iron.

Zinc wasn't known as an unalloyed metal until in the Modern Era. Zinc ore was well known, and its ability to produce brass when smelted (reduced with significant amounts of charcoal) with copper ores (both in oxide or carbonate form).

Apart from reacting quickly with hydrochloric acid and thereby being able to create all manner of quite toxic fumes in the presence of As, Sn, Sb, Hg etc., zinc is used as ablative electrode on iron, plated by dipping into molten metallic zinc or electrolysis from zinc salts.

The only Gloranthan use for zinc would be the alloy terrestrial brass. Good for making thin sheets of metal with a golden sheen, but mediocre stability. I am fine with Gloranthan chimes and trumpets made of gold, silver or bronze/copper-tin-brass.

(And in case someone peeps up "I meant zinc oxide", I have no problem with this mineral existing in Glorantha. There is just no way to produce a metal from it.)

 

You might point at Aluminum and that that's a metal that was unknown to the Ancients. Well, the Gloranthan Aluminum is unknown to modern chemists, too. It might be closer to Beryllium in terms of density than terrestrial Aluminium. In terms of chemistry, this metal is completely at ease submerged in salt water, showing no signs of corrosion. We don't know any metal or alloy with such properties.

 

11 hours ago, Crel said:

I mean, I feel it's perfectly reasonable that metals outside those detailed in RQG's article (and its predecessors) exist, but I don't personally know of other references to them.

I think it is perfectly reasonable to assume that all metals in existence would have been mentioned somewhere. The Ancients knew the list of Gloranthan metals (minus aluminum). The inclusion of iron is already a concession away from the Bronze Age theme.

The existence of alloys is known in general terms. Alloys may contain metallic or quasi-metallic components completely unknown as pure elements. It isn't clear how the alloyists understand such extra components - possibly like pigments that change an alloy's appearance.

 

11 hours ago, Crel said:

I think that's part of why I was wondering, generally, what the nature of metals is in Glorantha. Each example I've seen seems to be the substance of a "species" of deity, or an alloy of multiple such "species."

Apart from iron, each metal is associated with an element or a sub-element (in case of the sky metals).

Why do elements manifest metals? That's a question for the Mostali. To be honest, I have no good idea.

 

11 hours ago, Crel said:

To me, there seems to be something inherently divine about Glorantha's metal (which is why my imagination keeps spinning back to the dwarves making iron).

The True Mostali were behind the project that made iron, and I think they sacrificed/transmuted some living (or more likely, dying) Stone to make a copy of the material of the First Sword when it landed in their workshop.

I am not sure Mostal would have approved of this reckless innovation. The Octamonists share that opinion.

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

Tin was also a Storm Metal, associated with both Lightning and Thunderbolt. Presumably, when Shargash stole Lightning from Umath, he also stole Tin.

But then, we have the myths how Orlanth stole Lightning (Boy) from Sky.

The Middle Air is the Lower Sky, and Lightning and Thunderbolt are the resident expressions of fire in this realm.

I am not certain whether Thunderbolt would have any light effects. Sound effects turned up to eleven, and probably lots of heat, but blinding light? No idea.

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On 23 August 2019 at 5:41 AM, Crel said:

Is there zinc in Glorantha? I mean, I feel it's perfectly reasonable that metals outside those detailed in RQG's article (and its predecessors) exist, but I don't personally know of other references to them.

There's no mention of zinc in Glorantha as far as I know, I was just speculating that Dwarf brass might not just be a variation of 'air god' bronze. The air gods threw some pretty big wrenches in the world machine, and the dwarves may be looking for an upgrade to replace the faulty components. They are known to produce Iron which no one else understands, maybe they have other secrets.

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14 minutes ago, Byll said:

There's no mention of zinc in Glorantha as far as I know, I was just speculating that Dwarf brass might not just be a variation of 'air god' bronze. The air gods threw some pretty big wrenches in the world machine, and the dwarves may be looking for an upgrade to replace the faulty components. They are known to produce Iron which no one else understands, maybe they have other secrets.

Yes, actually that has been my arguing point, too. Dwarf Brass precedes Storm Bronze. It is one of the three celestial sub-metals, associated with the Three Brothers.

Dayzatar himself may be of any metal, but his offspring Polaris and Ourania are stars, and feature silver as their metal.

And Lodril dove deep into the earth, and his bones (or that of his offspring) emerge as brass.

 

We don't know of any other sub-divided elements as it comes to metals. While all the elements come as siblings of three in the next generation, only the fire brothers have received their own metals as acknowledged by becoming a Mostali caste.

 

The Mostali don't like Storm Bronze - it has growth patterns, and they regard Growth as a mere means of supply. IMG the Mostali prefer to work with volcanic bronze. They might be likely to take Storm Bronze and melt it to purify it from the Growth patterns and to create a perfectly isotropic alloy rather than that naturally laminated stuff. If they want laminates, they will manufacture them to their specifications rather than dealing with unwanted prior history of the material.

 

Like I said before, alloyists have added "metals" to alloys that they don't know in a pure, metallic form since the chalcolithic, like that (deeply misunderstood) arsenic copper (which doesn't act in any way like a blade poison). Alloys can be chemically quite stable. If you are old enough, you might carry amalgam in the holes of your teeth. This is an alloy produced from mixing silver dust with liquid mercury, and it takes some while to settle into its new shape, which makes it malleable while the dentists of old apply it to the (cleansed) cavities in your chewing apparatus. There is a "magic mixture" which makes sure that it neither is too inflexible for this kind of application nor too soft (to remain malleable for too long after application, and possibly leak mercury into the saliva).

Real world brass was already mentioned by Aristoteles.

 

If you have ever dabbled in crystallography (as many anciend natural philosophers did, fascinated by the endlessly recurring periodicity of this material), you might look at brass with some different understanding than if you just regard it as an alloy.

It is a possible aspect of alchemy and sorcery which - with its potentials of symmetries - should excite anyone looking for True Shapes. Crystal lore (not in the New Age sense of light oils and similar quackery) should be on the basic curriculum of any serious sorcerer with a somewhat solid theoretical grounding.

Flint knapping is a form of gem cutting used on completely isotropic, non-crystalline mineral glasses. While there are some crystals (like quartz) which show similar fracturing patterns, material like jade, obsidian, opal or flint is conceptually different from crystalline material. You can polish glasses into any shape you desire. You cannot do that with crystals.

 

At least one True Mostali is known to have surrounded himself with gems - Martaler of the Blazing Forge, lord/overseer/most ancient one of Gemborg.

The Mostali are intrigued by diamond, which is how they title clay dwarves who have excelled in their tasks to a level that rivals that of True Mostali. Unlike True Mostali, these diamond dwarves tend to be extremely focussed on their specialized tasks, though, and lack the flexibility the first generations of servants of Mostal had.

 

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