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A Mostali corpse...


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18 minutes ago, Trotsky said:

Curious about what a dead dwarf/Mostali is like? Thinking about the Iron Mostali, what would a dead one be like? Would it be flesh, bones and blood or something more inorganic? Looking for some flavour to add to an adventure...

Perhaps like small, misshapen stone statues with small veins of the relevant metal within?

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Finding a True Mostali would be a wondrous thing, as they are very rare and very powerful.

An Iron Mostali might be mechanical, or might be like an animated iron statue, or might be an animated stone statue shot through with iron. If you want to be real-worldy, ironstone is a beautiful orange colour, so having an orange statue with flakes of rust might be good.

An Iron Mostali who is a Clay Mostali in an iron sect would be just a flesh and blood dwarf like any other. These are just warrior dwarves.

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22 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Finding a True Mostali would be a wondrous thing, as they are very rare and very powerful.

An Iron Mostali might be mechanical, or might be like an animated iron statue, or might be an animated stone statue shot through with iron. If you want to be real-worldy, ironstone is a beautiful orange colour, so having an orange statue with flakes of rust might be good.

An Iron Mostali who is a Clay Mostali in an iron sect would be just a flesh and blood dwarf like any other. These are just warrior dwarves.

Thanks soltakss, so I am working from the bestiary and although it mentions the clay dwarves it gives almost no information about them -  it states that the one most commonly encountered Mostali are the Iron Dwarves - so I am working from that at the moment. As dwarves are crated rather than born I am wondering how to represent a dead one. trying to find my way with the Mostali - back in my RQ2 days I don't think we ever did much with them.

 

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From the Bestiary:

"Dwarfs are stocky humanoids from 60–140 centimeters tall and from 10–75 kilograms in weight. Average size is 45 kilograms in weight and 115 centimeters tall. Dwarf facial features are rather grotesque to humans but are not hideous or repulsive. Many, but not
all, dwarfs are bearded.
Dwarfs have disproportionately short limbs, and many are hunchbacked or otherwise distorted. These seeming deformities, far from hindering them, seem to make them better-suited to their cramped burrows and heavy labor. Their gnarled bodies have massive bones and are stout with twisted muscle. Pound for pound, dwarfs are the strongest and toughest of the Elder Races."

So they are organic (and eagerly sought after by Trolls). Their chase is what they do, not what they are made from. Iron Dwarfs are blacksmiths and artificers. 

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2 hours ago, Trotsky said:

Thanks soltakss, so I am working from the bestiary and although it mentions the clay dwarves it gives almost no information about them -  it states that the one most commonly encountered Mostali are the Iron Dwarves - so I am working from that at the moment. As dwarves are crated rather than born I am wondering how to represent a dead one. trying to find my way with the Mostali - back in my RQ2 days I don't think we ever did much with them.

There are no Clay Dwarves. "Dwarf" is another term for "Clay Mostali", the weakest of the Mostali types, mass produced, fragile, mortal. Within that category, you have Iron Dwarves, Copper Dwarves, Tin, Silver, Gold, etc. An "Iron Dwarf" is Clay Mostali of the Iron caste, or an "Iron Clay Mostali", so a Clay Dwarf would be a "Clay Clay Mostali". There is no such thing.

Personally I think Clay Dwarves are made of meat just like all the other Elder Races. 

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32 minutes ago, coffeemancer said:

where did I read it? dwarf sex was described as, paraphrasing, "an overseer takes a male and a female dwarf to the reproduction chamber and both parties will afterwards describe the affair as deeply troubling"

Elder Secrets of Glorantha. It has a hilarious description of dwarven reproduction, where a male and female are taken into a closed room and given instructions, then they grind away for hours on end using their "mortar" and "pestle", before emerging totally embarrassed.

 

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As it is unlikely that our team of adventurers will come across many Mostali during their adventures, I want to make them come across as exotic, unique and interesting. So in my Glorantha I am going to give them organs that are equivalent to organic creatures but have them made of non-organic materials. I really want to emphasise they are the antithesis of growing living things. So blood might be an equivalent to a liquid clay, bones a metal ore, muscles made from flexible strands of an itacolumite-type rock, maybe specific organs represented by different types of stone. Of course they will not be exact replicas of our rocks but close enough to aid description. As trolls eat anything I am sure this would not be a problem for them.

So on a related note - what are peoples' thoughts on Mostali spirits?

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7 hours ago, Trotsky said:

I have a feeling the players in our game will want to 'utilise' the body somehow - this is the Bronze Age after all and 'stuff' is not in abundance...

-This iron sword? Funny story, it was once a mostali. 

 

I imagine finding a dead mostali might be even more uncommon than a live one, as they probably send parties to find and retrieve the bodies of their fallen brethren. 

If I understood the lore correctly, most (more than 90%) mostali in 1625 are "racially" clay mostali and a big minority of iron mostali (less than a quarter I imagine), so almost all of of the other minerals are just clay mostali posing as other caste, because they need those castes to function. Only iron mostali are found in great enough numbers for their caste to not have any dwarfs among them. 

Also I always thought that the "euphoric reaction" that mostali meat gives to trolls was a reference to the liking that dwarfs have for beer in other universes. 

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1 hour ago, Jape_Vicho said:

If I understood the lore correctly, most (more than 90%) mostali in 1625 are "racially" clay mostali and a big minority of iron mostali (less than a quarter I imagine)

No, it's like 99.9999% are clay mostali (aka dwarfs), of which a fair minority are iron dwarfs.  (There really aren't iron "mostali" per se.  And there's only a small handful of True Mostali left in all Glorantha).

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9 hours ago, Trotsky said:

As it is unlikely that our team of adventurers will come across many Mostali during their adventures, I want to make them come across as exotic, unique and interesting.

IMO that is done best by having their behaviour and magic be obviously strange. My PCs have met Mostali a bunch of times, and it’s never even occurred to them to examine their innards, but they do know they are confusing, dangerous, judgemental and inflexible weirdoes. (Actually, most of them are half dead as a result of a fight with Iron Dwarfs on a HeroQuest right now - who ignored them for hours as they wandered about examining things, but attacked them mercilessly as soon they touched the wrong lever). 

It’s also worth noting that if you ever play in Pavis, particularly, then Mostali (admittedly heretic Mostali, the Flintnail cult) will be encountered moderately commonly, and even make good PCs. I wouldn’t want to set a precedent that would be confusing later. 
 

9 hours ago, Trotsky said:

So in my Glorantha I am going to give them organs that are equivalent to organic creatures but have them made of non-organic materials.

Of course you can do that - but it’s clearly not canon Glorantha, in which dwarves are normal organic beings, just deeply embarrassed about it.
Though quite conceivably powerful dwarves may magically/sorcerous transform themselves over centuries, maybe Diamond Dwarfs being essentially attempts to transform Clay Dwarfs into True Mostali. 
 

9 hours ago, Trotsky said:

So on a related note - what are peoples' thoughts on Mostali spirits?

They are like any mortal spirit - but again, clay dwarves are basically in denial and embarrassed about it. Their religion teaches that all mortal beings consist of Matter, Energy and some have Intellect. A spirit is the Energy separate from the Matter. They also teach that individuality is essentially an error or a flaw, and after death it is irrelevant and usually unproductive. 

So few Mostali spirits are around - after death they don’t generally linger, and Orthodox belief is that there is no true afterlife, you release your energy back into the World Machine (though they recognise that others do not, because others believe in the Individualism delusion). Mostali recognise that Energy beings, that we call spirits, exist, but it’s basically a flaw in the world that they have unnecessary personality and self awareness. They use sorcery to manipulate them, generally acting as if they are mere ‘energy robots’, even if it’s obviously not true. But they do it quite a bit - they use Earth elementals, spirits of metals, etc. 

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Thanks again everyone, the group I play with are currently exploring an old Mostali construct and there is a possibility they may encounter a dwarf. The encounter has the possibility of not going well, so I was trying to get a handle on that.

With a product like Trollpak I have access to a lot of information on Trolls and I have used the Aldryami quite a bit. We did play in Pavis back in the day - but our Flintnail friends were just pretty standard fantasy dwarves all those years ago.

I wonder if anyone has thought of a dwarf/Mostali supplement for the Jonstown Compendium - maybe details of a dwarf city - it does seem like there is little information on them?

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When my players come across an Clay Mostali corpse (an Openhandist that died alone in a cave workshop ages ago) I described it as a wrinkled doll filled with lumpy straw and odd pieces of broken glass bulbs and corroded metal clasps. Yes they just had to poke the corpse until it fell apart to be sure it was dead.

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1 hour ago, Hteph said:

When my players come across an Clay Mostali corpse (an Openhandist that died alone in a cave workshop ages ago) I described it as a wrinkled doll filled with lumpy straw and odd pieces of broken glass bulbs and corroded metal clasps. Yes they just had to poke the corpse until it fell apart to be sure it was dead.

Now, that's just creepy.

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1 hour ago, Hteph said:

When my players come across an Clay Mostali corpse (an Openhandist that died alone in a cave workshop ages ago) I described it as a wrinkled doll filled with lumpy straw and odd pieces of broken glass bulbs and corroded metal clasps. Yes they just had to poke the corpse until it fell apart to be sure it was dead.

I LOVE that idea, it reminds me of Junji Ito's House of puppets manga. They look organic when they are alive but that illussion fades when their energy returns to the World Machine, and their bodies are revealed for what they really are, mechanical constructs. Now imagine that the adventurers are exploring an abandonned mostali outpost and they stumble upon a "corpse disposal chamber" just filled with those things. It might not be (at all) canon but it certainly is cool.

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Clay mostali aka dwarves: IMO they are born pretty much as organic beings, but after orientation training, they may receive implants as boosters or replacements for existing organs.

While mostali go into the rock gizzards of trolls, they are deliciously easy to digest, releasing euphoria-inducing stuff. That's different from the golem puppets I have seen above.

 

Iron mostali: Not true mostali, created by the eight senior castes after Mostal stopped to respond, presumably after the release of Death by Eurmal. Designed to take losses, thus from the onset easily as numerous as the eight original castes, and production in the main dwarfen stronghold in the Spike in all likelihood ongoing until that stronghold perished along with the Spike. Think Saruman's production of Uruk Hai in the Peter Jackson movie.

Unlike @jajagappaI am not quite certain whether there were that few Iron mostali surviving. For a while I wasn't sure whether there were any iron clay mostali at all, or whether the iron models continue to use the inferior Mostali method of construction (which would exempt them from the hilarious clay dwarf use of mortars and pistils, and make replacement a lot harder).

But than, an iron mostali many times repaired and upgraded may be almost indistinguishable from some other dwarfen construct, and even if of the clay variety may be no longer in possession of any reproductive functionality. Other than in the smithies, wear and tear is extreme on the iron caste.

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