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Ten Thousand Iron Dwarves


Erol of Backford

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During the Iron Wars dwarves participated a good bit? I assume the Ten Thousand Iron Dwarves came from not only Dwarf Mine but other locations surrounding?

Stone – a dwarf, Isidilian the Wise, Quicksilver Mostali whose primary contribution was his advice; and the judicious lending strange weapons. His representative was the dwarf named Arapan the Counter.

The Dwarf Army at Arapan’s Summons – full ten thousand of them as if from nowhere.

Would there not have been dwarven settlements, even just temporary ones where the 10,000 were stagged, possibly connected via tunnels under the Stormwalk Mountains?

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Iron dwarfs are stored in stasis and deployed when needed. The world machine has a fast dwarf dispensing system. The only system that comes near it are the Star Wars droid dropships.

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Search the Glorantha Resource Site: https://wellofdaliath.chaosium.com. Search the Glorantha mailing list archives: https://glorantha.steff.in/digests/

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Once the Decamony declared Zistor as a menace to be purged, a ten thousand dwarf army is not such a big force, and the tunnels of the dwarves connect most of their main strongholds, Dwarf Run has a few thousand dwarves, but Greatway has 100.000, so a 10.000 army is not out of place, and there is a traditional collaboration between Isidilian the wise and the Greatway dwarves. Taking part in the war may well be the reason why Openhandism became tacitly accepted by the Decamony.

That would also explain why there is no mentionof the Nidan Pike and shot regiments, and the mix of openhandism and individualism justifies all kinds of gadgets, both useless and useful. Though ptactically nothing remain as the dwarves were the last to leave, after stripping anything useful and booby-trapping the rest of the Clanking City.

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6 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

Do dwarves hero quest and moreover are they not really god learners? Possibly they were fighting against the clanking ruins due to jealously?

Heroquest involves dealing in forces of the Other Side which is Bad in Dwarven eyes.  The magics of the material world are best - iron, blackpowder and naphtha.

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1 hour ago, metcalph said:

Heroquest involves dealing in forces of the Other Side which is Bad in Dwarven eyes.  The magics of the material world are best - iron, blackpowder and naphtha.

Perhaps "heroquester" is the wrong word, I meant Dwarves from other ages, pouring through the breach in the compromise. In human terms this would be a heroquest. In Dwarven terms, navigating the world machine to reach an important objective?

8 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

Do dwarves hero quest and moreover are they not really god learners? Possibly they were fighting against the clanking ruins due to jealously?

Surely visits to the other side are required to gather knowledge and apply corrective procedures to the world machine?

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16 hours ago, JRE said:

a ten thousand dwarf army is not such a big force, and the tunnels of the dwarves connect most of their main strongholds, Dwarf Run has a few thousand dwarves, but Greatway has 100.000, so a 10.000 army is not out of place

And there's another 35k at Gemborg in Caladraland (not to mention another 30k in Imther and 80k in Jord just up the tunnel from Greatway) so plenty of dwarf strongholds to gather from.

On 9/11/2022 at 6:30 PM, Erol of Backford said:

Would there not have been dwarven settlements, even just temporary ones where the 10,000 were stagged, possibly connected via tunnels under the Stormwalk Mountains?

You could stage on any of the islands of God Forgot.

Gemborg would go through tunnels via the Vent, the Iron Fort, and on to the Machine Ruins.  As for tunnels from Greatway, it would depend on whether they go via Dwarf Run or Boldhome (even before Boldhome there may have been some dwarf settlement here).  They might run under Heortland (but if so, deep enough that you'd not have any visibility to them as they'd effectively be below sea-level) or might go through some section of the Gods World (ala dragonewt roads).

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36 minutes ago, Erol of Backford said:

So does anyone have a theoretical dwarven tunnel system they sketched up and is willing to share for discussion's sake? Dwarf Knoll to Pavis, Boldhome to the Clanking City, etc.? I suppose the tunnels are everywhere and when they are not in regular use they have constructs and traps guarding them from the krarshtkids?

Any such underground structure need to take into account the thrid dimension. Dwarf tunnels may include endless stairwells or ladders. As you pointed out, the Underground holds hostile volume occupied by Krarsht aad her get, and by the trolls, and there are realms of enclosed liquid fire or enclosed water to avoid, too.

While you're underground, you might as well take a loan from Jules Verne or Hollow World theories and insert lost world bubbles, either refuges from the Gods War, or bits of the Surface World that "fell down" during the Gods War and now are encysted below.

There is also a possibility that lomg-distance Mostali tunnels may disobey topography and distances. The tunnel to the lost workroom beneath Curustus was of this nature, and evidently ignored the consequences of the Breakinf of the World.

 

Looking at the routes suggested above, I don't see why the God Learner fortress Ironfort in the Rightarm Isles should be connected to any dwarfen network, unless there was a dwarf assault at some time. And given the troll assault on the God Learner city of Lylket from tunnels below the city, how ignorant could the God Learners have been? It isn't even funny after the first time, which makes "Trickster made them do it" a weak excuse.

Build a temple on a sleeping dragon once is inexperience. Not checking for sleeping dragons under similar structures afterwards is criminal negligence.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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The Guide, page 89 says the dwarven population of Holy Country is at 35,000. As they are in Gemborg would there be tunnels from there to Nochet and if so where would it run to in Nochet, the Library basements?

33 minutes ago, Joerg said:

I don't see why the God Learner fortress Ironfort in the Rightarm Isles should be connected to any dwarfen network, unless there was a dwarf assault at some time.

I wasn't thinking they'd have a tunnel to Ironfort but fairly close so that they "appeared as if from nowhere"...

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20 hours ago, EricW said:

Perhaps "heroquester" is the wrong word, I meant Dwarves from other ages, pouring through the breach in the compromise. In human terms this would be a heroquest. In Dwarven terms, navigating the world machine to reach an important objective?

Surely visits to the other side are required to gather knowledge and apply corrective procedures to the world machine?

In my view the only dwarves to heroquest are the Individualists, but even then it is rare. Following the techniques Chark the liberator learnt from Arkat, and that reinforce the sense of self. So if you want I would have no problem with Isidilian doing it. But normal dwarves no, as their concern is the material world, and the Godtime is just a bunch of dead powerful guys (including theirs, and you can contact true mostali in the God time), So even though contacting mostali in the god time could help the dwarves, they do not do it, except for extreme outlyers.

I suspect that is the reason behind Isidilian surprising power and influence, and why some sources consider him a Mostali, as he is heroquesting into Quicksilver mostalhood.

IMG the success of the repairs to the World Machine means the needed entities are ressurrected (see our success with the Moon. Now she just needs a cosmetic color change!) and all the rest will be cut from the world and forgotten / consigned to Oblivion. Just bring iliteracy and make people forget, and the myths become inaccessible.

On a similar vein, I consider Greatway not trading with Dragon Pass or simply interferring with politics there is one of Isidilian plots, as he has Greatway, and possibly the whole Decamony, convinced that Dragon Pass is still free of humans, as that is what the repair schedule says. So if there are no humans, there can be no trade. Meanwhile he manipulates the Lunars and the Sartarites while waiting for the next step in the schedule, when the Flood will push most of the people in Kethaela to the Pass and ideally annihilate themselves and those pesky trolls and elves. I am not sure where the dragonewts fit in the World Machine, but I suspect they should be gone before the repairs end, so they may be in the annihilation list as well.

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11 minutes ago, JRE said:

I suspect that is the reason behind Isidilian surprising power and influence, and why some sources consider him a Mostali, as he is heroquesting into Quicksilver mostalhood.

Isildilian *is* a True Mostali, not a dwarf heroquestor.

Quote

Dwarf Mine: The home of an unusually
friendly Mostali and his dwarves, the Dwarf
Mine was a member of the Unity Council.
The population was approximately 100
dwarves and one Mostali.

Guide to Glorantha p708

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

So does anyone have a theoretical dwarven tunnel system they sketched up and is willing to share for discussion's sake? Dwarf Knoll to Pavis, Boldhome to the Clanking City, etc.? I suppose the tunnels are everywhere and when they are not in regular use they have constructs and traps guarding them from the krarshtkids?

In my Dwarf Prax adventure, the whole of outpost 37 (a huge sphere) returns to the Greatway through its dedicated underground tunnel pulled by dinosaurs (per the dino/dwarf illo in the Guide). The circular tunnel is 1000m in diameter, to allow for the jolanti distribution system. 

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I propose one of the Mostali problem is that they do not do so. The Decamony cannot be wrong, so the current schedule and blueprints cannot be disputed. 

So they are working from incomplete blueprints, recollections of the pre-Dawn diamondswarves and the few true Mostali, and lots of imagination. And stubbornness. Refusing to check the Godtime, among other things.

That is why I like the idea of some individualists doing so, having a better idea of what the target is, and manipulating the decamony and other mortals to make it so.

And IMG Isidilian became a Mostali within time, precisely by heroquesting back.

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12 hours ago, Erol of Backford said:

So does anyone have a theoretical dwarven tunnel system they sketched up and is willing to share for discussion's sake? Dwarf Knoll to Pavis, Boldhome to the Clanking City, etc.? I suppose the tunnels are everywhere and when they are not in regular use they have constructs and traps guarding them from the krarshtkids?

I wouldn't worry too much about it.  If PC's find themselves in one of these tunnel/system complexes, you can pretty much imagine any number of components as Joerg and David note above.  My PC's ended up in dwarf tunnels leading into Boldhome that effectively cut under the mountains to the west.  Lots of smaller tunnels in a grid pattern with occasional diagonals cutting through (e.g. something like the Chicago street grid pattern).  Grooves inset into the tunnel floors for self-propelled (or Jolanti propelled) metal "wagons".  Occasional "decorations" on the walls (e.g. warning notices, instructions, etc written in Mostali).

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

I wonder whether there are Mostali traveling into the Godtime to study the blueprints of the World Machine in action

Shouldn’t that be “inaction”? Let us take that stasis rune seriously. Here’s Wittgenstein in the Nachlass:

Quote

A queer label on a book: “This book must be read in this room.” … That label on a library book & the remark that I once actually read as an addendum to a set of room regulations: “These rules must not be violated” are just as ineffective as the machine my father once invented & whose ineffectiveness he first did not realize see. It was supposed to be a road roller. The working cylinder is fastened inside the roller, & in this way the whole thing is of course a rigid system whose parts cannot move against each other.

I imagine the Mostali World Machine as being like that: “It will be fixed when no gear any longer turns.” Mostali and their lesser constructs are dangerous: if you see one, remove its batteries or stick a fork in its USB socket.
 

roller.png

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Stasis is associated with alchemy and construction, so Stasis as a rune presumably doesn't signify total immobility, as alchemy necessarily involves transmutations and buildings are stable because they are not static, but move to counter the forces acting on them. Arches, the shape of Stasis, are an exemplary example of this. 

(Also, on the pragmatic observational level, Mostali claim involvement with the Red Moon's construction and that's clearly a new thing in Glorantha which could not have been part of the World Machine.)

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Though a Lunar through and through, she is also a human being.

Eight Arms and the Mask

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Stasis doesn't stand for the absence of motion, but for the absence of irreversible or unontrolled Change. The daily rotation of the Sky Dome is Motion as the Maker meant it to be.

Making is an acceptable form of irreversible but controlled Change. So is Transmutation of Matter, or refining of Matter.

Energy as much as the Void outside of the world is the potential for Change, but good Mostali creations will harness the energy into stabilizing Matter, especially Made Matter.

Procuring ten thousand Iron Dwarfs is the Mostali equivalent of re-enacting the Gods War. Doing so inside ten years of conflict is a tight schedule, and it might be a good thing that the veterans among the ten thousand managed to handle Renvald as an example pour encourager les autres. I suspect that there may have been plenty raw recruits among the host showing up from below.

 

Nobody is talking about all those non-Iron dwarfs invested in this venture. Hundreds of Rock Dwarfs to create and maintain the access tunnel, several teams of Lead Dwarfs to handle water seals, a whole bunch of Quicksilver kitchen workers, gremlin and nilmerg Tin handlers, Gold foremen, and Silver sorcerers taking down God Learner wards, and Brass dwarfs recycling those geared prayer combination machines.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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50 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Stasis doesn't stand for the absence of motion … The daily rotation of the Sky Dome is Motion as the Maker meant it to be.

It absolutely does mean “a state that does not change”. Of course, one thing’s being static doesn’t mean everything else is: if day length is fixed at 24 hours, that is static, but the planet isn’t.

Don’t fall for the propaganda, the Mostali are aiming for total shutdown/perfection — probably at zero Kelvin. There may be some purely localised and temporary increases in motion, but they are playing the long game. Eliminate organic components. Build the big OFF switch. Flick it!

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2 hours ago, Eff said:

Also, on the pragmatic observational level, Mostali claim involvement with the Red Moon's construction and that's clearly a new thing in Glorantha which could not have been part of the World Machine.

Hmm … So what do you think they are/were up to with that?

Rufelza — Red Moon 1.0? — was present in Godtime, so I guess it depends how seriously one takes Godtime simultaneity. On the face of it, you would expect the Mostali to be opposed to anything requiring the detonation of the Spike, but maybe (a) they don’t think of the unexploded Spike as a prior state to that bit of Godtime with Rufelza in it (they have a theory of some kind of superposition?), or (b) their plan is to wind the tape backwards to a point of perfection, so Rufelza has to be there ready to merge back into the Spike in its recreation/reverse explosion. I don’t know.

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15 minutes ago, mfbrandi said:

Hmm … So what do you think they are/were up to with that?

Getting the chunk of Earth up into the Air.  When the transformation is complete (i.e. the sky/moon path construction is complete), then the skin of the moon can be shed and the white moon (orbiter) can proceed to roll along its cyclical path through sky and underworld.

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2 hours ago, jajagappa said:

the white moon (orbiter) can proceed to roll along its cyclical path through sky and underworld

Hmm … that seems to me either to be going forward or not winding things back far enough. This from the Gods of Glorantha Cults Book (p. 6):

Quote

 

Pre-Creation

Dwarf—The World Machine
Before creation the World Machine, personified as Mostal by the ignorant, is set into motion. This event, which dwarfs alone still remember, begins all the impersonal processes which make the world.

 

That for me is the fall for the Mostali: the World Machine was there, perfect — and therefore static — before creation, but some idiot/catastrophe set it in motion producing the world with all its chaos, entropy, change, air, and life. All these things are anathema and must be eradicated.

If anyone asks, we are just “making sure the world runs smoothly again” or “getting things back on track to completion per the Great Blueprint: progress; condominiums and cable TV for all; trust me, you’ll love it.” But we know the only way to prevent the parts wearing — becoming increasingly imperfect — is to stop them moving. The plant things know we want them gone, but the flesh things are too stupid to realise what will happen to them when we unmake the air and collapse sky and earth back together — and don’t you go telling them!

Think of the World Machine as the Cosmic Dragon: setting the machine in motion is the equivalent of the first utuma, but rather than being required by duty, it is the first and worst mistake.

Edited by mfbrandi
grammar
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1 hour ago, mfbrandi said:

Hmm … So what do you think they are/were up to with that?

Rufelza — Red Moon 1.0? — was present in Godtime, so I guess it depends how seriously one takes Godtime simultaneity. On the face of it, you would expect the Mostali to be opposed to anything requiring the detonation of the Spike, but maybe (a) they don’t think of the unexploded Spike as a prior state to that bit of Godtime with Rufelza in it (they have a theory of some kind of superposition?), or (b) their plan is to wind the tape backwards to a point of perfection, so Rufelza has to be there ready to merge back into the Spike in its recreation/reverse explosion. I don’t know.

Rufelza is a name that only is used for the Moon that rose in 1247 ST. There's an entity called "Sedenya" in the Glorious ReAscent of Yelm, which is one of the false suns, associated with the city of Mernita, but the celestial entity that hung over Mernita is the Blue Moon, with power over water, shattered by the Bow of Lukarius, etc. 

There was the Verithurusa planet, which was originally white and turned red after an encounter with Umath/a descent into the Underworld, which was also true of the Shargash planet, though that planet may have originally been green. But this planet is called a planet in the celestial lore and fell from the sky very quickly. There is also the dark red Artia planet, which you might think would be a moon given that the Dara Happan name is feminine... but the Artia planet was not understood as a planet/moon/mobile celestial body until after the Sunstop, so it also would not have been a Godtime moon even if it is technically a moon. 

The Red Moon that hangs in the sky is associated with Natha, who has no known celestial body otherwise, and this seems like an extension of the red-and-black pattern used to depict Natha in artwork. 

That aside, I think that there are very clear limits on how well we can understand any given Mostali group's goals, ambitions, and beliefs simply because the Mostali have been seen primarily as a repository for a complex of ideas Greg Stafford disliked in the world which he associated with the mechanistic/clockwork dwarves he began with. Extant texts on the Mostali editorialize on their perversity and on how any dwarf you encounter who seems personable or like a human being must be a heretical if not broken dwarf, defining Mostali orthodoxy as anti-human. 

However, critically reading the sources, Mostali do not behave in a purely antihuman fashion. This creates a tension between the assumptions of the text about Mostali and the raw facts of what the text is reporting. 

So with that in mind, I think that in order to understand you need to invent, and you would first need to invent an understanding of the World Machine that doesn't leave Mostali as an impending apocalyptic threat to all existence, in the same way that Uz have had enough work done to prevent them from becoming a purely eschatological threat of being devoured completely in the future. I have not done that, personally, but in vague terms, I think that the World Machine is presumably more of a worldview than a physical arrangement, such that new things may be built or added or accepted if they move the world closer to the world-machine-state, whatever that is. 

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Though a Lunar through and through, she is also a human being.

Eight Arms and the Mask

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