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David Scott

Glorantha technology and Glorantha material technology

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On 4/3/2018 at 2:52 PM, David Scott said:

But we know they must have these as there's not another way for the transmission to work in a mill. Unless you know of a primitive technology to do this. I believe that wooden toothed cogs in mills exist. Metal ones with teeth are the domain of the Dwarfs.

IIRC we've been through the whole windmill thing before and they are not Gloranthan except that one picture by William Church. As for horizontal windmills...

Yes, IIRC Greg's answer at that time made them equivalent to a Buddhist prayer wheel: a sacred offering to Orlanth that turns in the wind, a tradition of the Old Wind Temple. "Daddy, daddy, buy me the cute little windmill with the blue top, and that I can put there for Orlanth to remember Uncle Koschei when he blows'. The larges ones the efforts of whole clans: 'We cannot wipe away the stain of Kinstrife, but when Orlanth's wind moves these sails we hope he will think to favor us still.'

But, importantly, they not connected to axles and gears, and no one uses them to turn the wind into mechanical power to grind corn.

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19 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Here's the recent Swenstown picture I was thinking of... Barrels, bales, baskets...

 

merchant-caravan-4.jpg

 

So I would always be careful with art. Not all the artists are Gloranthan experts. The editor doesn't always go through and remove all the technology that isn't time period appropriate etc. We do the best job we can but...  Hell, art gets reused for financial reasons, so we have AS looking Orlanthi in The Eleven Lights in places, because we reused some earlier art even though their look had been redefined by HeroQuest Glorantha and The Coming Storm.

Given the history of publishing, you have to react to what something like the Guide says, over detecting clues elsewhere.

And anyway, that Goldentongue Merchant who purchased those barrels from the Dwarf of Dwarf Run, swears to me that he got his monies worth.

BTW Without Iron bindings (bronze would not work) then a barrel would be bound with wooden withies from top to bottom. The barrels depicted in that Swenstown scene are bound with iron - making them tremendously expensive examples of dwarf work. They must contain some sort of alchemical substance purchased from the dwarf, to make such expense wortwhile

 

 

Edited by Ian Cooper
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28 minutes ago, Ian Cooper said:

 

BTW Without Iron bindings (bronze would not work) then a barrel would be bound with wooden withies from top to bottom. The barrels depicted in that Swenstown scene are bound with iron - making them tremendously expensive examples of dwarf work. They must contain some sort of alchemical substance purchased from the dwarf, to make such expense wortwhile

 

 

Preservative or Fermentive magics? Though the latter is well known. The dwarf barrels = stasis = makes a bunch of sense to me.

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To my simplistic eyes, it's a barrel therefore it works. As a GM, I don't really care whether a barrel needs iron or bronze, as a player I don't care about why a barrel works, it just works.

Edited by soltakss

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2 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

BTW Without Iron bindings (bronze would not work) then a barrel would be bound with wooden withies from top to bottom. The barrels depicted in that Swenstown scene are bound with iron - making them tremendously expensive examples of dwarf work. They must contain some sort of alchemical substance purchased from the dwarf, to make such expense wortwhile

The barrels in the picture are bound with some kind of brown stuff, likely Gloranthan bronze dulled with wear. Gloranthan bronze has different properties that terrestrial bronze and so for fantasy purposes it's ideal for some cultures to make barrels with. Bronze bound barrels aren't so common as Redsmiths spend much of their time making much more profitable weapons and armour for adventurers. Many foreigners not familiar with this often assume they are the much rarer dwarf type bound with enchanted iron so as not to affect magic in their vicinity. Many a fool has stolen them expecting to find black powder or rare alchemical substances only to be disappointed by salted anchovies or cheese. Barrels like these are maintained by repair spells unless you have a bored redsmith to hand or an even rarer cooper.

Edited by David Scott

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Windmills:

3 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

But, importantly, they not connected to axles and gears, and no one uses them to turn the wind into mechanical power to grind corn.

The ones at Old Wind aren't. Things may be different in Brithini colonies, e.g. in God Forgot.

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With regard to barrel making, an interesting detail is that Dara Happa has Alfostios, the god of coopers, featured on the Gods Wall.

So many Genertelans may have only picked up the barrel through solar influence.

 

Now, this may still imply a dwarven origin, as Alfostios' is part of the ten sons of Lodril, a group depicted on the Gods Wall as short craftsmen (and back in the old sketch were given very angular features.) I suspect that the workers were dwarves, being led by Mostal (or Mohenjar, god of Overseers as the figure is commonly identified)

I base this partially off Lodril's working of things in steadfast (which can only be carved with adamant - a dwarven secret) and his association with dwarves in general (including another of his children, Gustbran, being taught by them)

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4 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

So I would always be careful with art. Not all the artists are Gloranthan experts. The editor doesn't always go through and remove all the technology that isn't time period appropriate etc. We do the best job we can but...  Hell, art gets reused for financial reasons, so we have AS looking Orlanthi in The Eleven Lights in places, because we reused some earlier art even though their look had been redefined by HeroQuest Glorantha and The Coming Storm.

Very true, but this art is recent, and I'm assuming that if it broke canon Jeff would have had the artist cover the barrels with boxes or bales.

Barrels are fairly ancient tech. Herodotus mentions palm-wood casks - now, those weren't exactly barrels in form or construction; the Egyptians had open-ended casks even earlier, but the first true barrels date back quite a way.

4 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

BTW Without Iron bindings (bronze would not work) then a barrel would be bound with wooden withies from top to bottom. The barrels depicted in that Swenstown scene are bound with iron - making them tremendously expensive examples of dwarf work. They must contain some sort of alchemical substance purchased from the dwarf, to make such expense worthwhile

Our bronze wouldn't, but Gloranthan bronze seems to have distinct qualities.

On one of the Facebook groups there's a fairly lively debate going on about stirrups, and cavalry rode and fought with lances and kontos centuries before the stirrup was introduced.

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6 minutes ago, Tindalos said:

With regard to barrel making, an interesting detail is that Dara Happa has Alfostios, the god of coopers, featured on the Gods Wall.

II-13. Alfostios

The Cooper. He carries a saw, with a barrel beside him.

 

Good catch.

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25 minutes ago, Tindalos said:

With regard to barrel making, an interesting detail is that Dara Happa has Alfostios, the god of coopers, featured on the Gods Wall.

But coopers aren't necessarily barrel-makers (Hassidor the Cooper of Tarsh is another one - KoS p102).  I looked it up when Ian first posted and found that it could be used to a maker of buckets and other wooden containers.  The person who put the hoops on the barrel was originally the Hooper which in turn became another synonym.

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For whatever it's worth, a quick google search turns up several examples of brass-bound barrels. Personally, I'm an amphora fan, at least for Esrolia. It reinforces the Earth connection.

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3 hours ago, metcalph said:

But coopers aren't necessarily barrel-makers (Hassidor the Cooper of Tarsh is another one - KoS p102).  I looked it up when Ian first posted and found that it could be used to a maker of buckets and other wooden containers.  The person who put the hoops on the barrel was originally the Hooper which in turn became another synonym.

True, although Alfostios is depicted with a barrel.

A pithos may be more in theme (and certainly the two have been confused, such as with Diogenes' place of residence)

The Mostali probably use metal drums as well, like a larger version of their tin cans.

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1 hour ago, Mark Mohrfield said:

For whatever it's worth, a quick google search turns up several examples of brass-bound barrels. Personally, I'm an amphora fan, at least for Esrolia. It reinforces the Earth connection.

Brass outside dwarf tunnels is I think problematic too, as its a later invention, around 500BC. I think its a secret of the mostali.

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28 minutes ago, Ian Cooper said:

Brass outside dwarf tunnels is I think problematic too, as its a later invention, around 500BC. I think its a secret of the mostali.

But it is possible that Gloranthan brass occurs naturally as does Gloranthan bronze. Even if it is a Mostali only product, it's probably cheaper than iron.

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3 hours ago, Tindalos said:

True, although Alfostios is depicted with a barrel.

The item he is depicted with is described as a barrel but it is much smaller, the hoops are far wider and also have a visible break in them.  As well as the brazen hoops already mentioned, I'm seeing references to wooden hoops (also known as withes).  I think the classic barrels are a recent invention gloranthically.

These are the best examples I could find.

 

Antique Firkin Lard Bucket Barrel Primitive Old Patina 8 Finger Lap Bands, RARE

 

Image result for wooden hooped barrels

 

Edited by metcalph
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2 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

Brass outside dwarf tunnels is I think problematic too, as its a later invention, around 500BC. I think its a secret of the mostali.

Copper-zinc alloys have been known off since the third millennium according to wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brass#Early_copper_zinc_alloys) although they weren't as good as the Brass made in roman times.  

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I asked our resident archaeologist about barrels, and she said we know they were around by 500 BC or so, but could have been much older since barrels are pretty unlikely to be identified in a dig site (and even if it was,  it is not exactly a common focus of any report, so we need to await some intrepid grad student to do their doctoral thesis is earliest examples of barrel making in the Danubian Culture or some equally exciting project for us to even become aware of it). She is pretty dismissive that it was a "Celtic Innovation".

My art direction was that they were wooden barrels and amphora in the marketplace.

 

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5 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

Brass outside dwarf tunnels is I think problematic too, as its a later invention, around 500BC. I think its a secret of the mostali.

Brass is the mixture of sky metal with earth metal that resulted from Lodril's descent. It is not a copper-zunc compound (in terrestrial actuality an alloy of two such compounds) in Glorantha, just bronze with a different mythic background. Lodril wasn't necessarily born that way, but became so through his fusion with his wrestling partner or environment, but his sons inherited that trait.

5 hours ago, Mark Mohrfield said:

But it is possible that Gloranthan brass occurs naturally as does Gloranthan bronze. Even if it is a Mostali only product, it's probably cheaper than iron.

There are the Brass Mountains in Carmania, the main source for bronze in the western half of the Empire..

Alphostius would be the bucket-maker, for transport of mud and sludge that defies transport in baskets (the common container for carrying excavated material), probably scooping up the sludge directly with the bucket. The Ten Sons and Servants are the irrigation workers for the Dara Happan rice fields. I don't think that they are dwarves, their diminuitive size indicates their lowly status.

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

Brass is the mixture of sky metal with earth metal that resulted from Lodril's descent.

Whoah, hang on. This is just supposition, isn't it?

The brass/bronze thing has always been a mess as people try and reconcile absence (lore) with prevalence (names), from Elder Secrets' intentional contrariness (albeit not on this issue), through the Tales-era conflation (carried on into HeroQuest 1st ed.) to the Guide staying shtum.

I'm not against it, but...

P.S. Anyway. As long as you all allow for there to be enough technology for me to be able to read my copy of The Far Point Roof-sharpeners' Trade Magazine in peace, I don't really mind.

P.P.S. Also, with the increasingly explicit association of gold with the Fire rune (Guide, p. 16)—as opposed to earlier, hazier associations with 'light'—I'm hesitant to push Lodril firmly into the sky-metal camp.

Edited by Quackatoa
Couldn't be arsed making a new post, soz!

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10 minutes ago, Quackatoa said:

Whoah, hang on. This is just supposition, isn't it?

Yes it is, supposition that started from around 1994 when the interchangeability of brass and bronze was touted (by Nick Brooke, IIRC, apparently following work he did on Carmania with Greg - look where to find the Brass Mountains, and look whose myths are dominant for that region - Turos).

Lodril himself may be of pure sky origin, his mountain sons like Quivin or his worker sons (presumably by Oria) are mixed sky and earth, to say the least. So what metal would you expect from their bones? Some kind of bronze. When did this crop up? Probably even before the Biirth of Umath, Plentonic dating gives Lodril's descent for 25,000 YT and Umath's birth for 40,000 YT.

(But then, it is entirely possible to regard Lodril's descent as Aether's insemination of Gata, leading to the birth of Umath just 15k pre-Time years later.)

It is quite likely that the Mostali encountered brass (volcanic bronze) in the deep in that long time before the birth of Umath. That would explain why they have a brass caste, but not a bronze caste.

Where do we find this? All over the place, where storm and mountain champions as well as rank and file battled it out - if they used RuneQuest rules, lost limbs would have been plenty. Orlanth is the only son of Umath with a known fondness for mountains due to his mother, compare Stormwalk and Storm Bull's history there.

Bertalor's Lo-metal would be better named after Lorion rather than Lodril, IMO. While volcanoes may produce floating pumice now and then, there is no logical or mythological connection between them and floating Sea Metal, whether in liquid or in solid form.

10 minutes ago, Quackatoa said:

The brass/bronze thing has always been a mess as people try and reconcile absence (lore) with prevalence (names), from Elder Secrets' intentional contrariness (albeit not on this issue), through the Tales-era conflation (carried on into HeroQuest 1st ed.) to the Guide staying shtum.

I'm not against it, but...

We have a couple such problematic names from the Lunar battalia. The Steel Sword legion, for instance. Evidence for Gloranthan steel, or just another name for expensive dwarven iron used to equip an entire bodyguard unit? I go for "just another name".

A lot of ancient terrestrial alloys are missing from Gloranthan canon, like pewter (tin and lead, what you would expect from the outer world where the sky bowl and the underworld sky bowl meet), arsenic copper, electrum (equal parts gold and silver, the first metal coinage) or the yellow and red varieties of 18 karat gold (white followed a lot later, Donaldson's Lord Foul cycle nonwithstanding).

 

10 minutes ago, Quackatoa said:

P.S. Anyway. As long as you all allow for there to be enough technology for me to be able to read my copy of The Far Point Roof-sharpeners' Trade Magazine in peace, I don't really mind.

So wood-cuts are a thing in North Sartar? Or would that have to be made with rolling sigils?

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3 hours ago, Quackatoa said:

P.P.S. Also, with the increasingly explicit association of gold with the Fire rune (Guide, p. 16)—as opposed to earlier, hazier associations with 'light'—I'm hesitant to push Lodril firmly into the sky-metal camp.

For what it's worth, in my Glorantha I do pretty much what Edan Jones does, with the Fire-metal–Earth-metal mix, though I perhaps don't use the term 'brass' much. Serpentspine is one of the more common names in my Caladraland, on account of veins being found in the centre of the greatest primordial lava flows that slithered and crawled down the mountains.

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

So wood-cuts are a thing in North Sartar? Or would that have to be made with rolling sigils?

Elf skin.

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Lodril himself may be of pure sky origin, his mountain sons like Quivin or his worker sons (presumably by Oria) are mixed sky and earth, to say the least. So what metal would you expect from their bones? Some kind of bronze. When did this crop up? Probably even before the Biirth of Umath, Plentonic dating gives Lodril's descent for 25,000 YT and Umath's birth for 40,000 YT.

(But then, it is entirely possible to regard Lodril's descent as Aether's insemination of Gata, leading to the birth of Umath just 15k pre-Time years later.)

"Brass" as "upland bronze" in this context is an insight to conjure with. Storm metal where the word for "storm" is "lowfire."

Who is Lodril's wife in the Holy Country?

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19 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

"Brass" as "upland bronze" in this context is an insight to conjure with. Storm metal where the word for "storm" is "lowfire."

Who is Lodril's wife in the Holy Country?

Esrola, at least until she yielded to Argan Argar.

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24 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

Esrola, at least until she yielded to Argan Argar.

Thanks! And as we all know, she is a completely and utterly different personage from the Asrelia or "Ezela" who loved Orlanth's dad but is not Orlanth's mom.

Edited by scott-martin

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