From: David Cake (davidc@cyllene.uwa.edu.au)
Date: Wed 07 Jan 1998 - 08:25:12 EET

I find myself ganging up on Stephen, along with Peter M, Dave Pearton,
Sandy etc. (good company!)
>These spells (Shape Metal, Mold Rock, Animate Warrior of "Stone") do not
>seem, to me, to be Rock Mostali secrets -- they seem to be generic
>dwarf-type spells.

        Flintnail has Stabilise Masonry, which is generally restricted to
the Rock Mostali caste. Its obvious that the Flintnail cult uses Rock
Mostali magics, not Quicksilver - I can't recall a reference to them using
alchemy at all, while it is well documented that they are both masons and
users of masonry related magics.
        Apart from the obvious evidence in favour of the Flintnail cult
being descended from Rock Mostali, might I just add that I don't understand
the desire to conflate all famous Mostali in the dragon pass area into the
same person? What evidence is there that Flintnail and Isidilian are the
same other than a single rumour? While there is both a reasonable amount of
evidence, and many good reasons why they are not likely to be the same
        What evidence is there that Flintnail and Isidilian are the same
person? I know of none, only rumour.

>it seems obvious that either:
>1) they know how to make other dwarsf; or

        Much as humans know how to make other humans, you mean? While
conventional Mostali society has an obsessive dislike and disgust of sex
and perform it only out of 'duty' (obligatory comparisons to Victorians
here), it is how dwarves reproduce nonetheless. I dare say quite a few of
them are capable of working it out for themselves. I imagine the dwarves of
the Flintnail cult have worked out the use of their 'mortars' and 'pestles'
and produce dwarves in a surprisingly conventional manner. The idea that
Mostali must be 'made' is a religious fiction, designed to conceal the
disgust that Mostali feel that they themselves are created by Growing, not
Making (we see here the insights into the self-loathing, common to most
austere religions, that Mostali must feel at being of necessity Grown
beings, not true Made beings like the true Mostali).

        And as for dwarven immortality - I've always been a wee bit
suspicious that there is slightly more to it. I think its quite possible
that the Immortality that all non-apostate Mostali experience is quite
possibly given a little magical helping hand, in the form of Immortality
spells (the special requirement of the spell being strict adherence to the
Mostali way, of course). The difference between apostasy and immortality
then comes down to whether you are able to convince enough of those who
know the Immortality techniques that you are OK, as long as you don't stray
enough from the path that the spell is no longer castable.




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