On the Making of Clay Mostali

From: Erik Sieurin (BV9521@bhs.utb.hb.se)
Date: Tue 27 Jan 1998 - 23:06:27 EET

The basic components in this process is a lifeclay body, a large
amount of vat melange, a protodwarf module and brain extract from the
correct type of dwarf.

You also need a homunculus vat, an aetheric activator, an
athanoric chamber, and an awakening device.

Most importantly, you need dwarven workers. A whole team of them: a
Tin with several assistants for the basic process, a Quicksilver for
creating the necessary fluids and earths, a Brass to regulate the
heating of the athanoric chamber, one Gold to properly awaken the
new-made dwarf, another Gold to record the process and set up files
for the new-made, and finally one of the ubiquitos (sp?) Silvers, to
fiddle with the magic-enchancing equipment and look mysterious.
Following the usual dwarven practice, the one with the most
(recognized) experience will be the Foreman, regardless of his part
in the process.

As usual, there will probably be a couple of trainees
nearby as well, eagerly memorising every step in the process. If you
are unlucky, they will have their Gold pedagogue with them, loudly
explaining everything you do as you do it, and sometimes interrupting
you and asking you to do what you did again, though more slowly, so
that the trainees (_his_ craftsgoods!) will learn properly.

The process is as can be seen a precious one, and dwarfs are only
produced for positions which cannot be filled by homunculi, jolanti,
machinae, human slaves (among Openhandists) or vegetative slaves
(among Vegetarians).

First, a Quicksilver expert in lifeclay will mix up a large amount of
this precious substance. The basic substance is the finest clay
imaginable, which is then reduced until it reaches the Original
State, wherein spontaneous production of life is possible. Such clay
is easily affected by stray aetheric entities ; if one of them hits
it, almost any life can start to build spontaneously, usually the
most primtive form of Darkness creatures - strange worms and maggots,
who die shortly, or moulds and fungi. As a result, it must be
protected within an aludel isolated by a Stabilize Potion formula at
all times. Since this is impossible during the actual molding phase,
the area is then insulated by an Anti-etheric Warding Field.

This Lifeclay is then shaped into a dwarven form. Each important
organ must be made separately and imbedded in the basic body. The
organs must be perfectly shaped. To these, minute amounts of the
Eight Minerals are added - Rock for the bones, Lead for the air and
blood vessels, Quicksilver for the stomach, etc, etc. Iron Dwarves
get minute amount of Iron as well, added to their brain to make them
enamored of destruction and mayhem, unlike other dwarves. While
adding Iron, the clayshaper must wear a protective lead mask to avoid
breathing in the mixture of Essential Iron and lifeclay particles.

This step is really being taken at approximately the same time as
step one, since it is done by different dwarves.

A Tin dwarf will set up the vat, which is made by enchanted glass
with several hermetic valves, and place it in the athanoric chamber.
It is then filled with vat melange, which is created from water being
reduced by alchemy until it is almost darkness (and thus opaque)
mixed with the same basic nourishing earths which are used to create
dwarven food. The ratio of these earths to the amount of water depend
on how long the homunculus is supposed to gestate: Rock Dwarves need
large amounts of water due to their sturdy bodies, but since they
will only gestate for a few years, they do not need that much
nourishment. Silver Dwarves, otoh, will gestate for longer, but need
much less water to gestate in.

The vat is allowed to gain the correct temperature in the athanoric
chamber, a process which can take months and is known as
pregestation. Meanwhile the melange starts to develop from darkness
through water towards earth, following the natural process of
elemental evolution, and it becomes first clear, then again
opaque and slime-like. Then, when the correct temperature is reached,
the vat is carefully opened and is ready for the placement of the
body within, but first the body must be inseminated and primed.

The insemination needs the participation of two dwarves of each sex,
which work with their 'mortar' and 'pestle', until a protodwarf
module is created - a small, wormlike mucus-lump which is quickly
placed in a sealed and constantly warmed lead container. Any extra
sperm produced by the pestle dwarf is carefully collected and
preserved for the production of nilmergs, gobblers and similar
servant creatures. The two dwarves should preferrably be of the same
basic type as the dwarf-to-be, but that is not always possible to to
works schedules and such.

The priming uses brain substance from a dwarf of the correct kind,
sometimes taken while the dwarf is alive (the preferred method, using
special Tin ear-extraction techniques) but sometimes from a dead
dwarf. Brains of dead broken dwarves are never used, though they
might be used for psychoreconstruction purposes. Donating brain
fluids is a good way to ensure your Foreman's goodwill, and all
Diamonds do it regularily, to enthuse the workers to do the same.

The proto-dwarf module is then placed in the genital regions of the
clay body, the brain substance is mixed with diamond dust and is
injected into the proto-brain through the eyes, and the clay body is
placed in the homunculus vat, which is then sealed.

The gestation period takes several years, and during all this time
the temperature must be constant and the process must be constantly
overseen by the responsible Tin. The melange will pass from an earth
stage into a fire stage after about two thirds of the time, and the
fluid will become luminous. At this period, an aetheric activator
must be introduced (don't forget to remind the Silver of this, for
he will usually forget about it) and its silver mesh securely tied
around the vat. Then the aetheric fields must be set into their
correct motions, so that thoughts, blood, phlegm and similar fluids
run their correct course - the same process used to revive dwarves
after the implantation of prosthetics. During this time, the sensual
organs will all be tested; if they do not react to simulated stimuli,
the whole process is deemed lost. This might break the Tin
responsible for the whole operation.

When the end of the gestation period draws near, the melange will
finally enter its air stage, becoming milky white and filled with
strands of blue mucus. The dwarf - for now it is almost a dwarf -
will start to move and flex it limbs, and although its mouth will
still be sealed from slime, it will attempt to open it to breathe.
During this whole critical phase, a Gold dwarf must be constantly
present, using an awakening device to stimulate all necessary muscles
and keeping the breathing process back as long as possible. When it
can be hold back no longer, the vat is very quickly unsealed - better
that the vat breaks than that the precious dwarf suffocates - and
then the dwarf's mouth is opened. He is quickly marked with his code
and number on the correct body parts (which these are varies from
complex to complex), and the Gold will concentrate all efforts
towards breathing.

Immediatelly after the vat has been opened, forumulaes of Life and
Mind Stabilisation are placed upon the newly-made dwarf, and it is
introduced to basic dwarven practices (eating, walking, etc) for a
period of about five weeks. Then, it is introduced to basic caste
practices, which takes another five weeks. After that, it is released
as a trainee to the place where it is needed.

There are three classic problems of dwarf production which have
puzzled dwarfs since their beginning: the need for the protodwarf
module, the limitations of priming and the enormous maintenance
requirements for lifeclay.

It has been proved that it is completely impossible to produce dwarfs
without a protodwarf module, which reveals a dependence on Growth on
the part of the True Mostali who invented the process that dwarves
find extremely unsettling. It is stated that the Vegetarian heresy is
grounded in this anomaly: the realization that Controlled Growth is
part of the World Machine, and the implementation of that realisation
on a grander scale to improve Efficiency of raw materials production.
Incidentally, other substances than dwarven sperm and ovoae have been
used to create proto-modules, with various results: the most famous
among humans, which most dwarves believe is a hoax, is the
'daughters' of Flintnail and the human-dryad hybrid Pavis. According
to anti-plutanthropic conspiracy theorists, a lot of monsters preying
on the world was bred this way as well.

The limitations on priming is another embarrasment. When creating
nilmergs, gobblers and similar slave homunculi, most or all of their
education for their special job comes from their priming. So far no
attempt to reproduce dwarven knowledge in a new dwarf the same way
has succeeded. The result invariably is more inept and useless
dwarves, like fat nilmergs. A dwarf can only be primed for his caste,
and has to be trained for his position. This increases the chances of
malfunctioning and maladjusment, and takes time and resources. Some
complexes have tried to increase the period during which the new
dwarf is placed under stabilization, but with no clear successes
either; though the training period is shortened, this drastically
decreases the production of dwarven modules so much that not much is
lost. Furthermore, since this requires a lot of Golds, and the Golds
are responsible for adjustment of mental malfunctions, it simply
means you get more malfunctions higher up within the
chain-of-command, endangering production.

Finally, many dwarves are worried about the maintenance of their clay
bodies. While it can last indefinitely while worked in tune with the
World Machine, it partially consumes its own substance all the time
and needs constant replacement of earth, air, water and fire. It is
also far more vulnerable than stone or metal, although it has been
observed that dwarves approaching diamond caste seem to petrify
without losing their flexibility and ability react to stimuli.
However, some dwarves break by petrifying while losing these
abilities, and they often seem very good candidates for diamondhood
up to that point.

"The Owl and the Pussycat went to sea, in a beautiful pea-green boat..."
>From "The Owl and the Pussycat" by Edward Lear

Erik Sieurin
Bodagatan 39, 2 tr
50742 Bor=E5s


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