Glass in Glorantha

From: Nick Brooke (
Date: Wed 11 Feb 1998 - 17:35:31 EET

Richard asks:

> What is the state of play with glass in Glorantha. Does the technology
> allow: glass ornaments and bottles; "bottle-glass" windows; clear glass=
> flat glass windows; flat mirrors; sextants (using tiny flat highly accu=
- -
> rate mirrors); re-inforced windows. How widespread is it?

Syran, a Safelstran city, is famous for being a place where glassblowing
was invented (or being near to three of them, at least), has links to a
prominent Glassmakers Guild, and still makes the best glass in the world
(with various magical properties).

=46rom your list, I'd imagine that clear glass is rare/magical, while the=

things later on the list would certainly be magical if they exist at all.=

They wouldn't be at all common or widespread: a master glassmaker from
Syran or some such place might be able to make them. Glass bottles are
fancy goods (us lowlifes use gourds, flasks, pots and suchlike); glass

windows would be a real luxury (and a fragile one, too, but see below).
Glass statues, like glass butterflies, are obviously magical artifacts.

> Are dwarves interested in glass?

The Lead Dwarf caste has an enchantment spell to Stabilise Glass (giving
it loads of Armour Points). They also "developed" glassblowing and glass-=

making: it's a hoplite-origin question whether they or Syran are telling
it straight. But are dwarfs "interested" in anything? Sure, they can make=

and use glass, perhaps better than anyone else. A dwarf's alchemical lab
would make a Western sorceror drool... all those alembics and retorts and=

whatnot. But are dwarfs thinking up weird and wonderful new things to do
with their hyper-advanced glass technology? IMO, not really. Though I'd
be delighted for them to have periscopes, spectacles, etc. on an as-neede=
basis (more for colour than utility, if you remember how poor dwarfish
eyesight is!).

(The use of obsidian in weapons, Uz sunglasses, etc. may count as an
unusual "use of glass in Glorantha", but I'll pass this by for now).

Remember the story of the inventor who brought an unbreakable glass bowl
to the Emperor? ("Can anyone else make this?") Being an innovator can be



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