Nilmergs and gremlins

From: Erik Sieurin (
Date: Fri 06 Mar 1998 - 20:49:01 EET

Erik the Mostali Fetischist on nilmergs and gremlins:

This is all IMO IMG IMC and IIRIC. Be warned.

Nilmergs are made as homunculi in vats by tin dwarves with the eager
assistance of lead dwarves (pipies and vessels), quicksilver dwarves
(chemicals) and brass dwarves (steady heat). The process is very
similar to the one used to make dwarves, and nilmergs are probably
just neotenic dwarves. My private paranoia says that they were an
attempt to create dwarves who were completely programmed for one
single specific task which half-failed; a nilmerg is far less useful
than a normal dwarf. (1)

By adding brain substance from a nilmerg whose purpose was the same
as that of the nilmerg you wish to make, you 'prime' a nilmerg for
that task. Their primitive minds live for that task, and are in a
state of complete bliss when working on it. Strict supervision is
needed to stop nilmergs from working themselves to recycling.

A gremlin is a nilmerg which becomes faulty through one of many
possible glitches in the manufacturing process, all which turns the
nilmerg's mind into a mirror-image of what it is supposed to be.
Thus, a gremlin wants to destroy what he as a nilmerg was supposed to
create, foul what he as a nilmerg was supposed to keep clean and in
working order, wreck what he was supposed to repair.

Gremlins are less specific than nilmergs, though. For instance,
courier nilmergs are specifically made to carry messages, but their
gremlin counterparts try to disrupt all forms of communication.

Most gremlins are detected quite early in screening tests, and are
re-primed to fear and loathe dwarves and their dwellings. Then they
are sent out to terrorize dwarven foes. There are gremlins which
makes people get lost, gremlins which cause cave-ins, gremlins which
causes foundered items to break, gremlins which sneaks into
studies and re-writes or destroy texts (aka 'scribe's devils'), and
gremlins which causes fires to go out.

Some gremlins enter the reversed state later in the process and
wreaks havoc before the special tin gremlin buster units can capture
or destroy them. Some dwarven complexes are infested with them.

It is rumored eleven Gardeners know of evil Growth magic to make
nilmergs into gremlins. It is also a common rumor among Octagonists
that iron dwarves are really frawds, the dwarven equivalent of
gremlins, intent only on destroying things, ultimately the World
Machine itself.

1) IMC etc dwarves cannot be made exactly for one specific purpose
like nilmergs can, but must be trained and indoctrinated for ut. They
_do_ have an irresistible inclination for the area of their basic
caste, however, but things regularily grow* up and you get a lead who
is supposed to be a glassblower but really wants to be a plumber,
etc. This is generally not corrected by recycling, since dwarves are
so darn expensive to make, and dwarven leaders are miserly in the
extreme. Instead, there are correctional methods, which wary with the
time, place and degree of insubordinance of the dwarf in question.

*dwarven curse, the equivalent of the four-letter-word of RW

"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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