Mostali Arms Development

From: Erik Sieurin (BV9521@bhs.utb.hb.se)
Date: Mon 25 May 1998 - 22:58:44 EEST


Most of the list seems to either be splashing in the mud or gazing to
the sky, and since neither of these pursuits interests me, I'm going
to do something different.

Yes, I missed the bus again.

MOSTALI ARMS DEVELOPMENT

Some humans live in the illusion that the races of Mostal are
constantly inventing and refining their artificiery and alchemy,
creating new and horrible inventions every year or so. They are, of
course, wrong.

Other humans lull themselves with the lie that the Mostali are
incapable of making anything new and that what they have is what
they've always had, since they fear change som much. They are, of
course, also deluded.

But who would expect anything else from humans? Short-sighted and
short-lived as they are, they have failed to realize the extreme
_slowness_ with which the Mostali do _anything_. There is, in fact,
an extensive arms development program closely monitored by the
Decamony and the various notified bodies of the project, which is
part of the general War Machine agenda. The responsibility
for this project, nicknamed 'Whetstone U56785+' by the
Golds, ultimately rests with the Iron Diamond of the Nidan High
Decamonic Council.

The program has been running since before Dawn, and so far it is on
schedule - one of the few things which seems to always be on
schedule. The other mineralic bodies often gruff about the way the
Iron seems to hog the necessary resources for the Reconstruction, but
in the end the Decamonic Council always seems to favor the Iron
Diamond's actions.

Think of the beauty of it: in just 876^2 Iron work shifts (1) the
breechloaded musket will be introduced on a full scale; in 564^2
Quicksilver work shifts will the tear gas grenade be perfected and
and become a common part of the gear of the average Dwarven
constructive destruction unit.

There are several pieces of wargear currently field-tested; there are
also several pieces of incredibly dangerous booby-trapped things made
to look like war-gear being paraded about to fool human spies and the
may-they-rust Heretics.

Two of them will be described below. Tin programming prevents me
from telling which is war-gear in testing and which is just a decoy,
unfortuneately.

THE MARK 56 SELF-IGNITING AND SORT OF SELF-LOADING ORGAN GUN
(aka 'Iron Man's Alarm Clock', or 'IMAC' for short)
This piece of artillery consists of a large wheel made from rock,
bound with enchanted iron. Around its circumference are bored ten
dwarf-long tubular holes, which serves as pipes. In its midst is a
well-oiled horizontal axle, which allows the wheel to rotate. Each
pipe has an adamantium ocular hatch in the end, which opens like
the pupil of a human eye when the pipe is lowest in its 'orbit'
around the nave, and closes when it is at it's highest, almost
mostalically(2).

The wheel rests in a cylindrical frame, also made from iron-bound
stone. When in use, the wheel rotates, alternately blasting off the
guns as they take the topmost position. When at their lowest
position, the ball is inserted by special nilmergs clutching little
handles along the frame; slightly higher, powder is added; then the
short fuse; then the hatch closes completely except for the space
made for the fuse, which is lighted by the sparks struck when the
hatch closes around it, as the edges of the hatch are clad by flint
pieces.

To cool the stone, an aetheric water entity crawls around it
in the frame, bound by runes around the edge. Anyone breaking the
gun will free this liquid blob, who, as most aetheric entitities,
lack any reasoning capacity whatsoever and will mindlessly attack
anything around, including the ones who freed it. It cannot remain
stable for long close to the heat of the gun, however, so water is
constantly added through a earthstuff tube attached to a vent at the
bottom of the frame, while steam boils off through a small pipe at
the top of it.

This steam can be channeled into a steam-wheel, which powers a
cogwheel contraption which allows the organ gun to be moved and
aimed, sometimes even while firing. This aiming is done from a small
chair attached to the frame and protected from the worst vibrations
and shakings by springs and gyroscopes. The gunner is strapped to the
chair with a trollskin belt, and snapped down on his head is a visor
helmet incorporating a strong cross-haired telescope(3). To help him
maneuver the heavy gun (often the force of the steam is not enough)
he has a set of pedals linked to the abovementioned cogwheel
contraption.

He aims the gun; the loading is performed by eighteen
specially-trained nilmergs egged on by a nilmergmaster (4). The gun
wheel rotates through the channeled exhaust smoke from the guns
theselves. The water for the water entity is pumped by by a jolanti
in a standard type 45 bronze water pump from the common complex
water system, or a special gigantic ceramic tank when this is not
possible. The same jolanti moves the gun when necessary, helped by
two bottom-half-jolanti (5), and in one instance a jolanti succeeded
in carrying it, using it in a similar manner to a musket, for several
heartbeats. Then it, the crew, and the gun was smashed to very small
pieces as the jolanti fell over from the recoil and the gun exploded.

The gun fires caliber 4c stone or bronze balls at the speed of an
average non-dwarven crossbowman. It uses up enormous amounts of
ammunition in a short time(6), which makes it fairly useless abroad
in the field, but Mostali forces seldom venture there anyway.

THE MULTI-PURPOSE ALL-AROUND DEFENSE JOLANTI FIELD PIECE
(aka 'The Big Gr*wing Gemborg Army Knife' aka 'Biggak')

Light cannon-armed jolanti have occasionally been seen on the field;
this is an attempt to develop that concept. Normally, these cannon
jolanti was simply cannons with legs and slender arms on top to load
themselves with. They had the normal dwarven drawback: They were only
suited for one thing, although they did that very well.

The first idea was simply to develop larger versions of the weapons
carried by normal dwarven constructive destruction units, and make
the normal MRS-MP-jolanti (7) carry them after reprogramming for war.
However, after some centuries of pondering, the 'Gemborg Army Knife'
approach was adopted instead, and most of the originators of the
original concept were recycled.

Named after the multi-purpose tool used by Gemborg Irons, which can
be a knife, a smaller knife, a can-opener, an awl, etc, this weapon
is a heavy-calibre blunderbuss-sniping musket-flamethrower-bayonet.

The basic design is a large, four-piped blunderbuss, but only the
two side pipes are normal blunderbuss pipes. On top, where normally
the third pipe would be, is placed a long, straight sniper musket.
Below, where the fourth pipe should be, is a bayonet long as a
spearstick with a wicked jagged edge. From the bayonet hangs a
segmented copper tube carrying a flammable mixture (heavily based on
refined earthblood(8)) from the large copper jar hanging at the
jolanti's hip to its squirt nozzle.

The jolanti is assisted or, more closely, inhabited by nine nilmergs
- - two for each of the three guns and the flame-thrower, and one for
general upkeep. The jolanti is guided by a single dwarf perched in
its crown-like helmet, since use of such a complex weapon is far
beyond the normal programming capacity of most jolanti. One perceived
problem is that it is so easy for the enemy to hit the so called
'helmsman'; experiments are currently made on a laboratory scale with
carving out a space within the jolanti's chest for the dwarf to sit.
This has been tested on hauling jolanti before, with a 54.6 success
rate on the Yoggle Scale.

 1) One Iron work period is of course 0,093962
Iron work shifts.

2) I believe 'hermetically' is another term which could be used.

3) But no ear protections, of course. Like most Mostali gunners,
anyone using the Iron Man's Alarm Clock is already deaf, and has had
his ears and eardrums replaced by brass tubes. Unlike most Mostali
gunners, those who maintains the IMAC have the rarer removable
hearing brass tubes, which they keep in their pockets most of the
time.

4) Who are all just as deaf, though the nilmergs probably never had
ears in the first place.

5) Who have no arms and torso, and neither any head to speak of,
unless you count an eye where the navel should be and what might be a
nose, but probably isn't, in the crotch. And large jug-ears which
doubles as handles for fastening hooks, chains and suchlike.

6) Using the famous Boomerang Balls of Bazzoom was just as
stupid here as with ordinary cannons, but the Coppers just had to try
them out. Sigh. Wonder what the original Mostali _really_ meant to
use them for?

7) Man-Rune-Shaped Multi-Purpose

8) At first, an alcohol-based mixture was used, similar to
that in the famous 'Molotovius Amphora' used by Lunar dissidents. It
was deemed not enough hot, however. Besides, there are better things
to do in war with booze, as the Irons put it.

"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
bv9521@bhs.utb.hb.se
Bodagatan 39, 2 tr
50742 Bor=E5s
Sweden
033/141731

------------------------------

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