(Verily) Cleaving geology in twain

From: Stewart Stansfield <stu_stansfield_at_...>
Date: Mon, 08 Mar 2004 18:28:58 -0000

(Apologies if this comes twice)

It strikes me that there's been a good bit of chit-chat and discussion the magical and mundane nature of the geology of Whitewall... should we now try and pull some ideas together?

Stabbing's done, now time for some hack and slash.

Ian's quite right, of course. There's a little problem in matching worldly concepts with mythic ones. Personally, I do atually think the way it's been approached so far has trod the line carefully. Allusions and references to real world rocks are always useful, because in its 4.5 billion year lifetime, the Earth kind of has a bit of a head start on us in creative ingenuity!

Start with a real analogy, and then monkey around with it until it fits the mythos. I would happily sever actual rock types from our own realistic modes of emplacement, and have done. Choose them on issues of appearance appropriateness, and the worry about other things later. Our efforts have been quite productive.

So far it seems we have two real suggestions for whiteness, of stone and cliff: karstic rocks (limestone, dolomiceous limestone and chalk) and crystalline pegmatites (think granite without the dark bits; strong in quartz and feldspar). I'll tag marble on as an interloper at the end. Aesthetically, they all look pretty nice and appropriate.

So what do we choose, and how do we tie these to myths? Do we even have to choose, or can we simply describe rocks in terms of their hardness, lustre and colour (perhaps giving some potential examples), and let Narrators decide?

And what of the larger mythic setting? What shall we plumb for? I apologise if I've missed lots (I've been preparing plates and captions as I've contributed today!), but I think we have:

Joerg: a plateau of hard white (feldspathic pegmatite) stone, containing parcels of softer, cavernous rock (limestone). Into which has been forced pristine crystalline rock (quartzite) by a mythological force (hot water sent by Vestkarthen, shock by Larnste folding up the Storm Mountains, a foe of Destor falling to the ground), providing large irregular bricks of snow white quartzite would appeal to an artist to use it for fortress building.

Pedro: a karst of whitish rock (domolmite), forged from the bones of the defeated denizens of the Sea, since eroded or uplifted to its present habit. It could well be fractured and have a spring source being fed from a higher location, or be remnant water left over from before Time that is trapped in cracks in the rock, or of course trapped water tribe spirits that have somehow been coerced or forced into cooperating with Whitewall.

Stu: the end of a gods bone, thrust out of the ground, and weathered to its present habit. The outer walls of bone are of crystalline rock
(feldspathic pegmatite), which grades into stronger, pristine stone
towards the centre (quartzite), enriched by the nutritious marrow. The marrow itself is of a softer material, richer in nutrients and carved and tunnelled by the flow of ancient water. Anyone with a greater knowledge in Heortling mythology who can suggest exactly *whose* bone it is will be more than welcome!

All theories agree that there is water in dat dere limestone.

Do we need to specify? Is there room to allude to several mythic origins, different between clans and tribes?

All the best,


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