Kushluk of Skagos

[WoIaF Spoilers] Oily Stone: Yeen, Asshai, The Wall, 5 Forts, Hinges of the World

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ill get more into detail on what oily stone might be from a geological perspective, first of all having read parts so far and having read a few things on say oldtown and indeed essos out of personal interrest,i have come to wonder too about these strange structure's and their origin, and the text deffinatly opens a lot of room for speculation there. A few thing's that came fast trough my mind when reading all this:



-My earlier presumptions that the hightower was more than just a normal structure was comfirmed, though now i have even more questions regarding it's orgin and ultimatly function in the story. Before the release i had always thought that given the hightowers it's impossible height it did have to have some magical purpose or origin similar like a few other places like Storms end, winterfell and the wall have such origins and/or function.


Eitherway since its now comfirmed to be some magical and unexplainable phenenemen, i wager to say that it's going to be one prominent during the long night. And there are hits in the text for what regards potential importance during the previous long night, there is question afterall on the origin of the name "battle isle" but that is one that for logical reasons might refer to a battle during the long night, similar there are also hints to the function of the original structure having something to do with a danger that would befall the world and the need for someone to be there. With the symboligy of the labyrinth i get this sense that there is an "oldtown cod' to crack there. Another idea i had of the Oldtower was that it might be filled with ancient artifacts and knowledge, and this presumption has been stirred even more with the text in woiaf.



- Upon reading about Asshai's green glowing ghost grass and deformed animals that were living in it's waters, i had this weird sense of thinking about nuclear fallout, though that afcourse seems rather out of place for the story.



- upon the consideration that so much structure's existed of great complexity of which the origin is unknown, i get this sense that there might have been a advanced civilization before the dawn age, one that might have been lost entirely because of some cataclysm. The combination of sheer age and sheer complexity is puzzling, whoever build these things millenia ago managed to build with far more advanced building technique's than people have nowadays.



Just a few thoughts that went trough my mind there, but more specificly onto black stone, well any geologist i guess could think a few candidate's for that, although one might add a few more materials here that actually might look like stone but are more advanced, and i'm i won't manage to list even half the potential types of material since im no geologist myself. Stone/material types that might appear black and oily i would think could be:



- obsidian, is difficult to make walls of though


- Basalt


- Gabbro


- black granite


- Black marble


- black andesite



Those are just a few types of stone. I'm not sure how easily you can get them nicely smooth, black and oily in their natural forms. Eitherway the types of constructions described to use this stone also make note of the fact that, like in the hightower for ex., no joints or cracks can be seen and thus the whole costruction appears to be massive, maybe even one piece. A suggestion is being made to Valyrians using dragons to liquidify stone and mold them into a structure, although the architecture doesn't correspond to Valyrian type, whereas otoh ther was mention being made of there having been dragons at battle isle, and maybe something we might think of to be proto valyrians?



In the case of stone that had been liquidified, i guess that fits more the type of stone's that come from around volcano's, of which obsidian and basalt are example's. Or i guess ignious rock in general. Then Obsidian, Gabbro and basalt are the more likely candidate's i would think. For what regards melting points of these types of stone, if you wanted to liquidify them, you'd need about 1000 degrees celcius, there is not much difference in that for these 3, other types like andesite and granite melt at lower temperature's but look more grainy than the first 3.


For what regards makign walls out of them, i don't think it's easy with obsidian, but basalt and gabbro might be fairly good materials to work with, and the hightower is unlikely to be made out of obsidian as then i guess the maesters would recognize it. So my ultimate guess is either basalt or gabbro, and reliance on the power of either dragons or volcano's to get the stone and make it happen

Edited by Waters Gate

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Stone fusing technique should be done by wildfire and we know that it is a magical substance being strongly related with the presence of dragons.


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Stone fusing technique should be done by wildfire and we know that it is a magical substance being strongly related with the presence of dragons.

Seems like a very viable option too. :thumbsup:

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Another fact: no quarries seem to exist for this oily stone, so far that anyone has discovered. If the blocks of Yeen are so big that even an elephant can't move them.... then there must exist somwhere where the stone occurs naturally. As of yet, no place exists. As a result, the stone may be conjectured to be 1) purely supernatural or 2) imported from a very distant place.


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It is also possible that one of these very ancient socieities - K'Dath or Carcossa or one of these "first cities" has some ability, which is close to magic/science, to influence the seasons for their own gain, perhaps to take energy from different parts of the world to store up for their own use, somehow. That always seemed to be the implicit argument behind the "long summer, longer winter" idea of the commonfolk - that there was only X energy to be had, and it was distributed in a finite manner.

This sounds like how Asshai was described, the buildings there absorb light so the ancient Asshai might have some role to play in the nature of the seasons.

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Reading somewhat further it surprizes me that otherwise the Maester who wrote woiaf kinda has good knowledge of geoligy. I think it was in his description of Norvos that he said it rested among limestone hills.



The significance of this is that you seem to have a maester who is well aware of the property's of natural rock. And afaik he describe's the stone's used in various constructions or the stone layers to find around certain area's. Edit: ill add more such example's at the bottom.



That this maester then cannot recognize a certain type of stone seems to indicate that were talking about a more advanced construction material. Well surely it must be if you can make large constructions that appear massive or build out of one piece. One could attribute it to magic, butit might aswell be a more advanced material that is just beyond their comprehension. Like say poured concrete that has been made to look black. or even more advanced, a construction build out of carbon nannotubes, which in itself can be very light absorbing and is absolutly fantastic for building strong everlasting constructions. For ex. this high tech dark light absorbing material: http://singularityhub.com/2014/07/19/new-super-black-light-absorbing-material-looks-like-a-hole-in-reality/



Everlasting, i should emphasize that, it's one thing that this constructions might be vastly older than anyone knows, but you might still wonder how they remain in such a good state? There are few things left standing from ancient times, let alone that they are in a good shape withought needing loads of maintainance and timely restoration. Things do appear to be build to last. One of the few buildings from around ancient times that has survived in a very good state is the Pantheon in Rome and this is in part because it was build with concrete.



edit: more reference's to stone types found:



"Blackhaven, home to House Dondarrion, with its forbidding black basalt walls and bottomless dry moat"



".In the north, fur-clad warriors ride the Steel Road over swaying bridges and through underground passageways, escorting caravans to and from Kayakayanaya, whose walls are black basalt, black iron, and yellow bone."



"Great Norvos, as the Norvoshi name their city, is surrounded by rugged limestone hills and dense, dark forests of oak and pine and beech"



"Ny Sar, the city of fountains, alive with song; Ar Noy on the Qhoyne, with its halls of green marble"



"The dragonlords of Valryia, as is well-known, possessed the art of turning stone to liquid with dragonflame, shaping it as they would, then fusing it harder than iron, steel, or granite."



"The Titan’s legs and lower torso are black granite"



"The remaining ships made landfall on the coast of Dorne near the mouth of the river Greenblood, not far from the ancient sandstone walls of The Sandship, seat of House Martell."



"To the west the hills rise hard and wild, pushing against the sky until they give way to the Red Mountains, the border between the stormlands and Dorne. Deep dry valleys and great sandstone cliffs dominate the landscape here"



"From that day to this, the Sealords of Braavos have opposed slavery in all its forms and have fought many a war against slavers and their allies.


The lagoon where the fugitives found refuge seemed a drear and uninviting place of mudflats, tidal shallows, and salt marshes at first glance, but it was well hidden behind outlying islands and sea stacks, and oft cloaked even from above by fog. Moreover, its brackish waters were rich with fish and shellfish of all sorts, the sheltering islands were thickly forested, and iron, tin, lead, slate, and other useful materials could be found nearby on mainland Essos."


"Legend claims it was his future wife, Lord Hunter’s daughter Teora, who reminded him of how his grandfather had defeated Robar Royce, by attacking from the high ground. Much taken by the girl’s words, and by the girl herself, Lord Roland resolved to seize the highest ground of all and decreed the building of the castle that would become the Eyrie.

He did not live to see it completed. The task His Grace had set his builders was a daunting one, for the lower slopes of the Giant’s Lance were steep and overgrown, and up higher the bare stone of the mountain became precipitous and icy. More than a decade was spent just clearing a winding switchback road up the mountain’s side. Beyond the trees, a small army of stonemasons were set to work with hammers and chisel to carve out steps to ease the ascent where the slope grew steeper. Meanwhile, Roland sent his builders across the Seven Kingdoms in search of stone, for His Grace was not pleased with the look of the marble available in the Vale."


"building continued through the reigns of his son and his son’s son, but progress was painfully slow, for all the marble had to be brought in by ship from Tarth, then carried up the side of the Giant’s Lance by mules.


In a way all that narrows down what type of natural black stone it could be. Some of the most obvious candidate's for the unknown oily stone are already known by the maester, such as black basalt and black granite. These are also the most commonly aquireably types of economic stone to build black construction afaik, so you'd wonder why they go lenghts to take another material.

Edited by Waters Gate

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Ugh, let's hope time isn't cyclical in ASOIAF. That's some WoT bullshit.

:D

Both stupidity and irony are cyclical. :)

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Stone fusing technique should be done by wildfire and we know that it is a magical substance being strongly related with the presence of dragons.

Doesn't wildfire soak into rock (or into pores in rock)?

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Yandel knows and mentions lots of different kind of stones. This oily black stone is surely something alien/unnatural/magical.


Edited by Mrs.Grumpy

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Yandel knows and mentions lots of different kind of stones. This oily black stone is surely something alien/unnatural/magical.

Yeah i would almost begin to think that the underside of the hightower is maybe a spaceship, though i guess that would be hard to fit in with asoiaf.

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I need to correct myself here - the Seastone Chair is indeed "oily" black stone. Sorry 'bout that.


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The references to these blackstone structures keep popping up up throughout the book.



In the Yiti section it talks of the Bloodstone Emperor who "practiced dark arts, torture, and necromancy, enslaved his people, took a tiger-woman for his bride, feasted on human flesh, and cast down the true gods to worship a black stone that had fallen from the sky".



It goes on to say that in annals of the further east it was this act which ushered in the long night.



Like others have mentioned we know of no quarries of this blackstone. It may be sorcerous or sorcery and lost arts were required to work it. However the passage about the Bloodstone emperor suggests a blackstone fell from the sky. So maybe this oily blackrock comes from space.



We do know of another instance of something being crafted from something that fell from the sky. Dawn the sword of the Daynes. The woiaf book says "Legend says the first Dayne was led to the site when he followed the track of a falling star and there found a stone of magical powers".



Dawn however is not oily and black it is pale as milkglass alive with light. While the oily black stone is decribed in the Asshai section as "Some say as well that the stone of Asshai has a greasy, unpleasant feel to it, that it seems to drink the light, dimming tapers and torches and hearth fires alike".



A very interesting contrast. Starfall is also located not all that far from battle isle in Oldtown where one of the blackstone structures is located and the reason for the isles name is lost to the memory of man.



I just thought it was an interesting contrast. We have one blackstone falling from the sky said to drink light while another stone from the sky is alive with it. The annals record worship of a blackstone associated with the long night while many believe Dawn may be lightbringer.

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Well, meteoric impact can usher an Ice Age.



In my opinion all black stone structures where made by some ancient humans, using same magic Valyrians used later with the spin on being fabulous instead of being stern (stark :D) in the design. They probably taught Valyrians that and maybe even how to tame dragons.

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The references to these blackstone structures keep popping up up throughout the book.

In the Yiti section it talks of the Bloodstone Emperor who "practiced dark arts, torture, and necromancy, enslaved his people, took a tiger-woman for his bride, feasted on human flesh, and cast down the true gods to worship a black stone that had fallen from the sky".

It goes on to say that in annals of the further east it was this act which ushered in the long night.

Like others have mentioned we know of no quarries of this blackstone. It may be sorcerous or sorcery and lost arts were required to work it. However the passage about the Bloodstone emperor suggests a blackstone fell from the sky. So maybe this oily blackrock comes from space.

We do know of another instance of something being crafted from something that fell from the sky. Dawn the sword of the Daynes. The woiaf book says "Legend says the first Dayne was led to the site when he followed the track of a falling star and there found a stone of magical powers".

Dawn however is not oily and black it is pale as milkglass alive with light. While the oily black stone is decribed in the Asshai section as "Some say as well that the stone of Asshai has a greasy, unpleasant feel to it, that it seems to drink the light, dimming tapers and torches and hearth fires alike".

A very interesting contrast. Starfall is also located not all that far from battle isle in Oldtown where one of the blackstone structures is located and the reason for the isles name is lost to the memory of man.

I just thought it was an interesting contrast. We have one blackstone falling from the sky said to drink light while another stone from the sky is alive with it. The annals record worship of a blackstone associated with the long night while many believe Dawn may be lightbringer.

nice catch.s

Edited by LordToo-Fat-to-Sit-a-Horse

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THAT is the mystery of the oily stones, of magic and power, of the strange seasons, and of entire areas of the world that seem shrouded in sinister diabolism.

I think the "black, oily stones" refer to meteoric fragments, fwiw. Like these in our own history, held as sacred.

It also wouldn't surprise me if there's some kind of magnetism going on with these stones (some meteorites are magnetic-- ETA: actually, I don't remember if they're attracted to magnets or actually magnetized themselves now) that makes people think they're especially super magical or something.

Edited by butterbumps!

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This is something that got my attention too. I wonder if the stones are fragments from meteor showers or from some huge meteor that exploded before reaching the ground and spreading its pics all over planethos.


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I wonder if perhaps the core of The Wall isn't this same oily material that now lies hidden beneath tons and tons of ice?


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I dunno if anyone else here used to watch the X-Files, but this reminds me of those oily black alien stones. The black oil would ooze out and take control of people.


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Ghost grass is milky white and pinkish.

Yes. The guy who did the Lands of Ice and Fire mentioned that Martin was very perticular about getting the color of the Ghost Grass right.

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