Kushluk of Skagos

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

452 posts in this topic

Interresting, though could you have a construction material that is mainly labradorite? As it being a mineral, isn't it supposed to be found in patches toghether with say basalt?

A building with a front wall made of labradorite.

Another idea, although it might sound silly, might be Shale oil . As wiki explains it:

"Oil shale, also known as kerogen shale, is an organic-rich fine-grained sedimentary rock containing kerogen (a solid mixture of organic chemical compounds) from which liquid hydrocarbons called shale oil (not to be confused with tight oilcrude oil occurring naturally in shales) can be produced."

Now that might seems a bit strange towards construction. I'm not sure how strong or fitting the material even is for it. I guess though that shale oil is but any type of stone that could suck up any given amount of hydrocarbons, even if it might not be all that much oil in there. That said, it does sound neat if youre going to build a giant lighthouse, though i'm not sure if youre outer walls would be fireproof.

Would be neat for Asshai too with them shadow lands, atleast you could easily make a fire to get some light. Would be a bit difficult to live in a flaming city, unless maybe for a fire based race.

hmm a race of fire people. kinda like that. There is a race of ice people afterall too. Maybe i should explore the idea of a lost civilization of creatures made of pure fire.

I think Oil Shale is a soft sedimentary rock. I don't know if it could be used to build stuff, but I think it would make weak structures.

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Pretty neat. Could you make a wall like that with ancient/medieval technique's, or am i right in presuming that this sort of stuff requires modern tools and technoligy?

I think Oil Shale is a soft sedimentary rock. I don't know if it could be used to build stuff, but I think it would make weak structures.

That is what i presumed for what regards its structural strenght, but you got to admit it it sounds pretty handy for a lighthouse for what regards fuel.

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Pretty neat. Could you make a wall like that with ancient/medieval technique's, or am i right in presuming that this sort of stuff requires modern tools and technoligy?

Labradorite has a hardness of 6.5 in the Mohs scale, close to granite. The Egyptians made obelisks of granite and were able to work diorite, that has an average hardness of about 7.

Edited by Ser Lepus

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This was one of the more intriguing parts of the World Book to me.



Were they left by some of precursor race, perhaps one that tamed dragons like the Valyrians later would?


Did they do something that caused themselves to die off, that caused the shadowlands and ghost grass, that caused the seasons to shift?


Very interesting, and I would definitely read a story where someone tried to investigate this



That said, from a meta-level, while it may get integrated into ASOIF, I doubt it's integral to understanding or it even really gets explained. I can't see Martin revealing such an importance piece in AWOIF before it's revealed in the books at all or never (although... Sam in Oldtown). And he's an author that loves to be realistic in the sense of history and distance -- there's a reason the World Book is weirder farther from present day and farther from Oldtown, and it's not because present day Old Town is normal, it's because that's the way information behaves.



He's also the type of author that would introduce something like this just to create a bit of mystery... or perhaps Ran or Linda did, though from the AMA this definitely feels like something they would have left to Martin, I think.


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I think i get it. I think its shale oil indeed. My theory is that it's build by a civilization of fire beings, more pure fire than the fire made flesh that exists today.Similar to how the others are beings made of ice. Bear with me for a moment, it's going to be a bit:



These 2 species used to determine the seasons besides the normal ones. that is any inbalance, having more otehrs than fire beings or vice versa, might bring about an exceptional summer or winter. thats why the others are making other baby's, for it creates winter.



These constructions of oily stone, they used to be set ablaze, and they can still be set on fire, thats the purpose of using that oily material. it might be an advanced or magic form of oil shale wall so to speak, inexchaustable maybe. The fire creature's used to love constructions that would be aflame all the time. Made them feel good i guess, and add heat to the planet. Now the fire people are gone there, because the fire has been exstinguished, possibly by men, or sea people even.



- the hightower: it's handy to have a giant block of flaming stone surrounded by water. Although you can possibly extinguish that fire with water, then again the flame race might have reason to build it there, to prevent it to spread to forests for ex, or prevent other fire spirits to cross the water maybe?


For the hightowers the flaming stone might be excelent as fuel for the beaconfire. Also great as a defensive measurement if they know how to set it on fire withought dammaging the rest of the construction, the more so versus others.



-Asshai: Was meant to be a giant flaming city for flame people. Flame capital. No wonder why you'd get all the ash. Would have illuminated the area of the shadows aswell i guess. One enourmous fire pile. Also extinguished apparently. And now i think i know why Dany has to go there: she has to set the city on fire, make the fire people return, so they might outbalance the others.



- Seastone chair: once a nice fiery seat for a flame king, washed away?



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



Alternativly: When taking shale oil in mind, these constructs might actually be giant heaters, build explicitly for changing the climate or even terraforming.


Edited by Waters Gate

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Has anyone spoken about the possibility that this isn't a rock type but a wood type?

We have the ebony/weirwood connection in alot of magical places and we know the weirwoods can grow hard as stone so perhaps it's natural countpart has similar tendencies.

I am mostly referring to what is mentioned of the base of the hightower for this, as the 'labyrints' reminded me of roots and I possibly went mad from that point on.. but it was a strange piece of writing wasn't it?

Seastone chair or driftwood chair?

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^You mean like the anti-weirwoods that shade-of-the-evening in Qarth is made of?
A world with more magic in the past may have had lots of shade drinkers, so perhaps...
I still think a stone.

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^You mean like the anti-weirwoods that shade-of-the-evening in Qarth is made of?

A world with more magic in the past may have had lots of shade drinkers, so perhaps...

I still think a stone.

I was thinking what they made the doors of the HOTU and Tohbo Mott, but yes anti-weirwoods of a sort.

But it must have been HUGE trees or maybe a few that grew into each other like the weirwoods of Highgarden.

Edited by House Hendrix of Rock

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My candidate for the black stone would be obsidian changed by magic somehow. We know obsidian is important already. Maybe obsidian is a material that can be manipulated easily by magic? Would explain why the magic using Children of the Forest were fond of it, and why it's around on Dragonstone, an island settled by Valyrians and their dragons, bot closely connected to magic.


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If we are going for a real-world candidate, we might also think pitchstone, close relative of obsidian, but where obsidian has a glassy appearance, pitchstone is oily or resinous; its hardness varies quite a lot, though, so that only some of it could be suitable for building. It's also kind of cool in that it sometimes has trapped within it round or ovoid stones that can look rather like dragoneggs.



But honestly, I'm not sure that we should expect a real-world analogue to this oily black stone. Even if we can feel somewhat confident it might be a volcanic rock this might not mean much, since volcanoes aren't likely to be just volcanoes on Planetos,


Edited by Hrafntýr

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Is Valyrian stone stuff perhaps a bastardized version of the black oily stone stuff. If they did get help from Asshai in dragon taming and such maybe those Asshai people that were alive were like the Targs. People who survived whatever happened but were lower ranked so lacked the knowledge of the higher mysteries, but knew some stuff.


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Another idea for the black stone the valyrians used for making their roads: asphalt, kinda sounds obvious the more so with the stone fusing.



asphalt concrete would not be good to build high constructs from though i guess, but otoh you can clad a wall with the stuff, just a layer above the stone. In modern construction asphalt is often used for roofs. Asphalt is afaik water resistant, which might be advantagous for some of these constructions aswell.


Edited by Waters Gate

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My candidate for the black stone would be obsidian changed by magic somehow. We know obsidian is important already. Maybe obsidian is a material that can be manipulated easily by magic? Would explain why the magic using Children of the Forest were fond of it, and why it's around on Dragonstone, an island settled by Valyrians and their dragons, bot closely connected to magic.

If we are going for a real-world candidate, we might also think pitchstone, close relative of obsidian, but where obsidian has a glassy appearance, pitchstone is oily or resinous; its hardness varies quite a lot, though, so that only some of it could be suitable for building. It's also kind of cool in that it sometimes has trapped within it round or ovoid stones that can look rather like dragoneggs.

But honestly, I'm not sure that we should expect a real-world analogue to this oily black stone. Even if we can feel somewhat confident it might be a volcanic rock this might not mean much, since volcanoes aren't likely to be just volcanoes on Planetos,

I think people would recognize obsidian when watching it, It's common in the world of ASOIAF, and is even treated as a trade ware.

About pitchstone...does it still look "oily" when polished?

Of course, it could be some kind of artificial obsidian made fusing stone with magic, like Valyrian architecture.

Another idea for the black stone the valyrians used for making their roads: asphalt, kinda sounds obvious the more so with the stone fusing.

asphalt concrete would not be good to build high constructs from though i guess, but otoh you can clad a wall with the stuff, just a layer above the stone. In modern construction asphalt is often used for roofs. Asphalt is afaik water resistant, which might be advantagous for some of these constructions aswell.

Asphalt is quite soft, and would erode over time, while the valyrian roads and walls are described as harder than steel or granite and doesn't degrade despite people, horses and carriages walking on them for thousands of years.

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I think people would recognize obsidian when watching it, It's common in the world of ASOIAF, and is even treated as a trade ware.

About pitchstone...does it still look "oily" when polished?

Of course, it could be some kind of artificial obsidian made fusing stone with magic, like Valyrian architecture.

Asphalt is quite soft, and would erode over time, while the valyrian roads and walls are described as harder than steel or granite and doesn't degrade despite people, horses and carriages walking on them for thousands of years.

I think it's tarmac.

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Another idea for the black stone the valyrians used for making their roads: asphalt, kinda sounds obvious the more so with the stone fusing.

asphalt concrete would not be good to build high constructs from though i guess, but otoh you can clad a wall with the stuff, just a layer above the stone. In modern construction asphalt is often used for roofs. Asphalt is afaik water resistant, which might be advantagous for some of these constructions aswell.

Nice catch but if you look around your house you will notice that most of the asphalt is not black because it gradually turns gray and very light gray at that, you can imagine that it would be paler still after few hundred years. And it is not that great and firm, roads turn to bad pretty quickly.

Magic asphalt on the other hand can be solution :D

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Nice catch but if you look around your house you will notice that most of the asphalt is not black because it gradually turns gray and very light gray at that, you can imagine that it would be paler still after few hundred years. And it is not that great and firm, roads turn to bad pretty quickly.

Magic asphalt on the other hand can be solution :D

There is issue eitherway with the durabilety of some of these black stone wonders. given that some of those constructs should be many thousands of years old, the perfect state they are still in does raise questions. I guess there are many modern advanced materials that can be coated in black if need be that might give that sort of durabilety and structural strenght to build high.

But roads ... what do you need by modern standards to have a road that will stand thousands of years of traffic? Diamond road? A low friction surface road maybe? I guess a low friction road would be annoying to try to turn on, then again maybe thats why the valyrians made all their roads straight.

Edited by Waters Gate

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There is issue eitherway is with the durabilety of some of these black stone wonders. given that some of those constructs should be many thousands of years old, the perfect state they are still in does raise questions. I guess there are many modern advanced materials that can be coated in black if need be that might give that sort of durabilety and structural strenght to build high.

But roads ... what do you need by modern standards to have a road that will stand thousands of years of traffic? Diamond road?

I thought about that and it can depend how sciency magic can be, if we take that Doom was some sort of nuclear accident, then why wouldn't they make roads by changing structure of say graphite or coal by some magicall pressure or what not to create black diamond roads :)

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I agree with the people before who have suggested that the Black Stone (like weirwood trees) have no real world counterpart.



There were two things that came to mind while I was reading about the Blackstone structures:



The first is that they seem to have a connection to the demi-humans.The Seastone chair is near the Iron born- a group of people who say they descend from Merlings. The Toad stone seems to be near a similar group of fishlike people .Also,It is rumored that lizard men use to reside near Yeen and the Five Forts.



High Tower and the five forts are made from fused stone. This means that they were likely the work of the Proto-Valyrians. The Valyrian claim that they are descendants of the dragons. Maybe the lizard-men are the dragons the Valyrians were speaking of. Also the Targaryens having malformed still born babies may suggest that they are not the same blood as other men, as it does with the Ibbenese and Sothorosi.



The second thing that came to mind is that Oldtown's Stone and the Five forts may of been prisons. I know in mythology the Labyrinth was designed to hold the minotaur and the description of how high the five forts' walls reminded me of a prison.

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I agree that it has no real world equalivent (I want to call it seastone :p)



Here I made a map where this oily black stone is seen. >Here<



Actually, I'm not sure if Asshai stone is same with the seastone. None of the other buildings seems to drink light. Well...it's greasy and black like Seastone Chair but I don't know.


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