whswhs (whswhs) wrote,

campaign setup: Tapestry iii

I've now gotten to working on the last of the seven races of Tapestry, dwarves (not Tolkien's dwarves, though I prefer the -ves plural, as he did; closer on one hand to Pratchett's dwarves and on the other to the dwarves of Norse myth). Specifically, I'm working out their ritual magic Paths. Obviously, they were going to have a Path of Making, and one with high-powered rituals. But what would the others be?

After thinking about it as I went to sleep, I came up with three other Paths. The Path of Stone is used to interact with minerals in various ways other than "making"—for example, to dig tunnels that won't collapse. The Path of Magistracy is used to aid rulers, judges, and military leaders in performing their tasks. The Path of the Hearth is used mainly by dwarf women to run households.

But it struck me this morning that there was one other thing that could logically fit into the Path of the Hearth: smelting, glassblowing, firing clay, and the like. What if dwarf women are the ones who smelt metal and compound alloys? Dwarven cultures might see metallurgy as more analogous to cooking and kitchen chemistry than to smithing and armory. And the secretiveness of dwarven cultures about their women would then go into the compounding of alloys being a secret as well.
Tags: tapestry
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