stone constructions

Peyroux Paving Stones

One of Evil Supply Co.’s more unusual exports from the tiny, haunted village of Peyroux is a particular paving stone and mortar.

Haunted castles, graveyard paths, forest trails, and all matter of walkways throughout the Netherworld use these stones because they last for hundreds of years, make a wonderful “click clap clop” sound when walked upon — and are very accessible to people and creatures without the use of legs.

“We use a special ectoplasmic mortar formula that binds the stones and senses the needs of whomever is on them,” says Atticus Q. Redghost while lending a hand on a new installation. “For instance, this road becomes slick when a legless giant snake slithers on, but
 firms and texturizes in the rain so people don’t slip. And if you are using a cane or a wheelchair, it levels out to make your path easier.”

When asked if the paving stones could reverse, to make an enemy’s approach more treacherous, Atticus laughed. “We have a gorgon client who uses that technique to slide invaders into a lava pit.”

Carew Castle, Wales

The present castle, which replaced an earlier stone keep, is constructed almost entirely from the local Carboniferous limestone, except for some of the Tudor architectural features such as window frames, which are made from imported Cotswold stone. Although originally a Norman stronghold the castle maintains a mixture of architectural styles as modifications were made to the structure over successive centuries.

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Stone Town, Zanzibar - Tanzania


Stone Town is a city rich in East African history, culture, and the arts. Its architecture, mostly dating back to the 19th century, reflects the diverse influences underlying the Swahili culture, with the East African culture being preeminent, there is a unique mixture of Arab, Persian, Indian and European elements. The name Stone Town comes from the ubiquitous use of coral stone to construct many of the buildings.

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Historical Monuments at Makli, Thatta, Pakistan.

Makli is an enormous cemetery possessing half a million tombs and graves in an area of about 10 km2. Massed at the edge of the 6.5 km-long plateau of Makli Hill, the necropolis of Makli – which was associated with the nearby city of Thatta, once a capital and centre of Islamic culture – testifies in an outstanding manner to the civilization of the Sindh from the 14th to the 18th centuries.

The vast necropolis of Makli is among the largest in the world. Kings, queens, governors, saints, scholars, and philosophers are buried here in brick or stone monuments, some of which are lavishly decorated with glazed tiles. Among the outstanding monuments constructed in stone are the tombs of Jam Nizamuddin II, who reigned from 1461 to 1509, and of lsa Khan Tarkhan the Younger and of his father, Jan Baba, both of whose mausolea were constructed before 1644. The most colourful is that of Diwan Shurfa Khan (died in 1638). The unique assemblage of massive structures presents an impressive order of monumental buildings in different architectural styles. These structures are notable for their fusion of diverse influences into a local style. These influences include, among others, Hindu architecture of the Gujrat style and Mughal imperial architecture. Distant Persian and Asian examples of architectural terra-cotta were also brought to Makli and adapted. An original concept of stone decoration was created at Makli, perhaps determined by the imitation of painted and glazed tile models. The historical monuments at the necropolis of Makli stand as eloquent testimonies to the social and political history of the Sindh.

(Source)

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Penrhos Feilw Standing Stones, nr. Holyhead, Anglesey, North Wales, 11.2.17. This pair of early Bronze Age standing stones were constructed some time between 2000 and 1500BCE. They were probably associated with high status burials. They have since been nicknamed ‘Prehistoric Goalposts’ because of their positioning and form on the landscape.

Solath

This is a home-brew country you can add to your next DnD world.


Races of the Country:

Human, lizard-men mix

Terrain:

Mostly marshlands with a few hills.

Brier patches grow throughout the region. Some grow in small clusters while others can go on for kilometers with vines as thick as tree-trunks.

While most brier thorns are harmless or merely inconvenient, some do secrete poison or acid.

Settlements:

No cities exists in this region. Most of the population lives in villages with a few growing to the size of towns.

The settlements are built on top of hills surrounded by several rings of thick brier bushes to keep intruders out.

Architecture Style:

Buildings: They are mostly constructed with stone cut from the hills.

Many buildings are netted with brier bushes, with entire patches growing on the roof. From afar, entire villages are camouflaged within the foliage.

Most of the population refuses to cut away the brier bushes due to their religious beliefs explained in Religion.

Inside of the rooms: The stone walls are painted with images, brier patches often with faces painted upon the thorns. This is a symbol of good luck and for religious beliefs explained in Religion.

Clothing style:

People wear mostly fur and skins gathered from the rabbits and snakes within the marshlands.

Necklaces and bracelets woven from the brier-bushes are usually worn by everyone, with the nobles and elders often having their likeness carved on the thorns - this is for religious reasons explained in Religion.

Religion:

The people of the region worship the brier bush, believing it is the outer limbs of a great earthen God living deep beneath the earth.

Decorating houses or wearing jewelry made from brier bushes invites good luck and welcomes the spirit of the great earthen God to watch over them.

The people carve faces into the thorns because upon one’s death, their body is given into the earth and fed upon by the brier patches. Then their essence is reborn, growing into the thorns forever protecting the people and the great earthen God. Even if the thorns burn or are destroyed, the cycle only continues on again and again.

The great earthen God is believed to have grown its limbs, the brier patches, to protect the people and give food and shelter to its children.

The god is viewed more as a stern parent, neither overly loving or hateful.

The origins for these beliefs are unknown and considered tribal or legends by outsiders.

Government:

Each settlement is self-sufficient, but are collectively aligned in mutual interest.

Every few months the leaders of each settlement gather and discuss the issues of the day – defense, resources, invasions, food, etc.

Most leaders are benevolent and care for their people, usually their settlement first then all others second, but will collectively work together for the betterment of the nation.

Economy:

Trade is mostly furs, skins and poison with their main import being food.

The population uses coin but in some rare cases will trade exotic brier thorns - For example: Thorns of rare colors, or one that resembles something important.

Food:

Hunting wildlife
Growing small vegetable farms on the hills

The main source of food is the starchy edibles within the larger brier bushes. Harvested by hand, the food is considered sacred and not to be wasted. Although outsiders would consider eating one’s God an insult, the population of the region believes it is not different than a mother feeding her offspring.

Issues:

Feral goblin tribes

Within the marshes, living in dens built from brier patches, are tribes of goblins, consisting of a few dozen to the largest being 1000s.
They are red skinned and covered in yellow bony thorns.
The goblins worship the brier patches for the same reason as the local population.
The goblins raid settlements for food, often coating their bone spears and daggers with poison secreted from the brier thorns.
The goblins, being feral, are chaotic in nature, very territorial and often very hostile to other races.
The war with the local population is mostly for resources, but also religious, believing the other races have no right to be in the marshlands and suckle form the great earthen Mother’s bosom.

Brier patches

While considered sacred, the species is invasive, growing everywhere and strangling everything, including most other wildlife, and the farms.
Chopping and tending the brier patches are a necessity as the settlements would be overgrown in a year. Because of the sacred nature of the plant, all vines must be cut with care and burned with a shaman or priest praying over the flames. This, of course, makes things difficult as cutting away a field could take days instead of a few hours.

The Fallen

There is a second species of brier bushes, the fallen.
The species does not root itself into the ground, instead blowing around like a bramble weed.
The bush can roam the marshlands in dozens to 100s.
The vines of the bush can move like limbs, and the bush likes to entangle its victims using its thorns to drink the blood of those it embraces, similar to a spider leaving only a husk when finished.
Considered demons by the local population, these are the spirits who turned against the great earthen God with their thorns, the souls of the damned, forever cursed to be separated from their mother.
Although hunted by the shamans and religious orders, their numbers never seem to end, with some years being mild to plaques of 1000s engulfing whole settlements and wiping out entire feral goblin tribes.

Special

The great brier bridges

Through the marshlands the settlements have built a series of bridges out of the brier’s vines. This is their only source of roads, well-maintained, and rises over the wetlands.

The poison trade

Due to the thorns that secret poison, rogue guilds have come to this region to take the thorns and use it as trade.
The locals and goblin tribes both take offense to these acts and will often be the only time the two parties unite to destroy the invaders.
Because of this, the more powerful guilds and merchants whose greedy nature desires these coveted poisons will often hire mercenary battalions to stomp out those who resist them or even resort to burning down settlements or assassination of leaders.
This of course has only lead to the more xenophobic nature of both the settlements and the feral goblin tribes.

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Sing Sing Correctional Facility is a maximum security prison in the village of Ossining, New York. It is located about 30 miles north of New York City on the east bank of the Hudson River. The name comes from the Native American words “Sint Sinck” which roughly translates to “Stone upon stone.” Construction for the prison began in 1824 and concluded in 1826. In 1914, Thomas Mott Osborne was appointed as the new warden, and he began his brief tenure there by disguising himself as an inmate for one week to experience conditions in the prison from the perspective of an inmate. He later went on to become a major reformer of prisons. A total of 614 men and women were executed by way of the electric chair, or “Old Sparky”, before the abolition of the death penalty in New York State in 1972. Today, Sing Sing houses about 2000 inmates and receives 5000 visitors each month. The expression of sending someone “Up the river” refers to criminals who were sentenced to a prison term in New York City who were then literally sent up the Hudson river to Sing Sing prison.

Ookurikara
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大倶利伽羅

……大倶利伽羅だ。相州伝の広光作で。前の主は伊達政宗。名前の由来は彫られた倶利伽羅竜。 ……それ以上は特に語ることはないな。何せ、無銘刀なものでね

…I’m Ookurikara. I’m the work of Hiromitsu of the Soushu school. My previous owner was Date Masamune. My name comes from the Kurikara dragon carving on my blade. …Other than that, there’s nothing else for me to talk about. At any rate, I’m just a mumeitou.

Ookurikara was forged by Hikoshirō Hiromitsu from the Soushuu school, around 1350 CE.

The sword was bestowed by the second shogun Hidetada to Date household and was taken from said household in the postwar period and is now in a private collection.

According to Tokugawa Records, on day 21st of the 11th moon (lunar calendar), the 6th year of Genwa Period (1620), this sword was granted to Date Tadamune (the second son of the famous and powerful daimyō Date Masamune) by Tokugawa Hidetada as the reward for finishing the construction of stone walls surrounding the Castle of Edo. From Date’s side, in the document Date jike kiroku (literally Documents of the Date Famil), there is an identical record.

In Kensou Secret document, the bestowal was said to happen during the 10th month (lunar calendar). Previous ownership before Hidetada is unknown.

Canon idea is that Ookurikara, along with Tsurumaru Kuninaga and Shokudaikiri Mitsutada are the three famous Date Masamune’s swords, but Ookurikara can’t actually be called Date Masamune’s sword. According to the records, this sword was granted to Date Masamune’s son, Tadamune.

However, there is also a theory that states the stone wall construction was done in the name of Masamune and Tadamune only received the reward as Masamune’s proxy.

Ookurikara was originally classed in game as a Tachi until 2015/07/22, when was shortened to a medium rarity Uchigatana (along with Izuminokami Kanesada and Doutanuki Masakuni), even though his lenght is still 67.6cm. The real sword is currently being kept in Ibaraki City, Osaka Prefecture.

Ookurikara in his presentation says that he is a mumeitou (無銘刀), a sword that does not bear the signature of his sword smith. This inscription is a mark of quality and pride in his swordsmith, allowing owners to trace the sword back to him.

His whole behaviour is very cold and is often analogized to a cat due to his mannerism of ‘i do what i want’(“…I’m Ookurikara. I don’t have anything else to say. I don’t plan on getting friendly with you”, “If you don’t need anything from me, then leave me alone”, “I don’t plan on getting along with you”, “I’m not going to group up with you guys”, “I’ll use this as I please”), he does not seem interested in making new friends or spend time with others even though he seems on good terms with Mitsutada Shokudaikiri(A newcomer? I’m not interested.).

His whole behaviour of “I will fight alone, and i will die alone” is probably due to the fact that he’s a mumeitou, so he doesn’t feel to belong to anyone, thus he doesn’t feel the need to take orders from anyone. And just as Kashuu obsession over being beautiful and Yamanbagiri obsession on him not being 'fake’ despite being a copy, Ookurikara feel the need to prove that he can fight alone, without having any masters and if there’s a need he will die alone without sacrificing other lives.

In fact while it’s common in a lot of swords, Ookurikara never calls the Saniwa master or even act as if he’s under our control, he even says: I don’t need your orders.

Ookurikara also says that his name comes from the ornate dragon carvings on his blade of the black dragon Kurikara that created the fire coiled around Fudou Myouou’s sword, used to purge the three mortal poisons of ignorance, attachment, and aversion. Prominently in Shingon Buddhism. Such carvings are usually avoided on swords in order not to weaken them, but it is said that Ookurikara was scarred before and the tattoos are used to hide them.

Uchigatana - 🌸🌸 Medium Rarity - #116

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Our civilization is literally built on sand. People have used it for construction since at least the time of the ancient Egyptians. In the 15th century, an Italian artisan figured out how to turn sand into transparent glass, which made possible the microscopes, telescopes, and other technologies that helped drive the Renaissance’s scientific revolution (also, affordable windows). Sand of various kinds is an essential ingredient in detergents, cosmetics, toothpaste, solar panels, silicon chips, and especially buildings; every concrete structure is basically tons of sand glued together with cement.

Sand—small, loose grains of rock and other hard stuff—can be made by glaciers grinding up stones, by oceans degrading seashells, even by volcanic lava chilling and shattering upon contact with air. But nearly 70 percent of all sand grains on Earth are quartz, formed by weathering. Time and the elements eat away at rock, above and below the ground, grinding off grains. Rivers carry countless tons of those grains far and wide, accumulating them in their beds, on their banks, and at the places where they meet the sea.

Apart from water and air, humble sand is the natural resource most consumed by human beings. People use more than 40 billion tons of sand and gravel every year. There’s so much demand that riverbeds and beaches around the world are being stripped bare. (Desert sand generally doesn’t work for construction; shaped by wind rather than water, desert grains are too round to bind together well.) And the amount of sand being mined is increasing exponentially.

Though the supply might seem endless, sand is a finite resource like any other. The worldwide construction boom of recent years—all those mushrooming megacities, from Lagos to Beijing—is devouring unprecedented quantities; extracting it is a $70 billion industry.

— 

The Deadly Global War for Sand

By Vince Beiser in WIRED

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Numerous stone structures known as nuraghi can be found on the Italian island of Sardinia. These megalithic (large stone) buildings were constructed in the second and first millennia BCE. Typically, a nuraghe has three parts: a tower-like outer shell made of layers of stones that diminish in size along the height of the structure; an inner shell of smaller stones to create a pointed interior dome; and a filler of small stones and dirt to provide stability to the structure, which stands only by force of its own weight. The tallest surviving nuraghi rise to a height of sixty feet (20 m.) and weigh several tons. Almost 7,000 of these fascinating structures still survive, primarily in the northwest and south-central sections of the island.

As the builders of nuraghi left no written record, archaeologists are unsure of their original function. They may have served religious, military, domestic, and/or civic purposes.

Thank you to Fabio Cocco Carreras for suggesting this topic.

“Tholos” of Sant'Antine, Torralba. Photo: Michael Koch

Central tower, Nuraghe, Sant'Antine, Torralba

Nuraghe Ruju, near Chiaramonti

Nuraghe Losa, near Abbasanta

Astronomy shown to be set in standing stone

University of Adelaide research has for the first time statistically proven that the earliest standing stone monuments of Britain, the great circles, were constructed specifically in line with the movements of the Sun and Moon, 5000 years ago.

The research, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, details the use of innovative 2D and 3D technology to construct quantitative tests of the patterns of alignment of the standing stones.

“Nobody before this has ever statistically determined that a single stone circle was constructed with astronomical phenomena in mind - it was all supposition,” says project leader and University of Adelaide Visiting Research Fellow Dr Gail Higginbottom, who is also a Visiting Research Fellow at the Australian National University.

Examining the oldest great stone circles built in Scotland (Callanish, on the Isle of Lewis, and Stenness, Isle of Orkney – both predating Stonehenge’s standing stones by about 500 years), the researchers found a great concentration of alignments towards the Sun and Moon at different times of their cycles. And 2000 years later in Scotland, much simpler monuments were still being built that had at least one of the same astronomical alignments found at the great circles.

The stones, however, are not just connected with the Sun and the Moon. The researchers discovered a complex relationship between the alignment of the stones, the surrounding landscape and horizon, and the movements of the Sun and the Moon across that landscape.

“This research is finally proof that the ancient Britons connected the Earth to the sky with their earliest standing stones, and that this practice continued in the same way for 2000 years,” says Dr Higginbottom.

Examining sites in detail, it was found that about half the sites were surrounded by one landscape pattern and the other half by the complete reverse.

“These chosen surroundings would have influenced the way the Sun and Moon were seen, particularly in the timing of their rising and setting at special times, like when the Moon appears at its most northerly position on the horizon, which only happens every 18.6 years,” Dr Higginbottom says.

“For example, at 50% of the sites, the northern horizon is relatively higher and closer than the southern and the summer solstice Sun rises out of the highest peak in the north. At the other 50% of sites, the southern horizon is higher and closer than the northern, with the winter solstice Sun rising out of these highest horizons.

"These people chose to erect these great stones very precisely within the landscape and in relation to the astronomy they knew. They invested a tremendous amount of effort and work to do so. It tells us about their strong connection with their environment, and how important it must have been to them, for their culture and for their culture’s survival.”