The Stoneheim Mystery

Ninety-nine thousand bottles of boom on the wall...

In Myth TFL, we see this flavor text:

"Hours after the fall of Myrgard, the Dwarves defending Stoneheim collapsed the barbican, entombing ten thousand of their number behind as many tons of shattered rock." [Dwarven info-quote]

Why would the Dwarves seal themselves inside their own city? Did they have something to hide? ThorulfR has a theory, relating to the Dwarves' infinite bottle supply, and a possible Dwarven glassworks buried inside Muirthemne, still in operation. I think he's crazy, but it's a fun read: the case of the archer this is not so strange, a quiver can hold a large number of arrows, and the archer can retrieve shot arrows from the battlefield.

The dwarf however throws bottles that could not possibly fit in any number in his backpack. In fact when a dwarf dies, any satchel charges in his pack drops out, but never any bottles. Yet when he throws he pulls his hand back near the flap of the backpack, and they have a bottle. So how do the dwarves get these bottles? They could be making them between battles. But then they should appear as the dwarves die. And no dwarf moving about with the legion has the capacity of making glass or even clay bottles between battles. The special concoction in the bottle most probably can not be found everywhere, nor glass or clay for bottlemaking.

The bottles must be coming from somewhere else.

My proposition is that the flap of the dwarven backpack acts as a portal to a distribution center at Stoneheim or Myrgard before the fall. The dwarf lifts the flap slightly, one of many on-duty dwarves at Stoneheim sees the ripple in the portal and promptly plops through a lit bottle. "Incoming!"

This is probably why the dwarves at Stoneheim prevented it's capture with the strongest possible means.

With Myrgard fallen, the dwarves simply could not let Stoneheim fall, even the intrusion of a single ghol raid party could disrupt the glass works, the chemical plant or the mine. The whole dwarven war effort would be destroyed. Entombed leads thoughts to death, but it does not have to mean that. If the dwarves thought they were going to die, they might as well have thrown themselves at the ghols. The dwarves probably just closed themselves into the solid rock at Stoneheim, and the lazy ghols had no inclination to dig them out. It meant closing themselves off from the surface world, but securing the remaining dwarven base. The dwarves would be able to live here. Any foodstuffs would be capable of growing at low light, like fungi or mushrooms.

If this is so, why do not the dwarves have unlimited supplies of satchel charges? Simply put a satchel charge is larger than a bottle. While a bottle can be fitted through a small hole, the plate-shaped satchel charges are probably larger than the hole and needs to be transferred in parts, several small charges and a wrapper. To assemble this a satchel charge on the field of battle is not practical, nor is using lots of smaller charges. Satchel charges might need some minimum critical mass to light.

Now this portal has several advantages. With the portal small items can be passed between widely separated dwarves. Like messages: (excerpt from "An a long awaited party) "What I record next is hearsay, though the Dwarves who remained with us after Forest Heart swear by its truth. It seems impossible that they could have any knowledge of events occurring hundreds of miles away, deep in territory long held by the Ghols, yet their conviction does not yield" This is also how the dwarves at Stoneheim learned of the fall of Myrgard, so far away, and released the Barbican within hours.

Or food and drink: (Before the "Ambush at devil's overlook") "The Dwarves are running about like delirious children" Considering the chance of a dwarf against lots of soulless, this is probably because they were drunk ;-). A dwarf with a Stoneheim backpack need never go hungry or thirsty, even if the foodstuff from Stoneheim probably is onesided. "Mushroom ale and mushroom soup, again?"

If this is true, the dwarves at Stoneheim, if ever dug out, might be changed due to the lack of sun and mushroom diet. Gray dwarves in Myth3?

I hope this knowledge does not spread to the ghols, who might try pushing pus packets through the portal of a backpack.

This theory would require significant magical abilities on the part of the Dwarves, but we do know that they can repair, and possible even built, the World Knots, and the Smiths of Muirthemne who built the Tain seem to have been Dwarves. So this kind of magic technology is right up their ally.

Recompiled by Forrest.