I have always wondered, if you use MuTe to change the property of a stone to have maximum Hydrophobicity (ie water repellant), would it be able to sink in water, no matter how dense it is?
A hydrophobic low density rock will float.
but what about a hydrophobic rock with a density typical of rocks (i.e. significantly heavier than water)? will it not sink but remain dry, with a sort of weird silvery sheen around it, due to trapped air or something like it?
I still think that it should sink, but depending on its porosity air bubbles might get trapped there despite their lower density.
The question (which is a real mind bender) is how you have a hydrophobic rock with high porosity- obviously the answer has to be magic, but then the question becomes whether the air bubbles count as part of the rock for the purpose of keeping the water out.
Of course all of this avoids the fact that density isn't even the issue- all things seek their own level is the way it works for Mythic Physics, so what really needs to happen is for the natural level of the rock to be changed.
I don't think a floating island of pumice would sink otherwise the powers that be wouldn't have suggested it as a way to have a floating island.
Now if a piece of pumice can float for years that may be enough time that the scientific belief at the time is that it floats forever... and if bees come from rotten meat because that’s what seemed to be true then it doesn’t seem that off to say pumice floats forever.
I think regardless of which way you rule there are a lot of assumptions being made about the state of the scientific knowledge of the time.
Apparently when floating stones were demonstrated at Ram Satu in India it was initially not believed by europeans, which suggests they did not have knowledge of floating rocks at the time, which would be several centuries after the ars magica setting.
... which sounds odd, since we know that the romans used pumice in their concrete ...
Using pumice in concrete does not imply knowledge that pumice floated. Just knowledge that it was easy to crush. The Koran also includes passage about birds carrying pumice to drop on enemies, so apparently arabs knew that birds could carry it.
Crushing it would make it less likely to float. In addition to the ease of crushing it, the resulting powder was easily penetrated by the slurry which makes it an excellent material for making high quality concrete.
EDIT: It is also a very good insulator, which is the reason it is used in modern light weight high insulation concrete. No idea if that would play a part in why the Romans used it though.
True. But it kinda does imply knowledge of lifting/moving it. Which again does not imply knowledge that it can float, but does make it more likely.
I'd have to go with 'unlikely', as to the best of my knowledge, the romans didn't understand electricity.
I took it to mean thermal insulation, not electrical. And again, the fact that the Europeans disbelieved the floating rocks in India suggests they did not understand that pumice can float, and is much more direct evidence than suppositions about the implications of having used it in cement.
Silveroak is correct in that I was speaking of thermal insulation, not electrical insulation. I should have been more clear. I know the earlier Greeks used materials to thermally insulate their homes, but I am unsure of the Romans.
EDIT: The Romans were a lot more worldly and technologically advanced in many ways then Europe in the Middle Ages (part of why they were called the Dark Ages). They very well could have known and understood pumice floats, while later Europeans did not.
That is possible, but the issue would be medieval understanding, not Roman. After all if the game were based on Roman understanding of the world it would have been polytheistic.
So as i was thinking about this more I had the thought of adding 1-2 "Great Towers" in the city areas.
This adds space both for labs and for the support of said lab's.
Secondly I was thinking of the core founders of the Sanctuary... I'm thinking of a cabal of Archmagi (4-12) that started planing and gathering resources and support 10-20years ago. Now the Archmagi have gathered to bring their grand dream to life and the pc's are some of the younger magi.
I need help coming up with the names of the three cities...
My ideas so far.... Hermes, Thoth, Hecate, Prometheus, Dagda.
A note on the great tower- while the largest completed building of the period was the pyramid at gaza at around 450 feet, there was a cathedral being built at the time which would rise to 550, which is probably a better reference to what was technologically possible for the time. Also worth noting that it took 2 centuries to build that cathedral and the tallest tower collapsed after 2 centuries of use. Magic could obviously accomplish more, though presumably not with craft magic...
stone buildings seem to have topped out at around 550 feet, that limit being broken by the Eiffel tower made of steel which rose to approximately twice that height. Modern skyscrapers top out at just over 2700 feet. Of course mythic europe does have somewhat different physics...