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Clay Men: I wanna know all the things (Spoilers) Messages in this topic - RSS

Iona Dre'emt
Iona Dre'emt
Posts: 127

4/11/2018
So this is probably a lot of stuff that hasn't been answered yet but I need to know for...reasons. If you can't answer because FATE or something, can you at least direct me to the correct story? I have not engaged in any FATE stories yet and would like to someday.
1. Do Clay Men need to breathe?
2. If Clay Men are submerged in water do they dissolve?
3. Are they bisqueware(fired clay before glazing) or greenware(dried clay before firing) or what?
4. Do they have to repair themselves sometimes?
5. Can they repair themselves?
6. Can they feel physical pain?
7. Do they have hmhhmhmhm sexual organs?
8. Does gender really count for Clay Men?
9. Is the Pirate-Poet the only one of her kind?
10. Can a person become a Clay Person(eg Comtessa)?
11. Can you fire a Clay Person? Can you glaze a Clay Person?
12. Do they have clay or human hearts(eg Pirate Poet in SSeas vs. Leathery Human Hearts)?
13. Do they wear clothes or are the clothes sculpted?
14. How, exactly, are Clay People bound to service?
15. WHEN WILL FAILBETTER LET ME MARRY THE PIRATE-POET?!
16. Do they have Correspondence sigils on their foreheads like Aleph for golems?
17. Is there an answer to all of these questions? Will there ever be?
18. Do just Unfinished Men have names(Jasper, Frank)?
19. Is Lyme unfinished?
20. Will Failbetter yell at me for making a gigantic post with all these questions? (please don't, I'm sorry!)
21. How far down does the Pirate-Poet's hood go?
22. Where did the Pirate-Poet get her sword?
23. DOES THE PIRATE-POET LOVE ME AS MUCH AS I LOVE HER?!
24. Can you like implant wire into Clay skin to make cool designs?
25. Do we have literally any examples of the Pirate-Poet's poetry anywhere at all?

Anything helps, thank you so much!

--
Main, Phiri Ulfur, the Cunning Shadow. Their heart belongs to a Pirate-Poet across the Zee.
Alt Vermillion Liminate, the Tragic Scholar.
Alt #2,Lady Jacqueline Blackwood, the Savage Beauty.
Alt #3, Veracity Taylor, the Dame of the Docks.
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Jaina
Jaina
Posts: 229

4/11/2018
1/2. There's a giant clay man in the Sea of Voices. Also, the Pirate Poet comes back even if you don't rescue her after a defeat so I imagine that they do not dissolve, nor do they need to breathe.
9. IIRC, the Pirate-Poet was created by the Merciless Modiste (and maybe others of her group?). She is unique as a non-unfinished clay person who is independent, and thus an endless frustration to the king of Polythreme.
17. Some of them definitely don't have answers.
19. I can't say for sure but Lyme seems to be a normal clay man owned by Jasper and Frank, who are trying to turn him into an independent person. You have to teach him basic independence stuff in Mahogany Hall and he doesn't have a lot of basic concepts that unfinished men seem to.

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Optimatum
Optimatum
Posts: 3164

4/11/2018
1. Probably not. The Clay Quarters are underground tunnels without proper ventilation systems, after all.
2. Probably not, but who knows.
3. They are born from the walls of Polythreme buildings, but who knows what those are made of (or whether they keep the material).
4/5. I think so? There's a reference somewhere iirc to Unfinished Men who aren't visibly Unfinished because they've done something to obscure the damage. Granted, there's also a mention somewhere of there being damaged Clay Men who just got hurt in the course of work, so maybe repairing is difficult.
6. Maaaybe? They certainly wouldn't feel pain from most of what is painful to us humans, but The Clay Man's Arm had some horrifying experiments on Clay Men that clearly caused discomfort.
7. Doubt it
8. As far as I can tell, Clay Men are effectively gender-neutral and the Pirate-Poet chooses femininity as a rejection of their servitude.
9. She's still a Clay Man, just one who broke her chains.
10. Unknown. There's another reference somewhere to someone attempting something of the sort, but I don't think it worked.
11. Maybe, but I doubt they'd like it. They can probably survive the heat though.
12. The Leathery Human Hearts thing is weird, given they just originate from walls. I suspect that's something unusual done to those particular Clay Men after the fact.
13. The clay manager in Factory of Favours wears clothes, so it's clearly possible for them to do so.
14. The Bazaar has a trade agreement with Polythreme where every so often a tithe of Clay Men are sent to London. They're also bound by just being really obedient, which obviously doesn't apply to the Unfinished.
15. No clue, but you can engage in a night of passionate romance.
16. Art shows some symbol on their foreheads but I doubt it's a true Correspondence symbol, maybe one of the off-brand imitations at best.
17. No.
18. Only the Unfinished Men seem to care enough about individual identity to claim them, but there's no indication that all Unfinished Men choose them. There's likewise no reason that a regular Clay Man couldn't be given a name.
19. Possibly, given he has a name.
20. I hope not, these are very interesting!
21. Far enough.
22. Where would you get a sword?
23. Judging by your questions, I suspect that's impossible.
24. If you can carve poetry into them, why not?
25. Just the titles, unfortunately.
edited by Optimatum on 4/11/2018

--
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James Sinclair
James Sinclair
Posts: 163

4/11/2018
2. Possibly. Consider this storylet, which describes water turning "muddy brown" when a Clay Man falls into it.
4 & 5. Yes, but they aren't very good at it. You can assist them with healing in the Clay Quarters.
6. Yes. When fighting a Clay version of Jack-of-Smiles, he gives a cry of pain when you injure him.
10. Clay Men are animated by the soul of the King With a Hundred Hearts, so it's exceedingly unlikely that a human (who may or may not have their own soul, separate from the King) could somehow transform a Clay Man. Then again, the Red Science can break the Law and allow some other startling transformations, so it's not impossible. But not in the way the Comtessa was being "transformed".
11. This sounds like an experiment that the professors at the Department of Infernal Rarefactions at Benthic College might be interested in...
13. The Clay Coalman appears to be wearing a jacket or vest of some kind. I imagine that Clay Men wear (damp) clothes rather than parading around naked and risking offense to Victorian London's delicate sensibilities, in much the same way that other non-human sentients (rattus fabers, Rubbery Men, Devils, etc.) do.
16. Yes, as indicated by the art (take a look at Frank and Jasper for reference). But unlike the legendary Golem, I don't think there's any reference to erasing or defacing the mark causing the Clay Man any ill effects. There's also no indication that the symbols are Correspondence sigils.
19. I don't think it's as simple as a Clay Man being "normal" vs. Unfinished. A normal Clay Man can become Unfinished (i.e. free-willed; or more accurately, free-thinking and not mindlessly obedient), which is what Lyme seems to be in the process of becoming, with help from Jasper, Frank, and you.
20. Why else do we come here?
23. Yes. Yes she does.
24. I like the way you think!

--
James Sinclair

Curator of the Sanguine Ribbon Society 🗡

A fully-fledged rêveur of The Night Circus.

Wines is red
Spices is yellow
But old Jack-of-Smiles
Is a murderous fellow
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Siankan
Siankan
Posts: 524

4/11/2018
James Sinclair wrote:
19. I don't think it's as simple as a Clay Man being "normal" vs. Unfinished. A normal Clay Man can become Unfinished (i.e. free-willed; or more accurately, free-thinking and not mindlessly obedient), which is what Lyme seems to be in the process of becoming, with help from Jasper, Frank, and you.

It's made pretty clear in Polythreme that Clay Men are birthed when the King dreams, and that Unfinished Men are birthed when those dreams are particularly unpleasant (involving a certain forest journey, which clears up any lingering doubts about who the King is supposed to be, I think). I know of no examples of a regular Clay Man later becoming Unfinished; even the name is against it. (That said, I will admit that the Unfinished often pass themselves off as regular Clay Men for lengthy periods of time). Regular Clay Men can be set free in the legal sense, if you've got the stubbornness, but the text from doing so makes it clear that the other Clay Men don't really know what to do with them. They certainly don't think of them in the same way they do the Unfinished.

--
Prof. Sian Kan, at your service.
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Jaina
Jaina
Posts: 229

4/11/2018
Siankan wrote:
James Sinclair wrote:
19. I don't think it's as simple as a Clay Man being "normal" vs. Unfinished. A normal Clay Man can become Unfinished (i.e. free-willed; or more accurately, free-thinking and not mindlessly obedient), which is what Lyme seems to be in the process of becoming, with help from Jasper, Frank, and you.

It's made pretty clear in Polythreme that Clay Men are birthed when the King dreams, and that Unfinished Men are birthed when those dreams are particularly unpleasant (involving a certain forest journey, which clears up any lingering doubts about who the King is supposed to be, I think). I know of no examples of a regular Clay Man later becoming Unfinished; even the name is against it. (That said, I will admit that the Unfinished often pass themselves off as regular Clay Men for lengthy periods of time). Regular Clay Men can be set free in the legal sense, if you've got the stubbornness, but the text from doing so makes it clear that the other Clay Men don't really know what to do with them. They certainly don't think of them in the same way they do the Unfinished.

Yep. The only Clay 'Man' who is known to have gone from normal to a state similar to unfinished is the Pirate-Poet, through the work of the Modiste. I'm not sure if she could reasonably be considered unfinished, but she possesses the independence, will, and so forth that your average Clay Man simpy doesn't.

--
Cair-Var, a power-hungry lover of Devils and Rubberies
Hungry Ego, A morally upstanding citizen
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Ixc
Ixc
Posts: 152

4/11/2018
[spoiler]

1. Do Clay Men need to breathe?
No. It's just animation by Fingerkings? or Polythreme's viviance, not the reactions needed for breathing.
2. If Clay Men are submerged in water do they dissolve?
I don't think so.
4. Do they have to repair themselves sometimes?
Yes, they can use normal clay.
6. Can they feel physical pain?
I'm not sure about this, but I think they find pain unpleasant, but different from ours, considering the Pirate Poet and playing as a Clay Man.
7. Do they have hmhhmhmhm sexual organs?
No... 0_0 I don't think so.
8. Does gender really count for Clay Men?
They just prefer male default, though the Poet...
9. Is the Pirate-Poet the only one of her kind?
Pretty much, she wants to encourage more to rebel like her, and thus is hunted by the King with 100 hearts.
10. Can a person become a Clay Person(eg Comtessa?)
You most likely can't. The point of the end of the story is you deciding whether she actually is clay, and if she wants to be with the clay man. However, you can get a Clay arm with an Exceptional Story, but that's through warping reality with Correspondence/Red Science.
12. Do they have clay or human hearts(eg Pirate Poet in SSeas vs. Leathery Human Hearts)?
I think the clay men in London have human hearts as an identifier or brand mark. Normal clay men have clay hearts.
13. Do they wear clothes or are the clothes sculpted?
They wear normal clothes.
15. WHEN WILL FAILBETTER LET ME MARRY THE PIRATE-POET?!
Who knows?
16.
It seems Polythreme's vitality is unreality, while Correspondence would destroy unreality.
17. Is there an answer to all of these questions? Will there ever be?
Yes.
18. Do just Unfinished Men have names(Jasper, Frank)?
No one in the Neath really has names, except for business owners. (See Treacheries and Color)
19. Is Lyme unfinished?
Well, there's no obvious deformities, so I think no. I believe he's a case of nurture than nature.
20. Will Failbetter yell at me for making a gigantic post with all these questions? (please don't, I'm sorry!)
21. How far down does the Pirate-Poet's hood go?
We will never know. In between her shoulder blades?
22. Where did the Pirate-Poet get her sword?
She made if, I believe.
23. DOES THE PIRATE-POET LOVE ME AS MUCH AS I LOVE HER?!
YES!
24. Can you like implant wire into Clay skin to make cool designs?
It would likely hurt, I think.
25. Do we have literally any examples of the Pirate-Poet's poetry anywhere at all?
I think it might be piracy. She's a fighter, not a talker.

[/spoiler]
edited by Ixc on 4/11/2018

--
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Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
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James Sinclair
James Sinclair
Posts: 163

4/11/2018
Siankan wrote:
It's made pretty clear in Polythreme that Clay Men are birthed when the King dreams, and that Unfinished Men are birthed when those dreams are particularly unpleasant (involving a certain forest journey, which clears up any lingering doubts about who the King is supposed to be, I think). I know of no examples of a regular Clay Man later becoming Unfinished; even the name is against it. (That said, I will admit that the Unfinished often pass themselves off as regular Clay Men for lengthy periods of time). Regular Clay Men can be set free in the legal sense, if you've got the stubbornness, but the text from doing so makes it clear that the other Clay Men don't really know what to do with them. They certainly don't think of them in the same way they do the Unfinished.
That's a good point. Does that mean that Lyme was in fact created Unfinished in Polythreme? There do seem to be significant variations in personality between the Unfinished. The popular stereotype among Londoners seems to be that Unfinished Men are all violent, unstable criminals, but that clearly isn't always the case. For example, Soap, or Boris from a recent Exceptional Story (although Boris is admittedly a jerk). Perhaps Lyme is Unfinished but simply closer in personality to the average obedient, even-tempered Clay Man. Hence the Mahogany Hall lessons to encourage him to become more independent-minded and therefore more useful to his Unfinished "uncles", Jasper and Frank.

The question is: can regular Clay Men be taught the same way, or do they have to start out as inherently Unfinished and "awaken" to it at some point? If you treat your Clay sedan chair bearers well, Garfield "understands the value of an education and forges ahead." Likewise, you can encourage the Clay Coalman to get an education, although he "takes to his studies grudgingly." There's no indication of whether George, Garfield or the Coalman are Unfinished or not. It would be interesting if it were possible to recruit a Clay student at Jenny's Finishing School, Unfinished or otherwise...

--
James Sinclair

Curator of the Sanguine Ribbon Society 🗡

A fully-fledged rêveur of The Night Circus.

Wines is red
Spices is yellow
But old Jack-of-Smiles
Is a murderous fellow
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Optimatum
Optimatum
Posts: 3164

4/11/2018
According to the Empire of Hands storyline in SSea, the difference between a regular Clay Man and an Unfinished Man is that the former has to obey, while the latter chooses to obey. No clue exactly why they have to obey, though.

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Sir Frederick
Sir Frederick
Administrator
Posts: 3222

4/11/2018
Ixc wrote:
Do we have literally any examples of the Pirate-Poet's poetry anywhere at all?
I think it might be piracy. She's a fighter, not a talker.


Oh, no, her title of "poet" is entirely literal. She's giving a recital in her Exceptional Rose storyline - plus, all her tattoos. She's a fighter and a talker. And a lover. She's the whole package!
edited by Sir Frederick on 4/11/2018

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Catherine Raymond
Catherine Raymond
Posts: 2070

4/13/2018
Optimatum wrote:
According to the Empire of Hands storyline in SSea, the difference between a regular Clay Man and an Unfinished Man is that the former has to obey, while the latter chooses to obey. No clue exactly why they have to obey, though.


I believe that the Clay Men are what in Jewish folklore are called golems. They are created by making a figure in the shape and size of a human in clay or mud and inscribing it with magical words that both give it life and compel it to obedience. Wikipedia's entry on golem gives a very basic overview here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golem

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Kowth
Kowth
Posts: 64

4/13/2018
It may be helpful to those of you who haven’t poured hundreds of hours into Ss to know that you deliver a (as many as you like, but that’s game logic I think) scowling flint idol to the KoHH, and grants it (but not you) an audience. That night, the Clay Men tear themselves from the walls rather dramatically. “The words on the wall unfurl themselves”. The idol becomes “wakeful”. He sends his regards to Stone. Seems to me that there’s a possibility that the flint idols took something of the nature of their homeland. Whether of Stone, of the Prison, which is odd in its descriptions, or of the prisoner, given the malice they seem to radiate. I suggest the answer is mixed. Stone sends little flint idols of the Giver of Skins, which is almost certainly the Thief of Faces, first and god-figure of the Snuffers. I always thought that he was made by the oldest Flukes, either as a kind of vengeance for their abandonment, or as the closest they ever got to making Men. But their secret shapings have something of the Red about them. Their transformations something of the defiance of Law, of the Chain. KoHH is sympathetic to Stone, and the enemy of the Thief’s enemies (insofar as the thief seems to hate everyone and everything, but the really players of the game even more). So, I suspect the Unfinished are tainted by the Faceless, the dreams being the price or side effect of KoHH forcibly exorcising the flint idols or whatever.
edited by Kowth on 4/13/2018
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Siankan
Siankan
Posts: 524

4/13/2018
Catherine Raymond wrote:
I believe that the Clay Men are what in Jewish folklore are called golems. They are created by making a figure in the shape and size of a human in clay or mud and inscribing it with magical words that both give it life and compel it to obedience.

I won't deny that there's probably a conceptual link in there, but the Clay Men come about in a distinctly different manner. Good Rabbi Loew creates Golem by shaping a clay body, performing some Kabbalistic ritual, and then inscribing it with the proper word. (He later lays Golem to rest by altering said word.) Clay Men are not created through any agency; nobody stands there and does anything to him. The King dreams; a wall shudders and collapses; a new Clay Man steps forth. You get to watch the whole process in the Unfinished Hat storyline. The King's soul is the animating principle of Polythreme, so Polythreme is in effect his body. Whatever the process precisely entails, it is probably best thought of as a natural function (modified by whatever forces the Masters have played with) of the King with the Hundred Hearts.

This leads to a question that's somewhat off-topic, but worth asking: What do we know about the Masters' methods for upholding their end of the contracts? Are the King with the Hundred Hearts, the Cantigaster, and Prince Albert products of the Red Science? Is something else going on here? I don't know if we can do more than speculate, but I wonder.

--
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Jaina
Jaina
Posts: 229

4/13/2018
What is Albert?

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Cair-Var, a power-hungry lover of Devils and Rubberies
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Optimatum
Optimatum
Posts: 3164

4/13/2018
The King with a Hundred Hearts is the result of replacing his heart with a big chunk of Stone, which is way too much life force for a human. I don't think we have definitive proof that the Red Science wasn't involved, but I doubt it was necessary.

Albert is the Empress's consort, the one who almost died of typhoid and whom London was sold to save.

--
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Kowth
Kowth
Posts: 64

4/13/2018
Optimatum wrote:
The King with a Hundred Hearts is the result of replacing his heart with a big chunk of Stone, which is way too much life force for a human. I don't think we have definitive proof that the Red Science wasn't involved, but I doubt it was necessary.

Albert is the Empress's consort, the one who almost died of typhoid and whom London was sold to save.


That makes sense about KoHH. What’s with the idols then? They seem to trigger the nightmares or dreams. Perhaps their conversations are merely too on the subject of their shared past to dream otherwise?

Also, I think the Albert question is more about “what is Albert now” rather than who he was Then.
edited by Kowth on 4/13/2018
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Jaina
Jaina
Posts: 229

4/13/2018
Yeah, I'm curious about what happened to him. All I know is that in the sidebar it says that he is quite well, but apparently this is not the case.

--
Cair-Var, a power-hungry lover of Devils and Rubberies
Hungry Ego, A morally upstanding citizen
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Optimatum
Optimatum
Posts: 3164

4/14/2018
We don't really know the specifics of what happened, but in one ending of A Trade in Faces you can get a brief glimpse of him, and he looks rather decayed. Apparently still alive though, for some definitions of alive.

--
Optimatum, a ruthless and merciful gentleman. No plant battles or Affluent Photographer requests; all other social actions welcome.

Want a sip of Hesperidean Cider? Send me a request in-game. Here's an_ocelot's guide how.

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Siankan
Siankan
Posts: 524

4/14/2018
"Alive" is such a generic word down here.

--
Prof. Sian Kan, at your service.
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Jaina
Jaina
Posts: 229

4/15/2018
Siankan wrote:
"Alive" is such a generic word down here.

<voice type="crotchety">Back in my day, we knew if someone were alive or dead! Down here everybody's wandering around half dead, soulless. It makes me sick. Bloody hipsters.</voice>

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Hungry Ego, A morally upstanding citizen
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