Morganti Weapons (was: Concerning Great Weapons & Baritt)

Mon Mar 10 10:16:49 PST 2003

On Mon, 10 Mar 2003, Andrew Lias wrote:

@> >AFB, but Vlad said something similar to "my soul would have gone to feed a
@> >sentience in six inches of steel" in Jhereg (I think). It's the sort of
@> >line that sticks with you. Maybe "feed" is being used metaphorically
@> >there, but I got the impression from other bits in other books that
@> >they're actually eating the souls.
@> I remember that -- I really got the impression that it was metaphorical, in 
@> the sames sense that we talk about feeding wood to a fire.  Of course, this 
@> is blurred by the fact that MWs, unlike fire, actually do appear to have 
@> some level of sentience, making them more akin to living beings, but I don't 
@> get the impression that they have metabolisms.  We don't see them, for 
@> instance, excreting anything after they've consumed a soul, nor do they 
@> appear to have anything like respiration, growth, or reproduction.
@> As such, pending any evidence for a metabolism (which is the whole reason 
@> that living organisms feed upon other things), I don't think that an MW 
@> "eating" a soul is really like it *eating* a soul.

Even the "feeding wood to a fire" metaphor works fine as far as my
question is concerned; if you stop feeding a fire, it goes away. I'm not
claiming that Morganti weapons meet our full definition of "living"; 
that's problematic, as you've shown here. I was thinking of them more as
very sophisticated blenders, with the souls being the electrical supply
(hence the possibility that they just go dormant if they can't eat). A
blender doesn't have any metabolism that meets our definition of the term,
but it definitely does require power to perform its various functions.