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【书籍搬运】Dwarves, v1 矮人,卷1

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原文地址:http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Dwarves,_v1

正文翻译:

矮人——泰姆瑞尔的失落种族

第一卷:建筑与模式

——卡尔塞默,麦卡斯学者

让我从修正一个常见误区开始讲起。在指代泰姆瑞尔的古老失落种族时,恰当的学名是“锻莫”。这个词大体上可以翻译为通用语中的“深地民族”,而这一称谓现已被更常见的学名“矮人”所广泛取代。我在此声明的是,因为我完全了解我的读者并不具备我进行了200年学术研究积累所得的渊博学识,出于对读者的同情,在本系列书中我使用“矮人”这一学名替代其更为准确的版本。

这个小问题得以澄清之后,让我们通过关注于矮人不容置疑的遗产,即他们的建筑与文化模式,来开始讨论这一种族。与其它更具争议性的矮人研究领域不同,矮人城市与遗迹的结构因其废墟中残存了过多样本而早已解释清楚。我本人的家乡,麦卡斯城,原先就是一个如此遗址。我个人的第一手经验表明所有的矮人设计都具有共同原理,凭借这些原理我们可以鉴定矮人器物的真伪,还可以勾画出对他们工艺技法至关重要的模式与方法。

首先,我们能肯定地说,矮人工匠们,至少在建筑上,更偏好于岩石。这并不令人惊讶。虽有例外,大量矮人建筑均位于地下或建于山中。尽管只是理论猜测,但极有可能的是,作为一个种族矮人掌握石工技术的年代非常之早,而当矮人们开始掌握更为复杂工具的使用方法时,如晚些时候的实例所示,金属工艺便被添加到早先的石工设计上。无论如何,全部已知矮人遗址的地基均为石工,而矮人石工的轮廓清晰、棱角分明且具有强烈的数学特性。

大体估算一下,以精准方形拼接组合为样式的矮人建筑实例没有上千也有上百,而分散的圆形或曲线形样式的数量要远少得多。这让我们相信早期的矮人更偏好使用基于直线相交而成的样式,因其准确度更高且易于计算,而基于圆弧和曲线的样式风险和误差都更大。这种相对而言更为简单的石料切割传统成就了那些经历千年直至今日也依旧结构坚固的建筑物,与其相比我们现如今最高明石匠的手艺也不过是小孩玩泥巴罢了。

就我们所知,近乎全部的矮人锻造都是金属制品。当然,我们不能把像陶土、纸张与玻璃这样的更易损毁的材料从矮人锻造中排除出去,但基于矮人设计更偏向于长期耐久性的特质,我们可以信心十足地认定他们对金属拥有强烈偏爱。并且,在全部业已发现的矮人遗物中所使用的金属是其文化所独有的。

无论采取怎样的工艺,没有其它种族能够复制出矮人金属的配方。尽管这种金属极易与青铜相混——实际上许多矮人器物的伪造者都使用青铜来制造赝品——这种金属毋庸置疑是自成一派的。我亲眼目睹过冶金学家试图通过混合几种不同的钢材与其它常见或稀少的矿石来模拟出矮人金属的独特属性,但唯一成功了的配方却是融化掉已有的矮人金属碎片并由此开始打造。

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Dwarves - The Lost Race of Tamriel
Volume I: Architecture and Designs
by Calcelmo, Scholar of Markarth
A scholarly work on the architecture and metallurgy of Dwemer


Let me begin by correcting a common misconception. The proper term to use when referencing the ancient lost race of Tamriel is "Dwemer." It is a word whose meaning is roughly translated to "people of the deep" in the common tongue, and whose use has been widely replaced by the more ubiquitous nomenclature, "dwarves." I would like stated that I use the name "dwarves" in lieu of the more accurate term in these books out of sympathy for my readership, whom I can safely assume does not have the breadth of scholarship that 200 years of study has given me.
With that small point finished, let us begin our discussion on the dwarves by focusing on the indisputable artifacts they have left behind: their architectural and cultural designs. Unlike the more controversial areas of dwarven scholarship, the construction of dwarven cities and relics are well-founded due to the plethora of samples taken from the ruins these peoples have left behind. My own home city, Markarth, was originally one such ruin, and I can state from first-hand experience that all dwarven designs share a set of common principles that we can use to determine true artifacts from fakes and delineate patterns and methodologies that were important to their craftsmen.
First of all, we can say for certain that dwarven artisans favored stone, at least as far as their buildings were concerned. This is no surprise. With notable exceptions, the vast majority of dwarven architecture is found underground or carved out of mountains. It is possible, although only theoretically, that the dwarves first mastered masonry as a race quite early, and later examples of metalwork were added on to much earlier stone designs as the dwarves began to master more complex tools. Regardless, the foundation of all known dwarven ruins is built on stonework, and the structure of dwarven stonework is sharp, angular, and intensely mathematical in nature.
By a simple count, there are hundreds if not thousands of samples of dwarven buildings made of precise square shapes, and far fewer examples of discretely rounded or curved stonework, leading us to believe that early dwarves favored trusted, well-calculated designs based on angled lines rather than riskier, more imprecise calculations based on arcs and curves. This comparatively simple tradition of stonecutting [sic] has nevertheless resulted in buildings that are as structurally sound today as they were thousands of years ago, making the works of our most skilled masons today seem like child's play in comparison.
Metalwork as far as we know is the primary method used to make almost all dwarven crafts. We cannot, however, discount more easily destructible materials such as clay, paper, and glass from outside the scope of dwarven craftsmanship, but given the tendency of dwarven design to favor the long-lasting over the fragile, we can safely assume that at the very least metal was a heavy preference. And the metal used in all so-far-discovered dwarven relics is entirely unique to their culture.
No other race has replicated whatever process was used to create dwarven metal. Although it can be easily mistaken for bronze -- and in fact many forgers of dwarven materials use bronze to create their fake replicas -- it is most definitely a distinct type of metal of its own. I have personally seen metallurgists attempt to combine several different types of steel and common and rare ores in order to imitate dwarven metal's exclusive properties, but the only method that has been successful is to melt down existing dwarven metallic scraps and start over from there.

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