A black stone of unknown origin has been used in the construction of several structures throughout the known world. Some of it is described as oily or greasy, in contrast to the similar but "drier" constructions of Valyrian dragonstone.
Oily black stone
According to the ironborn, the Seastone Chair was found on the shore of Old Wyk and had been carved from a block of oily black stone. Its creators are unknown; Maester Kirth suggests it was left by visitors from across the Sunset Sea. The drowned men claim the ironborn are not descended from the First Men but instead came from the watery halls of the Drowned God beneath the sea. Maesters reject this suggestion that the ironborn are closer to fish or merlings.
Isle of Toads
The Isle of Toads, one of the Basilisk Isles, contains the Toad Stone, a large statue of a toad made of a greasy black stone. It is said the people of the island are reminiscent of fish and have webbed appendages.
Yeen, an ancient ruined city in Sothoryos, is made out of massive blocks of oily black stone. Despite being surrounded by jungle and having been empty for thousands of years, no plant creeps into Yeen.
The Bloodstone Emperor rejected the traditional gods of Yi Ti and instead encouraged the worship of a black stone said to have fallen from the sky. This emperor is said to have founded the Church of Starry Wisdom and possibly caused the start of the Long Night.
Fused black stone
The foundation of the Hightower on Battle Isle at Oldtown is a square, labrynthine fortress of fused black stone. Its appearance is reminiscent of the dragonroads of the Valyrian Freehold and the Black Walls of Volantis, a Valyrian colony, but there is no archaeological evidence of Valyrians at Oldtown, save for the settlers atop Whispering Sound - Valyrians, Ghiscari and Summer Islanders - who set up a place to trade and repair their ships. However, the fortress is plain and unadorned, unlike the fused stone constructions of the Valyrians, who twisted and shaped the fused stone to ornament their buildings.
Archmaester Quillion suggests a connection between the fortress and the mazemakers of Lorath. The legends of Lorath claim the mazemakers were destroyed by something from the sea. Maester Theron, a bastard of ironborn ancestry, suggests in his Strange Stone that there is a connection between the Hightower's base and the Seastone Chair, and that they were created by the Deep Ones, a legendary race created by the breeding of sea creatures with humans and which may have inspired the legends of merlings.
The Five Forts along the northeastern edge of Yi Ti are made of great slabs of single-fused black stone, similar to that of Valyrian construction. Like the Hightower, however, there is no known connection between Valyria and the Five Forts.
The ruined curtain wall of Moat Cailin in the Neck is composed of blocks of black basalt. When wet, its massive stones appear to be coated in fine black oil. Blackhaven in the Dornish Marches also has black basalt walls.
References and Notes
- The World of Ice & Fire.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 26, Arya VI.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Dawn Age.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Basilisk Isles.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Sothoryos.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Asshai-by-the Shadow.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Yi Ti.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Oldtown.
- The World of Ice & Fire, Lorath.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Bones and Beyond: Yi Ti.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 55, Catelyn VIII.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 20, Reek II.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Stormlands: The Men of the Stormlands.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Bones and Beyond.