Craft:Slate mining

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Slate is found in thick seams of flat sheets of rock. Quarries dig deep into mountainsides leaving 40 foot thick columns of slate every 40-50 feet or so to keep the roof up. Slate is useful as a building material because it naturally forms flat sheets, and splits naturally at right angles. Huge blocks are mined out and then split into smaller sheets. These blocks are hauled to the surface and then split further. Slates of as little as a sixth of an inch thick can be split out by a skilled splitter. A slate-dresser then cuts the split slate into the desired dimensions and, if desired, knocks holes into the corners of the slab using a spike.
Slate is waterproof and use therefore often used for roofing, its thin tiles are relatively light making use as a roof covering even easier. A slate roof needs almost no maintenance and is therefore favoured on large buildings such as temples and castles.
Slate is mined in Osoerde in vast quantities, and to a lesser extent in Coeranys and Aerenwe. That so many homes in Anuire have roofs made of slate ? even in the northern realms such as Mhoried and Talinie, is a tribute to the slate-cutters of the south.
Slate is also used for writing, when the surface is scratched with a piece of chalk, the natural grey-black face of the stone makes the trail of chalk stand out clearly. The slate can easily then be wiped or merely rubbed clean. This combination makes slate boards popular in temples and with tutors to the children nobles and wealthy merchants.

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