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So, I have a major problem with one of my fantasy worlds that I can't seem to figure out. I recently added a race to one of my worlds called the Athar, who are a race of intelligent humanoids made of stone. The problem is that I can't seem to figure out how to justify why they haven't conquered the world.

If they are made of stone, and as a result don't need to eat or drink anything, don't get tired or need to sleep, and are lacking in vital organs to target, it seems like they would make the perfect warriors.

They live on a continent alongside humans, but are not the dominant race on the continent. How can I justify them not conquering the rest of the continent and killing off all the humans, taking in to consideration the fact that they would be naturally superior warriors to humans in every way due to their physiology?

It should be noted that:

  • The world has access to roughly medieval technology.

  • Magic is a thing, and it can be very powerful, but only in the hands of the Gods. Human magic is weaker than the magic of the Gods, and not all humans have access to it.

  • The Athar were the dominant force before humans came to the continent from across the sea. Humans came to the continent after a cataclysmic event occured on their home continent.

So, taking all of the above into account, how can I justify the Athar not taking over the world?

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closed as too broad by sphennings, Aify, Mołot, Erik, HDE 226868 Jul 26 '17 at 12:24

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Terry Pratchett's Discworld trolls are made of stone, and they are hampered by their impure silicon brains, which do not work well in temperate climates preferring colder temperatures. In the summer or in warmer climates their brains overheat. $\endgroup$ – John Jul 24 '17 at 1:53
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    $\begingroup$ To move requires energy. Where does that energy come from? The answer to that question might lead to an answer to your question. or to 'erm, magic', as @FlorianSchaetz suggests $\endgroup$ – Burki Jul 24 '17 at 8:49
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    $\begingroup$ Let's say they conquer the world. What're they going to DO with it? You've given us no motivations for the Athar, and they lack all the generic ones that fleshy creatures have (safety, sustenance, rest, etc) $\endgroup$ – Erik Jul 24 '17 at 10:24
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    $\begingroup$ As a biologist, I want to second (third, really) Florian and Burki comments. Living organism is just a machine with peculiar characteristics, but nontheless subject to laws of physics, including thermodynamics. It has to get energy to function and a source of matter to grow - we get both in food. All the wars in human history can be reduced to stealing sources of matter and energy. The other thing is, I would argue that they are not nearly as powerfull as You suggest. It's only a matter of finding methods to fight them. Perhaps You wish to rephrase Your question to focus on this? $\endgroup$ – Maciej Jul 24 '17 at 11:43
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    $\begingroup$ Paper keeps them in check. $\endgroup$ – Mazel Jul 24 '17 at 20:46

16 Answers 16

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The Athar are creatures of living stone. This makes effectively indestructible and, possibly, immortal (this last point is left for the OP to decide conclusively). Therefore, it is highly improbable there would be any creatures, animal or humanoid, living on their continent who could harm them. This suggests they have been living in peace for millennia. The one exception could be conflict within the Athar community itself.

The Athar would have no experience or knowledge of fighting other humanoids. Normal humans would be no threat to them. Perhaps they only fight in self-defence. While this is laudable, it does make them vulnerable to organized aggression by the influx of humans who have had to flee their devastated home continent.

There is a parallel situation with the European settlement of Australia. The indigenous Australians didn't feel threatened by European settlers, because their initial numbers were small. The Aborigines had the advantage of bush craft, local knowledge, and had superior numbers. By the mid-nineteenth century when the Aborigines realized there was a threat, it was too late especially with the influx during the Gold Rushes. The Europeans now had the superior numbers plus they had acquired bush craft and local knowledge. Also, firearms had improved considerably. Diseases and alcohol had also had their toll on the Aboriginal population.

This parallel situation suggests that if the first settlement of the Athar continent was slow and progressive, the Athar wouldn't feel threatened. Later there was a sudden influx of humans to overrun the Athar lands. The hitherto peaceful Athar might lack the ability or even the determination to fight against the humans. If the humans leave the Athar alone, the Athar in turn might let humans get on with their business unmolested.

One other possibility is that the numbers of the Athar have always been small. This will mean a mass human migration to their continent would soon outnumber them.

Since this is a world where magic exists perhaps the humans have magical weapons to use against the Athar. For examples, jewels imbued with a magical power to turn living stone into ordinary stone. Once the magic gems are taken away the Athar become creatures of living stone again. However, while they are lifeless and helpless their stone bodies ca be destroyed. This suggestion may be inappropriate for your world. It might suggest useful ideas.

In summary, the Athar might not become the dominant race because they have never needed to become warriors. Even when humans are dominant, unless attacked because they can defend themselves, they will leave humans alone.

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  • $\begingroup$ Humans are pretty good at drilling entire mountains. I'm not very sure that being made of stone would be such a great advantage as you make it. $\endgroup$ – Davor Jul 26 '17 at 12:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Davor In the modern world, yes, but the querent's world has medieval technology. So the humans will have to wait a few centuries before they can do that. The advantage of being made of stone is an assumption built into this world. $\endgroup$ – a4android Jul 26 '17 at 13:02
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If they don't need to eat, drink or sleep what motivation do they have? Most of our technology was created to help achieve one of the three. It sounds like they should have basically no technology, no curiosity, no drive for exploration. Since none of these give them an evolutionary benefit, unlike humans who need to seek out new resources and thus are greatly aided by all three.

Your creatures may be powerful but they are also stagnant, with little ability to adapt or change. So they are great warriors and absolute crap at everything else. I doubt they would even use tools.

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    $\begingroup$ +1. Basically, maybe they don't conquer because they don't want to. And having basically no needs (hunger, warmth, comfort) might well mean they don't want to. $\endgroup$ – Grimm The Opiner Jul 24 '17 at 10:33
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    $\begingroup$ @GrimmTheOpiner The only reason I can see them ever being hostile is due to territoriality, a visceral reaction akin to mankind's hate of cockroaches, or some sort of religious reason. They really seem like they would lack most driving forces and would simply not even perceive us as being alive, or even care either way. And without resource conflicts what reason is there to fight? $\endgroup$ – user2259716 Jul 24 '17 at 21:05
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    $\begingroup$ The OP does not say they do not reproduce, so they may fight with each other for mates, but that is not going to bring them in conflict with humans very often. "Are you making moves on my girl!?" "No, please, I thought she was a coal seam, honest." $\endgroup$ – John Jul 24 '17 at 23:37
  • $\begingroup$ +1 Motivation towards expansion, acquisition, or self-defense is pretty critical to cause a society to evolve. In human society, you can see this happen to well-isolated groups such as the Sentinelese. They still haven't evolved beyond bow-and-arrow technology. Partly that's because they have what they need, and what they need is protected from other humans. For OP's Athar, their... geobiology(?) gives them essentially the same reality. They have everything they need, and no one can take it from them. They remain unmotivated to do pretty much anything. $\endgroup$ – Memetican Jul 25 '17 at 9:11
  • $\begingroup$ Sex or hate has been our motivations for most our technology- warfare or envy are strong motivations. How are swords or guns anything to do with eat or drink? Buildings have only a little do with sleep. $\endgroup$ – user2617804 Jul 27 '17 at 9:34
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Simple, they just reproduce slowly.

They reproduce by passing down their spirit to their offspring, so this might work as 1:1 reproduction, thus does not increase their number, or more than one offspring, but combined with incredibly long life cycle - 1000 years to 2000 years.

You can even make them have practically infinite lifespan, causing only the bored elders that will participate in reproduction ritual.

This further complicated with how they mature - they must gain magic to animate minerals within (not food necessary to maintain their body, but similar to nutrients to make their body), as well as the minerals to acquire from the earth.

tl;dr Their reproduction cycle is very complicated and difficult, so there can only exists a fixed number or very few of them.


In addition, they just don't need "anything", and has grow wiser than this earth inhabitants. With long lifespan, they only merely wish to observe things. They are a peaceful species, and does not see the need to conquer.

With this, you can make them Ancients or Elders of the World, the Wise One, which sages and pilgrims want to chat with at least once in their lifetime. For them, watching the civilization rise and fall is like we watching sandcastle is built and eroded by the waves.

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    $\begingroup$ Simple and logical answer here. Please compare to LOTR's ents, who are extremely powerful as well and are definitely not a dominant power; $\endgroup$ – Uriel Jul 24 '17 at 13:25
  • $\begingroup$ fecundity is the reason why orcs and goblins spread so widely and are so dangerous to elves and dwarves (in many fantasy milleu), and why humans thrive, and ents decrease. $\endgroup$ – ChuckCottrill Jul 24 '17 at 23:48
  • $\begingroup$ This is what I was going to say if no one else had. Including the starting word. :) $\endgroup$ – Wildcard Jul 25 '17 at 0:29
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Athar are made of stone, and stone is hard, you are right. But stone is also heavy and can be attacked by acids.

Your Athar can very well be extremely slow creatures, very afraid of warm vinegar or any other acid (I am assuming with medieval technology acid rains are not a thing, though that would be a limiting factor for them) used by the humans to keep them away.

Actually humans may even actively hunt them, because hard stone is hard stone, you always need it for your house and your building (something linke a bear fur in front of your fireplace...)

Moreover, being so heavy they never mastered the art of sailing, for both being not able to make a proper ship and being scared to death of sinking into open waters, not for the drowning risk, as they don't breathe, but for the highly likelyhood of remaining trapped in the muddy bottom a few hundreds or thousands meters below the surface with no means of orientation. So crossing the sea to take over the world is a no go.

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    $\begingroup$ +1 for sailing => this directly explains why they cannot take over the world at large. $\endgroup$ – Matthieu M. Jul 24 '17 at 9:32
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    $\begingroup$ This. Being slow would be a huge disadvantage, particularly against sledgehammer-wielding humans. One good hard swing at the legs, and that's one less problem rock-guy. $\endgroup$ – T.E.D. Jul 24 '17 at 13:46
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    $\begingroup$ sinking in open waters wouldn't be an issue for them since they don't breath, they can't drown. They can just walk out again. $\endgroup$ – Mr.Mindor Jul 24 '17 at 15:53
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    $\begingroup$ Erosion caused by things other than acid might also be a problem. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erosion $\endgroup$ – user31389 Jul 24 '17 at 16:22
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    $\begingroup$ @Mr.Mindor - Well, they'd have trouble attacking enemy shipping if they can't reach up that high, but otherwise, that's a really good point. $\endgroup$ – T.E.D. Jul 24 '17 at 18:07
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What you are looking to do is create a weakness for a species. You see all of the benefits of stone, but you haven't written in any of the downsides.

A limited level of sensitivity would be very effective. Stone doesn't feel. It would be hard to do things like tie complicated knots without the astonishing sensitivity we have in our fingertips.

Or you can go with John's solution from the comments, referring to the trolls of Discworld, where Terry Pratchett gave them a weakness based on stone being a poor medium for computation (i.e. rocks for brains).

Or your stone creatures can move much slower than the organic humans. Stone does work on geological scale.

That's just three options. There literally isn't a limit. Have fun brainstorming! Come up with something clever and unique!

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    $\begingroup$ Pratchett's trolls are also based on the computer being made essentially of stone "impure silicon", but working better the colder they get, trolls have adapted for the climate in which their brains work the best. $\endgroup$ – John Jul 24 '17 at 5:39
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They live in a different time scale.

(I've read a story based on this idea, unfortunately, I don't remember neither name of the story nor the name of the author)

The time it takes for an Athar to take a step is enough time to build a house for a human. From the human's perspective, the Athar appear to be large statues that very slowly change their position and shape over time. The Athar likely do not even perceive the humans or if they do are unlikely to consider them to be of consequence.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is a good theory, and seems like something Dr. Who or Star Trek would have explored. $\endgroup$ – user2259716 Jul 24 '17 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ Olaf Stapledon's Last and First Men describes the entire Universe this way. Humans live on one time scale. The Earth lives on a different scale. The Sun on a different scale. Entire galaxies are sentient, just like a collection of neurons, but their sense of time and change is measured in aeons. $\endgroup$ – Memetican Jul 25 '17 at 9:18
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I am uncertain about your point of not needing to eat/sleep/rest. I would find the race more logical, if they needed some kind of energy for their actions. They might, for instance, be able to store heat as energy. Making them more active on warm summer days, but almost immobile during winter.

Another point is, that given their weight, it would be easy for the humans to defend against your race. Build fortresses with moats, only passable via "instable" bridges, and you can live a secure live in there.

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    $\begingroup$ Both of the issues I had as well. Stone is heavy, and the energy required to move all that mass around has to come from somewhere. So if its not "food", then what is it? $\endgroup$ – T.E.D. Jul 24 '17 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ @T.E.D. magic? These Athar statues is analogue to golems animated by wizards. The OP says there's little magic that can be involved. $\endgroup$ – Vylix Jul 25 '17 at 21:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Vylix - Well, you aren't the OP, so that's not his answer. But even if it were, in novels Magic is generally not unlimited. Every practitioner can't just cast spells to destroy and build entire planets without breaking a sweat. If its something they can gather from the air, or the ground, then presumably there's a rate associated with that, which would be a limiting factor. Perhaps certain locales are better for them than others. If they need this magic to live and move about, and it isn't unlimited, then presumably the act of taking it in is somewhat analgous to eating or breathing. $\endgroup$ – T.E.D. Jul 25 '17 at 21:59
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Humans have advantages over the rock people

  • Speed: humans are much faster and more agile than the rock people, allowing them to escape in small skirmishes and outmaneuver them in large battles, all the while constantly harassing any rock-people army.
  • Intelligence humans' primary advantage over animals is intelligence and the ability to create and use tools. Using long poles, nets, traps or other mechanisms the rock people aren't capable of defeating any clever and cooperating group of humans. The current state of affairs is ensured by regular training of human youth in anti-rock fighting techniques.
  • History and politics at the time of the human invasion of the rock lands, humans were much more technologically and militarily advanced and were met with only individual and localised resistance. When the rock people finally unified and began to resist on what remained of their land (the infertile and barren mountain regions), it was no longer worthwhile for the human army to pursue them. The current status quo is maintained due to mutually lucrative trade (rock people making excellent miners, while humans are excellent craftsmen) and a political alliance forged for instance when time came to protect the common continent from further external invaders.
  • Mutually nonconflicting interests since they don't need to eat or sleep or build housing, and are virtually indestructable, the sparse rock population never came into mass direct conflict with "colonising" humans, as the rock people had no need to protect grazing land or stop deforestation and the humans saw no benefit in fighting rock people for their caves and sculptures. A few bad incidents lead to scared humans stupidly antagonising their local rock population and being slaughtered, but thankfully the human authorities were quick to broker a peace. The status quo is upheld through a mutual agreements where the humans take care of the mud, crops and animals, while the rock people take care of the important things like mountains, boulders and cave systems, with exchange of learning and technology being a benefit to both sides.
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How can I justify them not conquering the rest of the continent and killing off all the humans, taking in to consideration the fact that they would be naturally superior warriors to humans in every way due to their physiology?

Possibility #1: Nothing to fight over

Why would they want to conquer the rest of the continent anyway? They don't need land for food, they don't need water, they don't need houses to sleep in, etc. It's like asking why humans haven't yet waged war against earthworms, a species we outclass in terms of combat effectiveness. We have nothing to gain by fighting them.

As for why nobody has forged an alliance with the Athar and then conquered everybody, you'd still be facing a fundamental issue: what do you pay them? Do Athar even care about gold, silver, or gemstones?

Possibility #2: They actually need humans for some reason

For all we know, the Athar actually rely on humans. Maybe the Athar live better in an atmosphere with more magical energy, and humans create that atmosphere. Maybe the Athar value the dexterity of humans and their capacity to work fine details. Maybe the Athar find humans to be intellectually stimulating and fun to be around.

Of course, some of those reasons could result in the Athar trying to enslave humans, but once again... why enslave them when they those things naturally, anyways?

"Guess what, GROC? If you give humans some of the flimsy yellow metal, they'll make you cool stuff." "Oh wow, I was just going to throw it away. Thanks for the tip!" (probably some rock dudes, a long time ago)

Possibility #3: Culture of peace

I don't know about you, but most of the rocks I know are quite peaceful creatures. I've never been attacked by a rock, and I've met thousands.

Possibility #4: Humans are weaker but better at war

Humans have been killing things bigger and stronger than themselves for millenia. What makes the Athar so special that we'll never figure out how to beat them?

Possibility #5: Combination of some/all of the above

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  • $\begingroup$ I think #2 is a genuinely new idea here. I recognize that #1,#3, and #4 are covered elsewhere. $\endgroup$ – Jeutnarg Jul 24 '17 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ #1 was covered elsewhere, but I do like the earthworms analogy here. $\endgroup$ – jhocking Jul 24 '17 at 20:39
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So the Athar were the dominant species before the squishy humans arrived. That suggests humans have some sort of advantage over them.

Perhaps the Athar are primitive. Can they work stone? If not, then their weapons technology will be clubs and fire-hardened wooden spears (unless they haven't discovered fire).

Maybe they're magically constrained to a particular region. They need a high level of background magic to function (you need a lot of mana to animate stone) and that only exists in a particular place.

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    $\begingroup$ Essentially Earth Elementals. $\endgroup$ – user2259716 Jul 24 '17 at 21:00
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As others have suggested, there is a problem with the stone humanoids. They are too powerful, and they seem to have no needs. This suggests they are probably not very social, which means they tend to be found alone. Even if they are powerful and fast, they'd still be vulnerable to attacks by large groups of people. Also, because of their power, they don't need to be so smart. If that's the case, they are essentially trolls. Trolls who don't need to eat, would just lie around all day waiting for the sun to disappear.

Another option is that the stone people, being as intelligent and invulnerable, have no need for further conquest. Therefore, they dedicate their lives to philosophical pursuits and crafts. Early when people settled on the continent, they made clear that humans can do whatever they wanted except for attacking stone people and polluting their sacred grounds. The punishment for those would be wiping out, Ghenghis Khan style, all the offending villages.

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Just get a bit nearer to reality and you'll got an answer.

Stone is hard but fragile. You can't cut stone with a sword, but blunt weapons are likely to be very effective.

No need to eat - so how do they gain energy? Maybe from the Sun? Then they have a limited amount of energy they can gain. Humans can eat protein and fat rich meat to gain extra energy, stone people can't.

Are they really so strong? Strength doesn't come from the endurance of the material you're build from, but from the engine that's behind. Maybe they are just tough and durable, but just strong enough to carry their weight and not much more?

They are probably not very fast, as well.

Make them perfect mountain people. Resistant to cold, able to climb rough rocks, not needing oxygen to breathe. Make them weak on lowlands - slow, fragile. This would explain why stone people rule the mountains, but have nothing to search in lowlands.

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  1. Humans are a major, possibly existential, threat to the Athar at medieval levels of technology they can easily kill far more of the stone men than vice versa. This is based on what I feel is a well founded assumption that a race that needs no resources at all and lives forever hasn't developed much in the way of technology of any kind let alone weapons. While they may pick up the technological habits of humans they won't actually need anything that that technology can give them until they're already at war by which time they couldn't easily access it.
  2. Anyone who can out breed these guys will probably be a major threat to them at any reasonably even tech footing because they can replace loses faster than the Athar and as long lives tend to go with slow breeding rates that's probably everyone the Athar meet.
  3. They're individually basically immortal and don't need food, sleep, etc... as such they have no reason to fight anyone over anything between themselves and are probably the single most laid back race you're ever going to meet. Unless directly physically threatened they have no reason to be confrontational or domineering they let humans run the show because They Don't Care.

In summary the very things that make them excellent warriors also give them no inclination whatsoever to fight in the first place. It also probably leaves them at a marked technological disadvantage since all human technology is based on or aimed at deriving things like food or shelter from our environment that the Athar simply don't need.

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  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking about the "breeding faster" thing myself. Various fantasy writers have stated or implied that humans mature and reproduce much faster than other sentient races such as Elves, Dwarves, Giants, etc. For instance, an elven couple might have their first baby a mere 10 years after the wedding, and a second baby after another 50 or 100 years. Meanwhile, four or five generations of humans have grown up, married, produced multiple kids per married couple, and seen some of the kids grow up to get married, etc. The group with the highest fertility rate is likely to win in the long run. $\endgroup$ – Lorendiac Jul 25 '17 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ @Lorendiac Yeah it's not always true but it's the way to bet, there's actually two reasons behind it, one you can replace loses faster but the other one is that you actually have a greater incentive to fight in the first place due to internal population pressure. $\endgroup$ – Ash Jul 26 '17 at 15:44
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Old Culture vs. New Culture / Indigenous Species vs. Invasive Species

There are plenty of examples of an old, inflexible species being swept away by another species that it has not encountered or learned to deal with.

Humans vs. Australian megafauna, rats vs. ground dwelling birds, Spanish vs. Mayans. British vs. Chinese.

One group comes in with new ways of doing things, and the old group doesn't have time to adapt. The Mayans could have certainly fought of Cortez if they had adopted siege tactics. If the Chinese had weaponised gunpowder, they could have arguably defeated the British during the Opium Wars.

I don't think it needs much explaining beyond the idea that the humans were faster, more agile, more adaptable, and brought new ideas and technology with them.

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They are the dominant race. They just don't assert the dominance.

Here is an analogy for you. Humans have had the ability to go down into the depths of the ocean for many years. While we're down there, do we go on a killing spree to take over? No, we're just there to explore. We are the dominant species. We could kill everything down there, but what good would it do? We'd exterminate several useful species.

How does this relate to stone men?

Well, it is quite simple. They need not breathe, and they are essentially 'immortal' and are very strong. Why would they have to live on the surface of a continent? Perhaps they actually live in the oceans and deep underground. After all, lava might not be able to kill them either so maybe they choose to live by lava springs? Regardless of that, my point here is that the surface of the land is to stone beings what the surface of the ocean is to sharks and fish. Let's assume ocean fish were intelligent. Aside from when humans go on a killing spree, why would fish attack ships? Fish don't attack them now, so there is obviously no territorial or survival aspect to fighting over the surface of a 3D volume.

Now of course there arises the issue of why they don't become aggressive conquerors. Well there are a few reasons this might occur.

  1. They don't know of continents.

  2. They do know of other continents and live in them but seriously don't care about surface dwellers.

Now, we can say that stone men can move to other continents. All they have to do is tunnel beneath the ocean. It isn't that hard. They just have to know of their existence. I've already explained why they wouldn't attack countries they discover. After all, fish don't attack boats for no reason, nor do they declare war on pelicans. If there's a conflict the fish can easily just swim down deeper. Same with stone men.

With this in mind, let us assume the stone men were aware of the cataclysm but unaffected. Well, this is completely comparable to the issue of refugees and human countries. Now if we presume that this is the stone mens' solely owned continent they have a few options on how to react to what are likely defenseless refugees. There might be a few who could kill a stone man but we'll assume that with decent strategy they could wipe out the humans.

  1. Reject the humans at the border. Countries don't declare war on immigrant refugees.

  2. Make them citizens of the country subject to the same (applicable) laws as stone men. If they pay taxes to the stone government and aren't thieves why would the stone men care? Literally, the only argument against this is racism and it is unlikely that any race would be that unified in racism. Even then, the issues here are likely to be more in the realm of serial killer stone men, discrimination, and general avoidance of each other. After all, the racism could go both ways with groups in both races falling either way.

  3. Complete ignorance. Stone men only use the surface for things like venting pressure underground and cooling/warming regions or collecting water for various crafts. In other words, the surface is only useful for scientific resources. They don't eat and they don't need heating or anything. Wood is probably useless as it is so flimsy. The irony here is that trade with the humans would show it is more useful to humans than stone men. In the end, there is no reason for the stone men to even interact with the humans. Note however that this isn't due to reasons of superiority or wisdom. The reason they ignore each other is because they live in fundamentally different environments.

Imagine how many houses and cities you can build within a continent with tunnels and caverns. Now imagine how many cities you can built on the surface of a continent. I would imagine that the surface homes are probably for wealthy stone men. After all, to them it is a limited space with amazing access to wildlife, sunlight, and coastal views. The humans are literally living in "luxury housing". So if this is the first meeting of stone men and humans, the interaction will probably go as follows (printed on stone tablets of course):

"BREAKING NEWS: Luxury housing being shut down due to flesh men influx. In other news, president Stoneface is passing a new gold regulation bill."

"Wow Charles, did you read the stone news? Those flesh men are really sticking it to those rich guys. I was sick of them acting all high and mighty up there."

In other words, the humans are literally taking property from rich stone men and using it for refugees. What society wouldn't find that ironic and laugh it off? All you'd have to do is show that the rich stone men get a lot of flak for for political actions. After all, who is going to rush to the aid of dictators or jerks complaining about what is essentially a "pest problem"?

For that matter in an ironic twist the surface then becomes the "poor housing" and all the stone men are even happier because rich folk are so bent out of shape about humans that they practically gave it away to people who could never afford.


Closing Remarks

I know this answer was quite chaotic. It is kind of a train-of-thought and I think I suggested a lot of things worth thinking about here. Ultimately, this is an issue of understanding the politics, racial queues, exploration level, economy, and societal attitudes of the stone men.

And as a final nail-in-the-coffin for the stone men let me just point out the biggest thing that allowed Europe (essentially an island in comparison) to conquer North America:

DISEASE

They're from a foreign land and stone life exists. Why can there not be stone diseases? Humans developed an immunity or maybe they are carriers (stone diseases can only steal nutrients and people just take it as food need disorders and deficiencies). Whatever the case, diseases mutate and grow rapidly. It is their nature and why they are deadly. A foreign land separated for possibly millennia filled with beings immune to stone diseases? It wouldn't surprise me if they bring with them the stone equivalent of the bubonic plague. Hard to fight off a human scourge when you're entire civilization is collapsing from plague after plague. Just saying.

If we presume humans are incompatible with such diseases you can also say that stone life in general exists and was domesticated by humans, whereas stone men didn't do to philosophical differences such as whatever prompted Native Americans to not domesticate wildlife (such as the non-existence of horses and large cattle on the continent). Those types of human-animal interactions enables a higher frequency of mutations in diseases. Hence, the result is "hyper-diseases" which essentially wipe out races that didn't have such interactions. It is literally the most important factor the Europeans had. Otherwise, the Native Americans would've been able to wage a much stronger effort at evicting the Europeans. Who knows? Maybe they would've convinced the various companies building colonies to give up and just trade with them?

I can definitely say the stone men wouldn't domesticate human animals. Simply put, they would be worthless to stone men. They cannot eat the meat and they cannot use them for materials. To them, bone as a tool is like using dried leaves. So they wouldn't have a corresponding defense towards humans.


This answer presumes no assumptions about the procreation of the stone men or lifespan. Instead, this focuses upon stone men that live and die within the same general rate as humans. If they live many years, we can expect wisdom to have a larger impact in decisions (which means a likelihood of more sympathy for humans and more support to just "leave them alone in peace").

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You've got a more core problem - you haven't given the Athar anything to do. You've taken away all their individual needs (food, water, sleep, shelter, security), so what is it that an Athar does with their time? What motivates them? What do they want?

By removing all these selective pressures, you've set the Athar up to be very different from humans - they have no physiological needs and no predators in their native habitat, so they're unlikely to have any kind of society to stay alive. They never needed intelligence to be at the top of their food chain, so i'd imagine they're rather simple. They probably never needed to be strong, either, since they're indestructible and do not need to hunt, so they might even be slow and weak.

These are just my interpretations of what you're saying - i might be leaning towards too scientific an interpretation of your world. But in order to understand why your Athar would or wouldn't do something, it's worth looking into how they got to where they are, and what drives them.

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