In ancient Rome, social appearance and respectability were everything. The most hated men were punished with damnatio memoriae, damnation of memory. Every trace that a person had ever lived was removed. Busts were shattered, freizes were marred, records were struck. Any sign of the hated figure was destroyed.
If thrown into a moat or a ditch, they react with water to make an area of ground a foot wide and solid enough to walk on rise from the bottom. If eaten-well, the body of the one who ate one of them is a real mess. Used to storm moats and forge rivers, streams and ditches. Must be kept dry until used.