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Some questions about portals

"Hell's Gate" and "Hell Hath No Fury", by David, Linda Evans, and Joelle Presby, take the clash of science and magic to a whole new dimension...join us in a friendly discussion of this engrossing series!
Re: Some questions about portals
Post by brnicholas   » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:12 pm

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Personally I think there is a flow rate limit. If more mass then x moves through the portal at any moment it collapses. Air isn't massive enough to shut them down but water is. The cliff of stone is explained by the fact that it didn't go through the gate.

Nicholas

Spacekiwi wrote:
Maybe theres a pressure limit change, beyond which either a gate doesnt form, or a difference in air/water flow through the gate modifies it in such a way that it shuts down?
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Re: Some questions about portals
Post by PeterZ   » Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:39 pm

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The nature of portals was discussed in Hell's Gate. IIRC, there are the intersection of universes that are VERY different from each other. Similar universes would run in parallel or close to parallel. Different universes would run prependicular to one another. Intersections or portals would then tend to happen more often to worlds that were different enough from one another.

I susepct that portals are a function of choices made by the sentients in those universes. I bleieve in their own ways, both the Talents of Sharona and the Gifts of Arcana transcend their own universe. Because they do, the decisions made by the sentients of a universe influence how that universe "flows". The shifts in how the universe flows can make it intersect with another universe's course.

As supporting evidence, the Calirath's talent was explained as the ability to see into similar "parallel" universes. That sight allowed the talented to see the flow of human decisions of that universe which lead the observed potential outcome. Magic was explained as the source of energy "between" all things. That argues for magic coming from the "space" between universes that perhaps holds all the universes together. Manipulating that inter-universal energy, then would spark the creation of portals much sooner than the talents would.

Anyway, that's my suppositon. Btw, the Calirath's ability to see their own deaths is pretty nasty. In order the see their own death, they have to choose to accept the course of events leading up to it. If they break the chain of decision they control anywhere before their death, they might make the observed outcome cease to exist along with their death. That moto of their's I believe comes from this nasty little dynamic. Each precognitive Calirath knows he might have to sacrifice his option of life to secure the benefit of knowing what will come and being able to prepare for it with certainty. Just as Janaki saw his death and knew that avoiding that death was possible. Yet to avoid death he would sacrifice tactical knowledge Fort Salby needed to win the engagement. Any decision he makes to live would change the events and decisions the Arcanans would make. The practice of the calirath telent would tend to reinforce the commitment to make that sacrifice, because only by giving up the option to avoid the future can a Calirath know for certain what will happen in his/her visions.

No wonder the Caliraths have such prestige. Who wouldn't follow a dynasty that has made that very choice again and again for nearly coutless generations?

tonyz wrote:Is possible other this is all covered in Portal Theory 301 at Mythal Falls, but I can't get a cess to their treatises, so ....

1) what makes portals?. They are currently opening up, in some cases only a few years ago. Are they just a random things, or something triggered by a high enough pressure of minds/magic/whatever in their home universe, and then chain-reacting out from there? Or is something actively making them -- and if so, will we ever find out who,and how,and why?

2) we never see any ocean portals, or midair portals, though some of the characters speculate about the possibility. But even if they're restricted somehow to touching ground, portals are large enough-- an apparent size of many miles in diameter -- that at least some ought to reach from the seabed to above the ocean floor. Is whatever opens portals forced to avoid water, or what is going on here?

3) we have at least one case of portal chains intersecting -- the two approach chains to Traisum that the Arcanans split up to cover in HHNF. How common is this? Are there other examples, or is this unique? And what is the chance that new universes will turn out to be connected to old universes? Or that new portals will open up in an already-explored universe?

4) do all new portals in a world form simultaneously, or do they do so in sequence? Is there some kind of relationship in size, position, or orientation between multiple portals in the same universe?
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Re: Some questions about portals
Post by bkwormlisa   » Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:05 pm

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Another question is, why are portals always half buried in the earth? I mean, we've got wild altitude differentials, so something is making sure they're always touching ground. The only one I can think of that was definitely said was more than half buried sounded like it was mostly buried in one universe and not in the other, given the cliff differential. So what about portal formation is so attracted to the ground?
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Re: Some questions about portals
Post by BarryKirk   » Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:25 am

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Can a portal go away?

That might make for an interesting discussion. Perhaps portals have a lifespan.
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Re: Some questions about portals
Post by tonyz   » Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:30 pm

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BarryKirk wrote:Can a portal go away?

That might make for an interesting discussion. Perhaps portals have a lifespan.


Perhaps they do, but we only have evidence for them opening. Nobody seems to have any worries about, or accounts or reports of, a portal closing -- then again, how would you tell? It might take very close examination of the site to determine that a portal had once existed there, though things like introduced species might be suggestive...

P
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Re: Some questions about portals
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:14 pm

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You would tell by watching it close.
Hopefully without someone in the middle of it,
in position to be sliced in half.

HTM

tonyz wrote:
BarryKirk wrote:Can a portal go away?

That might make for an interesting discussion. Perhaps portals have a lifespan.


Perhaps they do, but we only have evidence for them opening. Nobody seems to have any worries about, or accounts or reports of, a portal closing -- then again, how would you tell? It might take very close examination of the site to determine that a portal had once existed there, though things like introduced species might be suggestive...

P
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Re: Some questions about portals
Post by tonyz   » Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:08 pm

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I suppose so, but I was referring to how you would tell after the portal closed (particularly, say, a few centuries later.) We don't, IIRC, have any text-ev of anyone even worrying about portals closing... it's probably going to be a non-issue, would be my guess.

Tony Z

Howard T. Map-addict wrote:You would tell by watching it close.
Hopefully without someone in the middle of it,
in position to be sliced in half.
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Re: Some questions about portals
Post by Wing   » Sat Jun 28, 2014 6:26 pm

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Howard T. Map-addict wrote:You would tell by watching it close.
Hopefully without someone in the middle of it,
in position to be sliced in half.

HTM


Speaking of slicing, I wonder about the effect if you take an object and swing it at the edge of a portal. they've got zero depth so it should just make a perfectly smooth cut, right?

probably some fairly significant industrial applications for that sort of thing. very finely cut steal in unusual shapes for all manner of things closer to civilized universes. Out on the pointy end freshly cut trees could be very quickly be processed into high quality cut lumber to build forts and such by half a dozen guys with some hand axes, nails, and a level.
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Re: Some questions about portals
Post by tinfoil   » Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:55 am

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bkwormlisa wrote:Another question is, why are portals always half buried in the earth? I mean, we've got wild altitude differentials, so something is making sure they're always touching ground. The only one I can think of that was definitely said was more than half buried sounded like it was mostly buried in one universe and not in the other, given the cliff differential. So what about portal formation is so attracted to the ground?


How can we be sure about that?

A fully buried portal would be rather hard to find.
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Re: Some questions about portals
Post by brnicholas   » Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:17 am

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Wing wrote:
Howard T. Map-addict wrote:You would tell by watching it close.
Hopefully without someone in the middle of it,
in position to be sliced in half.

HTM


Speaking of slicing, I wonder about the effect if you take an object and swing it at the edge of a portal. they've got zero depth so it should just make a perfectly smooth cut, right?

probably some fairly significant industrial applications for that sort of thing. very finely cut steal in unusual shapes for all manner of things closer to civilized universes. Out on the pointy end freshly cut trees could be very quickly be processed into high quality cut lumber to build forts and such by half a dozen guys with some hand axes, nails, and a level.


I doubt they actually have zero depth. If the edge could be used as you say touching it would be very very dangerous. I can't see that risk not having been mentioned at some point in the first two books given how much was said about portals.

Nicholas
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