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Relative size of combatants

"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: Relative size of combatants
Post by PeterZ   » Wed May 27, 2015 9:34 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:Disclaimer, it's been a little while since I've read these and I might be misremembering. But I though that (until the prototype spellware that was being tested at the beginning of the 1st book) Arcana had no way to remotely detect portals - they had to be within visual range to find them. That implies a fairly lengthy search process on each new world though their size does give you visual detection ranges out to over a hundred miles for the bigger ones.

In contrast the Sharonans had at least a few people with the portal hound Talent which could provide a bearing and at least a guesstimate on the distance to the next portal. Their straight line speed was lower, but given the correct Talents they could basically follow that straight line to the next portal to extend the chain. (Was there a max range on Portal Hound detection? Even if so, if it's several multiples of visual range that cuts down on the amount of exploration you have to do to find the next portal)

With transport dragons and augmented mounts Arcanans can cover ground faster, their need to do a blind search pattern means on average they need to cover ludicrously more ground to find the next link in the chain. (It also implies, now that I think about it, that they're much more likely to have had undetected chain splits. Where they didn't find a 2nd distant portal on a given world).


And in either case, once they figure out where on the world the portal sits they don't really need to explore to find natural resources, its more a matter of pulling out their existing reference maps and seeing what's close enough to be economically exploited. (There are minor differences, but the major resources seem to be near identical across the multiverses)


Very interesting, Jonathan. Your post would imply that Arcana would have incentives to adopt a methodical approach to exploration. That in turn suggests that communication between the exploration team and headquarters is important. Given the distances involved, regional headquarters are essential to managing a methodical search of and for new universes. We have seen this with Mul Gurthak nodal force relatively near by.

Arguments can be made for Arcana controlling a much larger portfolio of universes or a comparable one to Sharona's. That doesn't impact estimates (or lack thereof) on population for Arcana. Having in the neighborhood of 40 earth's will hold 200 billion people with each world having a population of 5 billion. Just as an example, starting with a population of 1 billion with the average generation separated by 20 years, 2 surviving children born per capita per generation and an life expectancy of 80 years will result in a population of 269 billion in 200 years. Increase the life expectancy to 100 years and the population will be 357 billion after 200 years.

To further muddy the waters, Mil-tech bard's suggestion that the Sharona healing Talent fundamentally improves the basic immune system and health of Sharonans implies that they live longer, healthier lives. The population of 10 billion largely in Sharona suggests that this is true. Arcana's biotech suggests possible gene mods that elongate the life span, baring any taboos on the subject. I assume there are because we have not seen any augmented humans yet. Both societies have mechanisms that enable them to tolerate high population densities.

I wonder if all this means that fewer people wish to emigrate to the colonies because of over crowding? That would argue for relatively small populations for each society relative to the room and resource either controls. More people would prefer to remain in the core world(s).
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Wed May 27, 2015 10:11 am

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Peter Z,

This --

To further muddy the waters, Mil-tech bard's suggestion that the Sharona healing Talent fundamentally improves the basic immune system and health of Sharonans implies that they live longer, healthier lives. The population of 10 billion largely in Sharona suggests that this is true.


...isn't a suggestion.

Snippet #1 told us Emperor Zindel could be expected to live normally into his 90's, versus the doom he assumes given the need for voice Darcel Kinlafia to be there for his daughter his Daughter.

See this passage from snippet #1 --

“I don’t know what’s going to happen to me,” he continued quietly. “Short of a Death Glimpse — which I haven’t had yet, thank the gods! — no one knows that about himself. But I know ’Drin will need him — need him badly — far sooner than I could wish. And I also know his Voice Talent is so strong that he shared at least a part of my Glimpse. He knows she’ll need him, too, and he also knows I know how much he’ll love my daughter. How much he already loves her, for that matter.” Zindel’s smile was faint and crooked but genuine. “He’s the one who came up with the brainstorm about other Uromathian princes, but did he come and tell me about it? Hells no, he didn’t! And that’s because he isn’t really a politician — yet, at least. He thought of it because he cares for Andrin, and that’s why he went and told her about it.”

“I see, Your Majesty,” Taje said, and his own eyes were dark. Zindel chan Calirath was only in his forties, and his was a long-lived family. Both of his parents had lived past ninety, and Caliraths seldom died — of natural causes, at least — much younger than that. Zindel might not have Glimpsed his own death, but his concern for Andrin sent an icicle down the first councilor’s spine. The emperor loved all of his children fiercely, he would die to protect any of them, yet there was something in his eyes, in his voice, that whispered a fear that he wouldn’t be there to protect Andrin.

“I imagine you do see,” Zindel said, and reached to lay one hand on Taje’s shoulder, his expression almost compassionate. He smiled down at the councilor who was also his closest, most intimate friend, then gave his head a toss that pretended to shake off the ghost of futures Glimpsed.



Healing Talents don't stop old age, but they seem remarkably effective for a host of other illnesses.
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by PeterZ   » Wed May 27, 2015 10:34 am

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Mil-tech bard wrote:Peter Z,

This --

To further muddy the waters, Mil-tech bard's suggestion that the Sharona healing Talent fundamentally improves the basic immune system and health of Sharonans implies that they live longer, healthier lives. The population of 10 billion largely in Sharona suggests that this is true.


...isn't a suggestion.

Snippet #1 told us Emperor Zindel could be expected to live normally into his 90's, versus the doom he assumes given the need for voice Darcel Kinlafia to be there for his daughter his Daughter.

See this passage from snippet #1 --

snip
Healing Talents don't stop old age, but they seem remarkably effective for a host of other illnesses.


I tend to agree but your cites supports the idea that a specific, powerful, wealthy family with a host of Talents known and unknown are generally long lived. This does not assert that everyone is equally long lived. That access to healing talent is so ubiquitous that the Calirath life span is to be expected for everyone. For all we know the Calirath life span is shorter than average. The stress of their Talent would have some impact on a lifespan.

So, yes, it simply suggests. It does not prove anything.
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Wed May 27, 2015 11:09 am

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Ten billion Sharonans on the home planet of Sharona at 1902 level physical technology suggests a great deal more.

The level of communicable diseases in 1902 America can be seen by the involuntary quarantine public health laws that lasted until 25 years after the arrival of antibiotics.
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by PeterZ   » Wed May 27, 2015 11:34 am

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Mil-tech bard wrote:Ten billion Sharonans on the home planet of Sharona at 1902 level physical technology suggests a great deal more.

The level of communicable diseases in 1902 America can be seen by the involuntary quarantine public health laws that lasted until 25 years after the arrival of antibiotics.


Indeed so. The population base on one world supports your assertion. I wonder to what sorts of similar health applications the Arcanans apply their magic? Is it relatively better or worse that Sharona's?

Even if there is a taboo against using gene mods on humans, do healing magisters offer the same wide scale benefit for Arcanan longevity as Talented healers offer to Sharona? So many questions that need answers in this book!

ps. Where is the e-Arc?! Any ideas anyone?
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by SCC   » Thu May 28, 2015 2:49 am

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PeterZ wrote:Arcana's biotech suggests possible gene mods that elongate the life span, baring any taboos on the subject. I assume there are because we have not seen any augmented humans yet. Both societies have mechanisms that enable them to tolerate high population densities.


No one on Arcana evens thinks about doing this, other then to think about why NOT to do it
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by phillies   » Thu May 28, 2015 8:12 am

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A central but missing question on continued exploration, given that the worlds are apparently mostly replicas of each other, is "why bother?" It might be done out of habit, but the tendency once countries become adequately wealthy is for population growth to roll toward a stop, or beyond, ending population pressure. High-grade ores are rapidly less valuable as transport costs increase. A 30,000 mile rail line is indeed quite long. One could imagine a market for luxury homes on the South California coast, the lip of the Grand Canyon, Bora Bora, etc. I suppose that if in 1950 there had been one of these links in Kansas and one in Kursk there would have been vigorous exploitation. On the other hand, if the one and only one link had been almost anywhere, there might have been tedious warfare.
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Re: Relative size of combatants
Post by PeterZ   » Thu May 28, 2015 8:41 am

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One suspects that Arcana might well need to find supplies of their crystals. Not sure what these are or how they are harvested/mined. A limited supply of these crystals on any one world would drive exploration. Another factor for Arcana is a matter of military intelligence. Explore what's out there and hope that anything that might threaten Arcana can be fought as far away from the core world as possible.

Sharona's incentives appear to be less obvious. Considering Shaylar's internal monologue when she was first introduced, there is still a huge curiosity about the universes. Also, if I recall correctly Shaylar was a bit of a celebrity before she ran into Jasak. Sharona's population density might well be approaching limits that even Healing Talents cannot support.

So, curiosity and military reconnaissance might be the principle driver of exploration beyond lebensraum and resources.

phillies wrote:A central but missing question on continued exploration, given that the worlds are apparently mostly replicas of each other, is "why bother?" It might be done out of habit, but the tendency once countries become adequately wealthy is for population growth to roll toward a stop, or beyond, ending population pressure. High-grade ores are rapidly less valuable as transport costs increase. A 30,000 mile rail line is indeed quite long. One could imagine a market for luxury homes on the South California coast, the lip of the Grand Canyon, Bora Bora, etc. I suppose that if in 1950 there had been one of these links in Kansas and one in Kursk there would have been vigorous exploitation. On the other hand, if the one and only one link had been almost anywhere, there might have been tedious warfare.
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why they bother re: Relative size of combatants
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Thu May 28, 2015 11:29 am

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If there is land available for the taking,
Then there will be people who want to take it.
Both individuals, small groups, and large groups.
That goes double if the land is empty (of Humans),
not held by anybody.

Duh! Why do we wish to explore outer space?

HTM

PS Peter,
maybe those crystals are manufactured magically.

PeterZ wrote:One suspects that Arcana might well need to find supplies of their crystals. Not sure what these are or how they are harvested/mined. A limited supply of these crystals on any one world would drive exploration. Another factor for Arcana is a matter of military intelligence. Explore what's out there and hope that anything that might threaten Arcana can be fought as far away from the core world as possible.

Sharona's incentives appear to be less obvious. Considering Shaylar's internal monologue when she was first introduced, there is still a huge curiosity about the universes. Also, if I recall correctly Shaylar was a bit of a celebrity before she ran into Jasak. Sharona's population density might well be approaching limits that even Healing Talents cannot support.

So, curiosity and military reconnaissance might be the principle driver of exploration beyond lebensraum and resources.

phillies wrote:A central but missing question on continued exploration, given that the worlds are apparently mostly replicas of each other, is "why bother?" It might be done out of habit, but the tendency once countries become adequately wealthy is for population growth to roll toward a stop, or beyond, ending population pressure. High-grade ores are rapidly less valuable as transport costs increase. A 30,000 mile rail line is indeed quite long. One could imagine a market for luxury homes on the South California coast, the lip of the Grand Canyon, Bora Bora, etc. I suppose that if in 1950 there had been one of these links in Kansas and one in Kursk there would have been vigorous exploitation. On the other hand, if the one and only one link had been almost anywhere, there might have been tedious warfare.
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Re: why they bother re: Relative size of combatants
Post by PeterZ   » Thu May 28, 2015 2:02 pm

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Howard T. Map-addict wrote:If there is land available for the taking,
Then there will be people who want to take it.
Both individuals, small groups, and large groups.
That goes double if the land is empty (of Humans),
not held by anybody.

Duh! Why do we wish to explore outer space?

HTM

PS Peter,
maybe those crystals are manufactured magically.



Could be, Howard. I would expect some limiting factor. Otherwise, a mage or a spell can create an endless and limitless supply of energy. That sounds too much like a god weapon. Bad plot device and not likely one that RFC would use.
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