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List of Talents

"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: List of Talents
Post by Knightfire   » Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:43 pm


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Nonhuman Voice - A select group of voices are able to communicate with dolphins, chimps and other higher intellect animals.
Re: List of Talents
Post by Jonathan_S   » Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:26 am

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bkwormlisa wrote:Portal Hounds aren't new, but they are very rare.

Hell's Gate wrote:Darcel Kinlafia wasn’t just a Voice; he was also a Portal Hound.
That wasn’t the technical name for his secondary Talent, but it was the one everyone associated with the Portal Authority used. No one had yet found a way to actually detect and pinpoint the locations of portals, but a Hound had a special affinity to whatever disturbance in the fabric of creation brought them into existence. No Hound could reliably quantify what he sensed, he couldn’t pluck distances and classifications out of thin air, and yet Darcel simply “knew” the compass bearing to the nearest portal. He had absolutely no way of knowing how far away it might be, but he knew which way to go to find the closest one.
Well, that wasn’t entirely correct. A larger portal might appear to be closer than a smaller one which was actually much nearer to a Hound’s physical location. But the Hounds, who were even rarer than Mappers of Jathmar’s strength, were utterly invaluable to any exploration team.

Which reminds me, I wonder how accurate a Portal Hound's "compass bearing" feeling is.

Obviously it's good enough to home in on the portal, but is it good enough to use lateral displacement and triangulation to get a rough estimate of distance?
If it's accurate to within 1 degree then a 20 mile displacement is enough to tell you whether its approx range if it's within 1000 miles.

Angular_____|__distance__|__required displacement




As you can see it as the resolution drops off the necessary lateral displacement to triangulate the portal gets large; up to 17% of the straight line distance just to establish what that distance roughly is before traveling it.

And we already know from the text that larger portals make a "bigger" impression; but it's possible that also translates to a 'fuzzier' location; making it harder to get a reliable fix.
OTOH once Sharona gets airplanes that are safe enough to risk valuable portal hounds in this type of triangulation might become more practical; a hundred+ mile operational radius isn't a bad fit for 3rd or 4th generation airplanes and a quick out and back from the same field, just to get a directional fix is pretty doable; and takes a lot less operational radius than following the bearing line hoping to see the portal before fuel forces you to turn back.

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