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Thoughts on the storyline...

"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!
Thoughts on the storyline...
Post by n7axw   » Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:30 pm

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The first thing that impresses me about the multiverse is how far you have to travel to get anywhere. Under Jaseks protection, Shaylar and Jathmar are headed for New Arcana. They have been enroute for months already and are just getting to the half-way point. How far will they have traveled from Hell's Gate? 70-80,000 miles? From Arcana itself, Hell's Gate may well be a 100,000 miles. For Sharona, the distance to Hell's Gate is roughly 40,000 miles.

My figures could be corrected, by the way. They are just impressions. If you have something more exact, please feel free...

But imagine waging war on an enemy 120,000 to 150,000 miles away... The tech level is at least 100 years behind what we take for granted in our own timeline in first world countries. For Sharona this means trains and laying track. For Arcana we are talking about transport dragons and sliders.... Logistics would have to be a nightmare.

What this has to mean would be that resourses for such things as food and fuel will have to be developed in secure areas closer to the front. Raising crops would be part of that. Mining coal and drilling for oil. You might even need foundries and assembly plants.

If I'm right about this, the war effort for Sharona is going to have to include a huge infrastructure off Sharona in those universes close enough to make the logistics practical. With Arcana's magic, I'm a bit less certain. But there are obvious limits to everything including magic and transport dragons. So I would suspect that Arcana will also need to develop resourses closer to the front to sustain the armies it will need for the war.

So how does this impact the storyline? Will the war be fought in the universes between Arcana and Sharona? Will anybody actually break into the other side's home universe or are both sides simply too far apart for that to be a practical expectation... :?:

Don
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Thoughts on the storyline...
Post by Astelon   » Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:59 pm

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If any side breaks into the other's home universe I would suspect it to be arcana forces getting into Sharona. Sharonians just don't have the capacity (yet) to reach Arcana itself. If arcanans do reach Sharona then they would find they have little military power there, their entire society's technology being based on magic.
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Re: Thoughts on the storyline...
Post by EdThomas   » Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:40 am

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Hi Don,
I've been having problems with the whole storyline ever since Bkwormlisa spoke of RFC saying in an interview that the physics of the two worlds were different. For me, physics is all about how everything is built. We have a known set of building blocks and a known set of forces. It's unclear to me how atoms/particles could exist in contact with atoms/particles built with a different set of blocks and forces. I'm thinking we should be having some sort of matter/anti-matter collision at the portals. Magic should work in Arcana and Talents should work in Sharona. Of course if the different sets of matter couldn't exist on the other's side we wouldn't have much of a story, would we :D
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Re: Thoughts on the storyline...
Post by phillies   » Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:05 am

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EdThomas wrote:Hi Don,
I've been having problems with the whole storyline ever since Bkwormlisa spoke of RFC saying in an interview that the physics of the two worlds were different. For me, physics is all about how everything is built. We have a known set of building blocks and a known set of forces. It's unclear to me how atoms/particles could exist in contact with atoms/particles built with a different set of blocks and forces. I'm thinking we should be having some sort of matter/anti-matter collision at the portals. Magic should work in Arcana and Talents should work in Sharona. Of course if the different sets of matter couldn't exist on the other's side we wouldn't have much of a story, would we :D


These are clearly extra forces not involved with chemical matter, as witness the POWs have not croaked when their enzymes stopped working or the Bohr effect of their hemoglobin became uncooperative.

I am reminded of a novel form about 3 decades ago, in which their were a half-dozen types of magic, and someone found a way to manipulate how powerful they were, relatively speaking. However, I have 3000 or so books in my tiny SF library, so I am relying on memory to say the novels were by Lyndon Hardey 'The Five Forms of Magic" was perhaps the first.
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Re: Thoughts on the storyline...
Post by n7axw   » Tue Aug 11, 2015 7:22 pm

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Astelon wrote:If any side breaks into the other's home universe I would suspect it to be arcana forces getting into Sharona. Sharonians just don't have the capacity (yet) to reach Arcana itself. If arcanans do reach Sharona then they would find they have little military power there, their entire society's technology being based on magic.


We really don't know that Arcana has the capability either. lf the magic stops working, they are down to arbalasts. If the magic works, they are still severely limited in the size of force they can project forward due to logistics issues whereas the closer to Sharona they get, the better the logistics for Sharona and the stronger Sharona's forces become.

A possible joker on the deck would be the discovery of a previously unknown and undefended portal through which Arcana stages a hit and run raid. Another one would be Sharona being diverted by civil war.

Don
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Re: Thoughts on the storyline...
Post by Astelon   » Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:30 pm

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I wasn't thinking of an invasion; more of a small strike force transported by dragons, going around any sharonian forces. The dragons possibly could survive (I doubt they need magic just to live or even fly), although they would (likely) lose their fire and lightning attacks.

As for the physics, there is likely a base level of physics that is the same on all worlds, as Phillies notes the POWs have not died as they are moved further into enemy territory. Shaylar and Jathmar have gotten far enough into arcanan territory that their talents don't work any more, then they should be far enough for any health effects to show.

This "base physics" (the physics which are the same) are why I think that sharonian weapons are likely to work on Arcana, even when the Talents fail. Also if the sharonian weapons don't work further into Arcanan territories (they fail along with the talents) then Sharona has no hope of ever fully prosecuting the war. On the other hand Arcana can (eventually) reverse engineer rifles and artillery; and then use them against Sharona even if the won't work on Arcana. They might have to build them towards the front, but they could do it.
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Re: Thoughts on the storyline...
Post by cralkhi   » Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:02 pm

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I would think basic atomic physics & chemistry would have to be the same.

Well, unless passing through portals adjusts your bio-chemistry to the new laws... but I doubt it, since the magic/psychic powers don't adjust.

Arcanan magic and Sharonan Talents are probably based on some 'extra' particles/forces.

phillies wrote:I am relying on memory to say the novels were by Lyndon Hardey 'The Five Forms of Magic" was perhaps the first.


Probably 'Master of the Five Magics', indeed by Lyndon Hardy, though I have not read it.
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Re: Thoughts on the storyline...
Post by Keith_w   » Thu Aug 13, 2015 5:49 am

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Astelon wrote:I wasn't thinking of an invasion; more of a small strike force transported by dragons, going around any sharonian forces. The dragons possibly could survive (I doubt they need magic just to live or even fly), although they would (likely) lose their fire and lightning attacks.

As for the physics, there is likely a base level of physics that is the same on all worlds, as Phillies notes the POWs have not died as they are moved further into enemy territory. Shaylar and Jathmar have gotten far enough into arcanan territory that their talents don't work any more, then they should be far enough for any health effects to show.

This "base physics" (the physics which are the same) are why I think that sharonian weapons are likely to work on Arcana, even when the Talents fail. Also if the sharonian weapons don't work further into Arcanan territories (they fail along with the talents) then Sharona has no hope of ever fully prosecuting the war. On the other hand Arcana can (eventually) reverse engineer rifles and artillery; and then use them against Sharona even if the won't work on Arcana. They might have to build them towards the front, but they could do it.


While dragons may not be magical beings in and of themselves, although based on how they were created, they may be, they are controlled through magic as are the griffins, thus they may be less amenable to control the farther from Arcana they get. And if they are hungry as well...
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Re: Thoughts on the storyline...
Post by Louis R   » Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:40 am

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I think that it's a pretty safe bet that dragons are magical in and of themselves - and thus there's a hard limit to how far up the chain they can go.

The problem is that they fly, they mass 30-40 _tonnes_ and the largest modern fliers mass <26 _kilograms_. The largest known - or at least thought to be - true fliers are the pterosauria, which top out at <250kg. Maybe. Some estimates have put the biggest at only 80kg, but those are no longer generally accepted; at least one estimate has put the largest pterosaurs at upwards of 500kg. That is hotly debated, but there seems to be a consensus that if they were that big, they weren't flying. I haven't done a lot of homework on this one, but modern biomechanics simulations indicate that pterosaurs could fly at around 200kg, but that it's pretty close to the upper limit for animal flight.

That suggests that either dragons use a completely different, and vastly more efficient, flight mechanism that any of insects, birds, bats or pterosaurs [none of whom fly in exactly the same way] or they aren't getting off the ground under their own steam. Of the 2, I'm plumping for the latter.



Keith_w wrote:
Astelon wrote:I wasn't thinking of an invasion; more of a small strike force transported by dragons, going around any sharonian forces. The dragons possibly could survive (I doubt they need magic just to live or even fly), although they would (likely) lose their fire and lightning attacks.

As for the physics, there is likely a base level of physics that is the same on all worlds, as Phillies notes the POWs have not died as they are moved further into enemy territory. Shaylar and Jathmar have gotten far enough into arcanan territory that their talents don't work any more, then they should be far enough for any health effects to show.

This "base physics" (the physics which are the same) are why I think that sharonian weapons are likely to work on Arcana, even when the Talents fail. Also if the sharonian weapons don't work further into Arcanan territories (they fail along with the talents) then Sharona has no hope of ever fully prosecuting the war. On the other hand Arcana can (eventually) reverse engineer rifles and artillery; and then use them against Sharona even if the won't work on Arcana. They might have to build them towards the front, but they could do it.


While dragons may not be magical beings in and of themselves, although based on how they were created, they may be, they are controlled through magic as are the griffins, thus they may be less amenable to control the farther from Arcana they get. And if they are hungry as well...
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Re: Thoughts on the storyline...
Post by n7axw   » Thu Aug 13, 2015 2:31 pm

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Louis R wrote:I think that it's a pretty safe bet that dragons are magical in and of themselves - and thus there's a hard limit to how far up the chain they can go.

The problem is that they fly, they mass 30-40 _tonnes_ and the largest modern fliers mass <26 _kilograms_. The largest known - or at least thought to be - true fliers are the pterosauria, which top out at <250kg. Maybe. Some estimates have put the biggest at only 80kg, but those are no longer generally accepted; at least one estimate has put the largest pterosaurs at upwards of 500kg. That is hotly debated, but there seems to be a consensus that if they were that big, they weren't flying. I haven't done a lot of homework on this one, but modern biomechanics simulations indicate that pterosaurs could fly at around 200kg, but that it's pretty close to the upper limit for animal flight.

That suggests that either dragons use a completely different, and vastly more efficient, flight mechanism that any of insects, birds, bats or pterosaurs [none of whom fly in exactly the same way] or they aren't getting off the ground under their own steam. Of the 2, I'm plumping for the latter.



As I am hearing the books, the flying dragons are non-magical except for their weapons. As for the physics that allows them to do that, I agree that it wouldn't be possible in our own timeline.

But in the timeline we are dealing with in the Multiverse, we do have some hints that, for example, note that without magical assist, the dragons can carry about 15 ton, with it they can carry 25 ton.
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