Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Nature of Gods

Gods, the third created race, are defined by being defined. Whether through the possession and manifestation of a sphere of influence (such as a rock, a stream or an idea like coinage) as well as the worship that they receive. Their power is based upon attention and acknowledgment, rather than devotion. The Gods of the Green World do not rely on the feckless adornment of 'mortals' to give them power, but they do thrive on it. Gods die of their own course though they have a lifespan that is far longer than humans.

Gods are jealous of their power unless it also increases it. Not all gods are created equal. Some are more capable of absorbing and distributing power than others. Their power, however, derives from a self chosen sphere of influence. When one god dies, another is born. They each set their own measure of circumstance and often forge alliances with each other for their own ends.

Gods have jurisdictions that often overlap the authorities of magic, but magic predates them. Further, their jurisdictions can encompass areas that are not subject to Authority which are purely within the purview of other races. The concept of worship did not really occur until humans began to initiate it. Before this they were simply elemental spirits that formed agreements with anyone who would listen. But with the expansion of humans came the expansion of gods to fill their void, and they are often mistaken for the true power in the world instead of the Greater Powers. This is because the other races are viewed as having their own patron 'God' whereas Pickle is entirely content at remaining hidden behind the creation of his elder brother.

It causes him no end of amusement.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Power of Hearth and Home

I've been going back and forth a lot on the Jarral's powers and I think they should be subtle. I like the idea of creating a secure place where none can be harmed without very specific laws and rules. That means that normally they'll be nice and relaxed but from time to time they'll be incredibly formal. The head of the household (male or female since that's just the way I picture them working) controls many things but not with an iron fist. There are exceptions to everything and the like. I think that they should also have a healing ability and something that helps with the crops.

I like the idea of specially carved stones being the limit of their demense. And the more powerful the community, the larger the circle that they control is. Their numbers will generally be small but tight knit.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

More on the Abysmals

So the thing is, how does this actually work? I mean, the Abysmali don't just sit around in labs and the like, because they don't need them. The finished design just appears in their head. But is it that easy?

Yes and no. The way I figure it, they don't need to do lab work, but they need to define the problem. For example, if they have something really specific like say "A device which keeps my cat from sneaking out of the house at night" then they'll get an answer. Even more specific is better, like "A device which keeps my cat from sneaking out at night that uses a net, a bird and a spring." The more specific they are, the quicker they'll be able to think up the answer.

This means that they're still going to explore things, just backwards. A basic knowledge of how the universe works is required to get more specific in their instructions, though one might imagine this might lead to some fairly backward ways at looking at things.

Multiple Abysmali pooling their talents can make more impressive things, thus if they have something really important, they can put something together very quickly if they properly delegate all of the tasks involved. This means that in Abysmali society, everyone is going to have something they're in charge of when it comes to inventing and creation. A society of experts. That means education is very important to them.

One other thing to keep in mind is, under the sea there is no easy fire. Which means that while some things like Steam power might come easy to them, just burning a bunch of wood under a kettle of water isn't quite going to cut it.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Secrets of the Abysmali

OK. First thing is first.

How far can we go with technology in a fiction work and still call it 'Fantasy'?

For some people, if it goes beyond swords and crossbows, they aren't happy, but then again those people aren't the kind of people I'm writing for, at least not as a target.
Indeed, I strongly suspect that I'll never write anything that would make a 'purist' happy.

Now, steam works, for the most part. Lighter than Air craft is OK. Electricity is pushing it, but electronics definitely doesn't work. Indeed, pulp lightning guns or even Victorian era tech ('Steam Punk') is barely acceptable on the fringes and should only be rarely seen.

Fortunately, it looks like the Abysmali will not play a huge role in the vague areas of the plot that I have in mind. Still, this month I'm defining the exceptions to reality rather than the aspects of reality itself.

A far better example of what can be cutting edge tech for them would be 'Clock Punk' or the kinds of gizmos that the Leonardo Da Vinci knock off created in 'Alias'. Only the thing is that the Abysmal can create the solution of perfection such as it is possible in the world of Pickle, simply because they know the answer ahead of time. Its really the only form of time travel (via knowledge) that I'm going to allow in the world.

Now having said that, there is another problem. The basic tenet of science is the organization of world based on the idea that its laws are immutable. The problem is that if you examine the mythology I have created, it is apparent that Pickle and the creations of Fa and Sa are a morphological metaphysical situation. That is to say, when things come 'from chaos' to me that means that a mind can shape the reality around them to be anything that they want it to be. Thus it is one of those 'if enough people believe it then it can become real' scenarios.

However, the key to Pickle is that there have been many many minds going in the same direction for quite some time. Thus, the natural physical laws have more or less reached an extremely powerful inertia that isn't going to change short of an act by one of the greater powers (Sa, Fa, Ob, Hila or one of the Seven). And even they would have to fight against thousands and thousands of years of human expectation.

So what sort of a world do people imagine? They might have made the world flat, but Pickle and the other six countered that. Plus don't forget that the Green world itself and just about everything has a mind and spirit of its own. Its a very animistic world. Now having said that, 'clock punk' suddenly makes a lot more sense if only Newtonian physics apply. That also means that certain basic chemical reactions are possible, but things like relativity and advanced electronics are right out. It is too fine an observation for people to make. Of course, one could argue that since that is too small in the world for people to notice, there can't be laws applying to it, and to a certain degree that might be true, but on a larger scale that is not going to be the case.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Granting – The Granting of something is to give a metaphysical licenses to use or mimic that things essence or nature for the nature of the thing being granted.

The primary rules of Granting are that Granting must be done voluntarily, and it must fall within the power/scope of the thing to grant it.

A human being could grant sight, titles, intelligence etc. A stone could grant toughness and endurance but not motion since it does not possess the power to move. The granting of a thing does not automatically mean the reduction of that which originally gave it, if the original has enough essence to incorporate the change on their own. If it does not, then the thing that is doing the granting must give its own essence to grant.

Feats accomplished by the S’im’saur using granting:

They used their license over the creatures of Green to begin to alter them to their liking, particularly by breeding them over time.

They used their magical powers to store energy and essence to create destructive force.

They created magical memories that could be transferred to others by granting their memories and then storing them in a stone.

Gems – Certain gems possess the essence of the other six worlds. Each world has a specific gem that represents it. The gems themselves cannot grant anything, but if a Gem is from the Indigo world, it can serve as a source of essence in lieu of the cost of the granter or the grantees license.

Binding – the Mak-Ka-Fa and Mak-Ka-Ma require permission to do harm to any creature of the Green World. Thus, the terms of that permission must be laid out in explicit detail.