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Worldbuilding xenobiology/astrophysics/climate questions

Discussion in 'Original Fiction Discussion' started by KHAAAAAAAN!!, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. KHAAAAAAAN!!

    KHAAAAAAAN!! Troll in the Dungeon Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Lol. No. Not frozen all the way through. These oceans are hundreds of miles deep. I meant glacier a few miles thick. Part of the magic system involves individuals who can break the ice so the city state can move.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
  2. Agayek

    Agayek Alchemist

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    Wait, you mean the people' during the night are going to be literally turning their cities into boats/sleds to move from hotspot to hotspot?

    That's kinda fucking awesome.
     
  3. KHAAAAAAAN!!

    KHAAAAAAAN!! Troll in the Dungeon Prestige DLP Supporter

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    The floating city is essentially one massive interconnected collection of boats that sail together. When it's time to move, a char belonging to a group of magic peeps I've tentatively named Lightseers uses their power to find an active volcano. Then another group of chars, the Forcebreakers, cleave a path through the ice walls. The city sails through the gap.

    I've come up with about 5 different power groups so far, all loosely classified as a form of mind magic.
     
  4. Agayek

    Agayek Alchemist

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    I like it, quite a bit actually.

    It raises the question though: what do they do on the day side? Do they still hang around on their floating city just doing their thing? Or do they dock it somewhere and set up shop on land?

    Further, how do they keep everyone fed over the night? Resources would be very, very scarce, and I'm dubious at best that they could build up a stockpile that lasts 500 years and wouldn't go bad. Is there magic involved there? Do the people have their own hibernation/chrysalis states? etc
     
  5. KHAAAAAAAN!!

    KHAAAAAAAN!! Troll in the Dungeon Prestige DLP Supporter

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    The people (and I use that term loosely as it includes 8 different species of both high intelligence and low), I call the Kagi. The Kagi (who evolved from various types of burrowing marsupialish creatures) do not form chrysallis cocoons. They harvest, farm, fish, and hunt.

    Kagi darksider food sources include:

    - fishing nets that drag deep beneath their boats
    - hunting and harvesting on the volcanic islands (this is one of the main reasons they continue to move around)
    - and when supplies get low, they'll eat the parasitic vegetation that they grow on deck (they feed corpses and organic refuse to these fat gelatinous plants)

    The darksiders keep to the dark, for... reasons. They will eventually make berth on the main continent. It's very much an arrive and violently conquer situation, thus providing a central piece of the story's conflict.
     
  6. Agayek

    Agayek Alchemist

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    Welp, I'm intrigued. Sounds fairly well thought-out at a first pass. I'm kinda curious about the reasons now.
     
  7. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    Um...

    Damn.

    So, where do I sign up to be a beta reader for you? I'll pinky-swear to never let another soul see the work and everything.
     
  8. KHAAAAAAAN!!

    KHAAAAAAAN!! Troll in the Dungeon Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I'm still really early in the planning stages. Loads more research to do. When I have an outline, some char sketches, and a tentative first chapter for the initial POV chars, I'll start looking for betas.

    ---------- Post automerged at 11:55 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:42 AM ----------

    Question:

    Is it possible for a super volcano to have a near constant stream of small eruptions?

    The proposed building materials of societies on the main continent are ash and lime cinder blocks, obsidian slabs, tempered glasses made from volcanic sand, pumice rock, diamond, Kagi bone (which is the hardest and strongest readily available material), hardened silk organics, and a wood analogue derived from parasitic plants.

    Apart from the last three, most of these can be found or are found primarily in volcanic deposits. I want to be sure the civilizations have a feasibly steady supply for mining.
     
  9. Agayek

    Agayek Alchemist

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    You'll want to look into Kilauea. It's a Hawaiian volcano that's been erupting pretty much non-stop since 1983. It's one of the longest single eruptions in the history of the Earth, as far as we know. That isn't a permanent thing, and once the eruption finally stops, it'll probably take a couple centuries at least to erupt again, but you can definitely have eruptions that stretch over decades, or an eruption every century or so if a volcano is extremely active.

    That's for normal volcanos though. For supervolcanos, that's, well, in a word, no, and that is a fantastic thing.

    Supervolcanic eruptions are potentially literal world enders. It's theorized that Yellowstone erupting would be on par, ecologically speaking, with the Chicxulub impact that wiped out the dinosaurs, and the evidence suggests that they have caused Ice Ages in the past. They form because there aren't any convenient cracks or weakspots for the magma pocket to push through, so the magma builds, and it builds, and it builds, all the while ratcheting up the pressure until it literally explodes through the crust, spewing thousands of times more lava and ash and debris into the air than any normal volcano. There's no way they can erupt quickly or continually.
     
  10. KHAAAAAAAN!!

    KHAAAAAAAN!! Troll in the Dungeon Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Thanks. I suppose I'll go with my original model and have several dead volcanic ranges and one large active one.
     
  11. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling Prestige DLP Supporter

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    That's actually very wrong. The Siberian Traps had one long volcanic event that lasted around a million years. We call that time the Permian-Triassic Boundary and it is the single biggest extinction event in the history of the planet.
     
  12. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    If you're looking for something smaller, you can always go the route of the Paricutin volcano as well. It may work even better, since there's little evidence that there's even going to be a volcanic event until just a few days or week or two before it happens, and once it's over, it's over permanently. There's some things you might not be able to work with, like the fact that it doesn't have a permanent flow during it's growth. But then again, if you're on a different world, you can change a few of the geomechanical factors and create that scenario.

    It might make your Char's magical abilities even more necessary, because they're looking for a volcanic event that possibly hasn't happened yet.
     
  13. Agayek

    Agayek Alchemist

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    Which just proves my point about being 'potentially world-ending' :p

    I was operating on the assumption that it would necessitate minimal ecological damage for the eruptions to be one of the primary sources of building materials.
     
  14. KHAAAAAAAN!!

    KHAAAAAAAN!! Troll in the Dungeon Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I'll go with a really large shield volcano. Like olympus mons. Activity will be mild, but long lasting. I asked a geologist buddy of mine and he told me such a phenomenon is actually very probable if the planet is rotating slowly and the volcano is in the equatorial region (which it is).
     
  15. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    KHAAAAAAAAAAAN!!

    I was doing research today and came across something that reminded me of this world, and so I have to ask, do you plan on doing anything with cosmology? If so, I just read through the cosmology/origin myths of Zoroastrianism and I think there's similarities here that could help you build a system of belief/magic/scientific-thought in your world.

    Basically, it was believed that there was no earth rotation, no tides, nothing in the beginning of the world. Change did not exist. Then, to populate the world, the three original creations (bull, man, and plant) were slain by the gods, causing their seed to sprout forth. Doing so created change, and set the earth in motion, causing tides, the movement of the sun, etc.

    Later, it was changed in Zoroastrianism to the embodiment of chaos slaying the three out of malice and introducing change.

    That may be completely off-base with where you're going with your story, but since you're worldbuilding at this point, I thought I'd throw it up here in case you were thinking about cosmological background stuff as well.
     
  16. KHAAAAAAAN!!

    KHAAAAAAAN!! Troll in the Dungeon Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Several of the more religious states on the planet see the celestial bodies as gods and are frequently finding these views at odds with more modern academic cosmology, but that's about as far as I've thought to incorporate it at this point in the writing stage.
     
  17. Joe's Nemesis

    Joe's Nemesis High Score: 2,058 Prestige

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    When you get to that point, let me know and we can discuss it more. Again, it might help, or it might not, I just found the similarity to be striking—a seemingly unmoving world.
     
  18. ScottPress

    ScottPress The Horny Sovereign Prestige

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    Can I just say that this whole thread is full of win. Khan, just your concept is already better than all the YA photocopies of recent years.
     
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