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Author Topic: Magma Spires of Orcal (Alysse: help needed!)  (Read 7749 times)
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« on: 06 August 2005, 13:17:00 »

MAGMA SPIRES


Overview/Name of Building
The Magma Spires of Orcal are the main defensive structures of the kingdom; however, due to the expense of constructing and manning these foreboding buildings, they are usually restricted to the defenses of the main cities and focal trade routes. These black towers, constructed almost entirely out of obsidian and the black mud of the River Orcath can reach heights of over thirty peds, and employ the Orchisth priests’ powerful magic to draw heat, fire (or in extreme cases raw magma) from deep within the canyons.

Location of Building
Magma Spires are built to protect the main cities and trade conjunctions (as well as some strategic borders such as the southwestern perimeter with the Empire of Krath) of the Orcisth kingdom of western Nybelmar. The paramount of Magma Spire defenses is …, where they were built … years ago to protect and watch over …

PS: Alysse, I desperately need your help here ;)  


Function of Building
The primary purpose of Magma Spires is martial protection. A highly offensive defense, the towers reach deep within the earth through its ‘roots’ (see Description for details) to reserves of volcanic emissions and molten rock, and concentrate that heat energy. The focused energy is then redirected in intense/fiery rays against assaulters, reducing hordes to cinder and charred bone. Early versions of the spires could only fire from the gargantuan rhomb-shaped crystal forming the structure’s crown. Major rectifications were undertaken in c.a. 1900 b.S (coinciding with Emperor Déárán’s reign of Grand Krath) to include auxiliary discharge holes along the spire’s body.

Two disadvantages of these horrible weapons of mass destruction are their slow recharge rates and high maintenance. Only the fire mage/priests of Orcal can operate the blaze-crystals atop these spires and they usually require a small horde of guards and attendants to keep the towers functioning. Another shortcoming of the Flame Spire may be its inability to shoot at close-range.

There are two known* types of the Orcisth towers: The Flame Spire (provides defense against enemies by casting flame waves) and the upgraded Magma Spire (capable of attacking air parties and nearby enemies by thrusting scorching rocks). *The rumors of a third spire equipped to deal cumulative damage per second to all enemy troops in sight has been circulating the Krath spy-network for the last five years. However, as no army or agent has been able to make it that far into the fortified wards of the arid canyons, the assertions were never ratified. Krath identifies this alleged variety as the fabled Inferno Spires of Orcal.

The spires were first built to fence off Krathrian attacks led by Karthakut the Great (c.a. 3200 b.S) and seal the kingdom’s southwestern border against the rising threat. Later on, during the Orcal Wars (1679-1648 b.S), were altered to also survey the ruined borderland against concealed Krean attacks. An intense, far-reaching light would rotate the crest, revealing the barren land of the canyons for strals in the course of an hour. The light-source was soon upgraded (after the first successful Krean assault which also happened to be their first attempt) to burn away the dense fog of the border’s marshlands. The only remaining drawback (the completion of a full rotation in an hour) was surmounted by the arithmetical placing of several spires starting the revolutions in consequent intervals.

PS: Alysse, do you think we could make the valleys of Orcal ‘sleeping’ sites of former volcanic activity? Perhaps that is how the great canyons (and maybe even the riverbank!) were formed: a huge earthquake after several massive volcanic activities during the War of the Chosen (Menemronn’s reign)? This may add a little to why the Orcisth have a great affinity to fire magic: the lands they live on were gigantic fire springs!


Description
Exterior appearance, height, size - in Santharian measurements of distance or area - material constructed from, architectural features, interior divisions and rooms, additions, areas of use, etc.

History
Brief list of dates or sequence - when built by whom, how long functioning, any important changes in its use, any vital events that happened on the premises or in the area, any renovations or rebuildings, etc.


Edited by: Coren FrozenZephyr at: 8/5/05 21:20
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Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #1 on: 13 August 2005, 06:57:00 »

Okay, just saw this post.  Are you looking for help with the location specifically, or just help with the entry in general?  I'm willing to give you whatever help I can.
The kingdom of Orcal is quite large, from what I can make of the Nybelmar map.  I think the best they could do is have them around certain cities, possibly around any mountain passes along the south/western borders.
Also, the black orcs do engage in some trade, so there has to be some way to distinguish between attackers and traders from a distance.  Perhaps they have a "distance glass" on their towers and the traders need to display a standard  or flag of some kind.  In any case, that's doable.

I'm afraid that I'm rather shaky on history, especially in Nybelmar. but let's see--iIn terms of why they were made, perhaps the first ones were developed at the request of the original Orcal for some sort of defense after he managed to unify the tribes.  In other words, he asked the priests/shamans/mages (whatever they were called then) to provide some sort of defensive structures and this is what they came up with.  Over the centuries, more were built to defend strategic areas.  I know you suggested they were built earlier than this but I think that that would be unlikely since the orc tribes were not working together at that point.  And these are such powerful defense weapons, I think the mages would need to work together to build them.  Otherwise they (the mages) would have to be exceptionally powerful and If they were that powerful individually, the orcs would control all of Nybelmar by this point.


Feel free to disagree with me on these points, but that's the way I see it right now.  I don't know too much about the other races in Nybelmar, though.  I'll have to do some research if you want my help there.

If you need or want more suggestions, or would like me to contribute something, just let me know.  

edit.  BTW, I think your idea about having them built on sites of former volcanic activity is great!  It also suggests why these orcs have fire magic affinity--a good tie-in.

Alysse the Likely

Edited by: Alysse theLikely at: 8/12/05 15:00
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #2 on: 23 August 2005, 01:25:00 »

Thank you Alysse for your quick response and pointing me back to this thread! I saw your post and thought I had replied, sorry! I promise to finish the MS this week, though I may need further clarification from you on certain points. HOpe that is alright :)


PS: I will post my comments later today.

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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #3 on: 24 August 2005, 16:09:00 »

No problem.  If there's anything you need specific help with, let me know and we'll tackle it together.  With that much concentrated brain power, we can handle whatever comes up, right?  :lol

Alysse the Likely

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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #4 on: 05 September 2005, 15:24:00 »

That's for sure! ;)

Anyway, I am currently on my laptop so I do not wish to struggle with the touchpad to analyze things step by step. An answer should be due late next morning!:wink2  

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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #5 on: 07 September 2005, 15:18:00 »

Hmm... That's quite logical. But I've never intended the orcs to invent the spires. Brainstorming:

Option 1: The Black Hand (an anti-Earth League underground sect consisting mostly of highly proficient Krean. Believed to be behind many of the conspiracies against the Empire) stirs Orcal to the point of their launching raids against Zhun >> events build up >>> The start of the Orcal Wars. The Black Hand puppeteers Orcal, uniting various clan leaders under its iron (or 'persuasive') fist. To prevent the Empire from striking swiftly and crushing the Orcal threat they bring together ('force'?) the greatest mages from all over Orcristh boundaries.

Option 2: The Witch Queen of Marmarra (no entry yet) invents a spire prototype and sends it to various warlords. Their mages simply copy from the blueprints. No real understanding of the structures' design until after the first Orcal.


The point is I am desperate to find a reason why Krath at couldn't conquer Orcal or later at the peak of its power crush the emerging Orcristh threat. How on earth did those clans hold against the mightest empire of the time for over thirty years?

PS: Sorry for my lousy language. Couldn't get any sleep so typing this in the middle of the night. Well then...

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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #6 on: 08 September 2005, 07:10:00 »

My knowledge of Nybelmar is limited, but, off the top of my head:

--Perhaps they weren't focussing on the orcs or didn't consider them to be a threat immediately, until it was too late?  If the orcs were spending most of their time fighting each other and everything else in sight, they probably weren't causing the Karth Empire much difficulty.

--It wasn't worth their while to go after them? (not much of value in the Orcal area)

--The orcs being on their "home turf" gave them too great a military advantage? (They control the river, thus the water supply; they can set up ambushes from the caves/canyons around the river, etc.)

Anyway, those are some possible reasons the Krath people didn't go after and destroy them.  

As to how they got the spires, perhaps they stole the blueprints and killed the inventor so nobody else could use the knowledge or develop a quick counter to it.  That would be rather typically orcen, don't you think?  Perhaps this "Orcal" warlord was the one to do so and thus was able to use this "new magic" as a way of persuading the clans to join together.

Anyway, let me know what you think.  I am in the process of figuring out how this IM thing works and maybe we can hash some things out that way too.  My availabililty is a little uncertain right now.  Hope this helps!

Alysse the Likely

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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #7 on: 11 February 2008, 04:44:22 »

Hello Alysse! :) Would you be interested in taking over this? RL keeps me very busy; I hardly have time to visit the boards. So I am trying to loosen entries which were Coren-locked (akin to land-locked land).

If you are interested, feel free to redesign or add to the concept as you see fit. I trust your judgment ;)
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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #8 on: 11 February 2008, 06:10:55 »

Sure, I'll take a look.  I've mostly finished tidying up the Icemute entry and now I just have to wait for comments, so I can tackle this next.  I'll be happy to offer what assistance I can.


Alysse

edit:  I was off the boards for quite a while in the late fall due to some major RL issues, but these have been largely dealt with and should not interfere with my ability to be here that much in the foreseeable future.   So I will be around, it just may take a bit of time to do the research.
« Last Edit: 11 February 2008, 06:20:36 by Alysse the Likely » Logged

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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #9 on: 11 February 2008, 06:21:11 »

Re: the invention of the Magma Spires & history - I leave the decision entirely to you. Whatever fits your vision for Orcal.  Please be my guest to treat this as your own entry from now on

Thanks Alysse!
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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #10 on: 14 February 2009, 06:41:19 »

Hello Alysse! If you would like to finish this, please do go ahead! I am unlikely to get it done myself and I am sure you will do a splendid job! Much more knowledgeable about these orcs than I am at any rate! Should you need to tweak anything, feel free :)
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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #11 on: 14 February 2009, 09:37:27 »

I'll see what I can do...my main problem is the historical details, which I know nothing about.  Is there any sort of a Nyblemarian time line anywhere?


Alysse
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Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #12 on: 14 February 2009, 19:38:30 »

Why don't you bell-ring Koldar? Nybelmar, orcs...

( ;) even Rahshiri might know, what Koldar had intended - if he was the idea-provider in the first case, that is)
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #13 on: 14 February 2009, 19:48:23 »

Enkyklopadië Nybelmarnica, the Book of All Knowledge (about Nybelmar) - a very useful collection of links

Nybelmar General Timeline - what we have on the timeline so far. Should you require further clarification, please do contact me :) I'll do my best to respond reasonably promptly. Thanks so much for taking over this Alysse! hug
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"Everything should be as simple as possible and not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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« Reply #14 on: 14 February 2009, 21:17:12 »

AAARRRGGGHHHH!

Disaster! Oh, woe is me, woe, woe, and thrice woe!

These spires are almost identical to the Gates of Hellwrung, which I am developing as my Masterwork. The Gates are also constructed from a black stone, Black (or norsidian) Grannyte, and are the main defensive structures guarding the territories of the Osther-oc.

I needs must look into this situation in greater depth ere I continue, methinks.

Alysse, Coren, or anyone else with knowledge of these spires, please advise!
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