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Author Topic: More brainstorming: The Orb of Ximax (and the Void too)  (Read 5900 times)
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Mina
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« on: 05 September 2005, 05:55:00 »

Okay, as those of you working on Ximax should know, at the centre of the Academy lies the Orb of Ximax, protected by the Shield Dome.  Here's what I remember of the information Xarl and the other early magic experts posted about it:

- It's probably of natural origin, and has been around for very, very long.  
- It greatly increases the power of any spells cast around it.  Spells meant to produce tiny effects, such as sparks, end up levelling mountains (though earth spells tend to raise mountains instead).  That's why there's now a plateau in the centre of the Ximaxian Peninsula, instead of mountains.  The Shield Dome greatly dampens this effect, so spells cast in and around Ximax are enhanced very slightly (probably not very noticable), and beyond the city, are not reallyaffected at all.  
- The Orb most likely could not be moved, explaining why Ximax is located where it is, instead of being at some location where the Orb could be better protected.  
- Wards were first laid down to help contain the power of the Orb.  The Inner Towers were later built over the wards.  I can't remember if the Shield Dome had already been built at that point, but it's what does the majority of the work in containing the Orb's power.  
- There are apparently sometimes 'eruptions' of the Orb's powers, and Archmagi have died trying to contain them.  
- The original purpose of Ximax was to contain the power of the Orb, and keep it from falling into the wrong hands.  This isn't that relevant here, but one should keep this in mind when working on Ximax.  

I started this thread to get some ideas concerning the nature of the Orb.  I would like to change it as little as possible, which means coming up with explanations for how the Orb works, from the Ximaxian perspective.  Unfortunately, I'm completely lost here.  The only (Ximaxian) way I know of to increase the power of spells is to have it cast by someone with stronger willpower.  I don't really see willpower being an plausible explanation here though.  So, I need more ideas.  This information would also be needed to explain how the Wards (if we keep them), and the Shield Dome contain the Orb's effects.  


Edited by: Mina Aylwin at: 9/27/05 11:15
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isaraldor glamthail
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« Reply #1 on: 05 September 2005, 08:36:00 »

could it be like a magnifying glass?

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Theodorus Holzman
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« Reply #2 on: 06 September 2005, 00:10:00 »

Magnifying glass-theory sounds plausible, but another option occurred to me.

Perhaps it could be something that lifts the natural "resistance" of the environment against magic. Obviously, magic doesn't occur spontaneously, but is "forced" upon an environment by a mage by using willpower to produce a certain magical effect. The greater the  effect (thus, the greater the change), the greater the amount of willpower required to achieve it.

The Orb could then serve as a natural occurence that somehow reduces this natural resistance against magical change inflicted upon a certain area. Possibly, it could absorb the "magical resistance" of the environment and thus become itself even móre resistant to magic (which explains why the Orb cannot be moved by magic and such), or perhaps even to almost every form of change (so it can't be moved normally either).

Then why the Orb does such a thing would be a totally different matter, though I suppose you could see the Orb as just a manifestation of a natural occurence. (Or it could be regarded as a "tear" of Avá, which by its existence allows for things to be "dreamt up" without much effort, just to give a hint for a more mystical explanation of its existence)

KR,
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Marvin Cerambit
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« Reply #3 on: 06 September 2005, 06:43:00 »

Well, nobody has to know exactly how it works. They just found it after all. But since magic is the altering of the car'all, maybe the orb causes every small change to amplify like a snowball rolling down a hill?

As for the wards, how about some sort of magic mirrors that keep in whatever the orb does? Or maybe a cage of faraday like thing (although that could get complicated)?

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Mina
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« Reply #4 on: 10 September 2005, 08:36:00 »

Theo: The technical explanation (why it works the way it works) is needed as well, and explanations involving the gods probably won't work, because the Ximaxian system is a secular one.  

Marvin: They don't have to know how it works, but they still have to be able to explain how it works, especially because it is the reason Ximax exists in the first place.  I think it is very unlikely that the Ximaxians would create a magic system that cannot explain something so important to them.  In fact, the Orb of Ximax is probably one of the first things they would have tried to explain. Perhaps in the beginning, they did have no explanation for it, but after thousands of years, I think they would have come up with something.  


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Theodorus Holzman
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« Reply #5 on: 19 September 2005, 14:43:00 »

Mina,

When writing the Ximaxians might not know why the Orb works this way, I actually meant more of an analogy with e.g. the laws of physics. It is possible to describe very detailed how gravity works, for instance, but why there is such a thing as gravity is a totally different matter.

But of course it should be possible to create a theory that not only explains how the Orb works, but also why it exists.

As said I propose the effect that draws "magical resistance" from the surrounding area to the Orb, so that effects nearby are enhanced, but the Orb itself cannot be affected by magic. (Which explains why the Orb cannot be manipulated).

Moreover, I wonder if you should limit the explanation of the Orb to only the Ximaxian version. After all, other magically educated groups might also have their own ideas about the Orb, considering it is an important magical artifact.

KR,
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Theodorus Holzman
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« Reply #6 on: 20 September 2005, 01:13:00 »

Possible useful references I found about the Orb:

"Ximan's revealed it all. The Orb, the Wards, and the call that we and our descendants must follow for the next ten thousand years. We've found the single most powerful beacon of magic on the entire continent. It's no wonder it has gone unseen for so long, and the mystery of my father's blindness is revealed. Ximan conjured a tiny spark next to the thing, and it became an inferno the size of one of Dornaj's Glass Houses. (Chronicler's Note: One of the first major works in force sorcery, the Glass Houses were crude spheres of magic that repelled rain, wind, and predators. They were approximately ten peds in diameter.) I guess some wizard must have tried to light a fire... poor man.

Anyway, this is what he said. "We have to keep this thing down, but we can't keep it down for all time. So, we stay here. We stay here, and we bring others to us. We set up a little school for magi, where their talents will be a bit more obvious, and they'll be guaranteed great honor and as much as we can teach them if they chose to follow us, and keep this thing sealed."

"On the inside of the Circle rests one of the Wonders of Santharia: the Tear of Avá, the Uarná'ésh-dél, the Orb of Ximax... Call it what you will, this immensely powerful sphere of magical energy is the heart of the Institute, and the entire City of Mages was built up around this phenomenon. The only mortal beings allowed to enter the roiling energies within the Orb are the Archmagi, during their induction and meetings of the Conclave. It is rumored that the Orb is truly a place where the energies of the Gods can be focussed; where the line between the Dream and Night is blurred, and it is the only place where mortals may reach the divine - or so it is told..."

What I now wonder about is the actual size of the thing. As it seems, the Archmagi actuall "enter" the Orb. (?) But on the other hand, it cannot be thát big, otherwise it would have been noted and investigated long before Ximan was there.
From what I see from the entries, the Orb just adds a limitless amount of magic to the surrounding environment, but it is not really clear to me how this should work. As I thought magic was in this world not as much a substance, but more an event.

KR,
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Mina
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« Reply #7 on: 23 September 2005, 12:43:00 »

I was concentrating on the Ximaxian explanation since they are the ones for whom the Orbs matter most, but, yes, you are right, other magic users probably have their own ideas about how it works as well, if they know if it.  

Those references sound like part of my sources.  I must have missed the part about it being possible to enter the Orb though, because I don't remember it at all.  In this case, it sounds less like a solid object, and more like a spherical region with unusual properties.  Size should not be a problem, I think, because the region is rather large and surrounded by mountains, and the Shield Dome itself is quite large too ( a few dozen peds in diameter at least, I think), and should easily be able to contain it.  The one other region I can think of with unusual properties is the Void, so perhaps the Orb has something to do with it.  The trouble with this though, is that it'd also be necessary to explain why the Orb's effects extend throughout the entire peninsula (though it weakens the further you get from it), while the Void is not known to have the same effect.  Then again, the Void entry is vague, so perhaps we could add that in.  Wasn't the Void one of the things being discussed as part of all those cosmology stuff recently?  


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Theodorus Holzman
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« Reply #8 on: 23 September 2005, 13:03:00 »

It seems the most simple explanation of the Orb would be to regard it as a "hole" in the fabric of the world, in such a way that the Void is gained presence there.

The properties of the Void seem to resemble that of the Orb. Both actually enhance the effect of a wish. And although the Void seems to do it in a more controllable fashion, the Orb might, for some reason, do it in a less orderly way, resulting in the wild increase of any spell being cast.

But yes, the entry on the Void is rather vague, and perhaps it's wiser to wait with explaining the Orb this way until there's more clarification on the Void itself. I even don't know if we established for certain that the world was flat (which is implied by the Void entry).

KR,
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Mina
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« Reply #9 on: 28 September 2005, 03:15:00 »

Yes, it seems making the Orb an instance of the Void appearing in Caelereth could work.  Since the Void entry doesn't really say anything about it, I suppose we could have a slow transition between the world and the Void, instead of a clearly defined line seperating them.  That would explain how the strength of the Orb's effects change with distance.  As for how much control a person has in the Void compared to the Orb, that could probably be tweaked too, or altered, or maybe just say that those early mages who discovered the mages were not careful enough.  We'd figure something out, I suppose.  I think perhaps now that the Void has been brought into the discussion, we should get one of those people who are more familiar with cosmology to help out.  

Of course, saying that the Orb is an extension of the Void isn't a good enough explanation for me, though I don't know about everyone else.  All it does is save us the trouble of having to come up with a seperate explanation for the properties of the Void.  I'm still not very sure how to explain it.  Perhaps instead of willpower being increased there, car'all becomes much more flexible there, requiring much less willpower to manipulate?  Hmm...

On another note, the Memnoor Brownies live mostly on land that was reclained from the Void, so they probably have some way of damping its effects too.  Perhaps both they and the Ximaxians do it through similar ways, though I have no idea what that might be yet.  


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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #10 on: 02 October 2005, 15:47:00 »

Hello all! I wished, I would have more knowledge about magical stuff!

The world is flat, Theo! though I haven‘t brought the model in a form,where it can go up as an entry, I think we have fixed that thing now, apart from how the sun will move - maybe I will still change this - later. Please just go to the Southern Sarvonia forum and look out for „Model“.

There I made a distinction, which we may need now or not:
VOID is the  infinite, endlessly stretching nothingness, which contains Caelereth as a bubble.
Void is the (hollow) sphere, where this VOID is touching the bubble of „air“ which contains the disk Caelereth, this area with unpredictable conditions.

The ORB itself: I imagined it always as not so big object, it could be even quite small, but it „has“ a sphere of strong magic around it, so if the archmagi enter the shielddome, they enter this sphere of magic, thus going „into“ the orb.

We can now try to link the orb to the VOID. Like Caelereth is a bubble in the VOID, the orb could be a bubble in this sphere of Caelereth, and then you could have the same effects like in the void, whatever for effects there are, they don‘t have to be the same though. I imagined the unpredictable properties of the void always like  if there are areas swirling around and changing form where magic works strong, at other places it doesn‘t - no idea, if that is possible, that it is a place, where magic as Ximaxian mages it know might not exist, but that magic itself is altered. The brownies would either know ways to stabilises it or would not really live in the void, but have found a way to stabilises part of it to a gate and to enter another plane of existence.  

Maybe easier would be following idea:

Let me quote Art first:
„The whole multi-plane system is mentioned at various early concepts (that's why Mythe was created), also in this cosmology overview I wrote last millenium. It's a consequence of the fact that the world is dreamt by Avá - she dreams all possibilities as realities existing at the same place at the same time. You know, time and space are just measures of people, who exist, but Avá doesn't have these categories, as she doesn't exist. So as a powerful mage, seer etc. for example you can sense other realities or other times, which exist all in this very moment at the location you stand. Windsingers for example might apprehend this in their "meditations". You might also drag creatures from such a plane of existence, or enter such a plane. But that's nothing for the masses of course.“

The orb is something actually existing in two planes at the same time. Maybe you can derive its properties of its magical influence and its immunity against magical influence. It hasn‘t to be the plane I put the „Netherworld“ on, so there is no danger of demons entering our plane, but the „fabric „ would either have a hole here as well or is at least weakened. Other „laws“ of magic might work, maybe the opposite ones. (The thought of matter and antimatter just came to y mind, positive and negative energy)

I don‘t know, if I was of help, I will look into this thread now and then to see, if you still need my help.

***Astropic of the day***
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Marvin Cerambit
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« Reply #11 on: 02 October 2005, 17:06:00 »

Just thought of something. Could the orb be the center of Caelereth? If you look at the map it's location could fit.

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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #12 on: 02 October 2005, 17:13:00 »

No, I'm afraid it is not. when I did the distances, I thought it might be Santhala, but the centre lies somewhere in the Adanian sea, I think. I have a look tomorrow.

***Astropic of the day***
"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path   that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking, looking, breathlessly. ~Don Juan"

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"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path  that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
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Marvin Cerambit
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« Reply #13 on: 03 October 2005, 04:21:00 »

Well, the seas on one side could be a little bigger and there's no way people could calculate such thing exactly (so it could be just something they believe).

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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #14 on: 03 October 2005, 07:03:00 »

Yes, they could, believe, that it is in the centre, though they won't have a real knowledge about the true size of the disc and the shape of the continents..

***Astropic of the day***
"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path   that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking, looking, breathlessly. ~Don Juan"

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"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path  that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
***Astropicture of the Day***Talia's Long, Long List***
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