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Author Topic: Krean Arcane Arts: Overview (déjà vu?)  (Read 15741 times)
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« on: 10 January 2010, 03:30:36 »

One Ms Avalotus astutely pointed out that the way the entry was structured did not make sense and chided me for using language which was unhelpful. I've read over the text again, and plead guilty on both accounts. Having read and re-drafted the last version God-knows-how-many-times, I must have become immune to its flaws. Maybe I should periodically revisit my entries  rolleyes

She has also suggested that I find a blackboard and write the following a few thousand times until it registers: "I will not channel dead French philosophers in my writing anymore! I promise!"

The current, streamlined form of the text owes a major debt of gratitude to Rayne!

(A Word 2003 version is attached at the bottom of this post)




CHANGES MADE
1. Grouped all theory together. Condensed and collapsed certain sections into one. Expanded others.
2. Added a "terminology" section - finally!
3. Significantly shortened the "prevalence" section - seriously, most of that sub-schools stuff had no business  in this entry. (They will be addressed in a separate, sub-entry)
4. Moved prevalence section down - the structure is more logical this way. Having "prevelance"/subschools etc sandwiched between two theoretical sections interrupts the flow. Also, grouping prevalence and origins/history together at the end seems to make more sense. We might want to think about altering the Template accordingly.
5. A lot of the premises Krean magic - and Krean worldview - is based on were left implicit. So fixed this by identifying the six underlying premises early on.
6. Stylistic changes all the way through. Likewise, moved a lot of the stuff around.




Discussion questions / areas on which I need input:
1. Is the overview section too long? I thought of condensing the quotation into a two-liner, and then including the full thing in a separate section entitled something like "Santharian Perspectives on Krean Magic". But it's quite an atmospheric introduction this way - and I have grown quite fond of having that quote at the beginning! The utilitarian and aesthetic elements of my personality are in conflict - HELP!

2. Is the terminology section helpful? (And no, I am not hiding a whip under the blanket)

3. Stylistically I am not happy with the last three paragraphs ("ORIGINS"). Can it be rayned upon please?

4. Anything else that needs to be cut out or elaborated upon?

5. And this is the most important one: DOES IT MAKE SENSE? That is: can you follow it?




PS: Oh dear... It seems those criminal litigation i-tutorials will have to watch themselves... Oh well - I'll just have to get up an hour or two early (4 am?) to catch up ;P


PS2: It seems to me that if I simplify this, say, another eight times, perhaps it will actually start making sense! buck

PS3: This entry is becoming a bit of a Lazarus!

« Last Edit: 17 December 2011, 03:46:37 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

"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)
Rayne (Alýr)
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« Reply #1 on: 10 January 2010, 11:25:10 »

Coren, you give me far too much credit!


Quote
1. Is the overview section too long? I thought of condensing the quotation into a two-liner, and then including the full thing in a separate section entitled something like "Santharian Perspectives on Krean Magic". But it's quite an atmospheric introduction this way - and I have grown quite fond of having that quote at the beginning! The utilitarian and aesthetic elements of my personality are in conflict - HELP!
Everything in context. I do think that the overview section is long. I think that after the first paragraph, you could probably turn the rest of the overview into maybe a "Background" section. You're here explaining the reason why interest has grown in the topic of Krean magic. You could even call the section "Exigence" if you like--it's the reason why you're writing the entry (in the Santharian reality)."

A note about the quote. You mention the following:
Quote
The High Priestess, herself a figure of myth and legend, a being of prodigious power, called forth every priestess in the Krean realm to meet her in the Valley of Light. Now, you must understand, a Krean mage was like a tempest among men. But there are storms that make other storms look like harmless, rogue winds that lift a straw here and a straw there. Such were the priestesses.
This is a little confusing because your reader doesn't necessarily associate Krean mage with priestess. These are the same, I'm guessing? It's a little bit unclear. You might consider just adding a little clarifier: "Now, you must understand, a priestess (a Krean mage) was like a tempest among men." Or something like that. At some point the relationship between the Krean mage and the priestess need to be made clear.


Quote
2. Is the terminology section helpful? (And no, I am not hiding a whip under the blanket)
I think we may have spoken about this before. Looking at the terms, and the explanations required for them, I'm wondering if you might relay them to your glossary, separate from the entry. If you <a name=""> each term, they can be linked to directly in this entry. But yes, I do find them useful. A few things you might consider:

First Wave: The natural question that arises for me is "Is there a Second Wave? Third?" You might briefly touch on this--that upon the return of the first wave, other waves emerge, bringing with them new manifestations of our reality. Or something. This is me guessing at what these other waves might be. @_@

Web: I think in discussing "web" (lower case w), it might be helpful to add an example: that each person is a web made up of all their past and future selves, as well as all their possible selves--the people they could be or could have been. This would help to make the definition a little more concrete.


Quote
Stylistically I am not happy with the last three paragraphs ("ORIGINS"). Can it be rayned upon please?

As you wish. heart You can keep the paragraphs as is. I have added spaces in my style check so that things are easier to read. Don't be overwhelmed by all the color--a lot of it is just explanation, since I know you are interested in style/grammar.

Quote
Rezar, known as the Mithril Lady, lived in one of the most troubled times in the history of her nation. By the end of her reign, she had brought the Krean supremacy over south-western Nybelmar. The latter half of Rezar’s reign and the three centuries following it are regarded as the Classical Age of the Krean. [You seem to use "Krean" here as a noun referring to the nation. However, you've traditionally either used the term as an adjective ("Krean Nation" or "Krean Men") or for a people ("Ancient Krean"). I likened the term to others like it; for example, Japanese. You have Japanese in the adjective sense ("Japanese animation") and as a term for the people ("The Japanese like rice"), but not as a term for the nation. Is there a term for the nation inhabited by the Krean people?]

Seldom does a name bring such diverse reactions from people: some calling her the closest thing the Krean had to a tyrant; others insist that if the birthplace of the Age of Discovery was the realm of Gondolwen Madas Mith, the celebrated Merchant-King of the Ancient Krean, its conception must have taken place in the reign of Rezza Aeralv. [This last phrase is quite a mouthful. Did Gondolwen Madas Mith live during the reign of Rezza Aeralv? If so, then cosider: "others insist that if the Age of Discovery grew from the mind/activities/rule/inspiration of Gondolwen Madas Mith, the celebrated Merchant-King of the Ancient Krean, than the conditions for its conception can be attributed to [the wise leadership of] Rezza Aeralv['s rule]." I know it still sounds a bit awkward. Perhaps you have some ideas for it based on what I've done? I am perfectly willing to take as long as needed to get it sounding the way you think it should]

However, few deny that the great affluence and power the Ancient Krean enjoyed up to the Year of Darkness (ca 1649 BS) is due largely to her “mithril” reign. (Emperor Asaen once remarked that Rezar’s obstinacy and grip over the Peninsula was not iron but mithril). [It might be nice to explain why he said this, and what a "mithril" reign means. I'm not sure I know--you mean a prosperous one? An illuminating one?]

The codification of the Krean Commercial Code and the integration of all Krean arcane practices into a single theoretical framework are considered to be  [One of the guidelines to style is to make sure that the shorter, simpler parts of a sentence come first: it is, for whatever reason, easier for readers to follow. Consider flipping this last sentence: "Rezar’s greatest contribution to posterity is considered to be the codification of the Krean Commercial Code and the integration of all Krean arcane practices into a single theoretical framework." Or, if you don't mind splitting it in two: "Rezar codified all Krean Commercial Code and integrated all Krean arcane practices into a single theoretical framework; historians today consider this her greatest contribution to posterity." Splitting it in two allows you to remove some of the nominalizations (codification, integration). Nominalizations are produced by turning verbs into nouns.]

It is rather ironic that the Mithril Lady helped secure the Krean’s autonomy more by setting up the Academies and generously funding them than through any of her iron-willed, hard-line policies in the defence of Rezarium, the Krean realm. [Consider: "Ironically, the Mithril Lady's establishment and generous funding of Academies did more to secure the Krean's autonomy than any of her iron-willed, hard-lined defense policies of Rezarium, the Krean realm." I'm not sure how we're handling the word "defense"/"defence" in Santharia. "Defence" is the British spelling, but not the older spelling (it comes from the Middle English "defens" or "defense," which comes from the Old French "defens (deffans, deffenz, desfens, -fans, etc.)"). It's your choice: I'm personally for the "s."]

For in so doing, Rezar gave the Krean the magic that was to become their transcendent legacy – a magic so magnificent, so sublimely powerful as to lead a Grand Vizier of Krath lament that it made the Empire seem like a lone boat trying to humble/tame/conquer/break (which one?) the ocean. [I generally dislike sentences that are too long, but it looks like what you're doing here is stylistically appropriate, though it made need a few changes. In rhetorical, this is called a climax--it's building and building. You do this well, but it feels like perhaps it runs away from you a little near the end, and might be improved by some straightening and even making it longer! Consider: "In doing so, Rezar gave to her people that which was to become their most transcendent legacy--an art so magnificent and sublime that none before or after could hold a candle to its brilliance--a magic so powerful as to lead one Grand Vizier to lament that it made the [adjective] Empire seem like a lone boat trying to tame the vast and restless oceans.” Feel free to add your touch to this. Do you see how the phrases build? I think you made a really good stylistic choice in choosing to use climax here: not only is it a good choice in terms of structure (where you have it at the end of an explanation), but also in terms of content. I think with a little bit of polishing, this will be a really powerful sentence.]


Quote
4. Anything else that needs to be cut out or elaborated upon?
Besides the things above related to terminology:

Quote
[6] INTERCONNECTEDNESS OF ALL THINGS
Or as the Krean say: Savere edor edora – “Connected is everything, to everything else”.
Can you elaborate on what this means? Something along the lines of changing one reality will lead to other realities of manifestations/realizations of reality being altered. Changing one piece of reality is like throwing a stone into a pond: it ripples outward.

Quote
Communication is the art and science of expressing a concept through meaningful symbols.
We generally conceive as symbols are purely visual, yet communication is both visual AND auditory. If you conceive of symbols as also having an auditory manifestation, it may be apropos to mention this after the aformentioned(afore-quoted?) sentence, so your readers are on the same page. Also, this section of your entry ("Channels of Communication") does not convey to what or whom a mage is communicating. Are they simply communicating to self, to reality, to the Web? Or perhaps communication is just a distillation of intent, and in distilling and expressing it, it becomes "real." A little bit of clarification, particularly in the beginning, would be extremely helpful.

Quote
The worldview of this tribe might shed some light on the analogies
What analogies, and who is making them?

Quote
Abilities
I would rename this section "Usages" or "Utility" or "Functions." You are not focusing so much on how the magic could be used, but rather how is WAS used. If you want to keep the name (I understand if you do, as it matches well with "Limitations") you will need to re-frame your discussion. Rather than explaining how it was used, focus more on what it was capable of. This is just a slightly different shading. For example, instead of "It was frequently employed for practical purposes" say something like "It had the ability to aid the Krean people in practical ways." These two say basically the same thing--but there's a slightly different focus. Can you see the difference? It's very slight.

Quote
Remember that what appears as the passage of time to us is actually the movement of the planet’s consciousness (see “Definitions” above)
Is this Definitions section going to be added later? Or did you mean the terminology? "Planet" and "us" (both underlined in the original) are not included in the terminology list.


Quote
5. And this is the most important one: DOES IT MAKE SENSE? That is: can you follow it?

Quote
At every choice, every vicissitude, every time something could have happened differently, Existence splits, like a fork in the road.
You are doing a very complicated thing by proposing a concept of reality with no time. This is a very difficult notion for most people to understand. I would be extremely careful, therefore, in how you use time. Time, as I interpret it in the Krean sense based on this entry, is like another dimension of space. Time, moments in time, are more akin to moments in "space" for Kreans. If this sounds right, I would continue the metaphor. Whenever you speak of time, remind your readers that you're in fact speaking about a kind of metaphysical "space," and work with that metaphor.

I love "The manipulation of time: a practical limitation" section (I think it may have come out of our discussions), but you might liken reality to spacial geography. For example, time travel and manipulation of the past is like trying to move up a mountain as you're rolling down it (maybe--I don't know if this metaphor works).

Quote
SPECIAL LOCATIONS
I don't understand why this section is included!

Will you describe later how Krean magic is practiced in more elaborate terms? Ximaxian mages cast magic through willpower. I wonder if Krean magic would conceive of spell casting in similar terms. Based on my interpretation, it seems as though it is not simply willpower that allows Krean magi to cast spell/alter realities, but a creativity. I'm not sure if you want to expound on this within this entry or save it for another entry.


The entry, overall, is much easier to read and understand now. Because of the nature of the piece, it will always be a little of a mental struggle, but that is simply the way this type of subject is. Nothing you can do will stop that. However, you have made significant progress. I can see all the work and effort you put in, and you've done a terrific job.
« Last Edit: 10 January 2010, 12:20:27 by Rayne Avalotus » Logged

"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #2 on: 10 January 2010, 19:08:04 »

Thanks Rayne! Marvellously helpful, as always! I'll address your comments in instalments, as time allows :)




RE: OVERVIEW
1. Quote removed as suggested. Now a new section entitled "Santharian Interest in Krean Magic"
2. The Overview now reads:

Quote
Overview
The Krean believe that all possibilities exist simultaneously - like sheets of paper layered on top of one another - and that the most probable events exist in "our" reality. Krean mages replace one piece of reality with another, less probable version. They do this by making it the most probable, causing the two pieces to be exchanged. Krean Magic derives from Krean philosophy – and Krean philosophy is built on six premises: (i) Everything is energy; (ii) Objective Reality – reality exists independently of our perception of it; (iii) There is an infinite number of possibilities, all of which exist simultaneously; (iv) The Premise of Choice: the notion of freewill; (v) Contradictions collapse: Existence is logical; (vi) The interconnectedness of all things.

All Krean arcane arts – for instance, the magic of the Priestesses of Ankriss as well as that of “secular” Krean mages – rests on the same theoretical foundation. What differs is practice – that is: how these principles are put into operation, how magic is cast. This entry offers an overview of the principles common to all Krean magic.



Quote
This is a little confusing because your reader doesn't necessarily associate Krean mage with priestess. These are the same, I'm guessing? It's a little bit unclear. You might consider just adding a little clarifier: "Now, you must understand, a priestess (a Krean mage) was like a tempest among men." Or something like that. At some point the relationship between the Krean mage and the priestess need to be made clear.

Ok, the new paragraph added to the overview should hopefully clarify this. Priestess # krean mage in that quote - rather, both are users of Krean magic, with priestesses usually being the more powerful




Quote
Looking at the terms, and the explanations required for them, I'm wondering if you might relay them to your glossary, separate from the entry. If you <a name=""> each term, they can be linked to directly in this entry. But yes, I do find them useful.

Hmm.. the more I think about it, the more I favour keeping the terminology section. My reasons are as follows:

1. Consigning them over to a separate lexion will reduce the likelihood of people actually reading the definitions before they dive into the entry. I mean how many people will take the time to look up the words?

2. I am assigning a special meaning to many of the terms for the purposes of this "beginner's overview". That is, I have simplified them. A lexicon, which by definition should be applicable to all Krean magic entries, would have to give the "proper" explanation for each. That would be way too detailed and complex -so a bit counter-productive for an orientation. I'd lose the audience.



Quote
First Wave: The natural question that arises for me is "Is there a Second Wave? Third?" You might briefly touch on this--that upon the return of the first wave, other waves emerge, bringing with them new manifestations of our reality.

Well, I think this is implicit from "The Ancient Krean believed that creation was eternal and cyclic: an outward, expansion cycle from Source, followed by a return cycle, and then another expansion cycle... It is called the “First Wave” because the Ancient Krean thought our universe was manifesting in one of the expansion (manifestation) cycles, flowing from one to many." (emphasis added)

I didn't make this explicit because I am a bit undecided on one minor point: I am not sure if I want the Krean to call it the First Wave because:

(i) they believe we are manifesting in the very first expansion cycle (ie quite literally in the first cycle of Creation), so that once the flow returns to Source, the next one would be the Second Wave etc ad infinitum. First Wave (Expansion/Manifestation 1) > Return-1 > Manifestation-2 > Return-2...

or

(ii) they believe there is no way for us to know how many cycles came before. So an outward expansion/manifestation wave is always called the First Wave, and the return to Source "the Second Wave" (perhaps "the Return Wave"? "Back-flow"?)

The first interpretation sounds a bit ego-centric - even for the Krean. I think I am leaning towards the second option, but have not yet made my mind. What do you think?



Quote
Web: I think in discussing "web" (lower case w), it might be helpful to add an example: that each person is a web made up of all their past and future selves, as well as all their possible selves--the people they could be or could have been. This would help to make the definition a little more concrete.

Good idea! On it!



RE: the web

Well spotted! C&P what you said (yeah, I am lazy...)



As regards the paragraphs that have been been rayned upon, I suspect it might take a while for them to dry.  buck




Re Interconnectedness of all things: Yep. On it.



Re "communication"

Quote
We generally conceive as symbols are purely visual, yet communication is both visual AND auditory. If you conceive of symbols as also having an auditory manifestation, it may be apropos to mention this after the aformentioned(afore-quoted?) sentence, so your readers are on the same page.

I disagree, on two accounts:

(i) Words are symbols - I don't know anything about linguistics, but this is a bit of a recurring theme in law.

In linguistic terms, I guess I could say: The logogram for "sun" would be a symbol for the sun - that is: it would be a representation of the meaning of the word but not the sounds of spoken language. The English word "sun" represents for both the meaning of the word (ie the concept of sun) as well as its spoken sound (the same would be true for any syllabic/alphabetic system I guess). In the same vein, the sound produced when one says "sun" would be the auditory symbol for the concept of that flaming ball hanging in the sky. I don't see a conceptual difference between these.

In essence, I don't agree that "we generally conceive of symbols as purely visual."

(ii) At any rate, that would be a discussion which has no place in this entry. I think you may have gone through the text with too fine a comb in this instance! :P I agree that there might be a way to make the paragraph clearer, but there is such a thing as over-explaining. Too much of a detail for an introductory orientation - plus, imho, inserting such an explanation would detract from the flow.

But thanks for pointing it out - I'll bear that in mind if I decide to expound more on the subject in a sub-entry.


Quote
Also, this section of your entry ("Channels of Communication") does not convey to what or whom a mage is communicating. Are they simply communicating to self, to reality, to the Web?

May I refer you to the third sentence in that paragraph: "In the same vein, if the Krean mage is to exchange two possibilities, he must first communicate the alternative he has in mind to the First Wave."

Quote
Or perhaps communication is just a distillation of intent, and in distilling and expressing it, it becomes "real."

Well, in essence, yes. At least to my mind. Some Krean mages would have a different interpretation. Again, this is stuff more appropriate for a heavy "theory" entry,. Btw, I sort of alluded to this issue on the site: the Ardelor Hypothesis



Quote
What analogies, and who is making them?
Well, the whole thing really. "Depiction" for "spell", "describing/defining" rather than "casting", "prose" and "scaffolding", "communicating" etc. I don't know how to make this clear - help please?



Re "Abilities"
Quote
These two say basically the same thing--but there's a slightly different focus. Can you see the difference? It's very slight.

Yep, we're on the same page. I used "abilities" because that's what the
template for designing new magic systems
prescribes. I got my hands burnt the last time I deviated from one of these templates - and I really do not have the time/energy to argue procedural matters - so I just went with it. Again, that was the problem with "prevalence". Ditto for "special locations." In fact, that's where all the headings come from.

PS: I think we need to revisit this template. It is not helping. I don't really understand the difference between "concept/worldview" and "basic principles." I tried to follow the template the first time I wrote the "In Plain Tharian" entry, but the distinction seemed a bit forced. Hence, I guess I ended up with theory scattered all over the place, as you noted in yr previous comments. Maybe it would be best to combine these two sections of the template into a "theory" section?



Quote
Is this Definitions section going to be added later? Or did you mean the terminology? "Planet" and "us" (both underlined in the original) are not included in the terminology list.

Ah, the terrors of consistency in formatting (or lack thereof)...  My mistake. I should have said "terminology" instead and italicised rather than underlined "us" and "planet." Merely emphasising those words rather than introducing new terms. I refer to the terminology section because that's where the concept of the planetary consciousness moving through possibilities etc was introduced.

Is this better: "Remember that what appears as the passage of time to us is actually the movement of the planet’s consciousness (see “Terminology: the Lace” above); the current is thus too strong to navigate."



[More to come as time allows]
« Last Edit: 11 January 2010, 06:25:00 by Coren FrozenZephyr » Logged

"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 #3 on: 11 January 2010, 05:03:18 »

OK, I've addressed all but three comments:

1. The three paragraphs rayned upon

2.

Quote
You are doing a very complicated thing by proposing a concept of reality with no time. This is a very difficult notion for most people to understand. I would be extremely careful, therefore, in how you use time. Time, as I interpret it in the Krean sense based on this entry, is like another dimension of space. Time, moments in time, are more akin to moments in "space" for Kreans. If this sounds right, I would continue the metaphor. Whenever you speak of time, remind your readers that you're in fact speaking about a kind of metaphysical "space," and work with that metaphor.

I love "The manipulation of time: a practical limitation" section (I think it may have come out of our discussions), but you might liken reality to spacial geography. For example, time travel and manipulation of the past is like trying to move up a mountain as you're rolling down it (maybe--I don't know if this metaphor works).

3.

Quote
Will you describe later how Krean magic is practiced in more elaborate terms? Ximaxian mages cast magic through willpower. I wonder if Krean magic would conceive of spell casting in similar terms. Based on my interpretation, it seems as though it is not simply willpower that allows Krean magi to cast spell/alter realities, but a creativity. I'm not sure if you want to expound on this within this entry or save it for another entry.

I shall update this post when I've dealt with them.

I'll also post a new version when I'm done with all the edits.
« Last Edit: 11 January 2010, 05:08:15 by Coren FrozenZephyr » Logged

"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 #4 on: 11 January 2010, 06:17:07 »

Rayne, I forgot to ask: Please can you also do a style-check on that introductory quotation, if you have the time?
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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)
Rayne (Alýr)
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« Reply #5 on: 11 January 2010, 08:50:18 »

Rayne, I forgot to ask: Please can you also do a style-check on that introductory quotation, if you have the time?

For you, of course, though I generally don't prefer to look at this sort of writing: creative and poetic writing have a style all their own. You can feel free to take what corrections you like, and ignore the others:

“I have been asked today to compare the magic of Ximax - and indeed the magic of the descendants of the Krean - with that of the Ancient Krean. I do not dispute that the Academy of Ximax houses some of the most powerful magi in all of Caelereth. But does one hold a candle flame to the sun? I have been asked, so I must answer. [You have this last “have” underlined, and I’m not sure why. It is also a bit confusing in context. Is the last question (“Does on hold a candle flame to the sun?”) the question you’re answering? If so, you might consider the following: “How does the light of candle flame compare to the sun? As I have been asked, I will answer.” It’s still kind of rough. What it seems to me like you’re doing is introducing the question asked in detail, then hedging/crediting (Ximax housing great magi), which gives you leeway to reframe the question, and then announce that this is the question you are answering. It is important that all these elements correspond to one another. By repeating words and tightening your metaphor, you’ll make this cohere much better (i.e. in the revision of the question, I re-use the word “compare” (a word used in a prior sentence) to help the reader know that light=magic, candle flame=Ximax/Krean, sun=Ancient Krean). Does this make sense?]

There is [was?] a story among the Ancient Krean. It is, of course, about the legendary emperor Déárán Asaen. It recounts the day the Temple of Ankriss rose against him [Expand this sentence to tell us why: “angry at his decisions...” “to take back the power the priestesses knew was rightfully theirs” etc.]. The High Priestess, herself a figure of myth and legend and a being of prodigious power, [I’ve added in a conjunction here (“and”). Readers find conjunctions easier to read than stacked phrases, and the problem with stacking more than one phrase, especially in this context, is that you tear away your subject from your verb. In fact, if you can reform this sentence to get these two elements together, it might be easier to read, but I think the conjunction words fine.] called forth every priestess in the Krean realm to meet her in the Valley of Light. Now, you must understand, a Krean mage was like a tempest among men. [I think I already kind of addresses this. Krean mage=priestess, correct? Or no?] But there are storms that make other storms look like harmless, rogue winds that lift a straw here and a straw there. Such were the priestesses. [You make some of the more beautiful metaphors, Coren, but you must be careful! As this sentence now reads, it seems as though the priestesses are the rogue winds, or even the straws being lifted! Consider something like: “But there are winds that make all others seem like breezes lifting straws. And the priestesses were like thundering gales.” It’s not the best, but notice that I shortened the first sentence and added a little more direction to the second. I think this would be the best way to solve the problem.]

The priestesses would waylay the Emperor at a moment they knew he would be alone - for he had a predilection for taking long, solitary, early morning walks, [Too many adjectives! Don’t stack adjectives if you can help it. We already know they are solitary (“he would be alone”) and the morning (“before the Viziers woke” and the sentence following this one), so I would recommend taking “long” and scrapping the rest.] before the Viziers woke and the work of the day began.

Every morning at Firstflame, with the rising sun behind, he would come out of the Valley of Light, and walk, alone, without any guards, [You’ve already said he’s alone, and while I understand wanting to communicate not having any guards, I would recommend just using “unattended.”] to the gates of the capital, through those grand avenues of pristine white stone, up terrace after terrace after terrace, [Too many terraces!] all the way to the Imperial Gardens where the Divan met. [Feel free to correct me if I’m misinterpreting your intentions, but it seems as though, based on the way you are describing the landscape, you want to communicate its intricacies. I think this is why you have those three terraces in there. But I think you might be better achieving this effect through another means: stacked phrases. Consider: “Every morning at Firstflame, with the rising sun at his back, he would come out from the Valley of Light and walk unattended through the mithril-cast gates of the capital, through those grand avenues of pristine white stone, by the hushed trees with dew-kissed canopies, past sleeping structures catching morning’s light, up the terraces that spiralled like conch shells, all the way to the Imperial Gardens where the Divan met.” I do not know this city, so I’m making things up--but you see how the stacked phrases build that feeling of complexity?]

The Temple [I think this is suppose to be metonymy, but it’s unclear. Perhaps just use “priestesses” instead?] was to intercept and imprison Emperor Asaen before the army or the arcane academies could come to his defence [“defense”?. So at the mouth of the Valley gathered the strongest of the strongest: the priestesses of Ankriss. The moment the priestesses caught sight of the Emperor, a tempest overtook the Valley. Spells, which, like wind that shifts and lifts and breaks the waves of the ocean, took the very essence of the world and raised from it an arcane tempest. [I would recommend changing this sentence around to get your subject and verb closer together: “Like a wind that shifts and lifts and breaks the waves of the ocean, spells took the very essence of the world and raised from it an arcane tempest.” I don’t know what you mean by “essence of the world.” It sounds nice, but I don’t glean any meaning from it.] To those who could see with the inner eye, [I don’t know what this means.] they [This pronoun currently relates to “spell.” Is this what you meant, or did you intend “the priestesses” to be the antecedent?] must have appeared as great eruptions of magic and power.

But the Emperor walked through the Tempest, [Suddenly capitalise! You may consider capitalising it earlier if this is a proper noun/] unaffected and unembarrassed, [I’m not sure why he would be embarassed in any case. Perhaps “unassuming,” “unbothered,” “untroubled”?] calmly and with poise, as the sea-gull cuts through the air. [Strengthen your metaphor a little. “...calmly and with poise, gliding across the Valley as the sea-gull glides through the air.” Or something along those lines. You have beautiful metaphors, but they need to be integrated a little more--the relationships need to be clear so your reader understands what the tenor and vehicle are.] And he walked to the gates, as he had done every morning for seven years. Just before he passed into the city, he turned his head back, [“he glanced back?”] perhaps with a half-smile on his lips, and chided the High Priestess – as one might gently scold a child so as to correct or improve him: [The “so as to correct or improve him” seems awkward to me. Hm... Perhaps: “as one might gently scold a child in order to convey some wisdom.” Er. Still sounds strange. Do you need it?]

‘You make a lot of noise, but you do not make music.’ [‘So much clamour, Dear Priestess, and yet no music.’ ‘You make quite a cacophony, but not a symphony.’ <--Hehe, rhyme!]

But noise they at least made. [“noise” is underlined in the original, and I’m not sure why.] Alas, the magic of this era, in the face of the magic of the Ancient Krean, raises as much clamour as an ant passing wind in a gale.”



Re "communication"

I disagree, on two accounts:

(i) Words are symbols - I don't know anything about linguistics, but this is a bit of a recurring theme in law.

In linguistic terms, I guess I could say: The logogram for "sun" would be a symbol for the sun - that is: it would be a representation of the meaning of the word but not the sounds of spoken language. The English word "sun" represents for both the meaning of the word (ie the concept of sun) as well as its spoken sound (the same would be true for any syllabic/alphabetic system I guess). In the same vein, the sound produced when one says "sun" would be the auditory symbol for the concept of that flaming ball hanging in the sky. I don't see a conceptual difference between these.

OED:
"Something that stands for, represents, or denotes something else (not by exact resemblance, but by vague suggestion, or by some accidental or conventional relation); esp. a material object representing or taken to represent something immaterial or abstract, as a being, idea, quality, or condition; a representative or typical figure, sign, or token."
Material objects, by definition, have a form (visual), but may not have a sound (auditory)

"A written character or mark used to represent something; a letter, figure, or sign conventionally standing for some object, process, etc."
A written character is visual. A mark is visual.

Quote
In essence, I don't agree that "we generally conceive of symbols as purely visual."
You can disagree, but there are entire fields in linguistics based on the notion that having a new visual symbolic system (what Plato would call imitations of imitations) has revolutionized the way we think, act, and move through the world.

I only get on your case about this because it happen to be on of the things I study for a living. I promise you, when you say "symbol," people think of the visual--a material object, a mark on the page--not a spoken word.

Quote
"In the same vein, if the Krean mage is to exchange two possibilities, he must first communicate the alternative he has in mind to the First Wave."
“In the same vein, if the Krean mage is to exchange two possibilities, he must first communicate to the First Wave the alternative he has in mind.”

Quote
Well, the whole thing really. "Depiction" for "spell", "describing/defining" rather than "casting", "prose" and "scaffolding", "communicating" etc. I don't know how to make this clear - help please?
You don’t need help! You just did it! Give these sort of examples. “...shed light on the analogies, such as the use of “depiction” instead of “spell, “describing” rather than “casting,” ... etc.”

Quote
Maybe it would be best to combine these two sections of the template into a "theory" section?
I’m not sure myself. I would recommend writing up the two sections into a Theory section and see how they compare. I’m glad to look over both versions for you and let you know which one I think works best.

Quote
Is this better: "Remember that what appears as the passage of time to us is actually the movement of the planet’s consciousness (see “Terminology: the Lace” above); the current is thus too strong to navigate."
Yes, this looks better to me, though I'm not sure about the use of "planet." Seems like it may not quite be Santharian enough.
« Last Edit: 11 January 2010, 09:13:30 by Rayne Avalotus » Logged

"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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« Reply #6 on: 02 March 2010, 03:52:56 »

 mail

New version attached at the bottom of this post and under the original post.



Quote
By the end of her reign, she had brought the Krean supremacy over south-western Nybelmar. [You seem to use "Krean" here as a noun referring to the nation. However, you've traditionally either used the term as an adjective ("Krean Nation" or "Krean Men") or for a people ("Ancient Krean"). I likened the term to others like it; for example, Japanese. You have Japanese in the adjective sense ("Japanese animation") and as a term for the people ("The Japanese like rice"), but not as a term for the nation. Is there a term for the nation inhabited by the Krean people?]

Yes- I was referring to the Krean people rather than the Krean state. In other words, I would have written "By the end of her reign, she had brought the Japanese supremacy over ..." rather than "By the end of her reign, she had brought Japan supremacy over..."



Re the introductory quote:

Thanks for the comments, Rayne! I've been contemplating how to make the necessary changes for ages... It is so difficult to edit passages like this! I've taken some of your suggestions and left others as is. There still are a few false notes I am not 100% satisfied with - but I've given it my best shot. I've run out of inspiration :)



Quote
Will you describe later how Krean magic is practiced in more elaborate terms? Ximaxian mages cast magic through willpower. I wonder if Krean magic would conceive of spell casting in similar terms. [...] I'm not sure if you want to expound on this within this entry or save it for another entry.

I hope to deal with that in a different entry. I have not really applied my mind to the issue.

Quote
Based on my interpretation, it seems as though it is not simply willpower that allows Krean magi to cast spell/alter realities, but a creativity.

This is interesting! Can you please expound on what you had in mind? I am not sure if I understand what you mean by ‘creativity’ (as opposed to willpower)



Quote
(Coren) Maybe it would be best to combine these two sections of the template into a "theory" section?

Quote
(Rayne) I’m not sure myself. I would recommend writing up the two sections into a Theory section and see how they compare. I’m glad to look over both versions for you and let you know which one I think works best.

Oh! Sorry for the confusion - I was talking about the "Template for New Magical Systems" rather than this entry.



Also, what about this sentence: "like a lone boat trying to humble/tame/conquer/break (which one?) the ocean"?

Which of these four verbs fits best?



Thanks again Rayne!  thanx
« Last Edit: 02 March 2010, 04:12:32 by Coren FrozenZephyr » Logged

"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 #7 on: 08 March 2011, 04:09:06 »

~the entry coughs, and little bubbles comes up to the surface~

Would it be possible to finally get this entry uploaded? Rayne dear, when you have time, could you please look at the changes (final version attached to the post above this one) and let me know what you think?



If this entry were a poem, I think it would be "Not Waving but Drowning" by Stevie Smith:

Not Waving but Drowning

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.



I think this is the sixth incarnation of the entry  shocked  I think this must be the longest project I have ever undertaken. I started writing it when I first came to Santharia in 2003 - and every year or so it undergoes a complete overhaul. Poor thing! :P I guess that is the difficulty of creating new magic concepts from scratch - you write it, and then a year later you realise the prose was too convoluted. You find a way to simplify and re-order the same information to make the entry more accessible. Then a year later, that no longer seems the most logical way of presenting the information, so the whole cycle begins again.
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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 #8 on: 11 March 2011, 12:24:55 »

Give me at least the weekend to look over this. If I remember this project, it may take me a while to go comb through. Hopefully it it getting closer and closer to completion.

Edit: Edits below! I think this is almost done.
« Last Edit: 14 March 2011, 00:34:12 by Rayne (Alýr) » Logged

"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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« Reply #9 on: 11 June 2011, 17:26:13 »

Have you gone through Rayne's comments on this yet Coren?  If so I think this can also be marked for integration. 
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« Reply #10 on: 15 June 2011, 21:47:58 »

I think I made a start a while ago. Let me check my files.
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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 #11 on: 24 June 2011, 04:28:15 »

 speechless Oh no! I can't find my edits!


EDIT: FOUND it! Attached below.




Thank you for looking through this again Rayne! Please find attached below the new version. I have also updated the copy attached to the first post in this thread.

Comments 1 & 6: Nope, "the Krean believe" rather than "the Kreans believe." Krean is the adjective - akin to "the French/Japanese" rather than "the Americans/Italians"

Comment 2: Agreed! I kept Premise 5 as is but changed the others.

Comments 3-5: Agreed!

Comment 7: shocked Makes me wonder what I was reading at the time, :P

Quote
Since then, the legend of Ancient Krean Magic has captured the imaginations of Sarvonians – a magic so powerful that the Ancient Krean must have walked as Gods among men.


Hmm. I do not like this 'as Gods among men' business. I just realised that it implies a hierarchy which was not intended and which I find distasteful. Reworded the whole thing. I've also included an EASTER-EGG- a very obvious reference to my favourite PC game! It is a line from the cinematic opening of the Lords of Magic Special Edition (1998), which I am quoting from memory (so I may have done grievous bodily harm to the original).

@Arti, could this perhaps be mentioned in our easter eggs page?



Comment 8: I think either a semi-colon or a period would work. I recall seeing both in academic articles depending on the length of the list following the colon.

Comment 9: "Planet", I believe, is quite an ancient word. Astronomy goes all the way back to Mesopotamia and later the Babylonians. And of course the Greeks and Romans, who named their gods after the planets: Venus/Aphrodite, Mars/Ares, Saturn/Hades etc. What ancient astronomy didn't realise was the difference between stars/suns and planets (worlds that orbit a star).

Hmm.. I am not certain whether or not the term "planetary consciousness" is anachronistic. I know the concept isn't: think of Gaia. But what about the word choice? I can't think of an alternative though. Plus, if "planet" and "consciousness" are words known to them, perhaps putting the two together wouldn't be unacceptable?


Comments 10-12: Agreed.

Comment 13: Added a new section entitled “The Six Premises: a Contradiction?” after Premise 6.

Comments 14-16: Thank you! :D

Comment 17: Just a typo; should have been lower-case.

Comment 18: This is a Ximaxian concept which Artimidor mentions in the Magic of Caelereth entry.

Comment 19&22: Agreed.

Comment 20: I think this divergence of opinion represents two different ways of writing entries. Bard Judith and I for instance prefer to write from the shoes of our Compendium counterparts (or whoever the Santharian ‘author’ of a particular entry happens to be), with their prejudices, points of view, and “voice.” I realise that other members have different preferences.

“Coren”, for instance, is very much a product of his time and society. Although he lectures in Ximax from time to time, he is Krean and grew up with tales of the Ancient Krean and of their extraordinary feats.

And even from an objective, developer’s point of view, the Ancient Krean were designed to represent “the lost, advanced civilisation” theme. So yes, the Ancient Krean were meant to be one of the most powerful magic users in the history of Caelerth – which is precisely why as a developer I’ve made certain that they are extinct today ;)

To the extent that parts of this entry “leak” an admiration of the Krean magic compared to the Ximaxian system, that purported superiority concerns the magic of the Ancient Krean NOT that of the Krean tribes of today. Hopefully that clears things?

Comment 21: Not really. There is a difference. Ximaxian magic directly manipulates the carall of the mind; that the willpower of the target can fight this manipulation does not change the type of manipulation. The Krean wouldn’t touch the mind directly – instead they would kind of communicate /“beam” an illusion into that mind calculated to generate the desired effect. Did I make sense?
  

Thank you all again for your continued support! I think we can finally bring this saga to conclusion!
« Last Edit: 24 June 2011, 07:07:21 by Coren FrozenZephyr » Logged

"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 #12 on: 24 June 2011, 06:32:14 »

 :(
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« Reply #13 on: 24 June 2011, 06:50:25 »

Found it! See the post above.
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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: 24 June 2011, 09:26:53 »

I thought the planets werre named after the ancient gods.. not the other way around..... shocked
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