Author Topic: Horrors  (Read 109302 times)

Sterling

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Re: Horrors
« Reply #615 on: (07:39:37/06-25-17) »
You're misunderstanding what he's saying, lokii.

The cycle may or may not be uniform in nature, but our actions can change how we interact with it. Similar to how a simple change of latitude can change local sunrise, even in the same longitude, or vice-versa. Or how dredging a river to allow larger ships in to port can change the way the tides impact the beaches in the area. Or how having a magnet nearby can pull a compass off course. Magnetic north doesn't change (barring extreme situations). The tides come in and out at regular intervals. The Earth spins on its axis at a constant speed. But our perception of these things changes depending on the conditions.

On the contrary, magnetic north DOES change, and has been doing so ever since its discovery:

https://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag/GeomagneticPoles.shtml

The North Magnetic Pole is currently drifting towards Siberia, and is over 1200 miles away from the geographic North Pole.
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Reaver

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Re: Horrors
« Reply #616 on: (15:03:58/06-26-17) »
Actually the point was the length of cycle and natural variations on that pattern.

Yes, some things can be tracked very closely, but even those measurements are not entirely precise... sometimes cause it just doesn't matter. (Like sunrises. They are getting longer because the earth is slowing down! Both it's rotation on it's axis AND around the sun! - Just very slowly)


When looking at a cycle that is 12000+ years long a change of a couple of decades is a blink of an eye!
So really, how much effect doe these actions have?
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lokii

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Re: Horrors
« Reply #617 on: (18:48:28/06-26-17) »
(Like sunrises. They are getting longer because the earth is slowing down! Both it's rotation on it's axis AND around the sun! - Just very slowly)

That's drift though not fluctuation. Here is a graph of day length fluctuation over time: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Deviation_of_day_length_from_SI_day.svg It's in the millisecond range. In recent decades there has been a cumulative positive effect in the second range, but that's after the equivalent of thousands of cycles (again drift). If the mana cycle was a phenomenon with comparable variation to +/- 1 ms in 24 h (and I'm not saying it is), its start could at most vary by hours. (calculation: (10400 * 365 * 24 ) / (24 * 60 * 60 * 1000) )

Anyway, I think the point came across.

I would move to an adjacent topic: What is the meaning of passing the threshold on December 24? Lots of magical phenomena including widespread nobilis and pumilionis expression happened during the whole year. So what is qualitatively different after that specific date? If it is just a point in a continuous increase in the world mana level it would appear what the Mayan calendar really predicted was the appearance of the first dragon.

But I guess it's possible that all the magical phenomena in 2011 are the result of an increasing number of mana spikes and on December 24 the change occurred from zero world mana level with an increasing spike rate to an actual positive world mana level.

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Re: Horrors
« Reply #618 on: (02:30:14/07-09-17) »
That's pretty much how its presented in the Lore.

On Dec 24, the ambient mana level reached a point that triggered UGE, and elf babies and dwarves started showing up, spirits appeared, hokey rituals actually went "boom" (you know, old skool shamanic spells from before UMT. Waay back in 1e when shamans actually danced about to cast spells.) Oh, and a dragon or two flew across the sky and ate a plane.

Then a few years later, an other spike in the ambient mana levels caused Goblinization, and people grew horns and tusks... but unlike with UGE where it was babies born that were affected - people expressed right on the street! Think of it.. Larry the guy you share the bus with every day, suddenly screams out in pain and doubles over then in the matter of minutes, grows 4 extra feet tall and gains 100 kilos. And don't forget the horns.

then things were quiet for a time... although some argue that the introduction of the meta-races points to more spikes triggering more expressions...

Then Haley's comet comes back, and shit goes nuts with changelings...

A few more spikes in the ambient levels and maybe people will get their other favorite Earthdawn/SR variant snowflakes! 
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The Wyrm Ouroboros

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Re: Horrors
« Reply #619 on: (03:32:22/07-09-17) »
Who needs spikes for that?  :P
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zhivik

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Re: Horrors
« Reply #620 on: (10:21:09/07-15-17) »
A few things about the examples above.

On Earth's rotation staying relatively constant - yes, it does stay relatively unchanged, except if it falls under the gravitational influence of another celestial body. We have evidence of collisions of celestial bodies (the Solar System's asteroid belt), so it is theoretically possible that Earth's orbit and rotation cycles to be influenced by a large enough body, which would considerably change the length of Earth's day. Using this as analogy, the mana cycle might have been influenced by an extraordinary event, which has accelerated the rate of mana growth, thus nearing the time of Horrors. I'd say this is the implication ever since Shadowrun 3e (when Shadowrun and Earthdawn were both released by the same publisher).

On the threshold's importance - the best analogy I can think of is a water dam. When no water passes the dam wall, you have no water on the other side, so the landscape is much more different. When water passes the top of the wall, however, you start getting water, which nourishes plants, then trees, new life, etc., namely a lot of things you wouldn't have without water. Same thing with mana - passing a certain threshold, it allows expression of metahuman traits, allows magic, and an increasingly potent one. There is a good real-life example with the Colorado River, which by the time it reaches Mexico is an insignificant fraction of what it is in the US, mostly due to heavy water consumption. Several years ago, US authorities decided to let the water through, I don't remember the exact reason. The Mexican landscape around the river changed in days, with people seeing green for the first time in decades.

So basically this is it - once mana reaches necessary levels, it allows certain things to happen. Now, there appear to be a lot of things wrong with this cycle, since goblinisation wasn't supposed to happen so early, as implied in Forbidden Arcana. Furthermore, some Earthdawn races are still absent, so there may be a while lot of things going on ...

lokii

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Re: Horrors
« Reply #621 on: (11:58:56/07-15-17) »
That's pretty much how its presented in the Lore.

On Dec 24, the ambient mana level reached a point that triggered UGE, and elf babies and dwarves started showing up, spirits appeared, hokey rituals actually went "boom" (you know, old skool shamanic spells from before UMT. Waay back in 1e when shamans actually danced about to cast spells.) Oh, and a dragon or two flew across the sky and ate a plane.

UGE occurred before December 24.

On Earth's rotation staying relatively constant - yes, it does stay relatively unchanged, except if it falls under the gravitational influence of another celestial body. We have evidence of collisions of celestial bodies (the Solar System's asteroid belt), so it is theoretically possible that Earth's orbit and rotation cycles to be influenced by a large enough body, which would considerably change the length of Earth's day. Using this as analogy, the mana cycle might have been influenced by an extraordinary event, which has accelerated the rate of mana growth, thus nearing the time of Horrors. I'd say this is the implication ever since Shadowrun 3e (when Shadowrun and Earthdawn were both released by the same publisher).

No, when Third Edition came around, FASA had just cancelled Earthdawn (1998). The crossover was sidelined with the death of Dunkelzahn at the end of Second Edition. We had the discussion about acceleration earlier in the thread. Maybe from here: http://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=185.msg487717#msg487717

At least for Second Edition it was made explicit that the mana cycle did not accelerate and the threat of early contact was connected to unnatural mana spikes (like in Hawaii or the Great Ghost Dance mana spike). Key quotes from Harlequin's Back:

p.9:
Quote
In the area of the spike, therefore, the creatures that ravaged the world millenia ago are "closer" to the Sixth World than at any other place. The presence of the spike shortens their "journey" across the metaplanes from thousands of years to a mere few.

p.23:
Quote
The Enemy can pass into our world during a window of opportunity near the peak of the mana cycle. That cycle will peak in about 2,500 years, with the Enemy's window occurring roughly 300 years on either side of the apex.

And the objective of the adventure is clearly to neutralize the spike in order to get back to the natural schedule. The Dragon Heart trilogy removed the spike altogether and put a stop to the crossover moving forward in any major way. Since then it has mostly been easter eggs.

On the threshold's importance - the best analogy I can think of is a water dam. When no water passes the dam wall, you have no water on the other side, so the landscape is much more different. When water passes the top of the wall, however, you start getting water, which nourishes plants, then trees, new life, etc., namely a lot of things you wouldn't have without water. Same thing with mana - passing a certain threshold, it allows expression of metahuman traits, allows magic, and an increasingly potent one. There is a good real-life example with the Colorado River, which by the time it reaches Mexico is an insignificant fraction of what it is in the US, mostly due to heavy water consumption. Several years ago, US authorities decided to let the water through, I don't remember the exact reason. The Mexican landscape around the river changed in days, with people seeing green for the first time in decades.


The problem with this analogy is that two month before the water comes, a stretch of the river bank is already green (the Maya cloud formed in October 2011). ;) And again elf and dwarf expression also happens before December.

Now, there appear to be a lot of things wrong with this cycle, since goblinisation wasn't supposed to happen so early, as implied in Forbidden Arcana. Furthermore, some Earthdawn races are still absent, so there may be a while lot of things going on ...

How exactly is an early goblinization implied in Forbidden Arcana?


Also we seem to have lost some posts again: I remember Nath suggesting that the qualitative change on December 24 was the demonstration of magical abilities. I had a counter example from Tír na nÓg, an attack by the IRA using magic in spring 2011, which is even acknowledged to be noteworthy as the first demonstration of magic is generally thought to be the Abilene breakout.

Shaidar

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Re: Horrors
« Reply #622 on: (20:48:36/08-30-17) »
Forbidden Arcana pg 169-175 has some shadowtalk which sounds very Horror-relevant to me.

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psycho835

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Re: Horrors
« Reply #623 on: (06:46:36/08-31-17) »
Yep. According to that particular chunk, the Horrors are reaching out to astral travelers who get to close to the chasm and try to cajole them into helping with the bridge.
Hmmm... Wonder if that has something to do with  Engkanto (p. 82-84 and 100-101 of Street).

The Wyrm Ouroboros

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Re: Horrors
« Reply #624 on: (23:00:40/08-31-17) »
Both the spirits seen in that section, the engkanto and the manananggal, are Philippine in origin; it isn't likely that they're Horrors, just ... malevolent spirits.
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