Two New Maps

Just a post to notify reader that two new maps have been posted on my deviant art page. You can find them here and here. The Miasina map, at least, should make things a little clear for people trying to understand the geography of the continent.

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36 thoughts on “Two New Maps

  1. I like it! Thank you very much for taking the time to make these maps.
    If you could add some political boundaries so we know where exactly Damien is, that would be awesome. No rush.

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  2. Does that mean that Miasina has snow mountains in the middle of it? or am i just miss reading it and its just some really tall mountains. It would be kinda odd if a desert had snow in it.

    Thanks for the work.

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  3. Here I am eagerly awaiting the next worldbuilding post, hoping that it will be the one going over the different types of undead. We know a bit about Liches by now, but still so little about vampires. . .

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  4. Got a question that’s been in mi mind for some time now, soecially since yesterday’s chapter portraying the simulacrum creation, and this is the best place to ask.

    Simulacrums’ clothes – does Zorian create them with ectoplasmic clothing too, or what? Does it depend on the occasion, since the first one sent to Koth surely had to plan to change into jungle-transversing gear, and Red Robe’s was probably wearing an actual red robe with all its wards?

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    • He creates them with ectoplasmic clothes, yes. He doesn’t have to, though – creating them naked is also an option. Also, the ectoplasmic body can be modified after being created too, and a simulacrum can wear or carry real objects on itself.

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      • Fascinating. Does this mean one can make just clothing out of ectoplasm? With such a spell, one would never need to buy clothes again! Every day could be a different outfit, never repeating the same thing twice.

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      • Until something (an over-sensitive warding scheme, for example) or someone dispels it, leaving you naked in public. Not to mention that you need to be a a capable mage to pull this off, as conjuring realistic constructs is not a beginner thing. And you need to keep feeding mana into the spell all the time, permanently tying up some of your mana reserves to achieve this.

        So while the idea is not impossible, few would opt for it. Safer and easier to just buy real clothes.

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  5. How good can human mana sensing get? Is it possible with training to get as good as an eye beast or a grey hunter?

    I mean without any soul magic or blood magic being performed, just intense training with potion assistance.

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      • Ooh. Sounds cool. Seems like a good long term goal if Zorian ever does make it out of the time loop and clear up all the mess about the invasion and the primordial summoning.

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      • Humans seem to be much more flexible and versatile than I originally thought they were in this story. It seems the limits of human capability are actually quite few as long as they have enough time and resources, but I suppose that is true of regular humanity as well even though our methods would be radically different.

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  6. These past chapters I keep wondering how Zorian contacts Daimen to start the portal spell? Are they using the telepathic relay? Or they just agreeing to start the spell at the predetermined time?

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      • A follow up question:

        How precise the timing should be to cast this spell? Are one minutes off will fail the spell? Or they just keep casting the spell until both of them connected?

        Slightly related, is there a Timed Spell, a spell that the effect didn’t take place instantly but delayed by a certain period of time. i.e. Cast the spell now but the effect will happen exactly 24 hours from now.

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      • Minutes off will definitely fail the spell, yes. If the timing is off more than a… let’s say 5 seconds or so, the spell fails. Daimen and Zorian set up three different times one after another, just in case the first one failed due to a stupid fumble or something.

        There are timed spells, but they cannot last 24 hours. Back in the beginning of the story I note that spells degrade very quickly unless reinforced and anchored tot he spell formula, and thus can’t last more than an hour or so. This is just as true for timed spells, meaning you can only delay the spell by minutes, not hours or days. Well, without spell formula, which would turn it less into a timed spell than a one-shot magic item.

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  7. What happens if there three person (or more) that cast the gate spell? Will it also fail?

    Another unrelated question: Is there a magic spell that can keep track of time; or rather something like mind magic / mind enhancement which allow someone to recall what time it’s without the need of clock?

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    • You simply can’t cast the gate spell with three people. The spell can only connect two locations. One of them will be casting in vain.

      You can make a spell that will give you current time, but you must specify from where it will get information (that is, there must be some kind of clock in range). You can also create a magical clock, but to make it last you need to anchor it to a spell formula, making it more of an item than a spell. You can also turn such a clock into a full-blown enhancement, attaching it to your soul and making it supply information straight into your head on demand. It’s just that most mages would never waste their mana reserves on such a thing. You can just carry a clock.

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  8. I am interested in your take on “Divination” spells and techniques. What are the limitations on scrying, tracking, psychomantic and other factfinding methods? I guess a skill vs time and distance trade off and probably a divination skill vs warding skill conflict but it would be nice with a bit more details in that area. Why haven’t e.g Zack divined the exact locations of the other Iktosian regalia? Because he cant or because its literally impossible?

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    • I really got to finish those other magic-related articles already…

      But anyway. Tracking divinations have a bunch of restrictions:
      1. You need to have a connection with whatever you’re trying to track down. Meaning you either have to have personally interacted with the target in the past or you need to have something that was once a part of them or very closely connected to them. The more tenuous the link, the harder the divination becomes.
      2. Every divination has a range limit. It will only detect things inside its area of effect and no more. If the target is out of range, you cannot track it down, period.
      3. When trying to track something down, the diviner has to define a sort of ‘search query’ to tell the spell what to look for. If the diviner set this up wrong, they will get wrong results. Garbage in, garbage out.
      4. Divination spells cannot reason for themselves, they just take a look at the world around you and fetch information according to the criteria you set up. Thus, it’s virtually impossible to have them look for abstract concepts like ‘hostility’ and ‘treason’ – you’d first have to define what those are, and in places where your definition fails, so would your divination.
      5. Natural spell resistance of living beings halts normal divination in their tracks. If your target has been swallowed by someone/something or embedded into their flesh, you will only be able to detect it with specialized diagnostic spells developed by healers.

      As far as divinations vs wards go… Divination wards can be either of the blocking sort (the diviner knows the spell was thwarted by a spell but doesn’t get any result from it) or the misleading sort (the diviner gets fed a fake result and hopefully acts on this false information). The second is much harder to pull off, of course.

      Z&Z cannot divine the location of the regalia because:
      1. Until recently, they didn’t have any connection to the regalia to work with. Now they have the orb, which is part of the same set, but this is still a very tenuous link – they’re part of the same set, but they’re not unambiguously a whole, and they’ve been separated from each other for a very long time.
      2. They’re all heavily warded against divinations.

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  9. So I have been thinking of how we have records for the first people to climb certain mountains and records for the deepest ocean depths ever reached by manned submersible crafts.

    Does the Zorianverse have similar records for people reaching extrordinary depths in the dungeon tunnels (and returning to the surface alive).

    I feel there should even be famous dungeon trails traveled by explorers in the early days of dungeon exploration.

    There might even be an olympic style competition that occurs every so many years in which contestants run something like a dungeon marathon.

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    • The records surely exist, but I’m not sure how… consolidated they are. The world is not sufficiently global for various countries and organizations to share and combine stuff like this. Since Splinter States were once a single entity (sort of), there is probably some kind of ‘universal’ record keeping between them. Probably hotly contested one, but still.

      I didn’t think of contests like that but it does make sense! I like when my readers suggest new things like that to me.

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      • I am glad I made a good suggestion.

        If it were a thing, it seems like the kind of thing Zach would have done on his own just to see if he could. He wouldn’t race against anyone as it is not likely the day of the race would be during the time loop, but he would probably try challenging the famous route and time himself against the current record holder.

        I think there should also be a sport like horse racing but instead using some magical creature.

        More interestingly would be something similar to a Texas rodeo or a Spanish bullfight where a contestant has to remain on the creature without being thrown off or has to evade the beast and eventually kill it.

        This probably wouldn’t take place in Cyorea, but it might take place elsewhere.

        There are so many interesting sports and competitions that ought to exist in this world. Human nature is still the same after all. Even if it is a magical world, humans love to compete and make a spectacle of themselves.

        I can’t cven guess what the extreme sports might be like for a mage. I am thinking Quidditch from Harry Potter but more dangerous, like they play at 50m above ground and with no straps connecting them to their mount, and they all have spell rods that project simple force blasts. The ball would be some enchanted thing that whenever touched causes the player to rapidly lose altitude and start falling toward the ground, so they have to plan in advance how to get it to the destination.

        My brain is spinning with ideas for dangerous magical sports.
        Tavien totally would be someone who played a magical sport in her younger years. Probably a combat based one like wrestling or boxing. . . except with magic.

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      • I must admit I never thought much of Quidditch. Too complex and dangerous. Still, a flying sport is entirely possible. Even likely, considering human nature. But I imagine it would be something far plainer than Quidditch – a pair of floating hoops or squares for the goal zone and a bunch of players trying to throw a ball through it. Definitely no heavy iron balls flying at you all the time – I’m convinced that sort of thing would pulverize your bones even in Harry Potter Wizard Land, if they didn’t have plot armor, and it would definitely be often lethal in my setting.

        But even so – I don’t think a flying sport would ever get all that popular now that I think about it. Most sports today are things that children and young adults can easily set up in their backyard for impromptu games and such. They’re accessible. A sport that requires flying wouldn’t be. So I think the main sport would probably be something more mundane that requires little to no actual magic. Even among mage sportsmen, I think a flying sport would be rather niche.

        This kind of reminds me though – isn’t modern sports environment something of a recent historical anomaly. I think I heard that most sports were a lot more casual and informal in the past. There were few organized leagues and virtually nobody did sports for a living. There just wasn’t enough money in it. People had their own jobs and did sports as a hobby, and most leagues were local, with competitions between distant clubs and nations being a notable thing. MoLverse is in a time period where most sports would only really be beginning to organize and professionalize, and I imagine there would be a lot of people trying new things and lots of variations of different rules for traditional sports.

        The horse racing things reminds me of my long standing pondering about the role of horses in historical MoLverse societies. On one hand, cavalry is extremely useful in warfare. On the other hand, the way my magic system is set up, animals can be a huge liability on the battlefield because they’re very vulnerable to mind magic. Much more so than even non-magical people. Unless magically protected, horses ridden into battle would be easily driven into panic or berserk rage against their riders with very simple magic. What would that do to cavalry tactics and the prestige horse riding nobility traditionally enjoyed in our own history? I imagine it would lessen the importance and glamour of the horse as an animal, even though horse cavalry would still be a thing and work horses would still hold great significance for peasantry.

        Anyway, I got sidetracked a little. Just some thoughts, that’s all.

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      • About the horses, this is why I suggested an alternative magical creature specific to the MoLverse. It would have to be something with an inherent degree of magic resistance, and someting that would be able to be trained.

        These would not be casual pets or beasts of burden. They would be mounts only used by the wealthy and the powerful. Racing these creatures would be the sport of the upper classes.

        Horses still ought to be used for labor like pulling carts, etc.

        As creative as you are, I know you can come up with a suitable creature that fits the criteria of a good battle mount.

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  10. This doesn’t have anything to do with this particular section, but is it possible to unravel an enhancement ritual. Say you went through one that grants you strength, but a couple years later you decide that you don’t want to waste magic on that, is it possible to just undo it, and get your magic back?

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    • Enhancement rituals are very hard to remove once in place. It’s easier and less dangerous if you didn’t use any blood magic while setting it all up, but even a normal enhancement ritual is hard to remove because it has been designed to be hard to remove. If it could be removed at will, it would be easy for enemies to dispel it and it wouldn’t endure more than a few hours just like mundane spells.

      But it’s possible.

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      • On a related note, can you have adjustable enhancements. Say you have one for endurance, but you don’t always need to have it on. is it possible to dial it down so it takes a smaller amount of mana? Basically like an on-off switch.

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      • You can. Many enhancements work exactly like that – they take a small amount of your mana just to exist, but can be activated for larger (and more mana expensive) effect. You can never reduce this ‘standing’ cost to zero, though… and the more powerful/sophisticated the effect, the bigger the standing costs are going to be.

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