Status

Recent Statuses

30 days ago
Current Exams are done! I'm free!
2 likes
6 mos ago
"Life is complex - it has real and imaginary parts."
2 likes
7 mos ago
Science doesn't rest
9 mos ago
Reason Reified, Lord Logiker, Sciencomancer Superbus
10 mos ago
"Mid-semester break"? More like "3/4-semester report-writing week"

Bio

I am a Roleplayer with an interest in science fiction and fantasy, with a preference for Casual. I have been roleplaying for several years, and have even taken a stab at running a few RPs.

Outside the Guild, I am an Australian science student, gamer, musician and roleplayer (that's right, IRL too).


Most Recent Posts

Turn change incoming!


After 9 months of waiting, we've finally decided to tick the Turn counter over. You all have about 1 week. Please update the spreadsheet with your current Might.

P.S. The spreadsheet is on the 0'th post of the IC.
@LokiLeo789 We're chugging along slowly but surely, don't you worry.
Damn, I have a lot of things I still want to do before a possible end to the RP. I imagine it would take several posts to finish all I have in mind...


With our glacial haste, you have plenty of time yet to do your stuff. We all have stuff we want to do before the end.

In the shorter term: when do people want the next Turn to roll out?
Lest I end up being missed at the next roll call, here goes the usual three-week disappearance warning. Whichever way the choice may go (to me, this thread looks like it's still got much to give, for all my humble uninformed opinion might be worth), I'll always come back to a Divinus, in any size, shape and colour.


Endgame is a lot further than 3 weeks away.

I'd like to see the Xos arc wrapped up first. That is a worthy arc in its own right. After that, as Kho mentioned, we (the GM team) can set the gears into motion for endgame.

Cheers for the forewarning of your absence.
@Rtron It's a shame to see you go, Rtron. I hope we'll see you back here some time.
Hey, a post. Nice. I'll have to add dealing with Osveril's infestation to Teknall's to-do list.

What's everyone else up to? I was doing a collab with Kho but he's been offline for 12 days now. I should find something else to write in the mean time.
@Frettzo, good luck, man. I wish you the best.

The Great Artisan, Divine Mason, Builder of Civilisations
Level 5 God of Crafting (Masonry, Carpentry, Smithing, Alchemy, Armaments)

22 Might & 1 Free Point


The walls and palace of Vetros had been rebuilt by the hands of djinn. By the decree of the King's Law food and water flowed through the Mahd so all had plenty. Yet many houses were still in ruin, and there were hardly enough builders to go around. One of the ruins was the Temple of the Bond, and although Lilaneem, Akanit, Nabata, and the other priestesses and those volunteers who offered their help toiled away to clear the rubble and recover what had been buried, they were inadequately skilled or equipped to rebuild their Temple. And their petitions to the Priest-King Heru went unheeded. Regardless of how much determination and perseverance they may have had, it would avail them naught if they could not procure supplies and workers.

These were things Teknall could supply.

Teknall had wanted to expand the school here to be a hub of knowledge, education and training. While the Temple's desolation was a grave blow, it provided an opportunity to re-shape this school as he wanted. He had also promised himself not to forget about Belruarc, and this means of preserving her legacy was well within his means.

The challenge would be in obtaining workers. While Teknall could rebuild the Temple of the Bond with a snap of his fingers, if he could encourage human tradesmen to perform the work then they would form a bond of sorts with the temple, which could then be developed into the hub of learning Teknall desired.

As the priestesses dug in the rubble, Teknall exerted subtle influences on the minds of various people in Vetros. He could not be overt, for Heru with the King's Law was vigilant against divine forces, but there were still many tools and tricks he could use without drawing Heru's attention.

The first point of leverage were those who had benefited from the Temple and its services in either healthcare or education. There was one parent of a student of the Temple's school who was qualified as a builder, and it was a simple matter to impress upon him the need to help rebuild the Temple, and to prompt the child to beg her father to rebuild the Temple ("I want to go to Sister Akanit's lessons. Can't you help them, daddy?"). There was a carpenter who had once received treatment for an infected wound in his right hand, so Teknall planted in him the suggestion to lend his aid to those who had helped him Without their help you would have lost your hand and your job. Now they are in need of your help.

Many others who had benefited from the Temple, though, were not equipped to help directly, but Teknall could still use them. He stirred up their memories of the Temple of the Bond and invoked their pity and empathy. This could be achieved by something as simple as overhearing a passing conversation ("Do you think they'll rebuild that school in the Temple of the Bond soon? My nephew was a student there before it burned down."). Harun and other human guises let Teknall roam the streets, strike up casual conversations in just the right time and place, then move on.

Soon enough word of the Temple of the Bond had gained enough momentum to be self-perpetuating. People would pass by it and look upon its ruins and the workers ("They're trying to rebuild, yet there are no builders among them."). Mention of it would be passed around in conversations, and some would speak about it with builders they knew ("Where were you going to work after rebuilding my house? I've heard that the Temple of the Bond is in need of workers."). Some of those who had the means were moved to make material donations, of coin or supplies, or simply a kind meal for those working at the Temple ruins.

Yet to achieve Teknall's full goals, he needed to do more than play on pity. He needed to invoke ambition. And among these pious people, a well-constructed vision could do just that. Imagine a place where the tradesmen gathered together to talk and discuss business. And in this place apprentices were educated. Down one doorway was a room with workbenches and apprentices hammering and sawing away. Down another doorway a priestess stood in front of a stone board with words, numbers and shapes chalked onto it, teaching children how to read and measure. And coming from the library were some people pouring over a few scrolls and codices, learning the methods of construction, masonry and other arts from them. It was this image which Teknall planted in the sleeping minds of several selected and influential tradesmen.

Yet Teknall did not stop there. There were books on construction and masonry and other crafts in the Temple's collection, yet no tradesman would think to search the library for themselves to find such texts. So Teknall borrowed a few select works, including Priest Harukin's manual and autobiography, and placed them in the homes of these select tradesmen. The presence of these texts where they were not present before prompted curiosity, and as they flicked through the pages or skimmed over the scrolls they realised that these texts were useful and contained many hidden gems. With the vision, the texts, and the requests of the people coming together, it seemed clear to these tradesmen what the will of the Master was for them. When each one learned that the others had also received the same vision, the decision was made.

They went as a group to the Temple of the Bond, carrying the texts to return them. They came to the Temple and found the leader of the priestesses, Sister Lilaneem. One of them, Jorum the architect, stepped forwards and spoke. "Greetings, Sister. I speak to you on behalf of my fellow tradesmen. We came across some scrolls belonging to this temple; we are not sure how, but we found them anyway. And it has come to our attention that this place holds knowledge and is good for teaching many kinds of skills. The Master has impressed upon our hearts to help you rebuild this temple. In exchange, we wish to have a share in the education here, to have a place to extend the skills of our apprentices and ourselves. What do you say?"

I've got two collabs which are crawling along at a painfully slow rate. (yo, @Lauder, check the collab please. Or at least talk to us)


For many, the land and sea, with its resources and habitable space, form the entire world, and the stars above are just a passing fancy. Yet those people do not realise that their 'world' is so minute and frail compared to the vastness of space beyond. If only they could find a way to cast off the shackles of gravity and make a home in the void, they would have resources and territory more plentiful than any terrestrial empire.

Jvan knew this, and had founded a refuge for her servants in orbit around Galbar. Lazarus knew this, and had given her empire the secret of interplanetary travel. Many in Lifprasil's crumbling empire knew this, and were turning to the stars for a new home. Teknall had known it since the beginning, and was slightly miffed that he had been beaten to space. But now the Prometheans were ready, nay, desperate to go to space, for their terrestrial resources were being sapped by the elementals.

Jvan wanted to challenge Teknall to a race. She might have had a head start, but Teknall was keen to win the space race.

~~~~

A new Carrier was strapped to a round metal tower, which in turn was perched atop a kind of platform and affixed to a support tower. The Carrier was reminiscent of other flying Carriers, although it was much blunter in form and had nozzles on its rear rather than jets on its wings. The large tower it was attached to looked somewhat like a missile, except much larger, and had two smaller similar towers attached to its flanks.

Another Carrier had just finished filling the large towers with liquid hydrogen and oxygen. It detached from the towers and drove away. An Energiser similarly finished charging the Carrier and departed. Radio chatter and checks bounced across the airwaves.

promethean.N000001: Perform launch check for C011394.
promethean.C011394: Systems scan: all systems optimal.
promethean.C011394: Cargo is secure.
promethean.Ma00298: C011394.attachment.fuel_external check result: pass.
promethean.M001981: C011394.attachment.booster_left check result: pass.
promethean.M002073: C011394.attachment.booster_right check result: pass.
promethean.C011394: Interface with attachment.fuel_external enabled.
promethean.C011394: Interface with attachment.booster_left enabled.
promethean.C011394: Interface with attachment.booster_right enabled.
promethean.D000789: No hostile entities detected.
promethean.N000002: All Prometheans outside no-go zone.
promethean.N000001: Initiate launch sequence for C011394.
promethean.C011394: Running launch sequence.
promethean.C011394: Detaching access arm.
promethean.C011394: Priming attachment.fuel_external fuel lines.
promethean.C011394: Arming attachment.booster_left.
promethean.C011394: Arming attachment.booster_right.
promethean.C011394: Ignition.

A mighty roar louder than Aurora's winds bounced off the platform and echoed over the stony plains. Twin jets of burning hydrogen pushed downwards with tremendous force, and by the law of action and reaction C011394 was lifted skywards with equal force. The ascending rocket left a pillar of cloud behind it, climbing ever higher, until the atmosphere thinned out and gave way to the vacuum of space.

The burn continued until the Carrier and its tanks had placed themselves in orbit around their planet. The auxiliary tank emptied, the Carrier detached from its fuel tank with the boosters. It then fired its own rockets and boosted away from the orbiting fuel tank. After patiently adjusting to a new, predesignated orbit, the Carrier opened up and, with a robotic arm, lifted out a bulky mechanical device, gently placed it in the space beside itself, and let go to leave it to orbit where it was placed.

Once free, the box-shaped device started to unfold. A boom extended from behind the device, on the end of which was a radioisotope thermoelectric generator with radiators which opened up once the boom was clear of the device. Radio antenna arrays unfolded from the sides of the device. And in front of the device were cameras, lenses and telescopes. This artificial satellite then continued on its orbit, watching the world below and broadcasting information to the Promethean colonies.

The Carrier closed, and a puff of monopropellant from the Carrier adjusted its velocity to gently veer away from the device. Once a safe distance had been reached, the Carrier activated its main thrusters and headed for another orbit. There another identical satellite was deployed. A third satellite was deployed in a third orbit.

promethean.C011394: Task No. 2610889 complete.
promethean.C011394: Task list is empty. Entering idle mode.

C011394 was not returning to the surface, and neither were its auxiliary fuel tank or boosters. Getting things to orbit was costly, and the Prometheans had every intention to send more stuff to orbit. While they could have dumped the boosters and tank half way to orbit to save on fuel, they would need the parts up there eventually. And unlike biological races, Prometheans can survive almost indefinitely in the void.

As the Prometheans on the world below prepared to send more of their kind into space, C011394 waited for the time its services would be called upon once more.

~~~~

A light meteor shower danced through the upper atmosphere of the world. Motes of dust and grains of ice streaked through the air and briefly glowed with brilliant incandescence before being snuffed out. And behind this shower was a small djinni with a form similar to a comet.

This djinni made periodic visits to this planet, gracing it with meteor showers each time it passed, although this visit it had noticed something difference. From a distance it had seen a few strange objects orbiting the world (meteor djinn have unparalleled eyesight), although its own orbit did not take it near enough those objects for a proper inspection. The djinni might not have paid it much heed if it hadn't seen that a great storm djinni was calling from the world below.

Due to their untouchable position, even the smallest meteor elementals generally hold themselves in loftier positions than any of the planet-bound elementals, even over a stormlord like Aurora. Yet space is also lonely and quiet, so most meteor elementals will leap at the rare opportunity to speak with other elementals and hear the news from the planets. The little comet mentally reached out to the grand hurricane.

Greetings, planetling. You are graced by the presence of Periapsis. I accept your offer to speak with me.

I am Stormlord Aurora, came the reply, her voice still strong despite the great distances involved.

Ah, Aurora. I have heard that name. What brings you to call upon me?

Metal beasts are overrunning our planet. They consume the earth and the seas and pollute the skies, and their hunger for expansion is relentless. They build weapons which can bring down even a great stormlord. I seek the aid of the meteor djinn, for we need all the elements united if we are to emerge victorious from this war.

While I can see that this is a tragic turn of events for you, planetary affairs are of no concern to us meteor djinn.

These beasts will become your concern soon enough! They have invented a way to fly to space. I know not what they are doing up there, but I am confident that they will soon seek out your precious asteroids and consume them and your kind like they are consuming our planet. Unless you strike them down while we have the chance!

Periapsis hesitated. The strange new satellites were consistent with this story. And if they did come from the planet, then that was a concern since no power Periapsis knew could lift an object of appreciable mass out of a planet's gravity well. And if those beings with that power were as dangerous as Aurora said...

They feast on ice, ammonia, hydrocarbons and metals, and will tear apart rocks to get them, Aurora warned, interjecting into Periapsis' hesitation. None of you will be safe if they are allowed to establish themselves in space.

I... I shall inform the others.

Periapsis continued on its orbital trajectory. With a puff of steam it managed to nudge itself towards a slightly closer intercept with one of the satellites. It was still quite distant, but it could resolve more clearly now that this was a clearly alien object. Its shape was angular. Its surface was lustrous. It had protrusions. And part of it glowed strongly in the infrared, indicating that the object was internally producing appreciable amounts of heat. This worried Periapsis deeply.

The little meteor djinni sent out a message bearing Aurora's warning through the void with words carried by waves of psionic thought. Perhaps they might listen. Or perhaps in their hubris they might ignore the warning until the metal beasts were encroaching their orbits.

~~~~

The Prometheans launched more rockets into space, carrying satellites and other cargo. With more satellites, the Prometheans were able to watch more of the planet below. The movements of storms, large djinn and armies of elementals could be tracked from the heavens, granting the Prometheans one more advantage in their ongoing war. Satellite imaging also made scouting and prospecting more efficient, for now they could map the entire planet without having to traverse it.

The satellite network also improved logistics and communication between the Promethean colonies, for they provided precise measurements of location and could relay radio communications across the planet.

But satellites were only the initial fruits of the Prometheans' expansion into space. While many of these satellites looked to the world below, a reasonable number were pointed outwards to the stars beyond. Telescopes focused their lenses on anything which moved, and with some calculations and parallax measurements they determined the existence of a fair number of objects which orbited their sun along with their planet. It was these objects which drew the interest of the Prometheans, because they were the natural next step in their expansion.

So probes were launched. Larger rockets propelled scouts against the motion of their planet, such that their trajectories dipped into the orbits of the inner bodies of the solar system. And as the probes started the long fall towards the sun, the Prometheans started building a fleet for their prospective colonisation.

Both parts and workers were continually being launched into space. Space shuttle Carriers pushed around metal tanks, old boosters, and specialised parts manufactured on the surface, while Manipulators with magnetic feet, enlarged radiators and mono-propellant thrusters worked in the microgravity environment to construct and assemble the parts.

The construction of new Carriers was key to the project. The shuttles were good for moving things about orbit, and properly equipped they could even return to the surface of the planet, but they did not have enough delta-v to achieve interplanetary flight. Much larger Carriers would be needed, with over half their mass taken up by propellant, enough cargo space to carry the other Prometheans, and beefy thrusters to propel them across the solar system.

For interplanetary travel is not a simple affair. The only way to control flight in space is to push off things, and rockets do this by pushing propellant. Yet they must carry this propellant with them, and bring more propellant to have enough push to push that propellant about. Every tonne of propellant added to a rocket provides diminishing returns for how much they can push themselves through space, that is, how much they can change their velocity. Every gram of cargo and equipment cuts into this precious velocity budget.

The Prometheans quickly adopted the design philosophy of 'every gram counts', as cruel necessity dictates when planning spaceflight. Not having to carry around life support was a boon for the Prometheans. Yet the Prometheans themselves were hardly light-weight. The Prometheans built colonists which were as lightweight as possible, and they had to think carefully about the smallest practical crew for the mission. Tools, devices, and even Prometheans themselves were downsized and optimised for weight.

Yet weight was not the only optimisation to be made. The chemical engines had good thrust and were simple to build, but their exhaust velocity was lousy, such that a lot of propellant had to be spent to get a reasonable change in momentum. Further, chemical rockets required chemically reactive reagents, not least among them being oxygen, which was energetically costly for the Prometheans to mass produce.

Yet burning fuels was not the only way to push propellant out the back of a rocket. The Prometheans knew the power of nuclear fission for producing heat, so it took little prompting for them to adapt their nuclear reactor schemes to super-heat rocket propellant. This had numerous benefits. One benefit was that the propellants didn't have to be chemically reactive; any relatively light fluid would be sufficient. Hydrogen would provide the best efficiency, but methane and ammonia came up as a strong alternatives for their higher density, abundant supply, and ability to remain indefinitely in storage.

The key benefit, however, was that the nuclear engines had a notably higher exhaust velocity than anything chemical rockets could provide, which would allow the Carriers to travel further for each kilogram of propellant.

The nuclear engines had less thrust than comparable chemical engines, but only by a small amount, so this was not an issue. The main cost was that it required a substantial amount of highly enriched uranium. The fuel rods would need periodic replacing and reprocessing to maintain optimal performance, which would necessitate taking bulky centrifuges and enrichment devices on the colonisation journeys. The relative rarity of enriched uranium also made the nuclear rockets unappealing for small-scale regular use, but they were more than a worthwhile investment for the colony Carriers.

Work carried on in orbit to build these colossal Carriers and the Prometheans they would be carrying, supplied by a steady trickle of parts from the surface. The probes continued their slow descent towards the inner bodies of the solar system. Yet rather than wait idly, the Prometheans set their sights on a target closer to home.

Their world had a moon, albeit a small and distant one. It was more of a captured asteroid, not even 50 kilometers across, but this was all the Prometheans needed to stage deeper expeditions into the solar system.

The Prometheans sent Harvesters to that moon to begin mining. These Harvesters were unlike terrestrial Harvesters, for they needed to operate under microgravity conditions. They had clamps to affix themselves to the asteroid. Their drills and digging maws were balanced such that they would not exert any torque while operating. They came with sheets to enclose their work-space so no dust would escape. They were well equipped for asteroid mining.

Yet the pioneering expedition was lacking in just one crucial area: defences. This small rock was home to several stony elementals, who objected severely to the Prometheans digging up their home. Ill suited for combat, several Harvesters and Manipulators were trashed before the rest were extracted by the Carrier shuttles.

The Prometheans modified the surviving Harvesters and Manipulators to be better equipped for close combat with hostile meteor elementals. The next foray to that asteroid was accompanied by a Destroyer, one built for space-flight. The Destroyer drifted alongside the asteroid, scanning it with ground-penetrating radar and gravimetric sensing, as the Harvesters floated up to the asteroid and latched on. When the elementals appeared, the Destroyer aimed and fired its railguns, blasting apart some of the elementals and frightening the others back into hiding.

The Harvesters and Manipulators established a mining outpost on the moon, under the watchful gaze of the Destroyer. As they dug they found some metals, some organic compounds, and some water. These were all good things to find. The metals could be used for in situ manufacturing, although the concentration of ore near the surface of the moon seemed to be relatively low. The water was valuable for operating the fusion reactors. Quite significantly, though, the water and organic compounds could be used for propellant, which allowed the Prometheans to fuel their fleet for the upcoming voyage without having to haul propellant up the gravity well of their planet.

Carriers came routinely to collect what had been mined to take it to the shipyards. More Prometheans came to join the lunar colony, and a Nexus was soon established there. Resources were directed from the planet to help establish a second lunar colony, which could then fuel the flight to the inner solar system.

~~~~

"Skylord Aurora, we appear to be gaining ground against the metal beasts. Their expansion has slowed considerably, with them founding only a single colony in the past many days. Their armies seem to be less thoroughly armed, with them using fewer exploders than in the past. They have even abandoned outer colonies of their own accord. We are winning at last. Why are you so sullen?"

They aren't surrendering. They're re-prioritising. They have sent hundreds of their kind into the heavens over this period. The sky over their territory is always scarred by at least one pillar of cloud from their starward flights. They have not made many new colonies here because they are trying to found new colonies among the stars. That one new colony they made was by a small sea, which they are already guzzling to fuel their ascension. They have fewer exploders because they use similar devices to propel themselves into space. The realms of the meteor djinn have vast quantities of ore which are much easier to access than the ore here. Once they establish themselves in space, they will not want for resources, and our war will become so much more difficult.

"Then surely we must strike now, while they are weakened, so that what you fear does not come to pass."

Indeed. Our time is short. Tell Ferrum and Arene to gather their forces and meet with me. Send word to the others as well. We strike at dawn.

~~~~

Satellite observation reporting unusual elemental activity
Enemy No. 001415 ("Storm elemental, colossal") located at [10.01 -1.32]
Enemy No. 025431 ("Hydrocarbon elemental, colossal") located at [10.01 -1.32]
Enemy No. 019002 ("Stone elemental, colossal") located at [10.01 -1.32]
5400 (+/- 2000) other elementals detected at [10.01 -1.32]
Other elemental armies have generated at other locations around the border.
Deduction: elementals are planning attack, large scale, at multiple locations.
Overlap with prediction: 84%
Prepare long range missiles for launch
Warm up reactor on D0003050
Prepare D0003051 for launch
Execute Task No. 3001282

© 2007-2017
BBCode Cheatsheet