Eagle of the Forest Path

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About Eagle of the Forest Path

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    Pan Narrans
  • Birthday 12/11/1987

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  1. This suggestion depends on to which level these islands of yours are man-made, but if their flight depends on some sort of rare mineral or some such, rather than technology (or applied magic), you could have new islands occasionally pop up out of the smog, when the "random, natural magic background energy" reaches a threshold in an area (or when topsoil erosion exposes a new lode of levistone). With a source of new sky-islands, you could have the inhabitants of the older islands either mining the new ones into oblivion, or just migrating to a fresh island when the old one wears out.
  2. Ok, how about the opposite of Pagliacci's question: What's keeping her in the town? She wants to leave, so why is she still there? Now you can have a problem to overcome, instead of an action to justify.
  3. Since there are two of them, washer and dryer?
  4. Break a leg, @Robinski (I suggest chair).
  5. First things first: I liked it. Next, a little issue with the title: The Red and the Black already exists, which you might already know (in which case it could be intentional). If you weren't already familiar with the title (and if it matters to you that it's already been used), you could just switch it to "The Black and the Red", since the coffee comes first in your story and the ... other thing (spoilers) comes later. Possible plot-hole: if M.'s compatriots avoid caffeine, why is he/are they (and his/their employees/prey) regulars at a coffee shop? Why did he accept C.'s offer? Why did M. introduce himself? If he was the one that fired C., I'd expect she'd at least know his name. M.'s true nature took me completely by surprise, which I consider a good thing in a short story. C.'s personality change in the penultimate paragraph sent shivers down my spine. You manage to have a bad ending with a happy protagonist, though it takes the last paragraph to really drive that home. I like the word play you did with J.'s text message and C.'s reaction to it. Whatever you do, don't edit that out, please. It could maybe use some polish here and there, but as a whole it holds up quite well, I think.
  6. "Environment shapes culture" A society's industry, economics, politics, and customs are all dependent on one another, and most of it is in some way related to the environment in which the society lives (or was first formed). In a desert agriculture is never going to be the main industry, so a desert society might be pastoralists (cattle-raisers) or miners (or something else), and they will be dependent on trade with other cultures for resources. It's also likely that there will be some amount of raiding to get resources, which raises the value of military might, so the leaders of the society will probably come from the military. So military success equals political authority. And so on and so on. If land is fertile, however, growing your own food should be more efficient than raiding or trading for it. In this case military might might not be as important as wealth, so the political elites might be merchants (but more likely landowners). The good part about sci-fi or secondary world fantasy is that it doesn't matter in which direction you go: You can build the culture from the ground up, so to speak, starting from the environment, and then deciding how it shaped the people, brick by brick. Or you can decide on an aspect of the culture you want in your story (Oh, that's so cool, I wanna write about that!), and then reason your way back to how that aspect was formed.
  7. In Cosmere terminology, I'd say Dalinar was a Sliver, or something close to it. But it might be more like Vin with the Well of Ascenscion, and Brandon's confirmed that she didn't hold the power long enough to be a Sliver. "God" is a pretty complex definition: on the bottom end of the spectrum, "anything that is worshipped as a god, is a god", but at the top end, a god needs to be the creator of the universe and everything in it. Monotheism really screwed up the curve with that one.
  8. Brandon tends to persistently re-use a number of themes/motifs/tropes. He himself has mentioned his fascination with the concept of 'The City of the Gods': Elantris is the home of the "god-like" Elantrians. T'Telir literally has a Court of the Gods. Luthadel is home to the Lord Ruler, the Sliver of Infinity. I'll also mention Urithiru, even though it technically doesn't have gods. There's one I call "The Idealist Despot": Elend Venture is an idealist, giving up his throne because of his ideals of democracy, but then switches to ruling by force because the others wouldn't uphold his ideals of equality for the Skaa. Dalinar Kholin spends most of The Way of Kings trying to "inspire by example" the other Highprinces into following the Codes, because it wouldn't mean anything unless they chose to act honorably, but then he grasps power and forces them to follow the Codes anyway because the Highprinces "are like children". But the big one, to me, is "Atheist Becomes God": Sazed spends most of The Hero of Ages disproving religions, then at the end he becomes Harmony. Lightsong keeps insisting throughout Warbreaker that the Returned aren't gods, but then in the tunnels in chapter 57: You could even count Galladon, he states several times that the Elantrians weren't gods, yet becomes an Elantrian himself. This one is doubtful, because even as a restored Elantrian, I don't know if Galladon ever actually accepts this means he's a god. (I can't wait to see what kind of god Jasnah turns into, maybe one of a new set of Heralds?)
  9. Looking at the list of the Unmade's names (thank you, Coppermind), it struck me (not for the first time) that both Moelach and Nergaoul are similar to other names I knew: Moloch and Nergal, both deities from the Ancient Near East (it appears they're mentioned in the Bible, but I only recognized Nergal because he's also a god in DnD's Forgotten Realms). I thought I'd do some web-searching to see if this held up for the other Unmade as well. Turns out, in a lot of cases it does. Here is a list of where I believe the Unmade names came from (I noted which ones I'm not sure about), with links to Wikipedia: Ashertmarn (Heart of the Revel) Asherah (speculative), a Semitic/Akkadian/Ugaritic goddess of motherhood and fertility. Ashtaroth (spelling varies), the Great Duke of Hell in the first hierarchy with Beelzebub and Lucifer; he is part of the evil trinity. (suggested by @Ripheus23) The (male) devil Ashtaroth was based on the Phoenician goddess Astarte (she is mentioned in the bible as Ashtoreth), which fits with the near-east theme of the other unmade (aka Ishtar and Inanna) Ba-Ado-Mishram (no epithet) Abaddon (this is just barely a hunch, really, and it's probably combined with something else), both a place of destruction and an angel of the abyss. In the Hebrew Bible, abaddon is used with reference to a bottomless pit. Chemoarish (Dustmother) Chemosh, the god of the Moabites (and possibly the Ammonites). possibly in combination with Ares Dai-Gonarthis (Black Fisher) Dagon (speculative), Mesopotamian/Canaanite deity with links to fertility. Interpreted as a "fish-god", maybe a link with "The Black Fisher". Most likely in combination with something else, though no idea what yet. Moelach (no epithet) Moloch, a Canaanite god associated with child sacrifice. Nergaoul (no epithet) Nergal, Mesopotamian (solar) god of war and pestilence. Re-Shephir (Midnight Mother) Resheph, Canaanite deity associated with plague (adopted by the ancient Egyptians as a god of horses and chariots). Sja-anat (Taker of Secrets) Anat, a major northwest Semitic goddess. ‘Anat is a violent war-goddess, a maiden ..." Yelig-nar (Blightwind) No ideas yet Possibly straight-up Lovecraftian name or a connection to Yggdrasil (suggested by @Ripheus23) (I don't buy the Yggdrasil idea, by the way, it's just too dissimilar in sound) If anyone has ideas for the remaining names and name-parts - or disagrees with my speculations - please tell me and I'll edit this list (giving the suggester full credit for the discovery).
  10. Hi, I'm Eagle of the Forest Path, but I'll answer to "Eagle" (or even "Hey, you!" in a pinch). I sort of epitomize "Jack of all trades, master of none", so I'm usually good if you want someone to bounce ideas off of, less good if you're looking for pointed knowledge (ready and willing, but hold off on the able until I've read this non-fiction book, and maybe that other one, too). Like aeromancer, I'm predominantly a world-builder using Sanderson's Laws compliant magic systems, though hard science comes with more difficulty. I will admit specifically to some skill in the following subjects: Heraldry (aka Coats of Arms) - Basic to intermediate knowledge Typography - Intermediate knowledge Spices - Intermediate knowledge (wide margin of error on this rating) Sailing - Notions, trending to basic knowledge (but I've got good people!) Languages: English, French, Dutch, some Latin, and a very little bit of Ancient Greek @Severian4Scadrial: try this link for your naming problems.
  11. If you've got the lift figured out through magic, the only problem is generating forward momentum, right? Because turning can happen with a rudder as usual (ships, planes, zeppelins). Since you don't want combustion or steam engines driving propellers, I suggest propellers anyway, but human-powered through pedals. Or via a bank of "rowers" driving a crankshaft. A bit of an odd one: a big rock (or block of steel or something) hanging from a rope wound around a big spindle. You drop the rock and the spindle turns gears which drive the propeller. Because of the "mechanical resistance" (big gears driving small gears) the weight should descend slowly, giving you a fair amount of time before your sailors have to rewind the spindle, which should be easy because you have anti-grav magic to help. If you have two weights it becomes even easier (you could have this on newer models or something), because you can use the second weight to rewind the first (which magically became a lot lighter) in addition to driving the propellers. I guess you could just have two alternating anti-grav spells acting like the pistons in an internal combustion engine, but that's getting a pretty post-industrial feel to me. So (apart from the pedals and rowing banks) I guess it depends on the cost for your magic and how far they can "program" it.
  12. There are also several published authors on here, so maybe take out the "new and beginning" part?
  13. Greetings. You've gotten off to a nice start here, I think. I do have some notes for you. The economic aspect of Extraction. You aren't sure yet whether to make your system Global or Limited (personal terminology, but it gets the point across clearly enough, I think). A Limited system would, IMO, detract from the Eye Colour economy you propose. The Breath economy in Warbreaker works because everyone has a use for Breath, as everyone can, in theory, become an Awakener. Even non-awakeners get advantage from BioChroma (even just a single Breath) through the Heightenings (it also boost your immune system). If the only use of Eye Colour is as a fuel source for the magic, then there's no advantage for non-users to hold on to their Eye Colour. I'm not saying this can't work, but it's a choice you have to make. If you add a benefit to keeping one's Eye Colour, it justifies the high price. If you don't, non-users flood the market with Eye Colour, meaning it's probably cheap and you lose a reason for magic-users to be sparing with their abilities (which may not be that important to you in the first place). I did notice the similarities between your system and both Surgebinding and BioChroma (any Sanderson-fan would). The BioChroma similarity is something you can make your own, depending on how you use it; as discussed above, there can be (minor/moderate) differences with far-reaching consequences. The only similarity I see with Surgebinding is the combination of 2 abilities per user-type, which is rather superficial, all things considered; I wouldn't worry about it. What I do worry about is the seeming randomness of the abilities. I may be missing a common theme, of course, but I see no connection between Ruin, Perception, and Polarization, for instance. Now, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, though it does bring with it a risk of your system feeling somewhat incoherent (I'm struggling with something similar myself at the moment). This feeling may be exacerbated by only 3 of your 9 user-types having "specialist" abilities. Pneuma: I see how the loyalty/awe of Aura could be linked to controlling undead, but I don't get how Suppresion enters into it. Convergence and Focus: Contrary to Pneuma, you don't link these additional abilities to another basic ability, which leaves me wondering why only Dancers and Changeminds can use them, instead of Shifters and Starchewers. Mimicry: This ability seems far more versatile than the other basic abilities (except perhaps Arsenal). Overall, this magic system shows promise, but it could still use some more work.
  14. @Kaj, could you add some line breaks, please? It's rather hard to read in such a big block.
  15. Is this test something everyone has to go through, or is it something one has to volunteer for? Or would a nomination be required? If it's obligatory, you can't make survival a pass condition, unless you make every single adult a magic user. It could work, if a secondary purpose were to keep population numbers under control, it's set in a desert, so I assume resources are an issue. If it's voluntary, you can make it very perilous and the need to volunteer for it already weeds out those lacking courage and/or confidence (assuming this is something you want to test for). With nominations, you can introduce a political element. The wealthier, more powerful families or factions in your city would probably have a greater chance of getting their teenagers nominated. Does this test take place for everyone at the same time, like an exam, or does it happen for each participant individually, say, on their umpteenth birthday? The latter precludes cooperation as a strategy; of course, it also means you don't have competition between participants to work with. Sorry, no specific ideas for tests, just things you might want to consider.