View Full Version : The world of Melody Box, spoilers included.
02-07-2014, 01:36 PM
A few of you may be wondering why I haven't updated for a while. The reason for that is simple, I've been almost completely redoing the plot. That is also one of the reasons why I've started a new thread instead of continuing the old one http://www.cartographersguild.com/regional-world-mapping/24184-incomplete-sevul.html. (some of the information I said is now untrue and I didn't want to confuse anyone.) The initial idea that started this story is "I want to make a story about a dragon" and one of my most recent ideas was "humans are aliens". I like to come up with ideas that don't fit together and somehow make them work. I have absolutely no idea where to start explaining the history so someone ask a question (not what do you have in your pocket) and I will try to explain from there. Oh I almost forgot here are the maps...61134 61133
02-07-2014, 02:03 PM
What does the filthy hobbitses has in its' pocketses?
I'll start... (Assuming humans = aliens means dragons = native sentient species?) So... where do the dragons live? Are the icons on your map human settlements, or dragon?
If human, how did they spread so quickly?
What part/percentage of the whole world do the maps cover? :)
How/why did humans come to the world, and how are they affecting the geography?
Uhhhhh... can't think of anything else (or, rather, too many things, lol!) so.. yeah
02-07-2014, 03:01 PM
Lol, ok here I go. First I have no idea what scale the map is. This world was a barren planet and then humans came to the world. The humans brought with them a device. (I call it the the Melody Box, you know it has to be important later on) With the melody box they could create living and non living elements which they used to teraform the planet making the habitats similar to Earths. Parts of their spaceship disconnected and landed on the planet to become domed cities while the melody box stayed in space to be a satellite (they stayed in contact with it though a large tower). The people were supposed to leave the domed cities and live on their own, but they didn't. They started to use the melody box for other things than they were supposed to; being able to store their memories and recreate their bodies granted them resurrection/immortality, they created new lifeforms (one of them being dragons), and though the melody box an individual (certain people of power aswell as dragons) could change the world around them, to a point. (I'm not quite sure what happens here so it going to be a bit vague.) Due to an unforeseen event the cities systems are brought down and most contact with the melody box cease. Because the people and dragons didn't know how to fend for themselves most of them died, but a few survived and.... Civilizations started to appear. people forgot most of their past and the dragons. People discovered that some of them had a power to control the world around them, this came to be called magic. A religion based on worship to the star moon (melody box) that gives them magic appears (they know that's what is giving them power because the closer it is to them the stronger the signal so their magic becomes stronger). Okay, I'm gonna take a break now, so if anyone wants something clarified or more history ask away.
02-07-2014, 03:08 PM
Vaguely reminiscent of "Memory of Earth" ... up to a point... and then totally different/cool :)
What are the dragons up to, while the people are forgetting them? Do the people with power know about the dragons? How do you keep the memory box from malfunctioning with no maintenance? :o (Is it gonna go NUTS?)
Are the dragons sentient? They have magic too, right?
(I love this, it's really cool)
02-07-2014, 03:34 PM
Would you believe it if I said I thought of most of what I just typed yesterday? I like to work backwards. I think of an idea, then I ask why is that and keep going. But anyways there are still a lot of things I still need to think about but I can answer a few of your questions. The melody box doesn't go haywire it does exactly what is is programmed to do, but that may not be in the best interest of the people in the present day story. And yes the dragons are sentient and they do have magic.
02-07-2014, 03:38 PM
I believe it... I work that way too. :) I find that answering questions helps me think :P
WAIT if the melody box lets people create new species with their minds and someone didn't know they had magic and was thinking (the way storytellers are born to) about a vicious 6 headed goblin dog to eat up his meanie boss, I mean actually forming the thing in his head, would there BE a vicious 6 headed goblin dog? Or do they have to know they are making it... like giving orders or something?
02-07-2014, 03:45 PM
The people in the story can create chimeras (a new creature created from combining two or more preexisting creatures) but, no the ability to create completely new creatures went down with the main connection (the tower) to the melody box.
Also you need to know about the objects you are trying to alter, the more you know the easier it is. In this case it is kinda like the true name system except knowing somethings true name is an unreachable concept like perfect.
There is an exception to this rule. If like you said someone doesn't know they have magic and somehow uses it while thinking of something they could potentially create a "ghost". Ghosts in this case are energy masses that take the form of the thought. In this world the laws of matter and energy exist, so the energy needed to create the ghosts has to come from somewhere and for someone who doesn't know about this they will most likely draw energy from themselves or from those around them which can kill them. Because of this magicians need to learn to control their power quickly. Also ghosts do not need to be in the form of something living or formerly living they can be an item or a place or even something that doesn't exist. And most ghosts are unstable and will most likely fizzle out after their energy supply has been used up, there are exceptions.
02-08-2014, 03:29 PM
Would tera forming a barren planet leave any visible effects on the world?
02-08-2014, 03:33 PM
Well obviously. Geographical changes... that's what terraforming is... But what do you mean, like... atmospheric changes, or changes in core/gravity/rotation? Or what the created life forms would affect the world?
02-08-2014, 03:48 PM
Have you ever read the Soul Rider series by Jack L. Chalker? The 4th book in the series ( The Birth of Flux and Anchor ) has a vaguely similar high-tech settlers gone wrong theme. It's an interesting read, but I found the story trilogy (the first three books) and the final book to be a little peculiar. Good enough reads, but odd.
02-08-2014, 03:48 PM
I'm just trying to think of any signs that would giveaway that the environment was artificially created rather than being altered by natural causes, if that makes any sense.
02-08-2014, 03:54 PM
No I've never read it. I haven't read a lot of the books talked about on here.
02-08-2014, 05:00 PM
I think it would depend on how well they did the terraforming (and how good the tech was)
I should think that a level which would allow them to create dragons would be able to do some terraforming without any obvious signs... although... Most people have a hard time doing anything truly "randomly", so your trees might be spaced more evenly, or rivers a little straighter...
I suppose that depends, as well, on the people who did the initial terraforming.
Me, for example, I wouldn't care how it LOOKEd... I'd build for survival. There'd be a unscalable cliff protecting each village, fresh water rivers, lakes and streams everywhere their might be a civilization, domes covering all the cities and crops, etc. Then again, I'm paranoid.
Someone else might try to make it as "earthlike" and natural as possible.
People might develop some parts of the world more than others, or make it perfectly even. I don't know how you would tell. :?
02-08-2014, 06:55 PM
A dinosaur fossil in a coal seam holding a sign that reads "End Nuclear Testing Now" might be a clue that it's not natural. Or a range of mountains in the shape of the terraformer's initials might be another. Or even the world being a disk.. All examples from the book Strata by Terry Pratchett.
02-08-2014, 07:17 PM
okay waldronate you're my new hero.
02-10-2014, 11:51 AM
Lol that would work, but to fit the story I think I need something a little more...subtle. I'll need to put some thought into it. I did however have a few interesting ideas last night. If the cities detached and landed on different areas of the planet, once communications are cut off then each cities inhabitants would create their own civilizations, right? And I'm thinking that a very long time has passed so it would be possible that the different people would develop different traits, perhaps one of them would be short and sturdy, another one could become tall, thin, with a possibility of pointed ears. It would fit the style of this story, sci-fi with a theme of stereotypical fantasy. And I was also thinking that before the.... I'm just going to call it the collapse. Before the collapse the people would need a way to get to the other cities and to the Melody Box, so when I was playing mine-craft in my brother's room I was also listening to the Star-trek episode he was watching, (not very closely, I heard something about Abraham Lincoln and a living rock) and then the captain explained that their ship's teleportal converted matter into energy at which it traveled and then reformed back into the same matter that it was.... I don't think I explained it very well but... Anyways something like that could be possible in my story.
02-10-2014, 12:29 PM
Weeeeeellll... Yes that would work.
But (as a reader: ie: when initially reading this) the first thought that popped into my head was... "WAIT! They're sophisticated enough to keep a box orbiting a planet (a planet they terraform!!!) that can create new LIFE and they don't have technology enough not to lose contact with each other on landing???!!?"
So I thought and said "Well, maybe they crashed, and lost contact anyway"
Then I said, "yeah, but they created DRAGONS, *after* landing, so they could have just created a horse-like cheetah-speed mule-bird or something that could carry a message, quickly, to the other civilizations."
And before too long they'd be mingling again....
So, after a 10 minute convo with myself (I'm an excellent conversationalist, when I'm the one who's listening) I figured the only way that would work is if 1 of the people crashed and lost ... well... everything... even contact with the Melody Box. Then their civilization would devolve, while the others thrived, and they would spread/migrate and THEN they might evolve differently.
But honestly, it seems way too complicated to make it enjoyable, and I liked where you were going better without the whole "evolving vulcans" issue thrown in :/
02-10-2014, 12:44 PM
Wait, what? Ok um lets see, either I did a horrible job of explaining it or.....
I'll update this once I figure out where the problem is.
Okay it seems I wasn't clear about this; when they landed and for quite awhile afterwards they did have contact with each other and could travel the great distances between the cities almost instantly using the teleportals. However when the event happened that caused the main systems to fail they did too, which is what caused the isolation.
Did this help?
02-10-2014, 01:11 PM
No. I'm bad at explaining stuff. If you're lost, it's my fault. Let me try again
We're human. We've developed our technology far beyond what it is now. We can settle on other planets. We can terraform other planets. We've developed a technology that lets us build LIFE with our MINDS.
We can send that technology into orbit, and it's built so well that even after generations of us having forgotten it, and no one performing any kind of upkeep, it's still working all those generations later.
These are the basics from prior posts, yes?
COOL. I like it.
So. We are the elite. We land on the planet and... lose all communication with every other human. ...? (WHY? HOW? With all our sophisticated tech, everything stops working when we land? For EVERYONE?)
Fine, something disrupted the communication devices, maybe something in the planet's atmosphere. Idk, you're the writer, you decide. Whatever it was, now we can't talk to anyone else.
(What? Wait? ALL those ships full of super-tech-advanced-hoomans, and NOT ONE SCIENTIST who can build a primitive phone system?)
Fine, okay, it's a bunch of ships full of farmers and builders for an intial settlement (why would they be trusted with tech like the melody box, and terraforming a planet if they aren't scientists?) (Shut up Jalyha, let that one go...) and these settlers can't build up communications again. All contact with other humans is lost. (Okay, fine)
And then, we make some dragons as in your first posts, with our minds and the melody box. (Wait, so we can make a complex critter like a dragon. Why can't we make a complex (or simple) critter to communicate with other humans?)
Solution: Either A) Everyone on the ships was simple-minded, or B) Some people lost tech and some people didn't.
Okay, we don't want a bunch of stoopid hoomans.... let's go with B.
So a bunch of ships can still communicate and access the melody box after landing and a bunch can't. So we have these 2? 3? more? ships communicating, and no one says "Hey, why haven't we heard from bob and his crew... or jim and his... or jeff and his?" and goes to find them? Or builds a communication critter? Back to the earlier problems again.
But if it was just ONE ship that lost communication, then everyone might assume (especially if there was a crash, Jalyha!) that they had died. No one would go looking.
Ahhhh now it's working.
So... let's say, cause we want multiple races now, that the settlers on ship #missinginaction do go looking for help.. at least some of them, and in small bands.
Okay now they are spreading out.
So, it's a big planet, and they are on the wrong side, and never find help. Instead, they build settlements in different areas, and now we've finally got to a point where it's possible that
...a very long time has passed so it would be possible that the different people would develop different traits, perhaps one of them would be short and sturdy, another one could become tall, thin, with a possibility of pointed ears. It would fit the style of this story, sci-fi with a theme of stereotypical fantasy....
Then you want them to start trying to restore communications again, so... why would they start up with that again if it's been long enough for different races to develop? That's generation upon generation there!
So some guy finds his great-great-lotsofgreats-grandpa's journal, talking about the melody box and the loss in communication, the fruitless search.... and meanwhile that race of people has developed/advanced a bit from when they first settled, and somehow they restore access to the melody box and create this new teleportation technique... or vice versa... they create the technique and then restore access to the melody box...
(Wait, why didn't the first guys do that?)
Which is why it's too complicated for my tastes... Either the smart guys in Generation Alpha figure out a way to communicate, or there's no way to communicate.
If they figure out a way to communicate, then it won't have been long enough to develop different traits.
If they don't figure out a way to communicate, then there's something in the area making it impossible, and they won't ever develop it.
Did that make more sense?
The "vulcan" comment was cause, as soon as you said "one with pointy ears" I thought, "oh, someone's been watching LoTR or Star Trek" and then you said you were watching star trek, and I said "see!" and then you said about the transporters, and I think, and I might be wrong, that you liked the concept of what you heard so much that you're trying to force it into your story. And in *this* story... I don't think it can fit.
However, maybe you'll find a way to surprise me, and it will, and I will look silly for doubting :) I'd like that. I strive for silliness. :P
02-10-2014, 03:01 PM
I suppose actually knowing what caused all the systems to fail and then figuring out what effects it would have would help............. but I have no idea, or rather I have plenty of ideas but none that fit.
02-10-2014, 03:51 PM
That's why I said it was complicated ^.^
02-10-2014, 07:50 PM
On Terraforming: A lot depends on what you mean by terraforming.
I take it to mean doing the minimal engineering necessary for human beings to flourish unprotected on the surface of a planet. This may mean adding water and air, or changing the composition of the air. Depending on the orbit of the planet and the characteristics of its star, there can be some bigger issues too. But let's assume your engineers picked a planet in the Goldilocks zone, one that has a reasonably low eccentricity.
If the planet had no air, your engineers found a way to add both air and water. The most economical way to do that is to bombard the planet for years with icy chunks gleaned from the outer system. (I am presuming a planetary system not too different than our own.) Glossing over the fact that the new atmosphere may not be breathable, we can say a couple of things about the planet that will be different than Earth:
1) It's smaller than Earth (in the Goldilocks zone and little or no air to start with).
2) Since it's smaller and had no large amount of water, it probably does not have a well-developed tectonic system.
3) With no air and sluggish or nonexistent tectonics, much of the surface will be primordial - read lots of craters and little erosion. This primordial surface will show in the landscape. Someone has done a map of a 'wet' Mars, which shows what it might be like if we could flood the surface of Mars. Lots of round seas in the big craters.
If the planet is Earth-sized to begin with, and has no or little water, it will likely have a heavy carbon dioxide atmosphere. Most of Earth's carbon is locked up in rocks through the action of water - it probably started with as much carbon dioxide as we see on Venus, but cooler temperatures allowed liquid water which, over geologic time, dissolved the carbon dioxide and locked it up in sediments. I don't know how your engineers get rid of the excess carbon dioxide, but I would assume that the heavy atmosphere present until they did would result in a more eroded landscape with lower, more rounded landforms. With no historical water to erode channels, water will collect in every hollow. Your landscape will have lots of lakes.
In either of these cases, the landforms will be inconsistent with the terraformed climate. An astute observer might discover these inconsistencies and conclude something changed in the recent past.
If your world has water and air (you can't have water without air), then it will look more or less like Earth. An Earth-sized planet will sustain tectonic activity for billions of years, so you have all the forces present that shape the Earth. If your planet is much older than Earth, tectonics may have slowed or even stopped. In this case, mountains will be more eroded and no new ones will form. But there will be no obvious sign that the past was very different than the present.
If your planet is very young, cratering will be more in evidence, and possibly volcanism will be more common. Your engineers may need to do some miracle to keep the debris floating around the system from landing on the colonists' heads. If they don't, an astute observer may notice (just before he's flattened) that the climate is inconsistent with the obvious youth of the system.
You can get into this in far more depth, but it gives you some ideas where to start.
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