Aetheric Turbulence

Turbulence in Aetheria has a different meaning. Turbulent pockets of the Aetheria are places where sudden changes are more likely to happen. Avoiding them is preferable, but the Aether is thick with them so this is not always easy. They appear to most observers as “clouds” of various materials, from bubbles to dust to vapours of various colours. This manifestation however does bleed off some of their severity, a patch of turbulence which has not created a cloud around it will often develop changes more quickly and with less warning.

The clouds will fade as they use up the chaos in the turbulence. This can either be through creating objects or dissolving them, though sometimes the magic goes into messing with time in the area, or with the perceptions of space. Turbulence cannot dissolve a sentient being or their closest possessions as their own idea of themselves leaves an impression on the Aether that allows them to maintain their presence. Non-sentients may be dissolved, but are often recreated elsewhere, though not exactly as they were.

Aetheric turbulence can not, on its own, create life. This complexity is beyond the ability of the random nature of the changes. Life may appear however and the Aether has maintained an imprint of something it has dissolved and has recreated it. This recreation may happen anywhere though their are theories that their are currents in the aether to allow these imprints to move around.

Some clouds in Aetheria are actually quite stable, the turbulence having been used up simply creating them. These will dissipate over time as turbulence slowly dissolves it. This is also a main factor in the argument of not simply avoiding all clouds, as these “stable” clouds are safer then clear aether. However there is no way to know whether a cloud is one of these “stable” clouds or a dangerous one.

It is a matter of much debate amongst explorers as to whether the best thing to do is to avoid the cloud or to fly for the clouds. Consensus tends to be that just flying straight is preferable, Aetheria is dangerous enough already and its a death sentence to spend any more time in any part of it then you need to. All this talk is often irrelevant though as in most places in Aetheria these clouds are so thick there is no way to go but through them. Some travellers swear by certain strategies to picking which clouds to fly through, (ie. cool colours, vapourous only, thinnest or thickest) but their is evidence to suggest this is only superstition and has little actual information. The clouds merely indicate areas where the aether is more susceptible to chaos, and by the very nature of chaos the fluctuation which caused the cloud to come into existence may be either more or less violent then any other fluctuation, or the cloud might never happen at all. Some even argue that the cloud itself is not a clear indicator, and that turbulent patches have only a 25-33% chance of causing a cloud, while the other two thirds – three quarters of the time the turbulence throws up something more dangerous or complex.

Studying the aetheric turbulence is extremely difficult, as it is simply chaos. Pure chaos cannot be studied as there is no underlying pattern, and as more druids pool their information at Corazon it is becoming clearer that the turbulence is so close to being purely chaotic that no study with current techniques will uncover its inner workings.

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Naccara – The First Druid.

The title of first druid is an odd one, common folklore gives her this title, but few can agree whether this is a statement of time or power. The story has her as being old when other Aetherian druids were young, but some argue that there will always be older. The story also proclaims her great strength, her power beyond measure, but others make this claim too and who can know who is the most powerful. This is a story of her greatest project, one for which few give her credit. Her earlier works are well known, but it is safer if few know her role in this one.

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Lovebirds

I haven’t posted the information on the Lovebird Gryphs yet, I might post their information sheet sometime over the next couple of days as I continue this story.

 

The herd was moving away from the edge of their world, but two individuals lingered by the edge, looking out across the myriad of little island worlds nestled between cloud of all colours and shapes. They were creatures that were mostly green, perhaps the best colour to blend into the plains of these island worlds. Their forequarters were reminiscent of lovebirds, with small patches of orange around their eyes and beaks. Their hindquarters looked like those of a sheep, with thick green wool and red hooves to match their beaks. They were both carrying packs slung over their backs, which were presumably holding all they would need in the herd’s nomadic lifestyle. The herd was drawing further and further away, but they hardly seemed to notice. They continued to stand together, hips touching, one gently preening the other as they looked out across the horizon.

“Lilian,” said the one being preened, her song beautiful and soft, “Maybe out there we could find acceptance?”

Lilian stopped preening her and looked back out her eyes wistful but her song sad, “I’ve heard from others Nyasa, they’re no different, some are even worse.”

Nyasa sighed, it was a low whistling noise, “I don’t mean the other herds, I mean out there, beyond the clouds.”

“Surely you cannot be serious!” Lilian’s song was suddenly loud, then she dropped her voice, “Nyasa, no one has ever returned.”

Nyasa began to preen Lilian now, trying to calm her, “Few have ever gone, maybe they found something beautiful.”

“Or maybe they found only death, even travelling between the island worlds is dangerous.” Lilian said, but she was calming, “Out in Aetheria, in the raw aether, surely we’d have no chance.”

“Then maybe we should go talk to Fischer and Rosie again about…”

“I’m going nowhere near that close-minded goat.”

“That’s no way to talk about our herd leader.” Nyasa said, but there was an amused glint to her eyes, “Then maybe we should try another herd?”

Lilian shook her head, “No I’ve heard too much that sounds unpromising.”

“Then lets go, let’s take a chance.” Nyasa sung with great feeling, “A chance of something better is better then a lifetime where our own kind looks at us with disgust.”

“And what if only death awaits us out there?” Lilian asked.

“I’m willing to face that,” Nyasa said, “With you by my side.”

“Maybe I’m not.” Lilian said, “What if I said no?”

“Then I would stay, with you by my side I am sure we can overcome anything.” Nyasa said.

“But you believe we have a better chance of surviving the unknown then converting the herd.” Lilian said, “I’ll admit I probably agree.”

“Will we go?” Nyasa said, pausing her preening filled with anticipation.

Lilian stepped away from her and spread her wings. With a few flaps she took to the air and flew off the edge of the world. Nyasa had to scramble to follow, she should have expected this. Once Lilian made up her mind she would act on it straight away. They angled themselves towards a cloud that looked like a collection of bright green bubbles. Nyasa drew close to Lilian, her right wing settling over Lilian’s left as they settled into a glide. Her vision blurred and she realised she was crying.

“Thank you Lilian, you are so brave, I couldn’t have done this without you.” She said.

“You’re a romantic fool Nyasa, but maybe this is the only way we could have a hope.”

Off to Camp

Sorry I haven’t been on lately, but hopefully I can be more active for at least this month. Because this month I am off to camp. Camp NaNoWriMo that is.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, it is a challenge to write a lengthy work in a month. I was thinking of rewriting the next 15 or so chapters of Void Queen, but because I’ve been feeling like crap lately I decided instead to work on a collection of short stories. These will be set in Aetheria, so you might want to brush up on your Aetherian knowledge before reading, or you can dive in headfirst without looking if you feel that more suitable.

I hope you like what I come up with.

Book/Series Review – Vampire Hunter D

Vampire Hunter D

12,090 A.D.: It is a dark time for the world. Humanity is just crawling out from under three hundred years of domination by the race of vampires known as the Nobility. The war against the vampires has taken its toll; cities lie in ruin, the countryside is fragmented into small villages and fiefdoms that still struggle against nightly raids by the fallen vampires – and the remnants of their genetically manufactured demons and werewolves. Every village wants a Hunter – one of the warriors who have pledged their laser guns and their swords to the eradication of the Nobility. But some Hunters are better than others, and some bring their own kind of danger with them. 

 

This world is such an engaging one to read. It is set in the future, but due to the influence of the Nobility it has become this weird combination of high technology in an extremely gothic european setting. The author does a good job of getting this across too, it feels very gothic, yet you come across details like someone commenting on the “model” of a horse, or shooting horrible monsters with a laser rifle. These details do not feel jarring to me though as their existence is explained. The history of this world is so detailed too, you can feel it as you read through the series and pick up all the hints and references. I think this series is a true example of a good world-building process.

Vampire Hunter D is just one extremely intriguing part of this world. This half vampire half human, Dhampir, is cold and quiet. He is often the greatest mystery in the stories.

However when looking into this series at first I was startled at the mixed reviews, while many were glowing the ones that weren’t cited many technical flaws to an extreme degree. This confused me even more as I read the novels and was unable to find many of these flaws. Thinking back over them I wanted to address some of them and why the readers may have come to that conclusion.

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The Void Queen – A Ship Profile

Structure

Appearance: While not exactly streamlined the Void Queen does have a smooth, shapely appearance which is similar to that of sword, she is only one deck thick which adds to this blade-like image, she has a slightly peaked ridge along her centre. Main airlocks are on the edges of the widest part of the ship’s blade while smaller airlocks are arrayed all along the edge.

Armament: Along the central ridge four railgun turrets (two on each side) which can shoot anything from scrap metal to ballistic torpedos and even nuclear devices. They are operated by human gunners.Two extensive armouries are located by each major airlock, containing a mix of melee and ranges weapons.

Propulsion: As well as the main engine bank at the rear of the ship which holds both regular engines and FTL drives there are many small but powerful manoeuvring thrusters on the edges and central ridge.

Internal layout: Listed from point to engines.

  • Bridge: The bridge is a small room at the front of the ship which is very triangular, it seats six people at a time, usually, helmsmen, captain, first mate, navigator and defence coordinator.
  • Officers and guest quarters: Houses rooms for the captain, first mate, navigator, three helmsmen and the defence coordinator as well as three guest rooms. Also contains the navigation room, which holds ships logs and maps (the navigation room is on of the closest to the bridge, the other is the captains room).
  • Training and recreation: Includes a few mess halls, various training areas and games rooms, extends to just before the airlocks.
  • Airlocks, Armoury and Staging area: Between the airlocks and their respective armouries is a long hall, as wide as the armouries and airlocks combined. Many doors open on to it from the training and recreation area and the barracks. It also contains the ladders which provide access to the central ridge and its guns and propulsion units. This is where the crew may gather before a big fight.
  • Barracks: Individual rooms for up to 80 crew aligned in four rows with two hall ways. Each room is small, a single bunk, a small wardrobe and a small bathing area.
  • Cargo hold: Stretches along the narrowest part of the ship, contains many hidden storage areas as well as the obvious ones.
  • Engineering: Where the main engines and the FTL drives are maintained as well as their massive fuel supplies. Also contains the gravity generator for the ship.

 

Crew

Roughly 50 members.

Bridge: Visoca, Tamra, 2 dedicated helmsmen and one helmsmen who performs other duties, the Navigator and defence coordinator. Only the helm is manned at all times.

0g Specialists: 12 including Visoca and Tamra. They are made up almost equally of melee experts and ranged experts.

Boarding Party: (not including 0g) Another 20 or so girls are regularly part of the boarding parties, divided into almost equal teams of melee and ranged.

Gunners: Operate the rail guns during an attack there are 6, maintained by the defence coordinator during an attack.

Engineers: 2 fully qualified engineers and 3 assistants. They maintain the ships propulsion systems and other tech.

Other: 2 medics run a sick bay in the recreation area and 1 girl performs odd jobs for anyone who asks.

 

History

The Void Queen was originally known as the Crimson Blade. She was commissioned by and built for one of the richest pirates of the times. He had it modelled after his favourite sword and it was the terror of the void for almost 3 full years. Visoca then upgraded to a ship she thought good enough to take it on, a small nimble thing which held only 30 crew and went after the bounty.

The Void Queen was hard won, Visoca lost 9 women in its taking. She refused the bounty when she saw the quality of the ship, instead deciding to keep it herself. She renamed it The Void Queen and had it repainted.

Information on Anglia

Anglia is one of the odder planets in the galaxy. It is ruled by a monarchy, this is not odd. Its main export is mercenaries and weapons, again not odd. What is odd is its devotion to the old ways. From medieval Europe to early Asia they value the cultures where national civilisations were formed without complex technologies. They mimic these cultures, with fashions drifting from eastern to western, including their crafts and their fighting styles. This would seem odd at first, but in fact this has given them an edge. While the rest of the galaxy developed more advanced technology and finally mastered hand held laser weaponry the Anglians stayed firm. The rest of the galaxy also developed new electrically based shields to block these laser technologies. These technologies became prevalent in the rest of the galaxy. At which point the Anglians stepped in, their metal weapons ignored shields and disrupted them in the process. Their new alloys allowed their plate wearing knights to withstand old fashioned metal bullets, and their weapons to do more damage then any expected. However the plate armour was easily heated by lasers, burning the knights inside. A new balance in battle was made, back to the old ways of swordsmen and spear-men supported by ranged fighters. This new order was part of the Anglian legacy.

Anglia keeps a policy in all wars of never taking sides, which is odd considering that even their royal family will work as mercenaries. Officially however Anglia never favours one side over another, instead all mercenaries will take contracts as they please. Anglia is in fact a fairly densely populated planet, and many Anglians live off world. This means that at any one point in time there can be an army worth of Anglian mercenaries taking contracts. Only those who own property on Anglia must pay taxes to the monarchy.

The Anglian monarchy owns five moons, two moons orbiting their own planet and three orbiting their gas giant companion. All five are mined for their rich deposits of iron and other metals. They are protected mostly by trade and peace deals with other planets.
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