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 Post subject: Re: The History of Weyrth
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:36 am 
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My bad. I have three or four things to go up so I'll work on that tomorrow.

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 Post subject: Re: The History of Weyrth
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 2:55 pm 
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I have started the first conceptualization of Xanarium, the capital city of the Seat of the Xanarian Empire. In this process, something dawned on me I hadn’t realized before with all its implications:

The rise of every new moon is not only connected with floods, but also with a permanent rise in the sea levels. This has consequences for coastal people which need to be kept in mind in mind when developing Weyrth.

Coastal, and especially insular people like the Savaxen, Picti and Helenans, will have a past history of disasters by rising sea levels. There ought to be countless legends of cities sunken into the sea, and the sea will probably be viewed as malignant towards humans, or at best fickle. This role of the sea warrants being kept in mind also when developing the tenets of Paganism and how it portrays the Sea and the new moons and their sinister role in human history.

When developing nations with coastlines, it is probably best to remember that the people of Weyrth are probably wary of new moons rising and causing terrible devastations and the deaths of untold thousands. With the rise of the Sixth Moon as recently as 1200 Weyr resulting in record floodings, this fear is in all likelihood quite vibrant.

For coastal settlements, this should logically mean one of two things: Any old settlements with long histories that still survive into the present day will have retreated ever more from the encroaching sea, and they will have large submerged tracts. Settlements founded in more recent times will probably not be situated right next to the coast, but rather some distance inland; like Rome and Athens originally did, they will have separate harbours with the main settlement further inland. Alternatively, they could be founded atop cliffs, or behind a network of protecting dams (though these won’t protect from the tsunami of a new moon rising).

Just some food for thought. For ancient Xanarium itself, I intend to create it with its seaward quarters a town of flooded streets, now channels, similar to Venice.

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 Post subject: Re: The History of Weyrth
PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:55 pm 
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Grettir wrote:
The rise of every new moon is not only connected with floods, but also with a permanent rise in the sea levels. This has consequences for coastal people which need to be kept in mind in mind when developing Weyrth.


The sea level rises or the high tide rises? If the former how is that possible? Do we have an explanation?

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 Post subject: Re: The History of Weyrth
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:22 am 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
The sea level rises or the high tide rises? If the former how is that possible? Do we have an explanation?


In the timeline, I have presumed both, but mainly the former. The catastrophe of the Sixth Moon rising was instrumental in the fall of the Xanarian Empire. The explanation I would offer would be the same as that for a new moon appearing in the sky every few centuries: Even though Weyrth is a low-magic world, it is still a magical world where things we modern people deem supernatural do happen.

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 Post subject: Re: The History of Weyrth
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:44 am 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
The sea level rises or the high tide rises? If the former how is that possible? Do we have an explanation?


Grettir wrote:
In the timeline, I have presumed both, but mainly the former. The catastrophe of the Sixth Moon rising was instrumental in the fall of the Xanarian Empire. The explanation I would offer would be the same as that for a new moon appearing in the sky every few centuries: Even though Weyrth is a low-magic world, it is still a magical world where things we modern people deem supernatural do happen.


Core, The Age of the Fourth Moon, p.199 wrote:
550 Weyr. Rise of the Fourth Moon. Increasing tides destroy many shoreline villages and ruin crops, hurting the young Empire financially.


Core, The Age of the Sixth Moon, p.200 wrote:
1200 Weyr. The Sixth Moon rises, leading to record flooding on the shores as tides increase.


I couldn't see any other references to the effect of the moons on the sea and both references that I could find describe tidal effects rather than a magical increase in the volume of water on the planet. I actually think that this works better with the coastal city you described. King tides cause widespread flooding in the inhabited parts of the city, normal tides hide and reveal the "ghost" parts of the city, and unusual low tides would reveal otherwise hidden areas. It is intriguing to think of the kinds of rituals and rites that would build up around this phenomenon.

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 Post subject: Re: The History of Weyrth
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:39 pm 
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While I always envisioned the effect as both higher tides and rising sea levels, I am also happy with just the higher tides.

The effects of extreme tides are harder to fathom, though, as tides are subject to the geomorphology of the oceans. The almost landlocked Mediterranean has tidal ranges of less than 0,3 m, while the North Sea has ranges of 2 to 3 m, which seems to be quite average; the maximum for Europe is on the shores of the Britanny with up to 8 m, and worldwide in the Bay of Fundy (Canada) with up to 15 m. Could we suppose an average tidal range of 1 m per moon, with twice as much for the devastating Sixth Moon? That would be an average of 7 m.

With extreme tidal ranges, designers need to consider where the oceans of Weyrth are bottlenecked. The isthmus between Picti and Farrenshire and Angharad, the narrow channel leading into the Saphire bay, and the channels around the islands of Helena, between the Sea of Fallen Gods and the western ocean, will have huge amounts of water flowing through them at high speeds all the time, making shipping hazardous.

For Xanarium itself, this tied in well with what I have planned for this city. When you look at the map, you will notice that Xanarium lies at the narrowest part of the peninsula I christened “Fregella”, and I have long thought that the Empire at its height built a canal across it. Protected by locks from the madness of the tides, this canal could be a much better way of crossing over between the Sea of Fallen Gods and the western ocean than navigating the murderous currents of the Helenan archipelago.

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 Post subject: Re: The History of Weyrth
PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:38 pm 
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Grettir wrote:
The effects of extreme tides are harder to fathom, though, as tides are subject to the geomorphology of the oceans.


Putting on the Sim hat, this creates an impossible situation for anyone trying to come up with navigation and weather charts. There could be periods where the gravitational forces of the moons virtually cancel each other out. Days on end with negligible tidal activity. Then there will be periods when the moons align -- and devastating tidal activity of tsunami proportions rolling across the world. And everything in between, far more commonly.

Grettir wrote:
The almost landlocked Mediterranean has tidal ranges of less than 0,3 m, while the North Sea has ranges of 2 to 3 m, which seems to be quite average; the maximum for Europe is on the shores of the Britanny with up to 8 m, and worldwide in the Bay of Fundy (Canada) with up to 15 m. Could we suppose an average tidal range of 1 m per moon, with twice as much for the devastating Sixth Moon? That would be an average of 7 m.


Are the moons of different sizes and in stable circular orbits? Or are they in elliptical orbits? Or a bit of both? If the sixth moon is in an elliptical orbit this might explain the devastating nature of its tidal impact -- it isn't constant, it is by now predictable, and it is devastating when it is at perihelion (?) to Weyrth. It would also let you ignore the other moons when it comes to the king tides -- the effect of the sixth moon is so great that the others can be ignored.

Would this work? Create a moons/tides chart that details the mid-ocean tidal range. Then nominate on the map or by coastal nation/state what the "tidal multiplier" is in each coastal city/port/region. The tidal multiplier might be 0.3 or it might be 1.4 or whatever. Then the referee simply has to refer back to a single chart and make the calculation for their player's current location.

Grettir wrote:
With extreme tidal ranges, designers need to consider where the oceans of Weyrth are bottlenecked. The isthmus between Picti and Farrenshire and Angharad, the narrow channel leading into the Saphire bay, and the channels around the islands of Helena, between the Sea of Fallen Gods and the western ocean, will have huge amounts of water flowing through them at high speeds all the time, making shipping hazardous.


And the effect on those islands of erosion would, I'm guessing, be severe and relatively rapid. Traveling against the tide in some locations might also be impractical while traveling with it might greatly increase ship speed. New ship designs might develop in those areas with the greatest tidal ranges, ships designed to catch the flow of the tide and/or minimise the drag of the flow on a hull (dual hulls perhaps?).

Grettir wrote:
For Xanarium itself, this tied in well with what I have planned for this city. When you look at the map, you will notice that Xanarium lies at the narrowest part of the peninsula I christened “Fregella”, and I have long thought that the Empire at its height built a canal across it. Protected by locks from the madness of the tides, this canal could be a much better way of crossing over between the Sea of Fallen Gods and the western ocean than navigating the murderous currents of the Helenan archipelago.


Indeed -- it leaves the option open for smugglers to work the difficult route should they seek to avoid taxes/tolls on the canal or smuggle contraband.

By the way this is a nice can of worms that you've opened. I have a large naval supplement in the pipeline and I'm looking forward to the solution to this issue.

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 Post subject: Re: The History of Weyrth
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:04 pm 
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I don’t know enough about heavenly mechanics to draw up a chart on the tides of a planet with six moons, and I dont know enough about building ships to judge the implications of strong currents on ship designs, but for our design purposes it should probably for now be enough to say that the effects of tides are much more pronounced than they are with us, and that they can cannot be ignored by any coastal nation.

Apart from this, there are a few harder facts to consider:

Ships with square riggings – that it is almost all ships from the shores of the western ocean - are necessarily banned from using the canal across the Fregellan peninsula, as these ships can only sail against the wind by tacking, which is of course impossible within the confines of the canal; with unfavourable winds, those ships would be deadlocked and thus block the canal, which is of course too narrow for one ship to overtake the other. Only galleys and ships with lateen rigging are therefore allowed in the canal. Together with the difficulty of navigating the treacherous currents of the Helenean archipelago, this effectively bars the northern, square-rigged ships from entering the Sea of Fallen Gods.

Near the island of Picti, ships usually necessarily do not pass between the island and the main continent, but around the island.

We have determined that the commerce between east and west orignally passed through the Saphire Bay, which was one of the reasons for the Empire to annex Taveruun. But with the tides rising, the traffic between the rather narrow channel to the Saphire Bay may have become hazardous and thus started to dry up, to the economic disadvantage of Taveruun, but much to the advantage of Fauth.

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 Post subject: Re: The History of Weyrth
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:44 pm 
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Grettir wrote:
Ships with square riggings – that it is almost all ships from the shores of the western ocean - are necessarily banned from using the canal across the Fregellan peninsula, as these ships can only sail against the wind by tacking, which is of course impossible within the confines of the canal; with unfavourable winds, those ships would be deadlocked and thus block the canal, which is of course too narrow for one ship to overtake the other. Only galleys and ships with lateen rigging are therefore allowed in the canal. Together with the difficulty of navigating the treacherous currents of the Helenean archipelago, this effectively bars the northern, square-rigged ships from entering the Sea of Fallen Gods.


It's your call of course but you could treat the canal like a deep river in terms of navigation. The Rhône river was navigable by ship as far north as Vienne during the 14th century (and had been colonized by the Greeks by ship sometime before 50 BC). In the 14th century when large flat bottomed river boats were transporting goods up-river they hitched horse teams to the boats. The horse teams walked beside the river while the boat steered away from the river bank to counteract the natural tendency of the boat to fall in behind the horses. This was a far more efficient method of transporting the goods than unloading them onto carts for the horses to drag.

Your canal could have paved roads on either side, allowing square-rigged ships and flat-bottomed canal boats to use the canal in an orderly and efficient manner with traffic heading one way on each side of the canal. In between your other ships could happily sail.

Grettir wrote:
We have determined that the commerce between east and west orignally passed through the Saphire Bay, which was one of the reasons for the Empire to annex Taveruun. But with the tides rising, the traffic between the rather narrow channel to the Saphire Bay may have become hazardous and thus started to dry up, to the economic disadvantage of Taveruun, but much to the advantage of Fauth.


If you look at the Bosphorous it is only a kilometer wide in places. The tidal variation isn't enormous but the strait is easily navigable. The entry to the Saphire Bay looks about fifty miles wide -- that wouldn't be a problem to navigate even with great tidal variation by Earthly standards.

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 Post subject: Re: The History of Weyrth
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 1:28 pm 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
It's your call of course but you could treat the canal like a deep river in terms of navigation. (…) Your canal could have paved roads on either side, allowing square-rigged ships and flat-bottomed canal boats to use the canal in an orderly and efficient manner with traffic heading one way on each side of the canal. In between your other ships could happily sail.


The canal would have to be at least thirty miles long, and excavating a canal this length and broad enough for two ships to pass by each other is a major task, even for an Empire. So even the Xanarian Empire at its height would have excavated the canal to the absolute minimum that was still workable, no frills added. Add to this that the Empire itself only ever utilized galleys and lateen-rigged ships it should become apparent that it would not have made allowance for any square-rigged Savaxen or Stahlnish ships. And later, when these northern nations and their ships became increasingly important, the rump of the Empire would have lacked the resources necessary to widen and deepen the canal.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
If you look at the Bosphorous it is only a kilometer wide in places. The tidal variation isn't enormous but the strait is easily navigable. The entry to the Saphire Bay looks about fifty miles wide -- that wouldn't be a problem to navigate even with great tidal variation by Earthly standards.


But the Bosporus connects the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, which both have next to no tides, quite different from the Saphire Bay. Anyway, it was just a consequence that struck me as possible, not as necessary.

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 Post subject: Re: The History of Weyrth
PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:41 pm 
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Grettir wrote:
The canal would have to be at least thirty miles long, and excavating a canal this length and broad enough for two ships to pass by each other is a major task, even for an Empire.


So how wide are you envisaging the canal? Is it the width of one ship most of the time with regularly spaced locks that allow two ships to side-step each other?

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 Post subject: Re: The History of Weyrth
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 7:15 am 
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I think it will be better to discuss this in the Xanarian subforum; I will address the canal in the Forum Xanarium.

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 Post subject: Re: The History of Weyrth
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:05 am 
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Grettir wrote:

With extreme tidal ranges, designers need to consider where the oceans of Weyrth are bottlenecked. The isthmus between Picti and Farrenshire and Angharad, the narrow channel leading into the Saphire bay, and the channels around the islands of Helena, between the Sea of Fallen Gods and the western ocean, will have huge amounts of water flowing through them at high speeds all the time, making shipping hazardous.


With one moon we get two high and two low tides per day. Spring tides occur when the sun and moon are aligned. The sun has about 48% of the gravitational effect that the moon does. The neap tides occur when they are on the opposite sides of the earth (I think I've got them the right way around apologies if I haven't) Point is that with 6 moons you've got a lot of canceling out going on but if a lot of them are aligned (or all) you'll have enormous tides. Not only that they will occur more than twice a day.

Depending on the rate of the orbit of the moons. I doubt there is any way of predicting them. Docking a boat must be a nightmare. But the channels would be really treacherous I imagine.

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 Post subject: Re: The History of Weyrth
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:50 am 
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Valthalion wrote:
Point is that with 6 moons you've got a lot of canceling out going on but if a lot of them are aligned (or all) you'll have enormous tides. Not only that they will occur more than twice a day.

Depending on the rate of the orbit of the moons. I doubt there is any way of predicting them. Docking a boat must be a nightmare. But the channels would be really treacherous I imagine.

Yeah, I’ve in the meantime come to quite similar conclusions.

With six moons instead of one, all of them presumably of different mass and orbiting at different distances with different speeds, the tide wouldn’t merely be a regular up and down but rather like a dance, with possibly hourly changes. Up – down a bit – up a lot – down slightly – up a bit – down a lot, and so on. And the speed with which the water is rising or sinking would also constantly change, from sometimes very slightly to sometimes quite torrential. Predicting this would probably require a whole library of tidal charts.

The way I imagine it a total tidal difference of 30 m shouldn’t be out; on Earth, with just one moon, it can in places be as much as 15 m. The moons would probably indeed cancel out most of the time, and water levels would mostly remain within +10 to +20 m – but sometimes, they would rush all the way down to 0 m or up to + 30 m. Several times a year, there would be torrential spring tides.

In the Sea of Fallen gods, the tidal range would probably be less, maybe only 2/3 of the values above; the practically land-locked Mediterranean does also have next to no tidal activity, and while the Sea of Fallen Gods isn’t that land-locked, the Helenan archipelago would still block some of the water.

Among the Helenan islands, and in all other channels, the sea would probably be more like a swift-flowing river than a proper ocean – a swift-flowing river frequently changing its direction. Erosion would be severe, as Ian has already pointed out. Necessity would have made the Helenans master mariners – maybe not where storms and navigation are concerned, but certainly where riding currents is.

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 Post subject: Re: The History of Weyrth
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:36 pm 
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Timeline Additions

Here are some suggested timeline additions for consideration and comment

70 Weyr Tez Hamun occupies mainland Helena.
80 Weyr Helenic confederation defeats the invading Tez Hamun in naval and land battles.
110 Weyr Helenic Hegemony liberates the Helenic mainland

110-290 Weyr Helenic Golden Age

305 Weyr Tez Hamun conquers Helenic Mainland again

340 Weyr Tez Hamun defeat Helenic Navies

350 Tez Hamun occupies a series of Helenic Islands


1280 Weyr Helenic Hegemony revived. New nationalism and resurrection of past glories. Ancient temples reopened, Priesthoods revamped, Independence from Xanarium achieved. Church hierarchy expelled.

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