Jun. 10th, 2008


Worldbuilding Project : Day Ten - Mood and Culture

Once again the quoted text comes from 30 Days of World-Building by Stephanie Bryant.

Day Ten - Mood and Culture

Settle on the overall mood for your story if you haven't already. Look through your timeline, political groups, and language notes and mark for revision anything that doesn't fit your mood. If you have time, revise those things. Otherwise, leave them for later.

This is another of those troublesome exercises. I suspect all of the mood exercises are going to be troublesome, because I'm not designing this world to be home to one story but multiple stories. That makes pinning down any one mood and noting things that don't fit difficult - because bits that don't fit one story might fit another. On the whole I suspect none of the stories are going to be comedy so I went through looking for things that might be comedic but I don't see anything excessively silly in what I've come up with so far and some of the stories will be darker and some will be lighter so there's not really a mood problem that I can see with anything.

This is probably a good thing since my throat's still sore and I still feel like crap so i coul;d do with a night off.

Jun. 9th, 2008


Worldbuilding Project : Day Nine - Language

Once again the quoted text comes from 30 Days of World-Building by Stephanie Bryant.

Day Nine - Language

Listen to how different syllables sound to you. Do they excite you? Do you associate a particular sound with an emotion or place or memory? Write down some generic preferences for your languages-- "I want the language spoken by the elves to sound like water, and the language spoken by the dwarves to sound like gravel rubbing together" and then go listen to what those things sound like. Write down the syllables you hear when you run a faucet or sit by a stream, for instance. Those sounds will be your "root" syllables when making up your names for places and people and things.

I have a sore throat today and feel terrible which probably explains why I'm not especially enthusiastic about this exercise. I just want to go to bed and curl up.

But we persevere.

As it happens I actually own a book on creating fantasy languages and I'll probably use this to get a grip on my languages. I don't know about the North-Western language except thatA I want the Northern League's language to sound somewhat germanic while the southern languages have a more romance feel without either actually being completely cribbed from German and Latin. Having said that I probably won't go beyond naming places and characters so cribbing might not matter so much. We'll see when I get to it.

The desert region is different. I have a bit more idea here. The common language spoken by the three groups is soft and liquid. I already have a syllabury worked out and I know the name for the 3 groupings and their collective name for their race.

Mountain People - Walashe (pronounced Wa-La-Shay), Coast People - Ilashe (Ee-La-Shay), Desert Nomads - Saneshe (Sa-Nay-Shay). The racial name is Yalnashe (Yal-Na-She). If you think you're seeing a pattern here you aren't wrong. The language is called Yalnade (and yes it comes in three major dialects that also have names ending in the -de suffix). I only have one character name to date Ashala (which is female - you can tell because it ends with a vowel).

I haven't done my work on the non-human languages yet. That'll come later when I define them more as a group.

Jun. 8th, 2008


Worldbuilding Project : Day Eight - Economics and Politics

Once again the quoted text comes from 30 Days of World-Building by Stephanie Bryant.

Day Eight - Economics and Politics

Just as you examined your timeline for events and pressures,now examine your map for resources and deficits. For five minutes, make a few notes on the map to mark places that have more of a type of resource, and jot down anywhere that has a definite deficit of something needed. Also check your timeline; some of your pressure-point conflicts in the last 100 years may have resulted from an unexpected increase or decrease in the resources of one area or another.

When you're done with the resources, take another ten minutes and identify which major groups in your civilizations care about which resources. These factions may appear in your story-- they may be opposing the hero(es), or even helping the villain, or they might help the hero or at least get out of the way, depending on how each faction perceives and responds to the various characters in your story. If you are aiming for a political story, you'll want to flesh this out with descriptions of how the factions perceive each other as well as the hero and villain, key people in the factions, and their tactics in dealing with others. Again, feel free to label these with generic names for now; language is coming soon!

The North-Western region is in many ways like Western Europe. It has good resources including arable land, timber, iron, copper, tin and other ores, peat, coal, oil, livestock, salt and plenty of fresh water resources. Obviously the resources are not evenly spread but nor is any simgle region obviously rich in all of them. This is one of the things that has led to the extensive trade networks that led to the treaty mentioned yesterday.

The non-human antagonists in the north want access to some of the natural resources they lack and for various reasons aren't willing to trade. This is why they are building up to attack the human states and why the human states are more inclined to trade with each other than fight over resources. The Bugbear on you doorstep makes infighting seem counterproductive. Which is not to say there isn't tension and tradewars.

The Desert region is interesting.

The Mountain People have plenty of water, mineral and timber wealth but a limited amount of agricultural land due to being limited to the passes. What land they do have tends to be fertile and productive though and they've learned to make floating gardens (idea based on the Aztec Chinampas) on lakes to increase food production. They also don't have easy access to salt for preserving food.

The Desert Nomads don't have agricultural land obviously but they do control virtually all of the oases in their territory and have livestock. Their primary trade items are cloth and meat. These are possibly the least defined of the groups in the desert area at the moment. I'm currently researching nomads on Earth to get more ideas.

The Coastal People have the most unusual resource spread. Their entire food supply is based on halophytic plants, seaweed, fish, crustations etc and livestock that graze on the mangroves and other halophytes they grow. They do have access to fresh water (from the few rivers that reach the sea from the mountains and also via extraction from salt-excluding halophytes) obviously but they don't use it for agricultural purposes. They also produce lots of salt via evaporation. They also harvest pearls and coral and have the silk-spiders I mentioned yesterday. They don't have access to metal ores or much stone (they tend to build in clay bricks). Metal is important to them both gold and silver for jewellery, and bronze and iron for tools and weapons. It's so important to them that they are considering attacking the Mountain People to get access to the mines. Only the fact the Mountain People have access to better weaponary is stopping them so far.

Well that's all sketchy so far but it's a start. I think I need to be careful with the Coastal People though. I love them entirely too much.


Worldbuilding Project: Day Seven - Recent history

Once again the quoted text comes from 30 Days of World-Building by Stephanie Bryant.

Day Seven - Recent History
Spend 15 minutes outlining the major historical events of the last 100 years before your novel begins.

Include in your timeline:

Dates when power shifted in your civilization(s) (through coup, death of a monarch, revolution, election, etc.), and whether the power shift was smooth (as it might be when a monarch dies and their offspring takes their place)

Dates when a natural event reduced or increased the amount of natural resources (food, usually, but also water, timber, and other resources).

Dates when an unnatural event (such as a magical or technological event) changed the resources as well.

Each of these factors (power shifts and resource shifts) puts pressure on the civilizations. At the high-pressure points, write "battle/conflict"-- those are points at which violence may have erupted between cultures (or, if you have non-violent people, perhaps conflict that's expressed in other dramatic ways). Events may also be interrelated-- a technological event might give the edge to one power group, which forces other groups to respond, often with confrontation.

The last dates to write on your timeline: Date your novel begins, and the date your character was born (so you know what part of history he or she directly remembers).

Tuck this timeline into your notebook; you'll need it later! In fact, if you have a politically-oriented storyline, you'll probably need more than 100 years of history and more than one timeline to represent everything that's happening, so spend as much time on this part as you like. There's no need to limit yourself to 15 minutes.

Ugh. I have absolutely no idea about this stuff yet! Given how much the speculative elements influence this world I would have preferred to outline them first. But you go with what you've got I guess.

Except I really have no idea about this stuff at all and now I'm stressing out because my mind has gone blank.

Things I do know:

The North-Western peoples fall into two distinct groups. The Northern region is a set of independent city states that have an economic and defensive pact between them. There hasn't been a single political power since the previous empire disintegrated over a 1000 years previously. The current pact was formed about 300 years ago when the non-human race that runs the far north started attacking again. If it survives will probably become a federation in the near future.

The Southern part of the North-West retained a more integrated political structure after the collapse - think Byzantine Empire surviving the fall of Rome and has remained relatively stable ever since. About 800 years ago a new religion formed in the area and has become the dominent religion in the south (though unlike the fall of the Byzantine Empire to Islam this wasn't through war but some very impressive conversion rates especially in the upper class). The religion is closely related to the Northern religion (like Christianity and Islam) but the two tolerate each other better because their "gods" (not their word for them) tend to get pissy if they start killing each other over religion. (More on this when I do the religion section). Interhuman wars are kind of rare in the North-West anyway due to the threat from the north but as I said yesterday they do happen. I haven't defined any specific ones yet though.

There was a major pestilence/global pandemic about 200 years ago that afflicted both north-western areas and the desert societies as well (and just about everywhere else - that's what global means). It even afflicted the non-human races though not as badly as the human ones. This is this world's version of the black death and had many of the same social effects. Peasant revolts and the decline of serfdom etc.

That's what I have on the timeline for the Northwest so far. Given the vaguely clockpunky (more clock less punk) nature of north-west I probably need to look at the technology timeline as well, but not tonight.

The desert region is even less defined. I know the whole area was not always so dry (though it was at least semi-arid due to it's position) and the three cultures were once one but when the climate shifted they split apart. The Mountain Dwellers retain the culture most like the original soceity because the mountains aren't arid and the valleys and passes can support enough agriculture for fairly large cities (by their standards not ours). The rest were reduced to humter gathering though the Coast Dwellers figured out a whole new form of sea-based agriculture and started building villages and towns again about 600 years ago. This dependance on the Sea led to an inversion in their religion as compared to the original and they now favour the goddess of the blood moon over the sun because of her influence on the tides. (Again more on this when reach religion - there is a religion bit I hope. Religion is very important in the Desert area). About 500 years ago the coastal dwellers discovered they could make a very fine cloth from the threads of a sort of small spider that lives in their mangrove orchards. This cloth is this world's silk analogue (there are no silk worms here or if there are they haven't been discovered yet) and has enriched them greatly as it is a very valuable trade item. They also trade in salt, wood (from the mangroves), salted fish and pearl, coral and shell jewellery. Their major disadvantage is a lack of metals. They have to trade with the mountain dwellers to get them.

The desert nomads I have nothing on yet except that they're there and form a kind of buffer between the mountain and coast people.

So that's what I've got. I definately need more.

Jun. 7th, 2008


Worldbuilding Project : Day Six - Races

Once again the quoted text comes from 30 Days of World-Building by Stephanie Bryant.

Day Six - Races

Spend 10 minutes figuring out what people who evolved in each major area of your world would look like. Then spend another 5 minutes asking "what if this group encountered that group?" Would they fight? Trade? Both? Inter-marry and blend their genetic types? Would they remain largely separate, with pure strains of both racial groups co-existing (not necessarily peacefully)? How would that encounter be brought about in the first place?

Well I probably limit this to my map rather than the whole of the planet. Though it's a fair bet to say comparable to people native similar climates on Earth. Which means the people living in the north-western temperate area on the map will have a basically European look. Germanic and Slavic types in the north shading into more Mediterranean looks as you get further south. There's no sharp dividing line the groups just fade into each other at the edges. (Yes, that's vastly over-simplified but I only have ten minutes).

In the desert region I'm also working on the coastal people have skin the lighter end of dark, dark eyes and straight dark hair. The desert nomads are darker skinned than the coast dwellers while the mountain dwellers are darker still. If you think of the full range of Berber skin tones you'll get the basic idea.

South of the mountains (see map) there will be black people and I will define them at some point in the future but I can only cope with defining two groups this month.

As to how they interact when they meet. The North-western states historically have a complex web of relationships of trade and war (sometimes at the same time) with each other. Recently a re-emergant threat from the north has meant more trade and less war (this threat is a fantasy element so will be defined in the speculative section of the 30 days).

In the desert setting the mountain and coast dwellers don't get on for religious reasons. They used to trade inspite of this until an insident that nearly caused a war. Now they only trade with each other through the desert nomads.

The north-west and the desert dwellers do have contact via a long trade route similar to the silk road on earth (except it travels north-south rather than east-west). As travel times improve and journeys become less arduous peaceful contact will increase and the possibility of non-peaceful interaction increases - though the North-West has its own problems which will curtain it starting something and the Coastal and Mountain desert people are more likely to turn on each other than the North-Westernersunless they start something.

How they interact with other races I'll define as I create said races.

That should do for now.


Now as promised I've done some more work on the map. I think it's starting to look a lot better. Tomorrow I'll put the contours of the mountains in and figure out the best colour for the sea since I'm not happt with the current shade. Eventually I hope to colour each of the biomes on the map a slightly different shade so I can see where I am. And here it is.

Jun. 6th, 2008


Worldbuilding Project : Day Five - The Map

Once again the quoted text comes from 30 Days of World-Building by Stephanie Bryant.

Hmm... the map. At least it's proving helpful in nailing down where the two societies I'm working on are... and thinking about rainshadows while looking at the coastal outline I drew allowed me to move my desert culture to somewhere that made more sense with what I had in mind.

Anyway Day Five - The Map

So, today's exercise is to draw out the physical contours of your map, and then identify at least three places that your people might live. You don't need names for them yet-- we'll worry about names next week, when we give our people language. Just draw a dot on the map or maybe sketch a little "house" symbol to indicate that people have settled that area.

Okay it's fairly crude. The outline is okay but everything else is sketch. The brown streaks are mountain ranges and the little black houses speak for themselves. I haven't detailed any rivers yet but I will over the weekend. I know it doesn't look like much yet but it will after a few more drafts I hope. I just hope I haven't put any mountains anywhere the shouldn't be.

Jun. 4th, 2008


Worldbuilding Project : Day Four - Planetary Cataclysmic Events

Am I boring people with this? If people don't want me to crosspost this here just speak up. And of course if you have any comments also speak up. Feedback very welcome.

Once again the quoted text comes from 30 Days of World-Building by Stephanie Bryant.

Aha, now this looks more like my cup of tea. Physical features, pre-prehistoric cataclysmic events, mountains, lakes etc. Yup! I can run with this one I think. Of course it helps that I already have some ideas. :-P

Anyway Day Four - Cataclysmic Events

For 15 minutes, jot down some of the Really Big Land Features you want in your story and just think "what if that were made by...." Write down a couple of causes for those features and scars, and stick it all into your notebook. Which scars are slow-force scars (like plate tectonics), and which are fast-forces (anything that takes less than 10,000 years is medium-to-fast in geological scales).

Right well in several places I need mountains including at least two ranges of mountains caused. where continents collided similar to the Himalayas and Andes.

Another mountainous region is a large island to the northwest of one of my continents that was formed in a very similar way to Iceland and is similarly volcanic.

I am also planning on at least one well defined Endorheic Lake at the northern fringe of my desert setting. It will be strongly based on the Caspian Sea and like said sea it will be less saline than the ocean not more so - but I get ahead of myself. Anyway also like the Caspian it formed when two continents collided and trapped part of the former ocean between them.

In the northern temperate latitudes I'd imagine you find the rolling valleys and "mysteriously" out of place rocks indicative of former glaciation since this world has had ice ages. And that will probably have triggered flood tales when it ended.

It might be interesting if there had been a tunguska/eastern mediterranean event type of impact in the recent enough past to have entered myth.

Rift valleys and fjords! (Not in the same place)

Ah, 15 minutes is up! See you tomorrow.

Jun. 3rd, 2008


Worldbuilding Project: Day Two - Physical Geography, Mood and Climate

Once again the quoted text comes from 30 Days of World-Building by Stephanie Bryant.

Sorry that this comes out as more of a rant/moan than an exercise.

Well, well, well Day Three already and looking at the exercise for today I just know this one is going to give me problems - and not only because, as I said in the last entry, I'm building this world as a home/venue for multiple stories (though that doesn't help) but because I don't think of the weather that way. I tend only to think about climate when it does something unusual. I could go on for hours about the great climatic anomaly that was the summer of 1976 but that's besides the point except that in a story it would set the mood by its unusualness. In a country where weeks without rain were normal life would continue without comment. And I've never met a climate I would describe as "Gothic" (you'll have to read the essay for today's exercise to understand my wondering how weather can be gothic. I understand how it can set a gothic mood in a landscape or in conjunction with a cliche castle but the weather won't be like that all the time anywhere.

I suppose I'm unusual in being so neutral towards climate as a mood setter and I might even be overanalysing here but the reason I ended up with a list on Sunday was that just description rather than feelings. I react to weather but not climate - if that makes sense.

When looking for mood for my story I tend to think of the type of cultures that give the right sort mood for what I want. That's the way climate effects my mood I guess. Climate is one of the things that shapes societies. So I guess that's what I'm going to go with.

Anyway sorry for the rant. Here we go with Day Three - Mood and Setting

Read over your list from Saturday (Sunday for me - guess the days come from the first September the author did this on the Nano forums) and then turn to a blank piece of paper. Close your eyes and think about what kind of feeling you like to have when you write or read. Write down four words that fit into that feeling: two adjectives, a verb, and a noun. Now return to the page with your list of climates and emotions. Do any of them match up? If they do, you have your climate. If not, try to find closest-match words.

If you spend 10 solid minutes thinking about this and still can't decide, pick two climates that express moods you like. You can make up your mind later, and you can even build your world with both climates containing equally probable sites for your story.

Gah, this is very constraining. What sort of feeling do I like when I read? That entirely depends on my mood. Sometimes I like something that's fluffy, light escapism, sometimes I like stuff that's dark and moody, sometimes I like bands, blooms and thrilling fights. While I tend to read mostly in the soft sci-fi, fantasy and supernatural horror genres I'm eclectic in terms of mood. This is just another thing that makes this exercise difficult for me.

Anyway the two climates I'm mostly focusing on are a Northwestern European type climate and a South American type climate for now but not for the mood they evoke directly but because they seem most likely to produce the types of societies I want.

Wow, that was long and angsty. I feel like a failure for not being able to complete the exercise as stated.

Sorry about that.


Worldbuilding Project: Day Two - Physical Geography, Mood and Climate

Crossposted from [info]fb_worldbuilder

Once again the quoted text comes from 30 Days of World-Building by Stephanie Bryant.

And here we go with today's exercise - Day Two: The Physical Planet.

What role do you anticipate weather playing in your story?

At times I imagine it will play a prominant role. One of the tribes in world (which I'm aiming for more than one story) live in a coastal desert where rain is a rare and considerable blessing but one that can be dangerous if your in the wrong place when it arrives. In another area (at the other end of one of this world's trade routes they are developing primative airships and airships and thunderstorms do not mix. It'd be criminal not to do something with that.

Do you have a lot of travel that you want to complicate with bad storms?

Well I don't know about a lot of travel... at least not in all the stories. I'm trying to avoid the cliched quest for something. But when travel is involved compliications due to weather will certainly arrive. Complications are good.

Are you going to snow in your mighty heroes?

It's not inconceivable at this point. The airship country is far enough north for snow and the enemy lands to the north are subartic. It's unlikely however unless I can think of something really good to do with such a thing.

Will there be a mighty battle, determined by sudden flooding?

Sudden storms possibly but not really because of the flooding.

You actually don't need to know right now. Your exerise for today is to jot down ten plot devices that relate to weather, and what you think they do to the story (for example: a snow-in can turn the mood very claustrophobic... or very intimate).

Ten - hmm...

1. Desert rainstorm mentioned above could turn the mood very joyful but frenetic as everyone turns their hand to trying to capture and store the runoff. Equally it could lead to ramping up the tension if the focus was on people caught in one of the dry river beds when the storm broke.

2. In a temperate UK type climate (aka soggy and mild) both prolonged drought (1976) or even more rain than usual (like last year or the great famine of the 14th century) can wreak havoc with agriculture since farmers tend to grow crops that like the climate and the temperate climate tends to not go to extremes. Since this is not a modern setting loss of crops will be dire and could breed a mood od desperation.

3. Ship caught at sea in a tropical storm. Asking for trouble and replete with tension. Especially if the ship is only at sea because they ignore advice that this is a bad time of year to sail these particular seas leading to a mood of recrimination where everyone blames everyone else.

4. Huge hailstones can cause real plot complications if characters are caught out in them. Even moreso if the precede a tornado. Never mind the Wizard of Oz. Tornados can cause chaos and spread a mood a terror.

5. An inopportune thunderstorm can force a hydrogen lifted airship into a race to land before it goes boom. Perhaps even in a place where they really don't want to. Mood would be tense (and tense is good) and depending on why they didn't want to land where they end up it could turn to horror or political skullduggery with equal ease.

6. Being becalmed at sea for a prolonged period could be every bit as serious as hurricanes in the long term (running out of supplies) with great potential for cabin fever.

7. Sudden floods can wash corpses out of cemetaries, contaminate water supplies and farm land and lead to pestilence, famine and death. Not to mention washing whole villages away. They also make travel difficult.

8. Travelling in a hot desert. The hot days and cold nights. The incessant sun beating on your head. The search for water... what if you can't find it. The desert maybe wideopen but in it's own way that mood could be claustrophobic.

9. Simply being inside listening to the incessent heavy rain going tap tap tap on the roof can be maddening. Especially if it goes on and on and on...

10. And of course good weather has its place. Moments of downtime and release are needed in a story or maybe you don't need bad weather distracting from other sorts of tension. Nice weather and tense scene might be a good counterpoint.

That took more than 15 minutes but never mind. :-)

See you tomorrow!

Jun. 1st, 2008


Worldbuilding Project: Day One - variety and climate

*crossposted from [info]fb_worldbuilder*

Today is day one of my attempt to build a fantasy world/setting using the 30 Days of World Building method.

If you're interested in following along feel free to friend me. Comments welcome.

With no further ado here we go with Day One - Variety and Climate

Get out a map or go to an international website like National Geographic. Look everywhere. Antarctica. Saudi Arabia. The rainforests of Brazil. The rainforests of Central California. Look at how the different climates behave and appear.

The first fifteen minute exercise is to write down all the different climates you can think of-- if you need to just say a city name, do it. Sometimes "Seattle" is more evocative than "northern damp temperate climate." Write these names down in a list.

Then, go through that list and write one or two words that describe how that climate, either the word itself or the way the place itself may have made you feel, if you've been there before. Try to stick to abstract adjectives; emotional words, if you can, but nouns are also okay.

Put this list in your notebook (this blog in my case). Tomorrow, you'll really need it, so keep it handy.


Ice cap, Tundra, boreal forest/taiga (cold, long winter, maily coniferous northern forests), cool semi-arid gasslands (steppes), inland cold deserts (eg Gobi), Temperate rainforests, Temperate broadlead forests, Wet coastal temperate areas (eg UK climate), hot tropical deserts (eg sahara), mediterranean scrubland, savanna, cloud forest (eg Andes), alpine/mountainous, tropical rainforest, tropical monsoon forest, tropical dry forest (eg southern mexico), coastal desert (eg atacama), temperate grasslands, sub-tropical grasslands...

And I'm out of time. I'm sure I missed some but that seems a reasonable list to start with. I couldn't really come up with many emotional descriptions though so I just named the climates I could think of.

If anyone else on the community wants to join in feel free either in comments or in seperate posts (in comments might be neater but seperate posts will be easier to find later I suspect).

May. 28th, 2008


Moons, tides and maths. I hates the maths.

Note 1: using Luna to denote Earth's moon because otherwise this post might get a little confusing.

Note 2: I want the answers to the maths not links to the maths. I am a bear of very little brain and complicated equations like that scare and confuse me.

Note 3: The World itself is basically Earthlike in gravity and climate. Probably size as well unless it's density is different which isn't impossible.

Note 4: I'm writing Fantasy not SciFi. I just happen to believe that unless they are following totally different laws (like a world where the aristolean/ptolemian view of the world is correct or one with a flat world or other fun but impossible fantasy models) a world should be scientifically plausible except where magic or miracle is directly involved. In other words don't suggest magic or miracle as solutions unless you want me to get very angry because you obviously haven't read this bit. I need my satellites to be stable without some god or magician constantly having to adjust their position.

Anyway I want this world I'm building to have two moons. Now obviously that could do weird things to the tidal forces but we'll get to that in a minute since I'm not sure how much of an effect moon two would have.

The first moon is larger than Luna and about the same density but equally a little further away so it appears about the size of our moon appears from Earth. Its chemical compisition makes it red and gives it a high albedo... I haven't worked out why yet. I'm thinking it maybe has enough of a tenuous atmosphere of some appropriate gas to cause this. I probably need some maths help here since the moon of terrestrial planet can only get so large and so far away before it becomes impossible and I'm probably pushing the upper limit of this. This moon probably isn't tidally locked and will take more than lunar month on Earth but I need help with the maths.

The second moon is also quite bright but is the more traditional white and is about the size of the dwarf planet Ceres (can be smaller if needed but not by much I want it to be relatively round) and nowhere near as dense as Luna - so obviously it orbits much closer than our moon but probably still looks smaller than Luna looks from Earth. This second moon also has an highly inclined orbit - possibly even a polar orbit making it extremely useful in navigation. I guess it's not a luna-type moon but possibly a captured asteroid - a very big asteroid - that came in at just the right angle to be caught rather than hit or wander off again?


1. Is this actually possible? (I don't mind improbable as long as it's even remotely possible). If not which bits are impossible. is it fixable.

2. Assuming it is would "moon two" actually have much of an effect on the tides in general given it's small size and density or only when it came into conjunction with "moon one"? If so how much.

3. How large/far away could "moon one" be to look about the same size as luna while actually being larger assuming similar density? Would the extra distance mitigate the extra mass's gravitation effect on the tides or would the tides be bigger? Roughly how long would it's orbital period be and its phases?

4. Similar information on "moon 2"'s orbital period and phases is also needed. "Moon 2" probably would be tidally locked.

5. Anyone know any decent software to model such things that don't require maths ability to use?

May. 5th, 2008


I think I'm going to have to flip this super-continent round

*Another crosspost in the hope of stimulating life*

Apparently the laws of nature mean you don't get deserts on the east of a continent in general. Most especially not the south-east.

And guess where I'd put my coastal desert? On the south-eastern side of the himalaya like ridge of mountains that forms the boundary between the south-eastern and north-western continents (they kind of whacked into each other on the slant) of my supercontiental landmass? Well it wasn't the south-west.

Now obviously most people aren't going to know this but now I do it's a problem because I like to do things right. And merely flipping it won't actually solve the problem since I'd actually got the western climate pretty much right (I based it off Europe from as far north as the tundra and as far south as the Med so I couldn't really miss.) If I flip it I'll have less rain in the north (well-watered as opposed to soggy) and possibly hurricanes in the south! I really don't need hurricanes...

And all I wanted was to work out where to put my Tibet-like plateau with regards to the mountains.


Apr. 27th, 2008


Weird Worldbuilding Research Question

Crossposting from my personal IJ in an attempt to wake the community up since it's been dead a while.

So there's this "fact" that I've known since I was a kid. I think I got it from one of my parents that they had Gas Lighting in Islamic Spain in the medieval period. So I'm worldbuilding and I think that would be a good addition to my setting but I want to check details so I consult google to get them and check I'm not mis-remembering.

I don't think I am since I found two references to gaslights in Medieval Córdoba. Both are buried in the text.

An article about a documentary called Cities of light states:

In one of the many striking images of Cities of Light, the camera glories in this mosque's towering Arabesque arches and crisscrossing vaults, decorated with glass tessarae brought from Greek Byzantium. Muslim palaces had running water and gas lighting not just indoors, but along prominent streets.

And This page states:

While Europe suffered the Dark Ages, Córdoba came to possess half a million citizens, seven hundred mosques, the first gas streetlights in Europe, three hundred public baths...

Which is great in that I'm clearly not alone in this belief but I need more information and google seems obsessed with giving me info on the War on Terror which has nothing to do with this.

Can anyone possibly point me to some authoritive text (or two) on that period of Spanish history that has more details.

The Chinese did have gaslighting (piped in bamboo apparently) earlier so it's entirely feasible for a kind of pseudomedieval steam/clockpunk setting anyway but I'm attempting to stick with tech that was known or at least theorised in Medieval Europe.

In other worldbuilding news:

Behold Archimedes Steam Cannon


Behold the Ancient Greek programmable broom bot.