July 16th, 2010


Smith, Smith, Space, and Time [25 Lage 4385]

Mirrored from Sythyry.

And here is what I plan to do by way of martial improvements on Strayway. Minor adjustments and other comments are welcome.

Extra Time

As a minor weapon and internal defense, the answer is clearly “Extra time-flow for friends”. This will be an interesting enchantment to control. The basic effect is simply Quick Instant, a simple complexity-10 spell that any Herethroy with one semester of highschool Tempador could cast, which grants the subject a few seconds of extra time. Then I need with extra expansions to make it work on many people, and arbitrarily often.

But of course I don’t want to constantly give everyone extra time. A few extra seconds here and there are harmless enough. Making someone experience two days for every one that passes will age mortals quickly, which means they will (a) be bored on the journey, and (b) die too soon. (I have to watch this with Phaniet already, though I don’t intend that she be mortal.)

Also, I don’t want to give everybody on board the extra time — last time the pirates boarded us, and I don’t want to help them. So the device must recognize its friends, and that means having a great deal of a mind, and allow people to be introduced to it, and split off from it as well.

So by the time this does what I want, it’s going to be quite a substantial enchantment indeed.

With one trick — I will put the enchantment all about Strayway, so I will be able to do it in a single week. This will mean doing it outside of my time bubble, though, so it’ll be a very busy week indeed.

Twisty Space

For the major defense, the score was tied: half a Locador force field, half a Locador distortion labyrinth. The force field would block incoming things, as many as were incoming, which is useful. The distortion field can only handle a few at a time, but it can toss them around nicely — throwing a ballista bolt thrown by Duncan’s Glory into Soothing Ointment or The Terrible Bean, instead of simply trying to stop it.

Both of them are good for more than defense, I think, but the distortion labyrinth could be used for many things. For one nice example, carts of supplies coming towards Strayway could be labyrinthed into the store-room directly, with sufficient finesse. Or fleeing pirates could be induced to collide with each other, or even be sent into a store-room.

Besides, the labyrinth sounds like much more fun.

Four weeks’ work.

Metal-Tipped Missiles

Missiles tipped with iron points was solidly the favorite choice of a main weapon. And indeed, nothing says “You are fighting a mighty smith-wizard!” quite like having treetrunks with big iron points slamming through your hull. Or your carapace. And, of course, slam they will. Few people fight with such big Durudor weapons, because they are so hard to build. So few people defend against them, because they are so rare and so hard to defend against — barring things like the distortion labyrinth I am planning to install, of course.

But it is hard to do, so it won’t be quite as imposing as I wanted. It will have twelve shots a day. Now, a single shot will probably make an inistella have second thoughts, or go much of the way through a battle-barge like Duncan’s Glory. It should be quite terrifying.

Oh, and for extra intimidation value, the log might as well be blazing, and spray fire in a huge blast when it hits. (Optional, on the off chance that we want to skewer someone but not be quite so forward as to roast them.)

This will take four weeks.

Chain Khtsoyis

And, for the animata. The leading option was sentient Locador distortions, but the distortion labyrinth is already doing such things and I don’t want too much Locador about. So, it’s a choice between living glass blades and animated metal-chain Khtsoyis. Of these, I can best imagine the animated metal-chain Khtsoyis being useful in various ways. They could lift and carry things, or they could leap into the path of an incoming ballista bolt and not be utterly shattered. Or, I daresay, they could try to restrain someone who we want stopped but not killed. Less dangerous than the blades, and harder to perform, of course.

Yes, harder to perform.

(I hereby do some more math.)

Oh, dear. Much harder to perform.

My original design was a device that could summon animata, so I could have a dozen around at need. This places certain requirements on the animata themselves — in particular, most lesser animata would fight amongst themselves if present in such numbers.

So, there’s a bit of a choice here. Either I can make one enchanted iron Khtsoyis — a devastatingly powerful automaton, probably provided with three or four auxiliary powers, but made out of real iron in insanely large quantities, or I can make many lesser Khtsoyis out of some lesser substance.

Actually, it won’t be an iron Khtsoyis, it’ll be a silver Khtsoyis, because I have a silver-maker but not an iron-maker. (Yes, I could make iron by spells in the usual way, but that’s a lot of cley. I’d rather take the time out to make an iron-maker if I did that… still more time to do so, and I want to be ready to move sooner than later.)

OK, so it’ll be a single mighty silver Khtsoyis automaton.

So now it’s time for Fitted Effects. (This, for those of you who are not advanced enchanters, is a fancy enchantment technique allowing for a bit of extra potency in multi-effect devices where the effects do not share any Nouns or Verbs.)

  • The actual animata enchantment. It could be as small as Ruloc Durudor Spiridor. I am going to add Mentador to make it smarter, and Sustenoc to make it tougher.
  • A teleporting enchantment: probably for the automaton and whatever it is holding. A seven-tentacled automaton can hold a lot. Mutoc Locador 20. It will be able to bop just under half a mile at a hop.
  • A healing spell, Healoc Corpador 20. Since the purpose of the automaton is to assist endangered wrongfolk, especially during battles, giving it powers of healing seems like a good idea. Probably Heal the Awful Wound, I guess. I would prefer something stronger, but cannot manage it.
  • A Wall of Wood effect, Creoc Herbador 20. A nice flexible spell, useful for a variety of things, many of them also nicely defensive. It’s a temporary wall, and not as tough as my usual since I have used Sustenoc for strengthening the automaton. That will have to do.
  • A spell of broad awareness, Kennoc Illusidor 15, so that the automaton can see and hear at quite a distance.
  • A weakener of spells, Gnaw the Whining Spell, Destroc Magiador 20. Not quite sure about this really, but I can’t think of a Destroc effect with Airador, Aquador, Pyrador, or Tempador that would be comparably useful. It does have the useful feature that it can gnaw a spell that has already taken effect. It has the useless features that (1) repeated gnawing is rarely effective, and (2) the gnawing doesn’t do all that much usually. Still, this is one of those odd and highly variable spells, so if it sits around all day and gnaws on a spell it might do some good, and, by construction, it has both the personality and the power for doing so.
  • All five subsidiary effects have power 20.

And this will take pretty much everything I’ve got to build. Six weeks work, too, and that’s at an insane pace: any reasonable enchanter would take twice or thrice as long, and not be working on anything else at the same time. I am not reasonable.