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On 9/7/2020 at 3:55 PM, soltakss said:

Maybe the First Voyage did "this is not a ship" trick and then Dormal approached some Agents of the Closing and said "Look, you know that you can't let ships through? Well I just sailed a ship across the sea, so you really suck at this. How about you let my ships through again and I won't tell Magasta how bad you suck?"

That may have worked for his second voyage, but failed utterly for his third voyage (which is strangely named as it basically did not happen. What happened is that the expedition used up plenty of resources, though.)

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

That may have worked for his second voyage, but failed utterly for his third voyage

Which perhaps makes sense then.  If they did the First Voyage and thought that it was the "this is not a ship" trick that got them through, then used the "let my 'not ships' through again" on the Second Voyage, then they may have concluded that that was the correct approach.  But it wasn't, so the Third Voyage failed and they had to rethink what it was that actually allowed them to pass the first time.  Once they figured that out, they were better prepared and succeeded with the Fourth Voyage.

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7 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Which perhaps makes sense then.  If they did the First Voyage and thought that it was the "this is not a ship" trick that got them through, then used the "let my 'not ships' through again" on the Second Voyage, then they may have concluded that that was the correct approach.  But it wasn't, so the Third Voyage failed and they had to rethink what it was that actually allowed them to pass the first time.  Once they figured that out, they were better prepared and succeeded with the Fourth Voyage.

You have to wonder what made it "Not a ship" though.  I did pick up hints that whatever they did was a bit like a wyter ritual, but that is hardly a sorcery answer.  I suppose half of what we need to ask here is "given that Zzabur is the greatest sorcerer ever, and his spell is in effect centuries after casting so he must have an immense INT to pull off a spell of that magnitude, so what sort of loophole would he miss?".  The obvious one is that if you could make the ship seem like a living water creature, then the closing would almost certainly ignore the ship.  Perhaps the spell looked for objects above a certain size, made of wood or metal?  If that were the case, you might be able to bypass the Closing my making a spell that disguised your ship as ceramic or some-such.  Another possibility is a detection blank, but who really thinks that the Closing could be averted by a week's worth of detection blank?  I wonder if they did any test-bedding using disposable boats with test spells cast on them?

Of course the other thing that needs to be discussed is Dormal's relationship to Belintar, given that Belintar apparently just washed up on a beach while the Closing was in effect, then later he apparently fathers Dormal.  Coincidence?  (When is anything ever a coincidence in Gloranthan mythology ?).  I mean, Belintar is basically Ephraim Waite, right down to the deep one ancestry when I am being cynical, but does that get us anywhere?  What does a body-jumping cast-away who becomes an Elemental Land uniting Pharaoh have in common with a ship god, or are we playing Nephilim here?  Now there is a telling point... Grimoires are written from Belintar's teachings.  So Belintar is most likely a sorcerer.  You would also not really call him a good sorcerer, given that he has hacked the whole issue of immortality by hijacking bodies.  Is Belintar a Vadeli one wonders?  Ignoring this, there are a number of suggested links of Belintar as perhaps an adversary of the Jrusteli.  Is it then such an odd idea that Belintar might know what Zzabur's Closing spell actually included?

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On 9/7/2020 at 11:55 PM, soltakss said:

The God Learners were smashed by the Closing. Zzabur didn't much care for the God Learners, after all they weren't Brithini, so I would guess that he made the Closing so that everything they tried failed, because it was a trick to trap them. Also, with the loss of Zistor, the rolling over of Slontos, avenging Orlanthi and the Closing, they had a lot of things to worry about.

Surely the entire purpose of the Closing was Zzabur seeking to actively destroy the power of the Jrusteli? 

In truth, Zistor was a catastrophically stupid thing for the Jrusteli, as it broke the Compromise and allowed the Gods to act in the world with a free hand.  Had the Jrusteli never created Zistor, they might still be around.  I am somewhat surprised that the pre-eminent hero-questers didn't figure out this problem, as it was hardly without precedent.

I think Zzabur becoming active against the Jrusteli was the Western Tradition disciplining their own wayward followers.  Of course the real issue is, what did Zzabur call a ship?  How did his closing spell define a ship and how did Dormal sidestep that definition?

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4 hours ago, Darius West said:

Surely the entire purpose of the Closing was Zzabur seeking to actively destroy the power of the Jrusteli? 

As I said, he didn't much care for them.

In my opinion, he built traps into the Closing for them, so that when they said "Oh, we know how to deal with this", they encountered something that trashed them.

4 hours ago, Darius West said:

Of course the real issue is, what did Zzabur call a ship?  How did his closing spell define a ship and how did Dormal sidestep that definition?

It could be that Dormal found out what Zzabur called a Ship and cicumvented it, or that Zzabur built a time limit into the Closing.

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3 hours ago, soltakss said:

It could be that Dormal found out what Zzabur called a Ship and cicumvented it, or that Zzabur built a time limit into the Closing.

As Zzabur is the pre-eminent sorcerer, and sorcery is built on sound logical and 'scientific' principles (such as classification of the elements, etc.), it would make sense that Zzabur's spell followed some sequence of logical steps and classifications that clearly defined what would be swept off the Seas and what would close the Oceans (or potentially some converse of these such as making Brithos inaccessible to non-Brithini).  Both ships and Waertagi sea-dragons were affected.  So, they represent the same "Class" of object.  Dormal likely had to keep tinkering to figure out how to make a 'ship' that was NOT of said "Class".  

I doubt he built a specific time limit into it, though could see that he might have cast it at a certain "Intensity" and that Duration finally came to an end.  Yet it seems like the ending ties more into the rise of the Boat Planet suggesting an end condition rather than a time condition.  

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3 hours ago, jajagappa said:

As Zzabur is the pre-eminent sorcerer, and sorcery is built on sound logical and 'scientific' principles (such as classification of the elements, etc.), it would make sense that Zzabur's spell followed some sequence of logical steps and classifications that clearly defined what would be swept off the Seas and what would close the Oceans (or potentially some converse of these such as making Brithos inaccessible to non-Brithini).  Both ships and Waertagi sea-dragons were affected.  So, they represent the same "Class" of object.  Dormal likely had to keep tinkering to figure out how to make a 'ship' that was NOT of said "Class".  

I doubt he built a specific time limit into it, though could see that he might have cast it at a certain "Intensity" and that Duration finally came to an end.  Yet it seems like the ending ties more into the rise of the Boat Planet suggesting an end condition rather than a time condition.  

The key point, I think is, "logical to Zzabur", not necessary to us. 

To add to my point earlier in the thread. Maybe Zzabur invoked some kind of Platonic ideal of "boatness" (or Runic archetype, in Gloranthan terms) and forbade it from the Seas. What exactly makes that boatness boaty? Its boatness of course. It just is. 

At least that's how I see the "scientificness" of Gloranthan sorcery. It's logical in the sense that it's internally consistent, but it doesn't have to correspond to our mundane RW ideas of logic ("well, maybe he calculated the mass, shape and material of boats, or maybe something to do with the crew and what would the equation be for how much that would require and um", etc.). If a sorcerer has a spell that affects clay jugs, then he doesn't need to break down the qualities of clay jug in a RW observational way, as it were. He knows what a clay jug is. The cosmos knows what a clay jug is. The spell works. (Until it doesn't.) IMHO taking Zzabur's feats apart and making them "legible"/understandable would do him a great disservice. It may not be "mystery" in the sense that the illogical theistic mysteries are, but I have a hard time seeing it as basically the magical equivalent of RW computer programming. It's a bit like the Brithini laws. Why do these exact, largely arbitrary rules allow them to live forever? Because they just do.

This view makes explaining Dormal's trick much harder, I suppose, which is a bit counter to the thread's purpose.

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18 hours ago, Darius West said:

You have to wonder what made it "Not a ship" though.  I did pick up hints that whatever they did was a bit like a wyter ritual, but that is hardly a sorcery answer.  I suppose half of what we need to ask here is "given that Zzabur is the greatest sorcerer ever, and his spell is in effect centuries after casting so he must have an immense INT to pull off a spell of that magnitude, so what sort of loophole would he miss?".  The obvious one is that if you could make the ship seem like a living water creature, then the closing would almost certainly ignore the ship.  Perhaps the spell looked for objects above a certain size, made of wood or metal?  If that were the case, you might be able to bypass the Closing my making a spell that disguised your ship as ceramic or some-such.  Another possibility is a detection blank, but who really thinks that the Closing could be averted by a week's worth of detection blank?  I wonder if they did any test-bedding using disposable boats with test spells cast on them?

Of course the other thing that needs to be discussed is Dormal's relationship to Belintar, given that Belintar apparently just washed up on a beach while the Closing was in effect, then later he apparently fathers Dormal.  Coincidence?  (When is anything ever a coincidence in Gloranthan mythology ?).  I mean, Belintar is basically Ephraim Waite, right down to the deep one ancestry when I am being cynical, but does that get us anywhere?  What does a body-jumping cast-away who becomes an Elemental Land uniting Pharaoh have in common with a ship god, or are we playing Nephilim here?  Now there is a telling point... Grimoires are written from Belintar's teachings.  So Belintar is most likely a sorcerer.  You would also not really call him a good sorcerer, given that he has hacked the whole issue of immortality by hijacking bodies.  Is Belintar a Vadeli one wonders?  Ignoring this, there are a number of suggested links of Belintar as perhaps an adversary of the Jrusteli.  Is it then such an odd idea that Belintar might know what Zzabur's Closing spell actually included?

Maybe the ships are undead, boats built from green wood which has not quite died, with "create vampire" cast on them. That would explain the secrecy around the "sorcerous ritual", and Belintar certainly had an unusual relationship with death, so he might have passed on a trick or two. Vampires don't have to be human, and possibly don't even have to be intelligent, so the ritual might work. A solution that bizarre, perhaps even someone as intelligent as Zzabur might have overlooked the possibility.

You could imagine Dormal running short of ideas, noticing the wood in his latest boat is still green, still just barely alive, and wondering what would happen if he used *that* spell...

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On 9/11/2020 at 7:54 PM, EricW said:

Maybe the ships are undead, boats built from green wood which has not quite died, with "create vampire" cast on them. That would explain the secrecy around the "sorcerous ritual", and Belintar certainly had an unusual relationship with death, so he might have passed on a trick or two. Vampires don't have to be human, and possibly don't even have to be intelligent, so the ritual might work. A solution that bizarre, perhaps even someone as intelligent as Zzabur might have overlooked the possibility.

You could imagine Dormal running short of ideas, noticing the wood in his latest boat is still green, still just barely alive, and wondering what would happen if he used *that* spell...

I won't say it's impossible but that would really suck. ;)  It's actually a very creative answer.

Edited by Darius West
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On 9/10/2020 at 6:19 PM, jajagappa said:

Dormal likely had to keep tinkering to figure out how to make a 'ship' that was NOT of said "Class". 

This should probably go in the Bad Gloranthan Theories thread.

Computer languages like C++ allow you to define abstract concepts like "classes" that have a certain fixed behavior and which use strict typing.

Python is a class-based language, but it is flexible and uses something called duck typing. That is, classes implement methods and the methods they implement end up defining how they behave. "If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck and swims like a duck, it is a duck."

Ergo, Dormal made his boats look like ducks.

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The real answer lies in Admiralty Law, in particular the judgement of case of Lord Coleridge on the case of Salt Union v. Wood:

Quote

I cannot conceive anything more likely to lead to confusion and difficulty than if we were to give a construction to the word “seagoing,” which would involve the magistrates entertaining a variety of considerations - such as whether the ship might go to sea, or might be sent to sea, or was capable of going to sea - and would involve their deciding whether those conditions precedent to the exercise of their jurisdiction were made out. It is a simple proposition to hold that a sea-going ship means a ship which does go to sea.

Dormal's ship did go to sea, and did not suffer disaster. Therefor she was a sea-going ship, and so not subject to the Closing. 

All that is necessary to repeat the trick is a simple ritual to establish the identification between your vessel and Dormal's Ship. Of course, failure to successfully establish that connection will leave you at sea in a vessel that is not, in fact, a sea-going ship. The Closing will apply, and disaster will strike.

 

 

 

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On 9/11/2020 at 5:29 AM, Sir_Godspeed said:

The key point, I think is, "logical to Zzabur", not necessary to us. 

To add to my point earlier in the thread. Maybe Zzabur invoked some kind of Platonic ideal of "boatness" (or Runic archetype, in Gloranthan terms) and forbade it from the Seas. What exactly makes that boatness boaty? Its boatness of course. It just is. 

At least that's how I see the "scientificness" of Gloranthan sorcery. It's logical in the sense that it's internally consistent, but it doesn't have to correspond to our mundane RW ideas of logic ("well, maybe he calculated the mass, shape and material of boats, or maybe something to do with the crew and what would the equation be for how much that would require and um", etc.). If a sorcerer has a spell that affects clay jugs, then he doesn't need to break down the qualities of clay jug in a RW observational way, as it were. He knows what a clay jug is. The cosmos knows what a clay jug is. The spell works. (Until it doesn't.) IMHO taking Zzabur's feats apart and making them "legible"/understandable would do him a great disservice. It may not be "mystery" in the sense that the illogical theistic mysteries are, but I have a hard time seeing it as basically the magical equivalent of RW computer programming. It's a bit like the Brithini laws. Why do these exact, largely arbitrary rules allow them to live forever? Because they just do.

This view makes explaining Dormal's trick much harder, I suppose, which is a bit counter to the thread's purpose.

what if it isnt about the boatyness of the boat but the voyageness of the voyage?

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5 minutes ago, coffeemancer said:

what if it isnt about the boatyness of the boat but the voyageness of the voyage?

I'm not sailing across the sea and can make it to shore before dusk, I'm not sailing across the sea, I'm not sailing across the sea, I'm not sailing across the sea, oops!

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11 minutes ago, soltakss said:

I'm not sailing across the sea and can make it to shore before dusk, I'm not sailing across the sea, I'm not sailing across the sea, I'm not sailing across the sea, oops!

Perhaps so.

and maybe the circumnavigation was somewhat of a making of a circuit.

 

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I hope it is OK if I ask a tangential question. Well, a bunch of related ones. I've seen it repeatedly mention that, in the Hero Wars, the Dormali (not sure which) are "opposed" by the Waertagi, and the context seems to centre on the former's re-opening of the seas, and the Boat Planet's re-rise in ~1624.

So this has me confused-- (1) Waertag and Dormal are both key Heroes on the Boat Planet in a published scenario (will avoid spoilers) and cooperating, although their agendas may well differ; and (2) what is the nature/motivation of the cited conflict between Waertagi and Dormali?

Is it as simple as dominance of the seas? Or, not mutually exclusive, something specific like the Pirate King vs. Waertag the Reaver (hinted at in the published scenario), and/or Wolf Pirates? Are the Waertagi trying to re-close the seas if opened, or limit access just to them? (the former wouldn't make sense as that hurts them, although they are allies of Brithini/Zzabur so maybe there is a more clever scheme at play; the latter makes sense to me but Waertagi use Dormal's magic so they would want that to be maintained?)

And how does Navigationalism/Ship of Life Church fit in (this is Dormali, and is crushed by Seshnela with aid of Waertagi et al. as I understand it)-- but Navigationalism is just one sect of Dormal, so this seems a regional issue, not so pan-oceanic.

I know there aren't yet canonical answers to all/most of these, and likely won't be for quite some time, but would love to hear speculations. I am a bit baffled by how the vague threads tie together (and it's a mix of canon and non-canon but I'm not so worried about that).

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6 hours ago, Snugz said:

what is the nature/motivation of the cited conflict between Waertagi and Dormali?

The Waertagi were the original masters of the Seas.  They wish to return to this state.  That's really the primary conflict between the Waertagi and the followers of Dormal (who want truly open seas for all).  And then there are the Vadeli, too, who also wish to control the Seas for their own goals.  And, of course, the merfolk may wish to keep the seas clear of ships altogether.

6 hours ago, Snugz said:

Waertag and Dormal are both key Heroes on the Boat Planet in a published scenario (will avoid spoilers) and cooperating, although their agendas may well differ;

Both want the Boat Planet to rise, as that removes the curse of Zzabur that enacted the Closing.

It's the Brithini followers of Zzabur who want to keep the Seas closed (and keep everyone out of Brithos).

6 hours ago, Snugz said:

Are the Waertagi trying to re-close the seas if opened, or limit access just to them?

The latter - they effectively want a monopoly.

6 hours ago, Snugz said:

And how does Navigationalism/Ship of Life Church fit in (this is Dormali, and is crushed by Seshnela with aid of Waertagi et al. as I understand it)-- but Navigationalism is just one sect of Dormal, so this seems a regional issue, not so pan-oceanic.

That's a HW/HQ1 thing - I'd ignore it as it probably will never reappear.

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12 hours ago, jajagappa said:

That's a HW/HQ1 thing - I'd ignore it as it probably will never reappear.

You would ignore p.408 in the Guide? The Rokari trying to fake news branding  it as a Vadeli heresy?

Anything in the Quinpolic League is transient for now, as the returning Waertagi are fairly certain to grab hold on those places in their cooperation with Arolanit. There is going to be a wave of refugees, and there may be a new Hrestoli movement coming from Pithdaros and other uncomfortably inland places, unless the Waertagi managed to recruit enough Horali to cower them or wipe them out.

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Consider how Sorcery works:

Close the Seas: Seperate Communication/Trade from Water.

Open the Seas: Combine Communication/Trade with Water.

The Open the Seas spell is exactly the opposite of Zzabur's spell, just on a smaller scale, for though Dormal may have learned Combine arts at the knee of perhaps the greatest master thereof, he was still no Zzabur. Neither is the magical support of one's crew on the same magnitude as the magical resources of Brithos. For one ship and one voyage though, they don't have to be. They just need to get a conversation going, and provide a bit of propitiation in equal exchange for their passage.

If there's a trick, it's starting the conversation in the first place. Once you get the ear of the Closed Sea and tell it who you are and where you'd like to go, Communication is there, and negotiation can ensue.

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