Feel a bit better after the last post. Fluffy reminded me that the person who hated my novel wasn't exactly the best person in the world to get feedback. Still hurt, but its amazing how negative comments like that, even when you consider the source, still hurt. Other than that, I have chores to do today, some writing, and being annoyed with not figuring out relief rendering.

I'm on the tail end of being sick, which is wonderful. However, it means I still have those horrible nights of not being able to get comfortable or when your mind starts spinning. Yesterday, I woke up thinking about Fedora. And realizing that I'm spinning up to speed to finish Wind, Bear, and Moon. That means that my efforts to get a world map editor working properly needed to get finished and I needed to put a lot more information about the world on the wiki site so I had a better reference.

My first attempt to describe the Island Nation of Vo, which is referred to in both novels, didn't go so well. Wikipedia-style article writing is a much different beast than creative writing, but it used to be something I was good at. In this case, I need the reference since I want the world to be consistent from the get-go and the fact WBM has people from four different countries in it. And apparently I lost my notes with the map, notes, and countries. sigh)

The world editor is pretty good though. My attempts at relief generation… not so good, but it now handles arbitrary levels of zoom, and the ability to edit 1x1 and 3x3 sections of the map at a time on multiple levels. That way, I can do political maps, terrain maps, and everything else needed for a "basic" world editor program. And the output will smoothly go into a Google online map so things seem pretty useful right now.

This week is writing and world building. I got the first draft of my commission finished, need to look over it later today, but otherwise, I'm going to write a short story and try to get at least 5-6 articles into my Fedora wiki site. Last night, in my inability to sleep (I finally got to sleep at 06:18), I figured out all 10 Gates (a "mage" is someone who has activated at least one gate) and just need to write up those.

I like the idea of the gate, despite the fact it is a "neat" system. Basically, there are 10 major paths of power for a mage. While anyone can cast magic, like a trick they memorize, a mage is someone who has accesses to far more power, control, and ability. The gates are specific methods or way of doing it. The first gate (Gate of Awareness or Gate of Resonance) is the most common. Without it, you can't sense magic. Kind of like doing math problems when you only know if you got it right or not, not how they actually work together. Opening the gate effectively doubles your power and gives you the ability to see magic, but it inflicts resonance on you. That is what causes mages to be unable to work together easily, because they cause feedback in each other. So, a mage has to decide (in meta-story) if he will cast magic blindly and have no resonance, or suffer resonance for the ability more effectively weave energy. This is how you get talents (WBM) verses most mages (Mudd).

The other gates are sacrifice (a ban or oath), creativity (must cast magic through works of creativity), ritual (you must apply magic through science or set of rules), creation (without it, you can't truly create anything, but once you activate it, things constantly are created around you), destruction (everything always breaks down around you), harmony (you will be dragged to places where you must be), control (you gain obsessive levels of observation and are incapable of seeing the forest for the trees, but nearly ultimate control of power), force (everything is magnified with incredible power, but you lost the ability to fine-tune it), and faith (you will be forced to do things based on something else, Welf will eventually get this).

It isn't going to be an exhaustive list and there are lots of holes for "interesting" gates, but I figured it fit with a certain style of magic and looked like a good rough starting point for mages. More powerful mages have more gates activated (which is more of an epiphany than "I turn it on!") and once on, it is almost impossible to turn off. And having all 10 open at once basically will create a madman. Also, each "gate" has a level to it. There is a difference between a light resonance that barely irritates people and one that nauseates everyone nearby. Likewise, there are different "levels" of sacrifice, the more you surrender, the more power you gain.

In that idea, Mudd (from Muddy Reflections) has Resonance and Sacrifice and maybe Ritual. He would be heading toward Control of course. Sonja (WBM) would eventually have Creativity (her singing) while Dyfan has shown signs of Harmony and Sacrifice.

Still playing with the idea, but so far, I think it works for Fedora. If you can't tell, I like worlds with rules and laws of magic long before I get into the writing stages of things. Just like I like a good quality map before I get too far, mainly because I pull people from all directions.

Well, time to do some chores, then back to writing. This is going to be a good week.

2007-04-29