|#1nytcrawlrApr 04, 2004 14:37:16||Ok, this is for all you astronomy buffs out there...|
If I were to link the Messenger to what crashed into Athas and caused the Great Earthquake, how big would said celestial object have to be to cause such a massive quake and still not freak things up too much as far as the orbit of both moons and Athas itself?
Thinking of the ignorant physics of Armageddon where they had a certain point that the asteroid had to hit before it being bye bye time and that said point being way too close to Earth since the object was way too big and would have shifted most of the orbits of the moon as well as the Earth, not considering the massive tidal waves (something we don't have to worry about on Athas much).
|#2dawnstealerApr 04, 2004 14:57:57||Any sort of comet slamming into Athas would have catstrophic results (earthquakes and the like), but oddly, it would be less damaging than on Earth. Here's why: Earth is 70% water, so a comet hitting the Earth is likely to hit water. This means tidal waves like the one in that disney move (Impact something?). |
Even so, any major hit on a planet with an atmostphere and substantial gravity would have bad consquences. When an object hits a planet like that, it ejects loads of crap up into the atmostphere, creating clouds that essentially block of sunlight. If the earthquake were due to a comet-strike, it would have to be a very small one hitting right on, or near, a fault line.
A great resource is Philip Plait, an astronomer who owns badastronomy.com. Here's a link to his Deep Impact commentary. He definitely knows a lot more than I do: most of my knowledge comes from the time I spent working at the Museum of the Rockies.
|#3nytcrawlrApr 04, 2004 15:03:27|
Originally posted by Dawnstealer
What if said object wasn't a comet and instead was some sort of ship?
but oddly, it would be less damaging than on Earth. Here's why: Earth is 70% water, so a comet hitting the Earth is likely to hit water. This means tidal waves like the one in that disney move (Impact something?).
Deep Impact probably, but didn't know Disney did it.
Was pretty sure the whole Athas not having water thing would help it out a little, but not much in the overall schemes of things.
If the earthquake were due to a comet-strike, it would have to be a very small one hitting right on, or near, a fault line.
Was shooting for this.
I'll check out Plait too.
|#4Shei-NadApr 04, 2004 16:07:11||Though it might be an intriguing option, if its at all possible that athas, or rather athasians, would have survived such an impact, you would have to diregard much of the existing material for such an event to have occured.|
First of all, the timeline:
Enemy's Slumber (Free Year 7)
The comet known as the Messenger fails to appear at the prescribe time, and many across the Tablelands take it as a sign of a forthcoming doom.
Friend's Agitation (Free Year 10)
As Rkard's spell lights up the sky, a great earthquake rocks the Tyr Region. The full force of the quake is centered west of the Tablelands beyond the Ringing Mountains. The resulting quake creates the Great Rift, a passage leading to the Crimson Savannah of the Kreen Empire.
The Messenger's cycle has been constant for about 14,000 years since it was first discovered (9th King's Age, see timeline). It seems to me that there are very few reasons why the cycle would be broken, other than:
1- The Comet was deviated by the gravity of some celestial body, which deviated its course. On such great distances, even the slightest deviation could result in millions of kilometers of deviation. In all likedness, the Messenger will never again be seen on athas.
2- The most likely in my opinion, the comet hit a celestial body.
In any case, the fact that the cycle was broken in year 7 proves that the comet has been affected in the ways I just described at least 3 years before the quake, but it could have been anywhere from free year 7 to -38. Even if the comet had been deviated, it seems rather unlikely it would end up hitting athas, 3 years after it was supposed to be seen.
But even if we accept this unlikeliness, its would be rather odd that no one saw the comet aimed at Athas. Even if the comet hit Athas on the other side of the planet, there would surely have been some sightings of the comet in the days before. The fact that the origins of the Earthquake are a mystery would tend to show that there was no comet in the skies prior to the earthquake.
And lastly, it is rather odd that ''As Rkard's spell lights up the sky, a great earthquake rocks the Tyr Region.'' Coincidance? The banishment of Rajaat and this Great Earthquake are 2 earthshattering events. That they would happen at the same time seems pretty far fetched unless there is some connection between the two. Having not read the Cerulean Storm, I cannot really comment at this time though...
Anyways, I really don't think the Messenger hitting Athas is the cause of the Earthquake.
|#5zmajApr 04, 2004 16:14:02||To be honest, I had never even thought of the comet striking Athas. I always thought it was Rajaat's final "screw all of you" sort of gesture. I always had the comet really as a messanger who brought news to Borys... an immortal who made himself known to Borys and told him about Rajaat's plans... how'd he know? He was the planets most powerful Seer :-) Had all sorts of adventures with my PCs trying to figure out who the messanger was and who he would choose to impart his wisdom to now that Borys was dead.|
|#6dawnstealerApr 04, 2004 16:22:14||First, Zmaj: Nice. |
As for the halfling ship crashing into the crimson savanna, I actually could buy that. The old Life-shapers coming to take out the kreen empire, who's really the nature-benders of old (zik-chil are). I've always loved that theory.
|#7nytcrawlrApr 04, 2004 16:42:57||I'm less interested in breaking timeline history, and more interested in how to do it realistically without damaging the already troubled ecosystem of Athas. ;)|
But I thank you for your comments Shei and Zmaj.
Though I did forget where exactly the focus of the quake happened, so that saved me there, and mixing it with the whole nature-bender/zik-chil thing works too IMO.
|#8zombiegleemaxApr 04, 2004 16:44:37||messenger=ship. ship brings back at least the rhul-thaun high lord. it parks in orbit stationary above somepoint to the west of the crimson savanna for some reason. obviously there's gotta be something there that matters. maybe kreen capital or somethin? rajaat gets out, stuff happens, somehow this results in the rhulisti ship going haywire and crashing, with a resultant effect of somehow causing a massive earthquake aimed in the general direction of rajaat? rhul-thaun highlord gets out and travels over the next year or two towards the jagged cliffs with dire news for the rhul-thaun, just needing to get to thamasku as per the adventure hook in windriders.|
|#9nytcrawlrApr 04, 2004 16:56:08||When Rajaat was freed, so were his rhulisti followers from the plane The Black.|
I guess you could somehow connect this with the rhulisti in orbit, maybe it tried to pull them in to replace what was pulled out, especially since this group wasn't on Rajaat's side, causing the ship to crash.
Or it threw them in sort of sleep mode or something, which would also cause the ship to crash unless it had some automatic pilot thing or something, and I'm not really willing to go that far fetched with it yet, heh.
I'm already stumbling on the borders of sillyness, but after hearing Lynn's idea on what she would do if given the chore, I find it hard to pass up.
|#10nightdruidApr 04, 2004 16:58:01||Here's another angle to look at it:|
Simply put, the Great Earthquake could have been caused by part of the cliff-face falling down, creating the big rift. Such events actually happen on Earth, usually causing tidal waves in the process (most are underwater or on the shoreline). The amount of rock falling to have created the rift would probably be adequate to create an earthquake that could be felt by Tyr, given the rift is something like 2 miles high and many miles long.
|#11nytcrawlrApr 04, 2004 17:11:17||So then having the messenger/ship crash into the face cliff and not the actual fault line at the floor of the swamp itself would probably be a better way of doing it then. Hmmmm.|
I wonder how big, and how much of an impact it would have to be to cause a seismic wave to hit that certain spot in the cliff face and cause it to fall, which in turn causes the quake.
|#12nightdruidApr 04, 2004 17:15:21|
Originally posted by NytCrawlr
Well, it is a suggestion based on real-world events. Sometimes the simplist solutions are the best Also, such an event would create a *long* earthquake, one that probably would last several minutes.
Not saying that the Messenger couldn't be a halfling space cruiser that landed, but that its landing did not create the earthquake It'd have to be one *huge* ship to cause an earthquake with a landing (not crashing)
|#13Shei-NadApr 04, 2004 17:31:43||Huge doesn't even come close to describing it. And anyways, if the crash was so intense that it resulted in an earthquake of that magnitude, then their's no way it, or its crew, survived the landing.|
But Nytcrwlr does give us some interesting hint:
''but after hearing Lynn's idea on what she would do if given the chore, I find it hard to pass up.''
Please, do tell.
|#14nytcrawlrApr 04, 2004 17:34:14|
Originally posted by Nightdruid
But it will be crashing, not landing...
And I'll find a way to make some of the occupants survive, that one I'm not too worried about.
|#15nytcrawlrApr 04, 2004 17:35:46|
Originally posted by Shei-Nad
Working on it, I expect to get the green light sometime next week, but don't hold that to me.
Also, the messenger/space halfling-rhulisti ship idea that I am trying to sift through is not related. That I know of anyways, heh.
|#16zombiegleemaxApr 04, 2004 18:48:24||regarding the quake being the act of the great rift forming, wasn't it stated somewhere that the epicentre of the quake was situated far to the west, far enough that it's west of the kreen empire?|
|#17nytcrawlrApr 04, 2004 18:54:15|
Originally posted by Cap'n Nick
I'd thought so too at first, not sure at this point.
Will check it out when I get home and can get to my books.
|#18jihun-nishApr 04, 2004 20:20:49||Sorry to ask you this NytCrawlr but the more I read this thread the more it makes me think of something you hinted to us a few weeks ago. So here goes.|
Does this thread have anything to do with what Lynn Abbey and you have discussed(by at least one e-mail) about the space halfling invasion theory by any chance(or curse )????
It may be just my imagination but what is discussed so far in this thread would fit the glove perfectly dont you think!!?
|#19zombiegleemaxApr 04, 2004 22:34:26||Large scale meteor impacts are downright devastating. If its big enough to disturb a fault line and create a massive earthquake able to be felt over a thousand miles away, then its big enough to have had other effects that are easily detected, unless it struck down in a very large body of water (the Last Sea x20 maybe). A meteor that is large enough to be seen as clearly as the messenger would likely be on the point of 250 meters to 2-3 miles. At best, your looking at large clouds of dust from the impact making thier way into the atmosphere with an effect similar to a massive volcanoe eruption. At the worst (even at only 3 miles), your dealing with oh, about 1000 nuclear warheads all going off on the same spot. Larger meteors are almost garuanteed to cause earthquakes the likes of which don't normally occure (they would travel at a rate of about 1,000 km per hour leveling cities almost instantly as the first tremors passed). Nuclear winter is what you really have to fret about though. The dust coulds could easily cover the globe (that's a heck of a lot of material, even from just a 100 km crater), blotting out the sun and freezing out all life with the added nasty effects of acid rains, just for good measure. The Tunguska impact at the turn of the century in Sibera was a reletively small impact, with an impact crater of less than 80 meters. This itty bitty meteor caused a sonic shockwave the leveled everything in a 500 kilometers radius and was deafeningly heard over 1,000 klicks away at the next nearest settlement. Tunguska thankfully is a no mans land region of Sibera with almost no people to speak of so there were no known casualties, but also little actual data. No one was able to see the Tunguska meteor until it actually entered the atmosphere; visible comets are much larger than this. The meteor itself was likely only a few meters across, but still impacted with the force of 200 atomic bombs.|
Whether the messenger was a comet or not is largely irrelevant though. If its a ship big enough to create a comet's visible tail, then its still big enough to cause some serious damage (but since its a hollow body, the damage is likely on the scale of about 1/3 less of the size of the ship.
So, its my thinking that either the Great Earthquake was a natural event, or it was Rajaat's way of setting the stage for his next return (in fact, I go with the second one since its my belief that Rajaat has been and still is manipulating everything from the beginning, including his imprisonment, his return, his becoming the Cerulean Storm, etc).
|#20nytcrawlrApr 05, 2004 0:33:42|
Originally posted by Mach2.5
I've got plenty of stuff that Kam and I have been working on for the Rajaat thing, but that's top secret and I would have to kill you if I told you. :D
I , possibly we, more or less agree with you on that aspect of Rajaat though.
I'm trying to make the comet/messenger be at least a scout ship for the space rhulisti, if not maybe the mother ship.
So either I'm going to have to throw reality out the window, or just have the ship land hard or something to cause the quake.
|#21nytcrawlrApr 05, 2004 1:04:57|
Originally posted by Jihun-Nish
Short answer: Kinda.
This is more for my own campaigns though and it does stem from info Lynn has given me according to the information she had. If others use it great.
I'm basically trying real hard to incorporate the space halfling invasion into my campaigns without it being silly and working off an idea Lynn had suggested what may or may not happen if this really happened and how silly it was for Bill Slavicsek, et al, who originally thought of this idea to go into a totally different direction.
Being that I like most of Lynn's work and think she is a great writer (from what I've seen), and contributing some of the evils of Athas' 2nd box set to Bill, even though he's a swell guy, guess which one I'm going to follow more, heh.
|#22Silverblade_The_EnchanterApr 05, 2004 1:29:34||To affect the Eartrh/moon's orbit or the like, the object would have to have titanic mass, NOT a mere asteroid, the peturbations caused by anything less than several HUNDRED miles wide and made of *soild rock or metal* would probably be pretty small.|
Actual astrophysicists can point out if I'm wrong ;)
The mass of a 10, 20 or 50 mile wide comet is a pin prick compared to the Earth's mass.
|#23zombiegleemaxApr 05, 2004 2:02:41||Rajaat can be as machiavellian as Vecna, if not more so. Vecna went through all the farces of Vecna Lives!, Vecna Reborn, Die Vecna Die and whatevrer else I know about, and each step has been revealed as just another step in a far larger sceme. I could see Rajaat doing that.|
|#24zombiegleemaxApr 05, 2004 5:14:26|
I could see Rajaat doing that.
That's how I work it. Rajaat had it planned all along (well, I have added to that that Tithian being caught in the Cerulean Storm caused a bit of a kink in his plans, but it has only slowed the storm's progress so Rajaat's plans are still unfolding basically as he wanted them to).
To affect the Eartrh/moon's orbit or the like, the object would have to have titanic mass, NOT a mere asteroid, the peturbations caused by anything less than several HUNDRED miles wide and made of *soild rock or metal* would probably be pretty small.
As far as I know, nothing has happened to Athas' orbit, or that of Ral or Guthay (the moons). The speculation was simply on whether or not the messenger, in either meteor or starship form, caused the Great Earthquake. But in actuality, it really wouldn't take much to alter the moons mostly stable orbit. Just the right impact by a 100 km asteroid or comet would do the trick. Earth could probably have its orbit altered as well, but the impact would have to shake things up in the right spot: at the north pole, but the ice layer there would act as a cushoning effect; remove the ice at the north pole and a big impact would throw off the earth's albedo which could in turn throw off its orbit a bit. Probably not much in the short term, but over a few million years the effect of even a fraction of a percentage difference in orbit could be catastrophic.
The mass of a 10, 20 or 50 mile wide comet is a pin prick compared to the Earth's mass
Its not just a comparison of mass of two obejcts, but of force. In theory, even a marble traveling with enough speed could generate enough force to rip through the earth, burn away so much material on its flight through, pull the earth out of orbit, etc, etc. Course, it take one heck of a pea shooter to defy the laws of physics like that with a marble (getting up to that kind of speed), but its just a visual example. Heck, even if the marble disentigrated in the atmosphere, the inertia itself would carry on through as if the marble were still there.
But, I don't think any of this (Athas' or its moons being knocked out of orbit) was what anyone was talking about.
|#25beyowulfApr 05, 2004 9:11:00|
Originally posted by Silverblade The Enchanter
Actually a meteor the size of 1 mile would be enough to cause serious problems earthwide. If it landed in the water, you'd get serious tidal waves, and if it landed on Earth, you'd get one heck of an impact crater, but more than that, it'd through up enough dust into air that the sun would be obscured for several months. Plants and animals would freeze, and even in places where it was relatively warm, no sunlight would get through and plants wouldn't grow. You'd have extinctions, food shortages, etc.
A big enough meteor, in a place like Athas would wipe out most of the life on the planet.