Soul Discussion Forum
For any questions you may have on my story, "Soul".
New Follow Forum Follow Topic
Shay Guy

A few questions about Eriko's portals that I'm only now getting around to asking.

What are the edges like? If a solid object passes through the inside, it goes out the other end, and if it goes through the outside, nothing happens, but what if it hits the edge? Both the inside and outsides are fluid (or vacuum) normally, yet it can't just pass through both, so what happens? Does it get dragged one way or another? Does it get sliced? Part of this question also applies to Valve's game - to the best of my knowledge, the "thickness" of a portal was never established. Though I guess it has to be greater than zero, or objects would get sliced by the edge when you dropped them in the middle instead of just tumbling to one side or another.

Next: What does a portal look like from "behind?" Say that somebody shoots at Eriko with a flamethrower and she counters with a portal shield of the sort she used on Downfall. From his perspective, it looks blue with some white, because it opens up into the sky. What does it look like from hers? Plain black? Bizarrely twisted, bending light so that she's looking straight at the ceiling, floor, and walls on her left and right all at once? (This is one, of course, that Valve sidestepped with the requirement that portals be cast on solid surfaces.)

Finally, do portals leave any sort of detectable residue after they're closed? Could somebody with the right equipment, powers, or both tell if a large number of portals have been opened over time in a particular area?

8/8/2008 #1
sun tzu OM

What are the edges like? If a solid object passes through the inside, it goes out the other end, and if it goes through the outside, nothing happens, but what if it hits the edge? Both the inside and outsides are fluid (or vacuum) normally, yet it can't just pass through both, so what happens? Does it get dragged one way or another? Does it get sliced? Part of this question also applies to Valve's game - to the best of my knowledge, the "thickness" of a portal was never established. Though I guess it has to be greater than zero, or objects would get sliced by the edge when you dropped them in the middle instead of just tumbling to one side or another.

It's a question I've given a lot of thought to myself.

Ultimately, the portal is a deformation of space. If a solid object was "cut" by the edge, then the object's particles are still connected - it's just that the connection goes through a (very) deformed space (which won't actually affect the object). If the portal was then canceled, the object would be "snapped back" - a bit like being hit by a sudden surge of gravity that sucked it back together.

Next: What does a portal look like from "behind?" Say that somebody shoots at Eriko with a flamethrower and she counters with a portal shield of the sort she used on Downfall. From his perspective, it looks blue with some white, because it opens up into the sky. What does it look like from hers? Plain black? Bizarrely twisted, bending light so that she's looking straight at the ceiling, floor, and walls on her left and right all at once? (This is one, of course, that Valve sidestepped with the requirement that portals be cast on solid surfaces.)

Another good question I had to spend some thought on.

From behind, a portal will look like a black surface, because you have no light coming at you from that direction (since all the light will be deflected by the portal).

Finally, do portals leave any sort of detectable residue after they're closed? Could somebody with the right equipment, powers, or both tell if a large number of portals have been opened over time in a particular area?

Taking the fifth on that one for now.

On a different note, I apologize for the delays with chapter 6. I've recently completed it, and hope to have it proof-read within the next few days...

8/9/2008 #2
Shay Guy

Ultimately, the portal is a deformation of space. If a solid object was "cut" by the edge, then the object's particles are still connected - it's just that the connection goes through a (very) deformed space (which won't actually affect the object). If the portal was then canceled, the object would be "snapped back" - a bit like being hit by a sudden surge of gravity that sucked it back together.

Um...I'm not sure I followed that. Maybe you could give an example, describe what it'd look like if, say, I stuck my arm out in front of an open portal and walked behind it?

From behind, a portal will look like a black surface, because you have no light coming at you from that direction (since all the light will be deflected by the portal).

And what about light going the other direction, hitting the BACK of the portal? If there was a light shining behind an open portal facing you, would you be able to see it? (ASCII picture: @...)...L) A black surface would suggest that the light is absorbed. I'd have expected it to be curved to the side, or MAYBE reflected - but absorbed?

8/10/2008 #3
sun tzu OM

Um...I'm not sure I followed that. Maybe you could give an example, describe what it'd look like if, say, I stuck my arm out in front of an open portal and walked behind it?

Well, you would see the other end of your on the other side of the portal, with a thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin sliver going between the gates and both ends of your arm...You wouldn't feel anything, though, because your arm's particles would still be connected normally, with blood flowing between them. It's just that the space your arm's located in would be extremely twisted. If you kept walking, the end of your arm would be pulled back out of the portal.

And what about light going the other direction, hitting the BACK of the portal? If there was a light shining behind an open portal facing you, would you be able to see it?

Yes. You do see what's behind a portal, superimposed on what's through the portal...

A black surface would suggest that the light is absorbed. I'd have expected it to be curved to the side, or MAYBE reflected - but absorbed?

Well, matter that goes through the portal, instead of going forward, goes to the other end of the portal, right?

Same thing with light. So from behind, a portal looks completely opaque - no light getting through from the other side.

8/10/2008 #4
Shay Guy

Opaqueness, yeah, I assumed that went without saying. Again, thanks to Valve. The light from behind I was more concerned about - so it works sort of like a two-way mirror? Got it. Must be interesting - or disorienting - to pass through a portal, going from seeing two images to seeing one.

If you kept walking, the end of your arm would be pulled back out of the portal.

Wait, what? Okay, time for some more Really Bad ASCII Art, I think.

b°___°_____

_°o––°'____

_°__o°––'__

_°___°o–––'

...Yeah, I'm not getting the "pulled back out" part. Where does that happen?

8/12/2008 #5
sun tzu OM

...Yeah, I'm not getting the "pulled back out" part. Where does that happen?

...I'll admit, it's pretty hard to visualize how non-Euclidean space works. I have to second-guess myself a lot when it comes to portals.

If it helps, know that the "border" of the portal isn't "discreet" - there's a (very small, maybe even microscopic, but there) area where the space gradually folds into the portal. See what I mean?

8/12/2008 #6
greenmean

Can 1 portal form different 2 dimensional shapes?(circles, triangles, rectangles) Or 3 dimensional shapes? (bowl, cube with an open top, etc)

Can more than 2 portals be formed? (In / Out)

If so can multiple portals be connected to each other? ( Multiple Ins to one Out, one In to Multiple Outs etc.)( I can see multiple ins to one out. But one In to Multiple Outs would either need some kind of splitting option or copying option. )

Are the possible portals connected to the user's power level or ability (training and intelligence/imagination/willpower/memory)?

(My opinion on the matter of intelligence/imagination/willpower/memory is that these things can also be trained. )

A dagger that among other things can open portals is in the story. How is the power / ability ratio when developing artifacts? Can a semi powerful magic user develop things that use more power than the user? What effect has the power or the ability of the user on noble and common magic? (My guess is that noble magic has more to do with ability and common more with power. Abstract thinking allowing more complex noble magic. Power allowing a greater amount of generated objects. Though both would be better. )

11/14/2008 #7
sun tzu OM

Can 1 portal form different 2 dimensional shapes?(circles, triangles, rectangles) Or 3 dimensional shapes? (bowl, cube with an open top, etc)

Different two-dimensional shapes are possible...But, since they're essentially tunnels in space-time, circles come naturally. Anything else requires extra effort.

3-dimensional shapes...As long as its flat, sure.

Can more than 2 portals be formed? (In / Out)

Well...It's like this: Most of Eriko's common magic involves creating matter or energy. Once they're created, they're "normal" as far as the universe is concerned. But the portals are unnatural deformations of space - she needs to constantly be maintaining them, or they fade.

Creating multiple portals would be very, very, very difficult, taxing the mind's multi-tasking abilities to the max.

If so can multiple portals be connected to each other? ( Multiple Ins to one Out, one In to Multiple Outs etc.)( I can see multiple ins to one out. But one In to Multiple Outs would either need some kind of splitting option or copying option. )

There are no "ins" and "outs" - both sides of a portal are the same. Portals are just shortcuts through space.

That said, if you had, say, several mages opening portals, there'd be no reason they couldn't make their portals contiguous, creating something that was the practical equivalent of a very long-range portal (In fact, that's going to be a decisive factor in one of Soul's major battles...But, that's dozens of chapters away).

Are the possible portals connected to the user's power level or ability (training and intelligence/imagination/willpower/memory)?

Pretty much of all magic is.

A dagger that among other things can open portals is in the story. How is the power / ability ratio when developing artifacts? Can a semi powerful magic user develop things that use more power than the user? What effect has the power or the ability of the user on noble and common magic? (My guess is that noble magic has more to do with ability and common more with power. Abstract thinking allowing more complex noble magic. Power allowing a greater amount of generated objects. Though both would be better. )

We haven't really touched magical objects much in the story yet, but basically, they're created by a mage using noble magic to say "OK, from now on, this object will generate magical effect X". Thing is, the mage needs to be capable of magical effect X in the first place, so the abilities of magical items do not exceed those of their creators (of course, that raises the question of multiple creators...)

11/14/2008 #8
Forum Moderators: sun tzu OM
Rules:
  • Forums are not to be used to post stories.
  • All forum posts must be suitable for teens.
  • The owner and moderators of this forum are solely responsible for the content posted within this area.
  • All forum abuse must be reported to the moderators.
Membership Length: 2+ years 1 year 6+ months 1 month 2+ weeks new member