Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tolkeen Diplomacy in Brief

Sitting on the confluence of 100 ley-lines has its benefits, and one of them is the ease by which Tolkeen can (and does) make contact with other communities, civilizations and societies. This emphasis upon exploration and diplomacy ensures that Tolkeen has a set of eyes and ears in many places of interest, and because of that fact there is a flow of communication to and from Tolkeen that cannot be equaled by any rival or enemy that is not likewise empowered by supernatural forces. Therefore, despite its seeming location isolation, Tolkeen is actually quite cosmopolitan- at least, on the outside. Within the Inner City, it's far more homogeneous.

As one should expect, the bulk of the city-state's diplomats and explorers are magicians and many of them are members of the so-called "Esoteric Engineers", with an emphasis on the study of social sciences instead of advanced material or life science emphasis, for the purpose of establishing and maintaining relations with those other entities. Given what's written, I would expect Tolkeen to maintain open and more-or-less friendly relations with all of the following (not an exhaustive list):

- The Free State of Lazlo
- The Free State of New Lazlo
- The New Navy
- North America's First Nations ("Look, we don't need to take land to do our thing, so we will gladly help you to retake what's yours and then help you keep it.")
- Psyscape (exclusively through Mystics)
- Tritonia
- Lemuria
- The Druids of England (and, through them, contact into Europe)
- The United Worlds of Warlock (via the Atlantean colony world)

Furthermore, I expect covert operations to be established with the following powers or regions:

- Atlantis (observatory mission, staying out of conflict with Splynn, to maintain access to the Splynn Market)
- Consortium of Confederated Worlds (unsure of them; observor status)
- Transgalactic Empire (dislike them; unsure as to what to do about them)
- China (preparing to intervene covertly to anti-Yama King forces)
- Europe (via Druid allies, figuring out what to do and how to do it)
- Center (as with Atlantis, this is an observer mission to maintain market access)

Tolkeen can get anywhere a ley-line or a nexus point exists. Therefore, its magicians and related agents can go there and return from there. No reason, therefore, not to see things and entities from across existence in Tolkeen.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Just One Mote: The Challenge That Threw Over a Paradigm

The First Founder of the society of Tolkeen magic-users, informally called "The Esoteric Engineers", was a man by the name of Roger M. Ire.  When he and his wife discovered the mote, the Esoteric Engineers got excited.  They had an irreducible minimum--a floor--upon which practical experimentation with magic could begin, and thereby allowed the application of the Scientific Method and other related practice norms of science to the study and practice of magic.  While the Atlanteans emphasized the Art of magic, it was the native Earthers that brought back the Science to the Art and Science of using magic.

Tolkeen's emerging curriculum for training the future generations in the use of magic centered around the concept of the mote, with both the Atlanteans--who had no problem acknowledging the importance that a confirmation of the existence of the mote, and eagerly adopted it for their own use; this made the transfer of magical knowledge much more efficient--and the Earthers agreeing that students would be required to create an original protocol--a new spell--that used Just One Mote.  This became known (informally) as "The Cantrip Challenge", but that underestimates the great influence that this emphasis on efficiency in the use of magical power had upon Tolkeen's magical community.

The One Mote Challenge lead to the creation of a vast array of very efficient magical effects.  These are minor in their scale, their scope, and their power.  What is not minor is their utility; one of the first spells taught in Tolkeen's curriculum is one of the first One Mote Challenge creations: a spell that accurately lets the user know, without fail, exactly how much supernatural power a given thing or effect has in it- but it requires that the user behold the thing or effect.  This is because the One Mote effect requires the use of the user's existing senses; all it does is analyze the user's sensory input and break down the power--if any--in existence within that input.  It is up to the user to make sense of it; it's a reader/analyzer spell, one that works only for the user, but easily combined with other effects to feed the results to others.

This spell is one of the pillars for the Platonic Pattern Printing Protocol.  Anything that the user perceives with this spell can be fed, via another effect, to either a data storage medium--including a user's mind--or sent straight to a device or individual capable of reproducing the observed thing or effect.  The magicians of Tolkeen can even take something from a fictional medium--say, the VF-1 Valkyrie of the classic series Super-Dimensional Fortress Macross--and make it a wholly-and-fully-functional technology by way of this simple One Mote spell.

That, quite frankly, is revolutionary.  This is why Tolkeen is a force to be reckoned with, and not a joke.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Administration: Sorry About The Wait

I am a graduate student. Naturally, that takes top priority and I have been quite busy with that.  Also, I do write fiction as another hobby; I kept up that, and another writing-focused 'blog, primarily to hone those writing skills because I need them to do my best in my studies.  Something had to give, and what gave is this 'blog.

In the interim, I've acquired far more RIFTS material and took the time to read it.  I continue to do so on an infrequent, opportunistic basis.  I keep up with what gets published--seemingly, on a similar basis--as it hits the shelves.  I have not forgotten; I just put this 'blog on the backburner for a while.  For now, on the other hand, I have time to spend on it.

I shall resume updating this 'blog, more or less where I left off, over the last week of May 2012.