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dscott8

Why has no one thought of this?

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Heres another interesting use for Gateways: Temporary Defenses. Although complicated, Gateways can potentially be used as both walls and battlements, with the right application.

You see, the back of a gateway is both solid, and impenetrable. We learn this when Rand opens a skimming portal to take the Aiel for the assault on Caemlyn, and maybe other times. Open up four or more gateways in a square around you, and you have an impenetrable defense that can double as a weapon, opening up the exits behind or even inside enemy lines,or if you want making them Skimming portals, making it more useful than the convential Air walls. For Battlements, open up small gateways inside the defences that open up above the defensive gateways, which archers can use use to fire down on the enemy and Asha'man can use to weave through.

Seriously the uses of Gateways are near limitless, a war with Gateways would be a bloodbath from nightmare, Im glad they dont exist in any form in real life. Imagine using the tactics present in the books, lining up in ranks and such, and suddenly gateways are opening all through your ranks, behind your crossbowman, in your cavalry, on top of the commanders tent, and enemy are just pouring through. Or someone opens a gateway into the bedroom of your King; bam, he's chopped in half in his sleep, no more King!

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Actually, now I think about it, did Rand not use a trick whereby he 'hopped' a small distance before using a longer distance gateway to overcome this problem? Apparently you 'know' the place you travel to by virtue of traveling there... If I understand correctly, Aviendha used a variation on the gateway weave with Rand, which is why she has trouble with the normal one in Ebou Dar (the size is unusually restricted). In one of the early books, or New Spring, an Aes Sedai comments on the ability to tell who taught who certain common weaves because of specific hand movements, and the difficulties of relearning other methods. Look up Rand's Fisher King discussion...

 

I think size is the major problem, in an army of thousands, a gateway, even horizontal, is generally only big enough for a cart to pass though, thus you kill maybe 5-10 trollocs at a time. I believe fireballs, infinitely simpler, do this just as effectively. locking Aes Sedai and Asha'man in circles reduces their individual effectiveness (unless you want the strength of novices and dedicated without their inexperience). Remember the sum of circle power is less than the individual sums of individual channellers.

 

 

I was thinking about the size. That size you talk of is made by 1 person. Some make as big as 2 vagons passing through at once if I remember correctly. That's alone.

 

How huge a gateway could full circle of Aes Sedai and Asha'man together make? It'd be absolutely massive...That enhanced with Aviendha's/Elayne's ability to make the gateways explode could be rather useful in battle.(Even if it was done by an accident, they know how it happened so they should be able to repeat the process xD )

 

Actually you can't make huge gateways by linking people. As Asmodean said in TFOH opening a gateway depends on one power but the size of it does not. Asmodean says that a gateway, at least for skimming is a dream of a dream. Take it as you will but I think at least for skimming you are using a blank slate (empty) world of dreams landscape to travel (you use your imgination to create the platform you travel on) because TAR touches everyworld. Jordan describes travelling as folding the space then a tearing a hole through it. But if all creation is the creator's dream (like Aiel says world is a dream)... That means TAR is involved somehow in travelling too, because TAR touches every world and everywhere. So the size of the gateways does not only depend on your power but some limiting factor connected to TAR is also involved. For reference check the related chapter in TFOH when Rands skims with an Aiel army to attack Rahvin in Caemlyn.

 

As for the creative uses of channeling like deathgates... First of all there are limits and people gave many good examples regarding the limits here. There is also the limit of imagination. AOL people probabily knew advanced physics and and they had advanced technology and they had modern fiction. Like quantum physics and nanotech and sci-fi novels. This opens your mind and broadens your imagination. Don't expect such creative feats from the Aes Sedai of a pre-industrial society where they are considered as half trained children by the Forsaken.

 

But they are learning... Rand learns to travel and to skim by himself. Elayne begins creating basic terangreal. Aludra invents matches and cannons. C'mon people they are learning but Jordan put limits to One Power. Rand is not the Creator and cannot reimagine universe from scratch like DO wants. OP is not over powered.

 

As for One Power and the conservation in energy... Channeling is not creating or destroying energy. I am sure more scientific people can explain this better but I go for semantics. You CHANNEL aka you take something from somewhere and put it (channel it) to somewhere else. This is energy transfer.

 

I imagine One Power as not some energy source outside of the universe. I think OP is the part of the universe's energy total like vacum energy (zero point energy in physics). Meaning that when you use One Power you do not add more energy to the system (you do not take energy from void, you do not create energy from nothing). You just transfer some of the energy total of universe in the form of One Power and channel it to somewhere else in the system. Again channeling, meaning energy transfer, not creation.

Edited by Khosann

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Actually you can't make huge gateways by linking people.

Actually you can, as we've seen it done a few times in the series. Here's an example:

 

PoD, Ch.30

 

The light of saidar sprang up around the thirteen sisters near the Sitters, around all of them together, and a thick slash of silver appeared in the middle of the clearing, rotating into a gateway ten paces tall and a hundred wide.

There are other examples too, like the weaker Kin women linking to make big Gateways for transporting Elayne's troops during the Caemlyn siege.

 

That enhanced with Aviendha's/Elayne's ability to make the gateways explode could be rather useful in battle.(Even if it was done by an accident, they know how it happened so they should be able to repeat the process.

What happens when a channeller fails to unweave a weave is random, often it's nothing more than a minor flash of light, and the risk the the channeller himself would get burnt out in the process is big, so there's no way to use it as a weapon.

Edited by David Selig

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Actually you can't make huge gateways by linking people. As Asmodean said in TFOH opening a gateway depends on one power but the size of it does not.

I don't remember that quote, but are you sure that he wasn't talking about skimming platforms? I know they made it pretty clear that the size of the skimming platform wasn't a thing of strength in the power.

 

Whereas we've definitely seen hints that strength in the power is key to the size of a gateway. Rand makes much bigger gateways than Elayne, for instance, even though she's strong and pretty skilled at making gateways. (There was a scene where Mat grumbled to himself about having to dismount his men to go through her gateway, unlike when Rand did it.) And when the sisters in the Little Tower first get taught Traveling by Egwene, we see that only the more powerful among them are able to make gateways big enough to be useful, whereas your average Aes Sedai seemingly has to link or she can't make anything big enough to walk through.

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using razor laces of fire or air is much more effective against armies, especially if one staggers them in the field ahead of teh army, the demoralizing effect would be quite substantial

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using razor laces of fire or air is much more effective against armies, especially if one staggers them in the field ahead of teh army, the demoralizing effect would be quite substantial

But its also too advanced for the channelers in this Age, I think. I personally prefer the demoralizing effect of seeing half your army cut in half by a hundred women and men linked channeling a gateway open :D

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I'd think it'd be possible to create land mines from OP. I'm not sure if there's any evidence outside ToM though and this is the general board.

 

It should be simple to make an invisible spike, tripwire, etc. from Air and place them in a battlefield before the enemy charges. Good luck keeping your footing when you can't even see the rocks.

 

Not to mention a large MoM to conceal a small force and sneak them around the back of the enemy army. Or even just use gateways to surround the place in heartbeats.

 

Here's another idea. Create a row of gateways in front of some sort of narrow passage (Tarwin's Gap?) and use them as walls.

 

Wanna REALLY have fun? Create two portals facing each other on opposite sides of a gap in a wall or natural structure. Have a few people channeling a stream of fire, lightning, balefire, or whatever else strikes your fancy through the portals. How's THAT for a wall?

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Isn't making gateways an exhausting procedure as is? Neald and Grady were pushed to practically burning themselves out just doing gateways for a few minutes.

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Isn't making gateways an exhausting procedure as is? Neald and Grady were pushed to practically burning themselves out just doing gateways for a few minutes.

They were holding them for quite long periods, not just a few minutes, but you're right that gateways take a significant amount of strength to make and maintain.

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Wrong and wrong. Heat is everywhere. Charge is everywhere. Using the one power simply distributes that power and concentrates it to become lightning or fire.

 

Do we know this for a fact?

 

I think i know what you are referring to, in the reverse use when Rand put out a fire by taking it's heat and placing it in the stone (granite?) of the fireplace (Terry Pratchett anyone?). We do not know if a similar method, but in reverse, is used to summon fire balls. I think if RJ had wanted us to think this, he would have had several characters noticing strnage chills in the air after many fireballs were summoned, those characters thinking how strange it was that they should feel cold even though there are massive balls of fire flying over head.

 

And surely moving charges around (easy enough with the OP) would cause some weird effects of at least Perrin and the wolves to sense it and remark on the weird feeling.

 

My stance would be that they are not creating energy, they are simply bringing it in from the flow of the OP, which may or may not be considered to be outside this universe as a closed system (though of course if this were considered outside energy entering the universe, it is in effect creating energy).

Edited by SheaththeSword

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“In physics, energy (from Greek ἐνέργεια - energeia, "activity, operation", from ἐνεργός - energos, "active, working"[1]) is a quantity that is often understood as the ability a physical system has to produce changes on another physical system[2][3].

The changes are produced when the energy is tranferred from a system to another. A system can transfer energy by means of three ways, namely: physical or thermodynamical work, heat and, mass transfer.

This quantity can be assigned to any physical system. The assigned energy, according to Classical Physics, depends on its physical state relative to the reference frame used to study it.”

 

So they can create energy. They weave it from the OP.

 

So if I throw a ball, I have created energy? I surely raised the energy level of the ball.

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I think Jordan's explanation for thermodynamics not being violated probably relied on the fact that the OP and channelers work like a river and waterwheel. Technically, the speed of the river is reduced by the waterwheel siphoning off energy. However, since the OP is an almost infinitely vast river, there wouldn't be any noticeable effect. That said, for all practical (not metaphysical) purposes, you can create mechanical energy for free with the OP. Probably why the AoL was so neat--free clean energy for everyone! Yay! Creating a perpetual motion machine would be trivial with the OP.

 

And no, creating a fireball isn't gathering all the ambient heat in an area and concentrating it. That isn't how fire works, for one thing (you would just get really hot air). In RJ's world, for some silly reason, the rapid oxidation of carbon is one of the primal forces of the universe (as is H2O for some also silly reason), and it certainly seems like channelers are able to covert mystical universe driving river energy into fireballs that burn without fuel.

 

That said, I think it's cute that he has an eternally recurring cyclical universe with a God figure and still for some reason cares about one of the laws of thermodynamics. What about entropy buddy?

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From my very first read through, and each since, a similar thought also tends to occur to me. All of the miles and days of walking because they're afraid to open a gateway too near a heavily populated area when they could just open a small one high up in the air and scout out a decent location.

 

Why send Asha'man galavanting around scouting portal by portal when a relatively small one up in the air could provide more efficient scouting and use less of the power?

 

I always just kind of took it as 'ignorance for the sake of the story'. It's a common ploy in stories where the heros avoid doing the obvious for some frivilous reason. It's the same reason why when the bad guy has an amazing plan that very nearly works, but some one in a million chance incident happens that thwarts it, they never try that plan again. Because doing so is too easy and hurts the story elements.

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I might be the only one here who has read (or will admit to having read) a part of the Inheritance series. But they have they right theory of efficiency of magic there.

Instead of balefire for a single enemy, how about you just wizz a small pebble at very high speed through his/its temple. Sorted (if it doesn't matter whether or not the DO gets access to the soul). A moving 'cheese wire'-type piece of Air at trolloc neck height would surely kill many of them, and quickly. Could be elaborated into a Resident Evil-type arrangment (the lasers) if the trollocs start figuring it out and duck.

 

Have we seen examples of lightening being called down on Raken or Draghkar? Seems to best way to deal with moving airborne targets. (I don't remember)

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Guest Emu on the Loose

It's true that very few authors understand the ramifications of superseding natural law with their magic systems. Whenever I read stories with magic in them, I often can't help but think how inefficiently it is used. The One Power is a game winner. No person who can wield it should ever lose a combat to one who cannot unless they are taken by surprise.

 

Indeed, something like the OP makes combat as we know it completely obsolete. A smart channeler even of humble strength in the Power should be able to hold off an entire army, assuming they have a knowledge of physics and chemistry which is admittedly not trivial but which would certainly have been available to educated people in a world with the technological level like that of contemporary Randland.

 

Rip an artery with a thought...all you need to do is perform a cutting or tearing action. Kill with concussion; all you need is a clap of air to the head. You could weave a toxic cloud over a whole field that would blot out all the light and make the people inside it cough their lungs out. These straightforward ideas are merely the tip of the iceberg. The really creative stuff would likely bear no resemblance to hostility of any kind.

 

Authors seldom take the time to consider the ramifications of the fact that their magic systems short-circuit plot mechanics almost without effort. It's a part of the suspension of disbelief, although I do wish that authors would try and be a little more thorough in their magic system designs. My personal pet peeve is "healing"; almost every story with magic in it has healing on the part of people who have little or no knowledge of physiology and anatomy.

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Emu, you reminded me of how stupid the magic users in Harry Potter are. At least in Randland there are some restrictions, complexity = difficulty, and people occasionally use magic sensibly. Voldemorte just keeps shooting his wand-lazers at rocks that Harry is hiding behind though. He continues to do this even though he knows a) that spell didn't work when Harry was a baby and might not work now, b) their wands interact in weird ways. YOU CAN TURN TEACUPS INTO BIRDS, HOWS ABOUT YOU TURN THE GROUND UNDER HIM TO LAVA?

 

This is what comes of an education system that only teaches people how to perform magic, instead of any science, history, literature, or any other academic pursuit. For that matter, why didn't the death eaters just turn all the oxygen in the room to nitrogen when battling other wizards after casting a "I can breathe nitrogen now" charm? I hate that series.

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The thing that annoyed me the most is that it took them 13 books to think of trying to stop arrows, which are apparently the ultimate threat to channelers, the way everyone ALWAYS says "A single arrow could kill you if you're a total idiot."

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Guest Emu on the Loose

These gripes are not so different from those in science fiction which lament the lack of realism in space battles, which are typically depicted for dramatics, at the expense of scientific accuracy and battle strategy.

 

I think we ourselves are to blame. We as audiences eat up the laser wands, the lightning bolts, the photon torpedoes. We like the rush. Most fantasy and sci-fi violence is quite primitive in a visceral sense. It connects, as it is meant to do, with our animal instincts. It excites us, because we are suggestible like that. In reality, magic and futuristic technology would make the art of killing far removed from anything identifiable as combat. (Indeed, to an extent that is already true with today's technology.)

 

So, again, it comes down to that whole "suspension of disbelief" thing. Authors come up with magic systems that are full of inaccuracies or inefficiencies because they think the battles they concoct are cool. They're not necessarily wrong, although those of us who wish for a little more realism (within the bounds of the given magic system or technology level) do suggest that they're not entirely right, either.

 

The best storytellers never get you thinking about this stuff.

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These gripes are not so different from those in science fiction which lament the lack of realism in space battles, which are typically depicted for dramatics, at the expense of scientific accuracy and battle strategy.

 

I think we ourselves are to blame. We as audiences eat up the laser wands, the lightning bolts, the photon torpedoes. We like the rush. Most fantasy and sci-fi violence is quite primitive in a visceral sense. It connects, as it is meant to do, with our animal instincts. It excites us, because we are suggestible like that. In reality, magic and futuristic technology would make the art of killing far removed from anything identifiable as combat. (Indeed, to an extent that is already true with today's technology.)

 

So, again, it comes down to that whole "suspension of disbelief" thing. Authors come up with magic systems that are full of inaccuracies or inefficiencies because they think the battles they concoct are cool. They're not necessarily wrong, although those of us who wish for a little more realism (within the bounds of the given magic system or technology level) do suggest that they're not entirely right, either.

 

The best storytellers never get you thinking about this stuff.

 

 

Not necessarily. An alternative is to come up with a magic system that is comparable with interesting combat, if you insist on having combat and armed conflict be important. The Recluce (sic) series, just of the top of my head, plausibly integrates the magic with traditional and (according to your theory) fan demanded medieval style warfare. Sanderson does this well too I think. There are plenty of other examples, I'm sure.

 

Of course, there is a middle path, but there is a large difference between trying SOMEWHAT to make the magic users act in sensible ways, but cutting corners or leaving out some logical extremes for the purpose of solid storytelling (arguably WoT, definitely Feist, Zelazny, Jim Butcher) and utterly abandoning the field (Rowling, whoever rights Dr. Strange, any DnD novel, etc.).

 

I think it is actually much harder in Sci-Fi than fantasy though, because you can't quite "make up the rules" to the same extent. One of the many reasons good Sci-Fi is much, much harder to write than Fantasy.

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open up a gateway in the enemy camp and have the other end in a lake or ocean...flood their damn camp :)

Me likes.

Or in a volcano =)

 

Open a small gateway at the bottom of the sea.

 

All of the pressurized water coming through the small gateway will result in essentially, Balefire without the whole unraveling the pattern side effect. :)

Edited by Dastion

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Ponder the dilemma of a bridge that has been balefired after a villain passes. If the bridge wasn’t there 15mins ago would the villain have passed? No, So now where is the Villain, are they aware of the change? If they never crossed then they would not be innately aware the bridge is gone. This raises many issues. What of the energy used to cross the bridge, fight and basically exists, would our villain have all that back? If not where did it go and why? The idea is known as entropy or basically the second law of thermo dynamics the energy has to go somewhere if not you have destroyed it or more importantly recreated it.

 

 

Unless I'm very much mistaken, balefire erases the previous step in the chain of causation but not the step before.

Take Nynaeve when her ship is balefired by Mog for example. The ship's position is reverted, but Nynaeve's actions in that time haven't changed. She didn't suddenly find herself mid-swim upwards.

 

On a second note, you really misunderstand the power tons. The point was if you tie off a weave of air, it stays attached in the same place. Thus, if it's tied around someone, fine, but if it's just balancing beneath a cart it isn't.

Aes Sedai could kill people more effectively than using fireballs, tis true, and I've always wondered why there's not more use of barriers of air such as the Asha'man use at Dumai Wells. But a lot of your ideas are ridiculous.

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