1. Sulac Sol
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    Sulac Sol Member

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    Three Questions

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Sulac Sol, May 25, 2010.

    I have three questions regarding the world of a fanasy story I'm writing, entitled Veilfall, which is set in a world wehre gunpowder has just been invented. I'll probably have more, but these are the three most pressing concerns to me right now, as they're relevant to my current writing.

    The first question is: How far can a party of four travel on foot in a day, on average? All four are reasonably fit, fairly well armed, and have accompanying wagons of equipment.

    The second question is: How diverse and intermingled should cultures be from one kingdom to the next? Most of my nations are roughly the size of European kingdoms, like Spain and France.

    The third question is: Would there be nany way for a creature tht eats copper and tin be able to chemically shift the metals into bronze while generating energy for life processes?
     
  2. Feign
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    Feign Member

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    1. At a fast and deliberate pace, with little breaks, and relatively level ground, maybe around 40KMs. This is more or less all day walking though.

    2. You can look at it in a few ways, perhaps there is a distinct difference, or perhaps it is merely a border. Look at the middle-east, people often confuse nations there, but if you look at Europe, pretty much each country has it's own language. You can also look at it in terms of religion and power. Perhaps a country will have a strangle hold on other smaller nations.

    3. Perhaps the creature's stomach could be like a furnace going as high as 1000C to be able to melt and combine the tin and copper. In here, I bet you can use your imagination on how that works. :)

    Hope those answers were useful.
     
  3. Mantha Hendrix
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    Mantha Hendrix Contributing Member

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    3. (seeing as the other two have been covered...) The infamous metal eating animal is the goat right. I don't think it attains any nutrition though. So a mecha goat would work out. lol
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Improbable. An animal could derive energy from the heats of reaction from oxidation reactions of copper and/or tin, but if so, it would not excrete an alloy of the metals, because that too would be food.

    If, on the other hand, the creature used copper and tin as a catalyst in some metabolic process, it might then need to excrete it later as lumps of bronze. This would also be true if it used an impurity in scrap copper and tin as the catalyst, and had no use for the actual metals. Because the impurity would nearly certainly be in trace quantities, it couldn't be an actual foodstuff.
     
  5. Mantha Hendrix
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    Mantha Hendrix Contributing Member

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    Well... I think you out did me with my Mecha goat, cog... lol.

    Your user name has been chosen well.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I used to be a research chemist.
     
  7. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    But again, this is fantasy, so it's not required to be scientific.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    This is true. However, even most magic systems avoid getting something for nothing. Energy-wise, copper and tin in, bronze out gains nothing for the creature, unless some of the copper and tin is ued up in the process/

    And, of course, if "anything goes", there is no point in asking the question in the first place.
     
  9. Mantha Hendrix
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    Mantha Hendrix Contributing Member

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    For what company, if you don't mind me asking. My father works in and around that area.
     
  10. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, but the exact way it happens doesn't need to be 100% scientifically perfect, which is what I was getting at.
     
  11. Mantha Hendrix
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    Mantha Hendrix Contributing Member

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    It depends on exactly how "out there" the rest of it is, whether it is made believable.
     
  12. Norm
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    Norm Contributing Member

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    In all honesty, Mech-goats sound like an awesome thing to include in your story...
     
  13. Anonym
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    1. The Zulus & Roman Legionnaires marched 40-50km a day from what i kno, so Feign was about dead on
    2. One of the main differentiating cultural forces of pre-industrial Europe was the rise of nationalism (in place of what i don't recall). Pride in one's nation was prevelant, but at the same time the states only existed within the larger european zeitgeist of the time.
    So yeah, political entities that care enough to be establish a state usually consider themselves unique, but are still a part of the umbrella culture. Bad example maybe
    3. Isn't copper poisonous...? Why not coal & iron for steel too? interestin
     
  14. Sulac Sol
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    Sulac Sol Member

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    The creatures in question are called Copperheads, and I think I like Cog's explanation the mst. I'm trying to make things quasi-realistic, I guess. I had them eat copper and tin because those were the resources I had established as the exports of this one kingdom, Ithane, and the production of bronze from the Copperheads is a plot point later on in my story. (Negotiations between a noble from Ithane and a Byzantine-esque kingdom in the south to come to Ithane's aid in a war).

    I originally intended for the Copperheads to be eating small insects that lived in the copper and tin rocks, but then I realized that creatures as large as them (5-15 feet) wouldn't survive without thousands of them a day. Not feasable. So I came on the idea of a metabolic reaction or something that melts the two metals together and releases energy.

    Thanks for your replies, btw. They are greatly appreciated!
     
  15. Sulac Sol
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    Sulac Sol Member

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    Recently I dug up a mention of Anglo-Saxons building burhs as fortifications a day's march away from each other: 20 miles. Does that sound like a reasonable answer?
     
  16. ToxicWaste
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    ToxicWaste Member

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    I have to agree with Cogito. The human body's energy "currency" is that of ATP which is created by harnessing the energy of a proton concentration gradient. So unless oxidized metals are going to replace these protons to form the gradient, gaining usable biological energy from them would be difficult. But then you could just shelf hard science for magi-science.
     

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