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Why do the drow never(unless I just missed it) seem to...

Why do the drow never(unless I just missed it) seem to...

Postby Shgon Dunstan » Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:18 pm

Use Wood/Plant Mana affinity to quickly grow ether food or Mana producing plants?

I guess it, what with their need for Mana, might not work to well with Mana producing plants, but... With how in need of food the drow tend to be, you'd think "I can will food to grow on demand, any time I want", would be a talent that would be getting a lot more notice in drow civilization as a whole then it seems to. *ooo*

And if it did work on Mana producing plants... Why the bloody hell haven't they, in all of one thousand years, ever tried to just grow a few dozen more life trees? o_O I mean, just one of those was supposed to of been enough to make the underworld habitable for the drow, so... The fact that their only seems to be one of them left, might itself be playing a large role in the overworld being so low on mana. Which one would think would make trying to fix that a rather big objective for the elves... But mainly I'm just wondering why they don't seem to try to just fill their bellies more by just making whatever seeds they have on hand grow into full sizes plants? All in all, "feed me, now!" just seems a very "drow" thought for them to have. ^^;
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Re: Why do the drow never(unless I just missed it) seem to..

Postby partner555 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:28 pm

We kinda lack information on wood/plant sorcery, so your question would be difficult to answer without resorting to guesswork but we could try and make some reasonable guesses.

1st guess: There isn't a lot if people with such sorceries and there isn't a lot of plants for them to use their sorcery on, leaving little potential to discover the capability for solving food crisis in Chel and mana deprivation problems on the surface.

2nd guess: It takes a HUGE amount of skill to accelerate the growth of the plants and most would find the attempt impossible.
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Re: Why do the drow never(unless I just missed it) seem to..

Postby Shgon Dunstan » Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:41 pm

partner555 wrote:We kinda lack information on wood/plant sorcery, so your question would be difficult to answer without resorting to guesswork but we could try and make some reasonable guesses.

1st guess: There isn't a lot if people with such sorceries and there isn't a lot of plants for them to use their sorcery on, leaving little potential to discover the capability for solving food crisis in Chel and mana deprivation problems on the surface.

2nd guess: It takes a HUGE amount of skill to accelerate the growth of the plants and most would find the attempt impossible.

But... isn't it supposed to be a common Nal'sarkoth affinity?(goes to look)... Yeah it seems to be... But...

http://wiki.drowtales.com/index.php/Sorcery

Wood sorcery is only commonly seen among clans who have a strong presence on the surface, like the Val'Nal'sarkoth. Due to the scarcity of plantlife in the underworld creating a lack of source material and the rarity of the affinity itself, not much is known about the applications of wood sorcery.


So maybe they just didn't have many users of it until the colonies took off, and the more logical uses of it haven't sunk in yet?

Only... It's supposed to only take one generation for drow to revert to dark elves if their born in the overworld, so that can't itself be a requirement, as we've seen drow with the wood affinity. *hmmm*
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Re: Why do the drow never(unless I just missed it) seem to..

Postby Catriana » Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:55 pm

My understanding of it is that wood affinities are pretty rare due to the drow living underground(I think ice and light affinities are uncommon as well). And then there seems to be some clans who are predisposed to having certain affinities (like the Belds and shadow).

The Nal'sarkoth is the clan most noted for their wood affinity, and in Chel they have a cavern that's some sort of huge garden thing with trees and everything (which I'm assuming they used their affinites to help grow). The Nal'sarkoth are also from Mimaneid, which could explain this. Subsequently, they're also the first clan in Chel to properly promote and advocate colonies on the surface (the Illhar'dro followed suit not too long afterward).

I think I remember hearing or reading somewhere that environments can be a determining factor towards a child's affinity. So, if Chelians had more babies on the surface, wood affinities would probably make a resurgence.

The shortage of food in Chel and Nuqrah, currently, seems to be because someone is sabotaging their farming plantations, so it's not like they're not growing their own surface food. The fires the Hermionnes have been lighting up in drow colonies is one of the reasons for the food shortage.

Kyonne actually mentions what's going on with their supplies of surface food.

We don't really know enough about the affinity to say how powerful it'd be (if it's anything like the water affinity it might not be all that spectacular). We also don't know what Mimaneid has been doing to or for their life tree, other than the fact that they're obviously protective of it since it's their home.

The only real example I can give of colony life and farming would be from Path to Power, and I don't know if we had anyone with wood affinities. I do know it was hard work, and growing mana plants took a lot of effort and that they take a long time to mature. For the most part, farming was about the same as it'd be on any farm.

Most of what we've seen of drow culture comes from Chel, but from what I've noticed, every major city is different. Nuqrah did not suffer the overpopulation and degeneration Chel has, and Mimaneid is far and foreign enough that we know virtually nothing about them save for they like duels.

(Gah, some of this is repetitive now, but I'm not deleting it because I'm lazy)
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Re: Why do the drow never(unless I just missed it) seem to..

Postby MEK1724 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:04 pm

Shgon Dunstan wrote:Use Wood/Plant Mana affinity to quickly grow ether food or Mana producing plants?

Because even assuming that were how it worked , energy in must of necessity equal energy out . Ergo there is at best no net food energy gained by doing this . At worst there is a loss of food energy .
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Re: Why do the drow never(unless I just missed it) seem to..

Postby Shgon Dunstan » Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:42 am

MEK1724 wrote:
Shgon Dunstan wrote:Use Wood/Plant Mana affinity to quickly grow ether food or Mana producing plants?

Because even assuming that were how it worked , energy in must of necessity equal energy out . Ergo there is at best no net food energy gained by doing this . At worst there is a loss of food energy .

You might think that makes since because "physics", but as far as "magic" goes... That silly, really silly. *hmmm*

Besides, their need of Mana is different then their hunger, and though the Mana, IIRC, makes them need less food*, given the example of the water affinity, it isn't the starving commoner that would being doing this anyway, as they'd lack the ability to make much more then enough for themselves, though... That would still leave them with food, so you'd think they'd still try. ^^;




*Which given that they, the commoners at least, seem to always hungry, has always made me wonder why they'd bring goblins into the underwold for any other reason then "to eat" as a goblin slave would be eating up a lot more food then an elf slave.
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Re: Why do the drow never(unless I just missed it) seem to..

Postby Leopardwerecat » Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:26 am

Shgon Dunstan wrote:
MEK1724 wrote:
Shgon Dunstan wrote:Use Wood/Plant Mana affinity to quickly grow ether food or Mana producing plants?

Because even assuming that were how it worked , energy in must of necessity equal energy out . Ergo there is at best no net food energy gained by doing this . At worst there is a loss of food energy .

You might think that makes since because "physics", but as far as "magic" goes... That silly, really silly. *hmmm*

Besides, their need of Mana is different then their hunger, and though the Mana, IIRC, makes them need less food*, given the example of the water affinity, it isn't the starving commoner that would being doing this anyway, as they'd lack the ability to make much more then enough for themselves, though... That would still leave them with food, so you'd think they'd still try. ^^;




*Which given that they, the commoners at least, seem to always hungry, has always made me wonder why they'd bring goblins into the underwold for any other reason then "to eat" as a goblin slave would be eating up a lot more food then an elf slave.


I'm guessing along similar lines to the others in that Wood affinity is extremly rare outside of the Nal'sarkoth lineage, and I also expect you'd need a lot of stamina to 'force' a manaplant to grow quickly. From what I understand of affinities, Wood affinity is far different than say earth or water because it's the manipulation of another living organism (it's difficult enough for Ariel to manipulate her own cell structure), so I'd say imo that it's closer to a high sorcery in that account and thus is much more exhausting (that isn't to say the other affinities aren't exhausting as well, but it's easier to manipulate a fire than it is to force a complex cellular organism to grow at twice the rate nature dictates).

In all I think that if there were such individuals who could manipulate plants to grow much faster, I think they'd have to have a considerably sized aura and be of a certain age and maturity (not to mention be trained in their affinity - such training is practically nonexistant outside of Orthobbae so even if a commoner had wood affinity chances are they'd probably never be trained to use it or reach any potential), and not to mention be a kickass gardener.

For the goblin slaves thing, I think they're popular chattel because despite their short lifespan and dietry requirements, the drow probably find them much easier to manage and train than other fae because a goblin/halme can't use an affinity to break out of their pen, and they're easier to track down if they escape, plus they have an added bonus of being great meatshields in a demon infested warzone.
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Re: Why do the drow never(unless I just missed it) seem to..

Postby MEK1724 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:54 am

Shgon Dunstan wrote:That silly, really silly.

How is it , REALLY silly ?
You explain what you see first . We don't see them do as you suggest anywhere . A viable explanation is that it is impossible for them to do that . Which makes perfect sense if mana isn't a source of more energy then was put into the system from food which comes from the sun .
Now if you consider mana as acting as say , a little nuclear fusion reactor working within them, which produces energy from very banal substances like water , then your argument makes perfect sense , as they can then get more energy then they put in from this process. Of course even then they don't need the energy from food , so much as the raw materials , but even then this argument still doesn't make sense .
They could live on even very basic things , like dirt and air like plants do , were that the case .

Also if you're arguing they can do it outside their bodies they can do it in their gut . Such a beneficial adaptation as not needing to eat , would spread through out the entire population , if it existed .
Besides, their need of Mana is different then their hunger, and though the Mana, IIRC, makes them need less food

Food replenishes mana . This suggests that they make mana , via the energy they get from food . Also the reference to mana making them need less food , is from a years old daydream Q&A . Thus the canonicity of them needing less food because of their aura is questionable .
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Re: Why do the drow never(unless I just missed it) seem to..

Postby Shgon Dunstan » Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:54 am

Leopardwerecat wrote:I'm guessing along similar lines to the others in that Wood affinity is extremly rare outside of the Nal'sarkoth lineage, and I also expect you'd need a lot of stamina to 'force' a manaplant to grow quickly. From what I understand of affinities, Wood affinity is far different than say earth or water because it's the manipulation of another living organism (it's difficult enough for Ariel to manipulate her own cell structure), so I'd say imo that it's closer to a high sorcery in that account and thus is much more exhausting (that isn't to say the other affinities aren't exhausting as well, but it's easier to manipulate a fire than it is to force a complex cellular organism to grow at twice the rate nature dictates).

In all I think that if there were such individuals who could manipulate plants to grow much faster, I think they'd have to have a considerably sized aura and be of a certain age and maturity (not to mention be trained in their affinity - such training is practically nonexistant outside of Orthobbae so even if a commoner had wood affinity chances are they'd probably never be trained to use it or reach any potential), and not to mention be a kickass gardener.

Makes sense I guess.
For the goblin slaves thing, I think they're popular chattel because despite their short lifespan and dietry requirements, the drow probably find them much easier to manage and train than other fae because a goblin/halme can't use an affinity to break out of their pen, and they're easier to track down if they escape, plus they have an added bonus of being great meatshields in a demon infested warzone.

I agree, but... Not sure if that part is canon anymore, but didn't Longest Wait say that elf slave's collars were made to kill them if they sensed their auras leave a certain area?

If anything, it would seem the goblins would have an easier time escaping, as if nothing else, drow don't have the natural ability(and a few different kinds of Mana-tech) to sense their presence at range. *ooo*
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Re: Why do the drow never(unless I just missed it) seem to..

Postby Shgon Dunstan » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:25 pm

MEK1724 wrote: How is it , REALLY silly ?
You explain what you see first . We don't see them do as you suggest anywhere . A viable explanation is that it is impossible for them to do that . Which makes perfect sense if mana isn't a source of more energy then was put into the system from food which comes from the sun .
Now if you consider mana as acting as say , a little nuclear fusion reactor working within them, which produces energy from very banal substances like water , then your argument makes perfect sense , as they can then get more energy then they put in from this process. Of course even then they don't need the energy from food , so much as the raw materials , but even then this argument still doesn't make sense .
They could live on even very basic things , like dirt and air like plants do , were that the case .


It's "silly" because as much as some try to(at times), a magic system wouldn't be much of a magic system if it fallowed "conservation of energy" perfectly.

It's "really silly" as though Mana tries to fallow the laws pf physics more then some with stuff like Ariel not being able to change her mass... That doesn't stop them from getting results that far surpass the energy they needed to put into it.

It's not so much "get more energy out then they put in" as "if you took two things that used up the same amount of Mana*, and then tried determining how much energy both actions would take by RW physics, it's rather unlikely that they'd both come out to be the same".


*Which given how affinities work... Good luck determining what those two are, as, to my understanding, if you take two drow with a fire affinity, and have them both make a fire ball, the one with the stronger affinity would need less Mana to make a fire ball of the same strength as the one with the weaker affinity. Which... Itself is an example of what I'm talking about.


Also if you're arguing they can do it outside their bodies they can do it in their gut . Such a beneficial adaptation as not needing to eat , would spread through out the entire population , if it existed .

...How did you get that argument out of what I said? *ooo*

That being said... I guess Ariel could grow a muscle in her belly, break it off, and digest it, but... :x ... I think the drow have enough of a cannibal rep as it is thanks. :S


Food replenishes mana . This suggests that they make mana , via the energy they get from food . Also the reference to mana making them need less food , is from a years old daydream Q&A . Thus the canonicity of them needing less food because of their aura is questionable .


That... Doesn't even make a slight bit of sense. *hmmm*

The whole reason the drow are being so slow in colonizing the overworld, is that it lacks Mana, but... It's got a ton more food then the underworld, and if "food" is all they need to get Mana... Yeah. That just doesn't make any sense. o_O

Anyway, I'm pretty sure the whole "need less food then goblins so long as they've got enough Mana" came up in Moonless Age itself at some point, as I've never read any daydream Q&A.
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Re: Why do the drow never(unless I just missed it) seem to..

Postby Leopardwerecat » Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:31 am

Shgon Dunstan wrote:The whole reason the drow are being so slow in colonizing the overworld, is that it lacks Mana, but... It's got a ton more food then the underworld, and if "food" is all they need to get Mana... Yeah. That just doesn't make any sense. o_O

Anyway, I'm pretty sure the whole "need less food then goblins so long as they've got enough Mana" came up in Moonless Age itself at some point, as I've never read any daydream Q&A.


I don't think you fully understand how the mana system works: a fae must eat to continue living like any other animal, and in eating they replenish their stamina and the energy derived from food goes towards their personal mana source.

Having a lot of food is fine, but larger fae such as elves and drow can't sustain themselves on their own manapool - at least not for long anyway - before rapidly aging or suffering mana deprivation. Any drow that's been born and raised in a saturated manapool like a large city will have severe difficulty doing all but the most basic of activities (see the chapter where Ariel was on the surface for the first time and how she suffered mana exhaustion after simply firing a mana bolt) because fae need to live in a stable and large manapool to stay in top condition.

Think of it as bodyheat: a person eats and creates their own body heat which is fine if you're working in a comfortably warm climate, but it's ten times more difficult trying to work in a freezing climate and trying to stay warm with your own bodyheat alone.

The biological details concerning how fae produce their own mana isn't really explained, but I'm pretty sure it's far more complex than simply eat more food = get more mana; it's a complicated process like any biological function that's probably the result of several other biological and environmental factors.

For a drow colony to truly flourish and thrive, it would need to be in a mana-rich climate to begin with (preferably a zone with an established source for the manapool ie manaplants) OR you would have to displace a huge amount of people to create a sustainably large manapool to work in, because without a manapool a small party of drow isn't going to get very far.

The problem with the surface isn't that there isn't enough food, it's that for fae trying to do anything too strenuous like using an affinity to shape houses or build infrastructure is twice as tiring as normal, because there's no manapool to reinforce your own you're basically throwing your energy out into a vacuum.
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Re: Why do the drow never(unless I just missed it) seem to..

Postby Shgon Dunstan » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:42 am

Leopardwerecat wrote:
Shgon Dunstan wrote:The whole reason the drow are being so slow in colonizing the overworld, is that it lacks Mana, but... It's got a ton more food then the underworld, and if "food" is all they need to get Mana... Yeah. That just doesn't make any sense. o_O

Anyway, I'm pretty sure the whole "need less food then goblins so long as they've got enough Mana" came up in Moonless Age itself at some point, as I've never read any daydream Q&A.


I don't think you fully understand how the mana system works: a fae must eat to continue living like any other animal, and in eating they replenish their stamina and the energy derived from food goes towards their personal mana source.

Having a lot of food is fine, but larger fae such as elves and drow can't sustain themselves on their own manapool - at least not for long anyway - before rapidly aging or suffering mana deprivation. Any drow that's been born and raised in a saturated manapool like a large city will have severe difficulty doing all but the most basic of activities (see the chapter where Ariel was on the surface for the first time and how she suffered mana exhaustion after simply firing a mana bolt) because fae need to live in a stable and large manapool to stay in top condition.

Think of it as bodyheat: a person eats and creates their own body heat which is fine if you're working in a comfortably warm climate, but it's ten times more difficult trying to work in a freezing climate and trying to stay warm with your own bodyheat alone.

The biological details concerning how fae produce their own mana isn't really explained, but I'm pretty sure it's far more complex than simply eat more food = get more mana; it's a complicated process like any biological function that's probably the result of several other biological and environmental factors.

For a drow colony to truly flourish and thrive, it would need to be in a mana-rich climate to begin with (preferably a zone with an established source for the manapool ie manaplants) OR you would have to displace a huge amount of people to create a sustainably large manapool to work in, because without a manapool a small party of drow isn't going to get very far.

The problem with the surface isn't that there isn't enough food, it's that for fae trying to do anything too strenuous like using an affinity to shape houses or build infrastructure is twice as tiring as normal, because there's no manapool to reinforce your own you're basically throwing your energy out into a vacuum.


Oh I get how their auras work, it's just... Saying "food=mana production" just because they produce mana while alive, and need food to live... Is like saying "urinating=mana production". o_O
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Re: Why do the drow never(unless I just missed it) seem to..

Postby MEK1724 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:48 am

Shgon Dunstan wrote:That doesn't stop them from getting results that far surpass the energy they needed to put into it.

When ? Are you going to demonstrate any of these statements you're making , or are you just making them up ?
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Re: Why do the drow never(unless I just missed it) seem to..

Postby Thrair » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:32 am

Ok, I think auras and mana were described like gravity, in that mana is attracted to auras as the aura increases in strength.

A strong aura has a greater ability to pull in mana from the surrounding environment than a weak one.

And older, more powerful fae have both strong auras and deep reserves of mana. Thus, the older the fae, the better their ability to generate mana from their surroundings, and the greater their total mana storage capacity.

Trouble is, mana reserves and mana auras both scale in a sort of linear fashion, while aura expenditure and how much mana is needed to sustain it increases exponentially (I doubt there's any math on it, but the general principle seems to hold true). So the mana output of an aura quickly outstrips it's ability to sustain itself unless it's near other large sources of mana.


So the effects of mana deprivation, and the ability of fae to survive it, is kind of like a reversed square cube relationship.

As an analogy:
Put into an excessively hot environment, a small/skinny person (small aura) will last longer than a large/fat person (large aura) before succumbing to heat stroke (mana deprivation). If a person were a cube (keeping this analogy simpler at the massive risk of making so convoluted as to be meaninless):

Skinny person (young fae, small aura) is a 2x2x2 inch cube. Fat person (older fay, stronger aura) is a 3x3x3 inch cube.
The surface area they have to shed heat with (strength of the aura to attract mana) is 24 square inches for the skinny person, and 54 square inches for the fat person.
-Would seem that because fat person has over twice the surface area, and so is way better at shedding heat (generating mana), right? Unfortunately, surface area is square, volume is cubed. So it's not so. Thus:

Volume they have to generate heat with (how much mana the aura burns off/needs to sustain itself) is 8 cubic inches for the skinny person, and a whopping 27 cubic inches for the fat person.
-Almost triple the volume, for twice the surface area. Skinny person has 3 square inches of surface per cubic inch of volume. Fat person has only 2 per cubic inch. So he will overheat (suffer mana deprivation) faster.

And it only gets worse the large you get. Hypothetical MASSIVE person (ancient and powerful aura fae, like the Queen) is a 7x7x7 inch cube.
-Surface area: 294 square inches. Volume: 343 cubic inches. ~.85 square inches surface area per cubic inch of volume.


Apologize for that ramble. About half-way through I realized it was a shitty analogy, but by then I was committed.
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Re: Why do the drow never(unless I just missed it) seem to..

Postby Shgon Dunstan » Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:50 pm

MEK1724 wrote:
Shgon Dunstan wrote:That doesn't stop them from getting results that far surpass the energy they needed to put into it.

When ? Are you going to demonstrate any of these statements you're making , or are you just making them up ?

The "that far surpass the energy they needed to put into it" one?

That's rather blatant, just from them being able to do half the things they do. From making interdimensional portals, to fire hot enough to cut though peoples necks, to making, IIRC, solid swords out of light.

And that(save for maybe the "light sword" thing), isn't even getting into the flat out physics rape aspects of mana, like near all of the "shadow" affinity(can't really have a "RW energy requirement" if the results just "aren't physically possible" now can you?). *ooo*

Thrair wrote:Ok, I think auras and mana were described like gravity, in that mana is attracted to auras as the aura increases in strength.

A strong aura has a greater ability to pull in mana from the surrounding environment than a weak one.

And older, more powerful fae have both strong auras and deep reserves of mana. Thus, the older the fae, the better their ability to generate mana from their surroundings, and the greater their total mana storage capacity.

Trouble is, mana reserves and mana auras both scale in a sort of linear fashion, while aura expenditure and how much mana is needed to sustain it increases exponentially (I doubt there's any math on it, but the general principle seems to hold true). So the mana output of an aura quickly outstrips it's ability to sustain itself unless it's near other large sources of mana.


So the effects of mana deprivation, and the ability of fae to survive it, is kind of like a reversed square cube relationship.

As an analogy:
Put into an excessively hot environment, a small/skinny person (small aura) will last longer than a large/fat person (large aura) before succumbing to heat stroke (mana deprivation). If a person were a cube (keeping this analogy simpler at the massive risk of making so convoluted as to be meaninless):

Skinny person (young fae, small aura) is a 2x2x2 inch cube. Fat person (older fay, stronger aura) is a 3x3x3 inch cube.
The surface area they have to shed heat with (strength of the aura to attract mana) is 24 square inches for the skinny person, and 54 square inches for the fat person.
-Would seem that because fat person has over twice the surface area, and so is way better at shedding heat (generating mana), right? Unfortunately, surface area is square, volume is cubed. So it's not so. Thus:

Volume they have to generate heat with (how much mana the aura burns off/needs to sustain itself) is 8 cubic inches for the skinny person, and a whopping 27 cubic inches for the fat person.
-Almost triple the volume, for twice the surface area. Skinny person has 3 square inches of surface per cubic inch of volume. Fat person has only 2 per cubic inch. So he will overheat (suffer mana deprivation) faster.

And it only gets worse the large you get. Hypothetical MASSIVE person (ancient and powerful aura fae, like the Queen) is a 7x7x7 inch cube.
-Surface area: 294 square inches. Volume: 343 cubic inches. ~.85 square inches surface area per cubic inch of volume.


Apologize for that ramble. About half-way through I realized it was a shitty analogy, but by then I was committed.


No problem, only... How does that relate to "food=mana" again, as I think i missed that part? ^^;
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