Weyr Oh Weyr - A Nicer Pern (Planning/OOC)

Discussion in 'It's Galley's Turn' started by Raire, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. Raire

    Raire Turquoise Helicoid

    With your excellent worldbuilding, it looks like we're heading straight for an interesting AU set in the same pass as Dragonflight. I'm going to start patching together stuff in the documents and I've copy pasted wildly some of your stuff into the more appropriate sections as we start making a coherent canon of our own :3
    • Like x 3
  2. Raire

    Raire Turquoise Helicoid

    It occurs to me that I need a dating system, so I guess we can go with year 0 being Landing.
    • Like x 1
  3. NevermorePoe

    NevermorePoe Nevermore

    so would it be B.L for anything that references time periods before landing then?
    • Like x 1
  4. Raire

    Raire Turquoise Helicoid

    Yes! I'm using AL for After Landing right now as I figure out how the intervals go.
    • Like x 1
  5. cosmofex

    cosmofex trans lesbian extraordinaire

    found a timeline!

    BL ~460m: Hive memory evolved in some hexapodal archosaurs
    BL ~240m: basic fire breathing evolved in some hive memory archosaurs
    BL 10m: Red Star Captured; -1st Pass annihilates most megafauna; Intervals start out lasting around 800 Turns, slowly shortening to 600. Passes typically last 1/3 of a Turn. Life diversity in Intervals is equatable to life in the mid Triassic
    BL 9.8m: modern Fire Lizards evolve
    BL 5m: successive Passes cause significant evolution to take place between now and Landing. Life diversity in Intervals is equatable to life in the late Triassic
    BL 2m: planetary physics conspire to have a triple length Pass by gravity slingshotting the Red Star from it's old orbit into it's current one. life on land is nearly eradicated. The prolonged geologic stress sinks the Eastern and Western Continents, leaving only mountain ranges and plateaus above water. Equatable to Permian extinction.
    BL 192-AL 8: 0th Interval; the EEC Exploration team explores; Landing
    AL 8-58: 1st Pass; Founding of the Weyrs; dragons and watch weyrs engineered.
    AL 58-258: 1st Interval; Final Weyrs constructed, Honshu evacuated
    AL 258-308: 2nd Pass; Final Landing equipment fails
    AL 308-508: 2nd Interval; Todd writes bullshit here
    AL 508-558: 3rd Pass; Todd writes bullshit here
    AL 558-758: 3rd Interval
    AL 758-808: 4th Pass
    AL 808-1258: 4th Interval; first Long Interval
    AL 1258-1308: 5th Pass
    AL 1308-1508: 5th Interval
    AL 1508-1558: 6th Pass; Moreta's Ride
    AL 1558-1758: 6th Interval
    AL 1758-1808: 7th Pass
    AL 1808-2008: 7th Interval
    AL 2008-2058: 8th Pass
    AL 2058-2508: 8th Interval; second Long Interval

    This timeline discards AIVAS and the alternate timelines given in some versions of Moreta, everything before BL190 is my addition.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2016
    • Like x 3
  6. PotteryWalrus

    PotteryWalrus halfway hideous and halfway sweet

    I'm in, but like QR my posts might be slow - best if I'm considered a background character only to be addressed for certain things XD
    • Like x 1
  7. Raire

    Raire Turquoise Helicoid

    Awesome. I'd already found that timeline and used it as a base for what I was doing (here's our timeline as I work on it), but I changed a few numbers around because passes and intervals aren't always 50 years and 200 years, just to add some variation from the eccentric orbit. I also added a third long interval into the mix to allow some time for recovery from the Post-Landing Collapse, unless you think that three long intervals is too much?
    • Like x 1
  8. Raire

    Raire Turquoise Helicoid

    Also, anyone who wants to mess with the documents is welcome to. We're all a group project here :P
  9. cosmofex

    cosmofex trans lesbian extraordinaire

    i like it! if we also bumped the Second Interval to another Long Interval, that'd give a coherent rhythm to the orbit of the Red Star, make it a figure-8 with one loop about twice the size of the other. the random stretch of exact Interval and Pass length could be explained as depending on just how much Thread mass gets dragged out of the Oort Cloud (which most certainly is NOT an oort cloud bc an orbit that long with 50 years of it being in the inner solar system would be A HELL OF A LOT LONGER THAN 250 YEARS, I CAN TELL YOU. at best it's moon sized and orbits in a band equivalent to the space between Earth's orbit and the asteroid belt, getting sucked into Pern's orbit for 50 years then when Pern's moons line up juuuust right they slingshot it out again BUT I DIGRESS)

    fuck it im gonna digress.

    ok, the Red Star is a problem. no planet is gonna have the kind of velocities it does to go from the Oort Clout to the inner solar system and back in just 250 measly Turns and not get splattered into an asteroid belt just from gravitational stresses passing Rukbat. that's not counting the fact that it stays very visible in the sky for 50 freakin Turns. gravitational stresses will not allow two planet-sized bodies to remain close enough to each other for the one to be visible in broad daylight for longer than a few days or weeks and NOT get at least tidally locked into orbit, and more likely just colliding or torn apart and the bits colliding. so, to keep what the Pernese see on the ground a reality, the Red Star is a small moon which, previous to the Great Gravity Slingshot a few million years ago, did orbit out to the Oort Cloud, but in the Great Gravity Slingshot it's orbital speed was slowed down drastically, so that when Pern rolled by it was captured as a third moon. every 250 years, the other two moons' gravities line up, accelerating the Red Star enough that it gets pitched out to the near side of the asteroid belt, which happens to be where most of the Thread spores gathered before the GGS accumulated. The Red Star takes about 15 Turns to get there, and is slow enough that it starts to fall back in towards Rukbat after a bit. it gets recaptured by Pern around 30 Turns into the Interval, and the rest of that time is spent with the 2 usual moons slowly pulling the Red Star's orbit closer and closer, until one day it's close enough that Pern starts pulling some of the haze of Thread away. then 50 Turns later, the moons line up again.

    Long Intervals are periods where it gets slung a bit further than usual, and it's orbit as a planetoid aaaalmost sticks. AIVAS's plan is to push it just enough to actually stick permanently. for added fun, sometimes the capture after a Long Interval would leave the Red Star a little too far out of synch with the other two moons to be slung out after the usual 50 Turns.

    resulting in a Pass lasting a grand total of 300 Turns.

    sure, the Spores would diminish in volume over time, resulting in fewer and more sparse Threadfalls as the Pass stretched. but it's still 300 Turns of Thread. Remember the Great Gravity Slingshot that caused a Pass 3 times as long as normal, causing devastation on the scale of the Permian Extinction? that was nothing. Passes before that were short, at most a third of a Turn while Pern passed through the dust trail or entry and exit. the GGS Pass was one Turn of triple-strength, triple frequency Falls. the Falls since have been nothing to the strength or frequency, and Pern was able to adapt to that. Pern was even able to adapt to a Pass lasting 300 Turns. humans weren't. the Post Landing Collapse wasn't from disease. it was from the Pass following the First Long Interval lasting 300 Turns. it was from Dragon's being bred to have a 250 Turn breeding cycle so as not to overload the Holds in an Interval. Half a Pass-strength Weyr's worth of dragons to protect all of Pern for 200 Turns in the middle of this. they probably dropped like flies.

    Consider the attrition rate on the First Fall. Dozens of named, probably lots more, all dead in a single Fall. Stretch that to once a week, every week, sometimes more, for three hundred Turns.

    "No food, it's all Thread-eaten."
    "No wood for a fire tonight, it's all Thread-eaten."
    "Water's fine. Thread today?"
    "Who knows, no dragons left spare to give us a heads up."
    "I hear they've got food at Fort. Weyr of course, Hold's been all dead for twelve Turns."
    "Benden too, Hold and Weyr. It started Falling at night, too, did you hear?"
    "Yeah, I heard. Old F'tor got caught in it last week delivering mail. Poor bastard thought he'd be safe after dark."
    "No time's safe in Summer."
    "Can't wait for winter. Sure, frostbite's a bitch but at least it's safe to hunt for werries."
    "You still have werries here? I thought they were all gone."
    "Nah, we got a flock what learned to hide in a cave."
    "Well what've they been eating?"
    "Fish and pond scum mostly. That's all anyone's been eating since, well."
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2016
  10. cosmofex

    cosmofex trans lesbian extraordinaire

    this also opens up a new dating system eliminating the Landing everyone on Pern's forgotten about. Dunno what to call it or when to start it, though.
  11. Raire

    Raire Turquoise Helicoid

    Holy crap that is such a huge change I wouldn't even know how to start putting it into the timeline which would need lotsa changes. you know a SHITTON of things. @cosmofex, I am naming you our scholar.
    • Like x 2
  12. Raire

    Raire Turquoise Helicoid

    Do we want a three times as long Pass in the first place? I feel like we had plague down very well, I can't even begin to imagine how a three-fold Pass would impact the culture and make up of Pern.
  13. coldstars

    coldstars get Jazzy on it

    I read the books a while ago, and only refreshed my memory with the wiki, so take it with a grain of salt, but

    The long Intervals were apparently caused by AIVAS having the Pern people move the three engines of the original colony ships to knock Red Star into a new orbit. Two explosions caused two long Intervals, and the third changed the Red Star's orbit for good. So maybe another long interval could have happened naturally between time travel engine explosions, thanks to the increasingly eccentric orbit, but the timing might be finicky
    • Like x 1
  14. Raire

    Raire Turquoise Helicoid

    That is definitely what I remember, @coldstars, and I've reread the books recently. I know nothing of orbital physics but that sounds reasonable enough to me.
  15. cosmofex

    cosmofex trans lesbian extraordinaire

    @Raire knowing a shitton of things is an occupational hazard of liking SCIENCE too much for your own good. i read a lot of wikipedia, watched a lot of discovery channel as a kid back when it was good, and have a physics/astronomy/astrophysics professor as a dad. knowing SCIENCE things just kinda happens to me. i don't even question it anymore.

    i think that from a nature standpoint, the 300 Turn Pass would be resolved pretty quick once it actually ended. Pernese life is specifically mentioned to have evolved to recover from passes reeeally quick. the EEC team showed up only 2 Turns after a pre-dragon Pass ended, and there were good sized forests. the most recent Thread-scorched areas had pretty heavy growth, though not forest level yet. basically, Pernese seeds seem to be at least Thread resistant, and possibly Thread proof.

    in the 300 Turn Pass there were dragons, just not enough to protect the whole continent. they probably had Benden's strength at the beginning of the 9th Pass for most of the Pass, but beefed up tremendously in the last 50 Turns with the dragon breeding cycle. the dragons at their weakest numbers would only be able to fully support 1-2 Holds, or between ten (lowest single Hold) and thirty (highest double Hold) thousand people. that's enough to repopulate to 9th Pass AU numbers, but only if it happens very early in Pernese history.

    the Apocalypse of it all was the Earth crops. Pernese plant fields would be fully restored in about half a Turn as if nothing had happened, but humans can't eat those. earth plant fields would be scoured clean for at least 3 Turns without human intervention, 2 Turns with it. the dragons would stretch themselves to their utmost to protect as many fields as possible, even to the point of letting Threat fall on the stone roofs of the Hold for the Holders to burn out, but once their riders started dying off from age, some Thread would slip through. one field destroyed. Two. five, and the Hold goes on rations. ten, and the mothers can't feed themselves and their children both, and they have to decide who's gonna live. twenty, and food riots break out. thirty, and there's not enough food, and they take what seed they can and go somewhere else. eventually everyone's living in just those one or two Holds the Dragon's have got completely safe, and they wait it out. once they get to that point, it's business as usual. the Apocalypse wasn't the Pass lasting for 300 years, it was Interval Dragon population reduction. there can be only as many people as the fields can support, and there can be only as many fields as the dragons can support. reduce the dragons, the fields go away. reduce the fields, and the people go away.

    culture wise, i'm pretty sure it's got the same effect as the plague would give. if anything, it would have just enforced what we already see in the 9th Pass, the paranoia for Thread, the surity that without dragons AND a Hold, there can be no survival. the Pernese population grows very quickly when there's room for it to, as evidenced by the fact that all the Weyrs and Holds were settled by the end of the First Interval, and the Landing population was only 6,000. heck, given the Pernese aversion to writing anything but songs and population counts and crop yields down, the Pernese people might not even remember that it WAS a Long Pass by the end of the next Interval. add in a records fire or two, and no one notices that the only places with records of the last Interval is this one Hold here. low crops followed by low population? blight, followed by famine. all the Weyrs moved to one Weyr? they didn't want to stress out the Blight-struck Holds.

    it also has the handy side effect of not being Moreta's Ride Mark II.

    but this is all conjecture. the Long Pass could have or have not happened at any point, or not at all. it all depends on how wonky we want the Red Star's orbit to be. Long Passes would only follow Long Intervals, but not reliably. there would be plenty of Long Intervals without a Long Pass following it. more wonky, more Long Intervals and Long Passes. less wonky, fewer Long Intervals and Long Passes, or more reliable Long Interval/Long Pass correlation.

    heck, we could just straight up go with blight + famine! the Pernese don't know, that's for sure!

    the Red Star is a lunatic of a planetoid, no matter how you go about it tho.

    Pern people too. i don't think they believe in the past. it's not real to them.

    EDIT: it didn't get a song recorded, because how the fuck are harpers supposed to write a song about the slow attrition of 9/10ths of the population? it wasn't one big thing either. it was so slow that they didn't realize what was happening until someone born in the Pass died in the Pass of old age. Pernese people would fail history class in the first week, they give so few shits about dates.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2016
    • Like x 5
  16. Raire

    Raire Turquoise Helicoid

    Hmm, personally, a LONG Pass still hits my skepticism bone, but I can't really put arguments forward. Rest of the folk, what do you prefer? Do you want to include long passes into the mix, or stick to plague? Remember that passes and intervals vary anyways, so a pass can be seven years shorter than another, etc.
  17. KingStarscream

    KingStarscream watch_dogs walking advertisement

    I'm hesitant to commit to a LONG Pass too (even though the physics work out) just because the difference between horrific plague of less than a decade and slow mass death of everything over the course of three centuries is pretty big, culturally speaking? The Pernese are Weird when it comes to culture, the growth thereof, and the passing of time, but even with a lack of Harper songs I really can't see people forgetting. That's at least three generations of living, then dying, during a Pass. It might not get a triumphant ballad, but it would get a grim cautionary song about... idk, the follies of trying to advance technology too far.

    Which, if we took it from that angle I could see it. Using the events of a Long Pass as a means of reinforcing the cultural maxim that Halls are just so, and Weyrs are just so, and Holds are just so, and if you try to fuck with The Way Things Are, the thread will never stop falling until you've been justly punished for it. Pern tends to treat the Red Star with a grim sort of spirituality, so I could see it being used as a means of punishing nonconformist behavior (and hey! maybe this is the real reason why Halls keep reinventing the wheel.)
    • Like x 2
  18. Raire

    Raire Turquoise Helicoid

    I feel like a GRIM PERN! Au would do really well with Long Passes, but it is possibly just me XD
    • Like x 1
  19. cosmofex

    cosmofex trans lesbian extraordinaire

    ok, since it's not unanimously loved for this AU, Long Passes are for GRIMPERN. honestly, i didn't dig it too much for this AU myself, if only because that's so dark and edgy it makes normal Pernese dark and edgy look like a bright yellow toddler's toy. i do gotta say, though, slow attrition is my favorite kind of apocalypse. it gives so much opportunity for character developement, and loads more time to world/plot-build.

    my secondary idea i had, the one for blight rather than plague, actually strikes me as a better option than Moreta's Ride Mark II, tho. we want some variety, and a Pernese AU potato famine would be just the thing. (fuck, saying "famine is just the thing we need" is fucked up). It would push populations together wherever there was food, and the people who survive famine are those able to find food where others can't, favoring the people who spent their time in the woods taste testing the local flora rather than people who learned a craft. it would also favor the rich, meaning Lord Holders and their dependents, who also didn't learn a craft.

    OOO! what if it's not a blight. what if the dragonriders thought the Pass hadn't begun yet, like F'lar thinking black dust in the snow was from forest fires or a volcano. or maybe the Holds rebelled against the authority of Weyrs which put too much tithing pressure on them. or thought the Pass was over. maybe it was before the practice of having dragonriders play weatherman began, so they had to wait for word from Holders. whatever the reason, Thread fell unchecked across Pern. maybe only one or two got around the Holder's notice at each Hold, and evaded the agenothree. but it only takes one or two if you've got miles and miles of fields full of crops and timber. all the food for that year, all the seed for next, gone. one or two Holds had their food stocked safe, their seedstock protected, but that's it.
    • Like x 2
  20. Raire

    Raire Turquoise Helicoid

    Heck, we can have alal of those happen at different times in history, since care far more about history than the Pernese "lol whut more than a generation ago".

    I want to suggest we name the new Weyr after Kintsugi if we don't just call it Nerat. Not exactly Kintsugi, since weyrs generally go for two-syllable names, but something inspired by it.
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