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Damsels In Distress - A question of Portal Construction

grandad_rufus

As we know from early stories, and so canon, "A Portal is made in this way: on a door-frame of glass of sufficient size to step through, place thin films of these metals electronically isolated from each other - gold, aluminium, tin, platinum, copper, and zinc in that order, with a final layer made of electrum. A good varnish is suggested as the insulator between layers."

Now the problem is that Aluminium was not extracted in a pure form until 1845 (an alloy was produced in 1825).

So, how could a portal be constructed on Earth prior to this date ? Did "The powers that be" supply them ready assembled, or was some other metal used ?

This is something that would need to be answered for anyone writing an "early" DiD story (which I may have a crack at this winter - Gods help us!)

Regards G_R

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

Some time back I put together all the DiD canon in one place and passed it by Lazlo for approval, so it's a good reference point to start with.

https://storiesonline.net/s/76905/damsels-in-distress-rules

However, in that I simply copied in what Lazlo had said in the early stories. Although he doesn't say it has to be pure, so an impure form could be used, but I think a case could be made for either:

a. The early portals were created by, and handed out by, the creators of the system who could have given them to people they selected. or

b. A number of portals were originally created by the makers of the system and spread around the Earth along with the rings and some legends about the portals being spread about. Then it was left up to the right type of people to enter them and be filtered by the computer. or

c. Since it's possible impure aluminium can be used the early home made ones could be made with Alum instead.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alum

I'd go with option (b) or (b) and (c) because the very first portals had to be put in place by the creators of the system. I think Option (b) would be the best way. Which ever way is used you have to start with someone finding a ring and portal, or being taken along by a Hero, or following up on a legend.

Also, remember there are two types of portals with slightly different rings, but all the ones used by the Heroes are the Mark II Portals while the Mark I Portals came to light in Shiloh and are used by the bad guys. Thus an early story would have MArk II Portals and rings only.

The other thing to keep in mind is the system was created in the 13th Century with people from Earth taken at that time, and until the events in Shiloh the control system computer was responsive but not proactive, and it was very inflexible until the AIs were added as part of the events in Shiloh.

typo edit

Replies:   REP
grandad_rufus

I am leaning towards a) or b) as alum would probably be applied as a wash in liquid form (somewhat messy). a) also allows the portal to be passed along from father to son.

Can you recall any reference to a situation where a portal is lost (hidden) and the hero dies on Earth (as in the English Civil War https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Civil_War and is rediscovered by a new Hero in modern times? I am assuming the Hero would be greeted by a Hero Greeter in a plain room as usually described.

Lots for me to think about and rough out some story outlines :)

Many Thanks G_R

Ernest Bywater

In the wikipedia article it mentions about alum being soaked into cloth so it can be used to cover things, that makes me wonder if a piece of alum saturated cloth would work - remember it would be sandwiched between two layers of varnish. However, if I get around to doing an early period Did story it would be based on portals distributed by the system creators.

Now, there are a few stories where people find portals, but in each case, so far, it was a portal owned by an ancestor who built it into their house or a cupboard that stayed in the family. There is one story where a fellow moved a portal from the middle east to the USA.

In the early DiD stories all the rooms are plain white, and the only personalisation done is by the Caretakers, with furniture being the only item before the manuals are found in recent times. So a plain white room for a first meeting with a Hero Greeter would be correct, regardless of the period - unless the person is introduced by an existing hero.

The Mark II portals only require a ring with a suitable sized sapphire gemstone, so it would be possible for a person who is wearing such a ring, be it an old portal ring or just a sapphire ring with the right sized gem, and is of the right nature would be transported on passing through a portal. Thus they could be walking through an old building and be sent to Crossroads when they walk through the portal without knowing what it is - it could even be a ruined building. So your idea can work. You could even have a fellow obtain the ring and the house with the portal as spoils of war and he becomes a hero, or the spoils get passed a long a few generations until a new Hero wanders through the portal while wearing the ring.

The system was established in the 13th century, so you can have someone finding or inherited a ring and wandering through a portal any time after that. I just wouldn't expect any in the Americas until the 18th century, but that leaves all of Europe for the 13th to 18th centuries.

Replies:   grandad_rufus
Ernest Bywater

Remember metals and obvious weapons don't get through the portal, so a person from that period would transport without their knives or swords or bows & arrows etc.

grandad_rufus
Updated:

I have some ideas on that (and no I am not a lawyer :) ) I only recall a prohibition to metal and firearms. I seem to think a bone knife would be allowed? If not I can still get around that.

Regards G_R

Ernest Bywater

Al had to try and sneak his climbing claws through because they had a point, even an obvious quarterstaff would be blocked as a weapon, while a shorter walking stick could get by. Essentially anything with a point or a cutting edge would be blocked and not passed.

Replies:   grandad_rufus
REP

@Ernest Bywater

The early portals were created by, and handed out by, the creators of the system who could have given them to people they selected. or


Out of curiosity, how did the Cassandrians get the first portal to Earth, so they could travel to Earth? Assuming that has been defined.

grandad_rufus

@Ernest Bywater

OK - that clarifies things, not a problem though :)

Regards G_R

grandad_rufus

@REP

Out of curiosity, how did the Cassandrians get the first portal to Earth, so they could travel to Earth? Assuming that has been defined.


I think "The Powers That Be" / The "Aliens" introduced in Shiloh passed that information to Cassandra

Regards G_R

grandad_rufus

@Ernest Bywater

Assuming I am able to do more than come up with an outline (and pass it on to a real authour like yourself to write), I was thinking of two sets of stories, one based around a 17th century Cavalier (Royalist) Hero who's family were Heroes and passed on the tradition Father to Son, and a second set of stories where a "Modern" individual purchases a "ruin" and finds a Portal in a basement (think priest hole / hidden room) with a ring and journal leading to a modern day hero.

Lots to think about.

Regards G_R

Ernest Bywater

Both of those could work, GR, but you need to have a plausible explanation for them to have a suitable sing on their hand to activate the portal. One I can see is a special family heirloom or one carved as a signet ring. Or an odd ring they bought at a shop because the liked it. I've thought out plots to use all three, but not yet acted on them.

Ernest Bywater

@REP

Out of curiosity, how did the Cassandrians get the first portal to Earth, so they could travel to Earth? Assuming that has been defined.


The Scot covered that back story as part of what he wrote for Shiloh before he gave up writing and asked me to take over the story. Which is why options (a) and (b) are in the earlier list I gave.

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