The Worlds of Katherine Kurtz

FanFiction => MerchantDeryni's FanFic => Topic started by: MerchantDeryni on September 20, 2018, 10:27:36 pm

Title: Not quite fanfic
Post by: MerchantDeryni on September 20, 2018, 10:27:36 pm
This is more like KK's Deryni Magic Grimoire. These are my thoughts on a world that goes from the 1100's to modern day with a race of teleporting sorcerers in their midst.

These are my assumptions when thinking about an 11 Kingdoms story. Your Deryni fanfic universe may well be different.
   I throw in the Medieval trade routes and spice bazaar. India, China, and Palestine are in the world (I am assuming, Jews, Muslims and Eastern and Western flavours of Christianity are in the books and RPG game). I use google maps to figure out distances. I assume a Transfer Portal can move people 250-300 miles as a max range. I add in Jewish banking institutions in the medieval period and the Bills of Exchange. My starting point for Deryni expansion is the 1100's. This keeps it out of anything KK has written canon wise. Clearly the smuggling and such would likely start in the early days after the Statutes of Ramos. People have to earn a living.
Moving from the 1100's to modern day with a race of mind reading sorcerers would change the culture. Here are some of my thoughts on a what if though history.
I skipped the idea of creating an Illuminati that mind controls all those in power. That's for the next cycle of nasty stories.
Pricing I get from: https://www.economics.utoronto.ca/munro5/SPICES1.htm
Pepper is cheap in that a pound of it is 3 days pay for a regular mason at 6 pennies a day. Saffron is more expensive. Silk is insanely expensive. The Silk Road earned its name.

Deryni Through the Ages
(Who needs De Gama?)

The Deryni Diaspora to escape the OCF and anti-Deryni backlash after the Haldane Restoration resulted in a loss of Deryni culture and knowledge to many Deryni. Not all knowledge was lost. Some families were more adept at their power and used it on a regular basis. This allowed them to escape Gwynned and build a place for themselves outside of Gwynned. Torenth is Deryni friendly, and Meara ignores the Statutes of Ramos. These locations would allow Deryni to flee both East and West.
   Following the diaspora any Deryni remaining were forced to try and create a place for themselves in a society that did not allow them to own land or join the priesthood or hold titles. Legal sources of income were difficult to come by.
   There were few avenues for Deryni and their powers. Indeed it was their well known ability to read and control minds that created the most friction and fear among the humans of the land. Few people have a clear conscience and the presence of a person who might know the dirty secrets a person has, or worse yet, compel the person to commit some heinous act was enough to make humans mistrustful and disinclined to live with a Deryni.
   Some Deryni found work for themselves as Truth Readers and Delvers of Secrets. Kings and Queens have enemies and having a person on staff who can find out if the honeyed words being whispered to the Royal ear are real or just flattery is a powerful tool. Such Deryni were hated on all sides for their abilities of course.
   Healers were also sought after and managed, after a time, to create a new Healing Guild. The ability to repair injuries beyond the skill of Doctor’s is a powerful incentive to accept at least some use of Deryni power. As human knowledge grew the Healers gained even more understanding of how to best use their gifts and Healing art advanced considerably.
   The area that saved more Deryni and changed their position in society was Transfer Portals. The ability to read minds and compel actions inspires fear and hatred. The ability to make money for someone inspires common interest.
   A family that had long used Portals for its own use was able to escape the OCF and make their way to an out of the way estate. To fund their move and support the family they created more Portals and got involved in smuggling. They made connections to the local criminal elements and moved salt, spices and any other high value property that needed to evade customs and border taxes.
   It was shortly realized that a trading network did not have to rely on smuggling stolen goods. Legitimate goods could be transported and a profit made. The speed and reduction of people needed to move goods would increase profits considerably. The Deryni family allied with a human mercantile family and bankrolled an expedition to the spice lands. The aim was to reduce exposure to tolls, pirates, bandits, tax collectors and anything else that cost money.
   It was at this point the connection to the Jewish Mercantile banking institutions was made. The banks funded the early expeditions and helped arrange leasing for the buildings that were needed along the route. The first expedition simply followed the standard trading route and created a Portal at regular points along the way. The twenty Deryni contingent that went along with the human merchants were able to create the Portals at the major cities along the route.
   After several months of travel the merchants arrived in far Byzantyum. They leased a trading house and installed the final Portal. Purchasing packs of spices the Deryni began shuttling the spices Westward along the route. At each outpost they feared discovery, but the careful planning and judicious use of Deryni reinforcement of loyalty and good coin paid allowed the travellers to flit from Portal to Portal and return to the West.
   The payoff was immediate. The packs were small enough that the trading house was able to sell them at the various trading houses in each city easily. There was no sudden glut of material on the market to drive the price down. The goods were sold for an astronomical profit. A Deryni could travel across the network and return with a pack and make a years income in 2 weeks.
   The banks were repaid and the buildings along the route purchased. Security measures were put in place to keep the source of income as vague as possible.  The human trading house and Deryni family grew closer and agreed to help each other become as rich as kings. The banks were also brought into the fold as the trading house needed the ability to transfer large amounts of money legally, as well as arrange to pay the taxes and bribes needed to keep the operation going. The banks were among the first to realize that the ability of the Deryni Transfer Portals to keep tabs on the Bills of Exchange and other mundane trading ships put the banks in a much safer area of business. Information became a major income for the Deryni trading House.
   The house soon realized that the trade route simply followed the easiest path for people to walk, ride or boat to get to the far away lands. Routes would take massive detours to go around a mountain for example. Portals needed no special route. They could be set up in a straight line and shorten the actual journey to the destination.

Lords of All they Surveyed

   The surveying and map work project began as a means by which the Deryni could shorten the direct trip to the Spice Bazaar. It began by mapping the roadways and river routes across the continent. The new surveying equipment developed allowed the creation of quite accurate maps.  The expedition also paid to have the valleys and mountain passes surveyed. This resulted In an ever growing map of the world, centered on Rhemuth to be developed.
   The coastline of the country was surveyed as the Portal Network followed the sailing ships as they plied across the seas and oceans. Expeditions inland were financed. This brought new customers, knowledge, and discovered hidden communities of Deryni to be contacted again.
   The Deryni family had never forgotten its roots, and spent considerable effort and money in searching out Deryni. These communities and families discovered were offered access to the Network and jobs bringing in more money to the House.
   The map of the world grew ever more complete and accurate. As it grew in detail Portals were able to be shifted to create a straighter more efficient path to a desired destination. Many Portals remained quite active though, as the trading house on top of it bought and sold goods to trade to far off lands.

Journey to the Land beyond the Sun
Marco Polo was financed by the Trading House and left the known world to discover the Land of Wa and the Land Beyond the Sun. His support group of Deryni followed along, surveying the route and creating a trail map across the known world. They also created a string of Portals every 200 miles to keep the mission in contact with the Trading House. The days of a trading mission being out of contact for years were long over.
   Kublai Khan sent a letter to the King of Gwynned and the archbishop of Grecotha. The response was sent back by way of Deryni courier.  China had a trading mission authorized and representatives were transported back to the West to open a formal diplomatic mission. Japan remained a closed society, except for a small trading island and Portal. Silks and artwork flowed along the Oriental Network and changed how the West view themselves, the world, and their place in it. The Silk income was astronomical. A single bolt was a years salary for a master Mason.
   Kings, Queens, and Emperors all discovered they wanted to send letters to other Heads of State. A Postal service was created to shuttle Royal Mail across the Network as fast as possible. Treaties and trade deals were arranged. Human dignitaries were shuttled across the world to establish embassies. All this was done on the backs of the Deryni.
   The Trading Houses and Deryni families grew rich from the trade and information they gathered. This fostered some resentment. Their ties to the Jewish banking houses, and their mental abilities earned them a chapter in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Anti-Semitic authors could not decide if the Jews were controlling the Deryni through special Jewish magick, or if the Deryni were secretly Elder Jews.
   Still, the ability of the Deryni to make the world a smaller place, and a richer one allowed them to remake their image into that of helpful adept rather than evil sorcerer. People began to ask to pay for passage along the Network to visit the places they had only read about. Deryni again proved their value to the humans as they fostered communication and trade around the world.

Undercutting the Merchants. Grower to table Vertical Integration.
   The first Network links were to the Spice Bazaars. Byzantyum and Alexandria (And probably something Rkassian or East of Arjenol in Gwynned.) The aim was to get to the markets and then bring spices back for sale. As Deryni expeditions travelled past the bazaars they made it to the Spice Lands of India and East Asia. The big difference is the expeditions were still in contact with the Home Office. They had updates, resupply with more trade goods from the West, and a flow of information. They could ship goods direct from the suppliers. Once they found a grower they could arrange everything from crop loans, insurance, and harvest and storage loans. The Bazaars to the west were bypassed, and so was the overhead. The Deryni remembered when they were shunned and taken advantage of, they did not repeat that practice. They paid the growers very well and were able to arrange long term contracts.
Their wealth allowed them to purchase land all over the world. The banking house was able to create a global currency exchange using the Deryni Portals to tie everything together.

Diplomacy in the age of Teleportation
A Haldanic King was the first Royal personage to transfer along the Network to visit a foreign Kingdom. Treaties were signed in person. Dignitaries and Diplomats became common passengers along the Network to improve relations across the world.
Truth Reading was used by a Deryni to show the Kings had no hidden agenda. It is difficult to double cross a negotiation when lying is not allowed. This changed diplomatic relations considerably. If a ruler refused to answer question regarding intent to invade then the other side knew to prepare for action.
 

How fast can the Network move things?

I am assuming a Deryni could make at least 2 jumps per day. Deryni in the books would use a Portal, meet and act at the destination, then return. So a Deryni carrying 50 pounds of material could move 400 miles a day. 600 if the houses were maximized for distance, but assume 200 miles apart. So long distance travel would be 400 miles a day. A Master Mason made 8 pennies a day. A pound of pepper worth 18 pennies. So a 50 pound pack is worth 112 days wages at a Master level of income. Commoners made  2 pennies a day, so a single journey could hire a man for a year. Leaving a penny in the basket of a portal operator is good income.
A Deryni could well be able to jump, have a rest, have a coffee or tea, maybe a meal, Jump again, then rest for a couple of hours, jump again. In this way 3, 4,5,6 jump per day may be possible over the course of an 8-10 hour day. Then sleep for a night and repeat the process the next day. If 5 Jumps a day are possible a Deryni could move 1000 miles a day and a trip from Rhemuth(London England) to Beijing could be done in 5 or 6 days.



Would this impact the Age of Sail?
A coastal ship could map a shoreline, and every 200 miles find a location to put in a Portal and get news from home. The New world could well be discovered from Siberia to Alaska.

Bulk sailing of commodities would still happen, but the ability of Deryni Transfer Portals to move high value items undercuts the reason for the age of Discovery expeditions.

Railways

The same argument exists for railways. If the wealthy want to go somewhere they can pay to be transported along the Network. Indeed, there could be an entire industry of humans being used to fuel jumps, while carrying a backpack full of goods themselves. Humans have helped provide power to build portals. Can they provide the energy to transfer from place to place? If so, being a psychic battery, with the option of getting a cut of goods carried, would be an amazingly profitable career for a human. A single journey could set them up for years.

Would railways, and the creation of large scale transit be profitable in the face of competition from Deryni? Bulk transport is one thing from mine to smelter. Would Portals do away with commuter trains being built in the 1800's?

This assumes that Portals become a known entity, which seems likely given how much power and influence they could create for the Deryni. The opportunities the portals offer is world altering.

Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: Evie on September 21, 2018, 09:18:20 am
Really cool extrapolation!  And that link to the medieval costs and recipes is amazing; I've gone ahead and bookmarked it for more leisurely study later.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: DesertRose on September 21, 2018, 10:49:57 am
I am sick as a dog right now, but I definitely want to read this when I feel better, so I'm commenting to remind myself to do that!  :D
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: Laurna on September 21, 2018, 11:53:15 am
This is an amazing theory, with well thought out ideas. I am assuming the Deryni Population is a low percentage of the general population. And that they are mostly hidden from the common folk. As you describe in you vignette Families pay good dowers to have their sons marry the daughters of Deryni, thus improving the abilities of those who already have fortune and power. We know that many humans who work with Deryni eventually gain shielding of their own. Which is good, because a human does not want his bank accounts and passwords gleaned from him while traveling to a foreign business meeting via a Deryni Transfer portal.

I'm going on the assumption that you can not portal across the Atlantic or pacific ocean, therefore the discovery of the new world would still be by ship. However, once it was established that the new world had gold, tabaco and coco beans, portals might have developed along the northern tundras to get there.  I'm thinking warded warm rooms would be in the next room adjacent to the portal room.
So much else to think about here.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: revanne on September 21, 2018, 01:16:18 pm
This is an incredible piece of work. So much to think about and discuss.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: MerchantDeryni on September 21, 2018, 04:57:50 pm
Thank you all for the really nice comments.

The impact of the various Deryni abilities on history could (or would be in my opinion) be profound. Life altering for many people. (Especially if a human can provide power for a transfer and earn money by partnering with a Deryni.  I wrote about that in my "Cost of Doing Business" story.

Paying a penny to the owner of the building could allow regular folk to earn an excellent wage just by having the portal located in their basement.

So this is the backdrop for most of my stories. Camberland is setting up a portal based economy in the Caribbean. The 11 Kingdoms version can link up with them and span the globe at some point in the future.

Adhan has no overt Deryni. Few humans know of the Deryni outside of legend.   
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: Bynw on September 21, 2018, 05:57:33 pm
Hey MerchantDeryni,

That is pretty good. And as most everyone knows I run the play-by-post game here on the forum "Ghosts of the Past" which is set only about 30 years after the events in KKB. Kelson there is pretty much still King. However. I do have my own home-brew game world being an avid gamer. And Deryni are present in that. But they have never been persecuted or low in population. In fact the Deryni of my home-brew world out number the non-Deryni humans.

Throughout my home-brew setting, there are not only private transfer portals of course, but there is a public network as well. Every major city has one at the center or near the market district. Clearly identified and anyone can use and learn it without so much as anyone raising an eyebrow. In my home-brew setting, it is common practice to drop a few coins every time you use one of the public portals. The funds are collected by the town and used for infrastructure improvements and maintenance.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: MerchantDeryni on September 21, 2018, 06:18:14 pm
That would be an excellent source of income for a town. And a means of attracting trade to the market district if traders could flit from city to city trading in rare goods. Information flow would also increase.

Of course portals also make borders non-existent.  With Portals there is no way to stop people from going anywhere they want. Smugglers could build their own networks and smuggle people in. Drugs can be brought in without any risk of sniffer dogs.  (My Locker 6 story touches on this, so does Adhan).
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: Bynw on September 21, 2018, 06:30:51 pm

Of course portals also make borders non-existent.  With Portals there is no way to stop people from going anywhere they want. Smugglers could build their own networks and smuggle people in. Drugs can be brought in without any risk of sniffer dogs.  (My Locker 6 story touches on this, so does Adhan).

Actually that wouldn't be correct. From our own non magical vantage point. Yes it could be an issue. But in a world where magic exists and being able to Teleport via a Transfer Portal like the Deryni due or apport magic like the Wizards in Harry Potter series do. Boarders are still there. And they are still enforced. Yes you might be able to slip through some private portal location that isn't know by authorities unless one has to licence them.

Public portals, like the ones I described could be easily enforced. Anyone arriving could be subject to showing some kind of identity papers. And don't try to mind-change them either. Boarder guards by default would have to be Deryni as well. And never alone. Anyone coming and going would be subject to search of the items they carried with them.

Mother necessity would create means of securing national boarders even in the age of Teleportation. Deryni may learn ways of detecting the use of magic from a distance in the area. And be able to detect if someone is manipulating any event. And learn ways of suppressing the ability within a small area. Effectively making a psychic static where powers just dont function or function well. And you have to go outside to have them work again. 
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: DesertRose on September 21, 2018, 06:56:53 pm
That would be an excellent source of income for a town. And a means of attracting trade to the market district if traders could flit from city to city trading in rare goods. Information flow would also increase.

Of course portals also make borders non-existent.  With Portals there is no way to stop people from going anywhere they want. Smugglers could build their own networks and smuggle people in. Drugs can be brought in without any risk of sniffer dogs.  (My Locker 6 story touches on this, so does Adhan).

Well, there is a way to trap a Portal, and perhaps with another few hundred years to study the mechanics of how Portals work, someone could figure out how to trap a Portal selectively, so that someone with legitimate business at that Portal could go on about their business, but someone who has no business being there would be stuck until someone with authority over that Portal came to figure out who they were and why they were there.

I'm thinking something akin to the Haldane/Kelson's-blood-relatives-specific veil around the library Portal in KKB, except on the Portal itself or perhaps the Portal chamber is veiled so that people who are known to have a reason to be there can pass through as if the veil were not in place, but someone who is at least at the moment unauthorized would be stuck in the Portal chamber.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: MerchantDeryni on September 21, 2018, 10:25:23 pm
The borders being non-existent comment was to argue that if a smuggling ring wanted to bring in drugs or sneak people into a country they could simply build a Portal on one side of the wall and then send a crew in to build a Portal somewhere within 300 miles of the border.

Lets use Mexico/USA as an example. A drug and human smuggling cartel could buy a house in Mexico near the border. They could build a Portal there. They send the Portal team north disguised as tourists and purchase a house within Portal range of the Mexican Portal. Then they shuttle drugs and people across the border without any issues.

They could extend their own clandestine network from drug lab or field all the way across the U.S.. Forget public portals, it is the clandestine ones you have to be worried about.

Larry Niven wrote about these sort of issues in his transfer booth series of stories (Flash Crowd and others  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_Crowd )

Imagine the Harry Potterverse with a drug cartel setting up their own Flue portal and smuggling in all the naughty critters and evil ingredients for Diagon Alley.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: Bynw on September 21, 2018, 11:40:43 pm
The policing of it would be difficult if the Deryni population is still a fraction of the human poplulation. But as the Deryni population grows. Methods of detection will also come about. A Portal can be felt if one stands on it. Unless it's one of those Camber portals.

Katherine wrote in Deryni Magic the following when it comes to detecting a Portal:

"Perception of a Portal location requires close proximity to or contact with the
Portal square – the term most often used to describe the boundary of the Portal location,
despite the fact that an octagon is used in construction. The energy pattern of a "live" or
operational Portal usually is perceived as a tingling or a pulsing sensation, though this
clearly is a psychic rather than a physical phenomenon, since humans do not feel it. A
Deryni accustomed to Portal use can lock onto a familiar Portal merely by stepping onto
the square; a neophyte may need to make contact with a bare hand before the distinctive
energy pattern can be felt.

The interweaving of energies that causes the tingling or pulsing sensation
sometimes is called the Portal matrix. It is this matrix that holds the coordinates of a
particular Portal and that must be Learned before an operator may use it. An adept can
learn the coordinates of a new Portal merely by standing on the Portal square, but
individuals memorizing Portal coordinates for first time use generally will place one hand
flat on the floor or ground, in order to complete a physical circuit and allow the psychic
information to percolate to appropriate levels of consciousness. Physical contact,
especially with a hand, also is helpful in attempting to locate an unknown Portal or one
grown weak through disuse, as when Duncan searches for a long-destroyed Portal site in
the ruins of Saint Neot's."

And she wrote this about the energy cost of using a Portal:

"Portal transfer requires an energy outlay on the part of the operator. This
outlay is nominal in the case of single short jumps by an operator whose handling of the
energies is efficient, but the drain on the operator can be cumulative if efficiency is less
than optimal or the operator must execute a series of jumps in a relatively short period of
time. In addition, very long distance jumps take considerably more energy than shorter
ones, perhaps in a geometric rather than arithmetic ratio. When Tiercel first begins
teaching Conall about the use of Portals, he warns the prince against overextending.

This would seem to indicate that a certain energy expenditure is required simply
to activate the Portal, each time the Portal is used – to which is added an additional
expenditure that is directly related to the distance to be traveled. The individual operator's
efficiency/ability level also would be a factor, as would the residual energy level of the
Portal itself."


This means, given proper training, which has been absent in Gwynedd for some time for the Deryni population. That detecting a portal, even a private one. And private means not common knowledge of it's "address" you could potentially still sense it even if you weren't standing on it. There are exceptions, the Portal that Camber/Alister made for example but not all portals would be of that nature.

And as we move into the world with technological advances with the Deryni magic as well. The detection of a portal could be done like we detect radiation or other forms of energy or even detecting the USE of a portal. "We have an energy spike in the portal wave length in section 87." The officer in charge sends a team to investigate the use of an unregistered portal.

Since the statement was about boarder enforecment. It would still be enforced but there would be additional methods. Just as tunnels under boarder happen today. With magic one would be detecting un authorized portals.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: MerchantDeryni on September 23, 2018, 07:27:00 pm

Using technology to find a portal would be an interesting invention. I was thinking of Dowsing to keep things magical. I have no idea what sort of technical innovation could be used to justify finding a Portal. That would be interesting technology.

The small size of a Portal makes for a very small needle in a large haystack though. I guess it would depend on what sort of signal it gave out. Could you mask a Portal to make it stealthy? The mobile portal cannot even be sensed by folks other than Camber.  (Saint Camber 302-303, pg 95 in the Deryni Magic book) Jerusha cannot sense the portal.

The ease or difficulty in finding a portal is the limiting factor in all my stories. In the books most Portal locations are not exactly well known. If Portals are easily discovered then my extrapolations and history would be altered.  If they are not easily discovered then a clandestine smuggling network would allow easy movement of people across it. 
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: Bynw on September 23, 2018, 08:10:26 pm
Magic, psi, psychic phenomenon is energy like any other kind of energy. Electricity, Radiation, and a multitude of others. Eventually one will develop tech to find it, harness it, block it. And otherwise manipulate it.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: Laurna on September 23, 2018, 11:03:52 pm
Eventually, yes. But it would take a lot of research and money and it would have to be done and funded by humans. Rich Deryni would find all sorts of ways to subvert and destroy the data. Much like the oil companies have spent 60 years stopping the research of natural energy. Eventually, yes, the tech would be uncovered that can detect magic. I imagine however that it would be a long hard fight With most Deryni against that progress.
Kind of like super heroes in the comics that go underground, rather than have their super abilities registered and mapped.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: Evie on September 23, 2018, 11:59:33 pm
In my AU version of modern Gwynedd seen in Balance of Power, there have been some technological developments to help level the playing field between Deryni and non-empowered Humans a little bit, although the Deryni subspecies still has a natural edge over the non-magical segment of humanity. There are also magical amulets and the like that humans can buy to get a certain level of protection against some forms of magic. Granted, as Laurna mentions, there are also Deryni who are leery of anything that smacks of too much control and regulation of their powers, which is one reason why even though my version of Modern Gwynedd has a law requiring the registration of personal Portals, for instance (with many Deryni even being mostly in favor of such for law enforcement purposes), even normally law-abiding Deryni sometimes ignore that particular legal requirement themselves, or they might have one registered Portal on the government's official list but might have a secondary one known only to family that can serve as a personal bolt hole should it ever become necessary to have one. Given the almost certain cyclical waxing and waning of Deryni/Human good relations over the centuries, most of my AU Deryniverse's Deryni bear no ill will towards non-magical humans, but their memories of both overt and subtle persecution over the years run deep enough that they tend to be wary of any new law, regulation, technology, science, or what-not that might potentially be turned and used against them, and whenever something comes along that seems like it could become a possible threat to Deryni sometime down the road if allowed to continue unchecked, you can bet there are countermeasures quietly put into place or currently under development against those things. Maintaining the fragile peace between regular humans and Deryni over the centuries requires a careful system of checks and balances from both sides of that divide.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: Laurna on September 24, 2018, 12:19:10 am
It was fun reading the chat log tonight. Sorry I missed it.

When KK gave the possibility of a natural occurring Portal, that made me feel good moment. Not too long ago, on some other thread, no idea what that was about, I suggested that there might be some type of animal in the deryni world that could tune their mind toward special rocks and they could "jump" from one rock to the other, thus avoiding predictors. They might have two or three portal rocks in their family territories. They learn them from their parents. Perhaps they are family groups like rodents or mircats with tunnels to these special rocks which are underground. The ancient Deryni studied these animals wondering how they got from one tunnel mound to the other so quickly. That is when they discovered that natural portals exist. A little magical research and they find they can build larger ones that can move people.

I believe that if magic exists in this world, than nature would have found many ways to use it. Humans just happen to be the most skilled at discovering and using all the magic abilities available.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: whitelaughter on September 24, 2018, 08:39:53 am
If drugs can interfere with a Deryni but not with another human, then chemicals would be found that could interfere with magical artifacts.
Not that these need be safe though. I dare say that this world's equivalent of Agent Orange would be a toxin designed to disrupt portals in the region, with people still suffering the long term effects of exposure.

The real advantage of improved navigation was being able to access the Far East without having to cross the Islamic world; portal chains to bring in wealth from Cathay would be both very lucrative and infuriating to the nobles whose tariffs you are bypassing. The 2nd advantage of the caravels was that their firepower was sufficient to be able to negotiate from a position of strength with any port they arrived in; Deryni magic makes that feasible as well. So merchant princes half a millennia early become possible.

The Deryni are going to take disproportionate casualties from plague though, bouncing around the world, and be a major source of outbreaks - making them even more unpopular.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: Evie on September 24, 2018, 12:59:35 pm
Traveling to lands with the plague could definitely make them carriers. But given that Deryni have some natural immunity to disease that doesn't guarantee their safety, but which makes them more highly resistant to illnesses than regular humans are, it is also conceivable that their jumps from regions to region result in the spread of contagious disease vectors (s/a plague-carrying fleas hitching a ride on their clothing) without a sudden, easily noted rise in Deryni deaths to go along with that. But a sudden rise in humans dropping dead while Deryni either fail to get sick or get milder cases of the plague (and mostly surviving) would cause a lot of resentment from the human population nonetheless (as KK alludes to in Deryni Magic) even if the humans never manage to figure out that the sudden rise in plague outbreaks is a direct result of Portal technology.  In later centuries, scientists might eventually work that out, to the mortification of Deryni who honestly didn't know their race was responsible for causing those earlier outbreaks, and the lingering resentment of humans who don't care that the Deryni merchants of earlier times didn't actually mean to spread disease while using Portal magic to do business.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: MerchantDeryni on September 24, 2018, 08:51:56 pm
The risk of contagion is a factor. I was thinking of a stand alone story with a "Years of Rice and Salt" flavor. (Good book about an alternate history involving the plague).

A plus for the Deryni might be the smaller size of the loads. Ships were common carriers of rats, and the fleas that were passengers on the rats. The smaller shops and backpack size loads might reduce the chance of rat infestation and flea contact. It was a hope in my storyline anyway.

Can a vermin ward be set up on a Portal? The flash of light for some portal activations may not be an alarm, but is a magical bug zapper. :)

https://books.google.ca/books?id=21BBDgAAQBAJ&pg=PT29&lpg=PT29&dq=3+ducats+for+1+quintal+of+pepper&source=bl&ots=G5O-ayvr0B&sig=SiVesLNmBveHac9vZoCUXrnQ4rY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj_pcX6g9XdAhWkx4MKHVu-BJMQ6AEwC3oECAYQAQ#v=onepage&q=3%20ducats%20for%201%20quintal%20of%20pepper&f=false


Found a pricing for spices. There is a Youtube video that references it, but I lost the link.
3 Ducats (3 ounces of gold) for a Qunital of pepper (125 pounds) at the source.  This sold for 22 Ducats in Lisbon. Big profits. Nutmeg was the crazy spice. 4 Ducats per Quintal was worth 300 Ducats. Not a bad income.

Merchants would risk plague, pirates, bandits, tax collectors and storms. I think the Deryni would too.

Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: revanne on September 25, 2018, 01:35:24 am
I am loving your care for detail. As someone who in adult life has been very frustrated by the marmalade pudding in the beavers' house in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, it matters that you want to think out how does all this work.

A slightly flippant aside. I smiled at the inclusion of tax-collectors in the list of hazards only because in sermons I feel constrained to point out that Jesus singling out of tax collectors as examples of notorious sinners does not apply to harmless folk who work for HMRC ( her Majesty's revenue and customs, our equivalent of IRS.)
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: Laurna on September 25, 2018, 02:43:07 am
I am loving your care for detail. As someone who in adult life has been very frustrated by the marmalade pudding in the beavers' house in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, it matters that you want to think out how does all this work.

A slightly flippant aside. I smiled at the inclusion of tax-collectors in the list of hazards only because in sermons I feel constrained to point out that Jesus singling out of tax collectors as examples of notorious sinners does not apply to harmless folk who work for HMRC ( her Majesty's revenue and customs, our equivalent of IRS.)

It is good to hear there is a distinction. I once had a good acquaintance who worked the Renaissance fair who also worked for the IRS. Adilly was a prankster and a poet, I can only mention his clothing choices on private messaging.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: MerchantDeryni on September 25, 2018, 05:04:31 am
The level of detail gives me a reason for their actions, lots and lots of money. So I need to be able to back up the claim.  :)


The reason the 'world explorers' went off exploring was not for simple discovery. They wanted to be rich. The easiest path to the land of spices discovered would have the discoverer showered in riches. There was money in spices. Countries would be willing to go to war for the income from spices. (The spice war of 1601-1661)

Columbus was looking for India and the source of spice like saffron and nutmeg. America was an accidental discovery.

My twist on this age of discovery is that portals allow communication with the mission as long as portals are built along the route. This might make land exploration more likely. Income is faster in smaller amounts, but money starts coming in on a regular basis, not as a ship returning with 30 tonnes of cargo after a few years wait.



Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: whitelaughter on September 25, 2018, 05:09:21 am
The level of detail gives me a reason for their actions, lots and lots of money. So I need to be able to back up the claim.  :)
Have you considered doing a specific roleplaying text on trade? GURPS in particular could use one.

I am loving your care for detail. As someone who in adult life has been very frustrated by the marmalade pudding in the beavers' house in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, it matters that you want to think out how does all this work.

ok, I'll bite. [ouch - sorry, and yes wrote that then winced] What is the problem? The bear meated coated apples in Prince Caspian, granted they don't work, you have to cook apples longer than meat, but where is the problem with a marmalade roll? As fishers the beavers have trade goods that can be exchanged with lands that aren't stuck in winter.

A slightly flippant aside. I smiled at the inclusion of tax-collectors in the list of hazards only because in sermons I feel constrained to point out that Jesus singling out of tax collectors as examples of notorious sinners does not apply to harmless folk who work for HMRC ( her Majesty's revenue and customs, our equivalent of IRS.)
Having been a tax collector, I hear you! The tax collectors of the Bible are actually tax farmers, buying the right to gouge the locals, rather than administrators of a fair tax. However, the taxes on merchants were brutal - and remember, happening at every border crossing:  IIRC that could be every few miles when travelling down the Rhine.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: Bynw on September 25, 2018, 07:24:38 am

Can a vermin ward be set up on a Portal? The flash of light for some portal activations may not be an alarm, but is a magical bug zapper. :)


You dont want to directly ward a portal. That effectively negates it's existence. Perhaps ward the room it is in. But then still you wont be jumping out with vermin. I would think a Deryni would be able to detect their presence if he scanned for them. Especially rats. Now the fleas probably not.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: Laurna on September 25, 2018, 11:55:41 am
If you know about what you are scanning for. Know what it is and what it looks like magically, Than  yes, a Deryni can scan himself or his partner for vermin and then find magical ways of  de-lousing or de-fleeing oneself. If you don't know, you won't think about it.   So the first few merchants coming from Norway might pick up a few flees and take them home. Causing small pockets of outbreak of disease. Once the vector is figured out, which could take some time, then yes the Deryni would rid themselves of such things before and after each portal jump.  Just a little more expended energy, which might slow them down in their jump times, but in the long run, it would keep them and their families healthy.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: MerchantDeryni on September 25, 2018, 02:42:36 pm
Well my next couple of stories do not involve plague so the cats at each merchant house way station are doing a good job.

Did KK ever make a map of the entire world?

Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: Evie on September 25, 2018, 02:46:46 pm
There is a rudimentary world map (or at least their equivalent of the Old World) in the back pages of the Codex Derynianus.  But by rudimentary, I mean the countries further out from the Eleven Kingdoms are so roughly penciled into their locations as to merely suggest where they might be in relation to each other, with little to no attempt made at creating geographically believable borders. It's enough of a map to give you some idea of what other lands might exist out there well beyond the canonical Kingdoms, though.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: DesertRose on September 25, 2018, 02:59:22 pm
If you know about what you are scanning for. Know what it is and what it looks like magically, Than  yes, a Deryni can scan himself or his partner for vermin and then find magical ways of  de-lousing or de-fleeing oneself. If you don't know, you won't think about it.   So the first few merchants coming from Norway might pick up a few flees and take them home. Causing small pockets of outbreak of disease. Once the vector is figured out, which could take some time, then yes the Deryni would rid themselves of such things before and after each portal jump.  Just a little more expended energy, which might slow them down in their jump times, but in the long run, it would keep them and their families healthy.

Now there's a modern application of Deryni magic that would be useful to parents of school-aged children and school administrations!  A Deryni Healer for a school's nurse, who, upon discovering lice on a student, just magically delouses the student and the whole school.  No more nit combing and godawful lice shampoo!  :D
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: Bynw on September 25, 2018, 08:00:37 pm
If you know about what you are scanning for. Know what it is and what it looks like magically, Than  yes, a Deryni can scan himself or his partner for vermin and then find magical ways of  de-lousing or de-fleeing oneself. If you don't know, you won't think about it.   So the first few merchants coming from Norway might pick up a few flees and take them home. Causing small pockets of outbreak of disease. Once the vector is figured out, which could take some time, then yes the Deryni would rid themselves of such things before and after each portal jump.  Just a little more expended energy, which might slow them down in their jump times, but in the long run, it would keep them and their families healthy.

Now there's a modern application of Deryni magic that would be useful to parents of school-aged children and school administrations!  A Deryni Healer for a school's nurse, who, upon discovering lice on a student, just magically delouses the student and the whole school.  No more nit combing and godawful lice shampoo!  :D

Useful. But not practical. It would take some time to conduct that delousing.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: DesertRose on September 25, 2018, 08:49:12 pm
If you know about what you are scanning for. Know what it is and what it looks like magically, Than  yes, a Deryni can scan himself or his partner for vermin and then find magical ways of  de-lousing or de-fleeing oneself. If you don't know, you won't think about it.   So the first few merchants coming from Norway might pick up a few flees and take them home. Causing small pockets of outbreak of disease. Once the vector is figured out, which could take some time, then yes the Deryni would rid themselves of such things before and after each portal jump.  Just a little more expended energy, which might slow them down in their jump times, but in the long run, it would keep them and their families healthy.

Now there's a modern application of Deryni magic that would be useful to parents of school-aged children and school administrations!  A Deryni Healer for a school's nurse, who, upon discovering lice on a student, just magically delouses the student and the whole school.  No more nit combing and godawful lice shampoo!  :D

Useful. But not practical. It would take some time to conduct that delousing.

I would think that the practicality would depend upon the process itself.  Assuming that a 21st C. Deryni Healer has access to the same medical/scientific research as 21st C. medical professionals in the real world do, there might be a way to kill all the lice and eggs and banish them wholesale, sort of like the godawful delousing showers inflicted upon prisoners (for a visual depiction that isn't too graphic, see The Shawshank Redemption, when Andy is first brought to the prison) but more efficient and comfortable and far less embarrassing.  :D

It's a possibility, anyway, and as someone who has had to fight that battle with the Pod-Child's hair (quite a few times in early elementary and then once more in fifth grade because she was a member of the Safety Patrol for her school and caught them from a younger child whom she was helping) and with my own hair, I have to imagine some enterprising Deryni Healer parent has given it some thought.  ;)
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: Bynw on September 25, 2018, 08:52:58 pm
@DesertRose yes but I was thinking about the logistics of delousing an entire school. Several hundred children. Especially if there is only 1 Healer available.

Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: DesertRose on September 25, 2018, 08:56:22 pm
@DesertRose yes but I was thinking about the logistics of delousing an entire school. Several hundred children. Especially if there is only 1 Healer available.

That might actually make it easier, since the focus isn't tight but fairly broad.  Just sort of Ward the whole freaking campus, delouse the lot, let the Ward stand a bit, and when you release the Ward, no lice!  :D

(I'm delirious; ignore me.  ;) )
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: Evie on October 03, 2018, 09:58:07 am
@DesertRose yes but I was thinking about the logistics of delousing an entire school. Several hundred children. Especially if there is only 1 Healer available.

That might actually make it easier, since the focus isn't tight but fairly broad.  Just sort of Ward the whole freaking campus, delouse the lot, let the Ward stand a bit, and when you release the Ward, no lice!  :D

(I'm delirious; ignore me.  ;) )

No need to even let the Ward stand a bit. We've seen in canon that Kelson has a ward specifically attuned to only let Haldanes and a few select individuals through, keeping anyone else inside. If you can attune a Ward in such a way that it only lets through life forms that meet specific criteria but not others, then it would be extremely easy to delouse an entire school. Set the wards to let the children pass through and keep the lice in! Then once all the humans are safely outside of the school, fumigate inside the ward and only disperse it once all the lice are dead. Or if it near a holiday season, just close the school for two weeks, since lice (and all newly hatched larva) die if they don't have a human host within that time. Therefore  you wouldn't have any messy poison residue to have to clean up.

Or you could set up the same ward, but let it delouse the children on their way into the school. That keeps the school itself louse-free, although there's the danger of the kids picking the lice back up again as soon as they leave school premises.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: MerchantDeryni on October 03, 2018, 10:26:15 am
Have a warded walkway outside. Children pass through the warded area into the school. They can walk in but the bugs are held back and blow away in the wind.

As knowledge increases you can ward for more and more things.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: Laurna on October 03, 2018, 12:20:54 pm
Like flu and cold viruses.  To live cold free would be a blessing. Week five. My cough has finally abated with medical help.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: whitelaughter on October 06, 2018, 07:13:37 am
6 weeks of cough :(

but I can't help wondering - if the viruses cannot pass the ward, and you do, have you just created microbe sized bullets that have to punch through you to avoid entering the ward?

don't use this trick for tapeworms....
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: Evie on October 06, 2018, 11:29:03 am
6 weeks of cough :(

but I can't help wondering - if the viruses cannot pass the ward, and you do, have you just created microbe sized bullets that have to punch through you to avoid entering the ward?

don't use this trick for tapeworms....

You might be able to fine-tune the ward just to kill the virus or parasitic life form instead, if it's internal rather than external like lice. If wards can be set to distinguish between life forms (or desired vs undesired), and if they can also be set to kill, both of which are canonical abilities, then a talented enough Deryni Healer should eventually be able to figure out how to combine the two skills to fine-tune the abilities of medical wards, at least in theory.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: whitelaughter on October 08, 2018, 09:32:43 am
That seems likely. Mind you, there'd be an ongoing arms race between the Healers and the viruses, as the viruses evolve to not trigger the wards.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: Bynw on October 08, 2018, 09:37:00 am
In an era of technology. There would be nanobots created to bypass words. Mother Necessity rules invention.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: whitelaughter on October 12, 2018, 09:04:08 am
In an era of technology. There would be nanobots created to bypass words. Mother Necessity rules invention.
If the wards are keyed to specific people, then a shapeshift would probably be sufficient - otherwise Deryni would be able to detect the shapeshifted by their 'feel'.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: Evie on October 12, 2018, 10:35:01 am
In an era of technology. There would be nanobots created to bypass words. Mother Necessity rules invention.
If the wards are keyed to specific people, then a shapeshift would probably be sufficient - otherwise Deryni would be able to detect the shapeshifted by their 'feel'.

I would hope that it takes more than a shapeshift, otherwise what happens if a person gains or loses weight? Or worse, loses a body part? Even changes a hairstyle?

I think wards are attuned to a person's specific psychic signature, which another Deryni might be able to detect, but only if they are specifically looking for it. Most Deryni seeing someone they believe they recognize wouldn't automatically go double-checking to see if they have the right psychic signature any more than we would normally go around fingerprinting or using retinal scans on people who otherwise look familiar, but a ward would pick up on differences not visible to the naked eye.
Title: Re: Not quite fanfic
Post by: Laurna on October 12, 2018, 12:34:57 pm
In the case of the library annex the "veil" allowed Kelson's and his blood relatives to pass through it, along with other key people and their relatives. That tells me that the veil is keyed by DNA or some specific genetic indicator.  A physhic feeling could be genetic but I think in the case of the Veil even the non-Deryni members of Kelson's family, such as his cousins, Rory and Payne, could go through the veil, too.