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Summonings and Portals

Started by whitelaughter, October 15, 2023, 06:29:56 PM

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whitelaughter

Summonings are important in Deryni Rising and mentioned again IIRC in High Deryni, but Catherine drops them after that. Given she's drawn away from the idea of summoning from other worlds, I started wondering whether they could be brought from elsewhere using a Portal.

So my first thought was a stenrect might just be a scorpion variant from elsewhere in the world: being wildly different to the local variants it would look demonic to anyone who saw it. The problem there is the limits on Portal jumps - if a Portal can only send someone/thing a few hundred miles, the stenrect has to be local. So not a solution.

But: we're told in Camber the Heretic that Portals can be set so that anyone who tries to use them...disappears. And "no one knows what happens to them."
Suppose that anyone or thing seeking to appear in those Portals instead ends up becoming raw material for a summoning? They'd be functionally dead - or worse - but the basic form of their body would still function. Humans would fulfil the humanoid creatures Clarissa sends against Kelson.
As for beasties: if you've got a Portal that you can set as a trap, using it for pest control will improve your quality of life. Insects and Arachnids are almost weightless, so the spell should be fairly easy; here, a stenrect would be a mishmash of the various critters cleared out of Torenthi castles.
Finally, Deryni have been around for a *long* time. If a Stone Age clan had the ability to put a trapped Portal in a cave mouth, this would be a defence against many (now extinct) creatures. So 'summoning a unicorn' would be possible due to an enraged Elasmotherium being teleported out of existence by an early Deryni:


revanne

An ingenious if horrific idea. 

"Please do feel free to use our Portal" 

"No thank you, I'll walk. It's not far, only 200 miles."

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46 v1)

Salic

I interpret Katherine's Deryni series as being psionic and consider the summoning of creatures in the early books as telepathic creations of the Deryni collective unconscious by the operator in question.  The creatures summoned or fabricated can be used for telepathic or, more usually, telekinetic attacks upon the prospective victim.

Given that these are creatures coming out of the collective unconscious, they are, in a certain sense, feral, and can be a danger to the operator who had summoned them as much as the prospective victim.  I understand these creatures as semi-sentient.
At least this is my understanding of this.

I haven't considered the portal idea.  I like that idea in one sense.  It would seem to point to the idea that, eventually, the Deryni would be able to teleport without the need  of a transfer portal.

Bynw

I'm going to add my 2 cents to this fascinating topic.

Summoning has always been a form of teleportation with a bit of compulsion tossed in to cause the creature/entity to come. Control of the summoned is another matter all together.

I've speculated that it would be possible to jump through time using the transfer portal(s). Either by design or accidentally. There is a certain Deryni Mage that I believe that something like that happened to him. But that's another topic for another time.

So could "summoned" creatures, be some extinct beast brought back from the void where no time apparently takes place and formed into existence again today? Possible. It's a good theory @whitelaughter


I once thought of the Deryni powers to be psionic in nature myself @Salic . But given the description of them in Deryni Magic it is questionable. Magic is from without and psionics are from within.

But on to the summoned creatures idea. I also like this idea that they are some form of psychic construct. Which would make sense too. Yet another good theory.
President pro tempore of The Worlds of Katherine Kurtz Fan Club
IRC Administrator of #Deryni_Destinations
Discord Administrator of The Worlds of Katherine Kurtz Discord
Administrator https://www.rhemuthcastle.com

whitelaughter

The major problem with time travel - is that the idea has to occur to you. The earliest known time travel story dates from 1733, and even that is just a guardian angel returning from the future with a pair of books. It isn't until 1838, a century and a half later, that we have a story with the protagonist going *back* in time - and that's just a short episode in a series of teleportations.

So even if time travel is possible via portal; even if it has *happened*; the idea simply won't occur to most Deryni.

Bynw

Perhaps if that was the actual goal. To have the idea of traveling backwards or forwards in time. In our own world, we didn't have a lot of leisure time to think of such things until we did. In a world that has magic, that grants some additional leisure time. Perhaps the idea has already blossomed in some visionaries.

Or perhaps. It wasn't the notion of traveling in time. It was something else and it happened accidentally. Which is also part of my theory.
President pro tempore of The Worlds of Katherine Kurtz Fan Club
IRC Administrator of #Deryni_Destinations
Discord Administrator of The Worlds of Katherine Kurtz Discord
Administrator https://www.rhemuthcastle.com

Salic

#6
Whitelaughter,

I have ventured into fanfiction with distant viewing and portal vectoring involving Deryni characters.  I was thinking of an unfinished novella that I had to stop because of health issues.

I contemplated Deryni remote portal creation as an intercontinental, and later, interstellar communication and travel.  Here is an introductory sample of that novella.  It will give you an idea of my idea which has some similarity to yours.

Sunday, October 4, 1146
Kingdom of Gwynedd
City of Dhassa
Cathedral Episcopal Rectory


Bishop Denis Arilian sat wearily at the great table in the rectory library as he listened to the wind blowing around the Cathedral spires outside.  His closed breviary was in front of him.  He was tired after his office prayers and a long day of liturgical services including the hearing of confessions of some of the wealthy nobility that had come to Dhassa for the high holy days of St. Torin and St. Ethelburga, the patron saints of Dhassa.  It had been a long day and he looked forward to going to bed.  The Camberian Council would be meeting tomorrow.  He had already made his arrangements, as he had done for many years, to put into place the men needed to keep visitors away tomorrow while he'd be away at that meeting in the Keeill.  He figured that it would be another perfunctory meeting of the Council.

As he dozed in his chair, fatigued from the day, he began to experience an inescapable, alarming premonition of something terrible, some kind of danger to the entire world.  The premonition grew in intensity until it became stupendous in its totality.  Feelings of horror of great danger washed over him like a cold, dark flood.  He felt an agony of panic and helplessness.  After an agonizing few moments, the premonition abruptly subsided.  As calm returned to him, he was left wondering what the premonition was all about.

The premonition surged back again into Bishop Arilian's mind, but it was less intense, more muted.  As the premonition abruptly subsided again, Bishop Arilian knew that it wasn't the last of it.  The feelings of the premonition began again but was, again, less intense, more muted.  Soon the terrible feelings stopped again.  Bishop Arilian began to relax when he realized that the danger to the world was a premonition of a distant danger originating towards the Northeast, towards the Coamer Mountains, and strangely, to the skies above those mountains.  He focused his mind on the premonition and its signifying meaning.  What did it mean, he wondered?  What could be the danger coming out of the sky? 

He got up and went to the fireplace and put several split logs into the fire.  As he watched the fire flare up around the logs, he wondered about several faded manuscripts he had read in his youth concerning those mountains.  Does it have something to do with Far World?  He wondered. 

Now the fragmentary Far World manuscripts were a great mystery that had long puzzled the bishop.  It had had puzzled him since he was a young man who had spent his time peering at those old manuscripts and fragments the Deryni still possessed in their handful of libraries that had survived the great burning.

According to the strange, hard-to-read fragments of several manuscripts, the last tattered remains of an old book in the library of the Keeill, the forerunners of the Deryni, the Airsid, had established a strange circular transfer portal in the Coamer Mountains in a canyon called Akrellholm.  Supposedly, the Airsid had used the transfer portal to create, remotely, another transfer portal at another location, in itself a great feat of magic, since a portal is usually created by first creating two separate portals and then later establishing the link between them.  What the books said was that they initially created a transfer portal in the Akrellholm, far from prying eyes.  Then, using their magic, by means of their mind vision, looking through the medium of a smoky quartz crystal called an Akrell, they located another location to set up their other transfer portal.  This meant that they had to first, find a rocky outcropping at the other location, and then, using their magic, cut the circle in the stone, and imbue it with the power of their magic, making it into a new transfer portal. 

What was even more mysterious was that the portal was in another world.   The accounts of the portal construction were fragmentary.  Originally, they wanted a portal at the far side of the world, initially in the lands of the sunset.  Then they changed their minds, thinking about lands towards the sunrise, the Far East, since they were greedy for the spices that were to be found there.  But one among the Airsid asked, why not seek to find another world and set the transfer portal there?  Perhaps there is another place where riches can be found that the Airsid wouldn't have to share with others. 

And so the Airsid, probing with their magic, focused onto a distant star in the night sky, for one of their number had said that, 'undoubtedly, the sun that warmed and enlighted the Deryni world was to others but only a distant star'.  For a brief moment, their probe reached the far star that they had focused on in their mind vision, a giant gaseous world.  The manuscripts declared that it was a stupendous sight, if the accounts were to be believed.  But then, the Airsid masters became impatient about not finding a habitable world near this star, and in their pride they streamed further magical energy into the Akrell crystal.  At that moment, something strange happened.  Their probe plunged into a great darkness, and when it had emerged from that darkness, they were gazing upon a fair world that looked much like the world that God had created for both humans and Deryni.  This new, far world had oceans and blue skies, and fertile continents.  It also had two moons.

The Airsid had their probe plunge down onto the surface of that world, and soon, in their mind vision, found they crossing a dark ocean.  Ahead of them, they observed a beach and the darkness of a ridge that stood above it.  At the top of that ridge they found the needed bedrock which was where they cut their transfer portal and imbue it with their mighty power.   They called this world, Far World.

During the following days, they discovered while looking through the portal, that it was inhabited by strange creatures such as gigantic bears and deer, strange furred elephants, giant wolves and cats with large curved sword-like teeth.   And so it came to pass that they visited that beautiful, abundant world and found that they could live in it and enjoy it.  When the Airsidi sent out their war bands from the portal, they initially found that there were no people living in that world.  This was true even when they had walked hundreds of miles, crossing huge fertile valleys and hunting grounds on a scale unknown in their world, which, rightfully, should have had inhabitants.  They found many places, rich in wealth, plenteous in game, had no defenders. 

The Airsid rejoiced in their discovery.  Soon the Airsid campfires sizzled with the gigantic haunches of elk and aurochs.  They found and adorned themselves with the amber and gold found in the sandbars of the streams teeming with salmon.  They took much fish and game there, and brought back heaps of gold, enriching the hoards of the Airsid, making them one of the most prosperous of peoples.  They rejoiced in their pride and in their riches until they discovered that the supposedly vacant world had other, strange people that had also come to that world, also from the stars, a powerful people with strong powers of the mind.  Difficult to imagine, they looked like humans and Deryni.  And they discovered that the strangers were a people to be feared.  Soon, as the manuscripts made mention, the Airsid evacuated that world.

Bishop Arilian returned to his chair.  Undoubtedly many powerful Deryni and those influential Deryni in positions of authority had felt this premonition.  It would cause concern and fear, especially fear for those aware of those old fragments of writings, if were to be believed, which spoke of a people more powerful than Deryni. 

Is our world coming to an end? He wondered.  The love of riches has been the undoing of many.  He bowed his head in prayer.  He could not help but weep.



The portal is created at a distant location, but unlike your idea, movement through the portal is needed to move things back to the original location.

Salic

#7
Quote from: Bynw on October 17, 2023, 12:58:16 PMI'm going to add my 2 cents to this fascinating topic.

Summoning has always been a form of teleportation with a bit of compulsion tossed in to cause the creature/entity to come. Control of the summoned is another matter all together.

I've speculated that it would be possible to jump through time using the transfer portal(s). Either by design or accidentally. There is a certain Deryni Mage that I believe that something like that happened to him. But that's another topic for another time.

So could "summoned" creatures, be some extinct beast brought back from the void where no time apparently takes place and formed into existence again today? Possible. It's a good theory @whitelaughter


I once thought of the Deryni powers to be psionic in nature myself @Salic . But given the description of them in Deryni Magic it is questionable. Magic is from without and psionics are from within.

But on to the summoned creatures idea. I also like this idea that they are some form of psychic construct. Which would make sense too. Yet another good theory.


I understand where you're coming from on this, Bynw.  I understand that KK has allowed her series to be interpreted both ways.  I'm, though, interested in the psychological when understanding characters in the Canon.  The problem I have with magic is how does one understand "magical thinking" as a character problem.  The delimitation of illusions from reality becomes an issue, I think, with those special entities that can suspend or modify that reality on a massive scale.

Nezz

Just how "unfinished" is this novella of yours? hint hint
Now is life, and life is always better.
-Wolfself

Salic

#9
Quote from: Nezz on October 27, 2023, 11:16:45 AMJust how "unfinished" is this novella of yours? hint hint

I'm about a fifth of the way into it, Nezz.  The people from the stars, the Ikorrceni would be shocked to discover that the Deryni were in a Medieval period of civilization.  That meant that the portal was put in by a civilization (the Airsid) which dates back to the late Iron, early Steel Age.  Not too bad for the Airsid who were still living in thatched round houses!

I would like to finish it, but I'll only post it here in the castle only when I finish it.  My health issues are daunting.

Nezz

Quote from: Salic on October 27, 2023, 11:29:04 AMI would like to finish it, but I'll only post it here in the castle only when I finish it.  My health issues are daunting.

Understood. My health issues are such that my writing has slowed to a crawl.
Now is life, and life is always better.
-Wolfself

revanne

I loved the extract Salic and hope that you find the health and energy to finish it.

One day I hope I can get back to writing too, though my issues are different, so I can empathise.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
(Psalm 46 v1)

Laurna

The concept is intriguing. If not a little intimidating. I would love to read more.
May your horses have wings and fly!

Salic

Quote from: Nezz on October 27, 2023, 11:36:28 AM
Quote from: Salic on October 27, 2023, 11:29:04 AMI would like to finish it, but I'll only post it here in the castle only when I finish it.  My health issues are daunting.

Understood. My health issues are such that my writing has slowed to a crawl.

It is a struggle, Nezz.  It's too bad revanne has health issues as well.

I must say that Whitelaughter is pointing out some insights regarding portals.  What's striking me at the moment is the way the Torenthi Deryni had affected the weather early in King Kelson's reign.  This involved remote viewing by those Deryni and their probable deployment of a focal portal to concentrate telekinesis affecting the weather patterns that would stream into the Eleven Kingdoms. This type of portal would not be a transfer portal.  This, of course, is speculation on my part since the way the Torenthi Deryni had been affecting the weather was not spelled out in Canon.

Salic

Quote from: Laurna on October 28, 2023, 11:30:01 AMThe concept is intriguing. If not a little intimidating. I would love to read more.

Whitelaughter's ideas are intriguing, Laurna.  'Tis the stuff that fanfiction is made of, I think.   :D