How Does Work?

AuthorMessage
Petty Officer
Jun 10, 2013
58
I've had this question for a while and wanted to see what answers I could get. If our ships (as well as various creatures) just fly in the skyway, does that not mean that we, in theory, could just jump off the dock and swim through the air? And also, what's stopping our ships from floating downward in the skyway? Or upward? And if we were able to swim through the air, couldn't we do that on islands as well as the skyway? Ugh, I gotta sit down.

Lieutenant
Jun 16, 2009
133
Well ,there is a lot of magic involved in making our ships work. I think Blind Mew said that if you fell off an island you would keep falling through the Spiral either forever or until you hit other land, probably in a different world. So that counts swimming out. I'm afraid I'm going to have to cheat on the ships question by saying "magic." Past that I do not know.

Pirate Overlord
Mar 10, 2009
6079
I do believe it is part magic and part Spiral science. The ships float of Aether. It is lighter than air and is what keeps the islands floating in the first place. I thought Blind Mew spoke of it but I may be wrong as I couldn't get it to come up in a search.

Ensign
Oct 18, 2013
35
Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1190
Burly Bart Bellamy on Jun 7, 2014 wrote:
I've had this question for a while and wanted to see what answers I could get. If our ships (as well as various creatures) just fly in the skyway, does that not mean that we, in theory, could just jump off the dock and swim through the air? And also, what's stopping our ships from floating downward in the skyway? Or upward? And if we were able to swim through the air, couldn't we do that on islands as well as the skyway? Ugh, I gotta sit down.
Hi Bart, I love this kind of question! I think the answer depends on whether the buoyancy depends on (a) our ships or (b) the physical nature of the skyways.

If the answer is (a), then our ships fly through the sky because of their magical enhancements that allow them to do so. Thus a shipwreck could remain floating until its magic deteriorated, which would explain the presence of occasional wrecks in the skyways and in the voids between worlds. It would mean, however, if we jumped off a deck, we could not swim through the air; instead, we would continue to fall to our eventual doom.

However, this explanation would poorly account for all the fish and other creatures in the skies, unless they too are sufficiently magical to be able to swim through the air... which of course, is a possibility. It would also fail to account for small craft, like fishing vessels, which would be less likely to have magical enhancements. And if they did, still, I think such an explanation relies too much on the vague explanation of 'magic' as a crutch.

I prefer answer (b), that the physical nature of the skyways permits 'floating' and 'swimming', via aether, the 'element of the gods' that Aristotle postulated in the days of classical Greece, and beloved by some sci-fi writers, especially the pioneering ones like the 19th C. Jules Verne. The presence of the buoyant element of aether would allow a sky population of floating/swimming creatures in aether-rich areas, with a vibrant food chain based on sky phytoplankton. With sunlight so unfiltered in the skies rather than water (as in real life), you can imagine how well those little creatures would live and photosynthesize, provided they had some basic minerals as well -- which they would get from dust brought up by winds from the land into the skies! Strong streams of aether could well explain the wind lanes as well.

Streams of aether could also be used to justify why our ships tend to stay in one plane (other than game mechanics ): our ships tend to stay in the atmospheric strata where aether is best concentrated. Our ship's magical devices here would come into play in combat and ship repair, and also protect against sinking in aether-weak areas (but best not have too much cargo if you venture into such areas).

Thus in case (b), if you jumped off into the skies, it would quite depend on where you were (or perhaps, how lucky you were). If you jump into an aether-rich area, you could bob about and swim as merrily as you pleased. But beware, the air currents could drift you out into areas where the aether is thin, and then you are as doomed as any hapless historic sailor (who often could not swim) who has fallen into the ocean waters...

First Mate
Dec 13, 2009
409
Anne Radcliffe on Jun 13, 2014 wrote:
Hi Bart, I love this kind of question! I think the answer depends on whether the buoyancy depends on (a) our ships or (b) the physical nature of the skyways.

If the answer is (a), then our ships fly through the sky because of their magical enhancements that allow them to do so. Thus a shipwreck could remain floating until its magic deteriorated, which would explain the presence of occasional wrecks in the skyways and in the voids between worlds. It would mean, however, if we jumped off a deck, we could not swim through the air; instead, we would continue to fall to our eventual doom.

However, this explanation would poorly account for all the fish and other creatures in the skies, unless they too are sufficiently magical to be able to swim through the air... which of course, is a possibility. It would also fail to account for small craft, like fishing vessels, which would be less likely to have magical enhancements. And if they did, still, I think such an explanation relies too much on the vague explanation of 'magic' as a crutch.

I prefer answer (b), that the physical nature of the skyways permits 'floating' and 'swimming', via aether, the 'element of the gods' that Aristotle postulated in the days of classical Greece, and beloved by some sci-fi writers, especially the pioneering ones like the 19th C. Jules Verne. The presence of the buoyant element of aether would allow a sky population of floating/swimming creatures in aether-rich areas, with a vibrant food chain based on sky phytoplankton. With sunlight so unfiltered in the skies rather than water (as in real life), you can imagine how well those little creatures would live and photosynthesize, provided they had some basic minerals as well -- which they would get from dust brought up by winds from the land into the skies! Strong streams of aether could well explain the wind lanes as well.

Streams of aether could also be used to justify why our ships tend to stay in one plane (other than game mechanics ): our ships tend to stay in the atmospheric strata where aether is best concentrated. Our ship's magical devices here would come into play in combat and ship repair, and also protect against sinking in aether-weak areas (but best not have too much cargo if you venture into such areas).

Thus in case (b), if you jumped off into the skies, it would quite depend on where you were (or perhaps, how lucky you were). If you jump into an aether-rich area, you could bob about and swim as merrily as you pleased. But beware, the air currents could drift you out into areas where the aether is thin, and then you are as doomed as any hapless historic sailor (who often could not swim) who has fallen into the ocean waters...
But if there is aether outside the windlanes, in the rest of the skyway, why are the windlanes colored and the rest isn't?

Petty Officer
Jun 10, 2013
58
Anne Radcliffe on Jun 13, 2014 wrote:
Hi Bart, I love this kind of question! I think the answer depends on whether the buoyancy depends on (a) our ships or (b) the physical nature of the skyways.

If the answer is (a), then our ships fly through the sky because of their magical enhancements that allow them to do so. Thus a shipwreck could remain floating until its magic deteriorated, which would explain the presence of occasional wrecks in the skyways and in the voids between worlds. It would mean, however, if we jumped off a deck, we could not swim through the air; instead, we would continue to fall to our eventual doom.

However, this explanation would poorly account for all the fish and other creatures in the skies, unless they too are sufficiently magical to be able to swim through the air... which of course, is a possibility. It would also fail to account for small craft, like fishing vessels, which would be less likely to have magical enhancements. And if they did, still, I think such an explanation relies too much on the vague explanation of 'magic' as a crutch.

I prefer answer (b), that the physical nature of the skyways permits 'floating' and 'swimming', via aether, the 'element of the gods' that Aristotle postulated in the days of classical Greece, and beloved by some sci-fi writers, especially the pioneering ones like the 19th C. Jules Verne. The presence of the buoyant element of aether would allow a sky population of floating/swimming creatures in aether-rich areas, with a vibrant food chain based on sky phytoplankton. With sunlight so unfiltered in the skies rather than water (as in real life), you can imagine how well those little creatures would live and photosynthesize, provided they had some basic minerals as well -- which they would get from dust brought up by winds from the land into the skies! Strong streams of aether could well explain the wind lanes as well.

Streams of aether could also be used to justify why our ships tend to stay in one plane (other than game mechanics ): our ships tend to stay in the atmospheric strata where aether is best concentrated. Our ship's magical devices here would come into play in combat and ship repair, and also protect against sinking in aether-weak areas (but best not have too much cargo if you venture into such areas).

Thus in case (b), if you jumped off into the skies, it would quite depend on where you were (or perhaps, how lucky you were). If you jump into an aether-rich area, you could bob about and swim as merrily as you pleased. But beware, the air currents could drift you out into areas where the aether is thin, and then you are as doomed as any hapless historic sailor (who often could not swim) who has fallen into the ocean waters...
My goodness, this is a lot to take in. I gotta be honest, I really didn't understand at least half o' that.

Commodore
Sep 20, 2009
814
Kai Alcott on Jun 13, 2014 wrote:
But if there is aether outside the windlanes, in the rest of the skyway, why are the windlanes colored and the rest isn't?
(as and addition to Anne's post) That Kai can be explained using real world science. On Earth all bodies of water, and air are stratified. They don't exist as a single continuous body like, say lime jello. But instead they exist in layers of water (or air) piled on top of others more like a multilayer cake.

The windlanes then are simply distinct fast moving currents like oceanic gyres or like the jet streams of Earth.
Now real currents always stir up sediment, dust, sand, mud etc as they move faster than other water. When looking at a large body of water, you can often tell where surface currents exist because they are a different colour then the rest of the surrounding water. Therefore, in the skyway, I expect that the windlanes are a different colour because of the dust and debris they stir up and carry along with them.

Also, Anne's post explains another odd part of the Spiral. The beach in Isle of Fetch which has bouys and lifeguard chairs set up. Why would the Isle of Fetch require a swimming area sectioned off, with lifeguard chairs if the citizens of the spiral can't swim in the Aether?

First Mate
Dec 13, 2009
409
CdeWinter on Jun 13, 2014 wrote:
(as and addition to Anne's post) That Kai can be explained using real world science. On Earth all bodies of water, and air are stratified. They don't exist as a single continuous body like, say lime jello. But instead they exist in layers of water (or air) piled on top of others more like a multilayer cake.

The windlanes then are simply distinct fast moving currents like oceanic gyres or like the jet streams of Earth.
Now real currents always stir up sediment, dust, sand, mud etc as they move faster than other water. When looking at a large body of water, you can often tell where surface currents exist because they are a different colour then the rest of the surrounding water. Therefore, in the skyway, I expect that the windlanes are a different colour because of the dust and debris they stir up and carry along with them.

Also, Anne's post explains another odd part of the Spiral. The beach in Isle of Fetch which has bouys and lifeguard chairs set up. Why would the Isle of Fetch require a swimming area sectioned off, with lifeguard chairs if the citizens of the spiral can't swim in the Aether?
But... the windlanes don't have dust and debris!

Captain
Dec 01, 2012
607
Kai Alcott on Jun 14, 2014 wrote:
But... the windlanes don't have dust and debris!
Occasional,y,when sailing on windlanes,you can clearly see shiny little bits,I always assumed that was debris and detritus(you know,for all those little sky critters who use it as a food source).

But Scarlet has a good point on the whole Isle of Fetch having a beach,I don't know if we'll ever be seeing more beaches like that in the future...

Pirate Overlord
Mar 10, 2009
6079
Kai Alcott on Jun 14, 2014 wrote:
But... the windlanes don't have dust and debris!
What do you think all those sparkles are?

Captain
Jan 17, 2013
637
It would be pretty cool if you could go up and down and stuff lol. But then kings isle would have to re create all the worlds. Thats basically re creating the game

Admiral
Jul 27, 2012
1190
Burly Bart Bellamy on Jun 13, 2014 wrote:
My goodness, this is a lot to take in. I gotta be honest, I really didn't understand at least half o' that.
Sorry Bart, I got carried away (again) Let me try to explain in a different way.

Our ships sail in the skies because:

(1) our ships can defy gravity! We do have magical parts of the ship that would do that, and possibly chemistry also plays a role (as you can buy fuel, which I am assuming for sake of argument is non-magical). With this explanation, you might assume an ordinary atmosphere. Anything not on a actively working ship plummets.

But there are plenty of things that don't plummet from the skies, like ship wreckage and sky clams. Also, as CdeWinter points out, there is a beach with set ups apparently for 'sky swimming' on the Isle of Fetch. So more likely:

(2) The atmosphere we sail in has special attributes that permits buoyancy. I'm calling it aether, because I am just following a long lineage of science fiction writers playing with an idea Aristotle came up with over 2000 years ago. So besides oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, etc. in the atmosphere, there are bands of this 'aether' that allow ships, clams, and people to float, fish to swim, etc.

And as far as those sparkles in the windlanes, those could be... sky plankton! A lot of plankton make silica [glass] shells, so very sparkly indeed! Just think, sky diatoms, sky radiolarians... Yes!

First Mate
Dec 13, 2009
409
Wait. Is this a fantasy game or a science fiction game?!

Captain
Oct 16, 2012
612
It could be Sulfur Hexafluoride, a VERY dense greenhouse gas. Mythbusters did something like this a while back, and when put in a fishtank, light objects actually FLOAT on the gas!

Captain
Jun 26, 2010
583
I be wondering what would happen if ye fell and get caught in a windlane, would the sky current be so strong that ye would stay a drift forever....

- Deadeye Jack Morgan

Petty Officer
Jun 10, 2013
58
Anne Radcliffe on Jul 7, 2014 wrote:
Sorry Bart, I got carried away (again) Let me try to explain in a different way.

Our ships sail in the skies because:

(1) our ships can defy gravity! We do have magical parts of the ship that would do that, and possibly chemistry also plays a role (as you can buy fuel, which I am assuming for sake of argument is non-magical). With this explanation, you might assume an ordinary atmosphere. Anything not on a actively working ship plummets.

But there are plenty of things that don't plummet from the skies, like ship wreckage and sky clams. Also, as CdeWinter points out, there is a beach with set ups apparently for 'sky swimming' on the Isle of Fetch. So more likely:

(2) The atmosphere we sail in has special attributes that permits buoyancy. I'm calling it aether, because I am just following a long lineage of science fiction writers playing with an idea Aristotle came up with over 2000 years ago. So besides oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, etc. in the atmosphere, there are bands of this 'aether' that allow ships, clams, and people to float, fish to swim, etc.

And as far as those sparkles in the windlanes, those could be... sky plankton! A lot of plankton make silica [glass] shells, so very sparkly indeed! Just think, sky diatoms, sky radiolarians... Yes!
Diatoms? Radiowhosymawhatsits? I guess I'm startin' ta understand ye.... However, I still am wonderin' what be stoppin' this "aether" from driftin' onto land an', oh, I dunno, sweepin' away our children? Everyone! Lock yer doors an' yer window! Hide yer women an' yer children! The aether be comin' to getcha!

Commodore
Sep 20, 2009
814
warriorscreed on Jul 8, 2014 wrote:
It could be Sulfur Hexafluoride, a VERY dense greenhouse gas. Mythbusters did something like this a while back, and when put in a fishtank, light objects actually FLOAT on the gas!
Well, yes very light objects can float on sulfur hexafluoride, however, there are a few problems with this.

1. I wouldn't call a large wooden sailing ship to be a light object.

2. The creatures of the spiral would have a very hard time breathing in an atmosphere rich in sulfur hexafluoride. While the gas is nontoxic, it can still replace the oxygen in lungs which leads to asphyxiation.

3. Sulfur hexaflouride is very dense, meaning that if that was what was keeping the ships and other structures floating in the skyway, there would have to be a lot of it. Dense gases will always sink to bottom of a stratified atmosphere, so with oxygen, nitrogen and all the other gases, sulfur hexafluroide would be found somewhere way way down beneath the cloud layer at what ever is the at the bottom of the spiral worlds, it wouldn't be found up above the clouds. And we know that there are other gasses in the spiral atmospheres, every world has clouds, clouds are essentially the gasseous version of water. Since water vapour is less dense than sulfur hexafluoride, those clouds we see on every world must be sitting on top of the sulfur hexafluoride. And, our ships sail above the clouds, so I don't that sulfur hexaflouride is what causes our ships to float in the sky.

Commodore
Sep 20, 2009
814
Anne Radcliffe on Jul 7, 2014 wrote:
Sorry Bart, I got carried away (again) Let me try to explain in a different way.

Our ships sail in the skies because:

(1) our ships can defy gravity! We do have magical parts of the ship that would do that, and possibly chemistry also plays a role (as you can buy fuel, which I am assuming for sake of argument is non-magical). With this explanation, you might assume an ordinary atmosphere. Anything not on a actively working ship plummets.

But there are plenty of things that don't plummet from the skies, like ship wreckage and sky clams. Also, as CdeWinter points out, there is a beach with set ups apparently for 'sky swimming' on the Isle of Fetch. So more likely:

(2) The atmosphere we sail in has special attributes that permits buoyancy. I'm calling it aether, because I am just following a long lineage of science fiction writers playing with an idea Aristotle came up with over 2000 years ago. So besides oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, etc. in the atmosphere, there are bands of this 'aether' that allow ships, clams, and people to float, fish to swim, etc.

And as far as those sparkles in the windlanes, those could be... sky plankton! A lot of plankton make silica [glass] shells, so very sparkly indeed! Just think, sky diatoms, sky radiolarians... Yes!
Not to mention, sky rotifera, sky daphnia, sky hydra and medusa.
Actually we already know that there are sky medusa floating about. Medusa are the easily recognisable adult forms of jellyfish, and there are sky jellyfish floating about. Therefore there must by sky hydra which would be the juvenile form of the sky jellyfish.

I'm still keeping an eye out for sky porifera, or sky sponges!