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 Post subject: D'ni technology
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:29 am 
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How much do we know about what kind of technology the D'ni had, and when they developed it?

For instance, I remember hearing somewhere that the KI and nexus system were being created and were about to be rolled out fairly shortly before the Fall occurred, so, if I'm remembering right, those were recent inventions. They also had knowledge of computing systems, (the lattice is a computer, right?), holography, audio and video recording and playback, solar power, (e.g. in Teledahn,) wind power, (e.g. in Er'Cana,) how to build various kinds of machinery, and so forth.

I'm wondering if it would be possible to build a timeline showing when they came up with different kinds of technology, and to whom it would have been available.

I'm asking because I'd like to try my hand at fanfiction/content creation, (like many others here,) but to tell some stories without contradicting canon we need to know a lot about D'ni society at different points in time. Knowing when they gained access to various technologies would be a big help, towards that.


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 Post subject: Re: D'ni technology
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:04 am 
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I don't think there is a timeline or that creating one is even possible. The D'ni simply seemed to have a knack for using whatever was available to create machines and power them. (Plus, they could write into the age whatever materials they would need.)

You're thinking like a human who is aware of our own evolution of technology. We tend to rely on the accomplishments of others and build upon that knowledge to create new things.

You need to think like a D'ni and be more independent and resourceful. If you want to power something with an electrified gel, then write an age where it's produced naturally and rig a system to collect it, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: D'ni technology
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:49 am 
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Hmm... Maybe. Perhaps D'ni writers could come up with a lot of their own ideas for how to do things, and implement them through the art.

However, supposedly writing man-made structures into an age was, while not impossible, problematic. On the one hand, when Atrus tried it with Stoneship, the ship ended up almost like part of the landscape, embedded in the rock, as if it had been formed by nature rather than people. For another, the D'ni were xenophobic, and, if I remember the DRC journal in Eder Kemo right, they were technically supposed to destroy all links to any ages that already had people in them. (Am I mis-remembering that?) Writing man-made structures into a world seems like a good way to also get people, which the D'ni would not want. Therefore, if I understand correctly, machinery and man-made structures were usually built by D'ni workers. (I know they sometimes broke their "don't mess with age-dwellers" rule, e.g. with Laki'ahn, but I don't think I'm mis-remembering them having such a rule... Can't seem to find any online copies of the DRC journal from Kemo either.)

Anyway, at least in Ahnonay the mid-construction fourth pod seems to indicate that the D'ni had to build most man-made stuff after writing an age. (Not sure how Kadish kept all of Ahnonay's construction secret, but it seems likely he would have written into the age everything he could have.)

They did improve their technology over time, too, I believe. I remember one of the journals about the D'ni kings mentioning the invention of a better rock-cutting machine, for example.

How about, at least, holograms and video/audio recordings. Do we know if the D'ni had that technology early on, or if it was a later development? What about inter-age communication, similar to the KI system?

Edit: I found a copy of the journal from Kemo, at the very end of this pdf. This is where I got the idea about destroying links to inhabited worlds:

Quote:
Shomat ordered the men who had seen the village to be put in prison (not sure if Book or physical prison) for what they saw. And he called his most trusted advisor (?) Lemash to his residence in the city. Upon hearing of the creatures and their organization, Lemash too was frightened.
"We have no choice but to burn the Book," Lemash recommended. "You know this Age is not ours, if it is already inhabited. You know the rules of our Writing, and of our Books, and of our people."
But Shomat's heart was not moved by the words of Lemash and he grew more angry and enraged. The world was created by me, for me. If there are others who exist, they will have to be killed. It is D'ni now."


Later on it also says Shomat ordered changes to be made to the descriptive book for his garden ages, which I think was also frowned up among the D'ni, (they usually didn't change descriptive books after the worlds had already been linked to.) Thus, it seems the rulers of D'ni society could get away with breaking rules like these.

Does anyone know if any other sources confirm this idea that the D'ni had a rule saying they had to burn links to inhabited ages? Thinking about it, I'm wondering if this rule was only in place during a certain period, since other sources say they interacted with off-worlders.


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 Post subject: Re: D'ni technology
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:13 am 
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Note that I said write "materials" into the age, not man made structures. Just the materials needed to build whatever you wanted. And I don't mean a stack of lumber, but the trees to cut into lumber. You'd still need to bring an ax or saw and other tools, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: D'ni technology
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:09 pm 
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Jmp12 wrote:
For another, the D'ni were xenophobic, and, if I remember the DRC journal in Eder Kemo right, they were technically supposed to destroy all links to any ages that already had people in them. (Am I mis-remembering that?) Writing man-made structures into a world seems like a good way to also get people, which the D'ni would not want. Therefore, if I understand correctly, machinery and man-made structures were usually built by D'ni workers. (I know they sometimes broke their "don't mess with age-dwellers" rule, e.g. with Laki'ahn, but I don't think I'm mis-remembering them having such a rule... Can't seem to find any online copies of the DRC journal from Kemo either.)


The Story of Shomat does comment on the fact that they stopped Links to inhabited Ages there are numerous examples where they didn't (Rebek, Laki'ahn, Pento, Dahtahmnay and so on) I'd probably not put a whole lot of stock in that to be honest.


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 Post subject: Re: D'ni technology
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:51 am 
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Tweek wrote:
Jmp12 wrote:
For another, the D'ni were xenophobic, and, if I remember the DRC journal in Eder Kemo right, they were technically supposed to destroy all links to any ages that already had people in them. (Am I mis-remembering that?) Writing man-made structures into a world seems like a good way to also get people, which the D'ni would not want. Therefore, if I understand correctly, machinery and man-made structures were usually built by D'ni workers. (I know they sometimes broke their "don't mess with age-dwellers" rule, e.g. with Laki'ahn, but I don't think I'm mis-remembering them having such a rule... Can't seem to find any online copies of the DRC journal from Kemo either.)


The Story of Shomat does comment on the fact that they stopped Links to inhabited Ages there are numerous examples where they didn't (Rebek, Laki'ahn, Pento, Dahtahmnay and so on) I'd probably not put a whole lot of stock in that to be honest.


It's possible that there was an early prohibition on linking to inhabited Ages. Apart from the Pento and the rumors concerning Shomat, the first licit example of D'ni-outsider interaction I found in a quick skim of the histories is Hinash's remarriage (by which point there must have been contact between D'ni and outsiders for some time).

It's also possible that we might be seeing some anachronistic influence from the teachings of Gish in this story, with the early years of D'ni cast as a sort of golden age when the D'ni had the ideal rules in place regarding D'ni-outsider interaction. Unfortunately we don't know much about the provenance of these stories.

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 Post subject: Re: D'ni technology
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:04 pm 
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It seems to me that the D'ni had some iterative development going on, at least in some fields. There are different generations of Maintainer suits spotted around Gahreesen. There aren't, however, any shops for making parts, nor metals production facilities, visible in the worlds we can visit. Technology such as a suit exists at the top of a pyramid of people and tools. We're missing everything but the tip.

Maybe they keep all that stuff hidden, so as to maintain the illusion of "magic." Maybe it is magic made to look engineered, but it's hard to argue with the girders, beams and sheets of metal in Ahhonay. Where did all of that come from? Mines, smelters, steel mill, rolling mill, sheet rollers, bending into complex curves. Someone had to make all that stuff, not to mention the machinery of the spheres themselves.

There are mechanisms all through the Ages, with no clue as to how they were built. The timer-controlled platform at the bottom of the Great Shaft, and its elevators too. There were powerful air handling systems to keep the cavern habitable; heat alone at that depth would make living there difficult.

It'd be interesting to tour a D'ni machine shop. Well, maybe not, given their penchant for enslaving "lesser peoples." I always hoped to find such in one of the worlds. There's always more to the story.

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 Post subject: Re: D'ni technology
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:11 pm 
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Well there were various Guilds that oversaw all that (Guild of Miners for example). There is actually an Industrial District (multiple IIRC) in the D'ni cavern where mining and stuff too place. Other Ages would have been sourced for stuff too (Venalem for example was used for Ink Making, Dahtahmnay for Firemarbles).

The Guilds did retain a degree of secrecy surrounding their various technological aspects. It would not surprise me if the Guild of Maintainers kept the development of their various suits hush hush.


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 Post subject: Re: D'ni technology
PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:24 pm 
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Talashar wrote:
It's possible that there was an early prohibition on linking to inhabited Ages. Apart from the Pento and the rumors concerning Shomat, the first licit example of D'ni-outsider interaction I found in a quick skim of the histories is Hinash's remarriage (by which point there must have been contact between D'ni and outsiders for some time).

It's also possible that we might be seeing some anachronistic influence from the teachings of Gish in this story, with the early years of D'ni cast as a sort of golden age when the D'ni had the ideal rules in place regarding D'ni-outsider interaction. Unfortunately we don't know much about the provenance of these stories.


Looking through the different DRC booklets about the D'ni kings, that example, (under king Hinash,) is the first I find, as well. The booklet on Hinash has a footnote that reads: "There had been strict regulations up to that point concerning imported goods and travel between Ages," referring to the time before Hinash "opened up the rules on trade [and] pushed the cultural 'rules' concerning relationships with those of non-D'ni blood." It doesn't give any more specific details on what those "strict regulations" consisted of, but it sounds like it was not as harsh as a full ban on any interaction with age-dwellers.

Some more thoughts on technology: I found wiki pages on the Amad and D'ni imaging technology that have details I don't recall hearing about before. The Amad were a group of surface dwellers that Gehn met, and Gehn speculated that they might have been descendants of the D'ni since they had a similar imager technology. If the Amad were descendants of the D'ni who disappeared to the surface after the construction of the ventilation system early in D'ni history, and if they had had imager technology that whole time, then that would seem to mean the D'ni had had imagers at least as far back as then. It's speculation based on rather weak evidence, but it's better than nothing, I guess.

Based on that and the fact that they could build the ventilation system, I'd further speculate that the D'ni came to Earth with knowledge of electricity and how to use it to power machines.

The book on King Ri'neref also mentions that the D'ni built the Great Zero monument upon coming to the cavern, but it's unclear whether the monument was the version we know of today, complete with the Neutrino Dispenser. If it was, then this seems like evidence the D'ni had futuristic (by 2017 human standards) technology even when they first entered the cavern.

The books on the various kings talk about improvements in other technologies, such as the introduction of extrusion technology for mining and construction in 2488 DE during King Naygen's reign and the creation of new mining machines in 6430 DE during King Jaron's reign.

I'll have to keep looking to see if I can find more details, but if the imager/holographic projection technology was something the D'ni had from the beginning, then that answers one of my questions, at least.

Thanks everyone for all your help so far!


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