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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:37 pm 
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So, since this was an age held by the D'ni before Kadish took over, why isn't there a Maintainer marker? Did Kadish remove it? Is it somewhere else in the age?

IC something to think about.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:01 am 
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Shorah b'shem westar,

Lore about Er'cana varies from site to site. Mystlore credits Kadish with being the engineer who fashioned the great machines there, while Myst wiki credits Kadish with actually Writing the Age. Larry's site, HPOTD, claims it was an older Age acquired by Kadish, though it's not clear where he got this information. The two other grain Ages he mentions are mentioned in Book of Ti'ana, but Er'cana is not.

So to begin with, I don't think we can assume that your initial comment is canon. My own take is that the apparent lack of Maintainer marker indicates little more than we most likely are linking into a minor part of the Age (i.e., the D'ni in general linked in elsewhere in the Age, where the Maintainers would have left their marker) and and that we've seen relatively little of the Age as a whole.

That it was being actively used by the D'ni at large in the years preceding the fall indicates the Maintainers must have vetted the Age.

Larry, could you enlighten me about where you learned that Er'cana was once owned by the Caterers?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 9:12 am 
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The DRC notebook about the Watcher's Sanctuary mentions Er'cana once and says "[Kadish] brought the Er'cana book here (Kadish was the engineer behind its construction)". So Kadish is responsible for the pellet baking machinery in Er'cana, though the notebook doesn't say anything about who originally wrote or owned the age.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:53 am 
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Well, Er'cana is unique because it's clear that the age was once much more accessible than it is now. Presumably, there are miles and miles of canyon in use there, and the marker could be in ANY of them. There's no doubt it's Maintainer-approved, as it's a granary age and likely employs many people on a regular basis. As far as the other ages missing markers:
Jalak and the Pods are very small portions of their respective ages, and honestly there's no place in either of those where the marker could even go.
Minkata purposefully would lack the marker, as it was used by the Ki coordinate system and it would make navigation too easy.
Ahnonay may not have ever been maintainer approved. Even if it was, they would end up putting the marker inside one of the spheres, and the marker would move every time the spheres rotated, causing everyone's Ki coordinates to be offset and revealing what he did.

I think what I'm going to do is see if the Ki coordinate system even runs in the other ages (even if it's invisible) because perhaps it'll reveal where the Er'cana marker SHOULD be. I highly doubt this will work, though.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:24 pm 
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Twitch, the D'ni coordinate system is not tied to the Maintainer marks, so that won't work. The zero point of the system was chosen more or less at random and the zero line was either oriented to magnetic north, or a prominent landmark if magnetic north could not be calculated. The reason I say that the coordinate system was not tied to the marks is because of the map we have of Teledahn. It shows what appear to be coordinate rings, and the zero point isn't even in the same postal zip code as the marker.

Ainia, it's mainly from the name. Er'cana follows the naming conventions of the Guild of Caterers. Er' is a common prefix for granary Ages. There is also the visual evidence; if Kadish had written the Age and designed and built the factory from scratch, then it would not have needed the security features he added. He placed the hatch across the set of tracks leading to the grain fields, and sawed through the second set of tracks to cut off the second harvester from the factory. Had he designed everything himself, that second set of tracks would not have been there if he didn't need it. And finally, the Guild of Archivists site lists it that way, and I agreed due to the available evidence.

Westar, yes, it's probably somewhere else in the Age. Er'cana is obviously larger than the section we can see, if only because the harvester tracks had to go somewhere.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 4:34 am 
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dgelessus wrote:
The DRC notebook about the Watcher's Sanctuary mentions Er'cana once and says "[Kadish] brought the Er'cana book here (Kadish was the engineer behind its construction)". So Kadish is responsible for the pellet baking machinery in Er'cana, though the notebook doesn't say anything about who originally wrote or owned the age.

There are valid reasons for interpreting this passage differently, chiefly that Kadish was a Master of the Guild of Writers. It would have been very strange for him to be involved in building machinery, but completely reasonable for him to have been involved in Writing an age. There's even the thread of the third (HPOTD) interpretation: Kadish acquired the age for personal use and converted it from simply producing food to producing pellets designed to stimulate the lake algae (making him the "engineer behind" the construction of the present machinery, but also explaining why a Writer would have that job in the first place: it was a private project for him, presumably for the specific purpose of building his credentials as the Grower).

OOC, this conflict arises from Kadish being added to the story after the fact. Originally, the owner of the Watcher's Sanctuary and claimant to the title of Grower was somebody else. I don't know if it was Esher or "Evil Book" or whoever killed Calam, or none of those or all of those or a combination (it's entirely possible that, at least early in the story conception, any of them were in fact the same person). That character could easily have been an Engineer or otherwise in a position to design machinery for the Guild of Caterers. When Path of the Shell was released offline, the story was compressed due to the lack of an ongoing storyline, and what was presumably intended to have been a dangling plot thread to be resolved in some future Uru Live update was shifted to a character already in the game: Kadish. It's not surprising that there are bits that don't quite match.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 12:46 pm 
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Keep this in mind when talking about Kadish and Er'cana: Kadish was a guild master with the Writers before being dismissed. That means he was fully trained and indoctrinated in the D'ni rules regarding the Art. One of those rules was that they could never write a building or object into an Age. That was a rule that Atrus rediscovered the reason for when he tried to write an ocean world with a ship in it and ended up with the Stoneship Age, a ship fused with a rock.

So no matter how you look at it, the machinery in Er'cana was built after the Age was written. The fact that the Writer's Sanctuary notebook calls Kadish the engineer behind its construction rather than the Writer is a significant choice of words, IMHO.

Because of the lengths he went to in cutting his factory off from the rest of the Age also leads me to a pet theory. Kadish may not have owned the entire Age. He may have only bought the canyon his factory is located in, and the rest of the Age may well have been in use by the Caterers right up until the end.

Otherwise, why would he have installed the hatch and sawed off the second set of tracks? It's not like seeing grain growing would have ruined his illusion for the people he allowed to go there for the Path of the Shell puzzle, and the second harvester was cut off from the factory on the other side. It implies that he was trying to keep someone from outside the canyon getting in, rather than the opposite.

Another clue that all is not as it appears is the link in point. Why is it off in a box canyon to one side of the main canyon, instead of being inside the factory? It's inconvenient at best, and not necessary for his puzzle.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:31 pm 
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On the other hand, if there had always been the tracks, where have they led to if not some kind of processing plant? Behind the factory is pretty much nothing for a long time and I doubt the D'ni were just dumping their harvest at the end of a canyon.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:50 am 
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larryf58 wrote:
Keep this in mind when talking about Kadish and Er'cana: Kadish was a guild master with the Writers before being dismissed. That means he was fully trained and indoctrinated in the D'ni rules regarding the Art. One of those rules was that they could never write a building or object into an Age. That was a rule that Atrus rediscovered the reason for when he tried to write an ocean world with a ship in it and ended up with the Stoneship Age, a ship fused with a rock.

So no matter how you look at it, the machinery in Er'cana was built after the Age was written. The fact that the Writer's Sanctuary notebook calls Kadish the engineer behind its construction rather than the Writer is a significant choice of words, IMHO.

Because of the lengths he went to in cutting his factory off from the rest of the Age also leads me to a pet theory. Kadish may not have owned the entire Age. He may have only bought the canyon his factory is located in, and the rest of the Age may well have been in use by the Caterers right up until the end.

Otherwise, why would he have installed the hatch and sawed off the second set of tracks? It's not like seeing grain growing would have ruined his illusion for the people he allowed to go there for the Path of the Shell puzzle, and the second harvester was cut off from the factory on the other side. It implies that he was trying to keep someone from outside the canyon getting in, rather than the opposite.

Another clue that all is not as it appears is the link in point. Why is it off in a box canyon to one side of the main canyon, instead of being inside the factory? It's inconvenient at best, and not necessary for his puzzle.

Ok, I skimmed over your earlier post a bit before posting before, but you've pulled some of these ideas out of nowhere I can see. Most notably, this insistence that the track was cut intentionally by Kadish himself. Where are you getting this? There is no sign of intentional interference with the track (never mind how you can determine by whom), the scene suggests a natural collapse to me. And what hatch are you talking about? I'm going to have to go back to Er'cana and have a close look around but from memory, everything is pretty much the same on both tracks except for the fact that only one has a harvester.

There are no "security features" in Er'cana. The "puzzles" involved in getting through the complex are all about getting around broken sections. I think it's begging the question to assume that Kadish broke them, and moreover it doesn't make sense to me that if he did want to block off sections of the complex for "security" or any other reason he would leave it so rough. Build a wall or a fence across the second track. Remove the broken catwalk entirely. This is a guy who made his private vault, which only he was ever supposed to access, into a work of art in its own right. It beggars belief that he would vandalise his own machinery and then leave it in its broken state whilst guiding tourists through it. The far more reasonable explanation is that this damage occurred after the Fall.

Similarly, you're assuming Kadish set up a "puzzle" which I think you're saying constitutes everything we as explorers do in Er'cana. While I agree that the placement of the link-in point is a little odd if Kadish's primary purpose was to show off his pellet making machine, it's an extremely long leap from there to assuming he set his pilgrims loose on the age to find their own way through his jury-rigged obstacle course. An alternative possibility (not the only one, by any means) is that guided tours were held from the Watcher's Sanctuary going through each part of the pellet-making process, and thus would begin outside the factory complex.

Originally, I was of the opinion that "engineer" was either a mistranslation or a term of art supposed to indicate "writer" by context. After having a chance to think through it and discuss it in this thread, I now favour your theory that Kadish acquired an old Caterers' age for personal use and repurposed it to bolster his claim to being the Grower. But I categorically reject the notion that this process involved vandalising the machinery then leaving it in state. That's like arguing that the Maintainers knocked a hole in Gahreesehn themselves to facilitate access to the second floor. It's absolutely ludicrous to ascribe this sort of damage to the D'ni themselves.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:19 am 
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Bogardan Mage wrote:
Ok, I skimmed over your earlier post a bit before posting before, but you've pulled some of these ideas out of nowhere I can see. Most notably, this insistence that the track was cut intentionally by Kadish himself. Where are you getting this? There is no sign of intentional interference with the track (never mind how you can determine by whom), the scene suggests a natural collapse to me. And what hatch are you talking about? I'm going to have to go back to Er'cana and have a close look around but from memory, everything is pretty much the same on both tracks except for the fact that only one has a harvester.


By actually looking at the track. I wasn't the first to notice it, but the track was cleanly cut through on the far end of the missing section, and the weight of them broke them off on the near side. The missing pieces of the track are lying in the bottom of the sinkhole. That's why the end of the track on the near side is bent downward, but the ends on the far side remain level. When say that it was cut by Kadish, I mean that it was done either by him, or on his orders. This is an assumption, but it's what the evidence points toward because the Caterers would not have had any reason to sabotage their own infrastructure. Kadish, on the other hand, did. There is nothing whatsoever natural about the pattern of damage on that track.

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There are no "security features" in Er'cana. The "puzzles" involved in getting through the complex are all about getting around broken sections. I think it's begging the question to assume that Kadish broke them, and moreover it doesn't make sense to me that if he did want to block off sections of the complex for "security" or any other reason he would leave it so rough. Build a wall or a fence across the second track. Remove the broken catwalk entirely. This is a guy who made his private vault, which only he was ever supposed to access, into a work of art in its own right. It beggars belief that he would vandalise his own machinery and then leave it in its broken state whilst guiding tourists through it. The far more reasonable explanation is that this damage occurred after the Fall.


It is Yeesha's puzzle that involves getting around damaged sections of the building. Kadish's puzzle was very different, and it was the puzzle he sent D'ni who wanted to solve it on while the facility was still active. His puzzle was simply a quest to find sets of numbers on paper stuck on the walls in various places, which referred to passages in Words of the Watcher. You are quite correct that the factory itself would not have been so damaged at the time.

As to why he would have destroyed a section of the track for the second harvester? In a nutshell, why not? He didn't need that harvester for his algae feeding project, and the massive hatch he put on the active track must have been very expensive to construct. While he was rich, one doesn't stay rich by squandering money when a simple, cheap solution will do the job just as well. He needed to get to the grain on the other end of the first track, so the hatch was a necessity to keep his factory private. The same was not true for the second track. He didn't need it, and a simple saw job over a natural barrier saved him a fair bit of the coin we see in his vault.

Quote:
Similarly, you're assuming Kadish set up a "puzzle" which I think you're saying constitutes everything we as explorers do in Er'cana. While I agree that the placement of the link-in point is a little odd if Kadish's primary purpose was to show off his pellet making machine, it's an extremely long leap from there to assuming he set his pilgrims loose on the age to find their own way through his jury-rigged obstacle course. An alternative possibility (not the only one, by any means) is that guided tours were held from the Watcher's Sanctuary going through each part of the pellet-making process, and thus would begin outside the factory complex.


And that's not quite correct. What we do in Er'cana as explorers is a quest set up by Yeesha, not Kadish. She co-opted his quest and modified it to suit her purposes. What Kadish had the D'ni doing was to explore the factory and surroundings, looking for his clues. He did allow them into the pellet chamber because one of the clues was in the Er'cana silo. Whether or not he ever told the guests what he was doing with the factory is unknown.

Quote:
Originally, I was of the opinion that "engineer" was either a mistranslation or a term of art supposed to indicate "writer" by context. After having a chance to think through it and discuss it in this thread, I now favour your theory that Kadish acquired an old Caterers' age for personal use and repurposed it to bolster his claim to being the Grower. But I categorically reject the notion that this process involved vandalising the machinery then leaving it in state. That's like arguing that the Maintainers knocked a hole in Gahreesehn themselves to facilitate access to the second floor. It's absolutely ludicrous to ascribe this sort of damage to the D'ni themselves.


And I'll repeat. The damage to the factory was not done by Kadish. He just sabotaged the second harvester track to keep the canyon private. The damage to the factory itself is either natural or was done at Yeesha's behest. I have no theories about that; there's far too much damage in too many Ages, and considering how and massively the D'ni built, it's far too much for just the passage of 300 years to account for. What I can say is that what we see today in Er'cana is the result of two different cooks stirring the pot, and the tune we dance to there was orchestrated by Yeesha.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:03 am 
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larryf58 wrote:
By actually looking at the track. I wasn't the first to notice it, but the track was cleanly cut through on the far end of the missing section, and the weight of them broke them off on the near side. The missing pieces of the track are lying in the bottom of the sinkhole. That's why the end of the track on the near side is bent downward, but the ends on the far side remain level. When say that it was cut by Kadish, I mean that it was done either by him, or on his orders. This is an assumption, but it's what the evidence points toward because the Caterers would not have had any reason to sabotage their own infrastructure. Kadish, on the other hand, did. There is nothing whatsoever natural about the pattern of damage on that track.

I disagree. At the very least it is ambiguous:
[Reveal] Spoiler: Image
Image
EDIT: Rereading your post, I'm a bit confused regarding your references to near/far. This image is of the near side, which you claim is bent down. It isn't (which might not be visible in this picture). So I invite you to have another look around Er'cana yourself and get back to me about where precisely the cut is.

And on the point of who would have done it (if anyone), why do you think Kadish and the Caterers are the only suspects? Why not Yeesha, who you acknowledge as altering the age for the purposes of her journey also? Basically what's got me so worked up about this is, why are you touting this as undeniable fact when it's entirely your own inference?

larryf58 wrote:
It is Yeesha's puzzle that involves getting around damaged sections of the building. Kadish's puzzle was very different, and it was the puzzle he sent D'ni who wanted to solve it on while the facility was still active. His puzzle was simply a quest to find sets of numbers on paper stuck on the walls in various places, which referred to passages in Words of the Watcher. You are quite correct that the factory itself would not have been so damaged at the time.

I don't believe that the Words citations were Kadish's doing. Simpson tells us he bragged that the solution was in Words; he never says he gave explicit citations. And, without getting into another Uru canon hairsplitting discussion, the Words citations are not present in the online version which I tend to view as the "true" age. If you do want to get into that hairsplitting discussion and say the offline game is still a true depiction of the ages as they were circa 2004 or whenever, that means someone removed the citations in the meantime and then the question becomes who, and to what end? My interpretation, even while playing PotS, was that the citations were hints from Yeesha for the purpose of solving a puzzle Kadish never wanted anyone to solve.

larryf58 wrote:
As to why he would have destroyed a section of the track for the second harvester? In a nutshell, why not? He didn't need that harvester for his algae feeding project, and the massive hatch he put on the active track must have been very expensive to construct. While he was rich, one doesn't stay rich by squandering money when a simple, cheap solution will do the job just as well. He needed to get to the grain on the other end of the first track, so the hatch was a necessity to keep his factory private. The same was not true for the second track. He didn't need it, and a simple saw job over a natural barrier saved him a fair bit of the coin we see in his vault.

Ok, first things first: WHAT HATCH? I have no idea what you're even talking about. Where is this hatch supposed to be?
Second: A simple fence is more expensive than the job of sawing through thick iron rails, never even mind that the latter involves ruining almost irreparably an asset that could theoretically produce dividends if you chose to use it later (the fact that you don't want to use it now doesn't mean you need to almost literally burn that bridge)? Besides which, Kadish canonically spent what must have been a huge amount of money and/or effort and/or influence building Kadish Tolesa for no purpose other than looking nice to Kadish himself, the only person he ever intended to view it. Clearly, he had no compunctions about that sort of thing.

larryf58 wrote:
And that's not quite correct. What we do in Er'cana as explorers is a quest set up by Yeesha, not Kadish. She co-opted his quest and modified it to suit her purposes. What Kadish had the D'ni doing was to explore the factory and surroundings, looking for his clues. He did allow them into the pellet chamber because one of the clues was in the Er'cana silo. Whether or not he ever told the guests what he was doing with the factory is unknown.

I don't see why he'd bother with the factory at all if he wasn't showing people what he was doing. Simpson tells us he brought Er'cana to the Watcher's Sanctuary with the intent of fulfilling one of the prophecies. Simpson doesn't say which one, but it's generally agreed that was "a grower to banish the darkness" (Words 2:53). Kadish was making pellets to produce light as a way of literally fulfilling the prophecy. I really don't see what other purpose he could have had in Er'cana if he wasn't showing off.

larryf58 wrote:
And I'll repeat. The damage to the factory was not done by Kadish. He just sabotaged the second harvester track to keep the canyon private. The damage to the factory itself is either natural or was done at Yeesha's behest. I have no theories about that; there's far too much damage in too many Ages, and considering how and massively the D'ni built, it's far too much for just the passage of 300 years to account for. What I can say is that what we see today in Er'cana is the result of two different cooks stirring the pot, and the tune we dance to there was orchestrated by Yeesha.

Well that's good to hear, I just don't get how you can be so completely certain about the track damage given that you do consider the other damage to be natural, nor why you are so unwilling to entertain any of the many other permutations of explanation for the track's damage.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:33 pm 
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From a purely practical point of view, there must have been many more miles of canyon in order to provide enough whatever-it-was-that-the-harvesters-harvested to justify the massive scale of the 'factory', the processing complex. The harvester is set up to reap a tall crop from the canyon floor, so you will need a lot of canyon. The only candidate we find are the mushroom-type things (which makes sense, given the shaded nature of the canyon floor).

The hatch is behind the harvester when you first find it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 4:30 pm 
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Wow. Interesting feedback on Er'Cana that I haven't though of before.

I can understand why there wouldn't be a marker in Ahnonay, but there should be one in Minkata. Of course it could be anywhere.


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