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Okay, so how *does* a linking book work?

#1 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 04:16 PM

From the Back from the dead thread, since all you ever wise old folks are back (and you ever wise not-so-old folks are around too).

How does a linking book work. Not the actual linking theory and all that, the book itself.
- What is the ink and paper made out of, or how is it made, that makes it distinct so that it can be used for such purposes?
- Why does the ink have its properties?
- How do the words as written on a book like it get "translated" so to speak into forming a link to a world?
- How does the linking panel work? First, what exactly does it display - then, is its display like a window, or a projection of some sorts?
- How is the linking panel powered, if it needs power?
- What does a healing panel, like Katran's in Riven, do to "heal" the linking panel?
- What are the reasons for its other odd properties?
- What is the machinery of the domes, or in the spaceship, doing to make/support the link?

That's all I can think of at the moment.
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#2 User is offline   I'mNotCheating... 

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 07:40 AM

I'm certainly not very wise, but I think I can answer some of these. Correct me if I'm wrong!
- the Ink has something to do with the Beetles. It's possible the beetles, like the Bahro, have an intrinsic relationship with the Art. I'm not sure about the paper.
- the words used for Writing are apparently on a completely different level of grammar (or something like that) to 'normal' writing. I guess there are certain words or phrases that give the instruction to form a link - kind of like the computer code that defines how to read different file formats.
- we've seen a couple of kinds of linking panel in the games. The static kind, as in URU, and the flyby, like in MYST.
- in Riven, Gehn's books were flawed and needed extra power. Either mechanically, through the firemarble domes, or some other way with Katran's frames. Normal Books we've seen don't need any external power - or perhaps use the natural electrical energy of the human body?
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#3 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 11:06 AM

Yay, answers.

View PostI'mNotCheating..., on Oct 24 2010, 06:40 AM, said:

- the words used for Writing are apparently on a completely different level of grammar (or something like that) to 'normal' writing. I guess there are certain words or phrases that give the instruction to form a link - kind of like the computer code that defines how to read different file formats.

What reads them, though, and how?

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- we've seen a couple of kinds of linking panel in the games. The static kind, as in URU, and the flyby, like in MYST.

And totally different flyby types and all too, hmm (and possibly conflicting information even on the static kind).

Most of the panels appear shadowed underneath, like they are floating, right?

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- in Riven, Gehn's books were flawed and needed extra power. Either mechanically, through the firemarble domes, or some other way with Katran's frames. Normal Books we've seen don't need any external power - or perhaps use the natural electrical energy of the human body?

So this would indicate that books do need power to operate, especially around the linking panel part (at least, that's the most visible result of adding in power [it's electricity for Gehn's power, right?]). I mean (unless the linking panel "explosion" look is simply artistic license), natural energy from the linker would make sense to me if it wasn't for that - that unflawed books are able to keep the linking panels operative forever, theoretically without many links at all, as far as we've seen, while flawed books need power or else just have blank panels.

Perhaps it's something related to inter-Age communication streams like the KI uses? Perhaps that provides a sort of link of particles/energy that can power books if properly written (sort of like inter-age radiation), or can be used to send signals that can be used to send messages. Or perhaps the book/paper is special not because it's needed to make the writing interpretable (that's the ink and language only - even if written on other stuff), but because it can absorb natural movement, air circulation, light, whatever, to keep up the energy the book needs.
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#4 User is offline   I'mNotCheating... 

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 04:58 PM

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Oct 24 2010, 06:06 PM, said:

What reads them, though, and how?
I kind of like the idea (returning to the computer code analogy) of a self-reading program, however unrealistic it may be... That's just something I thought of on the spot, so it won't hold up to scrutiny. I'm sure someone else has a more feasible idea.
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#5 User is offline   aander91 

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 05:01 PM

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Most of the panels appear shadowed underneath, like they are floating, right?


Wasn't this only in Myst? The rest were actually on the page if I remember correctly.
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#6 User is offline   Mystress 

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 11:19 PM

Hrm.

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Oct 23 2010, 05:16 PM, said:

- What is the ink and paper made out of, or how is it made, that makes it distinct so that it can be used for such purposes?


The paper is most likely some type of papyrus material. The ink itself most likely has some chemical property that allows power to flow through it, thus allowing a link to form.

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- Why does the ink have its properties?


Chemistry. My best guess is that the ink is an aqueous solution of certain ions, possibly not of Earth, that can transmit power of some sort (possibly ambient light energy from lights, like a solar panel; this might explain why many linking books are located under lights on pedestals). This energy can somehow be stored in the ions as an excited state charge, which allows the book to work even in low light.

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- How do the words as written on a book like it get "translated" so to speak into forming a link to a world?


It's not the words themselves. I think it has to do with the penstrokes, which alters how the current moves through the ions in the ink. Thus a copy of a linking book will link to a place other than the original world in the original book. That is, you could write in the book in plain English and it would accept the words.

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- How does the linking panel work? First, what exactly does it display - then, is its display like a window, or a projection of some sorts?


In 'reality' there isn't a panel, just the page glowing with energy. The panel is just a personification of that. You'd have to read the book to actually know where it was going to take you.

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- How is the linking panel powered, if it needs power?


It absorbs and runs on ambient light energy, as I pointed out above.

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- What does a healing panel, like Katran's in Riven, do to "heal" the linking panel?


Most likely it amplifies the amount of light the panel is getting. The 'panel' itself is never 'damaged', it only becomes less powerful with damage to the book.

Quote

- What are the reasons for its other odd properties?


Oh, like back-up books? I'd assume they work by taking it to the actual age through the original, sketching a drawing or possibly a symbol on the page, and then linking back. The energy used in linking would 'power up' the back-up book and cause a link to that specific age to form.

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- What is the machinery of the domes, or in the spaceship, doing to make/support the link?


This would only be needed for highly damaged or flawed books. Gehn's books have flawed ink; the ions in it cannot flow as well chemically because it is a different, but highly similar, compound. It could also be the pulp for the paper found on Riven is simply not as conducive to charge flow as actual D'ni paper is. My guess is that Gehn needs the extra power to help his books' ink actually create a strong enough net charge to power the link. The Selenitic machinery serves a similar purpose, but it does so by allowing a code to activate a hidden light source, which allows the link. It is actually a book and not a round window in the rocket; this is artistic license.

Those are literally the most bull-pucky answers I've got off the top of my head that make any sense.
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#7 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 09:06 AM

View Postaander91, on Oct 24 2010, 04:01 PM, said:

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Most of the panels appear shadowed underneath, like they are floating, right?


Wasn't this only in Myst? The rest were actually on the page if I remember correctly.

Hmm, yeah. So what was it for in Myst?


View PostMystress, on Oct 26 2010, 10:19 PM, said:

Hrm.

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Oct 23 2010, 05:16 PM, said:

- What is the ink and paper made out of, or how is it made, that makes it distinct so that it can be used for such purposes?


The paper is most likely some type of papyrus material. The ink itself most likely has some chemical property that allows power to flow through it, thus allowing a link to form.

Why a papyrus like material? We've seen Gehn just cutting down wood pulp and getting only a slightly flawed book combination (which might be the ink, or it might be the chemical composition of the trees he uses, or whatever) - and he might have some clue already as to how book paper is made (if not the complete knowledge, or the ability to form the same trees and such).

Quote

Quote

- Why does the ink have its properties?


Chemistry. My best guess is that the ink is an aqueous solution of certain ions, possibly not of Earth, that can transmit power of some sort (possibly ambient light energy from lights, like a solar panel; this might explain why many linking books are located under lights on pedestals). This energy can somehow be stored in the ions as an excited state charge, which allows the book to work even in low light.

And the pattern of energy forms the link (flowing first from the revealed pages to the pages not under the light)? Also, wouldn't the lights also be sort of handy for putting books of any kind under, just for visibility and all that?

Quote

Quote

- How do the words as written on a book like it get "translated" so to speak into forming a link to a world?


It's not the words themselves. I think it has to do with the penstrokes, which alters how the current moves through the ions in the ink. Thus a copy of a linking book will link to a place other than the original world in the original book. That is, you could write in the book in plain English and it would accept the words.

And the D'ni linking language is simply a list of known combinations of penstrokes that do certain significant things, right?

Quote

Quote

- How does the linking panel work? First, what exactly does it display - then, is its display like a window, or a projection of some sorts?


In 'reality' there isn't a panel, just the page glowing with energy. The panel is just a personification of that. You'd have to read the book to actually know where it was going to take you.

Interesting. I'm pretty sure some kind of linking panel is canon, though, right?

Interesting, interesting.

Counter theory time!

Kinetic energy seems a bit cooler to me to power the books, especially with how some (?) books only really show the linking window after their first usage.

We've also seen some kind of flow of information of some kind across Ages, both in the KI (which manipulate this to send messages to each other), and Atrus' imager (which gets "pictures" and "sound" information). I might suggest a kind of "void light" form of radiation that travels through the various worlds undetected by most instruments. Depending on which Age the "light" comes from, there's various principles of wavelength and frequency and such (or maybe polarity and direction) that can be used to isolate it. One way to do this (without crystals and such), is with the ink strokes, as in Mystress' theory, sort of, which create a pattern of energy with the right kinds of chemicals and fine tuning to catch the right waves of "light", along with their general ability to form links [since they're sort of calibrated to one Age's particular Void-space qualities - the light is just one thing that happens to be a really visible way of noting this, and the panel can develop a sort of mirror or photograph of this (depending on canon)]).

Bahro have a blood which has similar kinds of compounds and such as the ink. By adjusting bloodflow and cellular mechanism and such, they can also form all the different patterns, thus forming their ability to link. Not sure where that puts Esher (unless his nervous system can control his pelt, either by some sort of amplification of magnetic waves from the electrical distribution below the cloth adjusting stuff in the cloth as well, more disturbing forms of connection, or simply a manual stimulation of the cellular processes somehow with the pattern and such).

Maybe the Star Fissure is a sort of geological fire or biological chemical pool that also is very carefully adjusted to open a link across the whole area.
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#8 User is offline   I'mNotCheating... 

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 10:07 AM

Thanks to the D'ni Desk Reference, mirrored here.

gloa said:

We've also seen some kind of flow of information of some kind across Ages, both in the KI (which manipulate this to send messages to each other), and Atrus' imager (which gets "pictures" and "sound" information).
The act of linking itself could also be called a 'flow of information' - about the traveler.
I also noticed in the Rime journal that Atrus uses geodes in his crystal viewer - could Katran's window/panel/thingy be made of something similar?
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#9 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 12:02 PM

View PostI'mNotCheating..., on Oct 27 2010, 09:07 AM, said:

Thanks to the D'ni Desk Reference, mirrored here.

gloa said:

We've also seen some kind of flow of information of some kind across Ages, both in the KI (which manipulate this to send messages to each other), and Atrus' imager (which gets "pictures" and "sound" information).
The act of linking itself could also be called a 'flow of information' - about the traveler.

Yeah, that's one possibility (sort of like most mechanical teleporter designs - the person is transported as a sort of information stream, which here I guess would have to just naturally form into matter and all upon arrival).

Quote

I also noticed in the Rime journal that Atrus uses geodes in his crystal viewer - could Katran's window/panel/thingy be made of something similar?

Nice catch. Something about the form of certain crystals picking up the "flow of information" between Ages (so it helps the book "hold" or "get" the link), perhaps. Catherine might have had some inspiration and background knowledge on what exactly was needed from Atrus' experiments too.
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#10 User is offline   Talashar 

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 01:16 PM

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Oct 27 2010, 08:06 AM, said:

Quote

Quote

- How do the words as written on a book like it get "translated" so to speak into forming a link to a world?


It's not the words themselves. I think it has to do with the penstrokes, which alters how the current moves through the ions in the ink. Thus a copy of a linking book will link to a place other than the original world in the original book. That is, you could write in the book in plain English and it would accept the words.

And the D'ni linking language is simply a list of known combinations of penstrokes that do certain significant things, right?


We do know from the Book of D'ni that linking books work fine with varying letter forms and syntax.
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#11 User is offline   Mystress 

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 08:02 PM

I think your responses to my theory make sense, GLOA. And thanks for clarifying that, Talashar.

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Bahro have a blood which has similar kinds of compounds and such as the ink. By adjusting bloodflow and cellular mechanism and such, they can also form all the different patterns, thus forming their ability to link. Not sure where that puts Esher (unless his nervous system can control his pelt, either by some sort of amplification of magnetic waves from the electrical distribution below the cloth adjusting stuff in the cloth as well, more disturbing forms of connection, or simply a manual stimulation of the cellular processes somehow with the pattern and such).


I wonder if it may have something to do with the Bahro in general being able to pick up this 'ambient linking energy', for lack of a better term. Perhaps they have an organ or special area in the brain which causes a similar effect to my 'ink strokes and ions' idea - that is, the ions in their blood allow the link to 'power up', and I guess the Bahro link to places by imagining the place, sort of like self-teleportation. They could even use their own body heat for this purpose if you want to stretch it. That is, the Bahro are able to charge up their own blood to produce a link (Come on, it's a cool idea and you know it).

Esher's Bahro pelt cannot work without these ions. Perhaps Esher's a little crazier than we think and routinely captures and drains the Bahro of some of their blood, which he then puts into a special organic pouch attached to the underside of the pelt, possibly some sort of Bahro organ, to make it work. Therefore, when he touches the pelt and thinks of where he wants to go, it works, activated by his body heat or even the pressure on the pelt itself. Ew, poor Bahro...
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#12 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 08:07 PM

View PostMystress, on Oct 27 2010, 07:02 PM, said:

I think your responses to my theory make sense, GLOA. And thanks for clarifying that, Talashar.

Quote

Bahro have a blood which has similar kinds of compounds and such as the ink. By adjusting bloodflow and cellular mechanism and such, they can also form all the different patterns, thus forming their ability to link. Not sure where that puts Esher (unless his nervous system can control his pelt, either by some sort of amplification of magnetic waves from the electrical distribution below the cloth adjusting stuff in the cloth as well, more disturbing forms of connection, or simply a manual stimulation of the cellular processes somehow with the pattern and such).


I wonder if it may have something to do with the Bahro in general being able to pick up this 'ambient linking energy', for lack of a better term. Perhaps they have an organ or special area in the brain which causes a similar effect to my 'ink strokes and ions' idea - that is, the ions in their blood allow the link to 'power up', and I guess the Bahro link to places by imagining the place, sort of like self-teleportation. They could even use their own body heat for this purpose if you want to stretch it. That is, the Bahro are able to charge up their own blood to produce a link (Come on, it's a cool idea and you know it).

The organ might be in their shoulder/part of their shoulder skin (or their entire skin, and they generally touch that just because it's customary). We could perhaps even stretch into EoA style stuff with a sort of sound lattice energy (probably amplified by the biological linking-power-organs of the bahro, but with the link "shaped" by the sound waves of the bahro scream), with several relatively simple forms that skilled bahro learn (sort of like a martial art). It covers an area around the bahro sort of, and links stuff thats there through to the Age (which is very similar to the Age before it, just with a slight difference like wind or heat).

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Esher's Bahro pelt cannot work without these ions. Perhaps Esher's a little crazier than we think and routinely captures and drains the Bahro of some of their blood, which he then puts into a special organic pouch attached to the underside of the pelt, possibly some sort of Bahro organ, to make it work. Therefore, when he touches the pelt and thinks of where he wants to go, it works, activated by his body heat or even the pressure on the pelt itself. Ew, poor Bahro...

I really wouldn't put it past Esher to do that.
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#13 User is offline   Mystress 

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 01:14 PM

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Oct 27 2010, 09:07 PM, said:

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Esher's Bahro pelt cannot work without these ions. Perhaps Esher's a little crazier than we think and routinely captures and drains the Bahro of some of their blood, which he then puts into a special organic pouch attached to the underside of the pelt, possibly some sort of Bahro organ, to make it work. Therefore, when he touches the pelt and thinks of where he wants to go, it works, activated by his body heat or even the pressure on the pelt itself. Ew, poor Bahro...

I really wouldn't put it past Esher to do that.


This might also explain *why* exactly Esher was dissecting and examining the Bahro - to determine how their linking ability works. When he figured it out through these methods, he managed to find a way to isolate it outside of the Bahro's body.

As for the Bahro linking by touching the symbol on their shoulders, I have a theory about that symbol - it's some sort of ranking mark, kind of like a tattoo, or maybe it's a clan marking/spiritual design, similar to the Maori and their tattoos. Except since Bahro hide is so thick, the design is burned or cut into their flesh. Essentially, Bahro scarification/body modification. Perhaps the more marks on that symbol, the higher up in the community that Bahro is, or the more respected amongst its peers it is. There could also be different symbols, possibly for different clans; we just saw Bahro of only one clan with a certain marking. It's placed on that shoulder for culturally significant reasons. I suspect there could also be Bahro with multiple markings on their bodies, perhaps to signify other cultural things, such as 'teacher', 'hunter', 'fisher', 'warrior', etc. I tend to suspect the Bahro as a whole are some sort of hunter-gatherer race, but that could just be me. They're obviously emotional and intellectual beings, on par with humans/D'ni - you need to actually have a highly-developed brain to have empathy, to have a society, etc. Any theories on Bahro and sociology?
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#14 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 03:03 PM

View PostMystress, on Oct 28 2010, 12:14 PM, said:

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Oct 27 2010, 09:07 PM, said:

Quote

Esher's Bahro pelt cannot work without these ions. Perhaps Esher's a little crazier than we think and routinely captures and drains the Bahro of some of their blood, which he then puts into a special organic pouch attached to the underside of the pelt, possibly some sort of Bahro organ, to make it work. Therefore, when he touches the pelt and thinks of where he wants to go, it works, activated by his body heat or even the pressure on the pelt itself. Ew, poor Bahro...

I really wouldn't put it past Esher to do that.


This might also explain *why* exactly Esher was dissecting and examining the Bahro - to determine how their linking ability works. When he figured it out through these methods, he managed to find a way to isolate it outside of the Bahro's body.

Well, I'm fairly sure he was dissecting them for the linking ability no matter how it works. I mean, some of it might have been curiosity about their physical nature, or just wanton cruelty, but it's mostly for the linking.

Quote

As for the Bahro linking by touching the symbol on their shoulders, I have a theory about that symbol - it's some sort of ranking mark, kind of like a tattoo, or maybe it's a clan marking/spiritual design, similar to the Maori and their tattoos. Except since Bahro hide is so thick, the design is burned or cut into their flesh. Essentially, Bahro scarification/body modification. Perhaps the more marks on that symbol, the higher up in the community that Bahro is, or the more respected amongst its peers it is. There could also be different symbols, possibly for different clans; we just saw Bahro of only one clan with a certain marking. It's placed on that shoulder for culturally significant reasons. I suspect there could also be Bahro with multiple markings on their bodies, perhaps to signify other cultural things, such as 'teacher', 'hunter', 'fisher', 'warrior', etc. I tend to suspect the Bahro as a whole are some sort of hunter-gatherer race, but that could just be me. They're obviously emotional and intellectual beings, on par with humans/D'ni - you need to actually have a highly-developed brain to have empathy, to have a society, etc. Any theories on Bahro and sociology?

Hunter-gatherer seems likely to me. The bahro don't seem to have much of a farming background (although we've seen precious little of their culture at all), and with linking ability and their rather decentralized nature I would think that would be natural.

The markings could be some kind of clan thing, or perhaps just their "name" (based on clan setting, specific roles, or family lines) or favored Age. It could also be related to their way of linking, perhaps as something which helps them focus and understand their link, specifically for them.

If the marking is a sort of cultural nametag (whether identifying clan or place in society, name, a design which signifies for them their spiritual connection, etc.), then it must be even worse for the bahro whose pelt Esher took (and even more reason for him to be angry and causing destruction).
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#15 User is offline   Mystress 

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 04:46 PM

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Oct 28 2010, 04:03 PM, said:

If the marking is a sort of cultural nametag (whether identifying clan or place in society, name, a design which signifies for them their spiritual connection, etc.), then it must be even worse for the bahro whose pelt Esher took (and even more reason for him to be angry and causing destruction).


That makes sense. It could even have caused social isolation for that particular Bahro; I believe that Bahro actually does exist in the Uru universe somewhere - can someone from Uru's Gametap days confirm this for me?
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#16 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 05:41 PM

View PostMystress, on Oct 30 2010, 03:46 PM, said:

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Oct 28 2010, 04:03 PM, said:

If the marking is a sort of cultural nametag (whether identifying clan or place in society, name, a design which signifies for them their spiritual connection, etc.), then it must be even worse for the bahro whose pelt Esher took (and even more reason for him to be angry and causing destruction).


That makes sense. It could even have caused social isolation for that particular Bahro; I believe that Bahro actually does exist in the Uru universe somewhere - can someone from Uru's Gametap days confirm this for me?



Yeesha Speech said:

They seek revenge for the evil done to them. Revenge is their excuse but freedom is their cause. They are able to make the choice and they bask in such opportunity to do as they please. With freedom comes choice and with choice comes evil, as well as good.

Their leader can be seen clearly. He is missing a large patch of skin on his shoulder - taken from him in the tortuous lab of Esher.

So he's definitely around, and seems particularly bitter about it - perhaps due not only to the lab and just all the indignity and torture of it, but because now he is no longer like the other bahro in an important way. Also, for such a leader to emerge from what could be such a cause of social confusion and isolation would mean he's probably pulled together his forces out of rather powerful willpower and persuasion, and an even deeper anger.
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#17 User is offline   ZapperJet 

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 02:38 PM

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