Author Topic: Thoughts about "Iron Rot"  (Read 4103 times)

Offline punkinholler

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Thoughts about "Iron Rot"
« on: October 16, 2015, 12:38:59 AM »
It seems pretty clear that iron rusts faster in the Cinder Spires world than it does here, which is kind of interesting.  There are a number of things that can affect corrosion rates but a lot of them are not compatible with human life.  As far as I can tell there are only three things that could make iron rust faster in an environment suitable for humans: 1) there are a lot of salt particulates in the air (like when you're at the beach).  This seems unlikely since salt doesn't stay in air very easily and tends to either fall out directly or get rained out. There would need to be some constant and omnipresent source spitting salt into the atmosphere all over the world (oceans couldn't do it for obvious reasons) which just makes no sense. 2) There is a higher concentration of oxygen on that world than on Earth.  This is possible within a certain range and it surely would make the danger of fire a lot scarier.  3) Whatever planet they are on has an insanely strong electromagnetic field.  Running an electrical current through iron will absolutely corrode it more quickly and a crazy strong planetary EM field would be consistent with all the "etheric energy" stuff.   On the other hand, strong EM fields supposedly have a few negative effects on people, but one would assume the humans in that world evolved to handle it or they wouldn't be there. Personally, I think #3 is the best explanation, maybe with a side order of #2 for good measure. What do ya'll think? Also, does anyone know if there's a WoJ on this (I haven't read any of the tidbits he's mentioned in interviews etc.)?
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Offline KevinSig

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Re: Thoughts about "Iron Rot"
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2015, 12:55:07 AM »
I pretty much agree with your assessment.  Additionally, I'd point out that there is support for excessive oxygen & strong electromagnetic energies.

Remember, people no longer live on the surface, but in high altitudes where oxygen should be thinner.  However, everyone seems to be relatively fine.  So maybe, one of the reasons why people have left the surface, is because there's just too much of an abundance of oxygen down at the surface. 

Also, the crystals seem more of a focus/battery for etheric energies, from my perspective.  They basically pull energies from the air, and convert them to energy that can be used.  So that's a point for strong electromagnetics.

Just my two cents.

Offline punkinholler

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Re: Thoughts about "Iron Rot"
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2015, 02:07:45 AM »
Quote
Remember, people no longer live on the surface, but in high altitudes where oxygen should be thinner.  However, everyone seems to be relatively fine.  So maybe, one of the reasons why people have left the surface, is because there's just too much of an abundance of oxygen down at the surface. 

Great point!  I hadn't thought of that but it makes sense.  Just to add a somewhat terrifying aside, the main reason insects only get so big on Earth is because they have a weird respiratory system that relies on air entering a bunch of itty bitty tubes all over their body.  If they get too big, they can't move enough oxygen into those tubes (because there's nothing to really pump it in or out) to survive. If oxygen concentrations were higher, bugs could get a whole lot bigger, which might explain the size of the silkweavers (even though spiders have a different respiratory organ than insects) and maybe some of the other terrifying critters roaming around on the surface of Kashyyyk, uh I mean the Cinder Spires world.

Quote
Also, the crystals seem more of a focus/battery for etheric energies, from my perspective.  They basically pull energies from the air, and convert them to energy that can be used.  So that's a point for strong electromagnetics.

Yes, that was my thought too. 

It also occurred to me that they might be on a moon orbiting a really big gas giant rather than on a planet with it's own extremely powerful EM field.  IIRC, Jupiter, by far, has the strongest magnetosphere of all the planets in our solar system. If the Cinder Spires world were a moon orbiting a Jupiter-like planet in the habitable zone of a star system, the planet's magnetosphere could be the source of all that etheric energy in the book.  Science-wise it makes far more sense to have a gas giant generating a gigantic EM field rather than a rocky planet, but there was no mention of a really huge planet hanging out in their sky in the book, so maybe not.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2015, 02:42:05 AM by punkinholler »
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Offline wyltok

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Re: Thoughts about "Iron Rot"
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2015, 06:47:35 PM »
Due to tidal locking, if Spire Albion is located in a moon orbiting a gas giant, the planet would either always show up in the sky, or would never show up in the sky. So the lack of mention of a huge planet hanging out in the sky doesn't necessarily invalidate the moon around a gas giant hypothesis.

I really like this idea.
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Offline Dina

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Re: Thoughts about "Iron Rot"
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2015, 08:19:17 PM »
Remember there is a moon in the sky. We don't know if it is our moon, but there is "a moon".
Missing you, Md 

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Offline Quantus

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Re: Thoughts about "Iron Rot"
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2015, 09:52:33 PM »
It seems pretty clear that iron rusts faster in the Cinder Spires world than it does here, which is kind of interesting.  There are a number of things that can affect corrosion rates but a lot of them are not compatible with human life.  As far as I can tell there are only three things that could make iron rust faster in an environment suitable for humans: 1) there are a lot of salt particulates in the air (like when you're at the beach).  This seems unlikely since salt doesn't stay in air very easily and tends to either fall out directly or get rained out. There would need to be some constant and omnipresent source spitting salt into the atmosphere all over the world (oceans couldn't do it for obvious reasons) which just makes no sense. 2) There is a higher concentration of oxygen on that world than on Earth.  This is possible within a certain range and it surely would make the danger of fire a lot scarier.  3) Whatever planet they are on has an insanely strong electromagnetic field.  Running an electrical current through iron will absolutely corrode it more quickly and a crazy strong planetary EM field would be consistent with all the "etheric energy" stuff.   On the other hand, strong EM fields supposedly have a few negative effects on people, but one would assume the humans in that world evolved to handle it or they wouldn't be there. Personally, I think #3 is the best explanation, maybe with a side order of #2 for good measure. What do ya'll think? Also, does anyone know if there's a WoJ on this (I haven't read any of the tidbits he's mentioned in interviews etc.)?
There are a couple possibilities you are missing, or at least tweaks to these.   Regarding #1 there are a huge number of chemicals that could reasonably rot iron that could easily be part of The Mists (which are not analogous to earthbound atmosphere by it's description).  #2 is likely not the case, they mention how high they can fly without tanks and say that 7 or 8 miles is "way higher" than they can reach, which afaict is comparable to earth.  #3 it doesnt have to be insanely powerful, not when there is an entirely NEW energy that is tied to it (ei Ether).  I get the impression that Etheric energy is new Third energy, like electricity and magnetism, that is fundamentally related but distinct in behavior.  Such a thing would play havoc with galvanic effects, so that's were my money is for the source of Iron Rot. 
« Last Edit: October 23, 2015, 01:31:05 PM by Quantus »
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Offline Rygar

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Re: Thoughts about "Iron Rot"
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2015, 01:11:54 PM »
#2 is likely not the case, they mention how high they can fly without tanks as being "way higher" than 7 or 8 miles, which afaict is comparable to earth. 

This is is backwards, actually.

Quote from: The Aeronaut's Windlass, Jim Butcher
“What kind of altitude could she take us to, chief?” Journeyman scratched his ear with one broken-nailed finger. “Seven, maybe eight miles? Way higher’n we could breathe without tanks, anyway.

Journeyman estimates they could fly up to seven or eight miles, which is far higher than they could breathe without tanks. 

Offline Quantus

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Re: Thoughts about "Iron Rot"
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2015, 01:32:40 PM »
This is is backwards, actually.

Journeyman estimates they could fly up to seven or eight miles, which is far higher than they could breathe without tanks.
dammit, i hate contradicting my own point via typo.  You're right of course, and that's what I meant to say, I swear  :-\

I have a habit of forgetting the "-n't" on a lot of contractions as well, end up saying the precise opposite of my intent.
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Offline Sully

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Re: Thoughts about "Iron Rot"
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2015, 12:49:39 AM »
Remember, people no longer live on the surface, but in high altitudes where oxygen should be thinner.  However, everyone seems to be relatively fine.  So maybe, one of the reasons why people have left the surface, is because there's just too much of an abundance of oxygen down at the surface. 

I suppose this could make sense, but people do live on the surface, and they seem to be scared of the wildlife on the surface-not the atmosphere.

I don't see the height of the spires necessitating an abnormal atmosphere.  If they're two miles high, not a big deal.  Hell, 4 miles high should be habitable-you'll just run a bit slower, is all.

(though your cycling will be -much- faster...)

Offline Quantus

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Re: Thoughts about "Iron Rot"
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2015, 02:05:57 PM »
I suppose this could make sense, but people do live on the surface, and they seem to be scared of the wildlife on the surface-not the atmosphere.
Well, if one kills you in seconds while the other takes weeks*, I know which one Id worry about more. 

Not a doctor so no clue what overexposure to O2 actually does or when, besides the rumored blindness.
Quote
I don't see the height of the spires necessitating an abnormal atmosphere.  If they're two miles high, not a big deal.  Hell, 4 miles high should be habitable-you'll just run a bit slower, is all.

(though your cycling will be -much- faster...)
It's not the height of the spire itself that is an issue.  It's the mist itself, but also the crazy speed that the Iron will Rot out if the copper coating is breached.  To drive that sort of oxidation reaction requires /something/ that is not present in our atmosphere.  Top theories so far are atypical Oxygen levels, some other chemical presence in the Mists and otehr atmosphere levels, or some kind of ether-driven Galvanic reaction. 
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Offline KevinSig

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Re: Thoughts about "Iron Rot"
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2015, 12:08:57 PM »
Quantus, you assume that the 7/8 miles starts from the surface.  However, in my reading it was from their current altitude.  Not sure which of us is correct, but it's something to consider.

Offline Quantus

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Re: Thoughts about "Iron Rot"
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2015, 01:33:17 PM »
Quantus, you assume that the 7/8 miles starts from the surface.  However, in my reading it was from their current altitude.  Not sure which of us is correct, but it's something to consider.
Thats an excellent point.  I still tend to lean towards an absolute scale, given how Grimm worded the question ("White kind of altitude could she take us to?").  If Journeyman were talking relative to their current level, I'd have expected him to say something like "seven, maybe eight miles more."

But that brings up another good point that we just dont know:  He said it was way above where they could go and breathe without tanks, I assumed that meant the air got thinner and they needed supplemental oxygen.  But given the odd and/or alien nature of their atmosphere (Ether, The Mists, etc) it could be that somewhere up there is another layer where things get more damaging.  Maybe goggle to keep ether from rotting out your brain through your eyes is enough at lower altitudes, but at higher it can get in through inhalation?  Just spit-balling here, but it's good to keep an eye on what we dont know.
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Offline Sully

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Re: Thoughts about "Iron Rot"
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2015, 07:25:49 PM »
The goggles seemed pretty solidly explained to me.  Dimly lit world, weak eyes, get blinded by an unimpeded bright sun.

Offline Quantus

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Re: Thoughts about "Iron Rot"
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2015, 04:51:48 PM »
The goggles seemed pretty solidly explained to me.  Dimly lit world, weak eyes, get blinded by an unimpeded bright sun.
Except they were explicitly stated to be blocking out Etheric effects which cause Madness before eventual Blindness.  Not to mention that the Googles are literally at the Core of the Setting, because he started the entire exercise on the Question of "why do they all need to wear goggles?" and by the time he'd answered it he has the setting.  (Ill see if I can find the WOJ)
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Offline Sully

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Re: Thoughts about "Iron Rot"
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2015, 05:32:48 PM »
Except they were explicitly stated to be blocking out Etheric effects which cause Madness before eventual Blindness.  Not to mention that the Googles are literally at the Core of the Setting, because he started the entire exercise on the Question of "why do they all need to wear goggles?" and by the time he'd answered it he has the setting.  (Ill see if I can find the WOJ)

guess I'm wrong then!