High Tech vs. the Orb (some Issola spoilage)

Maximilian Wilson wilson.max at gmail.com
Wed Jan 18 10:26:21 PST 2006

On 1/18/06, Jon_Lincicum at stream.com <Jon_Lincicum at stream.com> wrote:
> Security: Can radio signals be intercepted via sorcery? Can psionic
> communications be intercepted via technology?

Intercepted *and* decrypted. We're not dealing with WWII technology here.

> Reliability/Efficiency: As long as the Empress and the Orb remain
> unmolested, psionic communication through her is 100% reliable, and since
> all communication is channeled through one "server", it is centralized,
> and very efficient. If she goes down, however, all is lost. (I guess you'd
> call this "All your eggs in one basket" syndrome.) Technology wise, a
> distributed radio network system is more robust, but less efficient while
> operational.

A distributed radio network is far more efficient than communicating
through the Empress, even assuming she's willing to act as a relay.
The Empress will have a very low throughput; it's far more likely
you'd be using point-to-point psionic communication as we typically
see in the /Vlad/ novels.

> Ease of use: One on one, psionics wins. In a broadcast-style communique,
> radio would appear to have the advantage.

Nolo contendere.

> The only reason Blackwand and Pathfinder didn't immediately dispatch the
> Jenoine in /Issola/ is because they had developed their own
> Orb-equivilent, and were therefore using sorcery to defend themselves, so
> this doesn't really count as "technology countering sorcery", it was
> sorcery countering sorcery. It was only at that point that the Jenoine's
> stun-gun technology became the deciding factor.

I was actually thinking of the battle at the end, before the Jenoine
re-established their link to the amorphia. I recall that it was stated
in the text that the Jenoine wouldn't be able to use sorcery before
recovering the link, which means the initial defense was conducted
using other means. It didn't seem to make things any easier on the
Lords of Judgment.

> To a point. Depends on how effective the technology is in taking out the
> people who are trained in sorcery.
> Gatling gun vs Sethra Lavode, who wins?

Yes, but that's a separate point. (I'd add: "Project Thor vs. Sethra
Lavode, who wins?")

> And the "ammunition" on the side of sorcery in this case is really
> "amorphia" not "people". You have to have people to fire the weapons. It's
> just a lot easier to train someone to fire a gun than it is to teach them
> to use sorcery (apparently). *This* is really the advantage that
> technology has in this case.

Nolo contendere.

> >I'm not sure why the Jenoine want access to amorphia so badly, but
> >they're obviously much more capable with it than Dragaerans are,
> >judging from events in /Issola/. Taking on Jenoine with only
> >technology would make me much more nervous than taking on a bunch of
> >Teckla conscripts with a few Dzur mixed in.
> Well, how many of the Dzur are sorcerers? ;-)

That was my point. Even trained sorcerers seem to be far less
competent with sorcery than Jenoine are.

Max Wilson

Be pretty if you are,
Be witty if you can,
But be cheerful if it kills you.