alicornucopia: (Default)
[personal profile] alicornucopia posting in [community profile] belltower
So we've started answering comments in "How To Read Effulgence" in character, and that's not really the ideal platform for those conversations. This is! You may address characters here and we may opt to answer in character. You will get a kind of loosely "backstage" out-of-continuity version of the character (in continuity proper, you cannot talk to them, since you aren't there) and if you want them at a specific (past relative to where we're writing) point in time, feel free to specify (e.g. "Addy in 1932", "Shell in her box", "the Joker while committed", "Minus right after he woke up from turning", "the alethiometer on the subject of 1207").

Any glowfic author may use this thread to receive questions.

You may also be interested in Make My Characters Talk To Each Other.
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Date: 2013-10-18 07:34 pm (UTC)
andaisq: The Ouroboros (Default)
From: [personal profile] andaisq
If Addy were to somehow get the Bell checklist applied, what would the damage control be like? Would damage control even be possible at that point?

What's the lower limit on the size of coin necessary to create antimatter?

Of Addy, Lazarus, Glass, and Kaylo, who would you say is the alpha magic-nerd?
Edited Date: 2013-10-18 07:40 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-10-18 07:41 pm (UTC)
regularsized: Smiling, perhaps hopeful or nervous. (③ I'm sorry. That was mean.)
From: [personal profile] regularsized
Antimatter is nonmagical. You could do it with a square. Of course, a square wouldn't get you very much of the stuff.

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Date: 2013-10-18 10:01 pm (UTC)
shoaling_souls: Fish swimming independently but still together in a group (Default)
From: [personal profile] shoaling_souls
Alice, remember that game you and your Bella made up with the columns and stuff way back when you were first getting to know each other? Now that you guys are superpowered do you think you could play it?

Date: 2013-10-18 10:06 pm (UTC)
edgeofyourseat: Smiling, affectionate or amused. (⑶ your wish is my command)
From: [personal profile] edgeofyourseat
Ooh. We totally could! That would be fun.

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Date: 2013-10-18 10:07 pm (UTC)
shoaling_souls: Fish swimming independently but still together in a group (Default)
From: [personal profile] shoaling_souls
Etty! Is there anything to be done with wishcoins for the other swan girls?

Date: 2013-10-18 10:11 pm (UTC)
mute_pen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mute_pen
I'm trying to think of a way to non-traumatically fix them. Just hexing them to be human - or to be able to shift like me, even - and to have their memories and their faculties back might not be pleasant. They aren't going anywhere, and most of them have been here for long enough that no one's waiting for them - although whatever I decide is safe to try gets tried on the one from right before me, first, regardless.

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Time Travel?

Date: 2013-10-19 04:42 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] shlevy
Has anybell experimented with time travel yet? If not, why not? If so, how did it go?

Re: Time Travel?

Date: 2013-10-19 04:54 am (UTC)
bellfounding: (h ~ pealing)
From: [personal profile] bellfounding
We do time dilation whenever it'd be convenient - mixing up how fast time passes in one place as opposed to another - and you can mimic the effects of proper time travel to the future pretty well that way (but we wouldn't want to; we're immortal and have lots to do, so why miss the time in between when it's available?) Time travel to the past - we aren't touching. Way too much downside potential. If we need something like it, we can whip up custom planes and adjust participant memories; actual time travel is more dangerous, less customizable, and much more likely to erase things from existence. We haven't found any naturally occurring versions, but if we do we might be able to mine them for useful tested possibilities.

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Any chance you could spare me a hex?

Date: 2013-10-19 04:51 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] shlevy
Hey Empress Stella,

I really like what you're doing with the place, and the world is much better than it was before you got here. If I had to chose someone to rule, I'd totally choose you in a heartbeat. But why do I have to choose? You have it within your power to give me the ability to completely manage my own affairs at negligible cost to you. I promise I have no interest in ruling others (and you have permission to read my mind or put me under a geas if you want), I just want to use wishes to improve my life as *I* see fit, rather than hoping that what you like is good for me. Is there any way I can apply to be minted?

Your loyal but independent-minded subject,
Shea

Re: Any chance you could spare me a hex?

Date: 2013-10-19 05:01 am (UTC)
self_composed: (d ~ eyebrow)
From: [personal profile] self_composed
I have a project like this under consideration for the future, actually, but it doesn't scale well enough for me to do it now while I'm still working on arranging places to comfortably put all of Eos's current past inhabitants. Even Pattern isn't that far along yet. I've minted a couple people, but they work for me - and you weren't one of them, which means you apparently didn't pass Libby's screening test. The fastest way to get me to mint you is to demonstrate high potential output, get somelibby or Elspeth or Jane to greenlight you, and volunteer to be exported outworld to work for somebell else who has more use for you than me. I bet Juliet would have you. Then you'd have whatever you minted above quota to play with, and the other Bell probably wouldn't require you indefinitely at the rate we keep turning up Jokers. If that doesn't appeal - patience. I have other stuff on my mind and Libby has other stuff on her mind than minting interested parties.

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Milliways' metacausality

Date: 2013-10-19 05:10 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] shlevy
Hey Glass,

Have you had a chance to take a look at Milliways through the lens of your metacausality aura? Is Milliways a world(sheaf) unto itself, or something different? Does it exist along the "cotton candy" to "really mean" world axis? Any other Milliwaysy insights?

Re: Milliways' metacausality

Date: 2013-10-19 05:17 am (UTC)
thaumobabble: (d ~ invocation)
From: [personal profile] thaumobabble
Milliways is basically exactly what it looks like, I'm afraid I don't have a lot of extra insight here. It's a world, but of a unique kind (Downside is also an unusual kind, but it behaves more like a regular world than Milliways does). Milliways is kind of the Joker of world "niceness". It'll be nice or terrible according to inscrutable whim. It can be relied upon in certain ways, except when it can't. I don't have anything else at this time, although a detailed inspection of the place is on my long-term to-do list.

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Date: 2013-10-19 05:28 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] linkhyrule5
So, I'm curious - how thoroughly has everyBell attacked the whole "coins are bad at information" problem? It seems like there could be a whole lot you're missing about various magic systems and would never know it - before Downside you had no way of knowing that Frobisher was wrong about the Wishcoin power source, for example, though that particular example was unlikely to be true.

I mean, the obvious solution is to wish for textbooks the way you did on Sunshine, conjuring them from scratch (I mean, you could almost certainly get a supernaturally well-written biology textbook unless I'm really underestimating the information blackout). Or go to Downside/Alethia's shiny new afterlife and teleport to "the person who knows most about X magic system", or wish for super-Lazarus powers, or something similar.

Date: 2013-10-19 05:40 am (UTC)
self_composed: (g ~ go on)
From: [personal profile] self_composed
Coins are bad at information, but they're not bad at giving us tools to get ahold of it. A much bigger problem is navigating information-collection ethically - pastwatching people who consent to be watched or were at least in public places, avoiding mindreading except of particularly agreeable targets, that sort of thing.

We actually can't conjure written material that nobody wrote. Those textbooks had been produced in the past, they were just very hard to get ordinary printed copies of in modern-day Sunshine. Coins can pull books - and other media, for that matter - from much farther away than it seems like they ought to be able to, out of the past or even other worlds. But they can't write it themselves. They can write down well-defined or person-guided information like the contents of party nametags, and I can get them to do some Markov-chain-like writing based on samples if I ever have a reason to do that, but they won't produce textbooks de novo.

The superest Lazarus powers we're likely to find are probably those of his Gift alt, but we're leaving him alone for the time being. We certainly can't wish for better magic-seeing powers than Lazarus or the Gift version of same have - how have you heard this much about how our magic works without hearing that ingot powers always beat similar wished ones, as a hard limit? Even Glass's aura-based version isn't better than the ingot kind.

We can teleport to all kinds of targets, but we'd have to define "knows the most" to use it as a parameter. Insofar as we don't even know what there is to know, let alone how to compare things like practical versus factual versus theoretical knowledge, it's not well-defined. Insofar as we do know what there is to know, this solution has limited value.

I do plan to get old Elias himself out of Downside one of these days, though, and he might be able to give me something to go on.

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Date: 2013-10-19 05:41 am (UTC)
darlingwordsmith: <user name=scarletticons site=insanejournal.com> (Default)
From: [personal profile] darlingwordsmith
Golden, have you considered looking for a template of Edward and/or Elspeth in a different world? Or rather wishing for a door to take you to a world where one of them would exist.

Date: 2013-10-19 05:49 am (UTC)
luminous_regnant: (h ~ ambivalent)
From: [personal profile] luminous_regnant
They've both been swept for as part of the general check of all the worlds we're currently in contact with. Forcing the door to completely unfamiliar worlds hasn't tended to work even when Shell Bell has tried, and she'd have a better chance than I would.

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Date: 2013-10-19 03:24 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] modrony
Hey Juliet.
Congrats on your coming ugly babies!
What does fatherhood feel like?
I wonder if they will be ingots.
How many babies do minions have per litter anyways?

Date: 2013-10-19 04:26 pm (UTC)
cross_and_bow: (d ~ eyeroll)
From: [personal profile] cross_and_bow
I'm not going to be their dad. I'm their fertility-clinician-equivalent. I highly doubt that they'll be ingots - for one thing, I am not their parent, and for another I don't make all that many coins, let alone big ones, by myself. I don't know how many wrinkly babies to expect.

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Date: 2013-10-19 03:54 pm (UTC)
shoaling_souls: a seascape (Žalia)
From: [personal profile] shoaling_souls
Alice, are you okay with your birth name being listed in your profile here? If not, you can change it (Create -> Edit profile -> first text box)

Date: 2013-10-19 03:56 pm (UTC)
edgeofyourseat: Smiling, possibly fake, mildly creepy. (⑸ playful as a pussy cat)
From: [personal profile] edgeofyourseat
Yeah, that's actually a holdover from a couple of other continuities. Doesn't bug me. Thanks, though.

Date: 2013-10-19 04:06 pm (UTC)
shoaling_souls: Fish swimming independently but still together in a group (Default)
From: [personal profile] shoaling_souls
Greetings Prince Cymbeline!

I am a human from a far off world. I desire to know in what form my message appears to you. I am pressing levers which cause letters to appear on a mechanical device to generate this message. There is little magic in my world, so we must make do with clockwork. I hope this missive finds you well.

Date: 2013-10-19 04:30 pm (UTC)
aetheling: (charmed mind)
From: [personal profile] aetheling
That's not how this kind of thing works. Why are you expecting there to be a specified mechanism by which I can hear messages from people who don't exist in a context I have never visited?

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Date: 2013-10-20 03:07 am (UTC)
andaisq: The Ouroboros (Default)
From: [personal profile] andaisq
At what level does pain become too intense for a standard-issue human mint to concentrate on coining it? What about for a relatively standard Sherlock? Sandy? A vampire?

Minting contest between Brilliance and a generic shren; who has the higher willing pain threshold? How many points would it be? What size coin could be achieved by a shren in the final stages of esu, if they could theoretically mint it despite the lack of brainspace?

Would Addy actually be able to copy a coin? What would that empower her to do?
Edited (i edit basically all of my posts for tiny wording things, sorry) Date: 2013-10-20 03:08 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-10-20 06:36 am (UTC)
taste_tester: (h ~ you look yummy)
From: [personal profile] taste_tester
There's only one way to find out if I can copy coins, isn't there?

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Twilight

Date: 2013-10-20 11:06 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] theonebutcher
This Book, contains the Original one and only true template of Isabella Swan. The prototype.

To Juliet and Ripper: Karma's a bitch, isn't she?

Date: 2013-10-21 08:00 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] linkhyrule5
To the Downside admin:

What motivates you? You're easily the most mysterious character of the lot, IMO, and that's including Callahan.

Did you create Down/Up-Side, or did you take over from someone else?

What do you do with your time, now that Jane and the Bells are running the afterlife? Aside from slapping down occasional hell-goddesses.

Date: 2013-10-21 08:04 pm (UTC)
ending_of: (b. bored)
From: [personal profile] ending_of
I did not create my domain, nor did I take it over from any other administrator. When I came to it, it was empty, and subsequently it was mine.

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Downside THIS

Date: 2013-10-21 09:47 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] theonebutcher
A tenner gives you a Universe where you are omnipotent.
Is this Omnipotence as absolute as possible? As absolute as the Admins? Wouldn't it be a good idea to each make a new Universe and evacuate your Original Universes into them? Maybe a few of the Galaxies from the Unbelled worlds? Especially Juliet should consider it.

Re: Downside THIS

Date: 2013-10-21 09:54 pm (UTC)
cross_and_bow: (h ~ okay)
From: [personal profile] cross_and_bow
Sunshine is a sheaf. I can't just move everybody into a new subworld. I don't think it's as absolute as the admin, either. I couldn't take out Glory even applying a tenner directly to her, but the admin handled her no problem.

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Date: 2013-10-21 10:06 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jalapeno_dude
So, Jane: I assume you're now doing the vast majority of your actual computations in Alethia's underworld to take advantage of the free time dilation, right?

Date: 2013-10-21 10:10 pm (UTC)
mind_game: (map)
From: [personal profile] mind_game
I'm still mostly Downside. Amariah changes the rate of time in the underworld periodically, which wouldn't exactly be computationally intensive to keep up with but would be kinda annoying.

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Date: 2013-10-22 03:16 pm (UTC)
andaisq: The Ouroboros (Default)
From: [personal profile] andaisq
A few questions for some of the neglected Bell-crews, since getting left out of an interview does indeed suck.

T'Mir: Is the thing about Vulcans and chocolate true? If so, do you partake?

Brilliance: How efficient is your food->mana conversion system, as compared to other regenerative methods? How much would you actually need that extra mana, even without your offworld magic options?

Angela: Do you think that there could actually be some kind of higher power in your world, even though you Golden-Compassed Jovah? Would you consider worshipping such a power, or would you be too tempted to assume their position?

Aegis: How would you feel if you found a world containing a species identical to your bird-people?

Golden: [question redacted due to re-reading of TVTropes thread]

And a general inquiry: When multiple Bells interact, the more personalized aspects of their personalities (Angela's kindness, Golden's mild superiority complex) tend to surface much more than in their own lives. Is this simply a consequence of writing multiple near-identical characters in a scene, a subconscious effort by the Bells themselves to retain their individuality, or something else?
Edited Date: 2013-10-22 03:37 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-10-22 04:19 pm (UTC)
warpfairy: (e ~ engineering)
From: [personal profile] warpfairy
If you mean do I get drunk on it, the answer is no - the reaction isn't universal, it's idiosyncratic like allergies. My father did find chocolate psychoactive, but my mother likes the flavor enough that I tried a little bit when I was fifteen to make sure, and did not find myself in an altered state. I'm not a vegetarian, either, although if I eat too much meat I'm most comfortable if I take some supplements.

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Date: 2013-10-23 12:46 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] modrony
Hi Glass!
Does Cricket share template with Jane?
Are all cats sentient in Chronicle?
If not do they gain it causally when they become familiars or for template reasons or is it different species from basic-cat?
Edited Date: 2013-10-23 12:47 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-10-23 12:52 am (UTC)
thaumobabble: (g ~ cantrip)
From: [personal profile] thaumobabble
I haven't checked Jane yet, but I really, really doubt it.

I haven't personally met all of the cats in Chronicle, but Cricket has never met one who wasn't. (He is the expert here because he can understand them when they talk, and I cannot.) A number of other animals come in varying levels of sapience, especially in the Enchanted Forest - things in it are smarter than things out of it. I tend to default to assuming that if it's a vertebrate in the Enchanted Forest, it can probably introduce itself and express preferences to somebody, even if I'm not somebody. Outside the forest it's cats and a handful of other things, though I'd still be nervous about eating them.

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Date: 2013-10-23 06:10 am (UTC)
shoaling_souls: Fish swimming independently but still together in a group (Default)
From: [personal profile] shoaling_souls
Hi Andrea, if you shapeshift into an aurum-werewolf can you do the werewolf telepathy thing with zeus and be in each other's pack?

Date: 2013-10-23 12:15 pm (UTC)
pythbox: A book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] pythbox
I can't shapeshift into an aurum-werewolf! I can shift into something that looks like one, but I can't actually literally be one. Just doesn't work for some reason.

-Andrea

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Date: 2013-10-23 04:30 pm (UTC)
shoaling_souls: Fish swimming independently but still together in a group (Default)
From: [personal profile] shoaling_souls
Petaal! Have you tried becoming a bacterium or anything reallly super small like that?

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Downside’s coverage

Date: 2013-10-24 06:14 pm (UTC)
mtc: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mtc
This isn’t really aimed at one character in particular, but if it was aimed at just one, it would be ending_of, the (former) administrator of Downside & Upside.

Throughout the early chapters featuring Downside, only human occupants were mentioned (and a de‐turned Aurum vampire, but they count as human IMO). The term “world” in this story tends to be used to refer to a universe, not just a single planet, and Downside was said to serve various “worlds”, so why wasn’t the place full of sentient beings from many different species? Did the characters perhaps visit only the human version of Downside? Might there be versions of Downside for each planet, or each sentient species? It seems a little out of character for none of the Bells to comment on this at the time, especially Aegis, the only one familiar with a truly alien species at the time (the demons from Juliet’s world might not count for all I know, we already know that vampires from that world get split into a vampire and a Downsider/Upsider when turned.).

So does Downside accommodate Buggers? Or do they go somewhere else? Perhaps they have no afterlife? Whatever the answer, I am just surprised none of the Bells asked the question at the time.

PS: Some of these questions may have been answered in chapters I have yet to read. I am reading as fast as I reasonably can, so feel free to ignore any questions for which I will get to the answers eventually, but I don’t mind spoilers if you want to answer those anyway.

PPS: Re‐reading this, I seem to have asked a lot of questions, but probably no more than a typical Bell encountering something new and interesting, so I suspect you don’t mind.

Re: Downside’s coverage

Date: 2013-10-24 06:19 pm (UTC)
autokinetic: (l ~ explain)
From: [personal profile] autokinetic
Downside catches buggers just fine, though I haven't woken any up yet. (It's hard enough working out diplomacy with the ones who remember agreeing to be humanity's little sisters.) They weren't there originally because Peace wasn't hooked up originally so there wouldn't be any dead ones running around Downside until one of us arranges it. Aurum was hooked up (but Downside humanized vampires and wolves it caught and no half-vampires have ever died before). Origin was. Sunshine was; I guess the demons never were allowed to wake up. They'd make trouble and the admin doesn't like trouble. None of those three worlds has actual aliens like Peace has, and Sunshiney nonhumans are the kinda headache the admin avoids.

Re: Downside’s coverage

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Date: 2013-10-25 03:14 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jalapeno_dude
Lexi and Soph (asked separately, not in each other's presence): How do the two of you (the sisters of the Bells) get along?

Date: 2013-10-25 03:17 am (UTC)
keyed_up: (i ~ made real)
From: [personal profile] keyed_up
I... haven't even met Lexi, yet? Do you mean how do I get along with my Bella?

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Date: 2013-10-28 06:13 pm (UTC)
andaisq: The Ouroboros (Default)
From: [personal profile] andaisq
Addy in 1932, I'm curious now. How are you doing? How's science and/or abominations against God and man?

Is it possible to use coins to act like multiple coins of lesser value? Let's say, using a pentagon to get ten squares' worth of mashed potatoes, or a hex to get ten agony-beam egg timers?

Of the mentally defended Bells, which if any would be able to keep out a really determined Keo?

Date: 2013-10-28 06:18 pm (UTC)
taste_tester: (c ~ you're interesting)
From: [personal profile] taste_tester
Did you know that Great Depressions make people extremely easy to bribe? All I have to do is quietly rob someplace and then I can get any witch I wander past on the street to follow me to my hideaway for tests without having to threaten them much at all!

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Date: 2013-10-30 02:20 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] jalapeno_dude
Kerron, do you actually pick up colorshapes from Bells?

Also, is "I (involuntarily) see stuff people are not trying to show me" on your nametag at Bellparties? If not, shouldn't it be? It would certainly bother me at least as much as Celo's nudity seems to be bothering other people...
Edited Date: 2013-10-30 02:21 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-10-30 02:29 am (UTC)
pina_colada: (over there)
From: [personal profile] pina_colada
Most Bells, no, I don't get colorshapes. Even the ones who are only wish-warded I just get flickers from the ingot half, nothing from the witch side - it's technically two powers but they don't really work very well when one of them is blocked.

I can tell if people intend to keep things secret, and I have plenty of reaction time to, you know, not read those things - reading colorshapes is more voluntary than, say, reading text within my field of vision in a language I know. I also get much less detail for colorshapes that don't have to do with me or my immediate family. Mum is not really an "intending to keep things secret" kind of person, and is a member of my immediate family. I get stuff I'd probably sooner not know from her; that doesn't mean I learn the same things about anyone else. In most situations it's limited to - I can tell if somebody wants a hug, or wants me to proposition them, or for that matter wants to be left alone, and I don't think I'm bothering anybody obeying those colorshapes.

Date: 2013-11-02 11:13 pm (UTC)
shoaling_souls: Fish swimming independently but still together in a group (Default)
From: [personal profile] shoaling_souls
Ariel, bats are kind of like mice with wings. In some languages they are called blind-mice and in other languages like French you call them bald-mice. Maybe a bat would know if mice like having wings.

Date: 2013-11-02 11:19 pm (UTC)
carillons: (☿3c. observer)
From: [personal profile] carillons
I think you mean Hyacinthe. -Ariel

Bats are not mice; they are bats. And I don't know any bats who talk, so I can't ask them about mice anyway. -Hyacinthe

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