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Thread: Mapping out The City.

  1. #126

    Naug,

    I'm on the fly at the moment but wanted to pause to say, "Good job!" I like your revision of my map and your placement of the river. I also like your inferences about what this placement means for Wayside, etc. I have an idea about the canals and such that I'll post later, as well as a notion about how HighTowne might work without much elevation.

    Originally posted by Naug:
    Last question, what does caveat lector mean?
    "Let the reader beware."

  2. #127

    Originally posted by Grundbegriff:
    One of the few things we know about Shalebridge is that Bandly Rofthoffer, a noble or celebrity invited to Angelwatch by Karras himself, is on holiday in Shalebridge.

    Does that fact fit with your theory about what the servants meant? Does it at least render your theory less "obvious"?
    Just because Shalebridge is a noted as a lower-class neighbourhood, there's no reason why there might not be an area of high-value housing, perhaps around the bridge to NewMarket. The South London - and East London - are, in the main, low-value areas, yet contain several pockets of high-value houses. Such a thing might be the case in Shalebridge too - perhaps gentrification is occuring as a result of the bridge, in a manner similar to what is occuring in Docklands, London.

    But considering that this is an imaginary world, and the material concerned considerably pre-dates the time at which the games take place, and the amount of evidence available for the early history of the City is patchy at best, I think he has done a good job of coming up with some fairly good "filler" material
    Only fairly good? Lol, thanks for the compliment.

    I posit that several Precursor artifacts and bits of lore remain, and that several seem linked to necromancy. I also reckon that Precursor artifacts are not the only source of necromantic effects.
    You seem to be postulating the existence of several necromatically-capable artefacts, both Precursor and post-Precursor. If that's the case, why is it that we only seem to have heard of the Eye? Granted such artefacts are likely hidden, but it seems most unlikely to me that it would be possible for several artefacts, responsible for necromatic activities around the City at varied locations, to have all remained undiscovered throughout however many centuries the City had been in existence. The citizens of the City go for years without discovering objects of such power...? Yeah, right


    since water arrows are often found in bathtubs and the like, its possible that the elemental crystal is used to cleanse water in the same way fire crystals appear to be used for lighting fires
    I believe I advanced this theory in one of my theses. Certainly it would explain the preponderance of water arrows in water butts etc, fire arrows in fires and moss arrows in plant matter. It would also explain why crystals cost so much - enough that the Blackbrook Underguild have an ambassador - Dorcas Goodfellow - who specialises in importing them

    If the canals are only off-shoots of the river, perhaps parts of it have been built over - large constructs over them on which sections of The City rest. Still a bit of a problem discovering where exactly it flows, and I don't think this is really possible for the Old Quarter - assuming they had the ability to do this later on, I doubt the architects of the Old Quarter would have possessed the resources to do this
    I like this idea - it's not as far-fetched as it might seem. In the 19th Century, two rivers that ran through London to the Thames - the Fleet and the Walbrook - were progressively covered over until nothing now remains of them above-ground. The process isn't difficult - it only occurred in London when the rivers became choked with refuse and began to stink. Parts of them were covered over well before the Victorian Era

    Rather than creating a slave class, the Precursors were (in my view) seeking immortality and seeking to revive their ancestors, whom they obviously honored with complex burial practices.
    I like it. It fits in with the funerary monuments that we observe in Karath-din [esp. the King's tomb - shades of Tutankamen]. One thought - maybe it could be a specific ancestor? Like Varon-Tor [or whatever his name is - I don't have access to my sources]. The king who died, and whose son took over. we know that the people of the time fear for their city, and so perhaps in desperation they chanelled their energies into a necromatic object to allow them to resurrect the dead King. Their desperation might be the reason why the city of Karath-Din was destroyed:

    People were killed, and so the city was abandoned and decayed

    OR

    The object - the Eye - somehow became involved with the Trickster, who invaded, destroyed the city etc etc. That might explain why the Woodsie Lord is so desperate to gain that specific necromatic object.

    I'll get back to you when I've researched that more.

    Just my £0.02

    Sneaksie Thiefsie
    Sneaksie the Thiefsie, with manfoolsie fight
    A manfool, a trickster, a bringer of night

  3. #128

    Originally posted by Sneaksie Thiefsie:
    Just because Shalebridge is a noted as a lower-class neighbourhood
    Where is Shalebridge "noted as a lower-class neighborhood"? The only explicit in-game evidence we have is that it's a locale suitable for the vacation of a notable citizen.

    there's no reason why there might not be an area of high-value housing, perhaps around the bridge to NewMarket.
    Would it be normal to go on holiday in the upper-class enclave of a run-down neighborhood?

    The South London - and East London - are, in the main, low-value areas, yet contain several pockets of high-value houses.
    Are they vacation hotspots?

    You seem to be postulating the existence of several necromatically-capable artefacts, both Precursor and post-Precursor. If that's the case, why is it that we only seem to have heard of the Eye?
    You've never heard of the masks?

    BTW, I haven't posited the existence of post-Precursor artifacts. I've affirmed the post-Precursorial survival of artifacts from Karath-din. There's considerable in-game support for that affirmation.

    Granted such artefacts are likely hidden, but it seems most unlikely to me that it would be possible for several artefacts, responsible for necromatic activities around the City at varied locations, to have all remained undiscovered....
    I didn't say or suggest that each instance of necromancy in the City could be traced to the necromantic influence of an artifact. In fact, in the very passage you quote from my previous message, I say, "I also reckon that Precursor artifacts are not the only source of necromantic effects." Thus, your "yeah, right" is a response appropriate only to your misreading of my remarks (combined with your having overlooked the masks).

    I believe I advanced this theory in one of my theses. Certainly it would explain the preponderance of water arrows in water butts etc, fire arrows in fires and moss arrows in plant matter.
    You propose that water crystals are used to "cleanse water" just as fire crystals are used to "light fires". It seems to me quite unlikely that crystals are being left in water by the domestic help. On the contrary, crystals seem to form in water, in fire, and so forth. For more on this idea, see the thread
    The nature and source of magic in the Thief universe...
    http://www.ttlg.com/forums/cgi-bin/u...&f=41&t=001888

    It would also explain why crystals cost so much - enough that the Blackbrook Underguild have an ambassador - Dorcas Goodfellow - who specialises in importing them
    The criminal underworld would be involved in meeting the high demand for sanitation products? Wouldn't the demand for cleaning the water be met by...boiling the water?

    Surely the demand is for crystals that have formed in water, etc., and that can be put to more elevated uses.

    I like it. It fits in with the funerary monuments that we observe in Karath-din [esp. the King's tomb - shades of Tutankamen]. One thought - maybe it could be a specific ancestor?
    Glad we agree! You might be right that well-intentioned officials sought to bring back the recently-dead Emperor, who was a man of the people. They certainly didn't seem to care much for his royal son.

    Cheers,

    G.

    [ August 23, 2001: Message edited by: Grundbegriff ]

  4. #129

    Originally posted by Grundbegriff:
    Would it be normal to go on holiday in the upper-class enclave of a run-down neighborhood?
    Going on holiday does not always involve going to "vacation spots". Perhaps Bandy Rofthoffer has family in the place he's visiting; perhaps he grew up there and makes a sentimental pilgrimage back there; perhaps he keeps a house there out of sentiment; perhaps he prefers the lower-class company available in such a neighbourhood to the high-class company available elsewhere. I only wish to make the point that just because it is a run-down neighbourhood, it does not preclude the notable from holidaying there - the validity of that depends on how you define "holiday".

    You've never heard of the masks?
    The debate is raging in another thread, so I won't go into it here, but I don't believe the servants to have been killed before the Masks were fitted. I believe that your views on this matter are different - so be it. Since I believe the Servants were enslaved while alive - and remain alive - the Masks are not necromatic instruments. Besides - and this is just something I throw out for consideration - if the Precursors had other necromatic instruments such as the Eye, capable of controlling a whole District's worth of undead, there would be no need for the masks.

    BTW, I haven't posited the existence of post-Precursor artifacts
    Pardon my misunderstanding, but you said in a previous reply "I also reckon that Precursor artifacts are not the only source of necromantic effects. " To me, this seems to imply that you think there are other artifcacts in existence. Are you positing that all the other necromatic artifacts you refer to are Pre-Precursor?

    I didn't say or suggest that each instance of necromancy in the City could be traced to the necromantic influence of an artifact. In fact, in the very passage you quote from my previous message, I say, "I also reckon that Precursor artifacts are not the only source of necromantic effects
    I think this disagreement might be due to a difference in interpretation. I thought that you were emphasising "Precursor", meaning that you believed there were other artifacts present. It's clear that this was not the case.

    On the contrary, crystals seem to form in water, in fire, and so forth
    I haven't played Thief in a while [other commitments etc] but I can't recall water crystals existing in every single body of water we ever come across, or every single fire, as your statements suggests to me. If it is the case that crystals form naturally in water, in fire, etc, then one wonders why the Blackbrook Underguild seem to be importing them. Indeed, why does Garrett need to buy them if they form naturally anyway, and he can just pick them up from anywhere?

    Wouldn't the demand for cleaning the water be met by...boiling the water?
    Boiling water leaves it flat and tasteless due to the absence of oxygen. Although taste can be reintroduced, it's a time consuming process. Besides which, I think boiling all the water used for cooking, drinking, cleaning etc might prove time-consuming and inefficient. If, as I postulated, water crystals clean and purify the water, then it would probably be easier to merely place the crystals in the water to be purified.

    Glad we agree!
    Likewise!

    Sneaksie Thiefsie
    Sneaksie the Thiefsie, with manfoolsie fight
    A manfool, a trickster, a bringer of night

  5. #130

    Originally posted by Sneaksie Thiefsie:
    Going on holiday does not always involve going to "vacation spots". Perhaps Bandy Rofthoffer has family in the place he's visiting; perhaps he grew up there and makes a sentimental pilgrimage back there; perhaps he keeps a house there out of sentiment; perhaps he prefers the lower-class company available in such a neighbourhood to the high-class company available elsewhere.
    Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. Here's illustration #1 of the difference between your approach and mine: where multiple possibilities are available with little or no in-game support, I tend to prefer the simplest or most-supported interpretation, the one that requires the fewest assumptions or the most likely ones. Think of it as Occam's (or better yet, Ockham's) Razor for speculative fiction rather than for ontological entities.

    Sure, it's possible that Rofthoffer is going to a slum on holiday because he was once a street urchin who trawled the streets of that slum in search of leftovers and now returns there semiannually to bestow gifts on those who were kind to him and to plot the downfall of the local clergy -- but since there's no in-game evidence to support that reading even though nothing precludes it logically, I still consider it unwarranted. Does Rofthoffer prefer slumming? Perhaps, perhaps not. On my approach, we don't assume that he does unless we have evidence.

    I only wish to make the point that just because it is a run-down neighbourhood, it does not preclude the notable from holidaying there.
    Here's principial difference #1 between your approach and mine: you assume that if nothing prohibits a scenario, we can introduce that scenario into City lore and base other inferences on it; by contrast, a assume that if nothing indicates a scenario, we may not simply introduce it into City lore and use it as a basis for further reasoning. You seek to be maximally tolerant of insertions and ungrounded speculations so long as they're possible, while I seek to be minimally tolerant of insertions and speculations, unless they're supported in canonical materials.

    I don't believe the servants to have been killed before the Masks were fitted.... Since I believe the Servants were enslaved while alive - and remain alive - the Masks are not necromatic instruments
    For the sake of clarification, then: on your reading, why are the bodies in the laboratory/mask-fitting area of Eavesdropping corpses, and why does Karras say to Garrett that he would have wanted him either dead or in service to Karras or both?

    if the Precursors had other necromatic instruments such as the Eye, capable of controlling a whole District's worth of undead, there would be no need for the masks.
    Who says the Eye controls the undead? It seems to me that the undead I've encountered near the Eye are quite out of control. Compare their behavior to that of a typical Servant.

    But even if the Eye were supposed to control a whole district of undead, as you suggest, there would still be good in-game reasons to think that masks and Eye could coexist. First, there are many masks but we know of only one Eye; presumably, these were distributed among multiple Precursors. Second, it's sometimes appropriate to have control over a local area but not a wide one, as with garage door openers. Third, we know that the Eye tends to bring disaster, so it could very well mark a failed attempt to broaden the degree of control over undeath afforded by a mask or set of masks.

    In my view, the Eye is either a failed attempt to capture the net effect of multiple masks, or more likely an engine for generating or accelerating undeath rather than for controlling it. We have in-game evidence that the special function of the masks -- permitting control of the undead and regulating their behavior -- differs from the special functions of the Eye (which seems to do no such thing).

    Pardon my misunderstanding, but you said in a previous reply "I also reckon that Precursor artifacts are not the only source of necromantic effects. " To me, this seems to imply that you think there are other artifcacts in existence. Are you positing that all the other necromatic artifacts you refer to are Pre-Precursor?
    When A implies B, B follows logically from A and cannot help but do so. By contrast, your inference that I'm referring to Precursor artifacts when I use the phrase "not the only source...of effects" simply doesn't follow with anything like that degree of necessity. A source of necromantic effects could be an artifact; but it could also be a spell, a natural formula or concoction, a ritual behavior, a magical site, a cursed family, a divine judgment, an illusion, or one of a host of other possibilities.

    In my view, there's in-game evidence that the Eye is necromantic, there's in-game evidence that the masks may be used necromantically, and there's in-game evidence that some undeath occurs apart from the influence of those two sets of artifacts. Therefore, I infer that there may be other sources of undeath, and that those sources (for all we know) may not even be artifacts. On my view, we can't say what those sources are without in-game evidence. But we don't simply shut down once we've identified a firmly supported source.

    There's a difference between having support that X is a Z and having support that only X is a Z. This fact indicates principial difference #2 between your approach and mine: when I have support, I leave other issues open and indeterminate; but where you have support or have decided on an invention, you leave other issues closed.

    I think this disagreement might be due to a difference in interpretation.
    Indeed!

    I haven't played Thief in a while [other commitments etc] but I can't recall water crystals existing in every single body of water we ever come across, or every single fire, as your statements suggests to me.
    I'm told that stalactites form in caves, but I can't recall having seen them in every cave I've entered. I'm told that buttercups grow in the wild, but I can't recall having seen them in every field I've traversed. I'm told that condensation may occur on windshields at dawn, but I haven't seen dew each and every time I've climbed into the car.

    See how, in keeping with the principial differences between your approach and mine, you falsely dichotomize and limit the possibilities to a single alternative: that crystals either form in all water all the time, or else are not forming in the water at all? By contrast, the idea that water crystals form in water seems to me to be consistent with the fact that we don't find them in "every single body of water we come across". Their formation is a natural process that occurs according to combinations of conditions -- just as common sense informs us that natural processes occur in RL.

    If it is the case that crystals form naturally in water, in fire, etc, then one wonders why the Blackbrook Underguild seem to be importing them. Indeed, why does Garrett need to buy them if they form naturally anyway, and he can just pick them up from anywhere?
    The fact that they must be gathered, that they're in demand, and that they're relatively scarce seems to me to support the idea that they form in water, but not ubiquitously. They form when the conditions are right, and are therefore precious. Think of them as similar to truffles.

    So then, why would conditions in the City make water crystals even more scarce than they normally are? Hmmm... Perhaps the drought has something to do with that

    In any event, Garrett does pick up quite a few crystals along the way, rather than purchase them all.

    Boiling water leaves it flat and tasteless due to the absence of oxygen.
    You're under the impression that boiled water contains no oxygen? And that the flavor of water depends on the presence of oxygen rather than minerals?

    Besides which, I think boiling all the water used for cooking, drinking, cleaning etc might prove time-consuming and inefficient.
    You would have had a tough time of it in pre-modern Europe....

    If, as I postulated, water crystals clean and purify the water, then it would probably be easier to merely place the crystals in the water to be purified.
    Sort of like those hygienic tablets one drops in the cistern of a toilet? And you think there would be a black market for imported flush tablets from Blackbrook?



    [ August 25, 2001: Message edited by: Grundbegriff ]

  6. #131
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: England

    Merry fun this is -

    Actually, from moving around the Thief world, it does rather look like they're used thus, Grund.

    Naturally forming crystals usually take some time to develop, sometimes decades and milenia, yet we have found them in bathtubs and even the barracks sinks in Shoalsgate Station.

    This of course doesn't mean they aren't naturally forming, it just seems logical that they are there for a reason, like purifying the water. Water crystals appear to cost a fair amount of money, so it makes sense that they appear mostly in nobles' bathtubs and such - a luxury and excess. Still, if this is so, what are they doing in humble barracks sinks? I find it somewhat hard to believe that water crystals, if they are valuable, can form overnight in the police lavatory...

    However, there were several racks of water arrows in Shoalsgate Station, which suggests that the City Watch had procured a large amount of them - since the many members of the City Watch are former criminals and troublemakers, I wouldn't put it past them to flinch a few and waste them on giving their hands a good clean... They'd have to be pretty thick to waste valuable gems on hand-washing, but then a lot of them sound and act pretty thick anyway...

    All speculation of course. The main piont is though, crystals seem to have 'practical functions in the domestic environment' as it where. Since we spend most of our times in rich noble homes and religious temples, we can assume that they are expensive tools.

    Consider - water crystals in bathtubs, moss arrows in flower pots, gas arrow in greenhouse, fire arrow in fireplace. Unless these crystals CAN literally form overnight, I think it's quit safe to assume that they are being used for purification, cultivation and combustion. Since they are also found in wild plant matter, and rivers etc. they probably do form naturally under these conditions, but I doubt crystals would have formed in regulary maintained gardens, bathing facilities, or even the Soulforge water troffs... the way in which the gas arrow is lying next to the book and several garden implements in the Angelwatch mission suggests to me it was going to be used for something.

    ...next round...


    [ September 01, 2001: Message edited by: Silencer ]
    I bet the Baron gets to eat cow all the time. Not potato, potato, potato... - Disgruntled Guard

  7. #132

    Originally posted by Silencer:
    Naturally forming crystals usually take some time to develop, sometimes decades and milenia
    In which universe? It seems to me that every time we encounter a crystal in water in the City, we encounter primary evidence that crystals form rather quickly in the City's universe.

    yet we have found them in bathtubs and even the barracks sinks in Shoalsgate Station.
    If water crystals were only found in the sinks and basins of citizens, then perhaps you'd have a point. But we also find crystals in bodies of water encountered in non-domestic environments. Unless you're suggesting that someone (the crystal fairy?) goes around dropping "cleansing crystals" into puddles and ponds, you'll have to acknowledge that our finding crystals both in sinks and in natural puddles tells strongly against your theory. Indeed, the fact that crystals appear both in domestic collections of water and in natural collections strongly indicates that the common link isn't domestic sanitation but standing water.

    it just seems logical that they are there for a reason, like purifying the water.
    On the contrary, to observe crystals in domestic cisterns and in natural puddles and then to infer that someone must have put the crystals in the cisterns (but not the ponds) is quite illogical.

    crystals seem to have 'practical functions in the domestic environment' as it where.
    There isn't a whit of evidence to support that claim. All we have are crystals in bodies of water, some domestic and some wild.

    Consider - water crystals in bathtubs, moss arrows in flower pots, gas arrow in greenhouse, fire arrow in fireplace. Unless these crystals CAN literally form overnight
    Why would we have to infer that they form overnight. Is there some mission in which Garrett visits a locale, removes the crystals, returns the next day, and finds crystals in the same place?

    Besides, the fact that moss forms on flower pots suggests a natural process. Indeed, we even find moss arrows forming on the wedge of cheese in Constantine's lair. Would you seriously suggest that moss crystals were hung on the wedge of cheese to preserve it?

    , I think it's quit safe to assume that they are being used for purification, cultivation and combustion.
    Sure, it's safe to assume such; many similarly faulty and fallacious assumptions are relatively harmless

    Since they are also found in wild plant matter, and rivers etc. they probably do form naturally under these conditions, but I doubt crystals would have formed in regulary maintained gardens, bathing facilities, or even the Soulforge water troffs
    Why do you doubt it, when you've now gone and conceded that crystals form naturally in their respective and suitable environments?

    ... the way in which the gas arrow is lying next to the book and several garden implements in the Angelwatch mission suggests to me it was going to be used for something.
    Of course. The fact that crystals form naturally doesn't mean that every crystal we encounter has formed naturally where we encounter it. The very fact that there's a market for crystals indicates that we're likely to find some that have been placed. But for any given crystal, we should assume by default that it grew in situ unless there's some clear indication to the contrary -- such as the presence of a crystal in an inappropriate environment (e.g., a fire crystal found not in a firepit but on a shelf probably didn't form naturally on the shelf).

    Cheers,

    G.

  8. #133
    Member
    Registered: May 2001
    Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

    The strange part of this is that I think both arguements are valid - the crystals could be formed as part of a natural process (most likely brought on by standing primal magical forces), harvested by people, and sold as domestic aids.

    It isn't unfeasable to think that an alchemist or other interested party could attempt to standardize the creation of these crystals (much in the same vein as attempting to create other substances...), thus ensuring a profitable business by creating the proper conditions for their forming, whatever that may be.

    .v.
    Valentin (aka .j.)

    Anything not nailed down is mine.
    Anything that can be pried loose is not nailed down.

    - traditional saying

  9. #134
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: England

    What I was trying to say is that we probably BOTH right. I think the crystals DO form naturally in ponds and bodies of water - but I also think that they're likely to be used domestically. My interpretation is that these crystals form in caves, ponds, even on food and so forth and are then harvested and sold for high prices. Using crystals in their homes would be another way for them to flaunt their wealth.

    The reason I don't think it likely that water crystals form in bathtubs and sinks is this - you commented on Garret coming back overnight and finding renewed crystals. That never happens, but remember these are HOMES. If the crystals are valuable, I don't think people would just leave them their for the taking - unless we make the assumption that large numbers of crystals just happen to complete formation on the night Garret arrives. Remember the baths and sinks have probably been used a few hours before Garret goes to work. And what happens when they're cleaned or the water is changed? Surely any infant crystal-matter gets dumped into the sewers?

    The other problem is this - if they form so easily, I can't see how they would be particulary valuable. Think about it, anyone with a decent bathtub could start up a water crystal factory :P

    So my take on it is this, ultimately - the crystals form, perhaps quite quickly but not overnight, in natural and occasionally unnatural environs. They are harvested and sold for high prices and used by the wealthy in homes - however they are also available on the black market for use in more sinister purposes.

    This is how I read it, because I think their must be some use for crystals other than weapons - they're just too numerous for The City's population not to have taken advantage of them. We find them in racks around Shoalsgate - they must be used for SOMETHING. I didn't get the impression that they had taken on the role of fire service as well.

    But anyway, I really think we're straying from the point - crystals don't have much to do with mapping out The City.

    Personally I'd really like to see a well-drawn map (Thief style on parchment)...
    I bet the Baron gets to eat cow all the time. Not potato, potato, potato... - Disgruntled Guard

  10. #135
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: England

    Arg - looking back over the posts I think we're just saying the same thing over and over again. Let's just try to close this arguement :-

    Theory 1 (Grund): Crystals form in the right conditions and can do so relatively freely within a domestic environment. They are not used in domestic purposes. All crystals found have grown and not been placed there, unless found on a shelf etc.

    Theory 2 (Me): Crystals form in the right conditions and can occasionally do so in the domestic environment. They are used in domestic purposes. Many crystals found are there because they are being used for domestic purposes, while a few have formed naturally within the domestic environment.

    Now the reason I think No 1 unlikely is this ::

    Lets take one humble sink in a home. It is filled with water. We assume that water crystals must take at the least a few days to form.

    To begin with, for a crystal to form, the water would have to remain unchanged, or the sink at least uncleaned. Crystal matter could remain in the bottom of the sink when the water drains or is changed, but if it was cleaned it would be wiped away.

    If the sink is used regulary, then any forming crystal must eventually be noticed - surely, if they valuable they will be removed? Water crystals are quite large, and the servants or users would have to be blind not to spot them in a later stage of development.

    So if we assume they have formed naturally in a sink or bath, we also have to assume that either a) everyone who uses them needs their eyes checked or b) they must not be worth much at all - in which case you wouldn't buy them on the blackmarket. If they were of any value, servants would either nick them for a side profit or the family would store them.

    Now, Theory 2 is a lot more plausible from my point of view (of course I'm prejudiced since it's mine...) Consider ::

    Servants and homeowners aren't as thick as they appear in theory one. Wealthy families buy them at high prices as a luxury. Water seems to be left standing overnight often in the Thief world, so purification from dirt and the like might be required. Using this theory, it makes perfect sense for Garret to find them regualry in loos and baths, and it also grants The City's civilian population an IQ higher than that of a toddler. It also doesn't get in the way of the formation theory at all - they still form in nature and are harvested.

    I can believe a fire crystal might form in lava or fire - I can believe a moss arrow might form in a plant pot or soil - I believe a water arrow could form in industrial water sources and natural water bodies. But the servants would have to be downright thick to leave valuable gems in bathtubs and basins UNLESS THEY PUT THEM THERE THEMSELVES FOR A PURPOSE.

    ...next round...


  11. #136
    The Architect
    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Lyon

    The problem, as said, is that one of you likes inductive reasoning (let's see what we can infer!) and the other likes deductive reasoning (just the fact's ma`am!). That's why you're just going around and around in circles, and cannot agree. Your respective arguments are perfectly sound in regards to the methods you used to derive them.

    Grundbegriff already kinda said that, in more words.

    It's good reading, though.

  12. #137
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2000
    Location: Anywhere but here

    So, why is there an air crystal floating half way up Long Tom's Wall (or something) at the start of Precious Cargo? However, I think the theory about water crystals being used for water purification is sensible. If they formed so easily as to be in every handbaisin in the City, you wouldn't be paying 50 gold each for them. It is possible that the crystals are used to purify water, but don't run out and don't need replacing. This explains why even poor people can use them. Perhaps, since purified water is something of a necessity, the Baron has arranged for the poorer part of the population to be given a small number of water crystals, paid for out of the city taxes, to prevent disease. Goodness knows why you find them in ponds, though.

    If water crystals are a natural occurence rather than a supernatural (magical) one, it is quite possible that they are porous, crystalline mineral clusters that form natuarally in pools of standing water under certain conditions. The alternative is that they are formed by natural magic. When Garrett uses them, they shatter and release the water they had been holding. When immersed in a pool of water, they steadily absorb and release water, leaving impurities trapped in the body of the crystal, thus purifying the water.

    The other crystal types are more puzzling. Earth crystals are possible the spore form of a certain type of moss. Fire arrows could be a combinations of crystals and minerals that ignites vigourously when struck, like some unstable explosives. No idea how it would occur naturally, though. Gas arrows are the wierdest of the lot. Not because of their behaviour, but because of the places they are found.

    I suspect that the Elemental Crystals are formed as a direct result of natural magic. This is partly because there were so many of them in the Maw of Chaos, which was an area of greatly concentrated natural magic.


    Oh, and I think the corpses in the hidden compartment in Eavesdropping were the results of failed experiments.

  13. #138

    For the entire period covered by Thief I and Thief II, the City is suffering under a drought. How likely is it, under such conditions, that residents would empty basins daily? How likely is it that they'd leave water standing for later use?

    Suppose residents require purified water for drinking. How likely is it that they'd purify the water with expensive water crystals? How likely is it that they'd simply boil the water?

    Suppose residents require water for other purposes besides drinking. How likely is it that they'd purify such water at all?

  14. #139

    Originally posted by Digital Nightfall:
    The problem, as said, is that one of you likes inductive reasoning (let's see what we can infer!) and the other likes deductive reasoning (just the fact's ma`am!).
    The difference between deductive argument and inductive argument is that in the former the conclusion certainly follows from the conjoined premises, while in the latter the conclusion probably (but not certainly) follows from the conjoined premises.

    Most of the reasoning we've undertaken has involved a combination of inductive inferences (from observations in the game world) and deductive inferences (from granted or established premises).

    That's why you're just going around and around in circles, and cannot agree.
    Your diagnosis depends on your definitions, and your definitions are mistaken

    Your respective arguments are perfectly sound in regards to the methods you used to derive them.
    Nice try, Digi, but that's not what's happening here. Rather, we're both trying to reason inductively from the observation that water crystals are sometimes found in basins and bathtubs.

    Anyhow, it seems to me that if crystals are in basins because they were put there rather than because they formed there, there's still no basis at all to think that they're being put to "domestic use" as cleansing agents or otherwise. Rather, if the crystals were put there on purpose, it would probably be to store portable water supplies during the drought.

    The relevance of the drought isn't a new point; I mentioned it much earlier in the thread but it still doesn't enter into the (inductive!) reasoning of those who wish to regard found crystals as flush tablets.

    [ September 02, 2001: Message edited by: Grundbegriff ]

  15. #140

    Originally posted by CyberFish:
    I think the theory about water crystals being used for water purification is sensible.
    With respect, I can't see why. There's no evidence at all that crystals of any sort have any purifying effects at all. What we do know is that water crystals (in particular) consist of a fragile crystalline shell that contains a splash of water. If the crystals were put into basins deliberately during a time of drought, surely it would be to store them for later use rather than to expend them (during a drought!) as cleansing agents (where simple boiling would suffice).

    If they formed so easily as to be in every handbaisin in the City, you wouldn't be paying 50 gold each for them.
    That doesn't necessarily follow. First, 50 gold is only twice the cost of a broadhead arrow -- a carefully whittled and fletched stick. Second, how much to people pay for gallon jugs of "purified water" in supermarkets today? And what is the profit margin?

    It is possible that the crystals are used to purify water, but don't run out and don't need replacing.
    Evidence, please?

    since purified water is something of a necessity, the Baron has arranged for the poorer part of the population to be given a small number of water crystals
    See how the imagination spins out of control? A water-crystal welfare state? During a time of war and drought? Why shouldn't the poor simply boil their water?

    Goodness knows why you find them in ponds, though.
    Perhaps because they...formed there?

    I suspect that the Elemental Crystals are formed as a direct result of natural magic.
    I agree.

    Oh, and I think the corpses in the hidden compartment in Eavesdropping were the results of failed experiments.
    But by the time Garrett visits the Eastport Mechanist Seminary, the technology of mask-application has already been refined -- as Karras demonstrates during the overheard conversation. No, these bodies seem to be prepped for masking.

  16. #141
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2000
    Location: Anywhere but here

    Very intelligent points, Grundbegriff. Thinking about the theories again, there is little to choose between the two.

    Crystals are found in numerous areas of stored water around the City. These crystals either formed there naturally, or were placed there.

    Why would someone put water crystals in water? Possibly to store them, so that they don't dry out; or to ensure that they are fully saturated with water the following day. But why would so many people have water crystals anyway? If their only purpose is to deliver a brief splash of cold water, people might as well fill, say, a pig bladder with water and throw it.
    Also note that the water cooler in Shoalsgate has about a dozen water crystals attatched to it. Why? Possibly to purify the water, possibly to store it without it evaporating in the drought conditions.
    The only other reason for putting water crystals in the water is because they have a particular effect on it. Purification seems appropriate, simply because there is no other logical effect that the crystals could have on the water.
    So, this line of reasoning indicates that crystals are either a means of storing water without is evaporating, spilling, or becoming dirty; or a means of purifying water. This is supported by the cost of crystals (50 gold is actually quite expensive, as the value of the coin stacks and other loot Garrett picks up will show.) and the water cooler in Shoalsgate. They couldn't have formed there naturally. Also, there are several water crystals in the rubbish skip outside the pub. They didn't form there as there was no water, so they must have been thrown away. Does anyone have any ideas what a pub landlord would want with water crystals?
    Unfortunately, there are plenty of flaws in this theory. I don't need to list them here, as you have already pointed most of them out several times

    The second theory, that the crystals formed naturally, is equally meritable. It explains the wide distribution of crystals across the City, and many other things that I'm too tired to bring up again.
    The problem with this is that the crystals Garrett finds in sinks and so on are unlikely to have formed naturally, as the owner of the house would have probably found and removed them. Also, they would be very, very cheap if they formed so easily. Garrett may not even have to buy them, he could just walk around the City scooping them out of puddles .

    So, what I think is most likely is that the crystals found in baths, sinks and handbaisins, and the shoalsgate water cooler, were placed there for a purpose. It is unknown as to what this purpose is. The crystals found in ponds, and the small river in Constantine's mansion, formed there naturally. Forget about the water purification theory for the time being. It's plausible, but cannot be proved to be correct. It can't be proved wrong, either, except by a direct intervention from a former Looking Glass employee.

    Oh, and the reason I said that water crystals don't run out when used for water purification is that, if they did run out, they wouldn't be cost-effective and people would simply boil the stuff. However, an automatic water purification and filtration system for only 50 gold is definately worth it. (Thinking about it again, 50 gold might not actually be all that much. The items Garrett steals are only worth to him what he can sell them for, which is probably only a fraction of their real value.)

    And please forget what I said about water crystals being handed out to the poor and needy. That was just plain stupid

  17. #142
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: England

    In my mind, the main reason I don't believe they FORM in wash basins is because if they're valuable, they wouldn't be left there - they'd be removed.

    I'm perfectly willing to consider the possibility they are storage devices for water - in the bonehoard someone has a bucket and water crystal lying suggestively beside it. A fairly domestic purpose...

    The reason I thought of them as water purifiers is that they're often found in the cleaner, blue water rather than the mucky green stuff I've encountered so far in TG (Just started Guild level) Mind you, it was ALL blue in T2...

    Of course if I wanted to be really picky I could say that if water crystals formed in water we should find them in various stages of development... but that's just stupid, it IS a computer game...

    [ September 02, 2001: Message edited by: Silencer ]
    I bet the Baron gets to eat cow all the time. Not potato, potato, potato... - Disgruntled Guard

  18. #143
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Yorkshire, UK

    I believe water crystals and all crystals are natural...for example, why would the mecahnists in Kidnap place fire crystals with lava?
    Always Remember Rule One:
    Do not act incautiously when confronting little bald wrinkly smiling men!
    --Terry Pratchett, Thief of Time

  19. #144

    Originally posted by CyberFish:
    [qb]Purification seems appropriate, simply because there is no other logical effect that the crystals could have on the water.
    Why do people say that sort of thing?

    If we let the imagination roam freely, then crystals in water might:
    ... purify the water
    ... flavor the water
    ... mineralize the water
    ... cool the water
    ... warm the water
    ... stabilize the temperature of the water
    ... perfume the water
    ... cover the water with a protective film
    ... fill the water with protective radiation
    ... make the water more likely to produce crystals
    ... prevent the evaporation of the water
    ...

    Given that off-the-cuff list, the notion that there's "no other logical effect that the crystals could have" seems to reflect some unusual and perplexing version of "logic".

    Anyhow, my point isn't to foreclose these possibilities, but to ask for evidence and reasons in support of claims we make about the gameworld. The simplest explanation that accounts for all the observable facts and unavoidable inferences is likely the best explanation, all else being equal.

  20. #145

    Originally posted by Silencer:
    In my mind, the main reason I don't believe they FORM in wash basins is because if they're valuable, they wouldn't be left there - they'd be removed.
    Why? It seems reasonable to suppose that a moist environment is just the sort of place where you'd want to store your water crystals.

    I'll bet the last thing Farkus did after a long workday was put his water arrows back in the vat.

    Here's a possible scenario: Noble discovers water crystals forming in the sink, and shouts "Don't empty the basin, Jenivere! I want to preserve these crystals for a non-rainy day!"

  21. #146
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: England

    ... and gets them pinched when some visitor walks in to use the loo and takes a fancy to the valuable water crystal.

    Seriously, if you had valuable crystals forming would YOU leave them in the tiolet?

    If that's the case, the logical thing to do would be for the noble to have a SECURE water source in a locked room, where any water crystals can be brought at once.

    Obviously water crystals must have some application, for the simple fact they are stored for use - shelves, racks in Shoalsgate, on bodies of dead thieves in the bonehoard. They could be used for water storage yes, but then wouldn't they have a flask or skin for it rather than a valuable crystal?

  22. #147
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2000
    Location: Boston

    I have not taken the time to read the entire thread, but I feel maybe an 'exact' and 'extrapolated' version would be better than combining the fan mission info which can potentially go against the intent of the initial design with the original. I assume you are aware that at the end of the haunted cathedral mission in thief 1 there is a full color map of much of the city, and combining this with the information from the in-game maps of life of the party, assassin, and ambush can provide you with a fairly full picture of the central city sections, although obviously some locales are too far off (i.e. docks) to be shown these sources are good starts.

  23. #148

    Originally posted by Silencer:
    ... and gets them pinched when some visitor walks in to use the loo and takes a fancy to the valuable water crystal.... If that's the case, the logical thing to do would be for the noble to have a SECURE water source in a locked room, where any water crystals can be brought at once.
    That's rather extreme, no? Why wouldn't such a noble feel at liberty to leave things of value in the open in her own home, which happens (as often as not) to be guarded by a security squad?

    I don't know about you, but I leave valuable things in the open at my place; and my place is quite a bit less secure and exclusive than, say, Bafford's Manor or the Manor of Clan Gervaisius.

    Obviously water crystals must have some application, for the simple fact they are stored for use - shelves, racks in Shoalsgate, on bodies of dead thieves in the bonehoard.
    Well, among other possible uses, they're used for water arrows. Surely Garrett isn't the only rascal in town to use such things.

    They could be used for water storage yes, but then wouldn't they have a flask or skin for it rather than a valuable crystal?
    Pineapples could be used for pineapple juice storage, yes, but then wouldn't they have a bottle or can for pineapple juice rather than a valuable pineapple?

    [ September 03, 2001: Message edited by: Grundbegriff ]

  24. #149
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: uk

    Originally posted by Naug:
    I encourage everyone to continue with this miracalous effort to map the city
    I couldn't agree more (or to put it another way "bump")

  25. #150
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2000
    Location: Kernow!

    The one thing most people agree on here is that crystals form in standing water, like a lake, puddle etc. Then if thatís true wouldn't plenty sources of water be pure naturally, anyway? The waterworks in "song of the caverns" collected its water from the underground lake with water crystals already growing in it. Wouldn't the water already be pure then? The point is, if the waters already pure, why bother purifying it again? Perhaps because the pipes aren't too clean, but isn't that a pretty expensive luxury, purifying your water twice? For example I don't think the police budget would cover something thatís not even completely necessary.

    Also, why are there water crystals in puddles? They can't have been there for more than a week possibly two, and if they're so valuable then why hasn't anyone bothered to take it over that period (unless it only formed very recently).

    But, yeah, um. Mapping! Yes!

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