From: ian (i.) gorlick (igorlick@nortel.ca)
Date: Wed 29 May 1996 - 00:19:00 EEST


I have another problem with your vision of the waertagi relying so much on
undines for propulsion. I agree that an undine makes a great engine. However
there are other uses for engines besides going places. If one were to take one
of your undine propulsion systems, like the hollow cylindrical keel you
proposed, and point it at a water-wheel then the industrial revolution just
started. If undines or any other elemental are so readily available that they
can become the standard mode of motive energy, then they are readily enough
available to become the standard mode of all energy, and the bronze-age/medieval
world of Glorantha that we all love will vanish. The cultures and life-styles
that we all use in Glorantha only make sense for energy poor technologies.

Getting back to one of your earlier points, you indicated that we don't use
sails much in the real world because steam and diesel are better. Well, back in
the days of the energy crisis (which may come again) there were serious
proposals to bring back windjammers. Not the old-fashioned ones, but new
high-tech fully-automated versions that would be comparably fast to most cargo
vessels but would use almost no fuel. If energy is expensive then using sails
makes sense. I believe that energy is expensive on Glorantha.

Summoning an elemental costs a priest ( a rare, highly-trained and expensive
individual) many hours worth of ritual. Commanding that elemental for 15 minutes
costs that priest a full day's worth of prayer and devotion for the divine

The waertagi may have a special knack with undines, but how many orders of
magnitude easier are you going to make it for them?


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