Darksense

From: Michael C. Morrison 8-543-4706 (mmorrison@VNET.IBM.COM)
Date: Sat 19 Oct 1996 - 02:47:10 EEST


*** Reply to note of Thu, 17 Oct 1996 18:07:43 -0400
*** by owner-glorantha-digest@hops.wharton.upenn.edu

James Walter Frusetta <gerakkag@wam.umd.edu> wrote about
>Colors, Textures, Densities & Darksense

>("Hey, those 'uns wearin' red." "Lunars! Kill 'em!")
Remember that ZZ also wear red. They wear the only colours they can
see. That some of their enemies also wear red is coincidence ...

>Trolls that go "ping":
Here is my theory on troll darksense; take it or leave it, it's all
IMG only. I assume darksense is more like radar or sonar than light.

Each troll (not including enlo, of course) emits a characteristic
frequency of sound, and emits bursts hundreds of times each second.
>From birth, trolls are attuned to their own darksense emissions only --
only after training can they tune in to the emissions of other trolls.
Of course, they can "hear" the other trolls' emissions just fine, but
cannot get useful info from them without training. I imagine uzuz as
being able to assimilate all darksense emissions at the same time,
without training -- this is one reason uzuz are so fearsome; they can
"see" from all directions at once if there are other trolls about!

By sending and receiving their own darksense emissions many times each
second, a troll receives a clear, but passive, picture of her surroundings.
To scan, a troll simply "squints", or focuses her attention to parts of
the surroundings. It's like a human seeing a large, well-lit, room,
and then turning his head to focus on something in the corner. For a
troll, there is usually no need to turn because the image is not a 180
degree image as with human eyesight. I don't think they have 360 degree
darksense, but probably 270 or more in the xy plane and maybe 225 in
the yz plane. Think 3-D. Think cones. Remember calculus. Get aspirin.

So, I don't think one troll can easily tell if another troll is looking
at her. Probably uzuz can, and that's scary enough! I try to model
darksense on the radar that bats use -- constant, passive, accurate,
and omnipresent. I think of each troll as a "lantern", "shining"
darksense emissions in all directions. Could you tell if a lantern
was aimed at you? And I don't think trolls can focus their emissions
the way we can focus a lantern's. I think they can only focus what
they "see" from the emissions (a mental task rather than a physical
one).

Now, enlo. I think they too have darksense, but it's harder for them.
They must concentrate to send and receive their emissions (unlike
trolls who do it as easily as breathe). So, they do it less often.
And their emissions are a particular pitch that is easily distinguished
from the ambient background of other troll emissions, so a troll knows
if an enlo is using its darksense. Thus, enlo rely on their eyes more,
lest they be noticed! And I can explain this mythically by exploring
the nature of The Curse ...

My 2p. Other theories? Flames?

Michael
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Michael C. Morrison Santa Teresa Laboratory Phone (408)463-4706
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End of Glorantha Digest V3 #239
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