Author Topic: The World of ZEAL/Keystone  (Read 10454 times)

Symmetry

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« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2004, 07:38:26 pm »
Hmm. I don't understand why it wouldn't work.

If a person jumps back in time and kills their father, they're protected from alterations to the timeline from that point onward. Why the same would not apply to say, the entire floating continent?

In anycase, Zeal won't be taken down by altering its past. That was one of the inital ideas, but a couple of new ideas have refocused the plot - namely, the introduction of conflict within Zeal.

Symmetry

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« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2004, 08:01:27 pm »
A point worth reinforcing. Two, actually.

Nanashi - Within Zeal, Nanashi are simply known as assassins. Their true purpose, however, is to carry out the Council's dirty work in the other timelines they encounter.

Centre for Dimensional Research - Remember, this is a very top-secret, low-key ordeal. Virtually no one in Zeal actually knows of the experiments in other timelines - this is something kept under wraps by the Council. Although "conspiracy theories" exist of mad scientists peering into other dimensions, only the Council, the elite within the School of Temporal Magic, and the Nanashi actually know the true nature of the beast.

V_Translanka

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« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2004, 08:52:29 pm »
A Thought: Are there still Gurus in ZEAL? I suppose they wouldn't be the same lovable Gurus we know, but are there others who took up the titles of Guru of Life, Time or Reason?

Leebot

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« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2004, 11:50:18 pm »
Quote from: V_Translanka
A Thought: Are there still Gurus in ZEAL? I suppose they wouldn't be the same lovable Gurus we know, but are there others who took up the titles of Guru of Life, Time or Reason?


That's a good question. I'd suppose ZEAL has evolved beyond such mundane notions as reason. They'd probably have their own, perverted form of it. Remember that we're talking about a gap of ~13,000 years, here. In such a long length of time (longer than any civilization on earth has existed, or even all of human civilization), it is very doubtful that the titles or existence of certain government position would remain intact. The only title/position that tends to stay around is King/Queen.

Leebot

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« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2004, 11:58:19 pm »
That also raises a good question: What exactly were the jobs of the Gurus? Were they merely honorary positions? Religious posts? Were they like cabinet members? Magical researchers?

I'd guess religious posts. It seems to fit with how they were revered, and (according to Wikipedia) the word "Guru" was originally used for a Hindu religious teacher. On this note, it might be a good idea to define what religion (if any) is predominant in ZEAL.

Symmetry

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« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2004, 12:52:33 am »
Good questions.

It was definately decided upon that the Melchior, Gaspar, and Belthasar from the ZEAL timeline died long ago. Originally, we had considered leaving the posts as honourary positions, but now that just seems like excess baggage. I don't see any reason to keep them around. Unless someone has a smashing idea for them, I say we can the three positions.

As for religion. Worship of the monarch as descending from the gods works, as does some vague belief in a system of reincarnation where one's deeds effect the spirtual energy they possess in the next life. (Thus justifying oppression of those lacking arcane talent as being bad in a past life and those talented as being good.) Although my initial impulse was to dismiss religion as something ZEAL would be 'beyond', I'm somewhat given to the idea now... it would definately add another aspect of Zealian life to write about.

Furthermore, doesn't the ending of Cross (or at least one of them) suggest that Schala, Kid, or whoever had some spiritual beliefs? Yeah. I'm liking this idea now.

Leebot

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« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2004, 12:03:48 pm »
Quote from: Symmetry
Hmm. I don't understand why it wouldn't work.

If a person jumps back in time and kills their father, they're protected from alterations to the timeline from that point onward. Why the same would not apply to say, the entire floating continent?

In anycase, Zeal won't be taken down by altering its past. That was one of the inital ideas, but a couple of new ideas have refocused the plot - namely, the introduction of conflict within Zeal.


Well, then we've got the problem of the Impermeability Principle. If all of ZEAL is shunted to the past, it will occupy the same space as the ZEAL of that time (this is also the case for travels to the future, due to the resolution of the Guardia Line Paradox).

It's also possible that if someone travels back through time to a point earlier than the Bastard's destination, they can rewrite time sufficiently so the Bastard's travel won't be recreated in the new timeline. This is because when one travels to the past and changes something, the entire timeline must be rewritten from that point, including any possible jaunts through time after that point. If they prevent the Bastard's original travel, it won't be recreated in this new timeline.

Symmetry

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« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2004, 05:24:13 pm »
Ah.

The moment the "imposed" Zeal appeared in the past, it would collide with the one there at the present. You're right about that. Unlike a person travelling back in time, the floating contients would occupy the same space. However - if I understand Time Bastard correctly, when the moment the throwback occurred is reached, the Zeal already present in that timeline should be discarded to the DBT.

However, if Zeal tranported itself foward in time, that problem would be avoided. And no matter what happened, Zeal appearing at X time in the future becomes an unchangable fact of history, if my understanding is correct.

I suppose this depends heavily on what theories you suscribe to. In anycase, it shouldn't be a problem as far as this fic is concerned. Zeal will not be destroyed in the past.

Leebot

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« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2004, 03:52:26 pm »
Actually, Time Bastard wouldn't shunt out either past or future ZEAL, as they don't exist at the same time of their existence (see my post in the axioms thread for more explanation). This means that ZEAL would come into conflict with its past or future version for a few seconds, at least. For travels to the future, the Guardia Royal Line Paradox (essentially, Marle meeting her descendants when she traveled to the future) tells us that when something travels to its own future, it arrives in the future that would have occured if it hadn't just left. Therefore, if ZEAL traveled to the future, it would come into conflict with the ZEAL that would have been there if it hadn't traveled to the future.

If we're not going to destroy ZEAL's past, we should still explain why we aren't doing so. Given the problems inherent in Time-Bastarding ZEAL, we should probably just say that they've set up some sort of barrier.

Symmetry

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« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2004, 06:22:40 pm »
There are any number of reasons why ZEAL won't be wiped out in the past, the most important being that there are characters from ZEAL who play important roles in the story.

The story can be easily divided into two sections. The first will focus on Gaspar & Co's attempts to restore the Keystonian timeline as best as possible. This is when all (or the vast majority) of our subplots will be taking place. The second half will focus on Gaspar & Co's crossing over into ZEAL and what they find there.

Hopefully, it will be made clear at that point in the story that ZEAL is not as unified as it appears to be to the Keystonians - and while they certainly don't see much of a problem with erasing from existence a civilization that did the same to everyone else, the Zealians who they encounter do. (Zealians, who like most of ZEAL, had nothing to do with the project to begin with.)

And at that point, those Zealians present the Keystonians with a choice. Desist with your attempts to wipe ZEAL out of existence, or be killed here and now. (A fight which Keystonians have no chance of winning.) In return, a coalition is formed to remove those in power who are responsible and a promise is made that further experiments will not be tolerated.

Whether or not the possibility of ZEAL being destroyed in the past and erased from existence doesn't need to be a point of discussion anymore because it simply won't happen.

Symmetry

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« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2004, 07:03:11 pm »
I should probably expound on a few things. I forget what's been posted on the forums and been discussed over chats, so lemme try and get everyone on the same page.

At some point in time, ZEAL began to research time and alternate dimensions in an extensive, scholastic manner. Upon realizing the potential of what they were dealing with, the Crown began to worry that something might go terribly wrong and that ZEAL might be brought to ruin or destroyed entirely by its own hand or that of another. To co-ordinate and monitor research on space-time, the Crown established the Centre of Temporal and Dimensional Research and created a body - the Council - to manage it. While conducting various experiments, the ultimate goal of the Council was to see to it that no harm came to ZEAL - inparticularly the Crown - in the process.

As any organization with great power tends to do, the Council wandered from its original goal of maintaining order and began to assume more and more power for itself in a slow and largely unnoticed process. While the Council was originally established in secret, over time they simply vanished from all observation. No one, save the Crown, gave them a further thought, and even the royal line had trouble keeping tabs on the shadowy collective's ongoings. Without the general populace knowing, the Council began to conduct research and rewrite history in not only other timelines, but even its own.

While the Council had been in existence for some time, it had not assumed the degree of power it holds over Zealian society now until the advent of immortality. Without anyone but the royal family themselves knowing it, the Council effectively governs the kingdom through the Crown - which has now been reduced to being little more than a puppet.

With their recent (relatively) expansion of power, talk of the Council has arisen once more. While knowing little of it, many Zealians speculate about the truth - although they know not how deep the rabbit hole winds. Within the royal family itself - who for some time have merely accepted their status as masks - there are those who now plot the restoration of their honour and seek to overthrow the Council, though they dare not go public yet with such a rebellion out of fear for their lives.


Aitrus will be writing pretty existensively about this conflict. I'll also be writing about it to a lesser degree, and I'm sure it will come up from time to time through other Zealian characters outside ours.

Symmetry

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« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2004, 08:04:04 pm »
I'm sure its crossed someone's mind exactly how Keystonians fare against the Zealians in combat, and for that matter, how various Zealians stack up against each other. Bear in mind that the following is not how EVERY SINGLE encounter would play out, but rather a rough guideline. Consider this the "definitive" list as the structure has probably changed a little since the very beginning of our considerations.

(Beginning with the weakest... Characters a tier below another have virtually no chance against the character above in a one-on-one fight to the death.)

Tier One

Keystonian Citizens - The absolute weakest of the weak. These people are your genetic townfolk, soliders, shopkeepers, farmers, whatever. Pretty much fodder for anyone above them.

Zealian Citizens - Citizens of Zeal who lack innate magical talent.

Zealian Citizens II - Citizens of Zeal who have innate magical talent, but have not pursued arcane education of any sort, barring "scientific" magic.

Tier Two

Keystonian Heroes/Heroines - This is the class Gaspar's chosen come from. Note that this considers the characters to be at a "beginning" level of strength - as one who possesses raw talent, but has never set out on an adventure. Over the course of the fic there should be some clear progression from this category. Also worth noting that your character may be quite the veteran to adventure and thus beyond this stage to some degree.

Zealian Wizards - Although notably more powerful than the Keystonian Heroes/Heroines, Zealian Wizards are far from god-like. A small group of heroes & heroines should be capable of defeating one of these without too much difficulty - and while extraordinarily difficult, it is possible for a hero or heroine to defeat a wizard one-on-one.

Zealian Novice Mages - Those who have graduated from the title of "Wizard" and enrolled in one of the high schools of magic, but has not yet sufficently mastered their art.

Tier Three

Nanashi - Very dangerous. Chances are very high that if you encounter a Nanashi, you will not be getting the first shot on them. However, should a group of heroes/heroines/wizards have the chance to return fire, victory is quite possible. Note that Nanashi are highly trained assassins and have no qualms about fighting to the very end - in fact, to do otherwise would be cowardice.

Zealian Advanced Mages - Those who have completed their studies at one of the arcane schools and been rewarded their art's "true" coloured subfusc.

Keystonian Legendary Heroes/Heroines - Think of Crono & Co as they confront Lavos. Legendary Heroes & Heroines should have little trouble defending themselves from Nanashi - even Advanced Mages shouldn't be too much of a threat to these hardy adventurers. Still, they are not so powerful to be able to defeat Mages in numbers, so some caution must be exercised.

Tier Four

Zealian Master Mages I - These are members of the Temporal & Necrology Schools who have not only "graduated", but have gone on to teach and conduct research. They are separated from Class II Mages because their talents do not lend themselves to combat. Necrologists are much like "white mages", focusing on healing & "support" magics. The power of Temporal Mages simply does not translate to combat situations very well.

Zealian Royalty - Zealian Royalty are almost always born with tremendous magical power, although exceptions do exist. However, these Zealians almost never study the arcane sciences so their power is very raw - their true potential is not realized.

Zealian Master Mages II - Similar to Class I Mages, these are Sorcerers/Sorceresses, Summoners, and Enchantresses of tremendous power and each of these three each have an advantage in varying situations.

1. Enchantresses - Enchantresses cannot hope to rival a summoner or sorcerer one-on-one as they lack the destructive power of their peers - furthermore, their charms are noticably less effective against close rivals; however, given a few other subjects to work their magic on, they can prove to be very dangerous.

2. Sorcerers & Sorceresses - Sorcerers & Sorceresses wield the greatest destructive power out of the three, but the problem in a one-on-one match is that it takes considerable amounts of time and consentration to cast these incredibly destructive spells - however, they are so adept with elemental magic that they are able to cast multiple spells at the same time, tossing out weaker ones to hold a rival at bay until a more powerful one is ready.

3. Summoners - Summoners are the toughest to take on toe-to-toe because once they summon another being to assist them, they are free to cast their own spells with little need to maintain control over their summoned ally. While powerful summons do take time, they are considerably shorter than the earth-shattering ones wielded by the sorcerer.

Given time, the sorcerer wins. Given people, the enchantress wins. Otherwise, the summoner dominates all.
     
Tier Five

The Council - Summoners, Sorcerers, Enchantresses, Necrologists, and Temporal Mages of nearly unfathomable power. Their knowledge of their respective arts is supreme. Even groups of Master Mages would fall before their might.

While it is entirely possible that something may rival the Council's might, it is quite unlikely.


One last point worth noting - as stated above, Keystonians are at a strong disadvantage to their Zealian counterparts. Fortunately for the Keystonians, every battle is not a battle to the death. While Keystonians are used to the rough and tumble of battle and hardships of life, Zealians have developed in a world devoid of conflict and nearly all physical pain. Not only are Zealians considerably more frail than Keystonians, but they also lack the mental hardiness Keystonians possess from frequently facing danger. Furthermore, given that Zealians possess eternal life, the idea that someone could end their existence with a simple stab to the heart is particularly frightening - mortality is mortality, after all.

Unless a Zealian is indeed set on fighting to the very end (as the Nanashi are), all a Keystonian needs to do is give 'em a few bruises - maybe a black eye or a bloody nose - and they'll retreat.

ZeaLitY

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« Reply #27 on: October 13, 2004, 12:00:47 am »
ZEALIAN RELIGION

by Symmetry and ZeaLitY

I. Reincarnation

A keynote in the religion of ZEAL is reincarnation, it reinforces social heirarchy while explaining the cycle of life. It is believed that with each life, one's karma is measured so that when one dies, he or she may be reincarnated into a social position worthy of the past life's deeds. Of course, it is up to the reincarnated person to continue living righteously or become ruthlessly evil; this will be reflected later on. Aristocrats and Gentry use this system to reinforce their positions; they hold that in past lives, they were integral in the well being of ZEAL, and for this service they have been given a just reward.

II. Liquid Structure

There is no central figurehead for religion in ZEAL, as this might give way to popular stereotypes of villains and crusading, fanatic religious leaders. ZEAL's religion is more of a practical organization, demonstrated in IV. Dreams below this paragraph, meaning that while there are organized groups of researchers and practitioners, there is no one body wielding huge social power an dictating correct doctrine.

III. Divine Right

It is a common and rarely challenged belief that the royalty of ZEAL reign with the authority of higher powers. This is confirmed by the fact that royalty possess the greatest genetic ability in magic, and reinforced duly with pomp and splendor. The account within Kajar of "It all began aeons ago, when man'sancestors picked up a shard of a strange red rock...Its power, which was beyond human comprehension, cultivated dreams...In turn, love and hate were born..." has been clarified as a stake of claim by royalty to the first contact and possession of the Frozen Flame long ago.

IV. Dreams

Dreams are a way to tap into the purest and most divine essences of the natural and ethereal dimensions of existence. Enhasa is now regarded as one of, if not the holiest site in ZEAL concerning religion, due to its ancient traditions in embracing dreams and supposed perfection of dream interpretation and application. Those who study enchantment are involved in a special branch of the trade; dreamers who make pilgrimages or have had particularly intense dreams may consult them and allow them to peer into their mind to, in reality, discover causes of anxiety, heightened emotions, or problems, and thus be able to identify the root of dreams and how they relate to the solutions. They are somewhat therapists; a branch of mystics might exist as it does for nearly every religion, believing that actions visualized in dreams should come to pass regardless. They nonetheless do not engage in murder everytime they see it in a dream, but they are highly strange people who subscribe completely to the idea that dreams are an essence of life to be followed.

V. The Pantheon

This the mythology of ZEAL.

~The Divine~

Rizasu - Collective name for Shadow/the four elements; genderless. Likable to the Force or the Tao itself, passing through us. Identifies with School of Sorcery.

The Sea of Zurvan - The essence of Enhasa, it is "the Force" or Tao of the Chrono series, believed to be flowing through and linking everyone together on a divine plane, or perhaps quantum level.

~Main Icons~

Farzad - God of Life/Death, the icon of reincarnation; depicted as a baby growing old throughout the year, and being reborn. Identifies with School of Necrology.

Kimiya - Goddess of Summoning; depicted as a fair lady, being creative, pondering, curious and studious. Shares a rivalry with her brother, Montlasalle.

Montlasalle - God of Enchantment; depicted as a man of such smooth and dashing handsomeness that his presence would make other men blush. Shares a rivalry with Kimiya, though is hardly angry with her; tends to borrow her ideas gracefully. Associated heavily with masks; "All to anyone."

Pouri - Goddess of Time; depicted as having deep, crimson eyes. One eye sees the past, and the other sees the future; she rarely ever speaks, and when she does, absolutely everyone listens. It is rare for her to speak something that is not cryptic, as it is difficult to discern whether she is speaking of the past, present, or future.

~Secondary Icons~

Aguirre - God of music; depicted with his eyes closed and hands outstretched.

Hadriel

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« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2004, 12:45:47 am »
Couple of questions I asked on Chronicles, but could probably be answered a bit more specifically here:

According to all I've heard and read, and my own personal experience, level growth in the range of 50 is sufficient to defeat Lavos, though only in a fight of attrition -- but no matter how it is done, accomplishing such a feat would indeed make someone legendary.  However, there's still half the growth to be done -- much more than half, truthfully, because stat growth per level is based on a non-linear mathematical function where the character's level X and the stat Y are interrelated, with positive modifiers added to the Y-intercept of the function's graph for stat-enhancing items.  I'm not precisely sure what the equation is, but it damn sure isn't a line.

The equation runs something like this:
.........     4/5  
y = x + 5

Thusly, my level 70-something CT party has the "max" 999, instead of in the area of 700 health.  If we're using this as our base level for the Legendary Keystonian Hero title, then we still have a little under halfway to go before we reach the Council's level.

One of these days, perhaps when marching band is finished, I'm going to go back and play through again and again until every character is at level 99.  But I digress.

Are we operating under the assumption that the CT characters never reached 99, due to the extraordinary amount of time required to achieve it, and the fact that realistically, the enemies wouldn't regenerate just so you could get more EXP off of them?  Going through the game once and killing every enemy along the way gets you to about 50.  If this is so, then even they have potential for growth -- and apparently, so does Lavos.

Question two: just for reference, where do Lavos, FATE, and the Dragon God fall in this scale?

Symmetry

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« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2004, 12:59:18 am »
Heh.

Don't think of it like "levels".

Roughly, a party of three should be able to take on a corresponding member of the next tier up. Three Legendary Heroes & Heroines can probably show up a Zealian Master Magi II - three Nanashi probably could not. (Note how there are three members of each category save the last...)

The exception being Council members.

Also, on Zealian Royalty. They have the highest "potential" to become powerful sorcerers, summoners, whatever - but rarely do they actually focus on their training enough to become one. If a member of the royalty were actually to devote the appropriate time, however, they would be just a notch below a Council member.