The barrier

Filip takes a stroll after all! And he’s not the only one waking up early. If you are confused about the tapes and shiny concrete plate just take a look at the Spellbook and the Fourth Pentacle of the Moon. This is the spell that Ada used for setting up a barrier around the supplies tent before, right now it’s used to protect our little forest camp.

We’re already at the new apartment, after yesterday’s move-out during the typhoon and today’s unpacking and scouting the area. I like the neighborhood, I don’t like the new apartment. It looks worse than in the photos, the building is old, it’s so dark it feels like living in a basement even though it’s on the second floor (window is just a few meters from another building). I’m scared of mold and roaches. I’m scared of starting work tomorrow morning (but that’s also pretty exciting). I’m scared that I’ll have to stay here for months.

But it’s going to be fine. I bought myself a new mug, bowl and set of chopsticks to cheer up. Hopefully, we’ll be able to rent something less temporary soon. A real home… ( – ‸ – )

I honestly feel like some kind of nomad.

Well, enjoy the new page! I’ll be adding a new vote incentive on Wednesday I think. Maybe we should make it a thing? Update the side story every Wednesday?… Maybe I could manage to be a bit more regular with it. Two more episodes are already on Patreon if you can’t wait, I post them there as soon as they are made.

And cross your fingers for my first day at Amazon tomorrow! Woohoo! (ノ・∀・)ノ

32 comments on “The barrier”

  1. NiWo21k Reply

    Oh Filip – you really are a mathematician – not thinking great it works but how this might be destroyed by/be secured from other thing / or thinking practical 😉
    Better get back to your books (if you still have some to read) ^^

    • JW Reply

      That sounds more like more like an engineer than a mathematician, imo.
      Seems like a good idea to consider all the ways it might fail, though, so you can prepare for it.

      It’s also nice to see they found a concrete solution to fend off demons.

      • NiWo21k Reply

        Who knows where he will go – he is still listed as a student so many possibilities 😉

        Its a neat idea with the concrete, but i am wondering… Normaly you say you cant create something out of nothing, so where does the energy for this barrier spell come from? And if you put it into something like concrete does it have any repercussion on something?

        Or have we here the occassion of: Its Magic – it just is? 😉

      • JW Reply

        Normaly you say you cant create something out of nothing, so where does the energy for this barrier spell come from?

        Considering how tired Ada seems to be all the time, I think it’s draining energy from her.
        But there are other options. It could be draining everyone in the circle, it could be draining the demons that walk into it, it could be a one-off fixed cost, etc. Heck, it might run on sexual tension for all we know.

      • NiWo21k Reply

        Magic barrier spells powered by demons? I think this would be one of the best systems ever been found out about.

        But joke aside. You could be right, but then when Ada walks away from the camp how would this effect the barrier – ok they have Laura as an backup but would it just stop or would it make her weaker. Another possibility could also be that it uses energy from the surroundings or even from the earth itself.

      • JW Reply

        Yeah. And I wonder if Laura can just take over, or would need to recast the barrier. That would leave them vulnerable a while until she’s finished inscribing new cement blocks.

      • xthorgoldx Reply

        ormaly you say you cant create something out of nothing, so where does the energy for this barrier spell come from? And if you put it into something like concrete does it have any repercussion on something?

        Well, I’ve always considered magic to be a “science outside of science” – that is, magic in any system should have rules but those rules may or may not be confined by the laws of physics. Personally, I prefer Shadowrun’s approach to magic, weird as it sounds – mana is generated as a byproduct of living things, and exists on the astral plane. Magic-users are people with the ability to tap into that power, effectively transferring energy from the astral plane to the physical world through a variety of rituals – physical or mental – that manifest the energy in different ways. The more powerful the magic-user, the more energy they can channel without losing control.

        Transferring that to Replay’s world (and other fictional worlds in general), magic effectively draws on a foreign form of energy, which is translated into physical-plane energy by whatever ritual form the caster is using. For magic circles, they draw on ambient magic, which means so long as there is magic in the world they’ll continue to function (so long as the wizard/witch maintains them, as is apparently necessary). Magic weapons, likewise, will function magically so long as there is magic for them to draw from (or, perhaps, they’re imbued with enough energy to operate without ambient magic, but that doesn’t apply here).

        So no, there’s no violation of conservation of matter/energy; magic just uses energy from a non-conventional source that has no practical limit. Theoretically, I guess you could channel enough magical energy into physical form to cause a non-trivial shift in the density parameter of the universe, which would – eventually – lead to a reversal of cosmic expansion and result in reversion to singularity. Such is the danger of SPIRAL POWAH magic!

  2. Refugnic Reply

    Hmm…the better question is, will it still work if it was buried?
    Even if you buried it, it’d have to be deep enough for the light not to shine through, though that might have detrimental effects on the strength of the circle.
    And if you buried it, someone who doesn’t know it’s there might stand on it and trigger some other problem.

    Either way, it works and you don’t touch a running system.
    Honestly, one of the biggest problems between a mathematician and for example a programmer…or anyone else who actually does something with the things he knows. 😛

    (Yup, not a big fan of math)

    Oh and have fun packing.
    May your journey be not quite as eventful as Filip’s last morning ‘walk’. (Or much rather ‘run’? ;))

    • JW Reply

      Well, math pretty much underpins every other field of science and engineering. Though, many do approach it with a “it works, don’t touch it” mentality. (That’s basically the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics: it works, don’t ask why.)

      • Refugnic Reply

        Yes, which is why it is considered an ‘auxiliary science’ by many, which is also the reason why there isn’t a Nobel price for mathematics.

        While it is used IN many sciences, it is not a science by itself, just an accumulation of arbitrary definitions, which are (supposed to) help us understand the complex problems we examine in physics, medicine etc.

        But then again, it may also have something to do with the myth, that ol’ Alfred didn’t get to score with a mathematician chick and he never got over that. 😛

      • JW Reply

        it is not a science by itself, just an accumulation of arbitrary definitions

        Those definitions are hardly arbitrary. Nor a mere accumulation. Heck, definitions is just a tiny fraction of math, most of it is theorems and proofs.
        And whether it’s considered a science depends on who you ask. It certainly falls under the dictionary definition “a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws: the mathematical sciences.” where it’s explicitly listed as example. But many people only consider natural sciences to be science.

      • NotImportant Reply

        We had conversations like this during my time at the university. Physicists like to joke that mathematicians only have something to do when physicists stumble upon a problem they can’t solve because model lacks the ‘tools’. Then they make up the rough version of the mathematical tool that’s needed, throw a bunch of lemmas and everything, and then mathematicians come and fill in the gaps, fix things and polish it.

        And I think there’s truth to it, I mean, this is how math started – people tried to understand and describe the world as a logical model and needed a language for it. Noone would bother with differentiation if we didn’t try to figure out the rules of mechanics.

      • JW Reply

        There’s a lot of places outside of physics where differentiation is required, though (if by mechanics you mean the ones in physics). For example back-propagation in neural network training relies heavily on differentiation. And I’m pretty sure high-frequency trading relies on it as well.

        Mathematicians also frequently “discover” tools long before physicists realize they need them. Some mathematicians take pride in working on things that will never have any application, and then a physicist comes along and ruins it by finding a use. 😛
        And of course with theoretical physics I’m not even sure there’s a line to be drawn between physics and maths.

        • NotImportant Reply

          Classical mechanics was the reason for development of differential and integral calculus – Newton (and independently Leibniz) figured it out while trying to establish mathematical rules for describing movement.

          Right now we use differentiation everywhere, that’s right, but it was classical mechanics that gave birth to the ideas behind it.

          And you are right, mathematicians often “discovered” properties of developed models that physicists later confirmed in experiments. I don’t have any example for that on top of my head, though.

  3. Klorix Camp dweller Reply

    That’s how they did it!? At least moving it. Now let’s find out how they expanded the protective circle, unless Filip breaks the plate…

  4. bitflipper Camp dweller Reply

    Darkness and gloom can be overcome with lamps and candles, and building happy memories together will make the apartment less of a cave and more of a home. Roaches and mold will take more effort, but they, too, can be overcome. I hope you had a wonderful first day at work.

    • NotImportant Reply

      Very true! And well, I spend most of the day in the office anyhow so my other half is the one suffering in the gloom haha~ And work has been way more pleasant than I expected, people are super friendly and I’m excited about the projects! \(^O^)/

  5. NiWo21k Reply

    Hey NI glad to hear the move went without a hitch even if your new appartment seems to be not the best place but i hope it will be at least not that bad so you will survive until you find something permanent. And i can tell you, i moved the past 6 years 5 times (different reasons – mostly had to do with problems with the houses – the last appartment i lived in they had to remove the complete floor in my bathroom and to shower i had to step over a plank o.O) and i survived every time XD

    Wish you a great first day at your new job 🙂

    • NotImportant Reply

      Haha yeah I know I’ll survive xD I just can’t wait to have a long-term super awesome apartment of my dreams, you know what I mean haha~

      Yes, first day and second day were both exciting, I’m actually happy to go tomorrow as well \(^O^)/

  6. Dragon Master Reply

    I bet this is how Filip gains the ability to use magic. He touches the plate and receives a shock. That then triggers/unlocks his latent power.

  7. Wereg Reply

    “What? Not even buried? What if kids mess with it?”
    He says, while starting to mess with it.

  8. SotiCoto Reply

    Aren’t there any maintenance costs to that thing? Maybe a timed duration? It isn’t usual of any magic setting to simply allow one to set up a ward like that and just… leave it… potentially forever.

    And on the off chance that it doesn’t require a constant supply of power nor have a limited duration… why aren’t there multiple levels of redundancy? Circles within circles in case one of them breaks for whatever reason?

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