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Month Index: April, 1994

From:     Skreyn@???.com
Date:     Thu, 28 Apr 1994 15:19:00 -0400
Subject:  Re: [none]
Nebulae and Quasars

I actually thought up this stuff before I read Sphaera Tempora, so bear
with me if this sounds a little familiar.

If one travels for an incredibly long time in the flow, eventually the
phlogiston begins to thin, and soon becomes useless for pulling a ship
along in its currents. At these times, normal wildspace speeds are the
norm. Several bizarre spacial phenomena exist in these empty areas.

Nebulae (Nebulas?)
Due to some bizarre quirk of space (or perhaps some natural process that
is not yet understood), the substance of the phlogiston sometimes turns
in upon itself. Whether this is an effect of the thinning of the
phlogiston or a cause is unknown. This process, when closely examined,
shows very small clouds of phlogiston (one inch across or less)
beginning to spin, eventually contracting to a small point (about the
size of a grain of sand) and assuming the properties of a _solid_. This
process tends to occur over a wide area, usually at least several days
of travel (by wildspace speeds). This solid phlogiston decays into the
gas form when exposed to normal phlogiston (i.e., if it is brought back
into denser gaseous flow), is not combustible, and very hard. The solid
form also has _gravity_.
This large cloud of "flow-dust", often called a Nebula, can have almost
any shape, but it tends to become denser in the center, forming a small
sphere which slowly grows and changes color as time goes by. This sphere
is unmovable by any known method (including attaching it to a ship and
trying to tow it). After several thousand years, when the sphere has
become as large as a size B planetoid, it rapidly expands. During this
expansion, the sphere loses its gravity, becomes a gray color, and
hollows itself out. A new crystal sphere has been created. This sphere
does not have any naturally occurring portals, for the interior is being
organized by whatever cosmic or divine beings lay claim to it, and they
usually do not wish to be disturbed.

The celestial body known as a Quasar is actually a form of Nebula.
Instead of expanding when it reaches a certain size, the nebula's heart
continues to gain mass and slowly grow. As the heart becomes larger and
larger, the pressure increases on the heart's interior, which causes the
center to try to expand as it normally would, resulting in a hollow core
to the giant phlogiston-heart. This core has all the normal properties
of wildspace, including possible entrances to other planes (which
otherwise would be closed in the flow).
The pressure inside the core is so great that normal matter (air, earth,
fire, water) is quickly shunted back through any portal that opens to
those planes, but pure energy is hardly affected. Openings to the
Positive or Negative Material Planes exist in the core, and release
bursts of energy, which become conducted through the solid matter of the
Quasar and are emitted. After a time, these pulses begin to occur at
regular intervals as weak parts of the Quasar-shell pass near a
particular opening to the Positive or Negative Plane. Once the pattern
of these positive and negative energy bursts is known, the Quasar is
easily recognizable.
The area immediately around a Quasar is often inhabited by bodiless
undead (shadows, wraiths, spectres), for they can enter the core and
pass through the shell. They rarely venture far from the Quasar,
however, since they lose their extradimensional link when they pass more
than a few hundred feet from it. They usually flit about on the surface,
occasionally becoming vaporized as a burst of positive energy makes its
way to the surface. This threat of destruction keeps the undead
population low (the smart ones stay away and the stupid ones get
Ships that get too close to the Quasar run the risk of getting hit by a
burst of positive or negative energy. Positive energy does a variable
amount of damage, depending on the size and strength of the burst, while
negative energy can drain levels (again, depending on the burst). Each
can also affect magical and mundane items on the ship.

[Questions, Comments, Suggestions, Corrections?] --
Sean K Reynolds a.k.a. Veggie Boy skreyn@???????.???.edu skreyn@???.com
"Chicken man, chicken man, chicken man, hold my hand..." - Indigo Girls

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SubjectFromDate (UTC)
[none]    Skreyn@???.com    28 Apr 1994 19:19:00
[none]    Joseph_DuBois.WBST102A@?????.com    28 Apr 1994 19:51:49

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