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Caesures unnoticed prior to 100 years ago
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 3:20 pm    Post subject: Caesures unnoticed prior to 100 years ago Reply with quote

I know this is a familiar topic, and the whole time travel theme has been almost discussed to death, but I haven't come across an answer to this particular simple point on the Watch yet (I've seen the point raised, but not answered.)

Caesures are created by Joan hitting herself and unleashing wild magic. She has only done this for the last three months in Linden's world and Stave confirms that caesures have only been around for 100 years or so.

Anele was snatched from his present, some 3000 years before the ROTE present and brought forward in time by a caesure.

Caesures somehow contain all of time at a particular point within them, but with time only flowing forwards "naturally". ("They are flaws in time, caused and fed by wild magic.... Within them the Law of Time, which requires that events transpire in sequence, and that one action must lead to another, is severed. Within them, every moment which has ever passed in their ambit as they move exists at once.")

However, I read that SRD has explained that up until the breaking of the law of life and death near the end of WGW, the law of time was strong enough to resist the effect of caesures (hence why they were unknown in the first two sets of Chronicles).

I can sort of see where SRD is going with this and how he is trying to contrain/contain potential paradoxes but...

I simply do not understand how, if caesures reach back from the point in time they were created to 3000 years plus ago (far enough to snatch Anele), the Haruchai say that they have only been around for 100 years and would not have observed them at earlier points in time.....

(The two possible explanations I can think of would be along these lines:

1. Reaching back in time from the future will disturb the flow of time, but time is somehow resilient to an extent. For example, at the point that Anele was snatched from the past, that created two timelines. In the original timeline, he wasn't snatched and lived his life out as a hermit not affecting the Land in any real way, dying alone in a cave. In the second, new timeline he is gone and the staff is left lost in the cave. In both cases, the Waynhim come along later and rescue and look after the staff. At the point the two timelines snap back together, preventing any paradox.

Equally, somehow you have two timelines, one in which the people of the Land are unaware of caesures/falls until a 100 years ago, and another in which they had noticed them in the previous 3000 years, but those two timelines snapped back together 100 years ago, given the lack of any paradox.

Even so, it would still beg the question as to why priority should be given to the original pre-caesure timeline when the two snap back together, leaving the Masters unaware of earlier knowledge of caesures.

2. Or is it implied that their "manifestation" in the past is very different to their "manifestation" in their "present", such that they would have been rarely if ever noted in the past? Though I find this a bit hard to swallow given that they are supposed to account for both the presence of the ur-viles and Anele in ROTE (and possibly kresh). Though Anele and ur-viles aren't exactly run-of-the-mill Land inhabitants, so are we supposed to assume that others in the Land, including even those such as the Haruchai that have keen healthsense, would not have sensed an element of the same wrongness that Anele did.)
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always looked at it like this: first, the caesures that "occur naturally" do not contain all time... just all time from the point Joan started them up. Second, I think it required a good beating before they really became a common occurrences. Hence, when they first started, you may have had one or two every few centuries or so, but as the Law of Time began to be weakened more and more, caesures became much more common.
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Besides speculation, there's this from the GI [which doesn't fully answer the question you asked, but hints at it]:
Quote:

Why did Anele answer that the falls started about 100 years ago when he himself was carried off by one 3000 years ago? I realize that the falls travel can travel back in time to nab him, but how would he know that? For that matter Liand answered the same question about the same, but wouldn't they have the impression that falls go further back? Thanks!




By definition, stories that deal in violations of chronological time rely on concepts which are difficult to grasp (being entirely non-rational). Here's the best I can do (today, anyway).

Characters like Liand talk about "present time"; about what they themselves, or their immediate ancestors, have experienced. From their perspective in the present, caesures first appeared about 100 years ago. They would have no way of knowing that caesures extend into the past because, in a very literal sense, Joan didn't start making them until 100 years ago (Land time).

Anele says what he does because he's "reading" it off the rubble of Kevin's Watch. He isn't sane enough to interpret his personal experience. All he knows--all he's able to know--is what the rocks tell him. And stone preserves the memory of chronological time. (Otherwise caesures wouldn't damage stone.) So from the perspective of the rubble of Kevin's Watch also, Joan didn't start making caesures until 100 years ago.

I hope that future installments in "The Last Chronicles" will shed more light on this subject.

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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, in which case it sounds like it is a combination of accepting that a time travel theme can never be entirely logical and RAFO....
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 3:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Caesures unnoticed prior to 100 years ago Reply with quote

Barnetto wrote:
I know this is a familiar topic, and the whole time travel theme has been almost discussed to death, but I haven't come across an answer to this particular simple point on the Watch yet (I've seen the point raised, but not answered.)


The Chronicles can never be discussed enough!
Plus SRD's time travel is radically different from the usual sci-fi "facts".

Barnetto wrote:
Caesures are created by Joan hitting herself and unleashing wild magic. She has only done this for the last three months in Linden's world and Stave confirms that caesures have only been around for 100 years or so.


Is it a fact that Joan makes one every time she hits herself?
Was that a trigger?
Or was the hitting just a byproduct of her madness?
She's in the Land now making ceasures but we don't know how.

I don't think of, or i don't use the term "timeline" when I read the Chronicles.
It sounds too much like Doc Brown explaining it to Marty.
SRD has used the term "heal" regarding the damages to time done by the ceasures so in that your idea of "snap back" matches his although I prefer the term "healing".
"Healing" allows for limited non-Arch-breaking paradoxes to exist.
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some answers as I see them.

I simply do not understand how, if caesures reach back from the point in time they were created to 3000 years plus ago (far enough to snatch Anele), the Haruchai say that they have only been around for 100 years and would not have observed them at earlier points in time.....
It's my best guess that there is a distinction between where caesures are and where they can reach.

Caesures may exist "in all times", but the can only reach back to when the Law of Life was broken.

Ceasures have a present time. This is when you might see them wandering around in the Land. However, they can reach back to other times, and forwards too, I presume. Normally, without anyone controlling them, they pick things up and throw them into the future.

Their present time is confined to Linden's present time, and the 90 or so years prior.

Why have they not been seen earlier? It may be that when they reach back, they are not visible, as they are seen in the present time. Or it may be that they don't reach back often enough for anyone to notice, since they don't naturally do so.

When Anele was first taken by the caesure, he certainly saw it. But we don't really know if the caesure reached back to get him, and he saw it then, or if a caesure was actually created in the past, like Linden created one. Esmer could have done it. Probably so could any Elohim. Anele would have been thrown forward in a "natural" way. Either way, it's a good bet someone was manipulating that caesure!

For example, at the point that Anele was snatched from the past, that created two timelines.
Actually, I don't believe this is so. The caesure didn't alter the past. The first timeline laid down was Anele being sucked up and thrown forward.

For one thing, if there was a first timeline with a Staff of Law in it, by all accounts changing that timeline would have destroyed the Arch.

Caesures don't actually travel backward in time. They are present in all times. That's critical here. They just act or don't act at any given time. So in no sense did a caesure travel back in time, and therefore change the timeline. It was present at Anele's time all along. So when it acted, it didn't change time.

Hard to comprehend, I agree. But I think it's critical for understanding the nuances of Donaldson's story.

He said very much the same thing about the Elohim - they don't travel back in time because they are already present in all times. So any action that they would do at any time, they could do it without time travel.
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Wayfriend though you've just made me feel much like your Avatar looks.... Confused

I'll have to think about that, but I suspect I will find it very difficult to comprehend how a Caesure created, say, in ROTE time, but somehow acting or effective 3000 years before, can, in any sense, always have been there (creating the original timeline). I guess that I will have to shake off the idea of time necessarily having a linear form - though given that time is, in a sense, simply the way that we make sense of things happening (cause and effect) that is a bit of a big leap.

Quote:
For one thing, if there was a first timeline with a Staff of Law in it, by all accounts changing that timeline would have destroyed the Arch.


Actually, I thought that SRD had been at pains to prevent this. Given Anele's hermetic existence and his failure to use the staff, it seemed that SRD had set things up so that there was no real conflict between timeline one (staff present but unused) and timeline two (staff taken out of the past to the future). There are suggestions, I admit, that the mere existence of the staff would have tended to uphold the Law and so prevent Caesures, but I don't buy that. After all, Anele still had the staff when he fell into a Caesure.

However, it is true that when Linden is thinking this all through in the Verge of Wandering before the Horserite, at one point she does appear to draw support for her intended time travel from the fact that the staff seemed to have disappeared entirely - she seems to be thinking that maybe, therefore, this confirms that fact that she has gone back in time and retrieved it. When I read that section I thought she was just trying to bolster her resolve with an illogical argument, but perhaps it supports your theory that there is only one timeline.

Interesting conjecture about the particular caesure that nabbed Anele. Hadn't considered the possibility that it wasn't simply an accident related to one of Joan's Caesures.

Anyway, I've only just reached the point in time when Linden et al are about to enter the Caesure summoned by Esmer, so perhaps things will become a little clearer... though somehow I doubt it Exclamation
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barnetto wrote:
I'll have to think about that, but I suspect I will find it very difficult to comprehend how a Caesure created, say, in ROTE time, but somehow acting or effective 3000 years before, can, in any sense, always have been there (creating the original timeline).

Suppose someone had created the caesure that got Anele in Anele's natural time? Would you have trouble believing that Time wasn't changed by doing this?

Since no one and nothing would have travelled back in time, there'd be no possibility of changing a timeline. So Anele getting caught by the ceasure would be an original timeline.

Well, if caesures are as described, then they exist in all times. So it really doesn't matter when the ceasure was created, you can create one at any time, and the ceasure would be present in Anele's natural time ... and could, at that time, catch Anele.

Still no time travel. So still no creating a new timeline.

Barnetto wrote:
I guess that I will have to shake off the idea of time necessarily having a linear form - though given that time is, in a sense, simply the way that we make sense of things happening (cause and effect) that is a bit of a big leap.

No, time still is linear. Here's my analogy.

Imagine a car driving down a road. It passes a hitchhiker, and drives on.

The car (you) can only be at one place in the road (time) at one time.

So if you want to change your mind and pick up the hitchhiker, the car has to stop, and go back to where the hitchhiker is (travel backwards). Then it can pick him up (instead of passing him by) (changing time). And then it can go back down the road --- or maybe down a different road - with the hitchhiker in the car this time (alternate timeline).

Now instead of a car, imagine an infinitely long train. That's our ceasure. It's going down tracks instead of a road (time). But it's still going by our hitchhiker.

The train doesn't have to stop and go backwards to pick up the hitchhiker, because, no matter how far it goes, there's always some part of the train that's still going by that hitchhiker. (caesures exist at all times.) The train can reach out and pick up that hitchhiker whenever it wants, without needing to stop and back up. (No time travel required.) And because it never stops and backs up, it never retraces its steps and goes on. So there's no opportunity to pick a different way to go. (No new timeline is laid down.)

Barnetto wrote:
Actually, I thought that SRD had been at pains to prevent this. Given Anele's hermetic existence and his failure to use the staff, it seemed that SRD had set things up so that there was no real conflict between timeline one (staff present but unused) and timeline two (staff taken out of the past to the future).

These pains were to make sure that changing the timeline from the Staff-lays-in-a-ditch-3500-years timeline to the Staff-picked-up-by-Linden-and-jumps-ahead-3500-years timeline doesn't break the arch. (Yes, I exclude the Waynhim for simplicity's sake.)

There was no Anele-never-caught-in-caesure timeline. The Staff-lays-in-a-ditch-3500-years timeline is the original. SRD never worried about that kind of time change.

It seems to me if the original timeline had been Anele never getting caught in a caesure, he would have used the Staff quite a bit more to heal the Land. Then he would have passed it on to his heir. Some sort of new Lords would have likely emerged, etc. The people of the Land would have been very aware of these things. Changing such a timeline to one where that never happens would surely shatter the Arch.

Barnetto wrote:
at one point she does appear to draw support for her intended time travel from the fact that the staff seemed to have disappeared entirely - she seems to be thinking that maybe, therefore, this confirms that fact that she has gone back in time and retrieved it.

This is about changing the timeline from the Staff-lays-in-a-ditch-3500-years timeline to the Staff-picked-up-by-Linden-and-jumps-ahead-3500-years timeline doesn't break the arch.

Linden conceded that such a change would not break the Arch, because either way the Staff was unused, unknown, and not impacting the Land for those 3,500 years. To the rest of the Land, it made no difference whether the Staff lay in a ditch (ok, attended by sick Waynhim sometimes) or hopped ahead in time with Linden. So the timeline would be changed, but harmlessly. Or, rather, the harm would be so minor that the Arch could handle it, absorb it, heak over it.
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a bad analogy, WF.
There still comes a point of paradox with linear time, if something important enough changes [serious damage to the tracks, or a bridge not built, whatever] or [which is what Joan has done so far] you keep piling up the little ones.
Of course, every bit of that danger comes from outside the Arch...one of the ideas I love about this 'universe' is that Time isn't fully a sorting mechanism, matter of perception, it really exists; at the same time it isn't fully a 'natural law'...it was constructed, it didn't just happen, or be.
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 8:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Caesures unnoticed prior to 100 years ago Reply with quote

High Lord Tolkien wrote:
Is it a fact that Joan makes one every time she hits herself?
Was that a trigger?
Or was the hitting just a byproduct of her madness?
She's in the Land now making ceasures but we don't know how.


Well, as Linden is travelling through the caesure called by Esmer it is written:

Quote:
...Joan continued to strike herself, measuring out her despair against her temple. And with each blow, her power lashed out to create Falls....
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks for all the further input.

I see the significant difference between the action of caesures on the past (existing at all times at once) and Linden going back to change the past (taking the staff of law). I wasn't clearly distinguishing between them before in my thinking perhaps.

If you accept that a caesure created at time C affects all time, including ealier (linear) time A, then I get the idea that Anele's orginal timeline could have been the one he experienced (snatched to the future). No twin timeline problem.

I still think that gives you two problems potentially. Firstly, accepting that time is linear, there is the paradox that something created at time C which after it has been created acts at earlier (in linear terms) time A. I think that whichever way you look at it, that is a paradox (and SRD likes paradoxes) but it's one I think it's necessary to ignore. (The spatial analogies might be useful, but I don't really think spatial analogies can take you all the way with understanding time.)

Secondly, it just leads right back to my original query. Why had no one noticed them at earlier points in time (ie before ROTE minus 100 years). There I accept that the question is in the air and many of your points, Wayfriend, offer potential resolutions - different manifestations, infrequent manifestation or maybe Anele caesure was created in his present for all we know. RAFO perhaps.

I don't actually have so much of an issue (whether through failure to think clearly or otherwise!) with Linden travelling back in time to alter events insubstantially. I'm happy to suspend belief and go along with the idea that, even though it creates two timelines, the Arch or the Law of Time, would work to heal the minor breach (snap the timelines back together).

(Until someone goes and finds that pesky Staff of Law laying in a cave in ROTE time and then we've got two of them and the Arch shatters..... Shocked )
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barnetto, there had been a lot of discussion about time travel in this Runes forum back in the day. It might be worth diving into.

One of the things that I got out of it, based on things said and done in Runes, is that Time can heal itself of small changes, but not bigger ones, and the really big ones will shatter the Arch of Time.

Also, I can see how ceasures can exist in all times if they are litterally cracks created in the fabric of Time, as Runes seems to suggest.

What I have a hard time swallowing is that they have a "present time" at all... that makes no sense to me. But that, too, is what the author seems to be saying, so I am playing along. Even though it feels a bit like SRD having his cake and eating it, too.

Darn it, it's not sci-fi. It doesn't have to be investigatable, it only needs to be consistent.
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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Barnetto, there had been a lot of discussion about time travel in this Runes forum back in the day. It might be worth diving into.

One of the things that I got out of it, based on things said and done in Runes, is that Time can heal itself of small changes, but not bigger ones, and the really big ones will shatter the Arch of Time.

Also, I can see how ceasures can exist in all times if they are litterally cracks created in the fabric of Time, as Runes seems to suggest.

What I have a hard time swallowing is that they have a "present time" at all... that makes no sense to me. But that, too, is what the author seems to be saying, so I am playing along. Even though it feels a bit like SRD having his cake and eating it, too.

Darn it, it's not sci-fi. It doesn't have to be investigatable, it only needs to be consistent.


Looks like some pretty good and believable answers to this question. One thing I got out of my reading is that a Caesure's perceptual manifestation is in the present (e.g., the destruction of the Watch did not also occur in the past), where Joan their creator is. But they have an effect on all times, past, present, and future. Since they only affect one time-line, and do not create multiple time-lines which would shatter the Arch immediately (there can be only one Arch), their effect on past times are slowly bringing down the Arch, creating "cracks" in the fundamental (metaphysical, not physical) structure of the Earth. It is possible for a Caesure to bring a person from the future into the present, but this is unlikely since the Earth's future is very limited at this point in the story.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:

Barnetto wrote:
at one point she does appear to draw support for her intended time travel from the fact that the staff seemed to have disappeared entirely - she seems to be thinking that maybe, therefore, this confirms that fact that she has gone back in time and retrieved it.

This is about changing the timeline from the Staff-lays-in-a-ditch-3500-years timeline to the Staff-picked-up-by-Linden-and-jumps-ahead-3500-years timeline doesn't break the arch.

Linden conceded that such a change would not break the Arch, because either way the Staff was unused, unknown, and not impacting the Land for those 3,500 years. To the rest of the Land, it made no difference whether the Staff lay in a ditch (ok, attended by sick Waynhim sometimes) or hopped ahead in time with Linden. So the timeline would be changed, but harmlessly. Or, rather, the harm would be so minor that the Arch could handle it, absorb it, heak over it.


Actually, just on this small point, it does become clear (reading on) that Linden was thinking along the lines I suggested. At the start of Aid and Betrayal, it says:

Quote:
On some level she had believed, trusted, assumed that she would find the Staff here. Millenia from now, when Anele searched his abandoned home, the Staff would be gone. Hardly conscious of what she was doing, she had chosen to think that the Staff would be gone because she herself had taken it: that Anele's searching would fail because her venture into the past had succeeded.


Sounds as if Linden is having just as much trouble thinking clearly about timelines (and the difference between ceasures and time travel).

Thanks again for your thoughts. I had done quite a bit of digging in the Runes threads before posting this question and read quite a bit about the time travel issue. However, it didn't appear to have dealt satisfactorily with my query - and I'm much happier having discussed it now with the idea that ceasures, whilst acting across time and all points in time, have some kind of different manifestation at times other than their "present".

Final thought - it seems clear that the Staff has an effect even when it isn't used - for example, from "The Staff of Law":

Quote:
To Linden's eyes, the whole basin seemed to show the benignant influence of the Staff of Law. Even unused, the Staff's very existence sustained and promoted the natural law, the essential structures and vitality, of the Land.


Now given that Linden is time travelling back in time and taking the Staff to her present, there is a potential very big difference between timeline one (staff in ditch, but sustaining law, for 3000 years) and timeline two (staff missing for 3000 years). So it sounds as if the Arch is a bit more resilient than may be indicated.

Also it leads to another question: to what extent is Linden responsible for allowing caesures to flourish (other than giving Joan back her ring). By removing the Staff from existence (in timeline two at least) has she put in place the conditions necessary for ceasures to get out of control. However, I confess that I intend to leave that question well alone.... Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barnetto wrote:
Actually, just on this small point, it does become clear (reading on) that Linden was thinking along the lines I suggested. At the start of Aid and Betrayal, it says:

Quote:
On some level she had believed, trusted, assumed that she would find the Staff here. Millenia from now, when Anele searched his abandoned home, the Staff would be gone. Hardly conscious of what she was doing, she had chosen to think that the Staff would be gone because she herself had taken it: that Anele's searching would fail because her venture into the past had succeeded.

I agree; here Linden is thinking about time as if there is only one unchangable timeline. Perhaps this reflects her initial ideas on the subject which are later modified as she comes to know better. The author isn't doing us any favors by muddling the issue like this.

I suspect that the author wants us to be confused on the point of the malleability of time.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Barnetto wrote:
Actually, just on this small point, it does become clear (reading on) that Linden was thinking along the lines I suggested. At the start of Aid and Betrayal, it says:

Quote:
On some level she had believed, trusted, assumed that she would find the Staff here. Millenia from now, when Anele searched his abandoned home, the Staff would be gone. Hardly conscious of what she was doing, she had chosen to think that the Staff would be gone because she herself had taken it: that Anele's searching would fail because her venture into the past had succeeded.

I agree; here Linden is thinking about time as if there is only one unchangable timeline. Perhaps this reflects her initial ideas on the subject which are later modified as she comes to know better. The author isn't doing us any favors by muddling the issue like this.

I suspect that the author wants us to be confused on the point of the malleability of time.


What's the issue? The changes being made in the past already occurred. Nobody has created any paradoxes yet. A single paradox would destroy the Arch. For example, at the time Berek's army lived and fought against the king, 3 strangers appeared in their midst. One of them showed miraculous healing powers.

There is only one time-line. Everything that occurred in the past from Linden's perspective is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

And there is no such thing as an unchangeable time-line, unless you're saying that the past is immutable. The past better be immutable or down comes the Arch. All the changes in the past wrought by Linden and others, and also by the caesures, had to occur, or else time itself will fall.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there is only one timeline, then there would be no way to create a paradox, and the Arch of Time would not be in danger. So if this is correct, then a lot of people are worried about nothing.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
If there is only one timeline, then there would be no way to create a paradox, and the Arch of Time would not be in danger. So if this is correct, then a lot of people are worried about nothing.


A paradox would not create two time-lines, but it would shatter the Arch since there can be and is only one Arch thus one time-line.

I think white gold could create paradox since it itself, or the Wielder, is a paradox. And I get the impression that there are changes - a paradox - that could completely shatter the Arch at once, and changes that only lead to "cracks" that slowly tear it asunder. I believe that every use of White Gold leads to the latter since it is a power not of the Earth but a contradiction of Law.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
If there is only one timeline, then there would be no way to create a paradox, and the Arch of Time would not be in danger. So if this is correct, then a lot of people are worried about nothing.


I think being able to travel backwards in time when time only moves forward is fairly paradoxical, though how much it would harm the Arch, I don't know. Maybe it's just the change in the form of the timeline, in which it is naturally a string, but through caesures could be bunched together creating a weakness in the Arch...
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orlion wrote:
wayfriend wrote:
If there is only one timeline, then there would be no way to create a paradox, and the Arch of Time would not be in danger. So if this is correct, then a lot of people are worried about nothing.


I think being able to travel backwards in time when time only moves forward is fairly paradoxical, though how much it would harm the Arch, I don't know. Maybe it's just the change in the form of the timeline, in which it is naturally a string, but through caesures could be bunched together creating a weakness in the Arch...


"Fairly paradoxical"? Is that like "kinda pregnant"? Wink

Isn't there some textual support for the idea that time travel damages the Arch, but doesn't bring it down immediately like a paradox would?
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