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Parabolic Kalpa

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Lady N's picture
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Joined: 06/26/2010

This is probably not suitable for the FSG, but I'm posting it for posterity. Maybe I'll make something usable of it eventually.


The Parabolic Kalpa, a graph

The parabolic kalpa relies on the idea of flux. It relies also on the assumption that the divine is real and relevant, and that we descend from it. As time goes on we are separated more and more from divinity, ultimately reaching a bottom below which we cannot drop. After that extrema, we start to re-discover our connection with our makers, and ascend back up the sides of the curve. As implied by the image of the parabola, the descent is at first very fast and then flattens out and becomes nearly negligible, before steepening again on the ascent.

The connection with the divine can manifest in many ways. Most obviously, it is our separation by birth. The first, sharpest, drop was the first man, mer, or beast born on this world. Connection can also be knowledge - the first peoples had much more understanding of the nature of the world than we do now. Information is lost, forgotten, and misinterpreted, which manifests as the downward curve. Our general faith is of course another variable: how strongly do people believe in our gods and in our fathers? Splinters in philosophy and in religion cause further drops as people venture further from the truth. The upward ascent is governed by similar variables.

We know that our time began with the creation of the mortal plane by the gods, and the subsequent evolution of mortal life. It has also been theorized that the beginning (creation) of our time (kalpa) is indeed just the end of another time. The Dawn, of course, is so connected to the divine that we are hardly able to discern its events. We know that God and Man walked side by side, and that Towers, whose purpose is now all but forgotten, were the cornerstone of all Elven society. Alessia, Morihaus, and Pelinal's numerous incarnations are not out of place in the early first, and neither are the God-Kings of Morrowind or the Brass God of the Dwemer. Even the conception of Reman Cyrodiil late in the first era is fantastical in comparison with the mundane births of our modern emperors.

All this leaves us with the question of where on the parabola we are currently located. We are doubtlessly towards its flatter bottom, though we cannot know for certain whether we have passed the minima and are on the ascent. I would argue that we are, as evidenced by the recent events throughout the Empire. In Morrowind, Lorkhan's heart has been destroyed (liberated?) at the hands of a mysterious reincarnation of the cultural hero Nerevar, Sotha Sil and Almalexia are dead, and Vivec has disappeared after a most unusual trial. In Cyrodiil, the Dragon Fires have been extinguished, the Amulet destroyed, the Septim line broken, and Dagon defeated by Akatosh himself. Subsequently, Umaril Half-Elven returned from the Aether, and was once again banished with the help of Pelinal Whitestrake. This increase in mythological activity, and the rise in awareness of the subject that comes along with it, must mean that we are on the rise towards a greater unity with the divine.

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Joined: 01/06/2012

I like this graph, but I am partial to the first half, showing the height of divinity on Nirn. The latter rise is the only part that can be debated, as there's no set number of years in eras. If your theory is correct, how would the fantastical events in the latter 3rd era not be placed nearer to the top? Are the topmost portions only reserved for when the Gods walk with mortals as if all is normal?

 

Furthermore, and this may be more a critique on the blurred end and beginning of a new kalpa; where does immortality and creation fit into the scheme? Most creation myths begin with a fractured or fracturing Godhead who's progeny goes on to create a mortal plane, not simply continue existence on a plane already in motion. And at the top of the right side, do all races regain their immortality or merge into a single Ehlnofey people again?

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Joined: 01/07/2012

Interesting idea, Lady N. Mostly because it is cognate with neo-platonist triade of monh-proodos-epistrofh: a kalpa, then, would be a single heartbeat in a grand cycle of the One. There are many possibilities to go deeper with this notion, but I'm an unlikely explorer.

I wonder, what would you do with the Middle Dawn? Also it would be nice if you could make this graph relevant to all the lore around "Skyrim": something tells me that the true "bottom" will be reached once all the Towers are down, except Ada-Mantia, thus making the Thalmor's attempt to "destroy the prison" the lowest point of this (and every other?) kalpa. Perhaps, this would be the Landfall.

Proweler's picture
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Joined: 06/14/2010

You don't have to be quite so formal. I can't really make heads or tails of what you're saying.

Lady N's picture
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Joined: 06/26/2010

Oh man, I forgot this thread was here. I've gotta update the graph sometime, I was working based on too conservative an estimate of "landfall" (namely that it was the fall of the Ministry, which we now know to not be the case).

 

I'll read/respond to the rest of the stuff later.

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Joined: 01/07/2012

Proweler wrote:

You don't have to be quite so formal. I can't really make heads or tails of what you're saying.

 

Sorry, I'm just bad at English. 

Lattauri-El's picture
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Joined: 01/18/2012

Oh, I like your view on the kalpa as it was a parabola, but here is my opinion:

The parabolic curve, in mathematics being analytically depicted by the equation y(x) = (x²)/(4*p), is considered a continuous function, i.e, for every "x" inside the domain of the function, y(x) is an element of the codomain of the function. And also this same function is considered a "smooth" function, so there's no irregularities or discontinuities.

Through the history of Tamriel we can notice the events called "Dragon Breaks" which are evidences of discontinuity[1] in time or even other events such as Tiid-Ahraan. So the curve of a parabola, in my interpretation, is not the ideal curve to specify the events in Mundus because of discontinuities like those that happened, for example when Numidium was activated.

Perhaps a more complex analytical structure which decays on another curve after the dragon breaks (which would make evident that there were discontinuities) or even a new function is more suitable, like a piecewise funtion. For that we must define parameters. Variables, too many variables...

But of course, as I said, this is just my opinion. Perhaps my point of view had nothing to do with what you were trying to illustrate on the picture.
 

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[1] I like to think about the events of Dragon Dreaks or the Tiid-Ahraan as discontinuities because those times "t" are the the "values" of time where the function is not well defined or is not determined. For instance, take the function f(t) = 1/t. For t = 0 there's a discontinuity and also for t = 0 the function is not defined. The one-sided limits (right and left) are different, so there's no limit for f(t) when t tends to 0. For me the Dragon Breaks are the points where a function of time such as f(t) is not defined. Let's say that they can be also where some functions diverge, like in a series (or summation).