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  1. #16
    Moderator Sharpandpointies's Avatar
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    The Markovians, from the Well World series.

    These beings reached the pinnacle of technology in their universe, finally deciphering the underlying math that creates the universe itself and making planetary-sized computers capable of altering said math. Thought-controlled computers, mind. Which meant that every Markovian was essentially a full-out reality warper, protected by those very computers, literally impossible to kill whatever the force levelled against them, due to the web of computers across their universe supporting their own 'math'. Immortal, all-powerful, in full and total control over their universe.

    Then they got bored.

    They, themselves, created the Well World, another computer far greater than anything they'd done before. They then seeded the Well World with their own selves, limiting themselves and changing their shapes in an attempt to create the seeds of life for a new universe (and cutting the vast majority of their race off from their reality controlling computers). The sole Markovian left as caretaker to the Well World used that computer to bust open a white hole into another universe, effectively opening up more stuff he could take and mold with the power of the Well World.

    He used that power to make a new universe atop the old one - a bigger one, better one - and seeded it with his people (in their altered forms) all across this new universe, creating new life.

    Billions of years later, something went wrong. He went back to the Well World, used the computer to wipe the new universe, then started over. Created, used his own mind to control the Universe's growth, then used the Well World's 1560 races (all descendants of the original altered Markovians, or 'entries' - people who 'fell into' a Well Gate and were changed into another race and placed upon the Well World - it's a confusing place, don't try to understand it) to repopulate again as seeds.

    This happened seven times. Each time, new universe.

    And, as before, the caretaker is impossible to kill as the Well World, a universe-controlling computer easily capable of punching holes to other universes and controlling the vast flood of creation into going where its user wants to go, protects him when he's in danger. The only way the caretaker can die is if he manages to get some poor idiot to agree to take over.

    Enter Nathan Brazil, who has seen several universes come and go and is untold trillions of years old. He wasn't even a Markovian to begin with when he agreed, and the Well World made him into one, with all the capacity that comes with it (ie, full capability to conceptualize and control the growth of a new universe).

    As a race on the universal level, I find these guys hard to beat. They effective controlled all aspects of their universe, and were unkillable by anything short of something capable of destroying said universe.

  2. #17
    Elder Member Shellhead's Avatar
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    Seconding the choice of the Markovians. There was a random reference to the Well World series in a comment on Slate today that got me thinking about the Markovians, but they definitely fit the topic here.
    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
    Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

  3. #18
    Moderator Sharpandpointies's Avatar
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    One of the more nasty things about their reality-warping was that it was retroactive, unless they put effort into making it not so.

    If a Markovian, for example, decides to change a planet into cheese, that planet has always been cheese. Everyone knows it (except the Markovians themselves, who were above such things, being capable of seeing all the Math). In fact, one could go into history books and find reference to the cheese planet. Not that one would want to because hey, it was always cheese - strange, but true. So why check?

    :)

    They could, if they wanted to do so, change the Math in a way that everyone would understand, in a way where awareness of the change would persist - a 'new' thing, as it were. If not, though, the default was 'yeah, it's weird, but that planet has always been cheese.'

  4. #19
    Senior Member AJ Valliant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpandpointies View Post
    The Markovians, from the Well World series.

    These beings reached the pinnacle of technology in their universe, finally deciphering the underlying math that creates the universe itself and making planetary-sized computers capable of altering said math. Thought-controlled computers, mind. Which meant that every Markovian was essentially a full-out reality warper, protected by those very computers, literally impossible to kill whatever the force levelled against them, due to the web of computers across their universe supporting their own 'math'. Immortal, all-powerful, in full and total control over their universe.

    Then they got bored.

    They, themselves, created the Well World, another computer far greater than anything they'd done before. They then seeded the Well World with their own selves, limiting themselves and changing their shapes in an attempt to create the seeds of life for a new universe (and cutting the vast majority of their race off from their reality controlling computers). The sole Markovian left as caretaker to the Well World used that computer to bust open a white hole into another universe, effectively opening up more stuff he could take and mold with the power of the Well World.

    He used that power to make a new universe atop the old one - a bigger one, better one - and seeded it with his people (in their altered forms) all across this new universe, creating new life.

    Billions of years later, something went wrong. He went back to the Well World, used the computer to wipe the new universe, then started over. Created, used his own mind to control the Universe's growth, then used the Well World's 1560 races (all descendants of the original altered Markovians, or 'entries' - people who 'fell into' a Well Gate and were changed into another race and placed upon the Well World - it's a confusing place, don't try to understand it) to repopulate again as seeds.

    This happened seven times. Each time, new universe.

    And, as before, the caretaker is impossible to kill as the Well World, a universe-controlling computer easily capable of punching holes to other universes and controlling the vast flood of creation into going where its user wants to go, protects him when he's in danger. The only way the caretaker can die is if he manages to get some poor idiot to agree to take over.

    Enter Nathan Brazil, who has seen several universes come and go and is untold trillions of years old. He wasn't even a Markovian to begin with when he agreed, and the Well World made him into one, with all the capacity that comes with it (ie, full capability to conceptualize and control the growth of a new universe).

    As a race on the universal level, I find these guys hard to beat. They effective controlled all aspects of their universe, and were unkillable by anything short of something capable of destroying said universe.
    I may need to read this.

  5. #20
    Spectacularly Neurotic Sharkerbob's Avatar
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    How about the Anti-Spirals? I don't think they're on Markovian level, but that may only be because they halted their own evolution before it could get to that point, lest their own potential annihilate the universe.
    It's a lie! My pants were off the entire time!

    I've got a new site for RPGs: Total Pantaloonacy

  6. #21
    Prince of Duckness Beadle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarBeyondC View Post
    That would have to suck for the races in that universe, to be told that you weren't worthy of higher civilization.
    I'm sure that, if they really realised it, it would be a source of great embarrassment and no little anger to many of the races.

    But they don't know. Or maybe the Culture themselves do - I have a vague recollection that the Excession may have directly communicated with the Mind of a Culture GSV to tell it what's what.

    But generally, it was just the inscrutable, impossibly advanced, extra-dimensional equivalent of shrugging and saying "Meh. Screw it. I'll come back when they've grown up a bit."
    Yes, I know the voices aren't real. But they do have some VERY good ideas....

  7. #22
    Elder Member Shellhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Valliant View Post
    I may need to read this.
    The Well World is pretty amazing. Sharp is talking about the big picture context of the series, but the surface storyline is great, too. Imagine an artificial planet consisting of 1,560 hexagon-shaped ecosystems, each occupied by a different sentient species. Some of these hexes are high- or low-tech, and that tech level is enforced by different rules of reality for each hex. Magic or psychic powers might even work to some degree in some of those hexes. While the races in the southern hemisphere are based on carbon-based life as we know it, more or less, the races and hexes in the northern hemisphere are radically different. One northern species is basically sentient streaks of color, for example. Now picture a war on that planet, along with other exciting situations.
    "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
    Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

  8. #23
    Senior Member AJ Valliant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shellhead View Post
    The Well World is pretty amazing. Sharp is talking about the big picture context of the series, but the surface storyline is great, too. Imagine an artificial planet consisting of 1,560 hexagon-shaped ecosystems, each occupied by a different sentient species. Some of these hexes are high- or low-tech, and that tech level is enforced by different rules of reality for each hex. Magic or psychic powers might even work to some degree in some of those hexes. While the races in the southern hemisphere are based on carbon-based life as we know it, more or less, the races and hexes in the northern hemisphere are radically different. One northern species is basically sentient streaks of color, for example. Now picture a war on that planet, along with other exciting situations.
    Welp, that does it then. As soon as I finish Cold Days (A series this forum also turned me onto) I will pick them up.

  9. #24
    Moderator Sharpandpointies's Avatar
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    Jack L. Chalker. Writing is decent...I prefer books two and three of the first series, but it's all fairly good.

    There's a new series, Echoes of the Well of Souls, that I haven't yet read.

    As noted, the books aren't about the Markovians themselves, because...well, boring. :)

  10. #25
    Spectacularly Neurotic Sharkerbob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shellhead View Post
    The Well World is pretty amazing. Sharp is talking about the big picture context of the series, but the surface storyline is great, too. Imagine an artificial planet consisting of 1,560 hexagon-shaped ecosystems, each occupied by a different sentient species. Some of these hexes are high- or low-tech, and that tech level is enforced by different rules of reality for each hex. Magic or psychic powers might even work to some degree in some of those hexes. While the races in the southern hemisphere are based on carbon-based life as we know it, more or less, the races and hexes in the northern hemisphere are radically different. One northern species is basically sentient streaks of color, for example. Now picture a war on that planet, along with other exciting situations.
    Well. Guess I've no need to write my Dyson Sphere Grid World story. Might have to look this up as well.
    It's a lie! My pants were off the entire time!

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  11. #26
    U got me str8 trippin boo nj06's Avatar
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    In terms of comics, the African warrior nation of Wakanda is considered to be the most advanced nation on Marvel Earth. And their warrior heritage has left them unconquered in their entire 10,000 years of history.



    "With Knowledge we built a city to rival heaven."

  12. #27
    Terror On Wheels T51R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpandpointies View Post
    Jack L. Chalker. Writing is decent...I prefer books two and three of the first series, but it's all fairly good.

    There's a new series, Echoes of the Well of Souls, that I haven't yet read.

    As noted, the books aren't about the Markovians themselves, because...well, boring. :)
    OT:

    Right, I need to ask. How many books are there in the series?

    Because when I went into Forgotten Realms back in the day, it consumed all of my allowance because of the massive story branches that went in every direction(even in time!) So, if the series can be bought in batches of say, five tops I'm game.
    "Our cash flow is as if a profligate son keeps borrowing money to spend on Geisha, which is why we donít have a choice not to enjoy the race." ~DOME CO. LTD, on their 2012 LeMans effort...

  13. #28
    Senior Member MorphyVSFischer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nj06;16224774[B
    In terms of comics, the African warrior nation of Wakanda is considered to be the most advanced nation on Marvel Earth. And their warrior heritage has left them unconquered in their entire 10,000 years of history.
    Dr. Doom would have a number of things to say about this, most it consisting of laughter.

  14. #29
    Strrrrrrrrrrrrex mailedbypostman1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MorphyVSFischer View Post
    Dr. Doom would have a number of things to say about this, most it consisting of laughter.
    Dr Doom can laugh?
    Strrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrex

  15. #30
    Senior Member MorphyVSFischer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mailedbypostman1 View Post
    Dr Doom can laugh?
    He's laughed maniacally at least.

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