Track of the Apocalypse Ch7 Ficbit – Windblown

A/N: I am, hopefully, about 2/3 of the way through the big hurricane battle. It’s going to take a lot more work, but here’s a starting snippet.

The winds are getting worse.

Kurusu squinted, moving his head a fraction of an inch so blown leaves skimmed harmlessly past. A fallen leaf in a breeze might seem innocent. The same leaf-stem borne on typhoon winds could rob a man of his eye.

“Wish the Koutetsujou carried extra lenses,” Kibito called to him across the prow. “Winds like this, it’s not just steamsmiths who need them!”

True enough. Though Kurusu also found himself curious about the odd glasses Carter and Jackson had donned; they wrapped around all sides of the eye like steamsmith gear, hugging tight against the wind, but the black material of the frames seemed to be lighter and more rigid than leather.

Ikoma would likely want to pore over those in detail, muttering speculations about lacquer and rock oil and who knew what. Kurusu just noted them as another item the Koutetsujou might profit from examining. Later.

For now it was more important to double-check the two alien bushi were properly harnessed against the wind, set up to fire for knockback if any Kabane got close to the derailed car or the Koutetsujou. Knockback only; Kurusu believed O’Neill’s assessment of his team’s skills, the four had survived long enough to be rescued, but the winds would affect everyone’s aim and there was simply no time to train strangers on steam rifles.

A/N: Oh, a rather chilling fact – I’ve only seen a few clips of the Unato movie on YouTube, but apparently it’s in-universe canon that Kabaneri do still carry the Kabane infection in their bite. (At least some form of, I keep hoping the movie comes out on DVD so I can get specifics….)

…Which is exactly what you’d expect if you believe Mumei’s initial explanation of “the bodies of Kabane, but human minds”. but it’s useful to have that confirmed.


21 thoughts on “Track of the Apocalypse Ch7 Ficbit – Windblown

      1. But this one was 10 min early! Usually I see the post 3-4 min after 9am, which I assume is how long it takes to upload after being posted at 8am your time. But today it showed up at 8:54am! Please don’t take this as me complaining, it truly the first of several pleasant surprises

        Liked by 2 people

  1. The movie is up on Netflix as a three part series now (at least in Sweden).

    Personally have no clue about various extreme weather since it’s so rare here, so I look forward to learning.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I need to do some research into how weather works. For RPGs that feature exploration (Hasbro D&D _still_ can’t do much more than setpiece battles, even trying for D&D 5: The Nostaligianing), sandboxing, hexcrawling, etc., exploration outside a dungeon or town is going to be hugely responsive to weather conditions.

    Sure, you can orient around massive landmarks or celestial features, but what if the sky is overcast so that you can’t see the sun or distant mountains? Less alone raining, fog, or the really nasty weather.

    But the kind of weather you get depends a lot on where you are, both globally (air and water currents over the oceans decide where on the coast you get a lot of rain, including complex stuff like Atlantic hurricanes heading towards the US and then getting blown back out to sea after harrying Florida and the East Coast) and local-biome stuff. Doesn’t make sense to check for hurricanes in a desert, at least not very often.

    Then of course there’s the seasons. And magic.

    Mouse Guard has this thing where, if I skimmed it right, there’s so many days different kinds of weather for the various seasons. Maybe something where an array is rolled for the weather, and each time a given result dominates it has a negative modifier for a while, so if weather magic tries to force pleasant weather then once the natural order re-asserts itself there’s only the unpleasant results left until everything has been rebalanced.

    Or of course you can get nice weather locally by dumping bad weather elsewhere, but that gets the local spiritual militia to muster and look for the sorcerer cursing them . . .


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    1. Thing is, we don’ t really understand the weather. Weather is partly fluid mechanics, and the best equations for that are Navier-Stokes. There are no closed form general solutions for Navier-Stokes. So Navier-Stokes is handled with specific analytical solutions, and numerical approximations. As of a couple years back, the Rocket Science types do not think that the computer tools are good enough to design an airplane from scratch with no wind tunnel work.

      Meteorology is perhaps sounder than Climate Science, but a planet with a different size, gravity, and configuration of land masses should have modes of weather we see rarely or never on Earth even before you consider magic. When you consider that the fantasy world might not be an actual planet, or the effects of magic, it becomes clear that an arbitrary system might be just as reliably accurate to fluid mechanics as a researched system.

      Doing the research to really cover the possibilities of weather for a hex based terrain model gaming world sounds like something I am almost crazy enough to do. There are gamers who bitch about the cube roots in GURPS Vehicles, so I imagine that a pretty simple treatment would be needed to have any real market. I don’t imagine “Here’s an encyclopedia of meteorology, here’s an expanded list of local climate types for various types of magic, here is a text on fluid mechanics and mass transfer, here is a list of open source numerical solvers, here is some example code, have fun” would go over well. On the other hand, GURPs is letting people produce licensed products now, and for DnD compatibility the ACKS guy would be nice oversight. I would be much more interested in talking to them than to the Climate Science journals.

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      1. Yeah, that’s part of the balancing problem: Make the math too much on a regular basis and people don’t want to use it, make the rolls too complex and they slow the game down.

        They won’t ever be more than rough guidelines, but if those guidelines can be used to construct a state machine table you can then roll an array of dice (a clear plastic medicine container label labeled by day gives you 7 results with one roll, laid out neatly in a row) to check and see how the weather reacts.

        That’s good enough for a party of explorers. As long as there’s seasonal variation, some sense of regional boundaries, and influencers that are rolled for on a yearly basis (El Nino, La Nina, or rather local versions), then you get weather that’s random within the overall pattern but does follow that pattern.

        For campaigns that get to the point where you need to keep track of the weather overall, it’d need to expand the scope and accept a degree of abstraction for areas of secondary importance, but something could be done there.

        GURPS Vehicles does complicated machine design, I take it? Complex machines have been a thing since the Ancient Greeks and quite likely before them, but I haven’t found many sourcebooks that get down into the logic of machines. They’d rather abstract that all away as, effectively, another kind of special-power-by-fiat.

        I’d at least like to offer the nitty-gritty as an option for players who want to do mechanics, while having to keep in mind that it _is_ a game. Got any recommendations for sourcebooks to harvest good ideas from?


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      2. Um… I know that simulation is part of the fun for GM types, but there are easier workarounds.

        Like just making it up. Or stealing world weather reports from real life.


      3. Not just for the GMs. As a player, I like the world to make sense, not just be “whatever is easiest”. In the last campaign I was in that reached the end, our party ended up involved in several major undertakings as political and economic leaders (not just personal combat like most rpgs), including setting up a trade-road through the mountains, and setting up a network of roads, watchtowers, and canals, to set up for the endgame. We had to consider how geology, geography, and weather interacted, to make those things make sense. (it was successful, as we were able to get the combined armies to the invasion portal on time, and keep them well supplied despite roving minor raider armies trying to cut our supply lines so the invasion could succeed)

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  3. First sentence of the first snippet:
    The winds are getting worse.

    First sentence of the second snippet:
    The winds are getting worse.

    First sentence of the third snippet:
    The winds are getting worse.

    First sentence of the fourth snippet:
    The winds are gone, but things are worse.

    First sentence of the fifth snippet:
    Can I have the winds back? They can even be worse if they want.

    First sentence of the sixth snippet:
    The winds are back, and they are worse.

    Liked by 7 people

  4. I don’t think there are any more specifics on Kabaneri bites to get.

    The scene your’e talking about is the only reference to it, specifically. Otherwise it all seems to fall under “treatment of someone who might be infected.”

    I suppose this might be a spoiler, so lets see if the tags work:

    … unless Kabaneri bites are how you get a Nue.

    Liked by 3 people

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