[One] question that interests me is: is the wall of a Ward one-way, or two-ways. That is, does it also forbid people from leaving the province, or just from entering the province? I don't recall the text of the spell well enough, and don't have the RB handy.
Ryan Caveney replied

Two ways.

"With this spell, a mage weaves a barrier of impenetrable mists and fog that prevents any creature from entering or leaving a province." -- RB p. 85
OK, that would mean one potential means of outwitting the spell--to head into the "wall of fog" and then trying to "change your mind" to trick the spell (i.e. to enter the province, enter the fog bank and then try to head in the direction that corresponds to "leaving the province." If the wall is truely a perceptual distorter, then attempting to head in the "wrong way" might send you the right way. Unless, of course, the spell has some means of detecting and remembering which side you originally, perhaps a polarity of some kind that corresponds to "in" and "out."
Of course, it is also possible that the spell is not merely a perceptual distorter, but an actual barrier, such as a millimeter thin but continuous intrusion of another dimension into this one. A sort of extension of the dimentional space made by the bag of holding or the Rope Trick spell, only instead of being in the shape of a rough spherical volume, in the shape of
a rough tube or hollow cylinder. The warded province is located on the interior of the cylinder, the cylinder itself is the extradimentional space, and the rest of cerilia is outside the cylinder. To completely cut off the warded province from the rest of the world, you just need to extend the top and the bottom of the cylinder until they meet and form a torus. Then, depending upon the type of extradimensional space you choose to form you cylinder, this might not just prevent travel from one side to the other, but also prevent the passage of all magic through it (i.e. communicative spells) which a normal Ward says nothing about stopping.
Boy, am I in a wierd mood. It must be the Nyquil.
Ryan B. Caveney replied:
A torus? No, you just want to cap the cylinder to make it a (topologically) spherical shell. This way you could conceivably fly over or tunnel under the impenetrable misty barrier, but not get to the other side. If you make a torus it will intersect the surface of Aebrynis elsewhere, and you'll have two warded provinces perhaps very far apart with a protected tube of air and underground connecting them -- which, while a cool idea, is probably not what you want. As for cap versus infinite extent, I think the magic should not extend vertically much farther than it does horizontally because I like symmetrical areas of effect, and because I do not want a warded barrier in the shape of the outline of the province to sweep across the surface of the moon at a thousand miles per hour, and other such oddities.
You know, there was some really interesting reason for the torus which didn't at all come through in that paragraph, and which now escapes me. It had something to do with allowing the light of the sun to enter, only the torus was bending through some higher-dimensional space of a particular topology which I can no longer remember. It made such sense at the time, but of course I've been spending much of my time lately 1.) reading science fiction novels, 2.) doped up on Nyquil to combat this nasty flu I've caught, and occasionally 3.) trying to work out the quantitative genetic equations necessary to differentiate additive vs. epistatic gene action across environments (what I'm supposed to be doing).
So I suppose with that particular brainspace combination, I shouldn't be surprized what sort of wierdness ensues. Probably also part of the reason why I'm not getting very far on 3 right now...
Mark VanderMeulen

October 1999

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