Exodies wrote:Maybe we could understand the dialogue better if we examined how each piece changed our view of what was going on. This problem is a bit like trying to understand birdsong or a message from a distant Time. Where are the philologists when you need them?
"Later" and "Bye" first established a parameter of the medium - Megan and Cueball would be talking. So it wasn't just snapshots of time, it also had elaboration.
"Wanna swim?" let us know for sure that the location was what it looked like - a beach
"Pffthh *cough* You ok?" and "Just got some in my mouth" told us that it was salt water, so a sea or salty lake. Or some other kind of non-potable water.
"Any idea where the river is now?" Established that there were some off-scene elements, particularly a river. Some assumed at the time that meant that the body of water near the castles was a river, but it has since been revealed that's not the case.
"Still pretty far out" told us that the -now visibly rising- body of water on screen was probably not the river. Also, that they'd been watching the river for at least a week.
"I don't understand what the sea is doing" let us know that the flooding was an abnormal occurrence. Also, that they were somewhat clueless about their world
"I don't think we can build it much taller than this." and "It's been fun, though!" were catalysts for the Observation Tower era, as I recall. Hinting that the world has physical constraints and that Megan and Cueball are aware of them.
"Pfffth Pthuh!" and "I've had worse" reinforce the idea that it's definitely a non-tasty body of water, probably briny seawater.
"Guess one of us should climb down." was simply keeping up the flow of building, I think.
"The sea is rising." - their first non-sideways acknowledgement that the water level was indeed going up.
"Sea level rises and falls, right? It's changed before." and "Not this fast." are confirming again that it's an abnormal occurrence, adding specifically that the rise is extraordinarily quick.
"The river hasn't even reached the sea yet." is interesting. Apparently the river wasn't yet at the sea? Where was it going? I don't believe we have the answer to this question. Megan simply replies "The river is small. The sea is big." as if this was obvious, but points out that when it does
reach the sea it wouldn't have much of an effect because of their relative sizes.
"How big?" and "I don't know" reinforcing that Megan and Cueball are somewhat ignorant of their world.
"Does it Rain on the Sea?" and "I don't know; if it does it seems like a waste." continue the guesswork at the rising water level, and indicate that weather patterns are fairly normal wherever they are, with rain at least on land. Also that whatever the rain was wouldn't have enough volume to cause a change in water level like the one they observe.
"It rains in the hills where the river comes from, right?" Interesting, because it tells us the river comes from the hills, which we haven't seen yet. Also showing that Megan and Cueball have some idea how the traversable parts of their world work - they know either from having been there or by word of mouth about the weather in the hills and have some idea how rivers form.
"Are there other rivers?" "I don't know." "There must be other rivers." Indicate this is the only river they know of. There might be other ones, and they think that there must be other ones for the sea level to be rising like this.
"Otherwise the sea would dry up." Either they're really clueless about how seas work, or its a small sea that is known to change drastically in water level according to rainfall (but not this quickly).
"Maybe it's coming out of the ground." "Does that happen?" "I don't know," this exchange indicates that Megan and Cueball don't know about springs or water tables, or aren't really sure, so they probably haven't seen any where they are. Which means either water table is pretty low most of the time, or don't get out much.
"I don't know how the sea works." "I don't know how anything works." Well, that pretty much cinches their ignorance of the natural world. The implications of this depend on who you ask. Are they children? (Not likely, unless LaPetite is an elf). Do they not get out much? This might just be a visit to the countryside/coastline, maybe they usually spend their time in the city away from the natural world. There's room for interpretation here as of now.
"I don't think it's going to stop." "The sea can't just make more of itself forever." "It can do whatever it wants. It's the sea. " Megan and Cueball see the sea as some kind of ineffable force. Clearly they are not exposed to or don't have the technology to make (properly sized) seawalls, dams, etc. Also, that they think the sea is making more of itself and not just moving around - so either they don't know about tides or tides aren't a factor.
"There must be a reason. There's a reason for everything." "Yeah." "But it's not always a good reason." They're scientifically minded, at least, if completely in the dark about what's happening. Their knowledge is unsatisfactory to them, this is probably the point where one or both decide they will venture back to the river to check on it.
"There must be other rivers." "Maybe something is wrong with them." Back to the other rivers - also setting up the recent "broken rivers" bit. How could a river be broken? Maybe it's dammed naturally or unnaturally, the source (mountain springs, lowlands springs, creeks, etc) has dried up, or have been redirected. Those would all stop the flow though. For there to be more flow, rivers would have to merge, there would have to be an unusual amount of rainfall in their watershed, or some kind of dam might have broken.
That coves the first few lines. I don't think I can comment on the latest ones as of yet, maybe I'll post again when we know more. Although all I'm really doing is summarizing the thread - we did a pretty good job of interpreting things the first time around.