I am writing a dystopia.

In this world there is currently an electromagnetic fence that prevents anyone from going in and out unless they are in possession of a certain sword that neutralizes the fence. What could this be made of, if I chose electromagnetic potentials as the fence.

The idea is that this specific sword neutralizes it. Would this sword also contain magnetics?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to WorldBuilding.SE! This may be too broad, as you're asking multiple questions at once here, though they are quite closely related. Please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site, and also feel free to consider signing up for an account to make it easier to track your questions and answers. $\endgroup$
    – F1Krazy
    Jun 29 '19 at 13:26
  • $\begingroup$ Hi and welcome. I did a strong edit on your question for grammar, formatting, etc. I also added several tags, including magic. It seemed right to me but you might not want that tag. If so, please feel free to remove it. If you want one of the science tags, you can add it, though I wouldn't recommend it since the question isn't one that can really have a scientific answer. Up to you though. $\endgroup$ Jun 29 '19 at 17:32
  • $\begingroup$ Hello Deborah. I'm forced to vote to close your question. (a) Stack Exchange expects one-specific-question for which one-best-answer may be chosen. You've asked 5. (b) That "specific question" part is important, most of your questions are either too broad or primarily opinion-based. Per our help center, "the goal of the site is to help you build your world, not to tell your story." We can help you develop rules, but you're asking us to invent storyline (how to build & how to destroy). Do you have one, specific question to ask? $\endgroup$ Jun 29 '19 at 18:42
  • $\begingroup$ Don't worry about your question being put on hold. This is to give you time to edit it before people start answering. Pick one question and focus on that. $\endgroup$ Jun 29 '19 at 19:05
  • $\begingroup$ Hi guys, I edited the question / would you be able to open again? $\endgroup$
    – Deborah
    Jul 14 '19 at 9:51

Nerves work by changing electrical potentials. That could be the basis for your fence.

Living things have electromagnetic signatures; some fish can detect this and use it to hunt. Our brains and nerves work by electromagnetic potentials which is why electricity can knock us out or cause our muscles to move uncontrollably.

Your field is not a static thing like a fence or a wall. It is actively regulated by a program. When something with the electromagnetic signature of a living being crosses into the field, the field changes. Magnetic fields are produced which induce electrical fields within the organism. This can then do pretty much whatever your story demands. It might cause you to fall down with a seizure. Your muscles might be paralyzed. Your cerebellum might be so impaired that your coordination disappears and you wiggle and flop your way back out of the field. Or more subtle things - it could affect perception, induce hallucinations or what have you. Maybe the program starts subtle and resorts to more drastic things if subtlety fails.

Your special sword is just a key; on detecting the sword the program exempts from manipulation whatever life form is in close proximity to it.

In Brandon Mull's Secret of the Dragon Sanctuary the sanctuary is guarded by a barrier which causes people to question whether they should go in. People think they are going the wrong way and change direction. They rethink the whole purpose of their trip. They become concerned that they might not be prepared, and decide to go back for supplies. All sorts of things. It is subtle and a pretty cool idea. Your fence could work like that. Your parties of soldiers would return from the barrier for various reasons that occur to them when they are there, the barrier having remained uncrossed.

  • $\begingroup$ This reflects "fenceless" dog fences (delivers an electric shock) you can buy from Walmart. It's a good idea. $\endgroup$ Jun 29 '19 at 18:46
  • $\begingroup$ very cool. Thank you. Regarding the Sword. Could the sword neutralize the electromagnetic potential? $\endgroup$
    – Deborah
    Jul 14 '19 at 9:38

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .