5
$\begingroup$

This is a sequel to Gaining the Quicken Enchantment.

Once someone has gained the Runnark enchantment, they are granted the Runner title. This gives them the speed of an Olympian sprinter and the endurance of an Olympian marathon runner. However, after someone gains the enchantment of twelve Runnark, they become a Boltrunner.

Boltrunners, like regular Runners, have the speed and endurance of an Olympian runner. However, they have the advanced respiratory system of a Runnark (think bird lungs, but human-size) and move much faster. How fast, you ask? The average person walks at 3-4 miles per hour, but a walking Boltrunner will move at 30-40 miles per hour!

"Wait," you say. "Wouldn't that force them to eat an insane amount of food?" No, and that's where Boltrunners are game-breaking. Walking 30-40 mph for a Boltrunner takes as much energy for them as it would take the average person to walk 3-4 mph!

Now remember, each Boltrunner was once a regular Runner, who had the capacity to run at Usain Bolt speeds. Thus, the top speed of a Boltrunner should be about 270 miles per hour! This gets even more insane when one considers each Boltrunner has the ability to run at top speed for what would be 26 miles and 385 yards for a regular runner.

In other words, when a Boltrunner is done running at top speed, they'll have covered about 7,020 miles! I believe this will revolutionize the sharing of information in medieval Europe (the basis of my story's setting), since A) a Pony Express-type system could allow Boltrunners to quickly relay information over vast distances and B) faster couriers, faster information exchange.

However, my question is How Would The Quicken Enchantment Benefit Humans? because I want to know how the Quicken enchantment would benefit people, not just Runners, in the medieval period.

Specifications for Best Answer:

  1. The best answer will first account for how useful Runners and Boltrunners will be as couriers. Remember, we're talking about medieval Europe.

  2. The best answer will also account for the other uses of a Runner and Boltrunner's enhanced speed; the top and average movement speed of a Runner is enhanced so it's directly proportional to Usain Bolt's top and average running speeds. The same goes for a Boltrunner, which moves 10x faster than a Runner. This probably has immense military applications; it's hard to fight, shoot, or retreat from people who are that fast.

  3. Finally, the best answer will account for how beneficial the Quicken enchantment will be on Runners and Boltrunners, not just for the people employing them.

One Last Note: Obviously, the Quicken enchantment reinforces its holders so they are not harmed by the effects of their own speed. Obvious exceptions would be if they slip, fall, or hit something hard at high speed, because slipping on an icy pond or hitting a boulder at 270 mph will have inescapable consequences!

$\endgroup$
10
  • $\begingroup$ Your marathon speed and distance math is highly suspect. I'm going to offer some alternate perspective for distance running because it is even more implausible than normal that these guys can sprint for 26 hours straight than everything else they can do. Please hold. $\endgroup$ – SirTain Mar 15 at 18:36
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, so lets start with a marathon. The current world record is around 2 hours. If we assume the Bolt Runners endurance is similar, then they can maintain a speed of 130 mph for 2 hours and potentially travel 260 miles with similar difficulty to a marathon runner. $\endgroup$ – SirTain Mar 15 at 18:41
  • $\begingroup$ But maybe that's not good enough for you. Allow me to introduce you to Yiannis Kouros who holds the world record for longest distance run in a 24-hr race. Over the course of 24 hours, he traveled 188 miles, averaging 7.8mph. Continuing the times 10 approach, Boltrunners can be expected to run nearly 1900 miles in a single day, although probably needing lots of rest. Skipping ahead to 48 hrs, and a properly trained Boltrunner can be expected to travel 2900 miles in 2 days. $\endgroup$ – SirTain Mar 15 at 18:43
  • $\begingroup$ +1 just for scoping the nature of a best answer in your question. Thank you! $\endgroup$ – JBH Mar 16 at 0:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @JBH: you're welcome, I've started doing that a while back and I find it helps both me and those trying to answer my questions. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 16 at 1:04
4
$\begingroup$

Boltrunners Can Run on Water

Back of the envelope math says that a human would need to move at about 80 km/hr to run on water which is a light jog for a Boltrunner.

I'm not going to assume that a Boltrunner could keep up running-on-water-pace for extreme lengths of time, so I'm just going to use the Marathon distance that I calculated above as an estimate for how large a body of water they can cross (i.e. 260 miles). That's a long enough distance to cross the Mediterranean Sea at several points.

The Spanish Ultra Marathoner Ricardo Abad ran 607 marathons in 607 days, and only quit because he ran out of funding, so I think it's quite reasonable to say that a Boltrunner could do this 260 mile trip every day without taking a day off to rest.

This is "only* about twice as fast as a good ship, which can travel at night, and a Boltrunner can't be expected to carry supplies while running at these speeds.

But that's ok because of the OP's mentioned:

Boltrunner Express

We established that a Boltrunner can travel 260 miles in 2 hours, but a Boltrunner Express, modeled after the pony express, could travel 1,040 miles in an 8 hour day. (They couldn't travel at night because rocks are more dangerous at night.) That's 10 times as fast as the pony Express, although I'd imagine they would be limited in carrying a single emergency letter.

This could be exceptionally valuable for managing military campaigns in large empires where Boltrunner Expresses could allow short messages to be passed between commands in days instead of weeks.

Unfortunately, the top speeds of Boltrunners don't allow them to convey a significant amount of information because they have to be mostly unburdened. There is one more way that they can change things however.

Boltrunner Sherpas

A Boltrunner travels about 10 times as fast as an athletic person. Under an ideal one-man circular trade route, this means they can transport 10 times as much as a man can on their back in the same and because of reduced travel times for individual loads, they will reduce spoilage.

Since a fit and active person could be expected to travel 20 miles in a day carrying about 50 lbs, one man can transport 1,000 lbsmiles/day. Moving 10 times as fast, a Boltrunner could transport 10,000 lbsmiles/day. That is equivalent to a 2-ox cart that would transport roughly 1,000 lbs and travel 10 miles in a day. (source is Reddit, so not necessarily reliable)

This makes a single Boltrunner equivalent to a 2 oxen team but with the possibility of delivering perishable objects ten times as far into distant markets where they might be considered far more valuable.

Which leaves me with the most valuable cargo of all:

Boltrunner Pulled Rickshaws

Ok, so what if a Boltrunner pulled a Rickshaw? Granted Rickshaw workers are typically treated poorly, but imagine how much engineering would have to go into crafting a Rickshaw capable of traveling at 40 miles per hour and how that kind of cost would translate to luxury?

Sure, it's a bumpy ride on land, but a Boltrunner Rickshaw could transport a particularly wealthy aristocrat 200 miles in a single day. That's fantastic news for military leaders, nobles, and merchants alike who would all prefer to be somewhere faster.

And remember that running on water thing? Put some skis on your Rickshaw and your Boltrunner can get you across a water way in an afternoon that would take 2 solid days of travel on an expensive boat to cross. Granted, I'm not confident that a Boltrunner wouldn't be exhausted and need a break after a Rickshaw run on water, but that's a small price to pay for capitalism.

Boltrunner Cannon

I walked away and then came back to add this one.

A Boltrunner holding a 5lb lead ball can deliver the same kinetic energy as a Barrett M82 .50 caliber sniper rifle by running really fast and letting the ball go.

If a Boltrunner trains like a soccer player, they can kick a 1 lb steel ball off their foot at Mach 2 which would hit like 18 grams of TNT.

If a Boltrunner gets the Gluttony Enchantment, then there is nothing stopping them from getting every other Enhancement by kicking rocks at their prey.

$\endgroup$
5
  • $\begingroup$ I love your answer! I didn't consider using Boltrunners to transport goods or people, and I certainly didn't think they could cross the Mediterranean, so your insights are very valuable. I disagree, however, with your assertion that Boltrunners can't carry cargo while running on water; I believe it should be possible with special training or equipment. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 15 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias I remembered that you can kick things and that Boltrunner's legs are cannons. $\endgroup$ – SirTain Mar 15 at 19:54
  • $\begingroup$ I really should have thought of that, that is really game-breaking. If it's not too much to ask, do you think Runners and Boltrunners would make good soldiers? It's hard to hit (or avoid being hit by) someone faster than you, isn't it? $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 15 at 19:58
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, absolutely unstoppable. They walk twice as fast as a horse gallops. Train to use a long polearm, and their strength is limited by how many times they can hit you with a spear before the spear explodes. $\endgroup$ – SirTain Mar 15 at 22:22
  • $\begingroup$ Just... watch kamen rider kabuto and anything he appears in. That's pretty much what you get. (on a side note, once this setting gets to modern times...anime superhero time baybeee) $\endgroup$ – Writer-of-stories Jun 1 at 17:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.