Infrastructure (Original and Illustrated)

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Re: Infrastructure (Original and Illustrated)

Post by Zor » 2017-08-12 04:39am

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An Infrastructural Army Officer in a garrison uniform. The distinction between Infrastructural officers and enlisted soldiers had become more pronounced since the birth of the Army. During the Wars of Unification officers were generally loyal regular soldiers with battle experience and basic literacy (the latter requirement not being strictly enforced). As the army was expanding steadily during that period and their foes were hosts of poorly equipped badly organized warriors this was sufficient. As time went on training of officers from the ground up became more formalized. Regardless unlike the forces of most other kingdoms where wealth and titles are a requirement, the Officer Corps of the Infrastructural Army is an institution to which any recruit or soldier can aspire to. Recruits who prove themselves in leadership exercises, volunteer for officer duty and pass admission test are sent an Academy for training (either three years* in peacetime or for one of year accelerated training in wartime). Officer Cadets are usually trained in a specialty (Riflers, Cavalry, Artillery, Logistics, etc.) often based on what they were assigned to serve in at boot camp. The general notion is that a dozen jack of all trades officers is inferior to a dozen specialist officrs working in concert. In 30 IA the army's rank structure received an overhaul, most notably adding the ranks of Junior Lieutenant and Major General. Field promotions are still fairly common, especially with the escort war.

While it would be a lie to say that that there is not a gulf between the rank and file of the Infrastructural Army and their officer's corps, such a gulf is less pronounced in other cultures with more traditional armies to the east in which lords, knights and patricians lead formations of common born infantry. This means that officers and enlisted alike tend to view each other as their fellow soldiers rather than an inscrutable capricious rulers or a collection of lowly scum. Some foreign observers have commended the Infrastructural Army for recruiting people based on merit rather than bloodline. Others have denounced the policy as being a crude system which substitutes "upjumped peasants" for "men raised from birth to lead by the sword". The latter is most firmly held by nobles.
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Re: Infrastructure (Original and Illustrated)

Post by Zor » 2017-08-21 12:29pm

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Since the time of it's inception a critical part of the Allergonian Empire has been it's chivalry. There are some 120,000 knightly houses in the Empire ranging in size from lone individuals to extended families with over forty members. Some are landed, others are retained by lords, cities or the Kings of the Empire. What they have in common is that they are required to have arms, armor and a mount and train for war. If pressed the Empire could field up to 240,000 knights. The traditional ideal of a knight as a heavily armored lancer has been the norm for most of the Empire's history and persists even to this day, however a variant of this has also arisen in the last two centuries in the form of the Pistollier.

The distinction between Lancers and Pistolliers is a loose one. Many that would be reckoned Pistolliers know their way around a lance and many Lancers will carry a pistol and are decent shots. Even so the two groups do each fight in their own way. Lancers wear full plate, ride huge Destriers in heavy barding and slam into enemy formations. Pistoliers are usually clad in three quarter plate, ride smaller horses and wheel about firing pistols into enemy formations as well as scouting, raiding and charging weakened formations and running down retreating forces. Often Pistolliers come from poorer houses or are younger sons since their gear and mounts are less expensive. Runic armor is less common among pistolliers than is the case with lancers, with maybe one in three of them having partial runic plate and one in six having full runic plate, though the Empire's Dwarvish population means that there is no shortage of solid non-magically enhanced breastplates proofed against pistol shot.

Originally pistolliers were armed with Matchlock and Wheellock pistols, which were modestly effective. However the introduction of Flintlock pistols and latter revolvers (most commonly the Pattern-1402 Yorigsov/Ulricson revolver) as well as breech loading carbines was a major boon to their effectiveness due to their increased rate of fire. This, as well as casualties among lancers without runic armor has lead to an increase in the number of Pistolliers about. Some of them have recently found employment in the new Imperial Army.
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Re: Infrastructure (Original and Illustrated)

Post by Zor » 2017-09-18 08:21am

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Most Orcs live in clans of about 500 to 25,000 individuals in various mostly marginal areas, scraping what living they can from herds and rough farms and erecting strongholds, fortified villages and towns. Customs and traditions vary immensely from clan to clan but some factors are common. Life for most Orcs is generally hard. A high caloric needs and breeding rates means that food is often at a premium even the ability to eat a wider range of foods than humans can and the ability to enter semi-hibernation during the winter months and there is always the threat of violence, either from humans, dwarves, elves and other Orcish clans and from within with crime and the heightened aggression of adolescent male orcs between the ages of 5 to 9. As such it is little surprise that to maintain order with minimal resources orcish justice usually involves a fair deal of brutality. Minor offenses that would be punished with a day collecting horse turds or a shilling or two in fines in a human city are typically punished with a flogging or a branding. Crimes not much worse than that can get an orc beheaded. Serious crimes such as murder are also dealt with execution, though usually of a more graphic nature. Said justice is mostly administered by a Chieftain*.

All orcs are expected to fight if need be and keep weapons and march off on campaign as common warriors but the best fighters that a tribe produces go on to become Warforged*. Warforged are mature orcs who constantly hone their skills, train up the next generation of orcs and act as leaders to their fellow orcs and act as elite shock troops in battle. In small clans the Warforged are clan leaders, in large tribes senior members of the Warforged class become Chosen (the best fighters) and Captains (who lead forces of Warforged). Orcish arms and armor vary in quality immensely from crudely modified farm implements and rough bits of metal hapazardly attached to cloth and leather to some above average products (even if Orcish runesmiths are almost non existent) as well as stuff they've plundered. Orcish armor is often on the thick side and often has spikes to catch enemy blades. Warforged Warriors have gear on the better end of that spectrum and the elite even better still. Chieftains are expected to lead their clans both in peace and in war. As such, Chieftains usually have the best armor and weapons the clan can muster, usually adorned with the geometric patterns that orcs favor and will be accompanied by a force of his best Warforged warriors. In recent years firearms have become an increasingly important part of their armament.

In a good sized Orc Tribe, Warforged Captains and Champions make up the bulk of the tribe's elite, which also includes priests, the most skilled of artisans, what mages (if any) the clan has and in an increasing number of cases merchants, scholars and those orcs who know their way around machines. Despite this, warriors are seen to be the best leaders in orc society. Specifics vary from clan to clan, but for the most part this council of clan Elites has some say in choosing a chief. In some case a Chieftain needs to be voted in by the clan elite. In other cases the office of Chief is hereditary but the heir is determined by the elite. In many cases a Chieftain can be challenged to a duel for leadership, but only if a certain number of clan elites back him. Other arrangements exist which are other variants on this principle. Beyond that there are other figures in the governments of large clans that have jobs delegated to them. There is a certain amount of assassination and other skullduggery involved in orcish politics, as well as the brutal execution of those who get too enthusiastic about such means of advancement.

A single clan of orcs, even a large one is generally reckoned to be little more than an annoyance to the larger realms of humanity or Dwarven Alliances. However from time to time the Orcish Clans in an area will unite under the banner of a particularly powerful Chieftain who becomes a Warlord. When that happens forces tens of thousands of warriors and thousands of Warforged strong can be mustered and march forth, either to brunt attacking armies or to launch massive assaults. The problem with said coalitions is they tend to fall apart into in fighting if the Warlord is slain.

*In truth there have been hundreds of titles used by Orcish clan leaders over the centuries. Chieftain is the generally accepted generic term, though many clans leaders would prefer that their clan's chosen title of officer be used rather than a generic term.
**There are several Orcish languages with have additional dialect. Warforged is the most common translated title.
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Re: Infrastructure (Original and Illustrated)

Post by Zor » 2017-10-28 02:15am

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The Central Committee of Infrastructure is reticent about their nature, even to their closet human associates. It is well known that they are not of any previously established species of The World, require neither food nor drink, have bodies which the can customize to a great degree of great strength and agility, make and control Fabricated items, can converse with each other without speech or telepathy and have a tremendous understanding of machinery and engineering that goes far, far beyond anything that this world has seen before. They claim that they are from "beyond the stars" from a civilization with vast numbers of such beings and that they are leading Infrastructure down the path which lead to their Ascendancy. Naturally this had lead to speculation as to what they are. The general theory is that they are some variety of highly refined mechanical golems. Others have figured that they are run by some form of divine vessel, be it angelic or demonic (though they have rejected said claims). Others say that they are the minions of a shadowy cabal of some sort with some plan. The reality is something that is out of their context

They have given some high ranking military figures, members of the Core Radius, direct assistants and body guards some more detailed information. Their bodies and faces are simply robotic puppets they made to interact with their environment and the beings of this world in particular. Here we have Supernova with her body holding Herself in her hands. What she (and it should be noted that assuming a feminine persona was something that she did entirely for the benefit of the humans, elves, dwarves and similar that she interacts with) is a Core. A black cube 20cm to a side weighing about 20 kilograms. Said cube has a pair of of square indentations on two opposing sides which exist to interlock with support machines and to take in power and dispose of waste heat. It's outer layer is composed of a shell of high impact composites, impact absorbing gel and anti-thermal ceramic which can take considerable punishment (leaving aside a small number of . Inside of that is a few technical systems including a high density power cell able to store up to 84MJ of power and a short range transceiver able to easily relay terabytes of information a second, though a direct link is still preferred and a reserve of maintenance machinates. Even so most of the internal volume of a core is taken up by 3D room temperature optical quantum quantum processors, memory cells and associated systems that make up a conscious self aware machine lifeform.

Cores have about thirty times the raw processing power of a Human, Elf, Dwarf, Orc or Raptor brain and a greater degree of flexibility in how they can apply it. If someone dropped a small amount of loose change in front of an average adult human they would be automatically able to say that there are four coins on the table without need of consciously counting them. Similarly to a Core the answer of 58,321 x 25,831 is obviously 1,506,489,751. They are capable of doing sophisticated modeling in their minds based around a wide variety of factors and can causally work out blueprints in their mind. They can also coordinate the economic activities of a hundred factories with plans for future expansion and margins for error and many foreseeable disasters.

For all of that the personality of a Core has some general similarities to that of an organic being but there are several factors that need to be considered. First of all is a calm and generally stoic mindset. When confronted with a pressing immediate challenge they don't go into shock, they overclock. Rapidly evaluating the situation with focused purposeful concentration and responding. Second of all is a inclination towards inter-core consultation and Cooperation. Cores are inclined to discuss ideas in a group and work towards consensus. Since they can exchange a large volume of data on a matter and digest it rapidly makes this often a viable tactic. Even though Cores do have distinct independent personalities they are not assertive. Cores are fully aware that smart as they are they are not infallible and consider attempting to seek power over other Cores for it's own sake is generally counterproductive. Cores can operate hierarchically when it suits them or delegating certain tasks, but they do so because the situation warrants it and not because they desire to be the King of Cores. In regards to the Central Committee of Infrastructure there is no member who reigns supreme and the final word is their Unanimity. In regards to dealing with organics, the Central Committee has come to the consensus that being firm in a position of leadership.

Cores are incapable of independent reproduction. The means of physical Reproduction is building a new Core (in the sense of blank hardware) and then several Cores (usually those which have developed a strong personal bond) commit sections of their software (both emergent and templates) to the new Core and spend time helping it along during a period of mental development until several criteria are met and it becomes it's own being. Cores often back themselves up so if they are destroyed they can be restored in a New Cube. The Central Committee lack the manufacturing capacity to make new Cores and the ability to develop said capacity is still a very remote. However Cores are also effectively immortal. The oldest Core in the Central Committee is Moment Of Critical Mass In Stellar Accretion And Ignition Of Fusion-328835 (Critical Mass) who as of 37 IA some 872 years old.
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Re: Infrastructure (Original and Illustrated)

Post by Tandrax218 » 2017-11-01 08:47am

hey EF
where do the Boxes stay when the Committees members bodies are walking around and doing their thing ?

Are they in a vault of some kind under protection or are they "inside" of the bodies ?

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Re: Infrastructure (Original and Illustrated)

Post by Zor » 2017-11-30 10:18am

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Indoctrinated by their masters with a religion to be fanatics and employed as attritional cannon fodder by their masters the slave soldiers of the Drow States have a high attrition rate. Even by these standards Janissary Grenadiers have low life expectancy. Volunteers drawn from the most zealous, Grenadiers run in front of the main formations of Drow Formations to throw grenades into enemy ranks to both cause casualties and to disrupt their ranks or into enemy held buildings. Between enemy fire and the unreliability of old style handbombs these fellows were frequently cut down. Newer grenades inspired by Infrastructural designs are more reliable, but they are still in the firing lines and because of the damage they can do are prime targets.
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Re: Infrastructure (Original and Illustrated)

Post by Zor » 2017-12-17 11:06pm

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To understand Drow society one must understand the lone individual who had done more than anyone else to shape it. Her name was Kylith, though this is rarely used outside of the context of historical documentation and during her reign to all but a select few in private and afterwards she was known by Title. To the Dark Elves she is Menaith Dorveithron (rough translation "The Spider, the one with Authority over All" in an archaic Drow dialect). To the High Elves she is the Handmaiden of Ruin, The Desolator and similar titles. But while men and dwarves have called her many things, one title had it's origin in the Third Empire and has stuck since, the First Dark Emperor.*

What is known of her early life was that she was born on the street in the now destroyed city of Kreiseliath at some time from 4337 to 4334 BIA. There she lived as an orphan running with a gang of her fellow street urchins until around the age of eight when they attempted to rob the estate of a middling artisan house and was captured by their guards, but displayed some considerable magical abilities for her age. Seeing her potential, as such the ruling familiarch took her in as a ward and had her trained to make the most of her potential for the benefit of the family. She excelled at training, was treated fairly well and eventually was married off to one of the lesser sons of Kreiseliath's great houses. Before and during said marriage she had earned a reputation in a series of wars on the battlefield and acquired the admiration of many, most notably the rank and file of the army. It was in this time she mastered the art of cultivating connections and supporters. With a foothold in a Great Household in 4295 BIA she became a general, where she earned a reputation in several conflicts. In 4287 BIA she had achieved a seat on the ruling council of Kreiseliath as she gathered and cultivated a network of allies. Eventually she managed to get the office of Triarch by a narrow margin in 4281 BIA, made calls for war and set up policies to strengthen their state while being confrontational in foreign policy. She made some powerful enemies, one of which sent an assassin to dispatch her. Said assassin was captured, interrogated and (using a variety of claims, some legitimate and some false) she declared him and several more of his followers as enemies of the state and ordered forces to deal with them. They fought back with their own troops, but she raised the ante by having the support of several accomplished commanders at her side as well as a few well connected rabble rousers to get support from the poor Dark Elves of Kreiseliath. She manipulated this into a successful coup, which she followed up with a Purge of her rivals (among them her husband's family) and installed herself as the absolute ruler of Kreiseliath. She took up the personal banner of a Spider, a creature who lurked at the center of her vast web sensing any distubance and devouring any prey that came her way.

This was the age of the Student Men and in this time the relationships between the Dark Elves and Humans, Dwarves and High Elves were peaceful if never cordial. Open trade was common between all parties. There were conflicts between human states and Dark Elvish states and did have something of a reputation for fearsomeness and ruthlessness on the battlefield but said wars usually ended with peace treaty and Conflicts between Drow States were often as intense. Though they might have shared a common heritage each Drow state was an entirely sovereign entity. All kept slaves, though slavery was common practice among the Student Men, the slaves that were kept also included some dark elves and slaves existed alongside human subjects. The High Elves encouraged an idea of "The Five Realms": The High Elves ruled Ivannas, the Wood Elves had their forest kingdoms, the Dwarves their Underground cities and mountain domains, Humans the majority of the land and the Dark Elves had their right to their small territories. Even so they also encouraged antipathy towards "The Exiles", forever barred from their realms save for a few trade districts in ports and the rare ambassador allowed to the High King's hall and considered degenerates.

Over the next half century she worked hard in unifying the then fifteen Drow States. Kreiseliath was the largest of the Drow States but it had been among the least warlike. In a decade she had mustered her houses and her state into raising a massive army. At the same time she played politics, forging alliances with Valnothron and Janilonas and gradually waging wars which one by one brought the other twelve states under her authority. She was adept at manipulating both the Great Houses and both appealing to the lower stratas of Drow Society as well. Human subjects were gradually put under tighter restrictions and enslaved while customs relating to manumission were made more and more stringent. After a series of subject revolts, she enslaved humanity. All the while she commissioned scribes, poets, artists and philosophers to expound on her ideals: the Dark Elves were the highest form of Elfkind, refined by the hardship of exile and adversity as a critical part of the ascent of life. They could thrive beyond enchanted realms and still retained the power of sorcery and magecraft. The High Elves in contrast had elected to embalm their society and embalm the world through their proxies. Men and Dwarves were beasts of burden who's place was to obey and for them rigid submission to masters was their ultimate role who needed to be brought under yoke and in the crucible of battle, which would forge greater strength still. Impulses such as compassion or generosity were denounced as weakness which encouraged dependancy and weakened drow society. All with a single ruler in place to ensure that the Master Race's efforts are not squandered against each other. These ideas were in truth not unknown beforehand among the Drow, but they were not yet dominant nor codified in such a manner. As time went on they were not only asserted, but enforced as dissenters were gradually assassinated and their works destroyed. Over the next 50 years one by one the other Drow States gradually capitulated by war or diplomacy. Once she had all fifteen under her control she began marshaling up armies. When hundreds of thousands of Drow Warriors backed by even more proto-janissaries were unleashed in 4209 BIA, the vast swath of destruction they wrought was enough to convince many human rulers that the end of days had come. For the civilization of the student men, this was not too far off as this war (or series of wars depending on how you look at it) would not be far off. Her actions ultimately convinced the High Elvish King that the only way to deal with the Dark Elves was extermination.

Her rule was a ruthless one, both to the countless millions slayed or enslaved by her armies and also her subject. Competition was encouraged in all fields of Drow Society and was often quite cutthroat. Great houses fell and new houses rose in their place. Above all she favored warriors and promoted the notion that the greatest test of one's abilities was on the battlefield, though she also valued magecraft and the management of estates. Artisans (especially those who who were not involved in military production or certain high end fields) were viewed with disdain as manual labor was seen to be the domain of slaves by her regime. The same was the case with merchants for they only moved stuff about, though she recognized the necessity of both. Families were encouraged and she did give birth to a number of children to reinforce this point, but she also madated the policy of Threshing where households were required to Discard a certain number of children they produce (somewhere between one in twelve and one in thirty two). She maintained an inner circle of fourteen ministers which were always in competition with each other and maintained agents to oversee the other fifteen states. She had no problems with retreat when that was the best call to make, but she despised cowardice and hated treason against the Dark Elvish race (surrender). There were numerous attempts at assassinating her, none succeeded. In part because she had a skilled force of bodyguard, not that she lacked for combat abilities. She was a master with a blade and was almost always clad in the finest runic armor, but more important were her magical abilities.

Her abilities were from childhood exceptional, but she always looked into ways to improve them. There are legends of this, but the most common and well substantiated of them was the regular consumption of enkindling potions. These potions, expensive and difficult to produce can grant a regular human a modest degree of magical ability. Wealthy nobles could afford one of these, but the Dark Emperor could and did have hundreds of them made which she regularly took. Thousands of problematic slaves were burned alive in great Essence Confligratioria to provide the Mana for these elixirs. The end result was a being that could throw an arc of lightning from her hands that could cut down a score of men in a second, fly through the air, throw around rocks the size of cattle with telekenesis, reach down into a pile of iron filings and ash and produce a sword with some basic runes and dominate the minds of others by grabbing their heads for a few seconds either to put them under her thrall or lock their minds in a cycle of agony. She had also managed to stop aging, as several powerful wizards have done. Despite this there were a few specialized fields of magic which she could not not master, most notably the art of Life Weaving, which her servants used to create Giant Spiders, Goblins, Orcs, Shadowsteeds and Nightdrakes. The one area which she never dabbled in was Necromancy and made a note of having necromancers publicly burned to death section by section. Never the less she did have a concern about her own mortality and while she could delay aging in her own body she was interested in various more permanent solutions. According to a few Drow accounts of her life, the one thing more than anything else that she despised was impotence, especially in herself.

Eventually she met her end in 3802 BIA after an event known to the Dark Elves as The Great Hypocrisy gave the High Elves the opportunity to muster a massive siege on Kreiseliath in a last ditch attempt to end the war. A hundred thousand High Elvish warriors, a hundred thousand dwarves, four hundred thousand humans and five hundred Dragons mustered for the siege which overcame the walls and watchtowers around it's perimeter and then got to the central city. There she joined the frey as her city burned. She cut down at least one Great Dragon herself along with several smaller ones as well as killing as many as ten thousand of the invaders herself. Despite this even her reserves of mana were not infinite and strikes from thousands of arrows, spears, axes and swords that were either runic or had been given a runebreaker buff took their tole. Her armor failed her even as she forged replacement parts on the go from fallen foes and eventually she was overwhelmed and killed. Who delivered the Killing Blow is a matter of contention, the Elves said that she was done in by a shaft of Telsiel, the maiden of the Ivory Bow. The Dwarves claim it was either Inger Ruhinson the Forgehearted or Gorthern Twinaxe. There are a number of human heroes who have claims on them doing the deed as well as various tales of team ups. What is known was that when she finally was done in her body exploded in a burst of fire light and lightning.

Ultimately this caused the end of the War of Four Centuries, for even though there were still twelve Drow states standing they soon turned on each other to try to claim Dominance for themselves. Three more individuals would claim the title of Dark Emperor afterwards (two by acclamation of the other states, one by blood succession) but none of them had either the drive, raw magical prowess or success. She is still held in reverence, especially among the more conservative warrior households and the laws that she wrote are for the most part viewed as being close to sacrosanct.
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Re: Infrastructure (Original and Illustrated)

Post by Zor » 2018-01-28 04:22pm

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A multitude of small human clans exist in the mountainous areas that lay between the Naga Rajs and the Qanthrathi emirites in the southern Dragonspine mountains. These live alongside a couple of scattered minor Dwarven hold in isolated valleys farming, herding goats and farming in the dry highlands. Some of these follow obscure schools of Qanthrathi law, some are ruled by Naga priestesses, some are ruled by clan councils or by local dynasties. What they have in common is a set of constant small scale wars. They frequently fight among themselves and often launch raids to against the more developed neighbors. Oddly enough they have an aversion to raiding caravans, though they frequently accuse their neighbors of doing so as a causus beli. Fighters in these conflicts ride stout ponies in loose raiding parties and use traditional weapons such as composite bows, spears, scimitars, axes and maces, but also are rather keen on ceramic grenades and firearms. Most of these are imported, but local gunsmiths make a respectable number on their own, most of these are Jezails such as this one. In recent years they've begun to add basic cap and flintlock mechanisms to what had traditionally been low caliber matchlocks. Jezails often used in hunting and the hunters find apply the same skills they acquired stocking mountain goats, giant hyraxes and shaggy antelope.

Save for the Dwarven Holds, these clans sell captives into slavery, sending them to markets to the West and the South on the caravans. Either way many of them often end up in the holds of Dark Elvish slave-ships, trading a variety of good for them, most notably guns. The standard Infrastructural Textbook Peoples of the Known World (Version 2, published in 35 IA) lists these clans as being in many ways similar to those of the pre-Infrastructural Coldlands and like them they suffer from political chaos, division, constant wars and the ravages of the slave trade.
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Re: Infrastructure (Original and Illustrated)

Post by Zor » 2018-02-13 01:18pm

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Around 4,800 BIA a group of a several hundred Dwarves led by Torthil Grunnindaughter followed reports of a rich copper deposit somewhere deep in the Southern Continent's Great Desert which desert nomads occasionally mined when passing through. Eventually they found such a sight in dry foothills and established a small settlement. Life was difficult in an area which received an average of two centimeters of rain, even after they carved out their homes into the dry rock. Their numbers got a boost during the War of Four Centuries as Dwarven refugees fled south in search of safety, which resulted in a boost in population and several more settlements being established to bolster their population. The adaptations that they developed to survive in this barren wasteland were fairly remarkable, from refinements to traditional Dwarven Agriculture to the creation of cisterns, aqueducts and condensers to supply water. Even so these settlements remained fairly small with maybe ten thousand members each, trading with herders and caravaniers for food and supplies. For several thousand years they remained marginal. Their holds never had more than fifteen thousand people each and even today their total population is still only about 300,000 of them. Never the less they survived and created a distinctive highly thrifty culture: the Sand Dwarves.

Then around 1,100 BIA one of their artisans came up with a solution to a problem that his/her hold faced: the matter of fuel. While some Sand Dwarf holds had access to some reasonable deposits of coal many did not. Trading for coal was difficult at the best of times, wood was rare and often they were reduced to burning dung charcoal. To get around this they began to use mirrors to focus sunlight on a specific point. First for cooking and latter for processing ore, using a small amount of coal or charcoal in the process as a reducing agent. As time went on their designs were soon duplicated by other Sand Dwarf holds (who developed this first is a contested matter) and the designs refined and enlarged, especially as they were used to make more and better mirrors. Now across the equatorial region there are hundreds of solar furnaces, ranging in sophistication to dishes in craters to adjustable affairs using counterweights and pivots to better track the sun, focusing it into a ceramic furnace which can reach temperatures of up to 3,000 degrees. Slag is removed and liquid metal is collected at sundown

Among the more notable aspects of using these mechanisms for smelting was discovered after the fact, iron smelted in such a fashion has a certain degree of magic infused to it. The effects of this in most cases is minimal in the case of material that had simply been smelted, but several days of heating and re-heating in a furnace can produce metal which is easy for runesmiths to ply their craft on. Using said material they can forge three runic swords in the time it takes to make two of said swords from regular iron. Only meteoric iron is comparable. Ingots of repeatedly solar smelted iron can fetch up to ten times the value of regular iron ingots. Being an equatorial region that rarely sees cloud cover, solar smelting is a profitable venture for the Sand Dwarves, as does the use of mirrors which were made in solar furnaces by Dwarves who've refined their craft in that field for maximum mana reflectively over centuries who guard their secrets tightly. Attempts to replicate the process have, as of 37 IA, been uneconomical.
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Re: Infrastructure (Original and Illustrated)

Post by InsaneTD » 2018-02-15 01:34am

That's an interesting concept for mana steel.

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Re: Infrastructure (Original and Illustrated)

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-02-18 05:46pm

A place where glass is cheaper then wood...

Basic furnace would be obelisk tower or mound surrounded by circles of mirrors and junior dwarves adjusting them. Advantage of moving parts on ground so easy to maintain and under less strain. Tower is stone so again easy to maintain. All the hot work occurs at height, nice and far away. Refer to lead drop towers for possible manufacturing technology.
Disadvantages of having to lift ore up. Maybe some lift system to balance ore up with steel down.

They may also delvelop ceramics for machibe parts far ahead of others.

Do dwarves have steam? Probably not if water that short...
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Re: Infrastructure (Original and Illustrated)

Post by Zor » 2018-02-23 07:06am

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This Battlesteamer was completed in January of 37 IA, one of a batch of eight such vehicles ordered by the Central Committee that were the first combat ready motorized vehicles of the Infrastructural army to be outfitted with rubber components, most notably a set of pneumatic tires. There was a fair bit of experimentation involved in this design, with this one making use of two different sized of tire, four small ones in the front and two larger ones in the back. In general the tires have been well received, making for a smoother ride. It's numeric designation was assigned on delivery, being the 62nd battlesteamer delivered. It's semi-official name was given by it's crew when they painted it on it's.

No. 62 is about five meters long, weighs 5.1 tonnes and has a crew of three (Driver, Gunner and Commander). As is typical it's has a Type-2A Automatic Weapon in a turret as her main weapon. It has a 30kw alcohol burning steam engine and a top speed of 42km/h connected with the rear wheels. It's general reliability and fuel economy is higher than that of earlier models due to experience, improved tools being used in her manufacture and the addition of rubber components. As is standard she has a rest on it's back which contains an keg of alcohol to extend it's range long distance. Thanks to an improved boiler design it only takes about 10 minutes for No. 62 to build up enough steam.

Battlesteamer no. 62 was notable for being the first Infrastructural Battlesteamer deployed abroad, being used in the Liberation of Avesia where it was involved in the liberation of four plantations and was used in several parades. In general it was deemed to be a success, but there were problems. First of all there was the logistics of unloading the craft without port facilities. Avesia's terrain is hilly and the roads are at best little better than dirt paths. There was some concern about concealed artillery destroying it and the associated embarrassment that would come with it. There was also the matter of heat. Temperatures in Avesia during the campaign averaged out at about thirty degrees and on a few occasions could get hotter. When combined with humidity, the effects of direct sunlight on it's hull, three people working in close quarters in an enclosed space and the vehicle's engine the result was to the effect of a Sauna. Even with the heating system disengaged, an electric fan on full power, relaxed uniform policies and plenty of bottles of water and Kvas the crew often had a sweaty miserable time operating this vehicle.
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Re: Infrastructure (Original and Illustrated)

Post by Zor » 2018-03-12 05:04am

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With a maritime tradition which goes back seven millennia, common magical aptitude and the ability to acquire centuries of experience, the Dark Elvish states have produced many of the world's best mariners. To many the most well known application of said abilities are as pirates, raiders, military sailors and marines which can butcher shipping and reap settlements, though they are also often used in comercial activities ranging from the Slave Trade to more normal commerce either in or without the Dark Elvish sphere to (In more recent years) maintaining a link between the Homelands and their Colonies on the Northwestern Continent. Though slaves are often employed to help fill out crews, every Drow vessel larger than a rowboat will inevitably have at least a single Dark Elf acting as it's Skipper.

The manning of ships is a job perused by Drow from all strata of their society. Discarded Drow with nothing in their name but the clothes on their backs will often find employ among merchant crews for meagre wages and rations in hopes of learning skills escaping the streets. Those that prove themselves are often taken on as wards by established houses who encourage their children to do the same as they gradually earn enough to establish themselves and found Minor Houses of their own. Said Minor Houses have parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles and cousins which help groom their children for life at sea (including teaching them specialized trades such as naval carpentry and similar) and are seen as a premium source of sailors by their patrons. All the while they scrimp and save to buy ships of their own, often in part at first but with full ownership as an eventual goal. As their wealth grows and their ventures become more successful they gradually move into the territory of intermediate houses with investments in numerous ships and one or three ships of their own. Even the Great Houses of the Drow will often send their children out to serve at sea, though generally this is a way of grooming them for command. For all of this most sailors tend to come from houses on the Merchant side, with Warrior Houses being far less likely to raise their children to be sailors and generally do so mainly to man their warships and to make sure that their State's Navy is not totally controlled by the Merchant Houses. Many Sailors elect for naval service rather than conscription into ground forces. Drow sailors do not wear uniforms, though those in service to the military generally wear the Colors of their State (in the case of this sailor it's the Dark Green and Black of Valnothron).

Drow Sailors rely more on mundane skills such as conventional carpentry, tying knots and similar than their human or dwarvish counterparts but less so than high elvish crews. Wind Mages are the most common form of maritime magic users in a Drow Fleet, but hardly the only one. One task common in Drow maritime operations is as Slave Driver, keeping the chattel that do much of the work on-board in line. Drow Sailors are also quite capable fighters in their own right, having respectable training in arms and access to weapons that are usually of a higher quality than that of most sailors. Part of this has to do with the Drow Policy of training every Dark Elf in basic combat, part of it has to do with the fact that most civilian sailors spend time in the Navy, the Drow's large-scale use of cheap slave labor in arms manufacturing, that a fair number (if not as many in previous centuries) of Drow civilian ships moonlight in piracy or are pressed into service as troop ships and partly because there is the omnipresent risk of attack by High Elves.

Over the course of the Escort War there have been some changes, the most notable of which pertains to the introduction of Steam Engines which by extension requires engineers to operate and maintain them. The skills for which are totally removed from those of traditional Drow sailors. Attempts to meet the needs of a quickly growing fleet have included drafting engineers from industrial projects, assigning them apprentices to be given crash courses in the subject and setting up steam engines on land for training purposes. While many captains acknowledge the value of said new machines most of them resent the sudden insertion of outsiders into their sphere of influence in positions of prominence and the disruptions it has caused. Especially since they know that further shake ups are inevitable.
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Post by Zor » 2018-04-30 06:19pm

Ah crap. posted in the wrong thread.
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