Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Center Cannot Hold: The Rails of Crux

Technologies in Crux are something I've neglected to be precise about.  Crux, City of Curses is based on 1830s era tech, although some are more or less advanced.

The Rails of Crux
In the 1750s Othebea unveiled steam engines, the end result of finding nonmagical means to avoid
arcane magic.  Teleportation, conjuration and other means were all under suspicion.  But any artificial means that could replicate them Othebeans pursued vigorously.  The Othebean Crusades had been fought to constrain magic after all, but it did mean a significant lag for commerce and industry.

The advent of railroads in Othebea (and Ainesia to a lesser extent) led to the creation of steam engines.  Until arcanists and artificers in Crux tackled the problem, most steam engines were dangerous.  Boiler plates were known to explode, limiting their usage and leaving them with lethal reputations.  The Esoterium Machina in Crux created a new foundry in the city's Iron District, combining alchemical metallurgy with steam engines to create reliable, safe locomotives.

By the time Ith had won its independence from Othebea, the steam locomotive had started to become a staple transport, although it still only connected major cities around the Maru Sea.  Ainesia started adopting it as well, with Othebea perhaps having the most complex network of rails.  Ithic artificers continue to combine machinery and the arcane, while Ithic businesses grow from the increased mobility of the rails.

In Crux, a few rail lines converge, but none yet connect.  Each rail line is owned separately by different private interests, none of whom see reasons to even attempt connecting their various lines.  Only the rail that connects Crux with Ithspan carries passengers for instance.  The rail from Boilport is exclusively for metals, while the line from New Goodthorn carries coal and cattle.  All of these goods are sold in the Grand Bazaar in Crux.

Radical entrepreneurs often speak about uniting the lines, as do some Ithic senators.  But no one sees anything short of a new technical innovation or something equally shaking to be able to change the current situation- others suggest the creation of new railroad companies by the Senate, and bypassing the current lines altogether.

Perhaps the advent of the Aether-Train might change all that.

I couldn't think of any rules relevant-ness to cite for this entry in the ever-growing bible that is Crux, City of Curses.  I've been updating Crux's page in the sidebar, and will continue doing so until its a better reference guide for everything.  However, if you did enjoy this, feel free to comment and share.  Questions are invited!  I'll take criticism and whatnot too.  Suggestions as well: what other 19th century tech should I look at for Crux, etc.