When the nations of Oliad and Danacia began to realize their imperial ambitions they were faced with a challenge that they had never confronted before. As their colonial holdings expanded they were faced with the question of how their central authorities could quickly send directives to their scattered generals, admirals, and imperial governors. This was in the time before the invention of Sparrows and the telegraph, and neither kingdom had access to the Soul Stones used by older empires.
The solution that both nations settled on were the Flicker Lamps. These devices were made by taking a fire spirit and splitting it into many parts. Each part could then be sealed in a glass lamp and sent overseas to important governors and military commanders with at least one remaining in the homeland.
An individual with the proper training could then operate the lamp by causing it to flicker in coded patterns that would then be repeated by every other lamp in the set. This allowed messages to be quickly sent across great distances.
There were drawbacks however. The first being that they were expensive to make and required at least some sorcerous training to operate. Because of this they were typically only issues to important governors and high ranking military commanders who were responsible for passing messages on through more conventional channels.
There was also no way to send a message to just one lantern in a set. A message intended for just one person would be sent to all connected lanterns. Every set of lanterns was expensive to make and traveling with multiple lanterns, especially while on campaign was difficult. To address this most nations using these lamps created special codes that would be known only to certain lamp holders. This was not a perfect system and often led to information leaks when outdated codes were used, but it worked well enough for most communications.
With the later invention of the telegraph and Sparrows these lanterns fell out of use. But they are still kept as museum pieces and curiosities, and sometimes still employed by enthusiasts and secret societies.
This is the first bit of worldbuilding that I’ve posted in awhile. Don’t worry! I plan to post more in the coming weeks. Check out this link here if you want to see what else I’m up to. You can also follow me on twitter @expyblog!
that it’s about time I shared the map of where my current WIP takes place; the
island of Olsecheny.
and barren, the island was claimed in the early days of Danic colonialism, but with
an apparent lack of natural resources it was mostly ignored by surveyors who
would at most land to hunt game for the ship’s cook. It was only when Prince
Breton, the youngest son of the Danic King, was made governor of Rahl that the
island began to take on any importance.
Breton, who was known for his melancholic moods, found a sense of peace in the island and soon he was spending his summers there, governing Rahl by proxy. He first established the town of Breton’s Landing and engaged in trade with the natives for furs as a way of justifying its existence, but most of his time was spent exploring the island with a small retinue. It was during these journeys that the Prince created some of his most famous poetic works. It was also during this time that he built up a favorable relationship with the native Ouro and married the daughter of one of their chieftains.
a turn for the worse when his father died and his older brother Atias II was
crowned King of Danica. Atias II had a long-standing grudge against Breton and
began demanding a more ruthless exploitation of the island’s resources. He
justified this by claiming that Breton’s was spending far extravagantly on what
was essentially a royal hunting lodge, but in truth the cost of maintain Breton’s
Landing was little more than a footnote in the royal budget. Atias II just hated
resisted the inflow of colonists to the island. Atias began using the island as
a penal colony, and danic hunters increasingly clashed with the Ouro. When gold
was discovered in the island’s central highlands, Atias II decided it was time
to push the Ouro out completely. This action was viewed negatively not only by
Breton’s supporters but by a significant portion of the Danic nobility. The
Ouro were technically one of the Ten Tribes of Danica and pushing them off of
their land was seen as a flagrant violation of the National Compact. But in the
end Attias II got his way. Breton resigned in protest and went into exile in Olsecheny’s
highlands where he eventually died.
Today, the island is one of the few remnants of Danica’s former empire. While the gold mines continue to turn out a modest profit, national pride is the main reason for keeping it. It’s defense is overseen by a mixed assortment of local militia fighters and soldiers who have fallen out of favor back home in Danica as well as a squadron of olish ships who patrol the region in exchange for use of the coaling facilities at Olsecheny.