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Tulthin, The Great Machine
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Author:  Wyvern [ Sun Mar 29, 2009 7:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Tulthin, The Great Machine

Also called the clockwork graveyard - though this is somewhat deceptive, as Tulthin's machinery includes a variety of systems ranging from steam power to hydraulic to a few rare bits of strange solid-state mechanics (like the famous lifting wall of Tzareth gap*) that nobody has quite figured out. Still, most of it is in fact clockwork on a truly enormous scale. There are some places where you can find bedrock - though it's not always clear if this is rock, or just dormant solid-state mechanisms. There are some places where rusted machinery descends into unknown aquatic depths (like the infamous gear temple of the bronze flanges, which to this day has resisted all attempts to measure its depths). And there are even a few places that looked like bedrock - but eventually turned out to merely be vast islands of stone resting atop greater depths of machinery.

Tulthin does not support much in the way of plant or animal life; travelers are advised to bring plentiful supplies with them - water can be hard enough to find, let alone food of any sort. Still, Tulthin is a major player in Realm politics; its mines and excavations turn out pre-refined metals and in some cases even directly usable parts - even the mines of Stygia can't compete with the raw materials available here.

One small prison camp serves as a dumping point for some of Oberon's worst prisoners - though no actual sparks of any power are sent here. It's located far to the north of Gateway City, across the forge wastes, and can only be reached by airship - or a month long trek across flows of molten metal and unforgiving mechanisms.
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* It's a wall. A sheer vertical surface, apparently made of some dark gray stone. Featureless and unmoving. Yet anything placed against it 1) sticks, and 2) rises - as if the entire wall had an absurdly high coefficient of friction, and was moving up at a constant .14 meters per second. A few wheels placed against its surface power pretty much all local excavations and even a set of more normal elevators.

Author:  Wyvern [ Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Tulthin, The Great Machine

Then central feature of the forge wastes is Vulcan's Forge - an enormous mechanized volcano, named after the first spark to find it - and the first (known) spark to die on its slopes (from, in this case, an unexpected pressure release valve that blasted most of his party with aerosol lava). The tremendous heat of the central Forge powers several massive steam turbines, and is believed to be the primary energy source for the entire forge wastes area - or perhaps even Tulthin as a whole. Reputable excavators mostly stay out of the forge wastes; it's simply too dangerous to be worth the trouble.

Speaking of which, any excavations require a permit, and the submission of detailed records of exactly what was recovered from where. There is, however, a tourist clause: you don't need a permit for picking up parts below a certain weight per unit time. In theory, these records are available to the public. In practice, however, there always seems to be one more form you need to fill out, or one more approval you have to wait to receive.

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