Modern Trains: Recreation, Revitalization, and Rails
The rise of the Modern Trains; history and current state.
Trains of the Modern World
I’m not an expert… I don’t really like that way of thinking. These trains are simple technology. Someone would have put it together eventually, it just ended up being me that did.
Have you read the article about the history of Trains in Ithungsida? No? Then you are missing out!The trains of modern Ithungsida are different beasts than those of the first "Age of Steel." Lost are the lightweight frames and the engines that sent trains rocketing ahead no matter the load or the incline. The new trains are not unlike the "beasts of war" Old Araetule fielded in it's defense in the Funeral March. They are massive, bulky, somewhat slow, creatures of burden that stall on steep hills, require large amounts of fuel and fight to get moving. The bulk of the current models were designed when people still feared bands of Orcs sieging their trains, so the bodies/capabilities of the trains reflect that. The trains are equipped with small reinforced windows, ports for swords and other options to use against boarding invaders, so the train robbery of the first age has never come back into style. Passengers have gained peace of mind thanks to the defensible design of the new trains, but the trains are much less comfortable. They are powered by unrefined Bullette Powder, which makes for a bumpy, unpleasant ride. The constant blasts of the engines leave passengers feeling like they’re aboard a ship, swaying and shuddering through the night. Countless people are constantly attempting to refine Bullette powder, hoping to improve the quality of journeys on modern trains. New trains aren’t just less comfortable, however. They’ll also take you far fewer places than the old ones did. The old tracks were widespread. In the old days, you could get on a train at almost any major city and get off at most any other. Now, the options are much more restrained leading along the mountain ranges and little else. Furthermore, funding for expansion is reduced due to the prevalence of the airship trading industry.
It took over a century for the companies to battle through the initial quandaries of KravMaw law. And in the hundred years since the turn of the millennium only a handful of the previous stations have been restored. This “Second age of steel” is a sham, and we shouldn’t be supporting such blatant attempts to reconnect Araetule to the rest of the world.
Rediscovering the Trains.
We weren’t supposed to be out there. The trip was going to be fast and easy, just get some and get out. We just took a while to get some and had to take shelter from a horde of those nasty things.While most of Araetule had been destroyed in it’s entirety. The memories of several that had escaped on the “Starlight Railroad” lived on. And so too did the memories of countless people that had seen the growth and expansion of the trains to start. However, with the sudden failure of the engines and the rise of radical anti-technological extremists; the benefits of the trains dropped dramatically. The destruction of Araetule was made almost complete by various groups of these extremists systematically destroying rails across the continent. The only place that managed to sustain and maintain their rails was the Remniscent Monarchy of SosIwa. With countless years of experience on manual minecarts, the Dwarves readily tore the train cars apart and fashioned new manually powered rail cars to continue reaping at least a few of the benefits provided by the extended rails. In the year 901, Rexa Thedas took a group to the Mesa in search of a “Lighter than Air” gas detailed in some recovered blueprints. The group quickly determined that there was some massive source of this gas lying under the Mesa and moved further into the mesa to investigate. The group was caught unaware by a rampage of Bullettes, a group of goblins from deeper in the Mesa rescued them and took them further in, towards a place of safety. The city of Kanak. While they resided in the city, Rexa discovered the use of a ritual concoction of explosive material used by the citizens of Kanak for noise to scare away the creatures it was made from. After smelling, tinkering and experimenting with it, Rexa realized that the concoction actually made the “Lighter than Air” gas when it ignited. And the ignition was so forceful that it could be used to power pistons or gears. She shared this information as a musing and it spread like wildfire. The “Day of Gratuitous Explosions” is still celebrated in the city.
Rebuilding the Rails.
They offered me the job, a real grown-up thing and… Well, how could I say no? All it was was redoing the rails and helping to train engineers in the ways of Bullette Powder. It was easy and safe. What more could I ask?Rexa capitalized on this knowledge and built upon it, learning it’s interactions and writing pages on pages of notes detailing the reactions and usefulness for utilizing it in weaponry stylizing it after ancient araetulean relics of guns. To her surprise, it worked rather well as a substitute. She sent the records of these facts to the leaders of Kanak and continued her research. She can be directly attributed with the rise of “Gunslingers” in the early 900s as well as Kanak’s superb management of the situation. However, this wasn’t the topic she was searching for. She needed something more to get her where she was going… Her research continued for several years until in 1915 an old train engine was delivered to the The Tinkerer's Guild hall she was residing in for examination.
It was like a spark, just a rush of information as I made that final connection. The engine was like the guns! Powered not in the same way, but similarly. And if the guns worked, maybe the engine would as well?She took the engine and destroyed it with countless experiments of explosions. However, she had figured out the basis for what she was going to do. She sent letters out to the only people with rails left in Ithungsida, and offered to make the ancient tracks that had been laid by old Araetule for the great engines rumble with the true weight of steel once more. And they accepted, sending engineers to confirm her claims then relocating her to the heights of the Feng Mountains. By 940, the rails had been fortified and new trains were pounding through the peaks of the Fengs. And when Iwasunna was destroyed in 942, the trains were some of the only functional services for evacuating.
The Orcish Incursion
The Orcs… They have a harder time getting into the mountains. The steep cliffs and all that, the most are going for the plains and forests. And the ones that aren’t... The DraKaise Battalion is taking the brunt of it, protecting the valley and bleeding members as they do so. I heard that most of the Battalion is fighting Vhaskus head-on. I… I don’t have the DraKaise they do.The Orcish Incursion slammed close the gates of progress. Rails had been laid throughout the Fengs and a second set of rails had been pushed down into Iwasunna only months beforehand. But the orcs, crushed everything. Destroying walls, breaking homes and tearing up rails to use as weapons. And even as the majority stampeded through the rest of the continent, hordes made their way into the mountains. Driving the forces of The DraKaise Battalion back into the Feng Canyons and forcing the refugees of the cities to retreat to the mountain enclaves of the Avariel. Many died in this time.