Aye, I remember the trains of yesteryear. I helped build the tracks through the North Fengs. Giving them beasts of steel their first real taste of the mountains. Was my earliest years out of the cradle really, still felt that DraKaise all welled up.
My ma’ gave me to the corp and we built rails for the next forty years. Saw them there rails pushed into Renai and all over the lands. Those were good years, the times were rolling with the steam and explosions of those engines. In that time; I got promoted to hold my own, and my men, they used to say that we invaded the unknown, pushing beyond the far horizons.
And we were, we were going through the lands of the Aarakocra and Goliath’s, not our own. The Depots for the trains to fuel were settlements in these lands. This was a land of the wilds and the DraKaise was strong with it. More often than I care to admit, we bundled up in caves just too small for those angry dragons to cut us out of.
Of Course, until the Battalion arrived and cut them down. chuckles There’s a reason they were the embodiment of the DraKaise and I was only a surveyor. And with the last hundred years of true steel, I say we’ll be making quite a journey as a continent.
The Invention of Trains
In the year 185, dwarven inventor Minntea Parther
woke up with one of the interior walls of her house in Forkly crumbling away. Intrigued, she looked through the hole and found a room filled with artifacts from the time of Iwa. While some might have been tempted by selling such well-preserved artifacts, Minntea saw the prize of what would be her collection dominating this secret room. An engine from one of the ships was parked inside her house.
This technology had been largely lost with the rapid expansion of Dwarven Culture across the land of Ithungsida, and was generally bemoaned as a height of understanding that would never again be reached. Having been born a century after the landing, Minntea had only heard tales from her community, but they had always stuck in her head. And with this occurrence, Minntea began to make plans.
She spent the next two years taking extensive notes until she finally sent them off to the newly formed Tinkerer's Guild
in 187. Over the next year, the engine and artifacts were carefully claimed and packed into boxes as they were shipped to Togasei. With this, Minntea was put in charge of a group working on the recreation of this technology. Using the considerable clout offered by Araelia’s
backing, she reached out to private collectors in search of more pieces of engines and old ships.
The next 10 years were a flurry of adventure and research as leads were followed to various preserved artifacts of technology. And at the end of the decade and the century, Minntea produced a functional combustion engine to crowds in Togasei. Using it to spin an old rotor of a ship, the crowds were awed.
Newspapers remarked on it and people were amazed. However, a mere five years after the demonstration and all companies were refusing to utilize the new technology. Preferring “Tradition and Proven Use” and remarking on explosive incidents during experimentation. By and large, the Combustion Engine is thought of as a curiosity and relegated to behind the walls of the Tinkerer’s Guild.
In a startling demonstration, Miss Parther of the Tinkerer’s guild here in Togasei showed a blend of ancient technology and new science. Where the explosions of her ‘engine’ caused the motion of the rotor of a ship! Who knows where this advancement will lead?!
In the year 225, Minntea designed a prototype using the Combustion Engine to help cool forges with the constant flow of wind. She used her familial connections and forced her way into SosIwan construction and forge workings. As the Combustion Engine grew in prominence in these small circles, Minntea began experimenting after seeing manually powered minecarts used in the mines of SosIwa
In late 243. Minntea returned to Togasei with minecarts and specialized engines built to make them move. Seeing her return and the obvious potential, the Tinkerer’s Guild fronted Minntea a large sum for rapid prototyping and construction. Within the year, the original prototypes had been refined and scaled up to the point of carrying people and large amounts of weight.
In the summer of 248, Minntea and her team took a ride on the first functional train of Ithungsida. Making a one way trip from Togasei to Bitegia
and arriving with an uproar.
As you are quite certain to have known, the Tinkerer’s Guild has been making strange lines of metal out from Togasei. They connected it to Bitegia and have been quite secretive on the matter… Until now.
With the approaching mid-point of the century and the intense changes currently happening, little could surprise the citizens of the newly founded Araetule. However, on the morning of the 23rd of this month, citizens near the outskirts of the city were awoken by a horrendous noise!
When they went to investigate, they found a metal monster creeping along the tracks towards Bitegia! The flag of the Tinkerer’s Guild hanging from the front. With this, could this bring in a new era of metal and travel?!
Only time will tell.
Between 244 and 253, the railways between Bitegia and Togasei were strengthened and built to handle extreme traffic. During this time, a number of near-misses helped solidify strict rules and safety precautions on railways. With the standard of loud whistles and the minor rebuilding of rails brought lots of trade and growth to the newer nation of Araetule.
In the year 254, Araelia reached out to SosIwa about setting up a force in the Southern Desert
. In return for such an expenditure, she pledged the construction of rails throughout the Feng Mountains
. Minntea and her team were promoted and given even more money and personnel to accomplish this task and over the next 20 years, they put basic rails and outposts through the mountains.
Seeing this development, Renai
asked for rails as well and finally pledged minor resources down near Eske
, the rails shot up to Moldatun
and the groups building them grew as well. As the century rolled over once more, Minntea was in charge of thousands of people and coordinating for an expansion all the way across the Forkmaw Range
When you heard the rumble of tracks today, you didn’t think twice, now did you? Would you believe me if I said that at around noon today, a train from Moldatun passed by here heading all the way to Eami?! Part of a historic event, many members of the Polar Court are making the trip under guard by the DraKaise Battalion till they arrive in Eami for a peace summit!
And get this, They are expected to arrive in Eami in just 2 weeks! Four weeks, two from Moldatun to Bitegia and another two to Eami! What advancements in technology will we see next?!
The expansion continued at a near Break-neck pace, pushing through political blockage and into KravMaw
and the Dytikan Coast
and completely filling Renai's Interior
with the sound of churning tracks and whistles. The responsibilities of Renai’s Caelfoc Union
were expanded to include clearing tracks and repairing them, while countless other areas began forming similar groups to help maintain the rails and the growing trade and prosperity from it.
Minntea Parther of Forkly, died at the age of 356 in the year 456, a matron of her clan and a revered matriarch of the Tinkerer’s Guild. She is credited with a massive part of the population and economic growth for this time period. She is also credited with the depression that followed.
The Railway Crash
In 530, the rail lines were largely finished. The continent was connected in all manner of ways. Trains criss-crossed the landscapes and there were constant new technologies springing out of the technocracy that Araetule had formed into. The Tinkerer’s Guild kept secrets close to their chest, but spread good fortune by bringing their own engineers to the world.
What followed was a century of peace and advancement. Trains became faster and more refined. Food became easy to find and easy to obtain. Nature began to bend to the combined wills of science and magic. Education and intelligence grew. Times like these could never last…
In 640, a mere 100 years past the beginning of this renaissance. The second atomic explosion shook the city of Bitegia and single-handedly ended the age of steel. The first blast heralded the end of the age. After the second blast, the gods enacted the Funeral March
and destroyed everything. Araetule fell. With the nation, so did the nexus of the trains.
Overnight, the cabin of every train on the continent went dark. The engines stilled and the explosive force driving the trains burned without heating the providing power. Every train or similarly powered vehicle on the continent ceased to function, and the economy of Ithungsida crashed almost overnight. The gods enacted their vengeance, and sent Ithungsida back to the dark ages.
I survived Bitegia, was a merchant there on the shores of the sea. I remember the day was gorgeous. Last thing I ever saw, so not like I could really forget it. See, the light of the sea and the sun in the sky. The birds chirping and I could…
I c-could hear children laughing and singing. Then the sun got brighter, and I looked out at the sea. But that was no sun, it was a wave of light and fire. The faint mushroom of destruction was the very last thing I ever saw. Will of Darchada I suppose, reaching into our world to destroy us.
The gods won’t help us if we mess up like that again. They won’t even care.
Trains in the Modern World.
Extended reading on the so-called "Second Age of Steel"