Wave Shapers

"Priority message Eridu Station. Til. Do not send assistance. Til. Satium lost. Til. Šár ships, šár attackers. Til. Demons and giants. Til. Escape impossible. Til. May Nisaba have mercy on our souls. Til."
— King Dunte Alvist, immortal demigod of wave shapers.
  Since the time of the Gods, Adinite wave shapers have relayed messages between the nations. They coordinate trade, inform the nations of important news, and warn of inclement weather.   Each Adinite nation possesses a single transceiver located in their capitol, and these were not to be duplicated by edict of the Gods. The wave shapers operate and maintain these ancient devices, and oversee the creation of new receivers.   Radio receivers exist in almost every home in the Five Nations, and the wave shapers can broadcast to a single nation or precisely send to a single person, directing the radio waves with pinpoint accuracy.  

The Life of Humility

Every practicing wave shaper is a member of the monastic order known as The Mouth of Nisaba. Along with the chief scribes of each nation, this group is never seen in public without their long, hooded robes. They do not speak casually, maintaining silence except when they have business that requires speech.   They keep to a diet of pure ambrita, except for the festival days at the end of each month. While wave shaping only produces a small amount of ambrita on the hands of the shaper, they are provided with plenty of this edible byproduct as offerings for their services. Those who wish to send a message must offer payment, though the wave shapers sometimes waive this in certain circumstances.   With their strange dress and rare interactions with the public, the wave shapers are seen as mysterious and aloof. Many Adinites with the ability have gone through the training to become a wave shaper, only to later abandon the reclusive lifestyle and fall back on another shaping ability for their actual profession.  

Missing Links

Wave shaping is a natural ability of all the species of Adin, but the Sherdasan orphan species never learned to use this talent, as the Gods left them without the technology to use or copy. They were supposed to be confined to their original villages and evacuated from Adin after a short time, and had no knowledge of anyone else to contact even if they had the equipment and training.   Therefore, some of the earliest instances of Sherdasan children being born "without" shaping abilities may have been unfortunate wave shapers that never learned to use the skill, and never manifested any other shaping ability. The few wave shapers that were created in the first generation of the orphan species were taken by the Gods to their mysterious mission in the heavens, with no explanation given to those that were left behind.  

A Brief History of Communication

Before the Great War, when Eridu was the administrative center for the Five Nations, anyone found to have the gift of wave shaping was sent there to be trained. They would be tasked with sending low priority messages to specific people in other nations to hone their abilities, and after at least a year of training would either stay on in Eridu or be posted at one of the other tranceivers.   For their final test before leaving Eridu and beginning their new career, each one had to submit a blueprint of an improvement that could be made to the tranceiver design. They would take a copy of this blueprint with them to their new post, and leave one behind in Eridu for their archive. Many of these were redundant, for instance the wave shapers that would go on to work in Gibila have submitted at least 50 similar designs for an antenna that could be retracted to prevent damage from storms.   These improvements would not be made to the tranceivers, being Godly artifacts that were considered sacred. Still, it became part of the wave shaper culture that they knew the devices themselves were not perfect, and it was up to them as shapers to form the radio waves to their design rather than change the tranceivers.   There was one tranceiver in each nation, but most messages were sent through Eridu even for broadcast in the local nation. These tranceivers were under an edict from the Gods to not be copied, and the wave shapers kept tight watch over the devices. Even if one had been duplicated, the wave shapers maintained that they could easily retrace the signal to its source.   Though messages could be sent from any of the nations' capitols, most went through Eridu first to be logged into the official records. Emergency broadcasts for a particular nation were allowed to be sent directly from the capitol tranceiver of that nation, but also sent to Eridu to be recorded.  

The Sixth Nation

Once Kibala (later Kibalagaldi) was recognized by the Lugals of the Five Nations as being an official addition to the family, its fledgling capitol of Naag City was permitted to have its own tranceiver. The wave shapers allowed a copy to be made from Urubarra's device, and it was installed within the month.  

Wartime Communications

When Eridu fell, their communications tower was one of the first casualties. The Sherdasans knew of the radio network possessed by the Adinites, thanks to the Nommo spies collecting information from the Five Nations prior to the attack. They did not have a full grasp of its capabilities though, as the Nommo were relaying back stories of technology they had never seen, and were never able to get close to. These stories were passed back through several couriers before reaching Sherdasa by word of mouth, their spy network avoiding written messages whenever possible to prevent detection.   As a result, the Sherdasans had no idea that messages were broadcast instantly, instead imagining the devices as a complicated postal service. They chose cruelty over tactics, and spent nearly an hour firing their cannons at the refugee Adinites on the far shore before turning their attention on Eridu and destroying the tower. Even then, the tower's destruction wasn't exactly tactical. It just happened to be the tallest building at the top of the island city, and a fun target for the excited Udug.   When Eridu's radio went silent, there was no more information about Satium or the invasion force until refugees began arriving at other ports. This revealed a huge flaw in their simple but elegant communications system. The wave shapers of the other five nations discussed matters quickly across the air waves, and decided it was time to expand.   From generational experience working with the tranceivers, the wave shapers knew these devices could be improved, made smaller and portable instead of the elaborate and ceremonial radio altars the Gods had created for them. Though Eridu held the complete archive of every upgrade imaginable, each nation had its own smaller collection of blueprints filed away. Deciding that survival was more of a concern than blasphemy at this point, they got to work making new tranceivers.   Although some of the improvements would have turned them into mundane items that could broadcast without the use of a wave shaper, they opted not to make such a drastic change. There were hundreds of Adinites with the ability throughout the nations, trained at some point in their lives but not staying in the monastic wave shaper life. These people were pulled from their lives and conscripted back into service for the war effort.   Each nation created somewhat different tranceivers in this first round of improvements, but they were all smaller and portable units that could be easily carried by a single person. The range and signal strength was far less, even with the most talented wave shaper at the controls, but they were easily able to create a network of smaller stations across each nation that could relay messages between settlements or to the capitol. The primary stations could then communicate between nations to tell each other what was working for them.   Concerned the Sherdasans would be listening in from receivers captured from Satium, that entire band of waves was retired from use. The wave shapers instructed all Adinites to do their best to destroy their radios if they came under attack, and broadcasts to all receivers in a nation were limited to emergency warnings and propaganda about the war effort. All important communications were kept point-to-point.  

New Blood

The wave shapers were able to prevent many casualties during the Great War, and helped many displaced survivors locate their families. Once seen as a mysterious monastic order that many dreaded joining, their heroic actions have led to renewed interest as a sort of romantic profession. Their numbers have swelled in recent years, and permanent stations are maintained in at least a dozen cities in each nation.


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