Scarabeus wagon

A caravan of wagons rode down the path. It was a mountainous area, almost completely covered with trees. The day was beautiful and sunny.   The wagons were bustling with life, their owners talking with each other and their passengers. They were farmers, coming back from the city after selling their crops. Their conversations were filled with jokes and laughter. It was a good day at the market.   As it was usual, Eustache was leading the pack, as his sight was still the best among his friends, and his son, sitting right next to him, was tall and loud enough that the ones at the back of the caravan could see his gestures and hear his calls, should something happen. But right now, the two of them sat in silence, relaxing after a hard day of work...
  There are many ways, both organic and technological, to transport the cargo on Urnketh. Using domesticated Tall Wayfarer might be good to traverse difficult terrains and carry large cargo, but it requires a lot of feed. On the other hand, wagons pulled by beasts of burden might get stuck in some terrains.   That's when Scarabeus wagons show up. These mechanical, Color-powered wagons are capable of crossing most of the obstacles on the road while keeping their load safe and perfectly balanced.    
[...]Eustache's son stood up and gestured to the ones behind to slow down. A tree was lying down right in the middle of the road.   Eustache drove up to the tree and pulled one of the levers next to him. The engine of the wagon started rumbling rhythmically. As the front wheels touched the tree, they moved upwards, raising the whole wagon. The wheels climbed over the roadblock and softly touched the ground on the other side. The two pairs behind them did the same.   Once the first wagon crossed the obstacle, Eustache stopped it. His son left the vehicle and pulled out a chain from its bed. He tied one of its ends to the back of the wagon and the other one to the tree. When he finished, his father pulled another lever and moved forward. After a few moments, the roadblock was removed from the path. The caravan could continue its travel back home...
 

Climbing wheels

Scarabeus wagons possess the ability to climb over most of the obstacles as long as they don't have to climb vertical surfaces.
The axles of the Scarabeus wagons are construed with additional joints. Thanks to the Yellow Color metal bars put inside the axles, this construction can change its shape to adapt to the uneven terrain. Similarly, Yellow bars are used in the wheels of the wagon, which lets them stick to most of the surfaces, no matter how smooth they are.  

Stability

The wagons which can climb the obstacles wouldn't be worth much if the cargo they carry would constantly shift or even fall out. That's why the wagon beds of those vehicles are lined with more Yellow-infused paint or threads. This prevents the cargo from falling out even if the wagon itself capsized.  
About an hour later, the caravan reached the halfway point of their journey.   Eustache thought he saw something. He nudged his son and pointed far in front of them. His son stood up to see better. He nodded to his pa. Someone was walking in front of them...
— End of part 1 of Gray's last hunt
Rarity
Common
Beam
Up to 5 meters
Length
Up to 20 meters
Height
Up to 4 meters if roofed
Speed
20 km/h
Complement / Crew
1 driver

Appearance

When their properties aren't activated, Scarabeus wagons tend to look like completely normal wagons. The most visible differences between the two are an additional axle, lack of tongue to attach the animals (though there are some models sold with it, just in case of an unexpected emergency), and steering levers placed on the jockey box.
  Whenever one of the properties of the wagon is activated, the parts it affects start to glow with a slight yellow shine.  

Scarabeus carriages

For those who have more money and don't really have any cargo besides personal baggage, a new model has been created. Scarabeus carriages are a lighter and faster version of Scarabeus wagons, intended for the transport of people. Depending on the model, those vehicles can carry between 2 and 16 people.   Carriages focus more on the comfort of the travel than the utility. As such, their wheels don't have as strong maneuverability, meaning they don't deal as well with obstacles and very difficult terrain. On the other hand, their coaches use way more Yellow Color preventing them from any shaking during the ride.

Cover image: Scarabeus wagon by Revyera

Comments

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Jan 5, 2022 16:53 by K.S. Bishoff

This is an amazing vehicle! Powered by color is truly unique and it fascinates me about your your world! I also like how the header image is the wagon and the rest of the article supports it in a nice compact yet easy to read style.

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Jan 6, 2022 01:40

I'm happy to hear you liked the article!

Jan 12, 2022 19:45

I've read a few pages of your setting, and I don't yet know why it's called The Age of Grey. Apparently there are oversaturated regions as well... I love strange and novel concepts of magic, and I even adore oversaturation in art, so I'm curious about your setting.   As I was looking for WorldEmber 2021 articles to complete the January Reading Challenge with, this article was my entry point to your setting. I was left with questions! Is color-power sustainable? Does powering a wagon with color have any environmental consequences? Does using so much stabilizing Yellow ever cause the wagons to jam up? Can I find these answers elsewhere in your setting? I enjoyed this article, and I look forward to reading more.   A funny thought occurred to me while reading the appearance section of this: few people would enjoy being licked by the tongue of a wagon. Indeed, whosoever was licked by the tongue of a wagon would struggle greatly with such a burden! Hah. Pardon me for being off-topic, of course; it just tickled me. I didn't know that wagon-part was called a tongue at all.

Jan 26, 2022 23:52

Thank you for visiting and reading my articles. I'm happy to hear that you liked my world.   As for your questions, I haven't really described the fuel and mechanism of Colors used in the vehicles (I'll have to note myself to write that later), but to answer some of your questions:
1. As of right now, the Color-power is unsustainable. There are some who could easily prevent that (Witches), but they aren't doing that for the most part, so there are some places where extraction of Color creates tracts of Grayness.
2. Unless a road is vehicles way heavier and more powerful than those wagons (mostly military stuff), it would take centuries for any consequences to show up.
3. I haven't really thought about wagons jamming up (a great idea), but I guess that if there was a leak somewhere in the mechanism, it could potentially lock the vehicle (or part of it) in place.   And yeah, when I discovered that "tongue" is the right word for a part of a wagon, I also was surprised.
I hope you'll have fun reading more of my articles, and once again, thank you for already doing so.