Shields of Malay
I've seen a great many things in my travels, but nothing compares to my first visit to Malay. I had my wares on offer in the square, not too far from their giant decorative Tyrellium tower at the city center, the one stretching twice again the height of their walls. Business had been thriving all day when suddenly a call rang out to "Brace for Shielding!" One of the locals immediately rushed over and began instructing me to move my wares away from the square, separating out anything susceptible to Lithaelexy to store in a tyrellium shielded box. I watched as those around me did the same, many with the fluid motions of frequent practice. Next thing I knew the formerly clear skies were alight with a storm of color as magic was cast upon the city from all sides, jumping and weaving along invisible barriers before leaping harmlessly to the tower in the center and running to the ground. There must have been a full battalion of Battle Mages attacking the city, and the locals just stood there and watched the whole time! And when any especially heavy barrage passed overhead, they cheered! After it was over they began to set up the market again as if nothing had just happened. I questioned some of them, asking how they could remain so calm while the city was under attack, and they'd just shrug and say the city guard ran drills like that all the time. Apparently it was only a drill, to test a recent upgrade! I have seen a great many things throughout my career since then, but nothing can ever compare to the terror and the beauty of those lithaelexy shield tests.The electromagnetic lithaelexic Shields of Malay serve as an impressive display of military might and technological ingenuity. Efficiently defending the city from magical and metallic attack, its installation has also propelled the city state to new heights of prestige and prosperity. The periodic activation of the shield has necessitated some changes to the city's use of metals, but this has been deemed a small price to pay for the city's success.
Mechanics & Inner Workings
The shield array itself stands as a monument to engineering ingenuity and knowledge. Its integration into the existing city structure requires years of planning at great expense to the local government, but since its activation the Shields of Malay have repaid this investment, with interest.
Coiled ArrayAlong the inside passageways of the outer city walls, the Infrastructure Engineers of Malay coiled large gage copper wires in multiple separate spiraled coils. In total the walls house six such coils, with five spaced evenly along the height of the outer stone wall and the sixth positioned along the inner edge of the battlements. Each coil begins and terminates within a reinforced room, its stone walls coated in Rune Magic, housing several wooden chairs. These rooms are equally spaced around the inner walls of the city, the wires leading to and from them carefully directed beneath the walkways and insulated with wood and stone to prevent interaction between adjacent coils.
Tyrellium TowerA reinforced Tyrellium tower stands tall in the exact center of the town, its outer reinforcement structure bolted tightly to the ground at all three corners, large foot-long Tyrellium spikes extended outward and slightly upward at random intervals starting about halfway up its length. Within the support structure thin rods of Tyrellium reach inward towards the center, encircling the thin, straight rod at its heart. This rod serves as the core of the shield's dissipation system, stretching into the sky three times higher than the city walls, the rod's support structure angled in to narrow as it approaches the tip. Unknown to most residents, the rod also extends deep into the earth, a depth equal to its height, grounding itself deep within the bedrock.
Shield OperationTo activate the shield a Battle Mage skilled in Electromancy and Lithaelexy must activate each coil from within the Reinforced coil room. Each room is powered by a single mage, although in times of siege the Battle Mage compliment will be doubled to allow for redundancy and breaks. In case of emergency the rune work in the stone can be activated by any trained guard to power the coils for several minutes until the Battle Mage takes their station. The Lithaelexy cast by the mages powers the shield around the city, encircling it with an electromagnetic field strong enough to deflect most magic spells including Antimagic. Due to the donut-shaped nature of electromagnetic fields the spells are directed inward to the town square, where the Tyrellium lightning rod conducts them into the ground to dissipate safely. The Lithaelexy Shields require a great amount of Imperium to channel but at full strength are capable of deflecting all spellwork cast at them, making them much more efficient than traditional Shielding Magic or even Antimagic. It has also proven quite efficient at disarming opposing armies, although its use has necessitated a variety of adjustments from the citizens and soldiers of Malay. The town guard relies upon cloth and leather armor. Weapons and other metallic household or building items are manufactured using aluminum, brass, or austenitic stainless steel specially crafted using Metalmancy to maintain their required strengths. Any items crafted using lithaelexic-suceptible magnetic metals must be carefully stowed while the shield is active or risk flying towards the shield coiled walls at an impressive rate of speed.
The fertile lands of the Andisol Valley are split across a vast collection of city states and their locally allied towns, villages, and farmers. The city states themselves rely upon their collection of allies to provide food and products not readily grown or manufactured within a city environment, while the farmers and villagers look to their pledged city state for access to a customer base, the Portal Exchange, and protections from bandits, thieves, and other city states wishing to claim their lands and wares by force. While most city states boast a skilled military arm, including regiments of Battle Mages and Warbird-mounted cavalry, Malay's Lithaelexy Shields are unique. While the Shields do not extend much past the city walls their very existence has attracted alliances with farmers far outside the city, beyond the average range of most city states' reach. The sheer military might displayed by Malay, with their frequent shield tests and the wealth displayed by the installation and it's operation, inspires confidence in the capabilities of the city. The larger network of pledged allies allows the city's size and prestige to continue to grow, confident in the strength of their supply chains and their ability to support the growing population.