OperationAlthough the idea behind dovepost is a simple one, its empolyment in the modern world has gained a far higher level of complexity. To allow for automated communication, Dovepost Stations are employed, which can handle the removal and attachment of messages and the instruction and rewarding of doves through purely mechanical means. Typically, messages between stations are Punched Card to allow for direct interpretation. Should an unrecognised format be detected, the metal identification tag of the dove is read, memorised and printed on the foreign message, the dove is sent to the aviary until further notice and a Mirror Operator is requested. Once the actions to be taken have been determined by the operator, the dove may be recalled to the station and sent back with the appropriate message. In the case of a dove arriving without a message, a red ribbon is attached to the dove and the dove is instructed to go back. Should the dove not respond in accordance to its training, the dove is immediately dispached to a Constabulary Office or Trevy, from where emergency action will be taken to find the registered owner of the dove.
TrainingIn order for the doves to react correctly in such a complex environment, they are trained to recognise the distinct shapes, colours and lighting patterns of Constabulary Offices and Trevys, as well as dynamically memorise any such structures situated near its current location.
Certain symbols and gestures are taught to the dove, so that it may effectively carry out orders by both human and automated systems.
Additionally, they are trained to react intelligently to harsh conditions, to maximise the speed and chance of success when delivering messages.
To train this in a controlled environment, large Powered Windsocks are used while showing areal photography, though much of the advanced training happens outside with the support of other trained doves and specialised training falcons.
These training falcons will safely retrieve doves that are flying off-course or are entering a dangerous situation.
AvailabilityAll things dovepost-related are operated by government-endorsed entities such as the Cosmopolitan Constabulary, Royal Post and the Royal Household, although Expeditioners may be given a post-dove by the discretion of the Traveler's Lodge.
This restriction is enforced by having post-doves being trained exclusively by the Royal Post, who has access to the best breeders and the latest training methods.
In countries outside of Tightland, other, more adapted, birds may be used in the place of doves.
One example would be the Imperial Parrot, who may also voice commands to operators to reduce the amount of messages to be carried.
Dovepost, as the name implies, makes use of doves or other birds to deliver 'post'.
This post does not entail heavy objects due to the limited lifting capacity of such a creature, instead, Punched Cards and other paper-based information is used, such as notes or results from Trevy Signals.
The transport of paper-based information is not permissible under dreary weather, since the paper may disintegrate during transit.
If available, waxed paper may be used under such circumstances, but not Nitrocellulose Film due to its high combustibility.
- Although it is believed that doves have been used for communication since ancient times, the methods and communication protocols where initially developed through the initiative of a Horologist from the Royal Guild of Horologists.