Lightless Ward Technology / Science in Jewels of Lockhinge | World Anvil

Lightless Ward

    Inventor: Zaven Kashahesi
Commissioned by: Lord Tekhetsio Thriyan
Other names: Dark Bomb   Lightless wards are installed at the Star-led Embassy in Lockhinge City to function as a security system in the event of a light-based emergency. If light brighter than a candle is seen by the wards, or if any magical light is created within range, the wards are triggered. Powerful, magical darkness is cast instantaneously upon triggering of the wards, blanketing the surrounding area to protect those who may be harmed or blinded by light.    


  Lord Tekhetsio Thriyan had been toying with the idea of doing something to jumpstart an environment in Lockhinge City that would welcome more nocturnal species, but it hadn't been until meeting Stargazer Dax of the Darklings that the idea for the Star-led Embassy truly formed. The concept of an entirely lightless haven was very intriguing to those who are not only nocturnal but also light-sensitive, but the Darklings have never been a trusting people. Tekhetsio had needed to come up with a very compelling assurance of their safety if they were to consider his offer.   The quest to create a brand new security system for the Star-led Embassy had begun.    


  Tekhetsio commissioned his friend, the talented young wizard, Zaven Kashahesi with the task of solving the puzzle of how to protect people who are damaged by strong sources of light. Since the answer would likely involve many hours worth of work, and the design of a magical object, their mutual friend, Remmy Sullivan, was also tasked to help with the grunt work and outside-the-box thinking that would be needed.   The resulting design is an extremely cost-intensive venture--both in the precious materials used, and in the manpower needed to craft them--and requires artisans skilled in both high-level magic and the creation of magical artifacts. A less-powerful prototype created by Zaven was given to Stargazer Dax to take back to his people for approval, before final production was taken over by city-appointed artificers.    


  After some testing and final design tweaks, the lightless wards were installed in the Star-led Embassy before the final stage of its construction, as part of an extensive, cutting-edge magical security system funded by the city. Several wards are installed throughout the facility, ensuring that if one ward fails during triggering, there are wards with overlapping ranges to take its place.   The wards trigger instantaneously by significant sources of natural light or any source of magical light, which is both their greatest strength and greatest liability. This unforgiving triggering system can easily be set off by accident, but as those accidents have the potential of seriously harming any Darklings or other light-sensitive creatures nearby, the risk was deemed to be worth it. Along with the strong notifications placed in and around the Embassy that proclaim that sources of light are prohibited within the premises, are warnings of the hefty fines and punishments that go along with triggering the security system.   Another concern with the wards is the potential for foul play. An acknowledged risk is the fact that such an expensive system can be triggered by as much as a bright torch or low-level light spell. It requires virtually no expense of resources to set off the wards, and the wards are not able to be recharged quickly or easily. The spells contained within are powerful enough to combat strong magical light, and so need time and expensive resources before they are ready to be used again. If someone wanted to trip the security system in order to take it out of commission for a period of time, it would be easy to do. The only consolation is that the magical darkness created by the wards is extremely noticable by anyone in the area, (giving the Embassy occupants plenty of time to flee through safe exits,) as well as the fact that there are magical alarms that are also part of the security system, alerting authorities to a potential problem.    

Social Impact

  Though the creation of the wards had originally been a method to coerce the Darklings associated with Stargazer Dax to visit the Star-led Embassy and ally themselves with Lockhinge City, (as well as a measure to protect Lord Tekhetsio from political opponents who may have wanted to take an easy strike at him by hitting his Embassy with a simple light spell,) the lightless security system has become a major selling point and trademark of the Star-led Embassy among other peoples as well. Not only is it a reassurance of safety that nocturnal peoples are not often afforded, but the simple existence of the gesture itself has the potential to carry far.   Lord Tekhetsio hopes that the Star-led Embassy will attract attention from the distant underground and low-light realms that Lockhinge currently only has furtive contact with. Not only would such a success be a lucrative revolution for Lockhinge, (and the rest of the kingdom, by proxy,) but it would buy him and the Thriyan family social currency and leverage that would be hard to counteract. The hope is that the concept of gearing settlements toward nighttime as well as daytime occupants will spread throughout the kingdom, but even if it doesn't, it could be a huge win for Lockhinge.    


  Currently, lightless wards are only installed at the Star-led Embassy in Lockhinge City, though the technology will likely spread as Lockhinge sells the schematics to other institutions. First, commissions will be offered within the city for those wealthy or deserving proprietors who also want to attract and reassure nocturnal clientele, before eventually being sold abroad.   Though the wards are currently only used as a security system, as the technology spreads, there is the possibility that some offensive use for it may be discovered as well. Luckily, the exorbitant cost will be prohibitive for many who may have less-then-noble intentions for the devices, and--so far--none outside of Lockhinge have expressed much interest in something so costly and having seemingly limited use.