Tenterhook Station Building / Landmark in Manifold Sky | World Anvil

Tenterhook Station

Tenterhook Station is an old research station and transportation hub in the otherwise very sparsely populated Rhombic Obliques region. Originally constructed as part of a cooperative agreement between the Burning Hearts Social Club and the Manifold Conservation Society Bureau of Science, the station was abandoned when costs imposed by the difficulties of operating in that environment became too great. In more modern times, an ascetic coven of Biocosmists have repaired the old habitat module and converted it for use as a monastery.

Purpose / Function

The original purpose of Tenterhook Station was to serve as a hub for geophysics research. The unique geometry of the Rhombic Obliques was, and remains, difficult to explain under the already topsy-turvy geophysics of the Manifold.   The deep 'pits' formed at some some vertices of the Obliques where they touch the commissures are difficult to access by airship and are too steeply sloped at the sides for easy construction. At the same time, the high faces formed where the vertex mountains would form on normal cube layers quickly ascend to such high altitudes that, while they are much easier to reach from the air, any facilities constructed there must be sealed and pressurized like skystations to allow for habitation.   Tenterhook Station was built to address both of these issues by forming the first link in a chain of commissure transit stations set throughout to the vertices of the Rhombic Obliques. Researchers would be deposited via airship to transit stations and commissure skystations from adjacent cubes in the Ventral Tesseract. Then, these researchers would be picked up by funiculars for transfer between facilities like Tenterhook Station located in the other vertices and in the centers of the other faces of the Obliques. These funiculars would be raised and lowered by miles-long tow cables because centralizing the power systems would be more efficient; should the geothermal reservoirs common to other regions of the Ventral Tesseract be found beneath the Obliques' faces, it would be easier to do extraction at one point rather than trying to distribute biodiesel to individually-powered trains.


Ultimately, the deal between the Burning Hearts and the Conservationists fell through before the rest of facilities that would make Tenterhook Station relevant were ever constructed. The Burnhearts - consummate adventurers all - proved too impatient to embark on a decades-long infrastructure project that would ultimately destroy some of the Rhombic Oblique's exotic appeal. The Manifold Conservation Society, without an external backer, was more inclined to return to its usual, insular state of affairs, despite the promise of new science that could further their mission of predicting and surviving a potential ecological disaster like the Ventral A Volcanic Event. Thus, though Tenterhook Station was completed and three funicular track pieces were extended from it, the station was eventually mothballed and, with time, largely forgotten.   A few years after its abandonment, Tenterhook Station was found by members of the Way of the Biocosm. This particular coven of Biocosmists, eager to find a place to settle down that was suitably remote from the oppressive clutches of governments and other religious sects, especially the Daughters of Misfortune, discovered records of Tenterhook Stattion and chartered airship travel to the destination. Alongside some members with knowledge of engineering and geothermal power systems, the coven was able to restore Tenterhook Station to an operational state. They converted some of the meeting areas into worship spaces and have resided there ever since.


Tenterhook Station is a sprawling, if shallow, complex of steel framework inset with a geothermal power plant, fuel biosynthesis reactors, huge winch engines for operating the funicular tow cables, an airship landing pad, a passenger terminal, and a sealed crew habitat. The habitat is a multi-layer pressure envelope that contains a gravity bath, a technology developed originally for use in the micro-gravity regions of Bunker Primus. Being so far from the faces of the cube in which it is situated, the part of the Obliques where Tenterhook Station may be found experiences a significantly reduced force of gravity; without the centripetal forces applied by the constantly spinning gravity bath, residents of Tenterhook Station would experience bone demineralization, increased occular pressure, muscle atrophy, and other deleterious effects.


Tenterhook Station is ideally situated for the use of the Biocosmists because its extreme remoteness and the thinness of the air outside mean that only the most determined of visitors will be able to reach it. This is a double-edged sword, however, as the isolation also makes it difficult for new members to join the coven and for disaffected members to leave, creating a potentially unwholesome social dynamic among current members.

Transportation station
Parent Location
Owning Organization

Cover image: by BCGR_Wurth


Please Login in order to comment!