The Greatest Enginnering Feat in the World
he Web is the greatest engineering feat in the world and the epicenter for The Dracon and Republic of Vinyata.
Home Sweet Home
The Web is the home to the majority of The Dracon
as well as the heart of The Republic of Vinyata, a hulking complex of twelve domed megacities. Each of the cities, known as Nodes
, is connected to its adjacent neighbor via tubed highways called Quickpaths
. This allows the cities to feel fairly connected despite often being hundreds of miles apart. Each Quickpath is slightly different, designed to adjust for the local terrain as much as possible. The megalopolis was originally constructed with 16 nodes in mind. However, there are only 12 connected to The Web currently. One of the earliest nodes collapsed in 539 D.A. Its first-gen design having been severely outdated, the city was abandoned long before its collapse. One has been cut off from the web by a natural disaster and lost. The other two have been destroyed, the most recent one being the destruction of The Eastern Node
The Web was an idea constructed by the early pioneers of The Republic of Vinyata
. The climate in Vinyata
was unforgiving with sandstorms that could blow a full-grown adult away to spectral lighting. While The Dracon had learned how to live among the weather, it seriously inhibited their ability to grow as a nation. The needs of the desert had already turned The Dracon
into skilled creators, so a radical idea was floated around. Why not create their own havens? Giant encapsulated cities that could guard against the elements and facilitate the growth of a nation? The pros and cons went back and forth around the community, with even the Pillars entering the conversation. The battle was fairly split down the middle, the Four Pillars themselves managed to end up split as well. The decision was locked in however when a separate intervened, the weather. A freakish sandstorm blew through the Dracon territory, killing dozens and destroying a huge number of homes. With this, the naysayers either flipped sides or stayed quiet. With that, the mammoth project board was formed and work on the plans began sometime in 7 D.A.
Big City Dreams
The project outlined a series of cities connected by roadways. All of the original creators knew that the project would be done after they were long dead and buried. Though, that grim reality didn't stop a myriad of talented minds from tackling all of the project's problems. The cities needed to be mammoth to accommodate all the people that could live within its safety. However, the list of problems with the idea was almost endless. From construction materials to locations, the project spent 20 years just on planning. Nothing was left to chance, no option was discarded and no amount of effort was too great. Eventually, the details were ironed out and Project Spiderweb would begin. There would be sixteen cities built around the central area of Vinyata
where the ground is most firm and flat. Each of the cities would be positioned in a web-like pattern where no city was truly isolated except for the outer cities. These outer cities would have the most defenses built, acting as sort of perimeter for the megalopolis. The second inner layer would be focused on agriculture and production. The last layer would be the most densely populated cities and would focus on sustaining the republic via commerce, refinement, and entertainment. Then at the very center, next to the largest body of water in Vinyata
would stand the capital.
The Rise of the Forgewhisper
The scale of the project was beyond anything ever seen at the time. There was no frame of reference other than what nature provided. This included the production of materials. To keep the domes light but strong, no ordinary metal would settle. No ordinary method would hold the dome in place. The advent of Forgewhispering happened a bit before Project Spiderweb was finalized. It provided the last bit of assurance needed to make it possible. The wistful combination of metalwork and magic was leading to designs never dreamed of. Welds that were "whispered" had a bond never seen before, they went beyond joining two pieces together to making them whole again. In the beginning, there was a worry that they would not have enough workers for construction. However not only did Forgewhisperers volunteer for it, but they worked ceaselessly. Many took this as their time to leave a mark on their civilization for eons to come, their designs immortalized. As construction continued, more leeway was given to the magesmiths for design questions. Each answer from the Forgewhisperers
was met with resounding success. Eventually, the choice was made for them to entirely design the project as well as construct it.
The 200 Year Project
No time for completion was set when the project started, they knew all too well that the date would be far in the future. Nature, the elements, and enemies would not quietly wait while the Dracon built their grand settlements. The first Node, Dawnshade
, was completed in 52 D.A, a spectacle of technical achievement for the time. It would also end up being the smallest dome of them all, the architects at the time not bold enough to go bigger initially. However, the modest approach allowed them to confirm that the megadomes were possible structurally. With their first scale test case in effect, they began construction on the Quickpaths leading out but did not construct any new nodes. They wanted to see the effects the weather and inhabitants would have. The lessons were stark and clear, heat distribution had to be addressed. This would be solved when Lyano Latimer
would be born and his Latimer Drive
made famous. The azurean fueled technology allowed them to create smaller and more efficient ways of handling cooling and heating. The pioneer himself was brought out to do some consulting. After another 4 years of study, construction would proceed at full speed for the rest of the node network. The Web as it's currently known was officially finished in 208 D.A.
The mindset among The Web is that of doing your share. The tenuous balance that comes with living in The Web and the desert in general means a team effort. While The Republic of Vinyata
has an economy that shares all resources throughout the network, each Node produces some of its own nourishment. Households are encouraged to form their own small gardens and spices. Livestock in some form is raised in each Node. While the message is unity, some citizens are also wary of totally relying on other nodes. In the case of emergencies, there is often no guarantee that their neighbor city may be able to help. Almost all materials used in The Web are recyclable in some sense. The use of perishable resources is used with extreme care, as there is not always a guarantee there will be more resources in the arid climate. In fact, some of the highest crimes in the land are not murder, but tampering with Node devices or resources. While the design for the structures took decades to design, the general public is always at worry about upsetting that balance. They take care of the domes and it takes care of them.
Over the last hundred years, a new problem started developing. The Republic had grown so much over the centuries that overpopulation was now a real concern. The first wave of efforts to alleviate this issue came with Relocation Vouchers. The government handed these out to citizens in the more overcrowded nodes, it was a bonus package the recipient would earn if they moved to one of the more underpopulated ones.
The bombing of The Eastern Node
at the end of Era was not on tragic, but earthshattering for the Republic. It was the first loss of a node in the modern age and a first for all living Dracon. The pictures, videos, and stories of the destruction made circles around The Web for years. The younger generation of Dracon had already been shown to open to the idea of living outside The Web en masse. The loss of The Eastern Node would be the spark for a movement for more security inside The Web, and for living outside its webbing.
Much like the Republic of Vinyata and the general area as a whole, The Web is primarily Dracon. Over the years as the Republic eased up their policies toward foreigners, the demographics have changed. As well the youth movement to leave the web has furthered the changes. The largest minority group in The Web are The Wanderers as they migrated into Vinyata and slowly adapted.
The underbelly of The Web is the ability to live as normal while under an artificial roof. The answer to this question has spawned in a host of ways, a bulk of them revolving around positive eco-systems and interesting ways to use technology. The first thing visitors notice upon visiting any Node, is how green the domed cities are. To help circulate fresh oxygen as well as make the artificial homes feel more like nature, moss patches, lichen and other vegetation are infused in some portions. Homes, buildings and other structures will have patches of plants growing along the ceilings or walls.
While each Node may be marked off to serve as part of an overall system, each one is fairly autonomous. The core principle of each dome is to serve as protection from the elements, however, the problem with a giant dome is the heat. As well, most of the old ways of generating energy also build up heat, which would be only worsened by the closed environment. The key to this are the Solar Plates that are aligned along to the tops of every Node. These panels move freely along tracks that adjust to the suns position throughout the day.
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