Helikan Relay Technology / Science in The Calinan Sea | World Anvil

Helikan Relay

"If the Kalriv were somehow to evade our notice and move on Barkos, Helik will know about it in two days - and Ormond will in just over a week. We might not have them in infantry power, but our logistics and communications eclipse theirs tenfold."
-a general of the Helikan Army briefing Archon Halya II on the relay system.
  The Helikan Relay is a sophisticated continental highway and horse relay system created by the City-State of Helik to ensure the rapid communication of messages between any city-state within its sphere of influence. It was developed shortly after the formation of the Helikan League in 346 TE, and was announced as a project by Archon Halya II in response to simmering tensions between city-states in the central Sapphire Coast and the rising Kalriv Empire, and a perceived need to ensure all cities in the League can communicate with each other in as short a time as possible.   The system has expanded rapidly in the last century, with newer major cities such as Mayoka and Vessen being added to the network as they are brought into the fold of the League.  

Relay Operations


The Highways

The Relay's backbone is a network of highways stretching through most of southeastern and south-central Arikanda. These were created primarily by re-inforcing and paving existing merchant trails, while paving new road completely to connect the paths. The network is centralised on the city of Helik, with the system stretching to cities as far away as Ormond in the west, Vessen in the north and Barkos in the northeast.  

The Relay

The Relay operates through specially built waystations on the highway throughout the Southern Sapphire Coast, the southern Arikandan Heartlands, Arpium and Tanoron. Each waystation is specifically positioned to be no more than a day's ride from the one preceding it. At these waystations, multiple horses and riders are kept rested and on standby at stables, awaiting the arrival of other riders and horses. When another rider bearing a message arrives at the waystation, the message is passed on to another waiting horse and rider, who then set off with the message.   This relay system allows for much faster travel between destinations without factors such as exhaustion affecting transit time, which allows for vital messages to reach their destinations as quickly as possible. This can shorten a trip of over two thousand kilometres, such as that between Barkos and Ormond, to just over a week by horse.  

A Helikan Relay courier, in official League / Helik colours


Avaliability of the system differs depending on the mechanism. The actual highway system is open for use by anybody - not just couriers, but also merchants and any kind of traveler. With that having been said, the understanding is that all couriers have right of way and priority on the road, and all other users of the road are expected to make way for them without delay. This is enforced by Helikan patrols on the roads. Whilst Helikan citizens may travel the roads free of charge, a toll is levied for non-Helikans - albeit at a discounted rate for citizens of member states.   Conversely, the Relay horses and waystations are exclusively reserved for state communications for the City-State of Helik or, alternatively, any non-state communications deemed of importance to Helik. This is stated to be due to the need to keep riders and horses ready at any and all waystations. What constitutes importance to the city is usually at the discretion of the Archon of Helik.   Member states of the Helikan League have been petitioning the Archon of Helik for access to the network for their own ends - which is in and of itself a useful bargaining chip for the Archon to maintain Helikan hegemony, by promising access to the network in exchange for favours - or threatening to withhold pre-existing access to ensure a state follows a desired course of action.

Cover image: by World Anvil


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Aug 12, 2023 18:50 by Kwyn Marie

Love how dramatic the horse rider is!