Wretch Rousers in The Great Library | World Anvil
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Wretch Rousers

'ems the best thins we got. Draw em up an throw em inta the muck. Takes a minute, mayb two an the bastards come runnin.
— Tokas Drew, Wretch Hunter
Not all remnants of the Old World have been lost to time and rust. Some still appear throughout the wastes, be it as singular pieces of incredible value or as cheap trinkets peddled as treasure. Wretch Rousers are one of the rare cases where Remtech is not only widespread, but also useful.  

Ticking Boxes

  Unlike more famous examples of Remtech, such as the terrifying Daybreaker, the Wretch Rouser is a very unassuming device. Its barely as tall as a book and usually found in the form of a small box with rounded edges. Skin of metal or plastic keeps it secure and the many wheels and levers that make up its internal workings from getting dirty. The front of the Rouser is covered in glass or plastic and protects three pointers that rotate on a blank circle.   Historians believe that this used to be an indicator for the sound level that could be applied. But as of now, no one has found out how to adjust the sound level or even if the function still works. A low ticking sound is constantly emitted from the boxes and some are known to use it as sleep or concentration aids. However, the main purpose of the Rouser is found in one particular function: if tuned right, the box will emitt a shrill and piercing sound that is most unpleasant to the ear.  

Luring out the Prey

  Wretch Rousers are mainly used due to that peculiar feature. Mostly because they help in securing that ever valuable and vital resources, the black gold of the wastes: oil. While abundant throughout the world it is hard to find a truly secure supply. Roaming hordes and greedy empires always on the hunt aside, even the areas where oil can be found rarely are a safe place.   Such is the case of the great Black Swamps that dot the southern stretches of the wasteland. Among their muddy and oily black waters lives a creature that is both extremely hostile and extremely tough: the Wretch. Fast within in their oily black home in the depths, strong enough to tear apart metal and smart, they pose a deadly threat to anyone attempting to extract the black gold.   Its here where the Rouser comes into play for the Wretch has one major weakness in the form of sound. And the shrill scream of the Rouser in particular hurts them. Once activated, the Rouser is thrown into the Swamp and will drive the Wretches mad. They will either clump together trying to destroy the device or scramble out of the water. Each situation makes them vulnerable and easily dispatched.
They look bland, but have saved thousands of lives over the years. You cannot thank the ancestors enough for this creation.
— Maryl of Taine, Governor-general of New Eden
  Abundant in Number  
While only a select few mechanics across the Waste know how to build a Rouser, it thankfully has been left behind in more than abundant numbers by the Old World. Millions still lie around in ancient compounds and many more are used daily, there small but compact frame making them durable. This means that they don't have to be produced but rather found and many tribes will send out expeditions specifically to locate more.
So many Rousers...Can you imagine the threat the Wretches must have once posed? What else could be the reason for millions of such devices to be made? - Unknown

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Cover image: by Veikka Somerma


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Dec 4, 2023 22:09

Great article on a misunderstood ancient tech in a ruined post apocalyptic world.