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Spires of Steel

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Basic Statistics
Numbers: Over 100,000 spires
Diameter: 3 meters
Height: 5 meters above water
Material: Hardened Steel
Function: Anti-ship defense

Location
System: Zarmina
Range: 1/2 million square kilometers
Description: A narrow, 10-kilometer-wide band of water, approximately 100 kilometers off the coast of the Ironfoot Isles. Spans the entire west coast of Ironfoot.

Operation Red Bronze
Objective: Analyze the Spires of Steel
Personnel: 5,000, including 650 veteran sailors
Vehicles: 13 large junks
Casualties: 12 junks lost, 3,178 wounded or dead
Result: Navigation protocol established

What it was, I did not know. I was too scared to know. There was a strange whirlpool of water around the Spire, and the object itself seemed sharp enough to cleave my ship in two. I left the spire behind, but it seemed like there was just... more.
— Captain Sylvia Adamsen, of the Atlas
  The Spires of Steel are what give the Seas of Steel its name. Approximately one hundred kilometers away from the shore of the Ironfoot Isles, there are thousands of metal-like spires engraved with strange runes. Many a ship has foundered in these waters, their crews never to be seen again.   Operation Red Bronze was established after the reunification of the Ironfoot Isles, to establish a protocol for safe navigation through the Spire Fields, a catch-all term given to spire-containing locations. Despite the death of 1,160 and the wounding of 2,018 personnel, a safe-navigation guide has been established, which has greatly reduced the number of deaths from the Spires.

 

Safe Navigation Protocol

  The Safe-Navigation Protocol notes that while Spires may be dangerous, they are only so when they are pointed at you. Of course, all spires point directly towards a ship when it is within one kilometer of it, but if there are two ships within one kilometer of a spire, it will point to the larger one.   This has led to the establishment of large, floating bases known as "lighthouse boats", which are scattered throughout the Spire Fields. Lighthouse Boats are often hundreds of meters wide themselves, and attract Spires. During the night, all Lighthouse Boats have a Beacon to guide ships to their destination. The sixty-or-so lighthouse boats distract nearly ten thousand spires, allowing safe passage through the Seas.


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