Transportation

Table of contents


Restrictions on Movement

The Turritella

To those aboard the Turritella, little limits the freedom of movement, other than cost and access. The Rift? is only accessible at one point, and is otherwise blocked by artificial cliffs or walls, designed to be unscalable. It's not illegal to make an effort to reach The Rift?, but as far as most people are concerned, it serves no purpose. Only a few, special groups - like the smugglers, Scientists, and upper echelons of the aristocracy and Frontiersmen - are aware that there are clandestine routes to the surface through portals in The Rift?, provided you have a craft or device to assist you.

Aside from The Rift?, many of The Estates are blocked from the public, by fences and private security.

Some people may move north, to the more deserted grounds of the Turritella, if they want to become farmers, but most see no purpose in moving.

The Surface

Yet again, no laws prevent travel around The Surface, but the Blight makes any kind of exploration vastly dangerous, and few will take the risk. Those with the guts to press out for the purpose of exploration can frequently find great rewards in the desolate plains of the world, including Ommatidia crystals and relic technology. However, when they come back, they might be viewed with concern or suspicion or even put into quarantine by a local authority to protect the area.

On the other hand, the elevator to the Turritella is guarded and locked down by Chuck Avery's elite deputies, and none can pass through without a writ of passage, either from one of the Aristocrats or a high-ranking Frontiersmen. Coming down is nearly impossible, and going up is even harder... assuming you only consider the main, legal means of transit.

Vehicles

The Lift

The massive elevator that rises from the Surface to the Turritella is the most visible thing in the livable surface world of Cessnock. It rises from the tallest building, a black tube whose surface ripples slightly in the wind, made entirely of cellophane-thin, though impossibly tough Chitin cloth, a relic technology that has never been found in any other machine or construction and which has never been reproduced. Inside of the tube is the actual Lift mechanism, which is a three-story contraption sitting on a cable, about a quarter the width of a city block. Inside of The Lift Chamber is one level of seats and two of storage, and riders must be strapped in place for the entire two-hour trip from one end to the other. It runs only once a month, at most, and needs to recharge for at least three weeks after a round trip.

Tether-crawlers

Though illegal, it's a practical impossibility to prevent smugglers and their tether-crawlers from sneaking up, under the cover of night, to the Turritella. The devices are relics from before the Blight, though they have been sufficiently deconstructed to imitate by a highly skilled craftsman. A tether-crawler follows its name precisely; it's a device that attaches to one of the long Actin tethers that fall from the Turritella to the rooftops of Cessnock and climbs them all the way to the top. They're all large, pill-shaped devices, no larger than a small man, with little more than a cushioned bar to sit on and a few straps to hold the rider in, and a small hook to hold one or two crates of cargo.

To ride a crawler, a person needs either enough magic to suspend or limit their body's functions for a few hours (which is a task of great endurance), some kind of suit and breathing apparatus, or a bit of both. The ride can take three hours to most of a day depending on the quality of the crawler, and the finest smugglers develop occupational injuries such as bowed legs and weak calves from all the time they spend sitting.

After arriving at the Turritella, a tether-crawler's smuggler must make his way around the outside of the station and enter through a porthole. They will then arrive somewhere in the Rift?. Unless they have special suits, any smuggler needs to act during the dead of night, or else the sun's direct rays might burn them to a cinder.

Air/Space Craft

Such relics as vehicles that fly through the sky and space do exist, but how to operate and maintain them is a fact almost entirely lost to history. Even if someone were to find a manual, the fuel and parts that relic vehicles need is no longer produced - so for now, they're simply a legend of the past...

Auto-carriages

The wealthiest traders and the Aristocrats? have large, spider-like devices to carry them and their possession around aboard the Turritella or along the rooftops of Cessnock and The Surface. These creations do not have wheels but legs, and are frequently called "Walkers" due to the way they move. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and the technology to make new carriages was never lost, though the process is arduous and difficult. A ride in an auto-carriage can range anywhere from bouncy and jostling to so smooth and fast that you barely notice you're moving, depending on the quality of the device. Some of the smallest auto-carriage-like devices don't even require Ommatidia crystals to run; they can be powered by pedals and magic, much like a bicycle, only faster and able to handle any terrain on its many legs.

Horses, Beasts and Feet

Of course, the most common mode of transit are the simplest: walking, or riding on trained mammals, especially horses or donkeys. Even horses are usually rather expensive, and not something someone from Kaipalu would be able to afford. Those are reserved for the Aristocrats or the ranchers and farmers of the Countryside. It's possible to get a horse and a more standard, drawn carriage for long journeys outside of the city, but generally people walk from here to there.

Down on the Surface, beasts are unsafe, and the prospect of taming a creature that has been touched by the Blight is daunting, horrifying, freakish. In Cessnock, most of the homes are up in the top tiers of buildings, so again, walking is the main form of transit, as animals would probably panic and buck if forced to move around.