Archive for the ‘archaeology’ Tag

Endless Blue – Week 90.4 – Jetsam: Portable Forges of the Oresmiths   Leave a comment

Archaeology

Portable Forges of the Oresmiths

Lumulus that understand the working of metal become Oresmiths.  They join one of the eight Forgeclans (from which they take their surname) and ply their skills make lumulated metal.  This is a process of metalsmithing that makes the metal immune to corrosion from salt water.

The main tool needed for this art is the forge, but you cannot light a fire under the waves.  In order to be able to smelt metal from ore, Oresmiths use thermal vents that litter the sea floor of the Lumulus Basin.    They set up a large, cement-like block that is anchored to the sea floor over a deep sea vent, also known as a thermal vent.  As the hot water automatically rises, the surrounding waters can maintain a more habitable temperature.  The portable forge captures the rising hot water and absorbs the heat into its walls.  In many ways, it acts as a convection oven, able to reach hotter temperatures that those of the hydrothermal vent itself.  With enough accumulated, smelting of basic metals can be done.

The process is similar for lumulated metal, but instead of a thermal vent that releases super-heated water, it must overhang a chemical seep.  Chemical seeps are much like thermal vents, but the water is inundated by other chemicals that the Oresmith can use in the forging of metal.  The belief is that lumulated metal can only be forged over special seeps, the likes of which no Oresmith would ever divulge.

Endless Blue – Week 89.5 – Jetsam: Modulo Multiplex   Leave a comment

Archaeology

Modulo Multiplex

A compact tool for computation, working on clockwork.  Used by Synod Synesthetes, but actually designed by an Outlier of the Godless.  Far more advanced than an abacus, which is little more than “keeping your place” in your mind, marked with beads.

A squat tube capped on on either end.  Along the tube are switches that can be moved into one of eight positions.  Along the edge of the top cap are slots where results will appear.  The handle on the top is turned the number of times you want to multiply the number locked in along the length of the tube.  Division is accomplished by locking the number in on the length of the tube and rotating the top backwards.  Addition and subtraction are done by readjusting the locked number and turning once.

This analog calculator is a powerful tool to the Synod, allowing them to perform multiple complex calculations at a speed so rapid the untrained eye would equate as magic.

Endless Blue – Week 87.2 – Jetsam: Portals – Windows and Doors   Leave a comment

Archaeology

Portals – Windows and Doors

When everything can float, there is little difference between a door and a window.  Gravity does not limit pisceans to traveling along the ocean floor.  Thus both a window and door serve the same purpose: as entrance ways into constructed shelters.

As such, Elquan architecture never developed the idea of a “doorstep”.  Instead, any window allows entrance into a building.  They are called portals, and share the characteristics of both windows and doors. Like a door, portals are almost always designed with some form of lock, with the intention of keeping the structure secure.  But like a window, portals need not be opaque, and thus can be made from any material. Colored volcanic glass, such as used by the Chelon Spires, is an example of a “transparent” portal material.

Portals can be placed pretty much anywhere along the surface of the building, and piscean architects work the placement of portals in an artistic, creative manner.

Endless Blue – Week 87.1 – Floatsam: Anchors in the Deep   Leave a comment

Archaeology

Anchors in the Deep

Most of the sea floor is a thick muck of silt, sand, and other particles.  While there are occasions where rock protrudes out of the silt or is simply heavy enough that it overcomes buoyancy, the majority of the ocean floor is softer than tilled soil.  When the buoyancy of an item cannot be altered, then pisceans use anchors to keep things in place.

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Endless Blue – Week 80 – Nautilus   Leave a comment

Archaeology

Nautilus

This is one of the earliest images I envisioned for the Endless Blue setting: a Roman-style nautilus helmet.

Nautilus Helmet

Nautilus Helmet

Piscean aesthetics favor the natural coloration of a material, and artisans compliment that rather than obscure it with pigments or plating.

Endless Blue – Week 77 – Aquatic Prosthetics: Restoring What Was Lost   Leave a comment

Archaeology

Aquatic Prosthetics: Restoring What Was Lost

Life beneath the waves is a perilous existence.  The constant battle between the well-honed ungues of the predator and the evolutionary adaptions to escape of their prey is a constant specter.  Those escape tactics don’t always succeed, and by some twist of fat should the prey survive an attack, they rarely always survive unscathed.  The lucky remain relatively intact, with scarred-over gashes where tooth tore flesh.  But many other creatures pay a dear price for their freedom, losing limbs to the jaws of the aberrations above or the ocean predators below.  For these victims, their loss need not be completely permanent.

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Endless Blue – Week 47 – The Tantalum Mask of Icht   2 comments

Archaeology

The Tantalum Mask of Icht

The Tantalum Mask of Icht is one of the few remnants of the Icht Dominion left in the hands of modern pisceans.  Little is known of the race that once held sway over so much of the Known World, and what is known is actually vague supposition based on assumptions about this relic.  The artifact is a full face mask with a hinged strap covering the bottom lip and chin.  Two very wide and widely spaced  rhomboid holes serve as eye sockets, with the space under bridge between the eyes and the upper lip sweeping out about two and a half feet to a blunt point.  It is otherwise unadorned, showing the strange bluish-grey, lustrous metal that comprises its nearly spherical shape.  Around the back flares a conical lip, extending perhaps half a foot outwards and upwards, forming a collar.  It too is made from the same strange metal, though how any of this piece of antiquity was made has been lost to the silent depths of the Shelf.

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