Crux

Crux

Crux is on the east side of the Jenarild River nestled in the mountains. The surrounding land mass between the Jenarild and the Curving Stream has almost no living animals on it. Due to the lack of herbivores the plants have grown to great heights except around the city where the plant life is held back. This is due to the necromantic nature of Crux.

Crux has a population of about 11,000 living people. The rest of the population is undead. The workforce for the city is Skeletons and  Zombies for menial tasks and Ghouls and Wights for tasks that require intelligence. Almost all the people in the city have the ability to turn or rebuke undead from one class or another. This power is necessary to make an unliving servant do your bidding, unless it is intelligent and not already under orders from somebody else. A quirk of the city is that positive energy will allow control of undead in Crux instead of destroying them.

This city is made possible by the silver tower at its center. Inside at the top of the tower is a three-headed Bodak, known as the Antenator. The Antenator imposes his will upon all undead in the city to serve living people if the living people can call upon the power of Hades. Intelligent undead are affected by this to, but can resist it if they have an extremely strong willpower.

In some sense this is Hades’ city on the real world. All the intelligent undead must swear an oath to serve Hades or risk him collecting their souls for his kingdom. He hates losing any subjects unless they continue to serve him in the Material Plane. Any knowledge about rituals related to death can be easily found in the city, but not demon lore.

The buildings in the city get progressively higher as they go away from the city wall until they reach the silver tower at the center of town. It is more than five hundred feet high and reinforced with adamantine and alchemical silver. Anyone may enter the tower in an attempt to reach the top where the Antenator resides. It is said that the Bodak will answer a single inquiry or attack anyone who reaches the top based on that person’s intentions. Most wish to ask it a question about a dark ritual that cannot be found in any book, but some go to try to kill it. The many challenges on the way up have stopped everybody so far.

The Bank of Lamentation is found in Crux. It is a bank staffed entirely by Vampires. They protect the valuables put inside without question no matter what they are and collect their fees in blood or in a percentage of what is stored. The bank is guarded during the day by golems imported from Crafterton and is only open at night for withdrawals or deposits. The bank does not offer loans unless you are willing to put up souls for collateral.

There is a potion shop in the city of Crux run by the venerable lich, Vectra. Not much is know about this old specimen, but she seems to know everything about anybody who walks into her shop. It is said that she does not belong to Hades, but to herself. She is missing her left hand and eye probably from before her, “death,” or she has used them as her phylacteries. Every potion imaginable is available in the shop including some rarities from the Factory of Ideals in Crafterton. An amazing destructive spell is also sold in Vectra’s shop. It is rumored that the spell ends all life within a three mile radius of its casting. She sells the scroll of this spell to countries, kings, and other powerful people, and is willing to do a demonstration casting on the land outside of Crux for any who seems capable of paying her. The countries that are known to possess this spell are Xoria, Persia, India, and Ethiopia. None of these countries plans on invading the others.

In recent history the city of Crux has begun to move southwest. Undead work tireless, day and night, to pick entire buildings up, move them a few hundred feet southwest, then go back to bring forward another building. Rumor says that Crux will enter the Second Alliance War, but it is not yet know which side they will fight on.

-GoCorral

Nuke Power Spaceship

There was an article published recently on the BBC’s website called “Will nuclear-powered spaceships take us to the stars?”

The article describes an idea for interplanetary space travel using nuclear bombs.

The bomb detonates behind the spaceship and the shockwave propels the ship forwards.

You can see it in the picture above. The nuke detonation is on the right and the spaceship is shooting away to the left.

The idea was thought up in the 50’s and dubbed Project Orion back then.

Whenever I read space opera books when I was a kid my dad would talk about Project Orion as the only feasible means of really getting between different solar systems.

Space opera books always have some means of getting between solar systems with faster than light travel (FTL).

FTL is accomplished in the books in different ways depending on the books, but all of them have some sort of dimension bending idea behind them.

The simplest one that actually explained it had the spaceship travel through the fourth dimension.

We perceive the world in three dimensions, but what if there was a fourth that we don’t see?

How would a fourth dimension let you travel rapidly through three dimensional space?

It’s easier to understand if you imagine a two dimensional space, like a piece of paper.

The paper has two dots on it.

Two Dots

Normally you’d have to draw a line across the whole paper to connect the dots.

But what if you fold the two dimensional paper through the third dimension to connect the dots?

Two Dots Touching

Now going between the dots takes almost no time at all!

The same principle applies for FTL in some science fiction stories. Space is folded in the fourth dimension to allow faster three dimensional travel.

We may eventually discover dimensional travel like that, but for our best plan for getting to other solar systems is using up a country’s nuclear arsenal to blow a spaceship across the galaxy.

I think that’s pretty cool!

-Mister Ed