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Rating: 3.5789
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ID: 647


June 14, 2007, 3:56 pm

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If one listens to the aether, one can hear the vibrations traveling through space.  If one listens carefully one can hear what is said. - Lord Caasi on Aetherschreibers

Sitting before you is a mass of gears, clogs, wooden armatures and springs.  This messy, bulk device can talk to its mate across any space.  Each of these is made in pairs, and each one holds a special crystal that was split into two pieces and each have put into one of the Aetherschreibers, allowing them to listen to each other, and to speak to one another.  The clock work armature turns the movement of the attached pen into vibrations the travel into the crystal and so into the aether and back out through the mate crystal and back into vibrations that move the armature (with the aid of clockwork) to write on paper what was written.

Adapted from Newton’s Cannon and A Calculus of Angels, Books One and Two of The Age of Unreason written by J. Gregory Keyes

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Comments ( 12 )
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Voted Lucint
June 9, 2005, 20:34
This is an interesting item in and of itself. Though I am having a small bit of trouble thinking of pratical uses for this. I imagine it would be quite large so it's not as if the players could take it with them. Which would mean that they would either have to travel back to it constantly, or if there was some way a player could tap into one of the crystals and tell it what to send from a distance it would be easier too.

Another issue would be that they are ony keyed to one other crystal, which means that even if the device were common it doesn't help much.

With a few minor tweaks though, this could be quite the creation.
June 9, 2005, 20:38
well that is the being hard to use/carry but just imagine giving the bad guys a few of these...and let them always know where the players are...
Voted CaptainPenguin
June 9, 2005, 20:41
This is the best of your steampunk-ish items yet. Basically, fantasy steampunk telephones. I like it!

Voted Dragon Lord
June 10, 2005, 9:06
Actually Cap I think this is closer to a telegraph than a telephone, but basically I agree with you.

That fact that each is attuned to only one other crystal is a limitation, but with the proper organisation this can be overcome relatively easily (one machine in each village and a central exchange in the local market town with machines linked to each of them)

Anteaus, this is the best yet - keep up the good work - 4/5
June 10, 2005, 9:43
They should fall into the hands of a Rebellion, or perhaps someone has seen their potential and is planning a coup?

ah... Modern military theory in application.

A couple of these devices would give any military an unfair advantage over another. Even given similar armaments, communication and logistics are key to superior effectiveness in the field... able to rapidly give location information and re-direct troops and supplies would make a small force able to take down a larger force (even though that larger force might be superior on the battlefield). The command lag of a few minutes should be compared to the command lag of a couple of days between the riding of scouts and the riding of messengers. The smaller force could out manuver the larger force (by letting scouting unit cut their information lag to nothing), cut supply lines, and take out elements of the force as they were re-deployed away from the main force. Sure they are not a panacea and will not ensure victory, but it will give a small force a decisive edge. Besides if they have these, what other marvelous toys will they have?
Voted Cheka Man
June 10, 2005, 12:42
I real like this and hope for more items of this time. A great addition to a steampunk world. 4/5
Voted Roack
July 28, 2005, 21:31
This is almost perfectly engineered for my campaign, Kepp it up Anteaus.
Voted Zylithan
November 27, 2005, 21:08
A good solid idea. It's nice that it has limitations, but Dragon Lord's post shows how it can be used to great means if done properly.
Voted Ancient Gamer
November 28, 2005, 10:43
I like this a lot! It is short, perhaps too short, but the idea is definitely cool! While I am not into steampunk, I have elements of it in my setting (one city to be exact). The Aetherschreiber will definitely be found in AGfied form within important offices of that city.
Voted Murometz
April 12, 2007, 20:45
far-out! short but endlessly intriguing!
Voted sverigesson
December 15, 2008, 8:12
Pretty decent sub. I would expect a longer write up given its unoriginal nature, but a good idea nonetheless. (btw, its been done in Sci-Fi as well... you may recall the ansible from Orson Scott Card's Ender books. Almost identical to this.)
Voted valadaar
April 29, 2013, 21:32
Only voted


Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Order of the Moonbeard

       By: valadaar

Among the assortment of organized criminals who live in the great city, few command greater fear the Moonbeard Order.

They of course do not call themselves that, but have earned the moniker from their fashion of dying their large beards with lye to produce a distinctive crescent shape running from earlobe to earlobe. This is meant as a taunt for their enemies, for it clearly outlines their throats.

They also wear garb similar to the northern tribesman, carefully tooled leather and showing multiple, colourful glyphs.

They are feared due to the intense discipline that their group maintains, due to their origins as a warrior-sect.

They serve as paid thugs, enforcers and assassins within the city, with the client simply ordering a service from the organization, not hiring an individual. Apart from making the request and providing payment in full in advance, the order completes the assignment themselves.

Their order has many moles through the organizations of the city, and more than a couple of nobles. As such, no organized move has been made against them since their chief activity is directed against other members of the crime world. It is said that their services have been useful for those in power as well, further protecting them from persecution.

Their religion holds that their time in this world is vanishingly brief, and largely unimportant except as training for the Great Battle.

The order is very utilitarian with weapons choice - they simply use the tool needed for the occasion, though not without having trained extensively with it beforehand. Daggers, garrottes, swords, bows, battle axes, polearms, wagons, even siege engines have been used to carry out their contracts.

Encounter  ( City/ Ruin ) | January 24, 2014 | View | UpVote 5xp

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