Imperial Gate System - Twilight Tunnels
The Twilight Tunnels, the Imperial Gate system, were the backbones of the Imperium. The ability to travel almost anywhere via the Twilight Tunnels, allowing for near unlimited trade for little money, quick communication (any message anywhere nearly instantly (or within 3 days for the hinterlands), and easy personal travel. This system can be adapted to any gate system.
The Order of the Twilight Tunnels was, a "chartered group" from the Imperium. The main function of this group was to create and maintain a series of gate stations. To support them in that regard they had four branches, Gatesmen (mystics), Swords (Security for Gate Stations and eventually to be the first line of defense for the Imperium), Scouts (Finders and Explorers), and Builder (makers of the Gate Stations). The Order is the backbone of the Imperium, allowing it unprecedented communication and transportation. This advantage allows them military and trade advantages that can not be compensated for.
Duterious, The Imperial Histories, Vol II
The Imperial Gate system was a general network of gate points. This was used for general transportation, trade, and communication for the public.
There was a smaller Imperial network, used for shuffling troops and supplies, as well as Imperial officials and couriers. Its existence was not a well known fact.
It is a common misconception that the gates themselves allowed for instantaneous travel. It was the members of the Order that created the gates. Since creating a gate from "the ground up" takes many master adepts and dozens of apprentices, The Order began to utilized enchanted Gate Frames.
Gate Frames are two standing stones, approximately three meters tall and three meters apart. They are carved in a grooved pattern that is both esthetic and mystical (enhancing the misconception that the gates were magic). The pattern does known mystic runes that are somewhat helpful in the process included in the groove pattern.
Normally one gate goes to one place, but there are enchanted runes allowing gate frames to be used to multiple gate frames. Publicly, they are all "one way", but that is not completely true.
Each Right Gateframe has eight GateStones in eight sockets. These are baseball sized(9cms) are embedded into the Gate Frame and can be turned. They are grooved with a line that connects two of pattern. The patterns are set up that each ball socket has one to four potential positions (connecting two of the rune appearing lines. The Gatestones must turned in the correct ways to complete the mystic flows, allowing for a gate to be easily created.
By utilizing the enchanted gateframe, a journeyman spell caster (who knows the spell), can create and maintain a gate (allowing near instantaneous travel) between the two frames. A powerful or experienced journeyman or master can create a gate to any appropriate gate frame from any appropriate gateframe.
In short, each gate location has an "address". The targeting gateframe must have the target gate's address AND the target gateframe must have its address in place. This allows for one gate to contact any number of exterior gates. The gatestones connect the "circuit" allowing energy to flow in the right patters, making the gateframe active. With enough power and skill, you can work around these circuit blocks.
Between uses, the stones are scrambled around to make the gate deactivated. Removing one stone from the set deactivates the gate.
The Laws of Usage
1) Every city/ town is graded either as HOME, Core, Periphery, and Frontier.
Home is the home of the Order, which happens to be the capitol of the Imperium (insert great country/ empire). Core are older, well established, major places. Most of the Core Places have a geographic proximity. (Using American examples - think of it as New York and neighboring borroughs, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, St Louis, and such.) Periphery are places which have been established for a while. They have not been accepted into the core because of their geographic "insecurities" or because they are not as large or developed (San Francisco, San Jose, Denver, San Antonio, Austin, New Orleans). Many places chafe under the periphery status, thinking they should be core by now. Frontier are newer gates, ranging from just opened gatepoints for mines and resources, places of geographic insecurity (Hawaii), or recent connections (Anchorage).
2) Gates are only to be opened to exit gates in their own grade or out one grade up.
This is the law, not a restriction of the magic. It controls the flow of travel and is a security measure. Since there is no one to open a gate at frontier site, any overrunning or catastrophe can be limited to just that site. So Home gates only open to Core sites. Core gates can transfer to other Core Gates or Periphery gates. Periphery gates might connect to other Periphery gates or Frontier sites. (Certain Periphery sites serve as hubs for other geographically nearby gate sites, to increase the flow of raw material or goods.)
Rogues searching for new gate points have been known to violate this law.
3) No one who can open a gate is allowed through a gate to a Frontier and some Periphery sites.
This prevents someone from coercing someone into opening an illegal gate direction.
4) Gates run much like a railway/ airport. There is normally only one gate at a station, but some important ones have up to eight. The Gates are opened at specific times to specific destinations, allowing people and carts to pass through.
This could be circumvented, but for safety's sake is not.
They are timed that only one gate is open at a time. This is another security measure, more than the listed safety reasons.
Interior travel occurs before exterior travel. So it is fast moving from core to periphery, only slowing down slightly passing to the frontier. It might take three times as long, if not requiring overnight stays, to move from frontier to home.
5) Gatepoints are kept in a large plaza or a huge building that serves as a central hub for locations. Near these gate plazas or stations are Order Houses and business that support travellers or are involved in trade. This is not a law, but simple practicality.
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? Responses (10)
This system is logical and supportive. It allows for the maximum safe use of 'gate spells'. Changing any of these rules could lead to the gates being used against you. Thus the rules of operating the gates.
It's like the fantasy equivilant of a US airport.
StarGate in a fantasy universe - me like - 4/5
Still very cool. I am not sure why some of these rules are as important as you think they neeed to be. However, I like the organization and a campaign based on these people would be great.
The rules are set up to maximize the defense of the gate system and the places it serves.
The direction of flow allows for any 'compromised' location to be contained. It a site is lost to invasion, criminal activity, or so on, it can not use the gates to spread. Control from an interior level prevents any loss of control of the system. Exterior sites can just be cut off (or written off). Controlling where gate smiths are allowed, keeps them from being misused.
This allows the gates to be their own first defense.
This is the functioning gate process. It allowed the Imperium great prosperity and power. The Imperium is not designed to be used, but is the traditional golden age from long ago for most fantasy campaigns are built upon.
Imagine our world if all telecommunication (includes radio, tv, internet, and phone) and travel faster than 40 mph (60km/hour) stopped. Business, resources, and government, as we know it, would just grind to a halt. Things would go cockeyed as quickly placed stopgaps were used, but not coordinated.
Something happened to The Imperium. Something stopped the gate system. Travel, Communication, and Trade stopped. Their world ended and plunged into a feudal era. Sure there were some really cool things from the previous era around for a while, but they would eventually break (either from lack of skill to fix or lack of resources to fix) or no one would know how to opperate them (lacking the spells or just the trigger words). All that would be left is some more durrible items and the stories of all the cool things that Grandpa had.
This is still a solid system piece, something That Old Empire(tm) of your world might have run. And yes, the StarGate connections are hard to miss. :)
And who knows... maybe it is possible to use them again, now that no one knows where they are, or how they really work. It is possible that the Imperium developed magical items able to activate a GateWay, in utmost secrecy of course. Heroes who would find such an item, could spend an interesting campaign exploring the Imperial ruins (let's say that it's recharge would take days).
Really it is more of a Fringeworthy reference than Stargate.
A great building block from ancient dead empires, or for use in super high-fantasy environment.
The rules even can be considered for Space-opera settings with such gates.
okay, we need way to get from A to B and it is nice when the super convenient ways have a good back story