Friday, April 13, 2018

Industry and Technology in Umberwell

Industry and Technology in Umberwell

Previous posts in this series:
Blackened Be Thy Name
Crime and Punishment

  • Power. Galvanic energy, known as arclight, is produced from kraken blood to provide power to homes and light on the city's streets. Arclight is transmitted wirelessly throughout Umberwell via arc towers.
  • Factories. Mechanized factories produce goods for consumption at home and abroad, although their emissions pollute the city's environment and their conditions often pose a threat to workers' lives.
  • Transportation. Arclight-powered trains traverse the city on electrified tracks below ground and through the city on suspended skyrails. Turbine-driven ships, submarines, and dirigibles make long-distance travel expedient.
  • Recording devices. Solograph cameras capture sepia-toned images on paper coated with silver and gelatin. Auriphones play music recorded on wax cylinders.
  • Broadcasts. Voxcast radio transmissions bring news and entertainment into the homes of Umberwell. Loudspeakers placed throughout the city continuously broadcast the propaganda of a pro-government station.
  • Firearms. Black powder—a mixture of charcoal, sulfur, and kraken blood—has made the production of firearms and explosives possible.
  • Prostheses. Mechanical limbs, eyes, and organs can replace lost, wounded, and diseased body parts.

  • The pursuit of scientific progress in Umberwell—and the empire as a whole—has been bolstered by the professors and researchers of the Institute of Natural Inquiry, an exclusive university regarded as the finest academy of higher learning in the world.
  • Umberwell's premier inventor is Alexi Malishnikov. Malishnikov is the current dean of the Institute of Natural Inquiry; he tirelessly recruits the best minds in the Empire for the school.
  • The members of the Institute tend to be of the opinion that technocracy is the way of the future, and that the working class are expendable cogs in the greater machine of progress.
  • The scientists and inventors of the Institute are responsible for the creation of the armored ships used by the sea hunters who track and slay krakens for their blood, as well as the mounted harpoon guns used in the trade.

  • Umberwell's industrial supremacy has also been challenged by the Adamantine Caucus, a collectivist organization that acts as a trade union on behalf of the city's laborers.
  • However, because the Adamantine Caucus protects the interests of of the working class over the concerns of industrialists, it is often looked upon as little more than an anarchist cell inimical to proper authority.
  • The most radical members of the Adamantine Caucus also belong to the Defiant Collaborative, a secret society that advocates for the violent overthrow of the ruling class to create a worker-led syndicalist government.
  • Rumors abound that the Adamantine Caucus has ties to the criminal underworld and operates a number of underground safe houses for rogue arcanists.