The Ringway

Published December 22, 2013 by


Description

Why hello there son, looking to get from Picalah to Yosh-ul in a pinch, why, Troa Denia can get you there faster than quickest of steeds. For just a small payment in shins you can take a ride on the Ringway and travel in style, turning a week’s hard journey into only a few minutes! Roll up, roll up and travel the Ringway, a modern miracle for our times! Ringmaster Troa Denia

The Ringway is a series of large, stone rings in various states of disrepair laid approximately every 200ft in a trail between a clearing about 20 miles West of Picalah to the plains just South of Yosh-ul, curving in a slow arc so that the trail passes to the West of the Orgorek rather than the East. The stone is unlike any other in the local area and the rings are clearly relics of a past age, pitted and scored by millenia of harsh winds, sandstorms and the ancients only know what else. Most of the details of the rings are invisible though, buried under years of encrusted bird droppings from all the birds that flock to the Ringway for unknown reasons, perching upon the stone rings and flying in circles over head at all hours of the day and night.

The most peculiar property of the Ringway though isn’t it’s effects on birds, but rather it’s effect on metal. Metal placed near by or inside the rings is drawn as if by magic into the very center of the ring and then hurled at great force towards the next ring in the chain, all the way up until it reaches the last ring at Yosh-ul, where it carries on flying with no ring to catch it until it lands, burying itself in the ground due to it’s immense velocity.

While certainly not the first to discover this phenomenon, Troa Denia and her Travelling Circus were the first to capitalise on it. Using their circus expertise and building on their knowledge of ropes, acrobatics and nets Troa Denia turned an opportunity into a business. Setting up a series of nets and ropes along the Ringway, Troa devised a way that a human being and/or cargo could travel the Ringway by attaching themselves to a piece of metal and being pulled along by the mysterious force of the rings. Travelling the Ringway is a one-way journey and was at first often a fatal one due to some of the rings missing segments and sometimes causing the metal items to fly off out of the missing part of the ring into the open sky, dragging along whatever, or whoever, was attached with them. However, Troa has had several years to perfect the technique and each broken ring is manned by circus members who have affixed nets to catch whatever may fly out. The last ring is lined with a large section of netting made of stretchy material that catches travellers and their cargo before they are hurled to certain death.

For the circus performers of Troa’s troupe, such risks are easy to take and travelling the Ringway to run cargo up from Picalah to merchants who then sell it in Yosh-ul, Norou or through the Sheer in Wislayn is not uncommon. Rarer do they get other passengers or merchants paying to use their ingenious system due to fear, despite Troa’s very reasonable rates, or merely the impracticality of needing to return in a more conventional manner.

Needless to say there have been accidents, from broken arms and legs to sharp pieces of cargo cutting through the nets and sent hurtling to destruction, not to mention an extremely unfortunate incident where a man’s metal arm arrived but the rest of him did not. None-the-less, the Ringway has found it’s niche in serving merchants looking to sell their wares far beyond Picalah. However, given the journey is one way it is not as popular as it might otherwise be, so Troa is constantly on the lookout for anyone or anything that may allow for a reverse journey.

Details

The Ringway
Map of The Ringway
Rulers:
Troa Denia
Population:
50 - half at the circus-come-departure ring and the rest dispersed along the Ringway and at the arrival-ring
Region:
The Beyond
The Ringway Hearsay:

Not For Sale

It’s been rumoured that agents from Naverene have approached Troa and her troupe about digging up and moving the rings for a secretive project. Troa has steadfastly refused any such offers, despite the agents insistence and veiled threats. The rings are not for sale at any price. They are not just a means of travel, Troa has been known to say, but a place of historic wonder and besides, there is no telling if they would work if they were moved.

Runaways

The Ringway is popular with runaways looking to escape their parents, or in the case of slaves, their owners. Due to the one-way nature of the travel and the speed and distance, runaways that make it to the Ringway are rarely caught again. Troa and her group have a soft-spot for such people and often help them set up a new life at the other end, even granting them their passage on the Ringway for free on occasion.

Trouble in Yosh-ul

It’s said that trouble is brewing in Yosh-ul. The nomadic tribes that make up the area are not happy with the steadily increasing traffic through their lands thanks to the Ringway and tensions are brewing between the circus and tribes. Whether this has anything to do with the Navarene agents who approached Troa is favourite topic of gossip in the circus and surrounding areas.

The Weird of The Ringway:

The Birds

Birds from all across the world are drawn to the rings, where they perch and watch or sometimes they fly overhead in endless circles as if lost and confused. Worst is when swarms of birds fly in front of the rings, sometimes getting smashed into by travelling people or cargo.

The Ausren-Orgorek Ring

The ring that sits almost directly half way between the Ausren Woods and the Orgorek is noticeably larger and thicker than any of the others. It lets off an audible hum and unlike the other rings, seems perfectly intact, it’s smooth grey-black surface untouched by time or bird droppings.

Machine Suicides

There has been a strong up take of intelligent machines wishing to travel via the Ringway. When machines arrive at the other end, they are often very confused, their memories missing and their speech heavily slurred. Some seem to just stop working, dead. Despite the warnings, the number of machines wishing to ride has only increased over the years, so much so that Troa has now banned machines from travelling the rings (not that this doesn’t stop them from wandering further down the track and jumping into one of the unmanned ones) to ease her conscience.

Points of Interest:

The Wrecked Landing

Sometime in the ancient past, something vast, powerful and metallic must have stumbled into the rings and was torn apart. The pieces were hurled out the last ring, leaving a long, streak of metal and earth that has since been covered over by nature. However, large fragments of the ancient machine still jut out from the landscape and serves as an attraction to the latest arrivals and to potential numenera hunters looking to excavate the parts for cyphers and shins.

The Ringway

The Ringway itself, due to it’s route, is reasonably popular with travellers looking to travel the world and see the sights. Along the route, travellers speed by the the Beanstalk, which can be seen in the distance, the Ausren Woods and the mysterious Orgorek before reaching their destination.

Troa’s Marvelous Magnetic Circus

Despite setting up what is essentially a haulage business with the rings, Troa and her troupe are at heart circus performers and the circus is a permanent fixture at the departure ring of the Ringway. Troa runs shows every evening, employing magnetism as a centerpiece in an effort to glamourise the mode of transport and attract new customers and tourists. In fact, it’s well known that all experts in magnetism are welcome to Troa’s for free if they can help unlock the secrets of the Ringway and perhaps a way of reversing it’s direction.