Tanagura Amoii (One Wing Angels Host Club): Geology, Particle Physics, and Cheese in the Neoclassical High Ancient Precursor to Rouvenor Hegemony on Luminaire
During the Garoun continent’s Neoclassical High Ancient Period, plate tectonics and a beauty quark research facility constructed by the Gallente* (Gallente-star) civilization allowed the Grand Duchy of Rocquellefuert to unite northern Garoun by weaponizing fermented fruit and cultured dairy products. The half-hour local LevTram from Caille Nexus to Mount Arsenal therefore not only showcases the unique architecture of Luminaire’s capital, including the incomparable formal gardens of the Little Rouvenor, but also provides an opportunity to embark on a journey through centuries (potentially twenty thousand years) of ruthless military history.
Seeds of the northern Garoun continent’s idyllic countryside were planted 25 kilometers deep 110 million years ago, when a dense continental terrace of the Southern Garoun Plate struck the small Northern Garoun Plate and subducted at a shallow angle. In a process that took 80 million years, a sea nine hundred kilometers wide compressed into a series of narrow lakes. Erosion connected those lakes, forming what would become the Stomeve River Valley.
As moist sedimentary rocks from the Southern Garoun Plate passed beneath the smaller northern continent, they created the region’s signature topographical ripples and triggered extensive volcanic activity. Many ranges reached heights in excess of six thousand meters. Isolated peaks rose higher still. Millions of years of rainfall, glaciation, and wind shifted material from peaks to valleys. The soil created by these processes established the region’s suitability for agriculture.
Due to the unusually gentle angle of subduction, the small Northern Garoun Plate now rests almost entirely on its larger southern neighbor. The Gallente* civilization appreciated the seismic stability this provided, and constructed a series of what are now understood to have been particle research facilities in the region. For most of Luminaire’s Post* (post-star) Settlement Period, of course, only a small fraction of the complex’s true extent was known (and it was believed to have served ritual purposes).
The primary feature of the Gallente* installation is a ring 397 kilometers in diameter buried at an average depth of 5 kilometers. The ring’s primary tunnel is 50 meters wide. It is lined by three meters of chartreusite, a pale yellow artificial jadeite associated with a number of Gallente* sites throughout Luminaire and neighboring star systems. It is believed chartreusite was fabricated by melting surrounding rock and adjusting its composition in place. This was likely done by the equipment responsible for excavating the tunnel.
Crystalline striations in the jadeite were originally attributed to compression from surrounding rock. More recent analysis, however, suggests gravitational containment fields operating in the tunnel are responsible. Unique mineral structures embedded in the chartreusite, which is otherwise uniform to extremely high tolerances, have been interpreted as decay relics produced by filaments of beauty quark matter. It is proposed the quarks were first created in smaller rings tangent to the larger structure. These quarks were then injected into the central containment fields, which prevented them from decaying. An energy source capable of such a feat has not been identified on site.
The Beauty Ring remained unknown throughout most of the Post* period. However, vertical shafts connect it to the surface at various locations around its circumference. Chambers surrounding these shafts are believed to have housed monitoring and control equipment. Other than the artificial jadeite, few artifacts associated with the original installation remain. It is suggested the Gallente* civilization repurposed materials as years of separation from Gallente** (Gallente-star-star) civilization wore on without respite.
The largest vertical installation associated with the Beauty Ring lies in and around Mount Arsenal. Most of its chambers were (and remain) flooded, or were otherwise inaccessible to primitive societies. The most remarkable shaft in the Mount Arsenal facility is 100 meters across and was originally believed to have been 300 meters deep. Mixed into sedimentary material on the “bottom” were examples of weapon and tool sacrifice, a significant number of animal bones, and occasional human remains. It is suspected the animal and human bone fragments owe primarily to falling into the “pool” at times when the water level was too low to escape the jadeite walls.
More recently, it was determined the “bottom” of this shaft was in fact a polyceramel valve. The shaft continues down six kilometers to the Beauty Ring. At the time of this discovery, it was believed the shaft represented part of a weapon. Due to impracticality, that is no longer considered likely; however, what the Gallente* civilization may have fired filaments of beauty quark matter into space for remains a mystery. It is possible an orbital facility complemented the system, but was removed by the Gallente* civilization as it tried to cope with continued separation from Gallente**.
By the Late Middle Ancient Period of Post* civilization, the Grand Duchy of Rocquellefuert realized it could weaponize the facility’s dry and flooded chambers as part of a siege strategy. The duchy expanded the size of herds grazing in its mountain valleys. In addition, it increased the acreage of vineyards on slopes less suited to livestock. Not only could the Rocquellefuert store enormous quantities of water, wine, and cheese in the Mount Arsenal complex, but several of the chambers were large enough to accommodate cattle herds themselves when necessary. Over time, processes such as smelting steel and forging weapons moved into upper chambers, reintroducing an industrial element to the structures. It was during this period that the mountain received the name “Arsenal.”
However, it would not be the duchy’s swords that won its greatest battles. In the Neoclassical High Ancient Period, Rocquellefuert techniques for the production, preservation, and storage of wine and cheese were so well realized, the duchy enjoyed previously unimaginable (and growing) surpluses. Grand Duke Henri Allain Polliere Leslie du Rocquellefuert, affectionately Lovely Henri, realized he could do better than merely sell surpluses and crash markets.
He besieged smaller neighbors. Lovely Henri never threatened the military defenses of a targeted city directly, but instead blocked supply routes. Once the target’s reserves ran thin, Henri delivered his own wine and cheese. At first there were suspicions about poison. When condemned criminals did not die after consuming the gifts, however, populations increasingly looked forward to Henri’s deliveries. This unnerved local nobility, which believed (correctly) Henri was winning the hearts and minds of their peasantry.
When these nobles tried to put a stop to distribution of the free wine and cheese, inevitably their populations decided they preferred Henri and rose in revolt. Upon being welcomed into his targeted city as a savior, Henri executed local nobility that had not already been killed by mobs, elevated the leaders of those mobs to nobility, and instructed them on how to produce wine and cheese. After years of nearly bloodless (for him) victories, Lovely Henri found himself no longer required to lay siege.
When wagons full of cheese and wine showed up at their gates, local nobles welcomed Henri’s generosity, swore fealty, and retooled their agricultural industries. Producing too much cheese and wine to even give it all away, the Grand Duchy of Rocquellefuert conquered most of northern Garoun without losing a soldier. Upon his alleged death, Lovely Henri became a fixture of romanticized vampire mythology; his niece and heiress, Francessa Marie Elleanore du Rocquellefuert, married Phillipe Pierre Patrique Rouvenor.
A new age was about to dawn, al made possible by cheese.