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The Heliotropic Crystal Glass Manufactory of Kaliphlin


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#1 robuko

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 03:45 PM

From the Journal of Doktor Frankenstein

"Following the Revelation of the amazing Properties of the Crystal Lens, our Renovation of the Research Facility has progressed well.  The speed of the Rebuild is entirely thanks to the strenuous work of our friends the Mountain Mummies, who have leased us the Facility.  Apparently their own Experiments at this Site once had good results, many years ago.  They seem quite keen to embrace our Newest Technologies, and allowed us to build a new tower for the Heliotrope.  Those old days of using Dragons and Black Oil for heat are long behind us. We are now producing Crystal glass of the highest quality using only the raw Power of Kaliphlin`s bounteous Sunlight, and pure Dune Sea Sand.  Today was a big day, which I record now for posterity.  We dispatched our first full shipment of Double Crystal Glazing to our good friends the East Mitgardia Trading Company.  Soon all Mitgardia will enjoy their beautiful Northern Winter views from the warmth and comfort of their own homes, with no drafts to chill them.  What a Happy Christmas they should have!

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Herr Liebniz supervised Handsome Jim in the loading the Caravanserai with Crystal glass.  Handsome Jim appread to be more in need of Muscular Assistance than Managerial Direction, but we must all play to our strengths.  The camel took the unfamiliar Load well, and contributed One of its own.

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While One Eyed Jack completed the surface renovations, the Shaman Mola Ra spent considerable effort in Prayer at the Sarcophagus of the Unknown King, conjuring Spirits to guide us.  For these people, the sacrifice of a Desert Scorpion is sure to bring safety and good Fortune to the Adventure ahead.

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As we were preparing for the long Journey to Petrea and Barqa Beyond, a cry came from The Watcher.  He had spotted one of our Caravanserais, many leagues hence.  

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Thanks to our Grinding and Polishing of the Crystal, we can now use Mirrored Glass to reflect the Sun, and send Coded Signals to the Manufactory from afar.  The Watcher patiently deciphered the message.  Good News!  "Festival Tree received from Friends in North.  Make more Lenses."  What a way to celebrate the New Year!  And, even better, our first shipments of Crystal Lenses for Eyeglasses, Spy Glasses, and Scrying Glasses, have been a Success in these times of Intellectual Awakening!  I am so glad all Historica can benefit from the Manufactory, and our coffers with it!

The Watcher unfurled the Tower's Golden Dome and deployed the Heliotrope to send our message in reply.

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It gets hot up there in the Chair, hot and lonely.  But The Watcher never complains, he says he has been lonely for a thousand Years already.  He just moves the controls that blink the mirrors, and sends the Code. "New batch coming. Raise prices for Christmas". And he calibrates the Heliotrope, to channel the Infernal Power of the Sun down to the Manufactory Below.

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For the secret of the Tower is this - the Heliotrope has a Double Purpose.  The intricate Parabola of Mirrors concentrates the light so strongly, that it shines down the Light Pipe with the power of a hundred Suns, hot enough to melt the Dune Sand below.  Rasputin Jones, The president of the Petrea General Trading Company, seems extraordinarily interested in this method of transmitting Heat, but I have told him it is too Dangerous and uncontrollable.  In fact we accidentally set fire to Scrub Bushes fully 3 Miles away in our early Calibrations of the Heliotropic Parabola!  

But here in the Manufactory, the power is safely controlled.  No more intemperate hot-blooded Dragons in this Modern Manufactory! The Molten Sand floats by reason of relative Density on a bed of superheated Quicksilver.  This circulates by convection, pushing the molten Crystal to the edge of the furnace, where it cools and can be safely handled.

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A full cutaway diagram of the Manufactory has been recorded by Petrea GTC artists, and will be made available for the edification of the General Publick, as soon as our Patents are confirmed.

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Indeed, today was a great Day for Science, for Manufacturing, and for Commerce.  But something Herr Leibniz said so casually made me wonder, is this Progress really such a great thing for us all?

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"Doktor", he said, "This Glass is Flawless.  Just think how perfect the image it produces will be."

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"Yes, Herr Leibniz," I thought to myself, "A Perfect image, and a Monstrous one.  I See it clearly for the first time.  What have we done?  How could a girl like Sally Templeton Smyth ever want anything to do with such a Monster as me?  I see that my Dreams of Her can only ever be just that,  the pointless Dreams of a Fool."  

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Edited by robuko, 12 December 2011 - 04:13 PM.

Duc LeStrange, Special Envoy of the Petraea General Trading Company, of the Kaliphlin Guild.  
We work for Peace and Prosperity through Commerce.

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#2 NiceMarmot

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 05:30 PM

View Postrobuko, on 12 December 2011 - 03:45 PM, said:

How could a girl like Sally Templeton Smyth ever want anything to do with such a Monster as me?  I see that my Dreams of Her can only ever be just that,  the pointless Dreams of a Fool."  

Aww, you'll get her in the end!

Great story and build!  Robuko, you've definitely got a knack for great stories, and I really like how they're all fairly consistent with each other. By the time this Historical Stimulus effort is done, you'll have enough for your own fantasy novel! (seriously!)

The Hero Factory head over the doorway is inspired (I think it's an HF head).  I also really like the sunglasses on the mummy; it's a nice detail that is very inline with the story.  You've got lots of great details all over.  Even the sarcophagus and and the guy fixing the side of the pyramid; just goes to show that you don't need a lot of specialized pieces to add nice details.
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#3 Waterbrick Down

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 06:06 PM

Again, marvelous. Though the Southern Dwarf clans may have something to say about the substitution for their oil. If ever the heliotrope becomes public, I'm sure they'll be sending a delegation to discuss terms of keeping the technology under wraps.

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#4 SkaForHire

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 10:56 PM

View PostWaterbrick Down, on 12 December 2011 - 06:06 PM, said:

Again, marvelous. Though the Southern Dwarf clans may have something to say about the substitution for their oil. If ever the heliotrope becomes public, I'm sure they'll be sending a delegation to discuss terms of keeping the technology under wraps.


Under wraps!!!! Hahaha, I get it mummies running the place... hahaha...

anyway great story, and really neat build. I love the fold out piece. It reminds me of G'ould Technology from Stargate. Kaliphlin is really becoming an economical giant, there are some great free builds out there that compliment interesting duel purpose towers such as yours, Robuko.
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#5 Gabe

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 12:32 PM

I love this, so striking and inventive! A little bit of James Bond in there with the parabola of mirrors!  :laugh: Really nice seeing the moc out in the world too, gives it a real sense of being in the desert.  :thumbup:
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#6 robuko

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Posted 17 December 2011 - 03:20 PM

Thanks all for your kind comments.

View PostNiceMarmot, on 12 December 2011 - 05:30 PM, said:

Aww, you'll get her in the end!
Let's see.... :wink:  
I am planning for all of the board members to have some kind of character arc, depending on the evolution of our Guild Masters' stories.  I feel that we are all writing together this great story of Historica, it's really awesome to see characters cross over into other people's MOCs.

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The Hero Factory head over the doorway is inspired (I think it's an HF head).

Thanks NM.  It took ages to work out how to make it stick there!  It is a Bionicle Glatorian Zesk head
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View PostWaterbrick Down, on 12 December 2011 - 06:06 PM, said:

Again, marvelous. Though the Southern Dwarf clans may have something to say about the substitution for their oil. If ever the heliotrope becomes public, I'm sure they'll be sending a delegation to discuss terms of keeping the technology under wraps.

Thanks, they don't have to worry too much  :wink:.  So far the solar furnace has the relatively limited application of directing ginormous heat to something at a distance.  It cannot substitute for the night heating or lighting applications of oil.  It may be suitable to drive a steam turbine if the concentrator is near a river, but this would not be much more effective than a windmill.  If anyone were ever to discover galvanic properties in mineral ores, we could see some very interesting applications...


The Watchtower was primarily conceived as a defense capability.  The watcher sees an invader, turns the mirror, burns it.  End of invader.

The idea for came from the famous Archimedes Burning glass used to incinerate the Roman fleet at Cyprus.  Initially I thought, as Kaliphlin has a lot of Sun and oil, we could use Burning glasses to ignite oil traps under any approaching armies, but from the MIT experiment it seems that we can just set fire to all their ballistas and dwarf-tossers directly.  

As I took the idea further, I realised we first needed to have the basic glass technologies and knowledge of optics to know about lenses and mirrors, hence the Laboratory scene.  You can imagine I was pretty delighted when Cristoph came out with his observatory!

While the point of the tower is to set fire to invading armies, It occured to me that we could use a solar concentrator of glass and mirrors to manufacture glass and mirrors, ie it is a self-replicating system, which is an idea that I really liked. Frankenstein is using a float glass line, which is a bit anachronistic, though there was nothing to stop the technology being invented earlier.

As for the tertiary use of the Heliotrope as a signalling and communication system, this was inspired by Sir Terry Pratchett's clacks towers, best explained in his book Going Postal, which is a favourite.  I see Rasputin as having something of the Reacher Gilt about him, for those that know the book. We now have the technological base to manufacture and lay glass fibres across the country, and send signals of different colours down them, but what on earth would be the point of that?  :wink: I think we can stick with a network of heliotropic towers.  By making this tertiary communication purpose our primary purpose in public with the other guilds, we can probably underplay our hand of massive defensive capabilities.  Essentially we are now uninvadable... in daytime... if only we could find a way to trap and store the energy...

I am still pretty much interested in taking this glass technology idea further, so depending on the subsequent challenges, Doktor Frankenstein may be back with his grinding and polishing factory and Optickal Emporium.  I would like to send some Fresnel lenses out to Basilicus and to Gabe for the lighthouses.

:classic:
Duc LeStrange, Special Envoy of the Petraea General Trading Company, of the Kaliphlin Guild.  
We work for Peace and Prosperity through Commerce.

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#7 NiceMarmot

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 03:05 AM

View Postrobuko, on 17 December 2011 - 03:20 PM, said:

As for the tertiary use of the Heliotrope as a signalling and communication system, this was inspired by Sir Terry Pratchett's clacks towers, best explained in his book Going Postal, which is a favourite.

Yes, Going Postal is one of my favorite Discworld books too! I immediately thought of that when I saw this post.

I've been thinking about doing a super-micro scale Historica on top of four elephants on the back of a turtle...
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#8 Tomcat RIO

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 03:58 PM

some very nice techniques and i love the overall feel of the tower and furnace too!

Gotta try and get some building done and incorporating the camel, cart and glass panes into my Mitgardia trading post. It's times like this when I am amazed by the uniformity of Lego, where people thousands of miles away can still build the same thing from the same brick parts to recreate scenes..

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#9 Basiliscus

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 05:09 PM

Great build robuko! Lovely use of the printed bricks and fantastic interior. A nice story to go along with it too!

The heliotrope is simply brilliant!  :wub:

Normally I dislike taking LEGO pictures with a non-LEGO background - but in this case you've integrated the sand well and it blends nicely into the background!  :thumbup:

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