topic: raised roads /

Deadman Chairs

A deadman’s chair is a device associated with the watchtowers of the Guarded Land—each tower generally having four chairs: one facing up the road and the leftway, another down; two more looking out across the land—one in each direction. A deadman’s chair keeps the lookout sitting on it awake by threatening his life should he fall asleep. The seat itself is a freely rotating drum astride which the lookout sits. To stop himself falling off, […]

Entering the Wheel

The City at the Gates stretches out along the five roads that emanate from the great market of the Wheel to spread out across the Guarded Land to its rim, the Ringwall. These roads are built on causeways rising from the Gatemarsh and its lake. Tenements line the roads—mudbrick towers studded with the ends of the beams that hold up the floors within. Shown also is the leftway, running to the right of the road […]

Raised Roads

Here is a diagram which shows a typical section of the raised roads which criss-cross the Guarded Land. The scale is given by the procession of four figures followed by a vehicle of some kind which can be seen moving along the road at the top left. It should be noted that my conception of watch-towers had not yet been fully developed. Here one is represented as a simple rectangular structure. The brazier producing smoke […]

Sartlar Kraals

There are countless sartlar kraals across the Guarded Land, each constructed according to a precise plan specified by the Wise. These form a grid spreading out on either side of the raised roads. In the diagram above, a part of this grid is shown, and running along its right edge is just such a raised road. Note how the watch-towers, along with the transverse tracks they stand guard upon, form the corners and edges of […]

The Guarded Land

The Guarded Land plateau, with the Osrakum caldera at its heart, showing the network of raised roads with its watchtowers. The road that runs around the edge of the plateau links cities, such as Nothnaralan and Makar, into the defensive system called the Ringwall. Each city is garrisoned by a legion. The cities in the interior are each garrisoned by two. The greatest city of all is the City at the Gates lying at the […]


Watchtowers are set at regular intervals along the raised roads of the Guarded Land. They form not only the primary communications systems of the Commonwealth, but also provide the Wise with a ‘sensory grid’ with which they ‘see’ much of what goes on in the Guarded Land. In addition, each tower is garrisoned with enough auxiliaries to defend the gate over which each tower stands guard. The communication system has two distinct aspects. Messages can […]