Gnomish Devices


Due to length constraints, several fun gnomish devices had to be removed from the final book. Here are some of them along with Hector and Amber’s blueprints.


 Hector’s Semaphore System

 Pulling a chair up to the table, Hector sat down and tapped on the drawing. It had seemed like such a good idea. Towers with movable metal arms could be set up across the desert between Kaal and Purespring, the closest settlement at the desert’s edge. The arms had many different positions, each corresponding with a letter of the alphabet. The first tower moved the arms to send the desired message. Someone at the second tower saw it through the telescope and fixed its arms to relay the message on to the next and the next, so within a few minutes important information could travel from Kaal to Purespring.

Hector grimaced and licked his cracked dry lips. Everything was dry out here in the desert. Sun and sand and more sand, and only a little water in a few places. That had been Shem’s main objection to the semaphore system. No water for the operators while they sat in little buildings across the desert waiting to send the messages. Too hot, and no water.

(On earth the French Chappe brothers designed an implemented a semaphore system like this which was used by Napoleon Bonaparte.)




  Amber’s Back Door Delivery Device

 Shem’s guards still flanked the front doors. But they didn’t know about the supply entrance from the back. It was one of her own inventions.

She pushed a button that looked like a knot of wood in the back wall. A slot opened up, and she crawled through. The air whooshed out from her lungs as she dropped onto the chute that carried the supplies down to the basement. She hit a platform at the bottom which switched a lever that activated a rope which lifted the platform straight up into the supply closet. Very convenient for moving supplies around. She’d never imagined she’d be using it to sneak into her own lab, though she’d tried it out once or twice first to make sure it was working before trusting it to move volatile liquids or breakable items.




 Amber’s Stall Cleaner

 “You see,” Amber said, pointing to the drawing she’d made in the sand of the stable yard. The stable’s owner stood beside her squinting down at her brilliant design. “This is an automatic stall cleaner. After the horse defecates, the stable hand turns this crank, which turns the main drive arm, which turns the secondary drive arms, which activates the scooping arm. The arm pushes the unwanted substance over against the wall into a tin tray. Then the stable hand pulls the rope, which lifts the back end of the tray and slides the refuse into the bucket outside the stall. After that all your stable hand will have to do is empty the buckets. Loads less work. See?”

The stable owner looked from the drawing to Amber and scratched his head. “And how much steel did you want for this contraption?”






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s