Beacon Adjustment, Care, Operation and Navigation Technician
I don't know what those two do all day! It's not like the lighthouses are breaking down. They literally must sit around all day on their rumps soaking up their pay. I can't believe this is how my local taxes are being spent!
Beacon Adjustment, Care, Operation and Navigation Technicians, or B.A.C.O.N. Techs as they have come to be known, are responsible for the upkeep of the three lighthouses found in the Lawcrane Harbor. These lighthouses mark the ends and middle of the barrier island which acts as a breakwater from the Nawal Sea as well as a navigation point for sailors offshore. The B.A.C.O.N. Techs are required to have a variety of skills, as they need to not only maintain, but repair these important aids to navigation. Their skills must include:
- Experience in dealing with mechanical apparatus for maintaining the rotation of the lights,
- Glass repair
- Masonry maintenance
- Marine rescue and recovery
- Ability to work unsupervised for long periods of time
- Willingness and ability to be available around the clock, every day of the year.
B.A.C.O.N. Techs are very unique individuals, and there is no real "progression" to speak of. Those chosen for the career are usually solitary individuals, who work best on their own. They learn the quirks and peculiarities of the buildings in their care, and exactly what each needs for maintenance and reliable operation. Often, they are chosen from the ranks of military engineers and maintenance workers in Lawcrane. These positions are appointed for life, although a B.A.C.O.N. Tech can choose to step down at any time. In rare occasions, Techs have been removed from the position for failure to attend to their duties. These failures can result in disastrous consequences and are not take lightly.
Payment & Reimbursement
B.A.C.O.N. Techs are well paid for their solitary and vital work, receiving 150 gp of pay per day. They are also provided housing on the island, and are allowed to purchase items at naval outpost on the island as well. Given that they rarely leave the island, B.A.C.O.N. Techs are usually quite wealthy when they die or retire.
For the Techs, they feel the main benefit is that they are left alone. They receive medical care from the Lawcrane Royal Infirmary in Lawcrane at no charge, which gives them the best possible treatment.
The duties of the B.A.C.O.N. Techs are many. While they must maintain the operation of the lighthouses in general, this responsibility carries with it many tasks. These tasks include: Maintaining the rotation mechanism of the lights - The rotation of the lights is powered by harnessing the currents that run past the island on the Nawal Sea sideof the island. The Techs must maintain the current turbines, the gearboxes that transfer the power to the rotating shaft, and all the bearings that keep the shaft rotating smoothly. Upkeep of the lights - The source of light is a pocket of flammable gas that is found underneath the island. Pipelines were drilled into this gas pocket and run to the surface of the island. These pipelines run to each of the three lighthouse towers and into the top beacon house. The pipelines, as well as the ignition and burner for the light must be maintained in perfect working order for the light to be seen out at sea. Marine rescue and recovery - The techs are also the first to respond to any sea-borne crisis, such as a foundering ship, or a man overboard situation. If a ship within eyesight (20-30 miles) raises a distress flag, the Tech will prepare a small vessel and head out. The second tech on the island will take over maintenance duties while the first sails toward the ship to assist. It is hoped that the tech in assistance will be able to help the foundering ship mechanically, or assist in searching for and retrieving an individual who has gone overboard. Building maintenance - The lighthouses and associated buildings are constantly exposed to the sea and it's occasional ferocity. Repairs to the buildings are a near constant activity. This can include something as simple as painting, or as complex as shoring up a foundation. The Tech must have the skills to do all the work required. Customs agent - Through an odd quirk in Orsholon Maritime Law, any pork products brought into the harbor must be inspected by the B.A.C.O.N. Techs. Many have tried to import so-called Dwarven Bacon for sale. True Dwarven Bacon has not been available for centuries. So the B.A.C.O.N. Techs are tasked with quarantining pork products in a warehouse on the island for seven days. They also must test the pork for safety. The exact method is kept secret, but it is believed to involve egss and toast.
Many people never think about the techs. With only two in the entire region, this is not surprising. While their job is vital, those who do not understand the duties of the Techs often look down on them as freeloaders, getting rich on taxpayers money. The Techs, while aware of this, generally do not care. They know what hey do is important, and they rarely need to interact with the general public. Mariners and the military, however, understand the importance of the Techs and treat them with utmost respect.
After The Cataclysm, it was a very long time before seafaring vessels began to ply the waves. But it was recognized that the barrier island off what is now Lawcrane served a double purpose: It was both protection for the harbor area and an aid to navigation as ships slowly began being built and headed farther offshore. As ships became more common, and larger,it became clear that there was a need for a navigation aid that could be seen from farther away. Thus, the lighthouses were conceived. Paid for by the Royal Family of Orsholon, these lighthouses would sit at either end of the barrier island. A third was later added after exploration found a pocket of flammable gas uneder the island. Of course, these lighthouses would require maintenance, especially as they aged. The individuals at first were volunteers, but there was much turnover as the volunteers realized how much work was involved, and how isolated they were. Now, the individuals are selected and chosen for suitability to the job.
The techs work out of small workshops at the base of each lighthouse, with living quarters also attached. The living quarters are spartan, with very few furnishings. There is a main room, with a bedroom and bathing room off one side. There is also a small kitchen, and heat provided by an offshoot of the gas pipeline. The workshop has all the tools needed for the job, including as small forge and smelter, storage for various materials, as well as woodworking and metal working benches. Everything is kept close at hand to ensure efficient work habits. AS the position was created by the Royal Family, no expense is spared if a tool is needed. This results inone of the best equipped workshops in all of Orsholon.
Dangers & Hazards
Unknown to most citizens are the many hazards of working as a B.A.C.O.N. Tech. They are often in hazardous locations and work with materials and resources that, if mishandled, can prove deadly. For example, the gearbox mechanism that transfers the power of the sea current into the rotation of the light shaft has been know to ensnare the less cautious tech, resulting in lost fingers or limbs. They also work very near the rocky edge of the islands, and moving outside during a storm can be an invitation to being swept out to sea. Another area of danger is the maintenance of gas pipelines that feed the light burners. A leak in these lines can be very dangerous, and a single spark can set off an explosion or even turn the pipeline into a giant blowtorch. In addition, the burners themselves, with the igniting mechanism, can be very dangerous to work on. One more area where the techs are in danger is in their task as customs agent for pork items. There have been a few techs who have become violently and fatally ill "testing" incoming pork goods. While the testing sounds like it might be tasty, it also presents a clear and present danger to the techs.
All Images created BY Kahuna the Elder, with source materials from Pixabay, Pexels, Unsplash, Artbreeder and public domain sources.
Lightkeepers, BACONers, Freeloaders
This role is highly necessary, but only requires two individuals at any given time.