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Thread: Technology in Araevis

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    The Lurker <span style='color: #FFFFFF'><span class='glow_008080'>swaswj</span></span>'s Avatar
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    Technology in Araevis

    Technology in Araevis
    Please note: this thread is both to clarify and to update details. Some of what is written here may contradict what has been established before. Any such changes are based on feedback from players who felt certain things were too limiting. This may be updated or changed over time.

    When the Cataclysm devastated the world, much of the prior knowledge was lost, and people had to start over with what references survived, what knowledge remained. However, the introduction of Terra Regia (which had not existed, or at least wasn't known, prior to the Cataclysm) enabled both magic and science to advance in new and different ways. Terra Regia (King's Mineral) refers to potent minerals which possess visae, power used in technology and magical applications. It is needed for more powerful machines, firearms, magic, and crafting the best machines, weapons, or armor. It's valuable and somewhat rare, and much of the economy of Araevis is based on it.

    Click for More Details on Terra Regia Itself:

    Initially, Terra Regia was seen as a bad omen, a sign of corruption. It is dangerous, both because it attracts deadly beasts and because it has a toxic, corrupting effect through continuous exposure. Like lead or mercury, it needs to be handled carefully. Regia comes in three different states:

    Regia Lateris (Alloy or Stone)
    Able to be mined from the earth or beneath the oceans.

    Regia Pulveris (Powder or Sand)
    Able to be dredged from the ocean floor or riverbeds.

    Regia Volantis (Liquid or Gel)
    Able to be drained from rare plantlife and animals.

    All three states can be found in the following grades or ranks of potency, though it may be more common to find one kind than another.
    Dahlitium - Copper-colored

    Dahlitium is common amongst the Terra Regia, rife in all continents, being the very material the Demvir were constructed of. It is commonly found in Lateris and Pulveris form, and is frequently used in weaponry and gunpowder.

    Bigatium - Silver-colored

    Bigatium is somewhat more valuable than Dahlitium, but remains quite common. It is most commonly found in Lateris form. Sturdy and well attuned to lower level spells, it is commonly used for armor, or catalysts.

    Auritium - Gold-colored

    Perhaps the first true rarity of Terra Regia, Auritium is the third and final metal most often found in Lateris form, and is sought after in much the same way previous ages chased after gold. Highly attuned to magic, Auritium finds great use in catalysts or other accessories to be enchanted.

    Vitatium - Emerald-colored

    Dangerous and potent, Vitatium is the most volatile of Terra Regia in nature. Prone to explosive combustion, and toxic on contact, it requires steady hands and a skilled smith to forge it into any usable state. It is most commonly found in Volantis form, and its potency finds use in higher level magics and, for the more daring, airship fuel.

    Caelitium - Sapphire-colored

    Rare to the point of being near-impossible to find in any significant amount, Caelitium is often referred to as the "Fool’s Errand" for those wishing to take advantage of its durability. Difficult to find, difficult to mine, and even harder to find use for, it is most commonly found in Pulveris form. The determined gather enough to smith arms that will outlast their wielders, and the practical gather what they need to fuel great cannons and siege weapons.

    While each continent may mint its own currency, most transactions will go by -- or accept -- the international standard currency, known as Exim or Exa. Different denominations use different grades of Regia Lateris, but the exa coins are X-shaped and roughly the size of a bottle’s opening. While the coinage can be used for crafting purposes, it is not in a suitable form to use for magic, and it is often more time-effective to purchase the material than to use minted coins.

    Silver and gold are still commonly used in some parts of the world, and velen are known to use gems or pearls for trading in some areas. In some cities, businesses give out bonds that are as good as gold or exa where the business has holdings, but lose value or become entirely worthless outside those cities.

    Once the secrets of Terra Regia were explored, technology recovered rapidly... and advanced.

    The Art of Ingeniarius (Engineering) is a skill that is mainly devoted to creating tools and devices that go beyond what physical machinery alone can accomplish, by drawing on the unique properties of Terra Regia. Steam-power rapidly exploded into prominence. Reinforcing the walls of a steam engine with TR would allow it to burn at higher temperatures, and TR in the heating elements helped to rapidly produce the steam itself. With the proper encasement, TR can be used much like a battery, emitting electricity in stunning volumes or smaller charges over a great deal of time.

    The Art of Alchemia (Alchemy) is devoted to blending natural ingredients and Terra Regia ones in order to create medicines and potions that defy conventional limits, as well as create unique mediums to tap into the unseen plane of Astrum, bridging gaps on the material plane for scrying. It is mixed into fuels that far outperform anything discovered before or since.

    Since the power within is latent visae, it can be altered just like magic, producing intense cold, heat, wind, or other effects depending on the need. It has unique properties for transmitting heat, energy, sound, and vibrations. Engineers and alchemists are forever combining TR with less magical crafts, frequently finding new and amazing ways to use the miraculous materials. For all of the wonder it allows, though, Terra Regia has one very specific flaw: Terra Regia is rare and expensive, and thus devices using it are expensive to create, limiting their availability to the poorer members of society.

    Specific Technologies:


    All sorts of mechanical innovations have been made over the years. Elevators, cable cars, conveyer belts, lathes, machines for hammering metal and heating forges, and more have all been made and are used to varying degrees. Most manufacturing is still accomplished with steam power or manual labor, whether skilled employees or assembly-line drudges. Due to the prohibitive costs of TR, and the interest in keeping costs down, few industries use TR-powered machinery extensively. Those sorts of machines are often limited to well-off craftsmen, high-profile studios, and limited runs of unique products.

    Mass-production is limited to highly-industrialized areas like Terminus, Prendere, and Oppidum Bulla. The northern kingdom of Excelsus prefers the usage of manual labor, and the enlil pride themselves on their craftsmanship, preferring to screw in every bolt to ensure perfection. Under the waters, velen have very limited industry, preferring to negotiate trade deals with other nations to get what they need. The demvir city-states are divided in their approach: Eleutheria builds extensively, but frowns upon selling such craftsmanship for profit, preferring instead to use it to better life for residents; Eruditio embraces profit, and has created some of the most efficient manufacturing processes, helping encourage plentiful trade to come their way; and Cursus rejects the idea of industry as trending too closely to the slavery that so darkens their history, relying instead on trade and negotiation, with skilled craftsmanship holding higher regard over clever machinery.

    Computer programming doesn't exist in PT. What allows demvir to be autonomous and display free will is a mystery. The Gera race, though different from demvir, is a similar mystery. The closest things to computation would be drones used for the Calling of Fundibuli (Mechanist) or golems created with the Calling of Alchemia (Alchemy). The drones are crafted by engineers, but they are not truly autonomous. In actuality, there are two control nodes, one in the drone and the other implanted in the mechanist. The drones are controlled, or control themselves, based on subconscious commands from their owner. If separated by too great a distance, the drone becomes a lifeless piece of metal. Golems have magical instructions stored in the 'heart' of the golem, very specific in scope.

    Conventional broad-wave radio wasn't discovered in PT and there is no network of radio towers or telegraph lines. Instead, the Arcanum and Conexus have historically offered scrying services to send messages to people far away. Unfortunately, such messages can't be delivered to just anyone -- the recipient must be someone the scryer is familiar with. This led to entire businesses being devoted to building a web of connections across continents, not unlike the shipping companies in the real world. One such company is the Scryer's Services of Araevis (SSA), which trains messengers together and then sends them to remote locations, allowing messages to be sent to hubs.

    A new invention in recent years is the porro vox, or simply vox. It is a sturdy enclosure of glass filled with volantis with a small disc of lateris floating inside. The disc is etched with special inscriptions related to scrying. It allows communication over vast distances with a limited number of other voxes it has been connected with. While it has not caught on with the Arcanum, since they have an ample number of actual scryers, it was rapidly adopted by the Commercium's highest members. The secrets to making them are held close, but the Commercium is happy to sell them at a premium. The simplest ones are made with dahlitium, but there are bigatium and auritium ones available.

    While sending communication via scrying has been going on for hundreds of years, much more recent is a variant of television. A combination of scrying and engineering is able to create a smaller web of connections between specially created grandis speculii, or hyalus, which are viewing screens made from vitatium, solid lateris framework with volantis behind a glass viewing pane. A scryer with the appropriate knowledge can scry for one image, and project that image onto all linked grandis speculii. The scope of this, so far, is pretty slim. The city of Terminus is the first place to experiment with it on a large scale, erecting grandis speculii in many districts throughout the city to broadcast important events. The 500th Anniversary speech was one such event, and thus most of the city saw the assassination attempt. This does not span continents (yet), and the requirement of vitatium (one of the rarest TR grades) means that it may not ever see extensive use.

    Within the city of Terminus, there are small railways for transporting cargo across the city but none designed specifically for transporting people. There are broad waterways running through the city, frequented by gondoliers and ferries, and cable cars suspended overhead can take passengers through most of the more-populous areas of the city. There are basilisk-drawn carriages, as well, and some motorized vehicles. The most affluent can afford to travel via miniature airships.

    Steam-powered locomotives are used commonly in Secare, especially Prendere, as well as in the small nation of Songen and in parts of Aridus. While they aren't used for passenger transportation in Boreas, there are trade-lines specifically for sending goods to the main cities. In Hiemis, work was begun on a railway that was never completed.

    Motorized carriages (automobiles) have been made for nearly a hundred years, and the variety between them is extensive. Some are steam-powered, others are combustion engine, some are directly powered by TR, and there are some weird varieties mixed in there. One of the better-known models is the Raeda Agiles. Raedas and other automobiles are relatively uncommon due to the prohibitive cost.

    Most ships are still wind-powered, but there are some newer ships that have propeller engines, and the most-advanced of battle cruisers have TR-powered propulsion engines. Because of trade with the velen, it was necessary to create ships that could also travel underwater, and so submarines have been in use underwater for nearly as long as ships have sailed above the surface. In the past, though, they were only viable for the velen themselves, but in the last century, newer models have been made safe enough to bring air-breathing passengers safely down to the underwater cities. The cities themselves are accommodating to laicar and enlil, in the interest of good trade relations, with large portions of the cities filled with air.

    Airships are the pinnacle of engineering, with enlil at the forefront of their development. Only in the past several decades have airships come into commercial use, with trade-lines opening between the continents. Since the technology is prohibitively complicated and expensive, most airships are made large and slow, but sturdy, able to carry huge loads of cargo or passengers. Faster, lighter, and smaller airships do exist, mainly for the wealthy. The largest manufacturer of airships is Kaelum Ceruleum, creator of the massive Aeri Triremis used for intercontinental trade. They also create a more modest-sized Aether Lembas (more commonly known as the Sky Cutter).

    Feel free to be creative with what kinds and types of technology your character encounters. The magical, wondrous nature of TR allows for most 'modern' technologies to be replicated in some way in PT, but remember that while your characters may find or create such things, they are still going to be uncommon or very rare for the general populace.
    Last edited by swaswj; 09-22-2017 at 10:22 PM.

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