We’re nearing the end of the #My30DayWorld challenge, and though we’re several days behind we are still going to finish. Today, let’s discuss technology in a fantasy world.
The Legacy of Ash began as a role-playing setting for us, slowly evolving into fantasy fiction as the characters and cultures we created began to take on lives of their own. We hope you’ll follow us over the next few weeks as we reveal a little more about our world and the characters who bring it to life.
This post will cover day 24. We’re doing them all on our Legacy of Ash Facebook page as well, so head over and give us like.
4/12: What is the Tech Level? Does Magic Integrate?
Ah geez, I’m kind of apprehensive of the response this might get. Specifically from Æsc. He’s much more detail oriented than I am, and smarter with this sort of thing. But here goes…
The level of technology varies greatly over the face of Celduras. Let’s say…Early Roman Empire to Pre-Renaissance. Yes, I know, that is a very broad time period. In the Sule Basin Strait, under the rule of the Gorgon Court, we have sailing ships and paper, canvas sails and oil paint. Steel and horseshoes. Oil lanterns. But you’ll find no gunpowder, no muskets or flintlock pistols. Stained glass is rare, works of art for wealthy churches or noble houses. This is kind of the standard go to for most fantasy, but it really works to maintain the type of stories we want to tell.
I think, just maybe, the level of technology in my stories is slightly further along than Æsc’s. Alrend’ris might be a bit more advanced than t’Avallin. But with the size of Celduras, and the distance between continents we’re working with, it seems fitting that different cultures can progress in different aspects without problem. Now,I’m not talking huge differences. We don’t have lasers or transporters. Nothing that could fall into the spectrum of sci-fi. There are elements that are firmly rooted in the ‘fantasy’ genre that I find acceptable, and other elements that take it out of strictly fantasy into steampunk or sci-fi that we both want to avoid. No guns, no steam engines, no printing presses. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good steampunk story or the mash up of tech found in the worlds of Final Fantasy, but the Legacy of Ash is a grittier setting.
Magic does indeed integrate with the various levels of technology, but that interaction is not widespread. Sorcery and magic most definitely exist. Sorcerers are employed by kings, barons, and emperors to help manage the cities. Some of them are actually masters of the arcane arts, but others are mere charlatans. For me, the addition of magic to the fantasy setting is what makes inconsistencies plausible. How would the fact that some people can throw fireballs or erect magic shields change the advancement of missile weapons? The very presence of sorcery changes the way warfare, architecture, medicine, science, and religion would evolve. I love the image of the engineer on a battlefield, or sappers taking down an enemy fortress. But throw a wizard or sorceress into the mix and I think things get really interesting.
The Challenge Will Continue…
Thanks for reading about the world Æsc and I have built. We’ve fallen a bit behind in the questions, but we will answer them all and we’ll post more about the Legacy of Ash and the continents that make up the world of Celduras. This has been day 24, but look out for our next set of questions.