Heroes of Peleandril
Magic and Technology
Magic and Technology
Magic is a poorly understood resource, which runs wild where nature runs wild. As life became more orderly in the five Kingdoms, as plains became fields, and forests became groves, so was magic tamed. The commonplace creation of magic items has removed magical energy from its source and bottled it up in potions, wands, and weapons
Most Wizards in the Old World are now glorified pharmacists and gadget makers. Minor spells are terribly expensive due to the difficulty in finding quality reagents. Any truly powerful wizard has long since left civilized society in search of untamed wilderness where the magic runs freely.
All but the most pious Clerics outside of the Piety have switched their focus from performing miracles to tending to spiritual needs. Those who have a special talent for miracles rise quickly through the ranks of the Piety, or set out to become prophets. through the land. Those who need miracles seek out these prophets, or else travel to the Piety, to begin the arduous process of finding a holy man to intervene on their behalf.
An ancient order of Druids is believed to live underneath the cities of Man, sworn to destroy the current order, and return the planet to Primal wilderness. In Albion and Illyria, it is a minor criminal offense to engage in nature worship. In the Piety, it is a heresy punishable by death.
Witches and witchcraft are forbidden throughout the five kingdoms. Dangerous outsiders can only enter the mortal world through pacts, and these pacts always carry a price to the mortal who invokes them.
The industrial age is dawning in the Five Kingdoms, aided by the reliable nature of arcane magic. In the cities factories churn out mass-produced items that allow peasants to afford luxuries once coveted by nobility. At the same time, however, it has created an underclass of desperately poor, and pollutes an already overcrowded continent. A few items that have shaped the world appear below.
The Printing Press: Perhaps the most important invention in the last five hundred years, the movable type press has created a generation of readers and critical thinkers in every level of society.
The Railroad: Lanadare’s Iron Horses are the envy of the known world. Using coal fired steam engines, Lanadare can transport goods from its port cities to Ralendria, its capitol, and deep into the Sylvan Forest, Dwarven Mountains. and Orcish Grasslands. Albion and Illyria, lacking the skill of the Dwarven metallurgists, lag behind in their quest to unite their own nations with a safe efficient railway.
Firearms: These are the weapons that won Peleandril for Albion and Illyria. Before the creation of the Bullet Fetish, Goblins stood helpless before an onslaught of musketeers and gendarmes. In the hands of an amateur, a firearm is as dangerous to the user as the target. But in the hands of an expert it is as deadly as a Wizard’s wand. (See Classes:Gunslinger for Character Rules)
Combining Technology and Magic
Technology and magic are like identical poles of a magnet, they resist attempts to join them. The techniques that create magic items do not lend themselves to mass production, and the techniques used to mass produce items prevent them from holding a magic charge. However, resourceful individuals have managed to combine the two arts, and have created some remarkable devices, some of which are described below.
The Magic Lantern: A journeyman Wizard can produce several Magic Lanterns per day. Entire cities in the Five Kingdoms are lit by these, and every home has as many as they can afford.
Siege Golems: 50 years ago, at the height of the Illyrian/Albion Conflict, powerful mages joined with mechanical engineers to build the monstrous Siege Golems. Varying in size from 30 to 100 feet tall, a Siege Golem is essentially a Seige tower that can be worn by a Golem as if it were armor. Gears, pulleys and levers give tremendous mechanical advantage to the golem’s blows, and ensorcelled cannons and artillery spells make short work of castle walls and fortresses from a distance. When the governors of the respective colonies realized that they were being used as pawns in a blood feud between two wizards, a truce was called, and the Siege Golems were decommissioned.
The Manna Engine: Developed only 30 years ago, The Manna Engine is a golem of sorts, whose only movement is a rotary shaft. Only two wizards hold the knowledge and power to create these, and they are wealthy beyond all reckoning. The cold iron device absorbs spells cast upon it and uses the energy to spin a shaft, doing the work of a thousand wind or water mills. Many low level wizards and sorcerers are employed by factories to fuel them. Because of the delicate and expensive nature of these Engines, they must be created on the site where they are to function. As such, no such engine has been built in Peleandril, nor can one be transported there. Several attempts to employ a Manna Engine in a locomotive have met with failure.
The Bullet Fetish: A simple incantation, developed by Goblin shaman 50 years ago, transforms a spent bullet on the battlefield into a charm against the next bullet that would normally hit the wearer. This fetish has made warfare on the continent less reliant on firearms, and more reliant on swords and sorcery.