Apparently that was somebody's big takeaway from last week's Trycanta Tuesday post: that mazor are solar-powered and lyrror geothermal. The suggestion was made that perhaps nequor (human beings) run on hydroelectricity... well, now, that depends on your definition of "water", doesn't it? If you put "fire" in front of it...
But that's another story altogether. Like the one about the three girls who go out for a nice Saturday dinner and drinks, and just as they're getting giggly, who strolls up to their table but their priest. And no, I'm not kidding. Fortunately Father John is awesome, but still! Flipping heart attack moment in the making, right there.
In any case, it seemed like a good lead-in to discuss the differing technological levels of the areas of Trycanta, and what power sources people, of all sorts, tend to use. As funny as the musings of my fans (and if you guys want to identify yourselves, please, go right ahead) are, they're also surprisingly accurate for some of the continents!
As anyone who's read Homecoming will know, Anosir and surrounding areas are at a tech level roughly equivalent to the High Middle Ages on Earth, though with occasional stand-outs, due to the availability of magic for experimentation. Some of the things the characters have invented (like a magical toaster) even verge into steampunk.
Most things in Anosir, then, are powered by fire, wind, water, muscles, or magic, which is, as always in a fantasy setting, the joker in the deck. Magical light, like electric bulbs, is far clearer and less smoky than candles would be, and the human gift of Speech, basically telepathy, works rather like a cell phone over short distances.
Across the ocean in Dulia, however, a form of industrial revolution has taken place, and with it some of the social changes which always accompany such things. In this case, Dulian society has become rigid and stratified, with an emphasis on order, on finding and knowing one's place, and on turning away from chaotic forces like magic.
As strange as it may seem for a part of a magical world to be able to turn away from magic, Dulians have a certain advantage. The form of industrialization they have undertaken, the energy source they have tapped, sets up an interference wave which effectively cancels out most forms of magic for a certain radius around it.
If a mage moves into an area containing electronics for a certain length of time, however, his presence, or hers, calls the magic back to that place, after which most types of electronics will stop working. The mage must leave the area for twice the time he or she was there to begin with before the electronics will work again.
If any of this sounds familiar, you're probably a VERY long-time Anne B. Walsh reader, as one of my first (and most horrible, IMBO) Trycanta stories had to do with this little quirk of timing. The phrase "two and nine" might ring a few bells... though if it doesn't, that's fine. Those stories were some truly awful examples of my early writing.
As for the third area of Trycantan settlement, the Celitar Confederation and its surrounding lands, it might well look and feel familiar to anyone from a developed country here on Earth. From skyscraper cities, to travel by train, to telephones, ambulances, and corporations, you name it, they've probably got it. And why?
Quite a number of years ago now, some clever Celitaran invented a device called a collegen. A certain number of collegens are placed inside the walls of every house or apartment (up to the number of people who live there, in fact), and will generally provide enough power, frugally used, for the basic needs of that same household.
If your Celitaran household ends up with a surplus of power, you can sell it to the general grid, or if you need more, you can buy it. You cannot simply add or activate more collegens, as trying to operate too many will overload their safety measures and cause a characteristic wasting disease in the household's inhabitants.
Celitarans, unlike Dulians, have not simply turned away from magic; in the cities, at least, they tend to deny its existence altogether, outside of children's stories and ancient tales which are considered exaggerations or misunderstandings today. How is this possible in a world where magic is a true force, you ask? Think hard...
I'll let you do some speculating and come back to the question next week, when I will also revisit the topic of a certain book entitled Dangerous Truths, and when, or if, I may start working on it again. (Anybody who doesn't know, ask your neighbor... anyone who was here circa 2007 should know.) Thanks, as always, for reading!