Technology is as essential to understanding K23 as deities and magic are. After all, the first sentence in the A Clear and Feathered Danger’s description is “In the technological dystopia of New Delta…” In fact, my use of technology is one of the things that I believe sets K23 apart from other fantasy series. In most fantasy series, progress is stuck in the middle ages or the industrial revolution at best. Then there are always the mysterious vanished civilizations whose technological progress was always greater.
The central idea of K23 is taking a high fantasy world and progressing it technologically so far into the future you can have a cyberpunkish dystopia sitting in the middle of it where many of the gargantuan towers are falling into disrepair, the government is dysfunctional, large portions of the population are living in poverty and giant autonomous corporations are running rampant. While Terrall has its very own vanished civilization, who will be formally introduced in Sandworm Rodeo (and expanded upon in a future novella) the one thing I will make very clear is that they were barely above the cavemen stage before they disappeared along with all life on their continent.
How I define technology in K23 is achieving the effects of magic (or even exceeding it) without harnessing divine energies (with one notable exception I’ll go into below). Technology is developed through the science, or the empirical means through which the universe is observed and documented. Science is used by everyone, even the elven mages, because its one thing to use magic, its quite another to know how magic works( how the divine energies affect the physical).
There are multiple technologies at play in Terrall(Hominia specifically). All are introduced within the first three novellas.
The “Cyberpunk” Technologies:
Silicone Tech: The standard cyberpunk array of giant buildings, computers, “the internet”, flying cars (aircraft) and cyborgs. Cybrix Technologies is the main developer of this technology in New Delta, though it’s used worldwide by everyone because of its versatility.
Biotech: Harnessing of living things via genetic engineering for a variety of uses. The main means by which this is achieved is via a machine called the gene writer which put Biogenomics on the map. A “four letter keyboard” attached to a console attached to a machine which writes genetic code that is implanted into a cell of anything you want. So is genetic engineering so easy anyone can do it? Not a chance – you need to have advanced degrees and years of training before you can use it successfully. Mostly used in New Delta and the City of Sands.
Biotech also allows healing that exceeds what is capable via magic. Biotech allows for the healing of “natural diseases” ranging from cancer to infections. Even elves go to the doctor.
The “Steampunk” Technologies:
In K23, I’ve divided up steampunk tech into two distinct technologies both used mainly in the Underground by dwarves and gnomes(biologically merging, but culturally distinct).
Steamworks: Hydraulics and steam engines. Developed by the dwarves for mining and military use.
Clockworks: Brass gears, keys and springs used to make automatons and other devices. It was developed and is used by the gnomes. Clockwork can be infused with divine energy by tinkerers. Doing so makes automatons smart and clockwork prosthetics turn into flesh and bone.
As a side note, while Biotech can regenerate limbs and reattach it to you, hand magic cannot be used in the a biotech regenerated arm or hand. Only magical prosthetic allow a magic practitioner to use magic in a new limb.
Crystalline Tech: Used almost entirely by elves in Teolos. It is the use of crystals as building material and a few other specific use such as illumination. Crystalline tech is only used outside of Teolos for use in laser weapons (crystals magnify light into a deadly laser blast).