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Society in the Steam Age

Along with the advance of magic, in secrecy a group of mages called magipunks looked for easier ways to produce the same results arrived at through arcane means. A means of scrying on what they believed to be the future, in reality Jera's distant past, revealed machines of destruction and power. Within the course of a few years, many secrets of technology, the "forbidden magic." As things mystical or magical are often associated with evil in our world, the mainstream of Jera sees technology as of the devil. Much superstition surrounds the dabbling into things mechanical, except as necessary for the magic- al devices of the day. Research into physics or things of that nature are allowed only within magical research.

Gnomes are seen as wicked creatures, tinkering with things mehcanical openly in their society. The only reason that they do not bring on themselves the open wrath of the Seekers of Knowledge is the fact that their inventions rarely work well, when they work at all. They see the Gnomes as reinforcing the superstitions and lack of reli- ance in things technical. Indeed, the Gnomes have given technology a very bad name. Gnomes tend to be far more interested in wheels, gears, and pulleys for their own sake, somehow losing the vision of what they were originally designed for. Gnomes call The Mountains of Doubt their home, an isolated ring of peaks to the west of Grunburg.

The magipunks befriended the little folk, which supply them with gears and all the supplies necessary to make machines of every type. In this isolation from the Seekers of Knowledge's prying eyes a technical revolution in the course of two decades. Furthur, the punks focused the efforts of the Gnomes into something with purpose and direction. Plann- ing took the place of random experimentation, success replacing the former shortcomings of the folk.

One of the first "discoveries" of the magipunks was electricity and the harnessing of it. Great generators powered by falling water whine away along the course of rivers dammed for their potential energy. This truly the golden age of the Gnomes. Following close on its heels came the introduction of gunpowder and dynamite. To fund their research and the raw materials procured from the dwarves, the punks sell sticks of dynamite, or "flash tubes," to adventurers and military governments alike, all in secrecy.


Asterland Fantasy World