Age of Orion
Science and Technology
Messages transmitted over cables of copper, after sending stones got scarce some inventive individuals discovered a way to send messages using electricity. Most of them are used for communication between set locations, usually town messenger posts will have a line open from one town to another, connecting the networks by each post repeating messages along the channel.
The Wire has recently experienced a grand new idea, broadcast audio! The ability to capture a voice and reproduce it on the other end of The Wire has given Orion a unique cultural revolution. Taverns and the very rich have been able to install Sound Wires where they can listen in to another person’s voice! Whatever is being broadcast across the wire is what everyone on the other side hears, the single channel media network is broadcast from Rheinland Wire Central. Currently the broadcasts are news, Royal Decrees/Speeches, and of course coverage of any Orion’s Arrow matches.
Originally called Reforged, after the popularity of chainmail armored prosthetic limbs were used in combat, they got the nickname “Automail”. Since then the work on automated prosthetics has continued, and new advancements have continued to come forwards, allowing for detachable Automail. Automail is far easier to break than normal flesh and blood.
The biggest advancement in Automail is the ability to make the automail detachable. The severed joint is fitted with a port and the automail is then attached and locked into place. This allows the user to purchase Automail with a specific functions that surpass any general purpose Automail. The original purpose was to allow soldiers with damaged Automail to quickly get back into the fight by replacing the limb instead of installing new Automail.
Military grade Automail which focuses around the use or integration of firearms is referred to as Gunmail. It’s caught on for the military, but is unavailable for any standard citizen. Adventurers have been known to acquire Gunmail, but usually at a premium.
Automail is seen to the commoners as the rich and powerful thumbing their nose at the gods. The replacement of the flesh given to mortals by the gods, replaced with our own doing. Most who revere nature also find it disturbing purely on the level of it being so unnatural. However with the ever diminishing sources of divine power, Automail becomes the only available way to replace lost limbs, as regenerative magics are extremely rare to find. The modern way to avoid the stigma has come through artisan crafted Automail that looks flesh toned, it’s still easily noticed under scrutiny, but otherwise you’ll likely miss it.
Warforged have been around for a long time, but the ability to make them has been lost in the current age. There are plenty of remaining warforged, most with their memory in tact are used in research in hopes of recovering the secret of magic and what happened to the divine.
There was a renaissance in their creation during some of the great wars, leading to the next generation of Warforged known as the Proto-mortal, commonly referred to as Prometheans. Prometheans were designed as Domestic helpers, they’re much friendlier in appearance with smooth metals that give them the appearance of a human or elf, but their metallic complexion makes them stand out. Prometheans, like Warforged, do have the spark of life in them, and the secret of their creation has been lost as well.
The Iron Horse
Trains, the rich mans means of transportation in these uncertain times. Many individuals have made their fortunes by clearing the forests and laying rails for the Iron Horse. These changes in transportation mean fewer folks are walking around, leaving most of the world unattended, and many ruins undiscovered.
The creation of smaller vehicles was started and mostly abandoned, cities haven’t reached the size where personal automated vehicles make sense, and those who can afford them, tend to prefer their horses and carriages to the noisy and dangerous automated engines. Finally, those with transportation rarely take it between towns for fear of the wilderness.
However the short distances in towns and cities is irritating enough for people to purchase personal transportation. Horses are the usual solution for small towns, but in larger cities you’ll actually see bicycles, horse and carriages, and the very rare automobile or auto-cycle.
The technology used to create them has been lost, and most of the ships themselves have been abandoned as there is no means to keep them maintained, a few exist but most are broken down and forgotten. Those still in operation are used for transportation between cities, or give the rich joy rides, looking down into the dangerous wilds from safe in the sky.
Referred to as “Mortals Magic”, the expensive substance is used for warfare, demolition, and even as a medicine. It’s expensive enough that most of the peasantry and surfs can’t afford it.
Firearms are still only for adventurers and rich nobles, but advancements in manufacturing has helped lower the price and makes repair a lot easier.
Automatic Type Setter Machine
A device similar to a large type writer, except it places the proper Letterpress character in frame for printing. The device allows for quickly created newspapers plates, instead of hand setting all the type, although the plates can be ‘edited’ afterwards by hand to fix any errors.
Electricity is stored in batteries, most are just large capacitors, extremely dangerous to be around. There are a few chemical batteries, there’s a lack in the supply department which prevents mass production of chemical batteries, they’re also rather weak and usually used as backup means for the Wire to send messages.
Most power capture devices in Orion are actually magical artifacts, that either generate electricity or are able to capture, store and slowly release it. The largest of these is on top of the Wire Central in Rheinland, and is used to power the rest of the Wire network, sending electricity through underground cables along side the action Wire cables.
The Missing Link
Electricity can be stored in batteries, captured from magical artifacts, and used to power The Wire and basic lights. The missing link is the Electric Dynamo, the ability to generate electrical energy. Understanding of magnetic forces is the key to figuring out both the Dynamo and the Engine, until then electricity has it’s uses for the rich and mass communication, but the world hasn’t hit full industrial revolution.