The World of Thosara
Magic and Technologies
Eons ago, the gods of good and evil fought, destroying one another and leaving destruction in there wake till there were few to stand. In time, the cataclysmic energies of the old gods consolidated into a new form of energy called Mana. This mana, as time went on, was adsorbed into the world becoming apart of it creating what is now know as the Mana Weave or simply the Weave. Mana is the raw energy that fuels magic in the world, mostly used by Arcane casters.
The Book of Light teaches that divine magic comes from the soul itself, the divine spark. From this spark, a divine caster can summon up the mana needed from within to cast their divine spells; depending on their strength of faith.
Divine magic is subdivided into two types of magic: Light Magic (Good) and Dark Magic (Evil). Light Magic is the gift of Elishar and all spells of good nature where as dark magic is a taint from Toldoh.
Mana is the source of all arcane powers. The residual energies after the gods’ destruction permeated in many across the world of Thosara in the form of the Mana Weave. Mana is an invisible energy, it cannot been seen or tasted. Only to those trained in the arts of the arcane can it be ‘felt.’
Unlike divine magic (which is internal), almost all arcane magic is considered external as the arcanist taps into the Weave for magic. Trained arcanists use incantations and somantic gestures to shape mana into a spell. To some, tapping into this raw magical power is incredibly addicting. Mana is also dangerous, misuse could cause unspeakable harm to the untrained caster, if not slay him outright.
Mana is however, not always stable, nor at all omnipresent. There are few places in the world where the Weave is fractured or frayed, causing arcane magic to be unreliable, if not incredibly dangerous (more so than tapping into magic untrained). Even fewer are places where mana is not present at all; these are called dead zones. Only in it’s natural state is mana harmless; it is dangerous only when used for spells or in places of wild magic.
Much is unknown of the nature of this kind of magic. Many scholars believe that is another form of dark magic while others argue that it either good nor evil. But the truth is this magic energies are of an extra-planar source, the Shadow Plane. To the rare few who can wield its energies are known to become quite powerful in body and soul as the they become one with its energies.
Thou an innovation that been around for the past century, it was only available to the prestigious few till the late 2050s. Today, the development of cheaper technologies allowed the wider use of airships across the world bring more markets and travel.
An airship is a type of vessel designed to fly on current of air. Thought many of take their designs from seagoing ships, airships are powered by internal engines that lift them from the earth and push them across the sky, rather than being slaves to the wind or sea. These internal engines uses mostly a magical nexus crystal that absorbs the energy (elemental, heat, or magical) created within the engine and converts it into power factors, allowing a relatively small amount of energy to be transformed into enough power to lift and move an airship. Other types of engines uses the combination of steam and clockwork mechanics instead of magical.
Magical constructs are rare, but knowledge of their existence is relatively common. Golems make for powerful—if straightforward and breathtakingly expensive—weapons of war. Still,technology can always be improved, and can always be made more efficient in creation or application. In various academies, clever artisans seek to further unlock the mysteries of the mechanical application of magic, striving to vastly reduce the amount of magical energy necessary to power their creations.
Those who lack the magical power or resources necessary to create golems and other powerful constructs reliant wholly on magic turn their attentions to the advancement of clockwork
technologies. Unlike the creation of golems, though, even those without command over arcane magics can contribute to the creation of clockworks, allowing this burgeoning technology to advance at an increasing rate. Clockwork creations differ from other magical constructs in their technological basis. A clockwork machine—whether human-shaped warrior or paddle-driving engine—exists as an actual mechanical device made of interlocking pieces. Magic provides the clockwork mechanism with power with which to turn its gears, spin its wheels, and drive its pistons. Unlike golems and other constructs held together and granted motion by arcane energies, in the absence of magic a clockwork device becomes merely inert. It does not fall apart. Its pieces do not freeze together. Even nonmagical forms of energy (such as the hard labors of animals on treadmills) can provide a clockwork mechanism with movement, but magic remains—by far—the most efficient form of power. Rumors circulating among the arcane and mundane developers of clockwork mechanisms whisper of some engineers are experimenting with steam as a potential energy source, but most arcanists laugh off the notion as yet another bizarre development.
In AC 1932, an incredible discovery was made by the dwarfen Wildhammer Clan. Dwarf alchemists created a substance that had incredible explosive properties. Calling it simply “black powder,” the dwarfs began using this substance for mining purposes, easily breaking open passages deep in the earth that would take weeks to months to dig out by hand alone. The key ingredient, saltpeter, became a valuable resource to the dwarfs, and new mines were created exclusively to dig out the precious substance.
It wasn’t long before the black powder was considered for military uses. In 1970, the dwarfs invented the first cannon. The long metal barrel could fire a massive steel ball father and faster than the best trebuchet, with even more destructive results.
Smaller versions became available soon after. Pistols and muskets were even more destructive and able to pierce full plate armor more effectively than crossbows. While at first unreliable, the dwarfs refined the process over the next eighty years. It wasn’t until the Dark Crusades that saw the first full scale use of the weapon.
The dwarfs are to the present day the most knowledgeable in the creation of firearms, second only to the gnomes. Most rifles, muskets and pistols created by the dwarfs are of masterwork quality (like much of everything of dwarf make), and very accurate. Humans became the next wide-spread users and manufacturers of firearms, though their quality is not as superior as the dwarfs. Most elves eschew firearms, preferring magic and simpler weapons to wage war. Kobolds and some goblin tribes do not use firearms per se, but take to using the black powder for it’s explosive potential.
Firearms are incredibly destructive, though few are actually seen outside of the military due to their cost. The sight of a black powder weapon however strikes fear in many warriors across Cyforrina and beyond.
Among the finest of treasures is the printing-press, a weapon of subtle power capable of turning a quiet populace against its ruler, making an entire nation unsafe for an outlaw, or setting a hundred militias ready for war against an enemy.
With but a few weeks of preparation, a print-master and his apprentices can engrave a special “press” containing words, images, or a series of words and images that are then perfectly
replicated, in ink and paper, hundreds or even thousands of times. These ink-printed papers, often handsomely detailed with grandiose portraits of honored leaders or crude caricatures of hated foes, are then swiftly distributed to reach the eyes of a widely scattered people.
The newest innovation in the world, Steam technology was developed by both the gnomes and dwarfs clockwork engineers to power their clockwork mechanical devices breaking away form the need for magic.
Information of Clockwork & Printing Press are from the Pathfinder Campaign Setting book.