Steam Engine Technology / Science in Cairne | World Anvil

Steam Engine

A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid. The steam engine uses the force produced by steam pressure to push a piston back and forth inside a cylinder. This pushing force can be transformed, by a connecting rod and crank, into rotational force for work. Steam engines are external combustion engines, where the working fluid is separated from the combustion products.


The steam engine is used to power all manner of creations from the airships that are used in the majority of goods being moved and other logistic purposes, to the mechanized infantry utilized by the Culvarkt and Bechtlarite militaries. With pack animals and beasts of burden quickly declining in population due to mutations and harsh environments, the engine is quickly replacing them.


The primary process differs from culture to culture and even workshop to workshop. It does require a dedicated workspace and specialized tools and materials to craft one properly.

Social Impact

This technology has revolutionized the world on many levels. While there are still some cultures slow to embrace changes of this magnitude, those that have are in the midst of a not only technological growth period, but a socio-economic one as well. The ability to safely move goods and people throughout the land despite the dangers of the Blight and the ability to learn and study from higher altitudes and deeper depths has opened up worlds of possibilities.
Children Technologies
The Sovereign Empire of the Bechtlarites
Access & Availability
While the Becht are not slow to share their technological creations, it takes a great deal of engineering knowhow, manpower, and resources to utilize this one. The Culvarkt dwarves embraced the technology and even improved upon it while other cultures, such as the Volrishtad, have little use for it.
These devices are complex enough that an unwitting operator, an unskilled or impatient user as well, is more likely to destroy the device and potentially do themselves and others harm in the process. Maintaining and building them requires a degree of engineering and technological know how as well.
Following the devastation of the Blight and the War of Human Attrition, the tattered remains of the Bechtlarite Empire experienced a forced boom in the area of both science and technology. In the absence of divine intervention and the arcane tools that had at one time been so prevalent, one of the first issues to overcome was the discovery of a new means of travel and powering the needed devices to rebuild and maintain what was still a very large population. The steam engine was one of the first of many ground shaking inventions to come from that time.
Related Species

Cover image: steam engine by Midjourney


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