Power Technology / Science in Creus | World Anvil
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The hunter made a gesture over the bridge railing. Massive water wheels were churning along the length of the river channel, driving a system of flatrods and gears along the shoreline. The noblewoman next to him narrowed her gaze.
"You're saying everything that happens in this city starts with these wheels?" Lodia looked closely. "They're rotating pretty slowly."
"I'm not much of an engineer." Vance pointed to the gearing assembly somewhat closer to them. "All I know is that you're able to turn 'big and slow' rotation into 'small and fast' rotation. Dunno what the proper words for that are."
"So what happens if the river flows more slowly or there's a dry season?" She waved at the rest of the city behind her. "The power-trams and the power-wagons, they just all stop?"
Vance sighed. "Yeah, pretty much. Don't go telling the power engineers that, though, it's a bit of a sore point."


Waterwheels and windmills have been known since antiquity, but the discovery of Power as we know it occurred in the former Kingdom of Nasse, in the year 610. A team of researchers commissioned by its king were successfully able to attach drive rods made out of the strongest hardwoods to a waterwheel, and use it to drive a water screw roughly a half mile away. Prior experiments had resulted in the rods simply shattering under the physical load, but gearing and the slip clutch allowed the load to be applied gradually, preserving the integrity of the rods.   Power technology wouldn't come into general use until the invention of the flywheel; through more clutch gearing, it was possible to take a heavy disc of material (typically stone, occasionally metal), lubricated on an axle, and spin it up to a great rotational speed while housed in safety containment. The invention of the flywheel made Power portable, and it serves as the foundation of all other Power technologies.   Non-portable power distribution is used to deliver rotational and reciprocating force to manufactories and utilities in most cities. Water pumps, waste elimination, and urban transport are linked to city power distribution. Portable flywheels serve as the power source in mobile systems, enabling the independence of Power-Wagons and other systems remote from power generation sites.   The spread of Power technology has radically changed day to day life over the last hundred years. The most common application that ordinary citizens would see would be driving water pumps and public power-trams. Components are easily purchased, and enthusiasts and tinkerers are encouraged to build and iterate on new ideas.


The components for building standard Power systems are under mass production in the major cities of Etoile. Manufactories churn out a standardized list of gears, ties, rods, and drivers that are widely available and used to assemble and repair standard systems across the Principality.   Those systems drive virtually all modern manufacturing today, as all manufactured goods are sourced from Powered manufactories. Most cities have manufactories to produce a wide range of goods required in the local area; some cities are specialized in certain types of goods and build them at scale to export them to the rest of the Principality. The subsequent industrial boom has made manufactured goods commonplace, with textiles autowoven in massive quantities and high quality tooling becoming common and inexpensive.
An engineering team in the former Kingdom of Nasse are credited with building the first functional Power system, under the auspices of the First Princeps.
Access & Availability
Power is widely available in cities as a public utility. However, Power remains restricted to being (generally) near some sort of power source typically a river or windy plateau or valley, with areas not near potential power sources having little access.
Basic Power applications like pumping water are straightforward and amateurs can simply assemble those systems with some practice. Complex systems that require control feedback loops (for example, an automated power-tram system) are typically outside the ability of laymen to build.
Experimental Power systems were built successfully as early as 610, with a research effort funded by the Kingdom of Nasse, in an effort to gain a military and economic advantage over its neighbors. Power was successfully deployed there by 614, and spread across Saibh not long afterward.
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