Overview of Technology, Agriculture, Industry and Education

Table of Contents

***Work in progress***   Overview of technology, education, agriculture, infrastructure, transport and trade in the empire.  

Technological level

The empire has developed highly specialised magical crafts. Those are artefacts ranging from objects used to facilitate every day life to weapons. Thanks to these, powerful and rich individual can live a luxurious and comfortable life. As for the poor and those without magic, they do not have access to most of those and are mostly dependent on the good will of their lord or lady. Some rulers will develop the public infrastructures and make sure their people have access to public crafts. Others will not care about them and condemn them to a miserable life. For more details, see Magic in everyday life.   An important point regarding technological development is the fact that any skilled master crafter can study a simple craft and easily copy it, and there is no law to prevent them from selling it. This has two consequences on technological development. First, it reduces the motivation for people to innovate in the design of the simpler crafts. After all, why bother when all the effort put into it can so easily be ripped off by others? Second, this makes it absolutely essential for secrecy to be maintained so that Houses do not lose stretegical advantages over their rivals, be it in war or trade.   Because of this, every House and even every Estate specialise in different types of magic and crafts, and they trade them through the Estate or through the entire empire. The best crafts are even sold to neighbouring countries, the Northern Islands and more rarely the Southern Kingdoms. The creation of crafts is done under the leadership of Master crafters and can take place in art studios, workshops or even a few larger scale manufactures present in a few Estates. Since every type of magic requires a high level of specialisation, over generations of a family practising it, they become attuned to it, making it easier fo them to practise it and allowing them to accomplish feats of magic not possible for others. Those specialisations are called line-gifts.   Examples of specialisation are Lyrienne silk, Alyssenne crafts, Veinianie clothes, Zériesse battle staves...   The ony way to learn some new magic is through apprenticeship with a master, and no master will take on someone who has already learn some other form of magic. This is mostly out of a belief that they will not give their own specialisation the full attention that it is due, but it is also a way to prevent anyone from upsetting the social order by learning what they are not supposed to. Even the nobility can only learn all the magic practised in their own Estate, but they are unlikely to be allowed by any other lord or lady to learn from another Estate. The only real way to learn a new field of magic is through forming marriage bonds with another House.
A craft guiding workers' hands and enhancing their strength and its copy by AmélieIS with an image from BRRT on Pixabay
An elaborate craft by Jacques Dillies on Unsplash


Education varies from Estate to Estate, but most of them provide basic education to teach young children to read, write, use basic magic, and follow the law, on average from 5 to 10 years old. After this, talented children are recruited by master crafters or trademen to be taught their skills and learn a job. Some Estates such as the Estate of Arianie have a school of higher education that recruit extremely talented children to teach them highly specialised magic. Most Estates also have libraries, but no one should exect to learn magical secret from them. The best libraries in the empire are the libary of the senate and the library of the Red Lion inn, both of which are reserved for the nobility.
The imperial library of the senate, by AmélieIS with an image from Skitterphoto on Pixabay


  The productivity of the lands depends on the quality of their soil but also in the strenght of the Land. Only through proper worship and management by its bounded lord or lady will the Land have enough magic to feed the plants, animals, and even human living in it. If this is not the case, every lifeform will have less amount of magic available and will be weaker and more suisseptible to disease. In extreme case, they will even slowly starve to death no matter how much they eat and photosynthesise.   Thus, famines are not uncommon in the empire, but are more often the result of bad management on the part of a lord or lady than anything else. Other potential causes of famines are diseases affecting the crops or animal herds, parasite species invasions, and a low quality of the soil to begin with. However, all of those can be protected against if enough magic is available to raise the appropriate wards.   Regarding the impact on the inhabitants of the empire, the powerful will never go hungry as they have the power to simply go and take all the food they desire and none of them will ever let themselves die for something as stupid as morals. Even if they do not go to war for food, most nobles will have enough money to buy it from more productive Estate.   Going down through the social ladder though increases the risk of anyone suffering from hunger. Even in well managed Estate, it is not rare for those without magical power to not have the means to buy enough food to feed themselves. They might be better off if they own their own plot of land, however them lacking magic also prevent them from making that land more productive if it is not naturally so.   While most nobles value line-gift related to fighting and most people of intermeidate power (so called master crafter level, see Geography, Climate and Demography of the Empire) are focused on crafting or trade, the vast majority of the empire are specialised in magic related to farming and animal herding, which mostly protect them from suffering the impact of a famine.  


The infrastructure of an Estate os the direct responsability of the lords and ladies ruling the Estates. Because of this, they should be of a better quality that the people at the bottom of the social ladder normally get access to, making them more powerful, visually pleasing, and not degrading over time. Good lords and ladies to see the infrastructure of their Estate as a way to show off their magical and management skills to everyone, whether their own subjects or rival neighbours.   However, lords and ladies do not all put the same amount of care in this or even view it as important. Those infrastructures are the roads of their Estate and leading to the neighbouring Estates, a library of magical crafts to borrow that should be present in most villages of the Estates (see Magic in everyday life), wells, the care of riverbed to prevent flooding, protections against dangers such as sea creatures, magical storms invading neighboors...
A well by Jazella on Pixabay


Transportation can be instantaneous, thanks to the existence of location pentagrams, however they are severely limited. Indeed, they are very difficult to create which makes them expensive, requires a lot of magic to use which also increases with the number of people and merchandised being transported, can only be keyed to one specific location, and can be warded against.   Because of this, location pentagrams are limited to the nobility and some master crafters who use them to go to the senate or attend high society parties in other Estate. Very rarely, some of them will agree to transport some luxury goods that are worth them "wasting" their time.   In addition, the vast seas on the western and eastern borders of the empire are impossible to navigate because of the sea monsters and magical storms, although people from the Northern Islands can brave the storm thanks to their secret weather magic. What this means is that regular merchandise being traded in the empire needs to go through roads or inner land waterways, which increase the transit delay and their price and reduce their availability at the over end of the empire.   Similarly, whole armies cannot travel through location pentagrams unless they are only made of nobles, which happens rarely since the end of the North vs South wars and the foundation of the empire. Instead, most armies are made of commoner mage squadrons who have to walk on feet.


  to complete   ------- Trade between the Estates is very important and often necessary for them to proseper. Traded elements are classified in three categories: food, raw crafting materials, and crafts themselves.   Luxury goods include spices from the Northern Islands and very elaborate crafts.     ------------ notes for rest of this sectioin   import, export   Devlopment of new crafts is going on constantly, New runic design made of runes and geometrical symbols, a lot of maths involved in it. Idea is to make the design as simple and long lasting as possible for commmong people New complicated design to create new types of artefacts New material, especially new metal alloys new alchemy and elixirs Everyone tries to master and make advances in their own fields of expertise   Big problems is that all of thos enew development are kept secret as the safety and prosperity of the Estate depends on them. No patent laws. So this reduces the spreading of education and apprenticeship. To learn new magic outside of your line gifts and EState expertise is super rare and basically only occur through bonding to another family.

Cover image: An example of jewellery with magical properties, by AmélieIS with <a href="https://pixabay.com">Pixabay</a> and <a href="https://www.vecteezy.com/">Vecteezy</a>


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