Chronomancy, sometimes referred to as time wizardry or as the Ninth School, is a form of magic that is preoccupied with altering the flow of time. It was developed by the Circle of Hesmondon in Zhai and it has been rumored that the 903 attack on Lloridan by the Labarean Empire was at least partially given in by gnomish concerns about chronomantic progress.
HistoryDuring the ninth century, Hesmondon gave a lot of thought to the nature of technology. Dorgothian scholars, most notably the Order of the Source had argued that technology was the application of scholarly knowledge, a gift that inspired mortals to pursue truth and understanding. Within the Labarean Empire, this definition became dogma, but Hesmondon found this stance incoherent:
The orthodox gnome would state that magic is a vice and technology is a virtue. When prompted, he would claim that technology is the realization of the Dorgothian mission, as it is led by knowledge and understanding. Yet the same can be said of magic, which is also led by scholarly enquiry and can only be practiced by those who have studied its flows and resonances. The reasonable philosopher can only conclude that the gnome empire should either learn to embrace magic as technology by other means, or generate a new understanding of what technology is in the first place.Developing a philosophy of technology, Hesmondon concluded that machines harness the lawful structure of nature, while magic shifts it. He claims the Magic Ban is of existential importance to the Empire, given its dependence on a predictable world.
The Machines anticipate the regularities of our world, their existence dependent on the relations between cause and effect. It is therefore a particular, low form of knowledge and understanding that Technologists apply, namely knowledge of causality. Wizards, in contrast, look beneath such causal structure and seek both an understanding of and affective synthesis with the chaotic currents that form causal structure. Once attuned with this high form of knowledge and understanding, Wizards make waves in the currents, temporarily disturbing the ground on which Technologists have built their edifices.The Invasion of Silimanis convinced Hesmondon that the Labarean Empire would understandably attempt to rid the world of magic and that military conflict between Zhai, the Kingdom of Laeryll and the Empire would be unavoidable in the end. He set out to study magic that could exploit the dependence on causality that he identified. By changing the flow of time, he and his followers devised ways to revert causality, giving them the power to magically sabotage machines.