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[2019.3.13] A New Age

I spent a lot of time today thinking about cyberpunk and mechs. If you're curious you can check it out in this twitter thread, but basically the bulk of my free video game hours have been playing Titanfall 2. And holy shit is that game ever good.   I've been on a mech kick lately, which you can blame on Austin Walker and the Waypoint crew. Austin's got a really fresh view on mechs, and recently Waypoint recorded an episode where they discussed Neon Genesis Evangelion.   No, I'm not going to talk about EVA. I'm not even going to link it, because there are a hundred million nerds out there who have analyzed it to death and are frankly far more enlightened about the show than I will ever be. But needless to say, it's a fascinating piece of art well worth all our time.   But yes. Mechs.   From there I think I dabbled in a couple episodes of Gundam, watched some gen:lock (PLEASE GO WATCH THAT SHOW) before finally falling into Titanfall 2. What's funny about it is I don't think that all those things were necessarily sequential, especially the Titanfall. No, I found the game because I wanted to try getting into Apex Legends but never was any good at shooters, and figured that some high-contact exposure through team deathmatches would get me up to speed–or at least not shameful enough to constantly apologize to my team for having to rez me yet again.   To be honest, I figured I wouldn't actually be that interested in the mechs. But oh, BT-7274, you won my heart over. It's incredibly cool to shift from the high-speed frenetic combat of pilots to the bulky, slow-moving metal monsters that are the Titans.   But what does all this have to do with Halûme, you ask? Well disembodied voice, the first thing you gotta know about me is that if something has been on my mind for a while, you can be damn sure that it's being fit into the world of Halûme at some point.   There's so many questions here:

  • what would mechs be capable of? Why would a society implement them? Would they have a wide-reaching role, or a niche one?

Off the bat lets start this out by saying that if mechs exist (and I'm not talking constructs, but piloted entities that are not a race on their own), they would have developed during Aevum Senio, the age of data. Senio is a largely unexplored era for now, largely because I'm running a couple games of D&D and both of them would be spoiled pretty badly if it came out what exactly was going on there.   Thankfully, I can skirt that rather large spoiler without trouble (again for reasons I can't explain). What I can tell you is that Aevum Senio is a time where a specific kind of magic, data magic, is discovered/rediscovered, depending on how you want to look at it. Basically, an eruption of special artifacts awakens a branch of magic that had hitherto been untouched by the non-"Atlantean" races (the very advanced lost societies), and as a result a new data race is born.   That's where the cyberpunk comes in. I'd love to go into detail but for sake of time... well luckily for sake of time we already have. Essentially a quasi-dimensional plane is manifested about a half-step out of sync with the Materium, allowing for people with the right means to interact with it. This proves extremely valuable because the dimension–or Lace, as people come to call it–affords the storage, retrieval, and transmission of data in magical form.  

When it comes down to it I want to re-word terms like data to something more mythic, but not so esoteric that they lose their associations with cyberpunk aesthetic.

  So how does this hook into the mechs? I'm actually not sure yet. Maybe it's because they exist as piles and piles of data? Not a bad idea, actually. They have a brain composed of a series of plates/scrips/whatever the Senians use to record the data. They could only operate where the Lace runs, meaning that wherever the edge of the Lace is they become a pile of inert plates. Let's say they require a tremendous amount of energy to operate too, which they can draw from the Lace since it's this boundless network-weave of magic.   Or maybe there's no energy at all, but because of the scrip in their brains they can change the "data" of reality to move? Like telling an atom that it's actually not here, but over there. It'd be a way of cheating out much greater power and would reinforce the concepts of magic as they currently are. Ooooo I like where this is going!   Aw damn, out of time just as I'm getting to the good stuff! Oh well. I think I'll pick this up tomorrow, if I can find time between us recording! Until then, thanks for reading and I'll catch you later.   -Frank the Lorekeeper

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