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Of the Craft.

Of the Craft.

Since the very beginning of the Empire, there were people who wanted to imitate the powers of volot, or come up with ways to neutralize or kill volot. Thus was the Craft born. It was discovered that by using certain mental techniques and certain specifically made items, one could alter the laws of the universe (limited in space and time) in the same manner as volot could. This became known as magic. The other branch of the Craft is known as science. Science teaches how the existing laws of nature can be used to replace, negate or counter the power of volot.

Surges of magical and scientific progress usually coincide with anti-volot tendencies in the society, which occur now and then, usually when a rogue volot commits some terrible crime or wild volot attack border settlements.

Because of the close association of magic and science, no mass production of technology-based items exists: things like firearms, internal combustion engines or radios are always custom-made by a master craftsman. As such, they are relatively rare and expensive.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
imenno
Apr. 4th, 2011 06:10 am (UTC)
Please elaborate: is it impossible to industrially mass-produce technological items - or is it just undesirable or otherwise cautioned against? I.e. what would be the effect of a Hank Morgan appearing in this world and creating factories et al.?
ingwall
Apr. 5th, 2011 02:33 am (UTC)
It is definitely not impossible. It is just not done, the people do not think that is something that they need. Try telling a person living in 1930's (or even in the 1980's) that in the XXI century people will be buying a new telephone every two years. He will think you a little crazy. There are no social or economic bases for mass production of the wonders of technology. Any Hank Morgan will have to create them first. For example, if there's a strong anti-volot movement at the time, his advanced weaponry will be in demand.

Also, things made by master craftsmen are beautiful, comfortable, custom-fit for the owner and rarely break. It would be a long while before mass-produced items will be able to compete.
ingwall
Apr. 5th, 2011 02:39 am (UTC)
Also note that the common belief is that every craftsman has to be a bit of a wizard for his designs to work. Think Leonardo, or Olesha's Dr. Gaspar. Or, if you will, the etymological closeness of козни and кузнец.

But I am curious what would you say about the alternative history of the Jews. Any suggestions or disagreements there?
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )