After looking over the various battlefields with Rickums, we noticed that there have been battles that take place in technological cities, despite the general anti-tech setting of our world. I wrote this small piece, mostly out of fun, in order to help describe why this is.
I thank the game Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura for the basis of this idea.
Note from the Republisher: This text is over 650 years old many of the numbers may be skewed, and new developments have certainly taken place. However, it still contains a great deal of valid and important information.
Chosen Excerpts From: The Nature of Magic in the World
A Scholarly Paper on the Nature of Magic and Technology in the World of Darkness Incarnate
James Neight ; 2nd Class Wizard of the 1st order of Ninè
We live in a world that has recently experienced a technological explosion within the last fifty years after gnomes inadvertently introduced imperfect technology to the masses. Over these last fifty years, there has been much experimenting with technology and magic in attempts to fuse the two and make them work in harmony. All such attempts have failed, and more than few of them have failed in disasterous ways. Let it be understood by the reader then that magic and technology are, fin almost ever sense, unable to coexist in harmony. The reason for this is quite simple really. On one hand we have magic that bends, and oftentimes breaks, the rules of nature and physics; while on the other we have technology that utilizes those very laws of nature and physics in order to function. We can draw the conclusion that this is why magic and technology are unable to coexist. However, in my own studies, I have delved deeper into this matter and uncovered more than a surface-scratch reason why the two cannot function in harmony.
...the true problem lies not with technology, but with magic's base, Mana. Technology follows all of the laws of nature, utilizing them to the benefit of the user. Mana bends and breaks these natural laws simply by its very existence due to its lack of a physical form (gnomish scientists say that everything in the world contains many trillions of small particles called atoms in a 'nucleus' which Mana lacks). With this established, I delved the archives of my order's expansive library, and did a great deal of research, which I will present to you now in this paper.
I have already stated that the basis of all magic in the world is Mana. Mana is a substance that is stuck in a state of quasi-nonexistence and flows across the surface of our world. The very existence of this substance defies all laws of nature. How Mana ever came into being is beyond the comprehension of the greatest thinkers in history. There has been speculation that Mana is the blood of a god that died many years in the past, but it has also been established that gods are unable to die, and thus leaves us without an explanation. There has also been speculation that Mana does not originate on this world, but flows from the stars. One noted scholar believes that the Zodiac Gates have some sort of connection with Mana and its existence, but it has found no basis or proof. One obscure writing in a book titled “Where the Gods Went Wrong” states that Mana originates from a large mountain somewhere on the surface of our planet. Once again, this has never been proven.
...we can examine the way that magic flows around the world. It seems to have a 87% land-base coverage that takes the form of a giant sheet across the world's surface. When examining the intricacies of this sheet coverage, we see that the Mana actually flows in many smaller streams that are called 'ley lines'. These streams of Mana flow and diverge just like the physical streams of water in our physical world, and create pockets of unaffected land called 'dead-zones'. It is within these zones that technological cities are able to crop up and prosper without the interference of Mana. It has been reported that these ley-lines , having no set course, will pass through cities for a short time, causing technological disruptions. Due to the relatively low concentration of Mana however, no disasters have yet to be reported during these times...
There is one main reason why magic has a major violent reaction with technology. While the natural law conflict is enough to cause magic to fizzle out and technology to shut down, it requires a great concentration of Mana in order to create the sometimes-catastrophic explosions that can occur. Magic is based upon the bending and weaving of the Mana found in ley lines in order to create something new. Be the creation material or in the form of energy, it is something that never existed in the world before that moment. It is through this converse breaking of the main natural rule (something cannot come from nothing) and the immense concentration of Mana that amazing pyrotechnic displays can be witnessed...
Since the publication of this paper, it has been leaked that gnomes have successfully discovered a way to merge technology and magic so that they exist in harmony. However, their brains are considerably bigger and more powerful than ours, and I fear that we will never be able to come up with this same solution. Also, gnomes are highly secretive and protective, and thus will never relinquish their secrets. All of their devices are even rigged with self-destruct devises to prevent the secrets from falling into the wrong hands.
Oh, and we STILL haven't figured out where mana has come from.
- Nigon Fikah