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Author Topic: Tool Age of Serendipity  (Read 60 times)

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Offline Kingfisher

Tool Age of Serendipity
« on: March 11, 2018, 08:22:53 AM »
To clarify, what I would like to know is what the most prevalent building material would be.  For the rest of the world, this would largely be steel but Serenians (and other Fae) are largely allergic to ferrous materials so steel would be uniquely inconvenient as a tool.  And being who I am, I tend to assume realism before looking to steal ideas from preexisting fantasy.  This means, I mostly assumed that Serenians used Bronze Tools and Weapons.  However, there are a number of drawbacks to bronze that allowed iron and steel to overtake it in quality.

So, here, I have a few questions:
*Instead of steel, what are tools generally made of?  Bronze or some magically enhanced material?
*Instead of steel, what are weapons generally made of?
*Instead of steel, what is armor generally made of?

And I suggest the inclusion of a tech section featuring such elements.  With steel as the default material of the rest of the world and an allergy used as the trade-off for magic's prevalence among Serenians, it would be convenient to know how far that trade-off should be going.

At least, that's my take on things...

Online Whim

Re: Tool Age of Serendipity
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2018, 04:22:40 PM »
I'm interested in knowing as well.

I remember being told bronze in the past. So that's what I've gone with as someone who mostly writes in Serendipity. Its important to remember 1/50 of the population has some kind of magical gift, and 1/1000 are wizards. (As a point of reference, the US population is roughly 320 million, with 1.6 million engineers, roughly 1 million scientists, and 0.8 million physicians. These numbers were lower in the pre-information age.) I imagine that's going to have a fairly profound impact on their culture, economy, and way of life to the point its NOT simply medieval Europe where some people throw fireballs. That's also discounting the other sorts of magical creatures that may live within its borders. Is a bronze plow enchanted to simply be harder? Or can farmers get away with softers metals if they supplicate a local dryad? And since we're pre-industrial is there a stark class difference since magic can't be mass produced? Are poor farmers in Ravensway stuck defending their homes with bronze axes, while an Arcan lord has enslaved a manticore?

Ultimately on SotE when details are not filled in its an invitation to invent them on your own. Its one of the challenges and advantages of this style of roleplay. You need to be comfortable with: (1) Being wrong, and maybe being corrected by a moderator after the fact; (2) That someone else may present a settlement or culture differently from how you do. That's okay; (3) Using details like culture, technology, and magic to actually enhance the story you're trying to tell. Are you going to get more mileage writing about a mage who enchants shovels, or blood sacrifice to summon forth a rock-boring worm? That really depends upon your thread.

What actually interests me is if iron is analogous to steel here. Obviously the allergy come from folklore about sleeping with an iron horseshoe or knife for protection from witches and faeries. Being an alloy is steel exempt from this rule? I imagine Serenians do eat spinach, broccoli, and beef without ill effect. Is this analogous to toxicity differences between carbon-bound and inorganic arsenic? This might be subject to genetic variation...
Wyrdwood Academy of Arcane Science

The Midnight Harvest

Ewan ap Rhys - Once a great sorcerer, now a small boy
Colby mac Arryn - Farm boy, prankster
Duke Blackthorn - Duke of Dawn and Dusk, Warden of Weal and Woe, and all-around evil faerie
Kai Wilding - A charming young hero, often turns into a donkey
"Kaliam" - Magically conjoined apprentices
Maergath - Professor of Soulshaping, angry and hateful wizard
Narlis Thordane - Hero for hire, proud and unrepentant scumlord
Wylie Wyndham - Rebellious Lord, Daemonologist

Offline Kingfisher

Re: Tool Age of Serendipity
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2018, 03:19:34 PM »
I did not even think about nutritional iron.  Still, I wonder how toxic iron would be at such small concentrations but it does lead to another question.

So, human blood is red because our blood is naturally iron rich.  Our cells use iron to bond to free oxygen, which we later use in respiration and metabolism.  Fae lineage characters would therefore lack red blood (I assume), so, what mineral/metal would act as the oxidizing agent in Serenian blood?  Blood color would be an extension of that.

Offline Viscount Rhi-Rhi

Re: Tool Age of Serendipity
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2018, 04:31:30 PM »
The sensitivity to steel is greeeatly reduced because steel is alloyed. So they can use magically enhanced bronze as an option! And most use steel just fine.

And Serenians only have a very small bit of fae in them in the first place; they are not true fae, but are rather the result of human ancestors who interbred with fae, and that has been diluted over generations. So basically it varies from person to person depending on their bloodlines and amount of magic they have. People with more magic have greater sensitivities, and people with stronger fae bloodlines are also more sensitive. (And usually have more magic.)

Steel, in general, poses no threat to Serenians.

Also, their blood is red.

Basically, there are two explanations:

1.) an element is not a compound. You can consume table salt, but you can't touch chlorine with your bare hands. The raw element is toxic to them, but it is still part of their chemistry in other forms that does not harm them.

2.) It's not an actual allergy. The way iron aversion works in some folklore is that it's more about the belief that iron is harmful (plus something something iron is a real element, fae are incorporeal and not quite of this world and follow fae laws and iron is a harsh reminder of the real world and forces them to obey regular laws, etc.). So like if you show your blood to a fae and try to say it's iron, it's not really gonna do anything because you don't really think of it as iron, but as blood. That plus point #1.

So basically take your pick!

Plus, fantasy setting with Rule of Cool, etc.
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