5e Free Mini Campaign part 3- Anwuld, and an Essay on Magic and Technology in the world of Diem Mundie

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Anwuld-

It is difficult to classify Anwuld as anything but a nation of magic. The initial colonization attempts were for discovery and research rather than for some nefarious purpose. However, many joined for other reasons, such as arcane curiosity, or the desire to prove magic better than technology. Whatever the reason, the colonists were hopeful that they could discover arcane secrets that might bring prosperity to the world, and avert meddling that would mirror past mistakes.

The Anwuld colonists would include with them wizards and mystic scholars, as well as various mystical creatures and beasts. The mystic beasts served both as companions and partners in the expedition, though some were taken along for relatively benign experiments. The Anwuld nation now contains an ample population of creatures that include dragons, fey, unicorns, and many other mystical creatures not already native to Selna.

Initially, the intentions of the colonization attempt were relatively noble, considering the cutthroat Kaldornians, and the ethnic cleansing carried out Walastia. However, any notions of forming a new nation of peaceful wizard-archaeologists was spoiled nearly as soon as the Anwuld colonists stood on Selnan soil.

Anwuld takes its name from its own founder and visionary, Diedrich Anwuld. Not only did Diedrich know the Hart brothers before they made their voyage, he was instrumental in dashing their hopes of getting any funding or positive attention among the academic circles of the outer continents.Though Diedrich had expected the Hart brothers to have failed, given their lack of communication with their investors, he was shocked and angry to find them striving on Selna.

The new colony used its magical might to establish a beachhead, but they numbered so few that they posed little risk to the established Kal Dor Empire. The Hart brothers quickly dismissed the new colony of upstarts as nothing more than a nuisance. That is, until the colony had contact with the Jhorrund. The partnership was a disastrously amicable one, as the colonists egged on the nomads to stoke the fires of hatred against the Kal Dor, and the nomads in turn asked the magicians for stronger mystical weapons to level at their sworn foes.

What followed would tarnish the hopes of many optimistic wizards and scholars, removing the chances for serious research and inquiry to the secrets of the continent’s rich and dark history. Instead, War rages, as the potent but small colony continues to seethe at the Kal Dor Empire. The nomads continue to harry and isolate the otherwise prosperous nation, and all the while the continent suffers under the stress of an escalating war of magic that threatens to invoke ancient calamities.

Though not originally so stolid in their approach to primitive technology, the nation of Anwuld has banned the use of any device containing moving parts. Choosing instead to let magic do the work for them, they ban anything remotely technological. The ban is so thoroughly enforced that there exist inquisitors who work doggedly to sniff out and expunge any signs of technology, sometimes treating transgressors with a ruthlessness reserved for seditionists and sociopaths.

Though this makes some aspects of life difficult for the commoners of Anwuld, the government strives to maintain a base level of comfort for their citizens through magical labor saving techniques. This does little to eliminate the classist struggles facing Anwuld, but the nation would surely collapse into rebellion without such logistical magics.

The combination of perpetual war and an institutional ban on technology has turned the once tolerant and scholarly Anwuld colonists into xenophobic curmudgeons, as they reserve happiness for the eventual celebration of total victory.

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A Primer on Magic and Technology-

(This is the first of a series of essays on the strange and sometimes symbiotic nature of magic and technology in the Diem Mundi setting.)

The important thing to understand about the world that encompasses Diem Mundi is that it has been fundamentally changed. It was once a world like ours, with rules and laws that were firmly cemented in and incrementally understood by science. The event that nearly destroyed the world brought it back together in such a way that it could only maintain its integrity by internalizing the magic that nearly destroyed it.

That’s a very stodgy way of saying that the world was now infused with magic to its very core.

Everything from friction to molecular biology was now so infused with magic that it could not function without it. Every living being and piece of matter is now partially magic, which is why magic is so prevalent in the world today. Far from making the magical mundane, it has made the mundane magical. The musical notes of magic are played by pulling the strings of matter, as incantations can transmute atomic structures. Machinery can be made to function through the mystic principals seated in ambient magical radiation levels, and the very ether can be evoked through elegant mechanical principles.

But this doesn’t mean that there aren’t drawbacks to these methods. Many of the laws of magitech seem to rely on the presence of ambient magical energy, just as certain technological wonders can be thwarted by natural phenomenon. Relatively sophisticated technology in our modern world can be rendered useless by magnetic fields, or its efficacy diminished by lack of sun or wind.

So too are many of the magitech wonders reliant on the strange ambient energies that seem to coarse through the bones of the Dark Continent. Though not unknown on the outer continents, the lines and zones of energy present on Selna have made the blending of magic and science all the more successful. Slowly, these advances trickle back to the outer continents, mastered in such a way that they work even lands that are not as rich with magical energy.

Though the Kal Dor Empire has benefited from blended discipline of magitechnology, it is not an entirely new feat. The Selnus found such glory in the melding of magic and science that it allowed them to shackle the gods and command the earth. Though this nuance may be lost upon the modern era, there are students of history that tremble at the fantastic descriptions of the strange and dangerously new art of magitech.

Prevalence-

While magitechnology does not especially affect the way that magic works for wizards and clerics, it does bring the gifts of magic to engineers and men of science, if they are so inclined to accept them. Even now, men of science draw stark lines dividing magic and science as mutually exclusive fields, but for those that recognize the inherent nature of the world as magical, they can unlock secrets once attainable only by studied magicians and blooded wild-talents.

But it also means that magic is so prevalent that it can occur more frequently than it ever had before. Potent wild beasts might manifest strange magical traits, and auspicious peasants might express a mutation in the form of a meager supernatural ability. Whole parcels of land might take on various strange and sometimes dangerous traits that warp earth and beast into things both wondrous and terrible. While it rankles the various magic using entities of the world, they are no less distinguished or important for sharing the world with these occasional oddities.

Though there are many occult engineers that ply their trade across the countryside, and the Jhorrund employ many of them for their ability to create impressive and portable devices, the field is stymied by the official magitech guild centered in the Kaldornian capitol city of Charlesburg. Bounty hunters are regularly hired to smash backwoods workshops of those occult engineers that don’t pay lip service to the guild, and are further harried by other groups that see their craft as evil or dangerous. Still, the unaligned magitechnologists persevere, hopeful that they can show the world a better way.

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