The titular Nevra Coil is a flying city of the gnomes that is the highest tech that has been introduced to the Windemere series. It reveals that the world is changing and not entirely a medieval setting. Well it is, but there are flying machines turning up even though only the gnomes will use them. Why use something that can run out of fuel when you can use a griffin? Then again, why use something that has a mind of its own when you have a fully controlled machine? Personal preference there and I know of a few champions who won’t like it.
Now I’m not going to describe Nevra Coil because that’s a surprise for the book. I will talk about what happens when more modern technology appears in a fantasy world. Many times you’ll find stuff to be powered by steam or magic, the latter of which can be used to explain electricity. Still, you run into a problem because many authors and readers believe that this MUST lead to a war. I prefer to have technology be left in certain areas and some parts gradually released into the world. For example, there has been a few mentions of indoor plumbing in regards to baths. This is a combination of metalworking, water gems, and heat magic, which allows for warm water to be pumped inside. So there is an acceptance to these things and enough magic to make your average person less cautious of it. After all, gnomes tend to make things explode, so every piece of comfort is worthwhile.
Another issue that can appear due to technology is that people believe it makes magic obsolete and it definitely causes a problem for non-magical stuff. This is mostly in regards to weaponry, which readers may notice I haven’t done anything with. An author has to be careful when it comes to technology. Some things are easier to phase into the world while others may cause trouble. For example, a character showing up with an assault rifle will change the combat dynamic of a world where most people have swords. Yes, a powerful caster and a very cunning warrior can still win. Yet it does a severe alteration to the world dynamic that you have to factor in. Same goes for transportation because many events occur while the heroes or villains travel.
Personally, I don’t like a lot of technology in my fantasy at the beginning. It makes me think it is more science fiction, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Though it alters the tone enough to make some things seem ‘off’. My answer to this in Windemere is to be gradual and hint at things. I use the gnomes to do this and establish them as the innovators, but even they aren’t always certain of what they have or even use stuff for what we would. For example, Fritz spoke of a strange material being invented that people may have pinpointed as plastic. This solitary species has become a cornerstone of what I’m doing in regards to the world building. What will come from them? Read Merchant of Nevra Coil and see what they have in the works.