Technology in Windemere: Blossoming on the Edge of Society

Bioshock Infinite Columbia

Bioshock Infinite Columbia

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.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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17 Responses to Technology in Windemere: Blossoming on the Edge of Society

  1. ionia martin says:

    When I start seeing lots of technology in fantasy, my mind starts drifting to steampunk.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Makes sense. That seems to have settled into the niche. I also think of the Final Fantasy games where you have Magi-Tech (magic-powered tech). Think I’m putting some of both into Windemere since it’ll depend on the machine and the gnome’s expertise.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. L. Marie says:

    I had the same thought as Ionia. I appreciate your explanation of the gnomes as innovators. Some technology would greatly change everything. You have a good balance in your series.

    I’m reminded of how Terry Pratchett dealt with some weapon innovations. He kept the inventor–Leonard of Quirm–a prisoner so that his lethal inventions could not be released to the public. 🙂

    Like

    • The funny thing is that Fritz and Nyder have been revealing technology all over the place. There’s a magical flare to them, but they are hints that a place like Nevra Coil exists. As far as weaponry goes, there are a few ‘restrictions’ on that. The big creations are kept out of the gnomes’ minds by their god. He only lets them invent world-changing objects when the gods feel that mortals can be trusted.

      Liked by 2 people

      • L. Marie says:

        I like the mix of technology and magic and the fact that the gnomes are guided in their inventions.

        Like

      • It’s a fun twist. Opens the door for some interesting turns.

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      • Interestingly enough, I’ve made the same “their gods will allow them to use technology when they feel humans can be trusted” decision in regards to the First, in Pearseus. As for technology, I do have a sci-fi battle take place in the context of the planet, although it’s between two equally advanced peoples. That way, the dynamic still works.

        Even if Pearseus isn’t pure fantasy, the tech still threw some readers off. Others loved it. Which, I guess, proves your point about the need to be careful with technology…

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      • People really do go into a fantasy book with preconceived notions, so throwing any amount of tech will throw some readers. I mentioned in another comment that non-weaponry tech has a higher chance of going over people’s head. I have been asked/told about what a person would do with a gun in Windemere. Apparently, the ability to throw lightning, acid, fire, etc. isn’t as cool as a pistol. Meh.

        Liked by 1 person

      • What can I say; people love their guns 😀

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      • Sometimes more than everything else.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I like your slow method of developing technology. I totally agree that too much may upset the image.

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  4. It sounds wonderful. So exciting! 😀 I love the thought of gnomes as innovators.

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