Hevna’s technology may be easiest explained as late 1800’s Earth equivalent, save for one factor – aether.
Hevna has developed similarly to Earth, with the discovery of fossil fuels and the use of steam. Some countries have risen to dominance based on their understanding of these technologies alone, as well as the practical applications of Hevna’s fifth state of matter, aether.
Canals – While steamships may still rest in secondary capacity to aether ships over the high seas, the relative cheapness of steam power has transformed land transport networks in some countries.
Canals dug to help with irrigation and water management have sprung from mere ditches to networks of water across whole swathes of land, allowing the common man to move large loads under power and deliver more goods to more people. Narrow-boats decorate the waterways of Hevna like gaudy water fowl, and have brought with them almost as much prosperity in some areas as the railroads.
Locomotives – Developed in Wessenland initially, and now dominating the country, steam locomotion has hit Hevna in a big way in the last two decades. Initially researched during the latter days of the Wessenland war, steam trains have gone from a prototype firearm platform to the backbone of the developed worlds’ delivery systems almost overnight.
Standardized track sizes between Wessenland and Arlatene have allowed for international trade to boom in a big way in recent years, with plans to extend the Imyran network of rails into Rasaal in the near future. Some have speculated the iron rails may be the force to finally tame the Savage Edge or Pendesfern Forest, but skeptics maintain air transport will remain the cheaper and safer solution.
Pumps – The advent of steam has made some duties less onerous with the installation of low maintenance steam machines in difficult areas of industry. Chief among these are the great pumps used in many countries to ensure clean drinking water is available for city populace’s, as well as moving less desirable matter between elevations instead of relying on people. It could be said the steam pump has saved more lives than any other invention in history, just for how many sewerage problems they have solved in the growing cities of the world.
In some of Hevna’s most populated cities, where plague and dysentery have historically run rampant, a new era of cleaner water has so improved the lives of the common man, many of these great pumps are named for important figures from history such as Kings, Queens or the Gods for their effect on society.
Steamships – Developed alongside rail technology, steam-powered ship engines have made their way into Hevna’s waters, though in far lesser numbers compared to our own world. While steam is indeed a viable and useful power source to the Hevnese peoples, the fact remains that aether powered ships are faster, more versatile, and for all their power source is technically more expensive, it is more than off-set by the convenience and swiftness of trading using an aether engine compared to steam power, not to mention how much cleaner aether is.
Steamships do patrol and putter about local waters in developed countries, however, as they are excellent as tug machines, or rescue vehicles during the Weft when aether is less prevalent.
Aetheric Engines – The first aether engines were simple affairs, designed to help in construction. Used by Weavers to focus multiple Weaves of aether into one to lift larger loads, the engines swiftly developed into far more uses.
These days, aether engines fulfill many dangerous or strenuous roles, during the Spin. Engineers and scientists have developed an artificial technique to keep aether flowing in a vortex (though the reaction must be started by a Weaver) that can then hold in motion enough aether to achieve grand feats from changing the flow of a river to freezing a lake, blasting a new mine shaft or any number of other useful purposes.
In the theater’s of war, aether engines can also allow a group of Weavers to achieve devastating artillery effects with aether, over a much longer range than would normally be possible.
Aether Pikes/Lances – Where energy goes, weapons soon follow. While aether might not be as simple as fire to control and use against one’s fellow man, it can still be done, and thus has the debut of the Pike come to pass.
Aether pikes and their upscaled ship lance variants use a simple, small aether engine to channel an aetheric lightning strike. In the case of the pike, this is a charge powered by a single magus orb that runs in circuit along the leading edge of a pike blade when switched ‘on’. While a Weaver must spark the globe in the first place into ‘standby’ mode, the weapon can then be held by anyone, with a mere flick of a switch allowing the already-channeled aether to snap out between the globe and copper tip at the other end, sending a painful and numbing jolt through any target it contacts while the stream is active.
In the case of a lance, the weapon is scaled up with a much larger reservoir of globes and aether and needs a Weaver to fire. The concept is very similar to that of the pike, however, it relies on the copper warding needed by enemy airships to protect their crew to ‘ground’ the charge when fired, effectively making the lance an aetheric cannon.
Airships – Technically, all airships simply have Aether Engines designed to use their vortex to defy gravity. The exact mechanism by which different ships achieve this may be very different, ranging from using aether to fuel the rotation of propellers or to maintain pressure in a ‘gas bag’ for more dirigible-like ships. A third major form of shipping uses aether-sails, typically on ships which can both sail and fly, using a reaction from the sail itself to warp the pull of gravity on the ships, which are nearly all made of natural materials.
For most laymen, the truth of how many such engines truly work is a mystery, but for the engineers that maintain these specialized engines, there is a definite science to their work, even if they don’t willingly speak their secrets.
Difference Engines – Early computing has made its debut on Hevna… though one would be hard-pressed to find it. Far from working on electricity or the binary system (yet), these early calculation and information storage devices are designed instead to calculate and process using aether as a power source.
Expensive to build and calibrate, let alone run and train people to use, Difference Engines are a rarity around Hevna, but incredibly accurate where they are employed. Research into both making the engines cheaper and more powerful has begun, though the field of study does not have the largest amount of scientists… for now.
Drones – It may come as a surprise, given Hevna’s general technology level, that some nations technically possess drones in their arsenal.
Far from something one might see in a modern military, Hevnan drones are usually scouting tools, used by experts in the divinitic arts to search hard to reach places or locales for any given item or information. Originally engineered for search and rescue, and then for scouting enemy positions during the Wessenland war, the average aether drone houses a small aether engine to allow a Weaver to extend their consciousness further than normal, or a very simple form of Hevna’s photography expertise, for taking a single (usually grainy and monotone) picture.
Thus far, these machines are very simplistic and only of use in very specific circumstances, but they nevertheless exist.
Refractechnics – A new technology, and somewhat niche, ‘refractechnics’ is the currently coined term for an aether-based lighting system used in theaters and entertainment events.
Mostly handled by Weavers of the illusion sphere, refractechnics refers to any arrangement of mirrors and lens (often colored) to light a stage or event in a colorful and dynamic manner. Skilled Weavers practiced in this art can replicate many effects we might see in our own world, from spotlights to disco balls, all without the need to use dangerous ‘limelight’.
Wards – While not a technology in the same way other items on this list might be, wards are such a necessity to Hevnan life, one cannot preclude them from mention.
It has always been known that copper ‘grounds’ aether, and much has gone into exploring how best to use the material through the generations to improve ones ability to protect people, homes, and amenities.
Aether wards must contain a copper purity of at least 75%, in an unbroken form. The copper does not, however, require air exposure to work. Thanks to this, most wards are cast into the middle of stone blocks to protect them from natural wear and tear, as well as malicious tampering.
Aether wards will work even with just a lump of copper in the way of an oncoming aether stream, but the skilled ward-smith knows they are much more effective in certain shapes and patterns, especially if the pattern can be spread over a wide area.
Copper wards must be at least 25mm in thickness to work effectively.
Anesthesia – It might comes as a surprise that Hevna has progressed far enough to understand anesthesia when the study of germs is still in a rather niche infancy.
Nevertheless, the people of the planet are not foolish enough to miss connections when they crop up, and some things have long been known to dull pain.
Predominantly this has meant either distilled alcohols through the ages, or even more popularly, the Papaver plant, known for its mind-altering effects.
Recently, however, chemists have progressed far enough in studying the causes of some of these effects to distill the ‘relaxing’ element of the Ceja leaf and use it to remove pain from many common surgeries and treatments.
Aqueducts & Irrigation – With pumps opening new possibilities in a multitude of areas, the aqueduct has had a resurgence in popularity in many places. While this is technically a much older technology developed ages past, the manner of use alongside steam pumps and aether warding has made the aqueduct a modern marvel in its own right, especially as people continue to improve irrigation practices.
Electricity – The very first forays into the world of electricity have recently begun on Hevna. Still an extensive way away from being the commercial and industrial success of our Earth, electric is nevertheless a subject of much recent interest among the very elite of Hevna’s intelligentsia. The use and experimentation of electric has been of less import than it may have been, thanks to the prevalence of aether on the planets surface, but research is steadily increasing as the Hevnese find more uses by the year.
Photography – The peoples of Hevna have longed toyed with chemistry, from simple dyes in times long ago, all the way up to the increasingly complex pharmaceuticals of the modern era. Among the many discoveries in the field of chemistry has been how to capture and develop photographs.
In use for near three decades now, exposure times have decreased from an hour originally to a much more manageable matter of minutes, and while photographs remain somewhat expensive and novel, they are steadily becoming more common as time goes on.
For now, the media prefers the use of woodcuts in their papers, but with the technology becoming more prevalent and affordable all the time, it is surely only a matter of time until photography makes its way fully into the Hevnese culture around the globe.
Printing Press – With improvements in machinery, dyes and processing, Hevna has been glorying in the printing press for quite some time, with no signs of slowing down.
Depending on where one may be in the world, newspapers range from the single digits all the way up to the triple in terms of competing information outlets, with the largest news agencies operating worldwide, with presses large enough to claim entire warehouses.
Just as the news today runs the gamut of styles from the niche to the factual to the financial and even outright lies, so too does Hevna touch on every kind of journalism one can imagine, as well as a host of other uses.
Books and scripts number more now than ever before, accessible by wide swathes of the population, much to the relief of edifices such as The Floating Library, which maintains an entire floor of presses under the main building to copy its precious works and preserve the knowledge within for generations to come.
Production Lines – The development of steam power, as well as complimentary technologies such as the mechanical loom, synthetic dyes and goods networks has seen many leading nations in Hevna adopt the production line in many industries.
Whether its the textile mills, the great brick killnery’s or the sheet-steel plants cropping up around major cities, the unification of multiple technologies to mass-produce products can be felt across the globe. While this has brought a wave of pollution to some areas, it is hard to deny the economic benefits as more products become more affordable for more people… though often at the cost of child labor.
Sewing Machine – This might seem an insignificant and unimportant addition, but the advent of the powered sewing machine into the homes of many Hevnan citizens has had a marked impact on the world.
While most machines are quite large and heavy, the ability to cut and shape cloth in one’s own home, powered by a foot pedal, has seen some fashions entirely vanishing from use – namely, anything that once required copious pins to keep in place.
With sewing machines in hand, and textiles dropping in price, Hevna is undergoing a boom in clothing diversity, in both colors and styles, and the early blossoming of an entirely new industry – fashion, for the everyman.
Synthetic Dyes – Even the earliest civilizations on Hevna knew about natural dyes, and by the end of the Helzetian Empire, some complex dyes were in use (at lest, by the very rich).
Given that workers of specific colors of blue and purple made from shellfish were dabbling in early chemistry, it was only a matter of time before study gave way to newer, safer (and less stinky) dyes.
In the current era, most cultures now rely on synthetic dyes for a larger range of colors, at a cheap cost. Understanding of acid dyes, reactive dyes and element-derived pigments it at it’s zenith, though not all the dyes are as safe as some would like.
Telegraphy – Telegraphy has existed on Hevna for centuries, in one form or another. Be it smoke signals, beacon fires and lights, semaphore or otherwise, most countries on Hevna have dabbled in a variety of ways to send messages without needing a physical medium, and of course with the codes to go alongside.
With the advent of electricity on the horizon, some of the more developed nations are already wrist deep in constructing new devices and methods to exchange messages, which will no doubt continue to shape and change society the world over as electricity spreads. Thus far, the latest technology has not yet become common enough for a clear distinction to exist between semaphore and telegraphy, so the terms are used pretty interchangeably in most areas. For now.
Water Mills – Long have the Nagu, men, and women of Hevna known the power of water. Since the fall of the Helzetian Empire and the expansion of civilization to all of Hevna’s continents, men have sought to live near water. It was only a matter of time before it was harnessed to both move freight, and turn wheels.
Water mills still power many factories and production facilities across Hevna, even in the age of steam and aether. Water is cheap, easy to manage with the help of aether, and has been the backbone of many industries for many years.
Some of the greatest water mills are employed to grind grain, or alternatively to drive the pistons of the clothing industry and their great weaving machines. Even with new technology coming along frequently, many engineers are still busy finding new ways to employ water for the betterment (or at least profit) of Men and Nagu.