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Technology

 "It is not the machines I fear, but the cultures that would produce them. With the machine, perhaps, we might destroy our foe, but ultimately, we would overthrow ourselves."

-- Gislbertus Denayi, Address to the Denayi Circle

 

 

 

The Denayi Republic exists at a technological level no greater than that found in the early-modern period of our own earth.

In the process of raiding worlds, the Denayi Circle has encountered higher levels of technology Ė and while they have been victorious against such societies, they have found them more difficult to conquer and control than less advanced ones. The Republic consists of an oligarchy, whose power is based on the concentrated power of a narrow, ruling elite. Mass-produced technology aids the common person too greatly. While the Circle might desire to equip an army with automatic weapons or tanks to gain an advantage of rivals, producing this special equipment in any quantity would mean raising the educational level (and hence the expectations) of their subjects.

Therefore, the society of the Republic deliberately remains at a pre-industrial level of development: with a few exceptions.

Agriculture relies on the iron plow pulled by oxen or horses, but is supplemented by scientific knowledge of botany and agronomy. The Circle knows about the laws of genetics and regularly develop new breeds of food plants, and uses a bit of chemical knowledge to permit the mixing of effective chemical fertilizers.

Medicine does not have the advanced pharmacopoeia of our Earth, but doctors do know how to sterilize wounds, maintain sanitation, and administer anesthesia. Anatomical knowledge is scientifically accurate. (There are no leaches or bleeding.) There are no antibiotics, nor is immunization common. Among Circle members, however, the advanced application of magical power takes their place.

For war, certain worlds can produce muzzle-loading firearms and cannon, and Denayi trains and equip its troops in their use. But they may also utilize more "primitive" weapons such as massed pike formations, long bowmen, or light cavalry. In general, the Denayi military forces do not favor heavy body armor. Initiates and Uukaptai have magical means to protect themselves or are expected to stay out of harmís way. Non-nobles members generally do not possess the means to equip themselves in full protection. Fencing with rapier or small-sword is very much in fashion among the nobility, pistols and other firearms less so.

The Circle does maintain some advanced technology for its own use. Circle members and Uutapkai fraternities stockpile arms and ammunition from conquered high-technology worlds, just about anything that could be produced by a pre-nuclear or fledgling nuclear technology. (Higher tech societies exist, but the Houses usually do not risk meddling with them.) Some noble houses maintain electric lighting or keep records on captured computers, but most do not. Luxury goods from conquered high-tech cultures are more common: plastic products, high-quality cloth, water-proof camping supplies, and so forth.

The Circle maintains the current level of technology through social control and the threat of force. It regulates the production of goods in its territories by encouraging the monopolies of guilds, and then forbidding the guilds to engage in mass-production or to manufacture certain prohibited items. Of course, such measures can only be so effective, and it must sometimes suppress innovation more vigorously, usually by bribing, executing or drafting the innovative, and occasionally by the use of armed force. The Circle also maintains a small cadre of professionals ready to improve and introduce higher technology. Should it ever prove necessary, Denayi could migrate its Core Worlds to WWI-era technology within a matter of decades.

 

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