General Rule of Thumb
Beyond the specifics detailed below, our general rule of thumb at Aereth is: If ancient Minoans, Greeks, Romans, or Egyptians had it, it is permitted on Aereth. Does this mean that technology from later periods is allowed as well? No. Please read the rest of this document.
Aereth and Technology
The Chronicles of Aereth is a sword and sorcery fantasy roleplaying game, not swords, sorcery, and guns. Some very limited steampunk-type elements might be allowed with the approval of game management. Where logic and science fails, magic prevails. If you have questions or something is unclear, post in the Help Me! Forum or in our Discord’s #help channel.
Aereth cannot be compared to one specific period of Earth history. As a general rule, science and technology will run the gamut from the Greco-Roman era to the early medieval periods. Aereth has been magically locked into that technology level for millennia. The magic of the rings prevents any further development, and besides when one can do magic, why invent industry?
There are anachronisms and curious leaps in knowledge. This can be explained as remnants of knowledge left by a now completely and thoroughly extinct highly advanced civilization known as the Forerunners (aka the Tuatha Dé Danann). No, no one may play a Forerunner!
Do not equate the lack of modern technology with being backward as a society. The artisans and craft guilds of Aereth are very sophisticated. Despite the magical onus on advanced technology, the people of Aereth are highly intelligent and intellectually curious. They study the world around them and, as much as is possible, the heavens.
Aereth’s metals are very similar to Earth’s. However, there are differences in makeup. This is why metal items manufactured on Earth get vaporized inside the portal and never make it to Aereth. We are not going to go into the slight differences in the elements that make up Aereth’s gold, silver, iron, etc. You just need to be aware that there are minute differences and that Aereth does not like that stuff from Earth. It is less picky about the biological matter that makes the journey.
Life requires chemical reactions to exist. Chemistry works on Aereth, just not the same as it does on Earth. Anyone with the knowledge of batteries or gunpowder will be surprised to find they do not work. The Arcane Light and Aereth’s Ley (the bands of arcane energy that surround Aereth) do not allow it. Also, some of the allverse’s Laws of Physics operate differently. The reactions that do occur require a different catalyst – usually a microorganism, magic, or an element unique to Aereth.
Hydro and Steam Power
Some hydro and steam-powered devices are allowed. The overwhelming majority of these will either be very small or prohibitively expensive. Water wheels for mills are common. Some tools have been adapted to run on water or steam power.
What will not be allowed: steam or water-powered vehicles, long-range steam-powered weapons or anything brought to Aereth from Earth by a Traveler. Everything else will be taken as a case-by-case basis.
Electricity requires a power source. Solar panels won’t work even if one was able to construct them because the Laws of Magic prevent solar energy from being collected in that manner. Interference by Aereth’s Ley and the planet’s magnetic fields prevent the generation of electrical currents within a certain threshold. The electrical pulses used by various life forms are too weak to be affected. Lightning generated by thunderstorms punches through the interference. Also, as it is natural to Aereth, it is not prohibited by the Arcane Light. Anything in-between is disrupted by the fields. Collection of lightning isn’t possible either since any storage requires chemistry that doesn’t work, and any use requires stepping it down to safe levels that get disrupted.
Used mainly to heat homes, water, and sometimes Aereth’s version of a jacuzzi. The technology to exploit it for large-scale energy distribution doesn’t exist, and wouldn’t function if it did.
Like water power, wind power is used on Aereth. Windmills exist and can be used for pumping well water or turning grindstones in mills. Tiny post-type windmills are often sunk outside a home’s windows and are used to help cool it.
Wind power cannot be used to generate electricity.
Dragons can fly and exhale (breathe) fire. Basically, they are living, flying flamethrowers.
Like all living creatures, dragons contain a plethora of microorganisms in their gut that aid in digestion. Similar to various ruminants, dragons have a compartmentalized stomach. The main chamber extracts nutrients and passes them to the intestines where the normal digestive processes continue. Less nutritional plant and protein matter pass into the second chamber, the gastric bladder, where an entirely different set of microorganisms processes it. The by-product of this process is a mixture of hydrogen and methane. This mixture of gases is then extracted by the third lung (flight bladder).
Dragons can control the amount of gas stored in the third lung, thus controlling their buoyancy.
To exhale or “breathe” fire, dragons must also have a catalyst to ignite the gas as they exhale it. They get this by chewing soft rocks that contain high quantities of a mineral known as Black Platinum. The dragons can masticate the black platinum into a powdery substance which they store in a special set of hollow molars located at the back of their mouth.
From Wikipedia: Historically many “self-lighting” gas lamps, ovens, and stove burners used platinum black to catalyze the oxidation of a small amount of gas, lighting the device without a match or spark. This works particularly well for producer gas, town gas, and wood gas which contain a substantial fraction of hydrogen gas (H2) which is particularly well catalyzed by platinum black.
The Gwerin have learned how to harvest the microorganisms and use them to create dragon-gas. They use this and the black platinum powder to power their dragonbows – a gas-powered repeating crossbow. Some nations have developed warfire, Aereth’s version of Greek Fire, by combining the dragon-gas and the sap of a certain species of rubber tree within thin glass bulbs that explode into a sticky fireball.
Any other dragon-gas powered devices will need Admin approval. And, before you ask, black platinum cannot be used in place of gunpowder. Don’t even go there.
This is a hard no. Gunpowder just will not work on Aereth, and no projectile weapons will be created other than bows and crossbows. Siege weapons will be limited to trebuchets and catapults. Besides, dragons exist, so who needs a cannon?
Flamestone is a soft rock-like mineral that contains very high concentrations of pure black platinum. This mineral is unique to Aereth. It cannot be artificially produced. It forms deep in the throats of active volcanoes. When ground, black platinum easily becomes black platinum powder. Unless combined in exactly the right amounts with oxygen, hydrogen, and methane, it is inert.
Flamestone and black platinum cannot be used to create a form of gunpowder.
Naica crystals, or moonglobe crystals, are a form of selenite that, when heated and blown into globes, then polished just right, will absorb sunlight and emit it. The moonglobes can be used to light the interior of all kinds of buildings. Small ones are often carried by travelers and used to provide lighting in tents and campsites. Another unique property of the moonglobes is that they can be recharged by leaving them outside in the sunlight. The length of time it takes them to be recharged depends on the size of the moonglobe. The length of time that the globes will hold a charge depends on the thickness of the interior trunk and the number of branches on it. Only Naica crystals have this light-absorbing and emitting property.
Ideally, the globes should be shaped and then polished in such a manner that the selenite crystals extrude into a form that looks very much like a tree trunk with branches. The more branches there are and the thicker the trunk, the more energy the globe can absorb. This dictates both how long the moonglobe can function without being exposed to sunlight to recharge as well as how bright the light being emitted is.
Moonglobes can only be used as a light source and cannot be used as any sort of power source.
Other names: Mooncrystals, witch balls, spirit balls, light globes.
Legend: Many of Aereth’s residents believe that the globes can also ward off hexes and evil. The more tendrils within the globe, the more entangled the hex or evil will be, therefore preventing it from reaching its intended target. Folks on Aereth tend to hang moonglobes in their windows to prevent evil or hexes from getting inside. Moonglobes will recharge if hung in a window – as long as it is clear, plain glass – but it takes longer than recharging outdoors.
Some of Aereth’s species, most notably dragons, can create point-to-point gateways. Before there were Morrighan, they probably used them as a last-ditch escape from enemies. Even now, the Ddraig must have a Morrighan with them to open a portal to a specific location unless it is their point of origin or a place they have traveled to in the past. It is the Morrighan that translates the map coordinates into a location that the Ddraig can lock onto. This is done via the bond they share. It cannot be done with an unbonded person and dragon.
Since portals are created magically, it can be assumed that a powerful enough person with many years of training can open them. They would not be able to open a large enough one and keep stable for long enough to allow many people to pass through it. So, no teleporting entire armies inside a keep or siege. Also, most keeps that might be subject to that sort of attack will have very strong spells and wards guarding it. No cheating.
Travelers arriving from Earth via one of the malfunctioning ancient portals have restrictions as well. For one thing, they cannot open one of these portals on Earth. The portals are transient. They come and go under their own steam. This is why one person disappears from a certain place, but another one does not.
The only items that will make the journey from Earth to Aereth are biologicals. Clothing and shoes must be made entirely from plants or animals. We are talking about pure cotton, linen from flax, wool, leather, or rubber from 100% pure latex. Any manmade materials such as polyester will evaporate during the journey. All metals and any technology such as mobile phones and computers will go poof!
A majority of Travelers will find the end of the journey rather embarrassing. Travelers from the early 20th century onward routinely find themselves in undergarments, if not completely nude. Aereth residents that live near a portal site are used to it and will often be on hand to provide a bit of dignity, if only via a blanket until they can locate replacement garments.
Medical knowledge is quite advanced. In fact, holistic and biotherapy based treatments are fairly advanced. Most physicians are well-versed in anatomy and physiology. They know that leeches can reduce swelling and bruising and that maggots will clean wounds faster and more thoroughly than any antiseptic. In traditional medicine, cobwebs are used on wounds and cuts to help to heal and reduce bleeding. The reason they heal so well and so quickly is that spider webs are rich in vitamin K – the clotting vitamin.
Generally, most physicians are also aware that microorganisms are to blame for most illnesses and infections. They understand the concept of airborne diseases versus those transmitted from one person to another. Almost everyone understands the need for cleanliness and disinfecting medical implements and facilities. Aereth is also home to a wide variety of medicinal plants and animals.
Laser surgery is not an option. However, most surgeons have surgical implements made from obsidian. Good quality obsidian fractures down to single molecules which can produce a cutting edge 500 times sharper than the sharpest steel scalpel blade. On the cellular level, an obsidian knife can cut between cells rather than tear the cells as a steel knife does. Most hospitals and physicians will have access or own high-quality microscopes, although still primitive by our modern standards.
And when medical knowledge and expertise is not sufficient, find a Healer!
Healing is one of the rarest arcane gifts. A healer can be born to any race. It also takes the longest to learn how to use it properly. Many healers also go on to train as physicians and surgeons. This takes less time on Aereth than here on Earth, but it does add more years to the training cycle.
All healers and physicians take an oath to do no harm except in self-defense. If a healer misuses their ability, it will cease to work and might even backlash on them. Healers cannot serve as warriors and can only have self-defense training. However, they can serve on the battlefield and with military organizations in their capacity as a healer.
This topic has probably been covered thoroughly in other documents, but we thought that weapons deserved a brief mention. We are not going to list every available weapon because the list is just too lengthy. All weapons that were available up through the Middle Ages are available on Aereth.
If you are not sure about your character’s preferred weapon(s), you can post a topic in the Help Me! forum or in the #help channel on Discord.
Anything remotely related to a gun, rifle, carbine, cannon or any of their relatives. This includes fire-lances. Please do not ask because we will say no.
Yes, my friends, magic may be used as a defensive and offensive weapon. However, it cannot be used to make your character totally invincible. Please familiarize yourself with each race’s use of magic, its weaknesses and limitations.
Felldrakes are long-range artillery weapons that resemble large mounted crossbows. They fire large bolts with enough velocity and force to pierce a dragon’s skull. Felldrakes are normally built on a platform that is full pivotal. It is designed to be operated by a team, but one person can load and fire one. Although felldrakes have been described as a type of ballista, they actually do not have the torsion spring that propels the bolts with such force. They actually more closely resemble an ancient Greek oxybeles.
In Aereth, true dragons, the Ddraig, are allies to the people of most nations. However, there are dragon-like creatures that are definitely enemies of all. The drakhmar, dragons that had their eyes taken while still alive thus severing their connection with Aereth’s Ley and the Arcane Light belong to the Shadowed One. Members of the Black Horde ride these creatures into battle. The next animals that felldrakes would be used to defend against are the skrills. Skrills are unusually large wyverns that have been domesticated. Mainland raiders and pirates (known as Inlanders) ride them and so do Howlers, the pirates of the Howling Islands.
Admin Note: Yes, felldrakes were inspired by the Game of Thrones’ scorpions. We will try to add specs at a later date. So far, no luck in tracking down a weapons’ nerd that may have published stats.
One of the weapons that the Morrighan use are gas-powered repeating crossbows. The crossbows are called stingers because they can fire “swarms” of bolts (arrows). These weapons are custom made by the Dwarrow for the Morrighan’s use. They do not sell the stingers to any other race or nation. However, some of the weapons have likely been captured and reverse-engineered. The thing that would keep them from being in common use by others is a limited ability to manufacture the gas and gas cylinders. Over and above that, the stinger ripoffs would be ungodly expensive. That means that they would not be available for the “common” troops.
The fuel in the cylinder is dragon-gas, a mixture of hydrogen and methane. The Morrighan have an almost endless source since the dragons can breathe out the gas without igniting it. They have also learned how to “farm” the microorganisms that produce the gas.
It is unlikely that a Morrighan would carry the stinger all of the time. They were designed for use by someone that needed a long-range weapon that could be fired while mounted on a dragon that is in flight. When carrying a second rider that is a designated archer, they probably carry regular bows or crossbows. After dismounting from their dragon, the Morrighan would draw sword or bow.
Features and Specs
- Replaceable gas cylinder.
- Fuel: dragon-gas
- Replaceable magazine.
- Select-fire, semi-automatic, fully-automatic
- Ammunition: 6″ crossbow bolts.
- Range: 115 to 200 feet (38 – 66 yards); this does not include an allowance for the drop.
- Capacity: 25 rounds.
- Sights: Flip-up metal sights.
- Collapsible bow for easier carry and concealment.
- The magazine release is in the trigger guard.
Images are from Game of Thrones (scorpion / felldrake) and the 2004 movie, Van Helsing. Video clip is from Van Helsing, the movie.
As mentioned above, the residents of Aereth are very intelligent and very curious about the world around them. They have basic telescopes, and some do study the stars and planets. A great many people join the various guilds that are involved with the sciences and research.
If it is not specifically detailed in the above document, you need to ask if it is allowed.
The easiest method is to leave your question in our Discord’s #help channel. If your question is very detailed, it is probably best to post in our Help Me! forum.
- Author: zeppelinmage
- Additional Information on Moonglobes, Flamestone and Dragon Power by Stormwolfe.