Ralian technology and time

From: Jose Ramos (Jose.Ramos@univ-angers.fr)
Date: Mon 05 May 1997 - 14:46:17 EEST


Peter Metcalfe said:

>Water clocks are in common use by the west and every town square
>has at least one.

Although in my campaign technology is a bit higher than the gloranthan
standard, certainly there is not a water clock in every square. I suppose a
simple timekeeping object (a sun dial) can be found, but most water clocks
will be in Church premises (to keep the ceremonies in time) and bells,
gongs or other way (criers, anyone) used to convey the information to the
whole town. Anyway most people could not read a clock, so that is best left
to priests.

        Some lords will keep a servant whose only job is to keep time, with
sand or water clocks.

In Kustria I assume people always know what hour (or watch, with a size
proportional to our usual hours) was the last, thanks to the bells. I know
it is perhaps too european to have the bells sound the hours, but it is
practical, and anyway the bell sounds keep demons and pagans away :-).

        And of course you can always buy one spring watch from the dwarfs
(perhaps with a nilmerg inside, counting seconds and turning a small wheel
each time the number is a certain value) of Bad Deal. More of a status
thing: "I am so rich I can afford a fortune just to know what time is it."
(Is Xelor the name of a dwarf diamond watchmaker?) Of course certain
alchemists value them highly.

Trotsky said:

> Some time ago I did some research for a campaign set in a Rennaisance
>fantasy world (as it happened, I never got around to running it). According
>to my notes, mechanical clocks were first invented in the RW in the mid 14th
>century. So its plausible they might exist in the West or other sophisticated
>societies (unlikely to include Ralios IMO). However, even these clocks were
>only about as accurate as sundials for the first hundred years or so, and
>couldn't tell time down to the minute for another century after that - which,
>as it happened was when my campaign was set.

The existence of dwarven models could have made easier to copy them. Of
course, fear of dwarven retribution could have stalled advances in
watchmaking. Personally I limit most technical inventions to the dwarfs,
using sorcery to compensate in the West (i.e. No powered looms, but
Form/set wool, the most guarded secret of the Clothmakers Guild, who are
willing to kill any non-guild member who knows the spell).

And BTW, IMG West Ralios is the most technically advanced human region (mix
of Seshnelan, dwarven and Manirian influences), with strong trade
disseminating information, and a strong internal competition forcing
progress. Only in Loskalm (government approved research only) and Kralorela
(but it has not changed in centuries) do you have equivalent levels of
technology in certain areas.

Before I am flamed to cinders, the Lunar Empire and Dara Happa are more
advanced magically and mystically, so they do with magic instead of
technology.

        Well, that's all for now. I am enjoying the Last Icebreaker
stories, even if they are not receiving much of an encouraging response. A
good attempt to picture magic for a powerful Rune Lord.

        As I am not capable of that, I return to Safelster.

Jose

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