The exact level of technology in the Old Continent is difficult to gauge because of how very different one principality is to another. There are places that have gone beyond the Age of Enlightenment, whereas others haven’t even advanced to the Middle Ages. At any rate, what can be argued is the fact that Gaia has experienced a true revolution in the fields of technology during these last few years, carrying the world to a time of change.
Among all the technical advancements that deserve mentioning, perhaps the most relevant is the printing press. Thanks to this device, a stir in the world of letters has been created, allowing books to be produced at a low cost and hence spread them to all corners of Gaia. Another very surprising aspect has been the great advances in artisan mechanics, especially with respect to clock gears. With them, they have designed complex machines, like precise clocks (both wall and pocket variety), music boxes and other similar devices. It is even possible in the near future that they could start construction on the first great windup motors. Similarly, the new styles of blown crystal have allowed the creation of very precise lenses, making the manufacturing of spectacles possible, or telescopes of all sizes to observe stars. It’s interesting to note that in less than a decade they’ve found a way to mix dark liquids with these lens crystals, which results in translucent lenses allowing sight through them, but filtering the very bright light passing through. That way, dark glasses and other apparatuses of the same type have been created to protect against the sun.
All these advancements and many others are only a portion of the technology in Gaia, because new and surprising innovations are made every day.
Scientific Disciplines and Medicine
Even before Abel was founded, Ilmora had already made a true distinction between various scientific disciplines, like astronomy, botany, physics, chemistry or even philosophy. Each one of them is presently understood as an individual and specialized science, in which there have been numerous advances in the last three centuries. Also, a complex understanding of the human body has been reached, explaining the function of the organs and the circulatory system, which has made impressive progress in the field of medicine and surgery. Although still a far cry from performing transplants or precise surgical operations, there are many hospitals in which true medical wonders have been achieved. Anesthesia, antiseptic medicines and even sterilized instruments all exist. Naturally, surgeons this well-prepared are terribly rare and few.
Powder and Firearms
Little over a century ago the world was revolutionized with the advent of powder, that benchmarked a before and after for the weapons concept of Gaia. Thanks to gunpowder, the first firearms saw rapid development, like arquebus or matchlock pistols. Unfortunately, as of today, such devices are still extremely rare, unsophisticated and hard to come by, so the only manufacturers able to produce and market them do so at exorbitant prices. Consequently, today’s armies cannot afford to completely equip themselves with arquebus or pistols. Only the richest and most powerful nations can pay for the luxury of a couple hundred infantry with firearms. On the other hand, the large cannons, that involve less training or complexity, have been multiplied in just a very short time, as well as explosive wick devices.
However, arms are not the only use for gunpowder. Shivatense engineer Yun Lu Fao discovered that, when mixing explosives with certain substances, it was possible to create beautiful multicolored explosions, thus the first fireworks of Gaia were born: The Lights of Yun. Nowadays, there is not a single civilized country that does not use fireworks to provide ambiance during its most important celebrations.
The Wonders of Lucrecio
Since the arrival of prince Grayson to the throne of Lucrecio, the country has endlessly surprised the world with its impressive wonders. Among many other things, their researchers have developed, landmark medical advances, new methods of construction and even a naval motor that intends to replace sail boats someday. Nevertheless, all this progress pales in comparison to the creation of Gaia’s first zeppelins, enormous flying devices that sail through the skies connecting several principalities. After works like this, people ask the enigmatic prince every day what incredible prodigy he will astonish them with next.
One of the most important materials of the Old Continent is the strange mineral called lampyridae. It is an unusual stone of clear gray color that holds a strange property of powerful light emission when it makes contact with water or other liquid substances. Depending on the amount of lampyridae and how deeply it is immersed, its luminescence may be increased. In general, the light that it emits is of pure white color, but it depends on the nature of the liquid with which it makes contact with. For example, it can acquire copper-like tonalities when it is put in oil, or red when in blood. Many scientists have tried to find out the cause of this phenomenon, but for now none have come to a proper scientific explanation.
Regardless of how it works, lampyridae actually has many practical applications in Gaia, and there are many countries that make constant use of it. It’s commonly used to illuminate houses and roads, be it as simple lamps or lampposts. There are all kinds of models, from a receptacle full of water with a fragment of lampyridae in its center, to much more complex ones, like crystal lanterns that contain pure water with a stone in its interior, supported by fine metallic cables.
Unfortunately, lampyridae is exhaustible, and although it takes several centuries for it to lose its qualities, it suffers some type of degeneration after prolonged contact with water. Consequently, after a year or two it begins to emit a strong and unpleasant scent that can produce dizziness. If the degeneration extends itself (sometimes after more than a century), it begins to emit a gas that can be deadly.
The Legacy of Solomon
It is widespread belief that the ancestral empire of Solomon possessed a technological level far beyond the present one. Although many historians have made dozens of conjectures on the matter, very little is known of that period. Simply put, it is possible that many of the wonders that have surprised the present-day world have the old discoveries of Solomon as a basis, re-invented from remains and ruins left behind by these artifacts.