technological civilization

After a passing black hole threw the Miarran system into chaos, a long and perilous and very dark age ensued, as the planets themselves adjusted to the new conditions…

Eventually cultures grew into civilizations once more. The subspecies on Takhmo developed, among other things, psionic technologies, which helped them to master the now more difficult art of ocean travel and to understand their cousins on the other continents, so that genocidal confrontations never occurred anywhere. It became obvious that they were “cousins”—anatomy, language structures, DNA, all pointed to that conclusion, and eventually they figured out what had happened long ago. Delight in their diversity was tempered by a realization of the unique event that had brought them into being.

The trolls on Apsei of course had no such buffer, and when the Takhmotar developed space flight and dropped in on them, the effect was devastating. Their parochial xenophobia (“not-us = food!”—remember, the trolls are literally omnivorous), coupled with a psychic residue from the “demon Apsei” era on the Takhmot side, led inevitably to conflicts, even as colonization occurred on both worlds (the trolls learned fast: the desertified environment had winnowed their stock, even as the oceans had winnowed the Takhmotar.)

At length the Takhmotar won the war, dumping a few ice planetoids on Apsei, wrecking the weather systems, and programming a few more to bomb the world for millenia to come, so that the trolls would never again be a threat. Guilt over this act eventually led to repercussions in the psychic fabric of Takhmot civilization, which soon enough fell completely apart. Perhaps the Goddess of Takhmo was angry at what Her creatures had done to Her sister…

There followed a Dark Age: history became legend, tales became myths. Untended psionic devices ran wild. Some grew very powerful and attracted propitiation, even worship.

Now, some sixteen hundred years later, new civilizations are arising on Takhmo, and presumably on Apsei under its perpetual and augmented cloud-deck. They are at a Bronze to Iron Age level. Magic works: practitioners can contact astral devices built long ago, or petition the gods, or wield mana all by themselves.

But in space the high-technology civilization still exists. The ruling intelligences of the planets, the psionic devices called gods, do not want interlopers; the space-farers for their part are not numerically strong enough to challenge the gods (although they surely have a more sophisticated psi technology by now.) Besides, they are past the need for planets or wars: they have no “Apsei = demon” residue (“It’s just a gravity well.”), and they even have trolls among them as equals. The prevailing feeling is “Let the planet-bound stew, but if we can intercept any of the ice bombs, let’s do so; otherwise, it’s ‘hands off.’ Besides, those orbital defenses are impressive…”

The technology of the space-farers is fairly advanced but magically based: using transformation spells rather than replicators for example.

technological civilization

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