Karma Constructs and Weapons

The magic in Dragonia is so advanced that it can emulate technology in many aspects, providing technological wonders such as elevators and printing presses, shifting Dragonia from a medieval society to something more akin to a “steampunk” society (though there is no steam!), in the sense that there is a lot of industrial technology going on, even though the setting is primarily medieval in nature and feel. Karma Cores and more elaborate Karma Devices allow the creation of many machines (logically called Karma Machines, or simply Machines) that would be otherwise impossible in a medieval context, and therefore Dragonia is a society in which medieval values and way of thinking coexist with a more advanced technology and culture.

One major application of this technology is the creation of Golems, Karmic constructs, generally humanoid, that have a modicum of awareness and intelligence. Golems are used as brute workforce (ie. ploughing fields, or building roads), to access places usually hazardous to normal humans (entering a volcano to collect volcanic rocks for a scholar, or entering an oxygen-deprived mine as a scout, or delving into the sea) and, sometimes, as servants to the wealthy and powerful. They can be made from many different materials, in different sizes and shapes, each according to the usage the Golem will face; most are humanoid, but there are some that aren’t. While Golems have a little intelligence and self-awareness, and even the ability to communicate with others, they are not, and neither do they see themselves as, individual creatures with freewill. However, they are still built with internal constraints that limits their actions for safety measures, and each Golem has a specific keyword that automatically deactivates it once uttered.

A specific type of Golem that is far more dangerous than the usual workforce type is the Legionnaire – a larger, stronger, more durable and well-armed version of a normal Golem, usually performing duties as constables, guards, and soldiers. Legionnaires were the reason behind the research on Golems in the first place, and they have neatly replaced almost all military personnel in the League of Empires, with the exception of officers and generals, reducing the cost in lives of war and conflicts. They are also far more powerful and destructive than the average soldier, giving the nations of the League an edge against their financially inferior enemies who do not have the resources to build their own Legions. However, no matter how strong the Legionnaire, a powerful War-Weaver or even a well-trained soldier is superior in war potential, due to their ability to adapt and work together, leading to many nations still keeping elite forces in reserve, in addition to – or, sometimes, instead of – automated Legions.

Another war-funded technology is that of the Karma Weapons, Devices that use one or more Karma Cores in conjunction or not with a standard weapon to maximize its war potential. Examples include swords that are powered by a Fire Core that makes their blade catch on fire, or bows strengthened by Wood Cores to provide more power for less strength wasted on their pull, or even more extraordinary weapons such as a sword that is comprised only of the hilt – which is in truth a complex Device – that, once activated, generates a sword-blade entirely of condensed Karma. However, all of these weapons are usually far too expensive to mass-produce for their benefit, and are relegated to either ceremonial status or as weapons to the rich and powerful. This is not the case with Fuciles, however.

The Fucile is a ranged weapon that draws energy from one or more Karma Cores or the wielder to shoot out bolts of compressed Karma; its basic version, which draws energy from the user, is quite simple, and easily mass-produced, thus ensuring that all soldiers can have access to a powerful ranged weapon at almost no expense – and less training required than what is necessary to skilfully use a bow, for example. More complex or powerful versions of Fuciles exist, that draw on their internal Cores for energy, or on external “ammunition packs” made of disposable, low-cost Karma Cores, or that have special and powerful effects, but those are not freely distributed to the common soldiers, and are instead only found as property of the rich and powerful. It goes without saying that Legionnaires are outfitted with two or more Fuciles, thus ensuring their efficiency on the battlefield.

-JNicolini

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