The Machinations of Balgrum
Advances in Society
Technology has been slowly advancing in the lands of Vaserde since the death of the Mad King. One of the first advances to come was agriculture improvements brought over from the straesy. It was discovered that by alternating the crops to specific ones on certain times of the year, one could quickly replenish the nutrients needed for more crops to grow. Scholars soon learned that by introducing certain alchemical fertilizers to the soil, the crops could grow faster and more abundantly. Additionally, by using various magical and alchemical pest deterrents more crops would survive to eventually be harvested. Lastly, certain magical enchantments allowed the crops to stay fresher longer, allowing them to be transported farther. All these changes have allowed farmers to vastly increase their yearly yields which drove down prices, and allowed many to take up different careers.
Transfer of knowledge was another of the early changes that brought about industrialization. For ages, crafting techniques were passed down through mentor-ship with the apprentice either taking over the shop or leaving the village to make it on their own afterward. Many traveling scholars would keep notes of various techniques and processes as the traveled the land, known as study-touring. Study-touring saw a dramatic increase after the Treaty of Tias where travel became more affordable and promising, to the extent were many would actually encourage their apprentices to do so, in the hopes that they might find new processes of manufacturing. Another means of spreading information was through networks of informal philosophical societies which met to discuss science, magical theory, and it’s application to manufacturing. Many towns who housed these meetings have decrease the terms of admission for schooling and increased the material taught.
Many forms of industry saw advances in the machinery and procedures that they used. With the improvements in machinery, goods were able to be mass produced in semi-automated assembly lines. Textiles and iron casting saw the most improvement with the machinery able to mass produce large quantities of material and manufacture unique pieces for larger equipment. These new tools allowed for more chemicals to be identified, isolated, and purified. Sulfur production skyrocketed, as did the production of alkalies. These allowed for the production of soda ash and potash which paved the way for concrete and cement as construction materials for buildings and municipal systems like sewers. Glass making and lighting were also revolutionized. Glass was able to be manufactured in larger quantities and in different shapes and tints. Furthermore with the new purification processes, lighting by natural gas was made more cost effective, driving down the cost. With many modern cities lit up at night, a new night life, brought forth by the middle class, begin to flourish.