The Dwarf-craft

I plan on eventually writing about the nature of magic in the Orbis Terrarvm, however, I am right now going to write on a related topic – the relationship between technology and the various races.

Technology is ‘dwarf-craft’. The dwarves are the ones to make the great advances – tower shields, siege weaponry, advanced metallury, explosives, flying vehicles. This is the nature of their race. Other races are able to come up with some ideas, improve on some dwarven ideas (the Lavinians were especially adept at seeing the nature of the dwarven ideas and, once they understood siege-craft, they made many devices of their own design). However, other races are incapable, mentally, of the same technological innovation that the Dwarves excel at.

This is an important point. The Men in Orbivm seem in many ways similar to humans in our world, but in this, they are slightly different. They are, you might say, deficient. If dwarves had not invented their hot air balloons and their gyrocopters and suchlike, no man would have ever attempted to create them. Nor would any orc or elf.

It might be said each of the races is an exaggeration of human (this-world) tendencies. Elves are conservative and contemplative, dwarves are innovative and mercantile, humans are quick to adapt, orcs are almost bestial. That’s a very inadequate characterization but it’ll do for now.

Anyway, an interesting question seems to me to be “should the races interact with each other”. From the history of Orbivm it’s clear that a lot of pain and suffering has resulted from, for example, the relationship between Men and Elves in the northlands. Mightn’t the races be better if their went their separate ways and did not even talk to each other? I dunno, I don’t propose to answer that question through the actual history of the world. (Orbivm does not answer questions, it only asks them and provides evidence related to them.)

But at least one “scholar of Orbivm” (my term for the conceit of scholars inside Orbivm studying its history – obviously I actually wrote this passage, though I put any blame for bad prose style on the imaginary author) has answered it in this way (related to the destruction of Evrosia – which is catalyzed, though not caused, by the Dwarves being a bit too greedy.

It has often been remarked that the rest of the peoples are never prepared for what the Dwarves have discovered, and that perhaps they would be better if the Dwarves did not share what they found. This may or may not have been true in the past, but it was certainly true now. For not even the dwarves were prepared for [what they discovered]. They sold it before they truly understood it. And so they too were to blame for the carnage that followed.

Another question this seems to raise – is technological advancement good?


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