The Twilight of the Known Worlds
Second Republic Technology
The Second Republic represented the pinnicle for mankind’s technological achievements. Unfortunately, those days passed over a thousand years ago, and humanity is still struggling to understand the implements of that lost age. Nearly everything that exists today, especially in the realm of space travel, is based on Second Republic accomplishments.
Technology in the Known Worlds is often viewed as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the advanced technology of the previous centuries allows the empire to grow and expand in ways it otherwise could not. On the other, misuse of technology that is not entirely understood can have disastrous consequences. Second Republic tech is beyond the understanding of most scientists. Some of the best can repair the technology, but cannot duplicate it. Tech salvaging is one of the primary reasons for space exploration, since finding old technology is the quickest way to advance understanding of it. Space carriers, photon weapons, bio-domes, and energy shields are all legacies of the Second Republic.
“Ur Tech” is a different story entirely. The jumpgates are the best example of working Ur Tech, but no one has come close to understanding how they function. There have been sporadic reports of other Ur artifacts of immense power: things even the Second Republic did not approach. The mere existence of these artifacts is often kept secret, for their terrible power in the wrong hands would spell disaster.
The largest roadblock to scientific advancement isn’t the lack of artifacts, but the public perception that these artifacts of higher technology will lead to destruction. This perception is fueled in large part by the Universal Church, who blames technology for the downfall of the Second Republic. The Church claims that technology in its higher forms (computers, cybernetics, robotics) corrupts one’s morality. When human dependence on physical material becomes too great, then humanity forgets the need to cleanse the soul. In large part, the public has adopted this belief and is content with older technologies that do not approach that of the Second Republic. Scientists, on the other hand, believe that the Church’s doctrine is simply a deception that keeps the people in ignorance and the Church in power. Advanced technology still exists in every corner of the Known Worlds, but it often must hide in the shadows, lest the Church declare its users heretics.
Known Items of Personal Tech
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