Technomancy is a collection of physical art-forms surrounding the use of technology in such a way the user appears to possess superhuman powers. Technomancy has been likened to the terms “superpower” and “magic,” though the methods by which technomancy operates are very well known to science, and in fact are derived from it. However, some practitioners, called “mages” in some cultures or given the suffix of “-mancers” in other cultures, have such a deep understanding of their craft that it can take on an almost mystical quality.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
– The Third Law of Prediction, Arthur C. Clarke
Table of Contents
- 1 ETYMOLOGY
- 2 NEURAL BIAS
- 3 THE RIG
- 4 WARDS AND WARDSMITHS
- 5 AVATARS
- 6 TETHERED/UNTETHERED TECHNOMANCY
- 7 ARTFORMS OF TECHNOMANCY
- 8 HISTORY
- 9 MILITARY USE
- 10 CONTROVERSY
Technomancy is a compound word derived from the prefix “techno” from the Ancient Greek τέχνη (tékhnē, “skill”), now meaning “relating to technology” and the suffix “-mancy,” from Ancient Greek μαντεία (manteía, “divination”), meaning “form of divintion.” Ergo, the word “technomancy” has been bemused as a contradiction of itself, as it means “technological divination,” which to many are two quite opposite notions; one of science and one of faith. In spite of the root word meaning “divinition,”
Practitioners of technomancy often carry the interchangeable suffixes of “-mancer,” or”-mage,” (i.e. Auramancer or Gravomage) to hearken back to mystics of ancient lore or “-tech,” (i.e. Datatech or Gravtech) which is commonly used for more professional settings like a military unit, where lore and mysticism are not preferred. Many different cultures and groups have their own names and suffixes for each of these artforms of technomancy and their practitioners.
Practitioners may be referred to as “mages,” “techs,” “-mancers,” (as a suffix) or be given any number of names interchangeably
Many of the nuances of various types of technomancy rely on a specific conscious and subconscious thought to understand and control; Neural Bias is the fulcrum of technomancy theory. While it is true that most any person could use a technomancer’s rig in a very fundamental sense, the ability to fully control a rig and execute more complex actions rely on a very fine-tuned link between the user and the rig. Consequently, a certain kind of mind is inherently geared towards a particular type of technomancy, an effect referred to as neural bias.
Even the rudimentary 21st century understanding of the human mind captured the distinct differences in brain patterns between someone artistically inclined vice someone mathematically inclined. These unique neural patterns translate into the distinct ways in which two minds approach the same problem. In the case of technomancy, an artist might be more inclined to be an auramage or gravmage, relying on emotion to channel their skills through. A mathematical or scientific mind may be more geared towards biomancy or nanomancy, focusing on the unique rules and details of their craft in a way that an artistic mind can’t capture. Neural bias is something screened in many nations at an early age and can tap into the type as well as the overall potential of an individual at becoming a successful technomancer.
All individuals are able to be separated into their “STAR” Score, which is a collection of their personal neural bias’. The Trinity is the theory that there are three personality types that can specifically separate out one into the individual technomancies as a means of linking technomancy as a whole. Beyond the trinity of Thought, Acuity, and Reason, Spirit divides one’s aptitude into tethered versus untethered forms of the technomantic art.
Thought is a measure of the way the mind generates ideas, both original and derivative. It is measured as either more Analytical or Creative.
The Analytical Thinker is one who is organized and approaches problems in a scientific or logical manner using methodical reasoning. Analytical thinkers are capable of solving problems effectively and efficiently.
A Creative Thinker is one who does not need to define all of their problems as strictly, and does not tackle them in a necessarily logical manner, but making problem solving more of an art. Their thoughts may not be restricted to methodology, and they are harder to predict.
An individual who is considered Perceptive judges their surroundings based off of observations. They trust that which they know to be true, and trust little else.
Those judged as discerning themselves often have good judgement; while they may not need to know facts absolutely, they often have good enough judgement to find some notions more intuitive.
Those who are logical approach situations relying on facts. They do not make decisions without them. Logical individuals may be considered “cold,” but they really are just looking at the best outcome available, regardless of emotion.
Emotional individuals may be quick to act and act fiercely; they are often the most loyal, and strike a balance with logical individuals in that they may be quite caring.
Introverts are more comfortable with small groups of people or being isolated to themselves than they are with large groups. Some may be labeled as “anti-social,” when they actually prefer the comfort of close friends and deeper interpersonal connections than making many connections.
Extroverts are largely concerned with the world and people around them. They are often quite outgoing and like meeting new people, as well as being more adverterous and preferring not to stay shut indoors.
Most technomancers control their skills through implants in their body, foremost neural implants which allow for two-way communications between the user and their equipment. This is most useful for datamages, nanomages, and biomages, who require much more minute control, while gravmages and auramages can often function quite well without intrusive neural-implants. Indeed, many gravmages adept at countering auramages choose not to use implants, for fear of the auramages frying them, should they be able to generate sufficient eddy-currents in even nonferrous metals. Other than these generalizations, many nations have different laws and customs governing how such controls should be implemented.
Most mages require some form of equipment external to themselves known as a “rig.” For auramages and gravmages, these rigs are usually power-and-control packs, allowing them to perform their craft. For nanomages, a rig might be a vessel or micro factory permitting the replenishment of lost nanites, or even a communications apparatus to allow extended control of their minions. Biomages, being so very diverse, may utilize any number of rigs; though many choose prefabricated biological agents or mind linked biological constructs of their own design. Datamages often require no visible rig, and instead, have their bodies implanted with antennae. Most are able to power their crafts through the addition of implants providing piezoelectric power via motion, or have even had a biomage modify their body to directly provide electrical power to their internal rigs like they would power their own, natural tissue.
Technomancy has found its way into most aspects of life in the galaxy, be it warfare, medicine, construction, or education. However, it is still expensive enough and regulated to the point that few people are capable of delving into it for more than just a hobby; even so, most are not able to even attain technomantic skills or equipment of amateur-grade, though it is not uncommon for even children to program nanites with personal computers and gadgets and claim to be “performing nanomancy;” while technically not incorrect the scale of the difference between this level of amateurism and that which is recognized as true nanomancy is almost enough to make it so.
WARDS AND WARDSMITHS
The acts performed by technomages are dubbed “wards” in reflection of their mythical ancestral counterparts. These wards are usually pre-programmed functions; a gravitic push or pull, a particular genetic-modification strain, et cetera. Pre-programmed wards are particularly useful as many technomancers do not have the education to know the minute details of what they are doing, and wards generated for them allow them to command their rigs in specific manners without knowing exactly how the rig executes the command. Many guilds write their own wards, and a number of wards are also written by college and university professors educated on the subject matter. Those who write wards for a means of living are known as wardsmiths.
In tune with the magic they emulate, many wardsmiths encode specific verbal phrasing or action into requirements for their wards to be used – this is almost entirely untenable for combat, and so no military use wards with “requirements” beyond mental thought, but the novelty of the matter has drawn a great deal of publicity for the flair and pomp of the art forms, as well as an artificial notion of difficulty.
An avatar, also called a familiar, companion, champion, golem, or any number of names, is a companion, artificial sentient or non-sentient being or object that is neurally linked to a technomancer. This neural link allows for two way communication, usually for the avatar to be issued commands, but also relay the user information as extra “eyes and ears.” They may take any shape or form, though are usually linked to the nature and artform of the technomancer. Some are unassuming objects one might expect an ordinary individual might carry, while others may be imposing manifestations.
Avatars may be sentient or non-sentient; sentient avatars are more likely to be able to assist the technomancer without command or give companionship, while non-sentient are more likely to follow commands without fail or fear of destruction. They are, however, more susceptible to a datamage hacking them and subverting the avatar.
Nanomages almost universally have the most easily altered avatars, as they are made of nanites which are each technically an avatar. They are often the most versatile and utilitarian, though offer much less in the way of cover, should they be needed for defense. Though illegal in most nations, some have used nanites to reanimate dead soldiers.
Biomages most often use living creatures as their companions, altering them as they see fit, or controlling unaltered ones. Many are noted to have ridden into battle atop the backs of long-extinct dinosaurs.
Gravmage’s and Auramage’s avatars are often quite alike; a favorite of both is to display their powers on a constant basis, with floating pieces separate from one another to form the body of what often manifests as a large golem. Others act as ammunition carriers, given their mages ready sources of weaponry. Others carry larger projector packs than what the mage would choose to carry, giving them amplified powers. The greatest difference between gravmages and auramages’ avatars is that gravmages avatars are usually heavier and bulkier, while auramages are often more wiry or provide more support equipment.
Datamage’s avatars are often the most unassuming, fitting with the traditional role of an infiltrator. They often use small drones or collections of them to increase their ability to track, hack, and detect. Some often choose to steal the avatars of others, should it be fruitful, or at least deny access of another mage to his avatar.
“Tethered,”technomancy, originating from the concept of a gravity or electromagnetic tether, is a form of technomancy which has feedback, or the ability to affect, the user; (i.e. a tethered gravmage must use his own weight when pushing or pulling on an object). This often allows the technomancer to “feel” through his technomancy, as if electromagnetic, gravity, data, biological, or nanite “tethers” were additional appendages.
Conversely, “Untethered” technomancy does not directly affect the user. (i.e. a gravmage being able to lift an object many times his own weight). These are often controlled “remotely,” after a fashion.
Both going tethered and untethered have their advantages, and most require gear specific to the task. Tethered methods are often more efficient and powerful for their specific tasks, but are limited to what the technomancer is able to sustain. Untethered technomancy does not have this restriction, but often require more power, do not often have sensory feedback, and usually require more concentration.
A balanced technomancer is one who dabbles in both tethered and untethered forms of their artform, often weaker in both in order to reap the benefits of having both.
A mastery form of an artform is a combination between both the tethered and untethered forms, requiring years training and expensive rigging for both, and an extensive education in the science behind the form is often a great assistance. Masters can often perform feats unattainable to either individual form.
ARTFORMS OF TECHNOMANCY
Gravimancy involves the control of gravitational fields and their generation.
VIEW THE GRAVIMANCY MAIN ARTICLE HERE.
Auramancy, widely viewed as the most directly useful of the arts of technomancy, is based around the manipulation of and generation of electromagnetic fields and charged particles.
VIEW THE AURAMANCY AND SUBSETS OF AURAMANCY MAIN ARTICLE HERE.
Biomancy is a very diverse artform, involving the control and manipulation of anything organic, be it plants, animals, microorganisms, or even people.
VIEW THE BIOMANCY MAIN ARTICLE HERE.
Nanomancy is one of the easiest arts to define, as it very specifically involves the control of nanites.
VIEW THE NANOMANCY MAIN ARTICLE HERE.
Datamancy is often considered the most commonly practiced form of technomancy, as it involves the mental use and control of data, though most notable datamancers annotate specific requirements to be considered a datamancer, which are only made official by various Datamancy Schools, who often rule on the issue differently.
VIEW THE DATAMANCY MAIN ARTICLE HERE.
While some would cite that technomancy began almost as soon as the powers governing each craft were discovered; with magnetism being used in common magic-tricks and for wonderment and entertainment in even the 1600’s and Faraday’s Christmas Lectures in 1827, “true” technomancy, involving control via human thought, did not begin until 2809, largely as a result of post-Reunion combinations of independently discovered technologies by the many developing starnations. The first “discovered” form of technomancy was gravomancy, though it was not at all considered as a mystical power then. Control of gravitational forces was within the capabilities of small devices thanks to Eirengardian research pre-Reunion, to include implants – and certain individuals began to “body-mod” themselves to be able to control gravity, though typically through large external control machines. It wasn’t until 2811 that it was used publicly, when a few of these body-modders were employed with construction companies. Videos of the capabilities became viral, and the age of technomancy was born; soon all forms of technomancy developed, and the term was coined in 2819.
Many sought to generate new forms of technomancy once it had been established as an artform and schools of tutelage arose, but most fell within the established categories of gravomancy, auramancy, datamancy, biomancy, or nanomancy, though smaller specific schools remained within each form. 2820 marked the first military use of technomancy, though it was initially quite experimental.
Most military groups utilize technomancy in some fashion. Many military doctors and medics are given at least rudimentary education in, if not full years of training in biomancy to help aid and heal wounded, and many soldiers are given some level of datamage training simply for the benefits of improved communication. It is not uncommon for special forces soldiers to receive dedicated training in multiple artforms to reap the benefits each offers, though this usually means their level of skill hardly qualifies them as a technomancer in any of the artforms, if ever.
Most common of these combat forms of auramancy for the ability to camouflage oneself and hurl projectiles at others; many soldiers have trained to become one-man heavy-weapon’s teams with specialized rigs to enable them to act as human rail-guns; with datamage scouts in assistance, some of these auramancers have even replaced short-ranged artillery and anti-air entirely, becoming human mortars and anti-aircraft guns – with guided projectiles.
Some military groups have even dedicated specific training to technomancers to act as battlefield multipliers, with powerful auramages and gravmages shielding their troops or nanomages building fortifications on the spot or tearing their enemies’ fortifications apart.
MYSTICISM AND RELIGION
Some religions have deemed technomancy as “unnatural,” and “trying to play God,” though these are often few and far between, such as the Amish and Seventh Day Adventists of Christianity and other similar offshoots, though even some of these accepted the notion.
As much of technomancy began as “parlor tricks,” and in magic shows it was early on identified as being a non-mystical practice, though in some isolated areas, it has been seen as being much more magical. One several occasions, exploratory forces have found a few entrepreneurial mages playing as gods to colonies which regressed backwards in technology following their establishment, as evidence to the complement of Arthur C. Clarke’s Third law:
“Any technology, no matter how primitive, is magic to those who don’t understand it.”
One of the first laws surrounding technomancy involved the Intersystem Alliance banning public use of genetic biomancy in 2824, fearing potential creation of deadly viruses or similar malice. The Alliance government even went so to far as to utilize government datatechs and biotechs to investigate and seek out it’s use and correct it. Many saw this as a restriction in freedoms, and more were outraged due to the fact that, at the same time, biomages were being utilized to help clean up the ages of pollution and destruction humanity had wrought upon Earth, so many across the galaxy saw this as hypocrisy and biomancy as a great and wondrous force. It was often glossed over that the brunt of this global-cleanup on Earth was being held up by nanomages, as biomancy had more limited uses surrounding regulation, rather than cleanup; a plastic-eating-bacteria, for instance, could not be used as it might eat through objects that were not actually trash, should the bacteria spread far enough.
Others have sought for restrictions placed on datamages, as datamages are able to infiltrate communications – and therefore personal lives – of the average citizen with relative ease. In light of this, many cyber-security companies have made great fortunes on increase encryption methods and more secure methods of communication.
One of the first attempts to ban technomancy in warfare revolved around the use of nanomancy; early nanomages likened themselves to necromancers of lore and began to utilize their nanites to infiltrate the bodies of dead soldiers and cause them to rise up against their enemies as technozombies; this cause such terror in the first cases of it’s occurrence (especially as the “shoot the brain” method of killing zombies in most fictional stories proved highly ineffective) that most star nations immediately banned the practice as cruel and unusual, though this has not stopped it’s use by outlaws. Immediately following this it was recognized that biomancy could be used to similar effect and the practice of creating a “zombie plague” was likewise banned; due to it’s complexity, no one has managed to create such a “zombie virus.”