Life in the 24th Century: Science and Technology

The fundamental idea behind Lions of the North is that despite being inspired by the historical Baltic region, the setting is not just the 17th-18th century transplanted into the future. While certain modern concepts and lots of technological innovations have fallen out of use due to the comet hitting Earth and the nuclear wars after that, people are still fairly bright and a significant amount of modern concepts have not been forgotten. The text below concentrates on the states of Peimar, Hanö, Kirkoslet, Revallin and the Pomeranian states.

Architecture

While most buildings are constructed out of wood, the method to make concrete isn’t forgotten, even if the lack of mass production means that it only sees limited use. In addition, a number of 21st century buildings have been converted to be livable despite no electricity and no running water. Brick and cobblestone streets exist and some older roads and highways made out of asphalt are being maintained to be sufficient for wagons and carriages.  Glass panes are affordable for most people in the civilized lands and there’s been a recent trend of building greenhouses and winter gardens to grow plants that otherwise wouldn’t grow in the Baltic climate, such as chili peppers, different spices and various fruits. Greenhouses and larger buildings, like the Chairman’s Manor in Hanö and the royal palaces of Peimar have central heating. Sewage systems also exist in the larger cities, even if all buildings are not equipped to use them. This makes the cities a bit more pleasant to live in.

Medicine

Medicine in general is a lot more primitive than today, but the polymaths and the professional doctors have a pretty accurate picture of human anatomy, which allows for several forms of surgery. If you happen to have access to a doctor, something like an inflamed appendix probably doesn’t kill you, unless you get an infection. Penicillin is known as a concept among the polymaths, but as of 2312, no one has managed to produce it. Ether and chloroform are used for anesthesia during surgeries, with varying results: sometimes the anesthesia kills the patient. Iodine is used for cleaning wounds. This probably makes you happy when you have a musket ball lodged in your arm.

The bacterial theory is well-known among doctors, so doctors know to wash their hands, use clean cloths as bandages and disinfect their tools. While the rest of the population isn’t really aware of bacteria, basic hygiene is something most people practice. It is known that being dirty makes it more likely for you to get ill.

Physics and Astronomy

A significant part of current physics knowledge has been preserved, mainly through the action of the polymaths of Tuorla, a pre-destruction observatory near Pike in Peimar. For example, electricity is known on a theoretical level along with most of Einstein and Newton. At the moment, this theoretical knowledge doesn’t have much use, though, and remains a minor field of study for the polymaths. Regarding astronomy, the polymaths know about as much as scientists in the early 20th century, but much of this knowledge remains purely theoretical, since there’s not many decent telescopes around.

Navigation

Navigation is a field which lost a great deal of advances since pre-destruction, computerized navigation systems had made most previous navigation techniques obsolete. Rutters remain the central navigation data for most and open seas navigation is a secret only known by Hanö. The secret is that Hanö has a number of seaworthy chronometers, which allows for exact measuring of longitude, along with sextants. Hanö tries to keep the secrets of navigation guarded by only allowing their largest ships access to the chronometers and exact maps. Sextants have become a standard for celestial navigation, along with astrolabes.

Note that the lack of navigation equipment and knowhow doesn’t actually make open seas travel impossible by any account, the central reasons for avoiding open seas travel are economic and cultural.

Chemistry

Chemistry remains a minor field of study for polymaths. Black powder is known, of course, along with the manufacture process of some artificial dyes and diverse medicines, but at least for now, there hasn’t been any major innovation in chemistry.

Military technology

Military technology has been detailed here and here. It’s worth noting that in this age, cavalry uses both the caracole tactic, where the cavalry rides towards the enemy, shoots one salvo and retreats to reload and the swedish-type cavalry tactis where the cavalry shoots and then charges the enemy in a tight formation. The caracole is mostly used by mercenary troops who value their own life more than getting results.

Conscription has fallen out of use and most countries have limited means of raising troops. Peimar uses a rote system to raise troops, which means that the citizens of the kingdom are divided into rotes and each rote is responsible for contributing to the military by making available one soldier or sailor. Hanö uses peasant levies when needed but the more capable component of their military is a professional military.

Agriculture

Agriculture has regressed due to the lack of mechanical equipment and machinized equipment, but for example ways to ferment winter feed for livestock are known, which means that there’s limited milk production even in the winter. Greenhouses are somewhat common for growing specialized products.

Optics

The Pomeranians have specialized in building different optical tools, like sextants, telescopes and eyeglasses. Microscopes are being introduced among the polymaths, who have recently found uses for them in their studies.

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