A game by OmegaPaladin Very much under construction
There is more to reality than standard science can reveal. Only the twin prisms of Enlightened Science and Mysticism can reveal the hidden reality, which offers so much more. For the conventional scientist, the fastest speed an object can travel is limited to 3.0 E+8 m/s, cellular lifespans run into the Hayflick limit and disappearing telomeres, and few engines even remotely approach Carnot efficiency. For the Artificer, speed is determined by the flexibility of space, life is determined by the soul, and machines rely on the skill of the crafter over the Second Law. For centuries, technology and magic have been part of the same world, and brought about a Golden Age.
The Galactic League of Systems
The GLS is a polity spanning thousands of life-bearing systems and countless others that are only used for energy extraction. It is a fairly conventional federal system, with a great degree of freedom for member systems. The Galactic League Defense Force maintained peace among the systems for long ages, and energy is plentiful.
Matter and energy interconversion is fairly practical, so energy collection replaces most mining. Only a few rare substances actually need to extracted. The GLS has truly advanced computational science to the level that any member system can build a computer of staggering power, and any technological planet has at least a lightspeed supernet. Simulation of intelligence is easy, but True AI is something else entirely, requiring Artificer arts to link a soul with a machine. True AIs are fully sentient beings that can make use of Artificer arts themselves, but they are linked to specific systems that form their "body". If that is destroyed, their souls depart from this world.
Life science is incredibly advanced, to the point that cancer and most infections are easily treatable. The most common fatal diseases were almost unheard of in the 20th century, as they require many decades to develop. There are also more demi-humans that you can imagine, ranging from catfolk to elves to Zentraedi wannabes. One constant remains - humans and AIs are mortal. Truly advanced psyche-craft can transfer a soul into a machine body much like an AI or a new clone body, but the person must be carefully rehabilitated into the use of the new form. However, once a soul is no longer bound to a form, it is gone from this world. While it is believed that at least some souls can be reached beyond death, death still remains a mystery to Artifice. There is one form of death that is no mystery, however - Oblivion, the destruction of the soul. From this death, there is no return and no hope. Oblivion weaponry is not allowed for use by GLS powers under ANY circumstances, but demons have made use of it as a weapon of terror before.
The Demon War
They appeared near the capitol without warning, and simply started killing. And torturing. And raping. And feeding, not so much on flesh as on the soul. No one is quite sure what the monsters really are, but their behavior is generally beyond any level of depravity. The most common theory is that they are some representation of Evil or a race molded by evil. Generally, they resemble a mix of insectoids, Cthlulu-esque monstrosities, and traditional representations of evil, depending on which warlord they serve. There are numerous demon warlords that lead these various armadas, and each warlord has his own preferred tactics and theme for his minions. Some elements claiming to represent the demon fleet have sought contact with systems, making various offers. There are a few known protectorates of the demon horde, who supply them with resources and intelligence agents in exchange for power, survival, or even true immortality.
The demons seem to be able to regenerated their numbers fairly rapidly, but they are being held off from further expansion by the GLDF. Demons are not native to this reality, and must build an anchor device to avoid damaging space in the area or even collapsing the entire area. Not even the demons want to destroy the universe. Anchor devices come in a variety of shapes and sizes, just as the demons themselves do.
Enlightened Science / Mysticism
There is no fundamental difference in the effect of either form of Artificer arts. There are a few general principles to consider, however. These skills can only used either by sentient beings directly or indirectly, and they are most easily channeled through the natural form of the being using them. This is the reason humanoid mecha are very common. AI can naturally use whatever body they have been gifted with, so you can make a magitech bolo or supership. Demons are fully capable of utilizing magic in all their forms
Space is much like a fabric brought to 3-D. A bit of twisting can create gravity without mass or negative mass. At higher levels, this gives wormholes and black holes. The most common application of this technology is Non-Inertial Displacement Drives, which allows for extraordinary accelerations without inertial stresses.
From accelerator cannons to zero-point manipulation, this is the are of making energy do things it shouldn't. Beams that bend, batteries that have the energy of nukes, people blocking beams wider than they are, etc.
Hyperspace. Subspace. There are a number of useful hyperplanes accessible, making FTL travel easy and allowing areas to be warded against demons, who come from another hyperplane. All systems make use of jump drives across the node network, but this area of knowledge allows for smaller jump drives and tactical jump capability.
Genetic or cybernetic enhancement taken to a new level. If you want to be superman, a furball, or someone who can live in space naked, this is for you. Also, your medicine makes being drawn and quartered survivable. Higher levels of skill here give one-man armies and giant bioroid constructs, with the occasional potion of perfect healing handy.
Matter acts differently from Energy in Artificer arts. Matter lets you inter-convert materials, create materials that should not exist, and shape matter with amazing precision. Knowledge of this field can make transformable or combining units.
Soul. Spirit. Mind. The very essence of a being, whether a construct, an AI ship, or a person. This lets you connect with other beings, and even control them or utterly destroy them. This comes with a lesser form of precognitive awareness at higher levels of understanding. The AIs made with this ability range from human-range to amazingly brilliant, and usually possess considerable Psyche gifts.
The most commonly used and least difficult to implement, Helium-3 is highly prized and is a common product of solar capture stations.
- Metastable Antimatter
Antimatter can be trapped in special zeolite-like crystalline solids, making it slightly safe to handle, similar to a unstable explosive. This allows for the use of antimatter weapons and some antimatter fuel systems, but the risk is always there.
- SP Alloy Steel
Even nations of low artifice can use advanced steel alloys for construction, often with additional ceramic or plastic components.
The toughest structural materials for their weight, fullerene weave structural components and armor are used for areas where mass is critical.
Artifice Steel, capable of being used for armor plate, structural framing, machines, and all the vast array of uses steel has in the 20th century, but with supernatural performance.
Magical noble metal that combines the properties of silver and titanium, while being extremely easy to enchant. It is a superconductor of essence and electricity. Commonly used for personal armor and Artifice focusing.
An incredibly powerful source of energy, elerium can produce power akin to a nuclear reactor in a palm-sized power cell, or explode with a force approaching a fusion device. Elerium is dangerous when unrefined, but the refined forms are extremely nonreactive.
Azoth is the spark of life, stored in fluid form. Whether a mystical elixir of life or a beneficent swarm of nanites, it can grant truly amazing protean abilities, such as the ability to shapeshift, or heal even the recently dead.
Gleaming noble metal that is incredibly hard and tough, to the point it cannot be worked after being formed. It can hold a mono-molecular edge, and can resist the cut of the same. With the proper application of artifice, it is the perfect blade. It can also make expensive but nearly indestructible armor.
Stabilized Neutronium. Ultra-dense material with very unusual properties, as it is purely composed of neutrons. While relatively poor at stopping conventional weaponry, Nilium is impenetrable to dimensional weapons and highly resistant to gravitic weapons.
Glowing crystalline substance that radiates beauty. It is most notable for being capable of storing energy in vast quantities, with trivial losses from emission. Silima crystals make energy storage and weaponry much more portable.