Before I start posting some more background material, these are a few questions that have been asked — or could have been asked — about technomagic. I hope these answers will clarify.
Q1) Why can’t technomagic be mass produced?
A1) The rule: most technomagical devisements can be used by anyone (with training), but can only be created by technomages.
Technomagic comes from thaumaturgy, which is the magical talent that imbues magic into items (creating a magic sword, for example). Technomagical devisements require wires, shaped into an electrical circuit, and flowing electricity, from a battery or generator. But creating them requires — you guessed it — imbuing. You have to imbue the circuitry with a tiny amount of magic (far less than necessary to create a magical sword, for example). Only technomages (or thaumaturgists) can imbue, therefore only they can create devisements.
More, they must create the entire devisement themselves, from raw parts (wires and batteries) to a finished case (hence, no assembly line). This process of creation is what links the mage to the devisement temporarily, and allows them to imbue it.
(Maguses claim this is an effect of the Law of Contagion. Thaumaturgists say the Magical Laws of spells have no effect on imbuing, and suggest the maguses mind their own damn business. Maguses suggest that thaumaturgy could do with a little bit of codification, if only the thaumaturgists would develop a minimal capacity to reason. Thaumaturgists say that maguses are arrogant, stuffy know-it-alls, more intent on book learning than working magic… and the arguments continue.)
For the foreseeable future, crafting devisements is a personal, small-scale enterprise.
Q2) Why does imbuing work with computers? Don’t you know that computer chips are silicon and other non-metallic substances, not metal?
A2) Let’s start with the basics: electrical current causes magical energies in the shadow world to flow, as energy (the electricity) affects ephemera (the magic). The concentrated, overlapping currents of electricity in a computer chip (or integrated circuit) creates a thick bundle of flowing energies, called a “node”. All this just happens, because of the innate relationship between energy and ephemera.
People with the shadow walking talent can project their mind into the shadow world. This allows them to enter a node, and read all the information on the computer. (Such individuals are called “crackers”.) This is an easy process, relatively speaking.
In order to protect computers, technomages created a devisement called a shroud. The shroud wrapped the node in magical energies, so a cracker couldn’t just read it at will. In order to read the node, the shadow walker has to penetrate the security in the shroud.
Shrouds create miniature worlds called constructs. The larger and more elaborate the construct, the more expensive the shroud.
(While in the construct, the cracker is vulnerable to damage or death, making cracking a serious endeavor. I’ll talk more about cracking in a future update.)
Some go even further, and use a technoshaman to summon spirits into the construct. These appear as sentries, guardian creatures, or whatever else the shaman desires. There are more dangerous, and hence more secure.
The upshot: only the shroud has to be imbued, not the computer. The node just happens.
I have a few more questions, which I’ll answer in later posts.