A Malevolent Apparatus
Ritual Technology on Kiru
In Kiru, rituals and arcane engineering fulfills the role that mechanical engineering has in a world without ritual magic. Arcane engineering in the current age has long moved past the origins of the field, where arcane power sources brought clockwork machinery to life. In those early days, an arcane engineer would build an excavator, a big hulking iron monstrosity powered by an elemental or some other force. For many centuries the focus on machinery, to the point of fetishism, was the approach arcane engineering took to solving problems.
Today arcane engineering seeks to reduce the role of physical machinery. Instead of building an elemental powered excavator to dig holes in the ground, a modern arcanist performs a ritual. A ritual would teleport the unwanted ground someplace else or transmutes the ground into something softer or lighter to quicken the excavation process for the laborers, as two examples. Maybe it summons demons to rip out the ground. This doesn’t mean that there is no place for mechanical things, but rituals provide solutions that have lessened the need for machinery. This isn’t to say there aren’t machines. Machinery on Kiru serves to make ritual magic more cost effective as opposed to ritual magic serving as means to bring machinery to life. There are arcane engineers who enjoy bringing physical machinery in their ritual magic in spite of the inherent inefficiency.
An arcanist often views a machine as potentially a needless inefficiency in the task completion process. On principle, ritual magic isn’t confined to physical laws and doesn’t have to spend energy obeying those laws if it can avoid it. The only reason one would rely on a mechanical thing to do the brunt of the work was if the mechanical construct was cheaper than achieving the same result via ritual magic. This is why instead of teleportation gates everywhere there is a rail system and merchant houses with their shipping routes hold immense power.
Teleportation rituals are among the most expensive class of ritual magic. Teleportation is a luxury for the very wealthy and unfeasible as a transport mechanism for materials and goods. Physically transporting most goods makes more economic sense than teleportation. If teleportation became cheap, merchant houses whose base of power exists from being the solution to get something from one place to another would suddenly lose a lot of power since their solution to the problem of logistics would no longer make much sense.
Ritual magic use and prevalence varies from region to region. Eschewing of rituals is chic in some regions or viewed as foolish in others. Ritual technology for certain things are often kept secret and arcanists spend a lot of time recalculating their equations to reduce the ritual component costs of their technology. Alternatively, other seek out cheaper components to replace or supplement the expensive components currently used.
The continents of Nordglund and Astaarlai have the most developed arcane technology and engineering.