Manatech is a world of steampunk fantasy and unimaginable horror.
The greatest tragedy is the loss of knowledge. We have all lost our history to the careless hands of time. We have no facts or certainty. We are left with guesses, hypotheses, and suppositions. We do not know why the gods died, or how. We have only begun to step with surety these last few centuries. What we do know is that before the death of our celestial protectors, magic did not exist upon our planet.
When their corpses—some colossal beyond imagining, some so alien it baffles the mind—fell down upon Rhone, magic manifested itself for the first time. Whether this is correlation or causation is the primary purpose of this book you hold in your hands.
Long ago, the world of Rhone was a paradise ruled over by celestial beings whom the mortal inhabitants worshiped as gods. An unknown cataclysmic event ravaged the world, leaving the gods dead, but leaving all mortal creatures untouched. As the corpses of the gods decayed, their magic essence, called mana, seeped out from their bodies and into Rhone itself, bringing magic to the planet. After centuries of research and practice with mana, many sentient races had mastered magic. Mages, the lucky few gifted with the ability to harness magic, became the guardians of Rhone and its inhabitants. Comfortable in their superiority, mages gradually became the ruling class and made all creatures born without the gift, called dervhi, subservient vassals. After 500 years of their superiority, mages began losing ground due to the emergence of the scientific method and, most directly, steamcraft technology. This steamtech, as its dhervi inventors call it, was developed to use science to fill the role of magic denied to the dhervi, and to usurp the mages’ aristocracy. After a century of feuding between the mages and dhervi, a new threat has appeared. Recently, nameless monstrosities have been slowly appearing all across Rhone. Whispers among the populace perpetuate rumors that these horrors are not from their world, perhaps not even from their reality. The only thing that seems for certain is that the only target of these frightening creatures, dubbed the “shoggoth”, are magic-users. While some of the mages believe the shoggoth were created as a weapon of vengeance by the dhervi and use this as motivation to increase subjugation of the dhervi, other mages seek the help of the dhervi and their steamtech. A special coalition between mages and dhervi has created a new technology to help in the fight of the shoggoth: manatech. Manatech is a combination of the steamcraft technology created by the dhervi, powered and enhanced with mana supplied by the mages. While some hang their hopes on this new technology to rid the world of the shoggoth, others see it as the downfall of a stable civilization and fight against the rise of the dhervi. The dhervi themselves are likewise torn: do they allow the mages to perish as justice for the subjugation imposed on them for centuries, or do they fight alongside mages to keep mana in existence?