Motes in the Serpent's Eye
The Guild of Scientific Spellcraft
The Guild promotes cooperation between magic and technology, with an emphasis on magic as the highest form of mortal endeavor.
In the Dragon Empire, magic and technology are the two pillars upon which galactic governance rests. Neither rules the day, for both have their limits and unique fields of expertise. Consequently, there have long been those who have believed that the secret to true power was in the mastery of both. The Guild of Scientific Spellcraft is made up of those who share this belief. Guildsmen combine the boons of technology with the magical aptitudes to gain greater powers than would be possible by limiting themselves to only one. In this respect, they are much like the technomancers, except that the Guild emphasizes magic over technology, which it considers the highest form of mortal activity. This attitude has its origins in the original founders of the Guild, many of whom were sorcerers and who associated magic with nobility. To this day, there are a surprisingly large number of sorcerers among its members, including the majority of its governing council.
Despite this, the Guild does not disdain technology— far from it. They recognize it as the key to the control of the galaxy. Without many technological wonders, the Dragon Empire would be impossible. Consequently, many Guildsmen are as astute in the fields of science and technology as any mechanist. They cultivate understanding of their inner workings and governing principles, since they see in them the foundations of the universe itself. Guildsmen likewise respect the skills of mechanists and other workers of technology. They consider them the finest craftsmen in the galaxy, particularly gnomes and dwarves, who were among the first to raise technology to its present levels of sophistication.
Yet, technology is a craft, not an art. It is menial and even crude. It is also profoundly limited. Technology can build starships but it is magic that allows them to live up to their name. Without the starcasters that only magic can fashion, these mighty vessels could not form the basis for a galactic empire. Magic is thus the true key to the universe.
These attitudes reveal the Guild’s primary focus: using technology to enhance the efficacy of magic. The Guild was thus an early proponent of such advances as spellbook software, scrollware, and spellware, among other developments. Indeed, the Guild excels at the creation of spellware, the sale of which has made the organization quite wealthy, far more so than almost any other non-governmental group in the galaxy. Guildsmen are much sought after when a noble or aristcorp wishes to produce certain types of magical technology. Unlike the technomancers, scientific spellcasters have little interest in simply using magic to enhance technology. They prefer the opposite path, namely using the principles of science and technology to create newer—and more impressive—forms of magic.
Unsurprisingly, the Guild is viewed with suspicion by mechanists and technomancers, who consider it a snobbish clique. Such criticisms are certainly valid in many respects. In fact, many wizards are dubious of the Guild, if only because of the preponderance of sorcerers in its ranks. Many of the group’s leaders have pretensions of nobility and seek to make alliances with royal houses and the grand dukes. Not all Guildsmen follow this pattern, of course, but enough do that it has led to some resentment among wizards and those with more democratic sensibilities. At the same time, the Guild is home to many scientific arcanists of remarkable skill. It would be an exaggeration to say the Dragon Empire depends on them, but it would likewise be an error to discount the positive influence they have had over the millennia. Without scientific arcanists, the galaxy would be a far less pleasant and well-governed place.