Archive for April 18th, 2019

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Printing in the Sea of Stars (A to Z, P)

18 April, 2019

The Empress has pushed printing forward as a technology, as it supports her goal of an efficient Imperial administration as does her promotion of education.  The Empress feels that the dispersion of knowledge is a good in and of itself and printing aids in that task.  The Imperial press is jointly overseen by the Judge (for legal affairs), the Minister (for governmental documents) and the Sage (for everything else) while the Herald is usually tasked with seeing the printed materials distributed throughout the Sea of Stars.

Printing pressesThe various scholar-towers of the City of Borusa have all invested in their own presses and churn out monographs and scholarly works on a wide variety of esoteric subjects.  These works are exported across the Sea of Stars and are occasionally in great demand and reprinted (with or without permission and license).

Most major cities produce broadsheets of news and opinion which are then slowly dispersed throughout the countryside, first to towns and then to villages, spreading throughout the land as quickly as coaches and riders can carry them.  Some states attempt to control the use of printing with greater (the Dark Star Dominion) or lesser (the Eosiant Kingdom) success through the use of various strategies: licensing, control of supplies, censors and other such means of control.

The elves mastered the use of wood carving for printing, while the dwarves pioneered the use of metal and stone movable type but both are now widely used across the lands.  Printing presses are occasionally enhanced by alchemical treatments or magic, there are even rumors of print golems and elemental powered presses.  Works of poetry and fiction, philosophy and warfare, engineering, history and magic are all published and sent around the Sea of Stars, this proliferation of written works encourages and supports literacy even in the far corners of the world.

Notes: More excuses for literate characters across the world.

ImageL Many types of printing press, with details of their mechanisms. Engraving by William Home Lizars after himself, 1830. Wellcome Collection. CC BY.

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