(This dissertation, while based on the research, is for the most part something I have observed players doing in their RP, as there is little to no official information on Technomages in the lore. Please take this with a grain of salt and liberty! The image is taken from Guild Wars 2 art collection as it seemed fitting.)
It is no secret that the methods in which sorcerers all over Azeroth applied and honed their skill have changed and improved over time. New spells and new ways are practiced within the various mage circles every day. Ancient spells get new applications and new results are documented. Among many of these new discoveries a niche found its place - Techno-magic.
The Alliance has made a huge leap forward in terms of our technological advancement. Helicopters, jet-packs, tanks, air ships and weaponry, you name it and it will be either provided or developed. Technology has been known to turn the tides of battles on numerous occasions. Arcane magic is know to be one of the most powerful yet destructive forces on Azeroth. It should come as no suprise that someone out there decided to see what would happen if they could unite the two. It should also come at no surprise that the three main races that seemed to have taken that route are Gnomes, Goblins and Dwarves.
What, or rather, who is exactly a techno-mage? To this date I could not find a fixed definition of what is or can be classified as a techno-mage. So rather than putting them in a box I have decided to outline what I saw techno-mages do:
- Techno-mages can create or enchant a piece of equipment with magical qualities.
- Techno-mages have the capability to engineer a piece of technology that draws the power and reaction from magic sources, such as leystones or crystals with high amount of arcane power stored in them. Think a battery.
- Techno-mages have the skill and the knowledge to manipulate metals and ore that is known to possess magical qualities, and shape it in a way that would net the user specific defensive or offensive, as well as utility quality.
Each race has its own aesthetic when it comes to crafting their engineering masterpieces. Where Goblins can create something powerful, it will have this rugged look to it, whilst gnomes and dwarves have their creations appear more polished. However, I will not be getting into the different in their technology. The one thing that unites the three races is the fact that they can wield magic.
Based on the three things I have observed techno-mages do, I come to wonder if it works the same way any magic works? Depending on the caster, their mental state and the magic they use, indeed, one has to possess not only the skill to bend the metal correctly, but also engineering prowess so that one function does not override another but rather work together in unison. Explosions among the practitioners of techno-magic are not a rarity, unfortunately.
While the niche exists, there are currently not a lot of practitioners for it. In some circles the skill to make technology and magic work together is a skill to be commended, while some tinkers are considered a danger to the society, and not just for how the volatile the method still is, but the potential dangers it may cause. A truly skilled techno-mage is rumored to have the ability to override the opponents mechanical augments. It is understandable that if such skill is ever to be pinned against allied forces it could lead to the disastrous events.
Just like any magic, other races that choose to express interest in such curious craft can master it with time. Practicing Techno-magic is not and never has been forbidden.
Will we see more techno-mages and tinkers emerge in the future? Possibly.
Will the regulations against them be put in place? Perhaps.
Does this kind of sorcery bring something new to the table? Absolutely, and it shouldn't be restricted. At least as it is now.
Addendum: Samuel Cooper Edit
Through my various readings and studies at the library of Sarceline I came across a dissertation from a one, Kikki Steinmore, “Dissertation: Technomages. Disaster or Next Evolutionary Step?”. A fascinating read approved by the Wizards before my time. I wish to add my voice to this dissertation, assuage some concerns, and update developments in the field from the perspective of a learned magic user and engineer. It in no way comes as a surprise that alongside the war machine that is the Grand Alliance our technology has jumped considerably again since last writing. Our allies have repaired and utilized space travel with the aid of the Light and our own colleagues in Dalaran have mastered mass travel systems capable of expending copious arcane energy to move great works or armies. With the discovery and utilization of Azerite, the empowered blood of a titan, the world of technology has exploded from mere baubles to empowered weapons of mass destruction that may yet prove Theramore to be a minor footnote in our history.
All is not lost, however. The material is exceedingly expensive and difficult to procure even with a ceasefire in place, and the potential for mishandling is quite high as it proves to be more volatile than a container of Fire Crystals. The previous write up indicated that Gnomes, Dwarves, and Goblins were the primary namesake of such technomancy. I disagree. From the paper, “ Techno-mages can create or enchant a piece of equipment with magical qualities. - Techno-mages have the capability to engineer a piece of technology that draws the power and reaction from magic sources, such as leystones or crystals with high amount of arcane power stored in them. Think a battery. - Techno-mages have the skill and the knowledge to manipulate metals and ore that is known to possess magical qualities, and shape it in a way that would net the user specific defensive or offensive, as well as utility quality. “*
The classification is not incorrect but these are values I myself already work into our everyday R&D. Take for example the invention of the Imperium Class Armor. I have created an armor from the Harvest Watcher Chassis that utilizes a mineral for cooling, Smokite, an enchanted power crystal, Arcanocrystal, and reinforced enchanted ablative plates. Normally, these would be procured from a mage circle or from an aftermarket vendor but instead I have created and implemented them myself. I’m a human. Further, I’ve been able to begin work an a Power Core of sorts that uses grains of Azerite surrounded by the Smokite wind swirls and then I’m hoping enchanted with the strength of the Earth to ground it in place reducing the need for plating or the threat of explosion from a mere jostle.
The foresight of this mage is something to be commended however. The advent of Technomancy is becoming slowly more commonplace but our own Regiment, however, sticks to the old ways more often than not and fears magic...let alone my own inventions. The idea is to make our weapony more potent, the risk minimal, and our cohesion a thing of wonder. If I could procure the needed materials to create a small foundry at Sarceline we could produce enchanted arms and armor that would make the Lord Commander blush and our elite soldiers shine.
These gifts do not to be squirreled away. Much of my own time has been spent honing my gift in enchantment alongside engineering to reduce overhead material cost and the penchant for explosives that Technomancy gives way to; even more so than regular engineering. My colleague warned of dangers...caution. These can be mitigated with simple Abjuration and approved personnel. I wish merely to educate that my craft and the creations there-in are not a thing to be alarmed about or watched with a suspicious eye but a craft to be honed and passed on to those who come after us. The school of Enchantment has always been a way to improve and enhance what we have. Engineering a way to progress forward while mitigating loss...these two naturally work together. The might of the Arcane empowering and giving life to weapons of war, bulwarks of peace, and engines of progress is a wonder I shall continue to cultivate. I hope others will join me.