Technology Loki: Chapter 19
Creature technology is, obviously, not fire-based like our own. Instead, it is mainly based on weaving. It is believed that their technology started with crude weapons such as clubs and stone or obsidian knives, which were later carved into more intricate and useful shapes. Another early ``invention'' was weaving, which was probably first manifested in nets built for the purpose of either carrying items or catching small fish. In later generations, the creatures learned how to make nets large and strong enough to contain the largest of predators. Such nets were huge, taking weeks to build, and were commonly deployed over entire villages as defense. Other devices included weapons similar to spear-guns.
One interesting early innovation which is still used today is the method of building dwelling places: certain seaweeds are woven into the general shape desired. Numerous coral-like animals are then placed over this frame and secured into place with other woven plants. A resinous secretion made by some sessile animals can also be used as cement to anchor things together. Over time, the coral animals grow together, forming a hard shell, impervious to most predators. The coral animals benefit from small scraps and waste left by the creatures, and the creatures benefit from the shelter provided.
Another powerful force in this world is flotation. In more recent times, larger structures have been built with flotation balloons inside to keep the structures from collapsing. The balloons, actually resembling half-spheres, are woven from fine-stemmed plants and lined with resinous secretions. Gas bubbles are generated by some plants or captured from vents in the ocean floor. Thus, enormous structures can be built without anything resembling pillars for support. More recently yet, it has been discovered that, by using a relatively small amount of energy to boil water, the energy the steam that is produced makes available is more than adequate to compensate. Large towers are built of obsidian, using difficult-to-find animals and plants which are resistant to heat as chinking. Water is then boiled at the base through a variety of possible means, including harnessing lava, and the resulting steam bubbles are used to power turbines, set to a variety of uses. Thus, almost all creature ``factories'' have a similar look---a tall, black tower with hot water (which, if you recall, is visible to them) streaming out the top.
With the advent of electricity in some civilizations, a common city design has been seen: several towers near a vent, surrounded by a three-dimensional network of coral houses, and a strong net around that. Electricity may then be transported in varying amounts to any of the residences for heat.
In ancient times, superstitions abounded as to when the life-giving volcanic eruptions would occur. Some were eventually shown to be reliable. As technology increased, the creatures learned scientifically to predict where and when eruptions and vents would begin or end. It is rumored that a few civilizations have the capability of actually causing eruptions, but such claims are unsubstantiated.
Another recent advance is pressure vessels which allow the creatures to venture to great heights in the oceans, even possibly to the surface in the near future.
Sat Feb 18 00:31:33 MST 1995