Among the first known of all nanorobotic machines were the so-called mechal elementals, the maintenance mechanisms of Eliéra. While the common conception of that artificial world is that its ecology is maintained and guided by the computation and matter editation layers buried in its core, this perception is false – these are merely the most prominent elements in a complex system.
These nanorobotics have existed for the entire history of the eldrae on Eliéra, and from long before, having been part of the world since its construction by the Precursors. This is reflected in their names and taxonomy, since long before robots, mechanicals, or even simple clockwork automata were dreamed of, the ancient eldrae knew them as elemental spirits, emanations of Sylithandríël, eikone of the natural world, and Her first six children/souls, the Six Elemental Dragons.
The traditional taxonomy of the mechal elementals reflect this origin, as they are classified under their presumed elemental aspects, including such elementals as the silt spawn and stone mothers, responsible for counteracting the long-term secular erosion of the mountains; the cloud shepherds and smoke sylphs in the air; wave undines and river carvers; soil churners of the fields and the dryads of the forests; the magma krakens that churn the fires below and the flame swallows that govern their release; and the gemlords and ore ants known to generations of miners and tunnel explorers.
In the modern era, of course, we know all of these to be nanomechanical systems, part of the planetary maintenance architecture answering to the central computation layer. That said, since these systems are now overseen by the archai Sylithandríël and Her subroutines, the ancient theological view is now arguably more true than it was at its inception; and, indeed, the archai maintains the validity of the old lore of elemental beckoning, bargaining, and abjuration that the ancient eldrae painstakingly discovered to deal with the alien animating intelligences of “wild” mechal elementals before the Transcend, despite the ability to communicate directly via gnostic link.
Many of the mechal elemental designs have been repurposed for use as ecopoesis tools elsewhere. This volume describes both these, and also those mechal elementals most commonly seen in the wild and in history, along with both the modern and ancient protocols for interacting with and commanding them.
First, we describe the elementals of the Air, the emanations of the Air Dragon…
– Concordance of Robotic Systems and Animating Intelligences, 221st ed.