Heaven’s Ash

Rising above the surrounding hills and forests like mountains in their own right, the grandest emanations of Syjéral and the greatest of the kami serving the daughters of Sylithandríël are the lórréra, the World Trees.

Far above any dryad, naiad, or lesser emanation, the scattered handful of lórréra work together with the mechal elementals produced and commanded by the dweomerbergs to manage the planetary ecology.

A massive, mountain-sized tree with a blue glow hovering around its branches.

The World Trees, like the lesser dryads, are trees at heart, albeit unusually large and healthy ones, optimized to produce through their natural processes the energy needed to support their other functions. Each of the lórréra is, beneath the bark, an unthinkably complex biocomputer composed of complex arrays and meshes of lignoneurons laid down within the xylem. This system and its animating intelligence are sufficient to model in real-time a complete picture of the lands, woods, and waters around the lórréra, and make such adjustments as the model calls for to maintain stability.

The lórréra exist in a world of continuous communication. They exist as major relays within the same delicate electromagnetic tapestry as the other mechal elementals, with metallic deposits embedded in their lignoneuron-stived xylem serving as their antennae, of course, but more subtly they are participants in the complex web of ecological communication around them. In this, the obvious bluelife bioluminescence is the least part; the intertwining roots and rhizomes of a mature lórréra can cover half a continent, and in doing so, touch all the life thereupon with chemical signals of breathtaking subtlety.

Is it any wonder, then, that we, too, should have learned to communicate with them, and they with us? While thaumaturgical lore – the knowledge of the mechal elementals and the art of reading and commanding them – remains well documented, there remain only fragments of its origins, and that of much other ecological and silvicultural lore – in the shamanic practices of the Emergence, going back into the Gloaming, when eldrae first learned to underhear the electromagnetic whispers of the World Trees, and to attempt deeper communion with nature by crude pagan rituals involving the consumption of their sweet, nanite-rich sap.

(It is also from fragments dating from the Emergence that we have the tale of one Sárvis, called “the Ill-Wit”, who commanded the tribe of which he was king to fell one of the World Trees that he might build for himself “a hall like none other that ever was, or ever would be.” Upon attempting this, his tribe were plagued by ills “as if all the spirits of nature rose against them”, until Sárvis pledged himself to be slain among the branches of the offended lórréra to appease its wrath. The surviving fragments do not record the success or failure of this gambit, or whether or not his people survived.

None have attempted to repeat such grand folly in all the centuries since.)

– A History of Nature’s Artifice and the Thaumaturgy of Machines,
Enneagram Press

Vol. 6: Mechal Elementals

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.