History Main / MedievalStasis

20th Feb '17 12:34:07 PM Paireon
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* Subverted in ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' by the tinker gnomes. Societies have come and gone, especially with [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt The Cataclysm]] wiping out the most advanced empire on the planet and sending the rest into a downward spiral. But through it all, the tinker gnomes continue to plug away at their inventions ([[FailureIsTheOnlyOption doomed by the gods to fail, however]]). Despite their handicap, gnome ships sail the seas and rivers powered by steam (occasionally exploding); labor-saving devices process wheat (usually exploding); and other gnomish inventions milk cows, shear sheep, walk dogs, groom horses, and collect eggs (at the same time. While exploding. If you're lucky). The tinker gnomes' inventions are actually the ''cause'' of a lot of the stasis of the continent of Ansalon. Other races are so put off by the crazy and sometimes dangerous outcomes of the gnomes' technology that they don't have much interest in developing technology themselves.

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* Subverted in ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' by the [[BunglingInventor tinker gnomes.gnomes]]. Societies have come and gone, especially with [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt The Cataclysm]] wiping out the most advanced empire on the planet and sending the rest into a downward spiral. But through it all, the tinker gnomes continue to plug away at their inventions ([[FailureIsTheOnlyOption doomed by the gods to fail, however]]). Despite their handicap, gnome ships sail the seas and rivers powered by steam (occasionally exploding); labor-saving devices process wheat (usually exploding); and other gnomish inventions milk cows, shear sheep, walk dogs, groom horses, and collect eggs (at the same time. While exploding. If you're lucky). The tinker gnomes' inventions are actually the ''cause'' of a lot of the stasis of the continent of Ansalon. Other races are so put off by the crazy and sometimes dangerous outcomes of the gnomes' technology that they don't have much interest in developing technology themselves.



** An extremely tongue-in-cheek article in a Dragonlance Splatbook describes one gnome's theory on constructing a giant span of strings sprawling across the continent, connecting every town and place of interest. Since the springs resemble an interconnected rope net, he calls it ''The Internet''. And given it's appearance to a spider's web, he suggests calling it ''The 'Web'' for short.
** Subverted by the continent of Taladas, whose gnomes are actually ''competent'' and are known as engineers rather than tinkers. Their inventions work much better, and so Taladas is more technologically advanced than Anaslon. In one of the more recent editions, Ansalon's gnomes were also freed from the "curse of the tinker" and are now considered engineers on the same level as their Taladas counterparts.
* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'''s city-plane of Ravnica has apparently been ruled by the exact same ten guilds for ten thousand years. This is handwaved to some extent by the existence of a powerful magical pact binding them all, and some change seems to still have happened (it's hard to picture the fractious slum-dwelling Gruul Clans having been the way they are 'now' from the beginning, for one thing). Still, considering how much happened in the same time in real life (basically all of recorded history), it's probably a good example of [[SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale Game Designers Having No Sense Of Scale]].

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** An extremely tongue-in-cheek article in a Dragonlance Splatbook describes one gnome's theory on constructing a giant span of strings sprawling across the continent, connecting every town and place of interest. Since the springs strings resemble an interconnected rope net, he calls it ''The Internet''. And given it's appearance to a spider's web, he suggests calling it ''The 'Web'' for short.
** Subverted by the continent of Taladas, whose gnomes are actually ''competent'' and are known as engineers rather than tinkers. Their inventions work much better, and so Taladas is more technologically advanced than Anaslon. In one of the more recent editions, Ansalon's gnomes were also freed from the "curse of the tinker" and are now considered engineers on the same level as their Taladas counterparts.counterparts, so Ansalon may soon start to emerge from the stasis.
* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'''s city-plane of Ravnica has apparently been ruled by the exact same ten guilds for ten thousand years. This is handwaved to some extent by the existence of a powerful magical pact binding them all, and some change seems to still have happened (it's hard to picture the fractious slum-dwelling Gruul Clans having been the way they are 'now' from the beginning, for one thing). Still, considering how much happened in the same time in real life (basically all of recorded history), history, plus as much time in late prehistory), it's probably a good example of [[SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale Game Designers Having No Sense Of Scale]].



** Later it turns out that the Elves (the ones form Ios anyway) are even ''more'' technology advance than the other other races as they have laser guns (or guns that fire magic laser beams) and force feilds.

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** Later it turns out that the Elves (the ones form Ios anyway) are even ''more'' technology advance advanced than the other other races as they have laser guns (or guns that fire magic laser beams) and force feilds.fields.



* [[EnforcedTrope Enforced]] by Rokugan's ruling samurai caste in ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings''. Technology and magic are both very stringently regulated, with a strong cultural emphasis on the "Celestial Order."

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* [[EnforcedTrope Enforced]] by Rokugan's ruling samurai caste in ''TabletopGame/LegendOfTheFiveRings''. Technology and magic are both very stringently regulated, with a strong cultural emphasis on the "Celestial Order."Order" (parallels with the Tokugawa Shogunate [[FantasyCounterpartCulture are completely intentional]]).



* Traditionally Martian society in ''TabletopGame/RocketAge'' has strictly regulated the maintanence and modification of technology, as most of what the Martians use was originally made by the Ancients, giving it both religious importance and a need to preserve what could otherwise end up being LostTechnology. This is slowly changing as Earthlings have arrived on the red planet, although the principality of Kirtal has begun improving, repairing and advancing on their own.

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* Traditionally Martian society in ''TabletopGame/RocketAge'' has strictly regulated the maintanence maintenance and modification of technology, as most of what the Martians use was originally made by the Ancients, giving it both religious importance and a need to preserve what could otherwise end up being LostTechnology. This is slowly changing as Earthlings have arrived on the red planet, although the principality of Kirtal has begun improving, repairing and advancing on their own.



* Tamriel in ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''. [[labelnote:The reason]] The Dwemer, the ''last'' race to advance beyond the medieval level, were instantaneously banished from the face of the world (or [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence used their newfound knowledge to leave voluntarily]]--it's a subject of much in-universe debate) when they attempted to scientifically reproduce the powers of a god.[[/labelnote]] According to the descriptions in the book ''2920, The Last Year of the First Era'' (found in ''Morrowind'' and ''Oblivion''), the technology of that date was pretty much the same as it is in the games. ''Oblivion'' is set at the end of the third era (after its main quest, era 4 begins), which is 1,330 years after the events described in the book, so technology was stagnant for at least 1,330 years, maybe more. Seeing as man and mer only existed for ~7,000 years, this actually makes it worse because it means that they were in stasis for at least 20% of their existance. On the other hand, ''2920'' is historical fiction, so it might simply be in-universe AnachronismStew.

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* Tamriel in ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''. [[labelnote:The reason]] The Dwemer, the ''last'' race to advance beyond the medieval level, were instantaneously banished from the face of the world (or [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence used their newfound knowledge to leave voluntarily]]--it's a subject of much in-universe debate) when they attempted to scientifically reproduce the powers of a god.[[/labelnote]] According to the descriptions in the book ''2920, The Last Year of the First Era'' (found in ''Morrowind'' and ''Oblivion''), the technology of that date was pretty much the same as it is in the games. ''Oblivion'' is set at the end of the third era (after its main quest, era 4 begins), which is 1,330 years after the events described in the book, so technology was stagnant for at least 1,330 years, maybe more. Seeing as man and mer only existed for ~7,000 years, this actually makes it worse because it means that they were in stasis for at least 20% of their existance.existence. On the other hand, ''2920'' is historical fiction, so it might simply be in-universe AnachronismStew.



** Averted in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' and the other Ivalice Alliance games, where the further you go along the in-world timeline the more things have gone to hell, mostly likely due to the sort of turmoil caused when your religious warfare gets even the gods involved. In ''Final Fantasy Tactics'' mention's made of how they no longer have the technology to make airships and by ''Vagrant Story'' even magic's been largely forgotten.

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** Averted in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXII'' and the other Ivalice Alliance games, where the further you go along the in-world timeline the more things have gone to hell, mostly likely due to the sort of turmoil caused when your religious warfare gets even the gods involved. In ''Final Fantasy Tactics'' mention's mention is made of how they no longer have the technology to make airships and by ''Vagrant Story'' even magic's been largely forgotten.



** For that matter, ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' had some pretty heavy MedievalStasis going on, with 4000 years of stagnation caused by the constant vaxing and waning of mana and repeated predations on all the world's nations by the Desians. [[spoiler:It eventually turns out that this is due to a system intentionally set in place by the KnightTemplar BigBad to prevent the humans from inventing {{magitek}} devices again and setting off another great war. The hero's defeat of the BigBad is, then, [[NiceJobBreakingItHero responsible for the later war which almost wiped out mankind and pushed the survivors back to a midieval level]].]]

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** For that matter, ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' had some pretty heavy MedievalStasis going on, with 4000 years of stagnation caused by the constant vaxing waxing and waning of mana and repeated predations on all the world's nations by the Desians. [[spoiler:It eventually turns out that this is due to a system intentionally set in place by the KnightTemplar BigBad to prevent the humans from inventing {{magitek}} devices again and setting off another great war. The hero's defeat of the BigBad is, then, [[NiceJobBreakingItHero responsible for the later war which almost wiped out mankind and pushed the survivors back to a midieval medieval level]].]]
20th Feb '17 9:34:04 AM Paireon
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** Possibly justified in that most technological advancements are developed by Gnomes, which in and of itself is a reason for other races to want to steer clear. When other people see a toaster that uses multicolored explosions and flying serrated blades in its standard operational process, most will decide they don't need their bread warmed up that badly.

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** Possibly justified in that most technological advancements are developed [[BunglingInventor by Gnomes, Gnomes]], which in and of itself is a reason for other races to want to steer clear. When other people see a toaster that uses multicolored explosions and flying serrated blades in its standard operational process, most will decide they don't need their bread warmed up that badly.
20th Feb '17 7:19:04 AM Paireon
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* The only major innovation in the past century of ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' has been the development of the 3DMG. Everything else is firmly planted in the late end of the Dark Ages (or in the case of the Inner Walls, the Victorian/Edwardian periods). [[spoiler: Justified. The Central Military Police have been seeking out and murdering any intellectual thinkers who pushed people to ask questions and seek answers, as well as people who tried to innovate. One unlucky couple was two steps away from inventing a working hot air balloon before the Central MP stepped in. They justify this by saying it ensures stability.]]

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* The only major innovation in the past century of ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' has been the development of the 3DMG. Everything else is firmly planted in the late end of the Dark Ages (or in the case of the Inner Walls, the Victorian/Edwardian periods). [[spoiler: Justified. [[StateSec The Central Military Police Police]] have been [[GovernmentConspiracy seeking out and murdering murdering]] any intellectual thinkers who pushed people to ask questions and seek answers, as well as people who tried to innovate. One unlucky couple was two steps away from inventing a working hot air balloon before the Central MP stepped in. They justify this by saying it ensures stability.]]



* The world of ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' has been in the Middle Ages for the last millennium or so. [[ZigzaggedTrope However,]] during this time span the world has seemed to have progressed through TheLowMiddleAges and the HighMiddleAges, and is currently in a stage that seems to combine TheLateMiddleAges with elements of TheRenaissance and TheCavalierYears.

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* The world of ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' has been in the Middle Ages for the last millennium or so. [[ZigzaggedTrope However,]] during this time span the world has seemed to have progressed through TheLowMiddleAges and the HighMiddleAges, and is currently in a stage that seems to combine TheLateMiddleAges with elements of TheRenaissance and TheCavalierYears.TheCavalierYears (this is more or less the time it took for real-world European cultures to progress through these stages).



* ''ComicBook/RequiemVampireKnight'': progress of any kind is considered taboo and outlawed by [[BigBad Count Dracula's]] edict, with any technology that finds its way into Résurrection being buried by the [[MadScientist Archaelogists]] in order to prevent it from falling into the hands of those that would over throw the current regime. The society itself relies on demonic magic, though some technology is available in form of air / spaceshps. However, only Dracula and the Archaeologists are the ones allowed to use any advanced technology.

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* ''ComicBook/RequiemVampireKnight'': progress of any kind is considered taboo and outlawed by [[BigBad Count King Dracula's]] edict, with any technology that finds its way into Résurrection being buried by the [[MadScientist Archaelogists]] in order to prevent it from falling into the hands of those that would over throw overthrow the current regime. The society itself relies on demonic magic, though some technology is available in form of air / spaceshps. spaceships. However, only Dracula and the Archaeologists are the only ones allowed to use any advanced technology.



* The DeconstructionFic and satire, ''Fanfic/TheConversionBureauNotAlone'' makes the case of how the ponies' dependency on magic has made them arrogant in several ways, and completely and utterly unprepared for bullets, bombs and missiles. And then in its sequel fic ''Fanfic/TheConversionBureauConquerTheStars'', [[spoiler:the [[ProudWarriorRace gryphons]] (being similar to humans in terms of history) deliver what was essentially the killing blow to Equestria in the war they declare on them, just by being much more technologically advanced]].

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* ** The DeconstructionFic and satire, ''Fanfic/TheConversionBureauNotAlone'' makes the case of how the ponies' dependency on magic has made them arrogant in several ways, and completely and utterly unprepared for bullets, bombs and missiles. And then in its sequel fic ''Fanfic/TheConversionBureauConquerTheStars'', [[spoiler:the [[ProudWarriorRace gryphons]] (being similar to humans in terms of history) deliver what was essentially the killing blow to Equestria in the war they declare on them, just by being much more technologically advanced]].



* The ''Axiom'' in ''WesternAnimation/WallE'' plays with this. As far as we are shown, all the robots and technology on the ship has remained the same, with variations being only being cosmetic differences ("Blue is the new Red!"). Justified because the people on board have everything provided for them (causing them to go extremely fat), and the ship is run by robots, who have set objectives, none we see are dedicated to R&D. Some things have changed however. We see the captains get fatter (and more cartoonish) in one scene, but they also live progressively longer.

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* The ''Axiom'' in ''WesternAnimation/WallE'' plays with this. As far as we are shown, all the robots and technology on the ship has remained the same, with variations being only being cosmetic differences ("Blue is the new Red!"). Justified because the people on board have everything provided for them (causing them to go extremely fat), and the ship is run by robots, who have set objectives, none we see are dedicated to R&D. Some things have changed however. We see the captains get fatter (and more cartoonish) in one scene, but they also live progressively longer.longer (implying that medical knowledge and technology to deal with the health problems inherent to obesity have progressed, at least).



** WordOfGod has it that MedievalStasis ended entirely from the Fourth Age on due to the Elves' magic no longer stopping the world from "changing", and that Middle-Earth is the world we live in many thousands of years ago. V-J Day at the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII in this chronology marks the transition between the Sixth and Seventh Ages. However, all the magical and otherworldly aspects of Middle-Earth slowly faded away until only Men and material things were left (although the hobbits and goblins are said to have lived on in hiding, the goblins even designing some of mankind's nastier weapons). The Elves of the First Age didn't have modern technology because they didn't ''need'' it; they had all sorts of magic and magical materials that allowed them to make things like the aforementioned flying ship.

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** WordOfGod has it that MedievalStasis ended entirely from the Fourth Age on due to the Elves' magic no longer stopping the world from "changing", and that Middle-Earth is the world we live in [[TheTimeOfMyths many thousands of years ago.ago]]. V-J Day at the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII in this chronology marks the transition between the Sixth and Seventh Ages. However, all the magical and otherworldly aspects of Middle-Earth slowly faded away until only Men and material things were left (although the hobbits and goblins are said to have lived on in hiding, the goblins even designing some of mankind's nastier weapons). The Elves of the First Age didn't have modern technology because they didn't ''need'' it; they had all sorts of magic and magical materials that allowed them to make things like the aforementioned flying ship.



* Steven Erikson's ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' is an extreme example: The world has a history stretching back three hundred thousand (300,000) years and more, yet technology is still medieval (except for the existence of dynamite-like munitions). Lampshaded and justified by Samar Dev in ''The Bonehunters'': She noted (lamented, really) that the power of The Warrens means will never really have a need to strive for technological solutions to their problems. If they can't magic it, they'll just buy or trade for what they need from another race.

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* Steven Erikson's ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'' is an extreme example: The world has a history stretching back three hundred thousand (300,000) years and more, yet technology is still medieval (except for the existence of dynamite-like munitions). Lampshaded and justified by Samar Dev in ''The Bonehunters'': She noted (lamented, really) that the power of The Warrens means they will never really have a need to strive for technological solutions to their problems. If they can't magic it, they'll just buy or trade for what they need from another race.
15th Feb '17 1:30:41 PM gb00393
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* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Westerosi technology has not improved significantly over at least the last thousand years. In fact, ancient marvels of engineering such as the Wall are implied to be built on LostTechnology, and no one has been able to figure out how to make more Valyrian steel (though experts can rework it).
15th Feb '17 7:40:22 AM JahBulOn
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*** Said opposition has nothing to do with technology and everything to do with money. House Corrino receives a set fee for each fold-jump. The new heighliners are able to carry 20% more cargo. This means that less jumps would be required to move the same amount of cargo or number of people. Thus, House Corrino would receive fewer profits.

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*** Said opposition has nothing to do with technology and everything to do with money. House Corrino receives a set fee for each fold-jump. The new heighliners are able to carry 20% more cargo. This means that less fewer jumps would be required to move the same amount of cargo or number of people. Thus, House Corrino would receive fewer profits.less profit.
14th Feb '17 10:39:16 PM KeithM
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* In Turtledove's "The Road Not Taken", the secret to antigravity (and a related effect, faster-than-light travel) is really easy for a species to stumble across and use, even with Stone Age technology. The only problem is that antigravity has no relationship to other fundamental forces, so it doesn't help you to understand any other science or require understanding of other forces, like electricity, and with practical antigravity there's no driving need to develop more advanced technologies. As a result once a species discovers antigravity its other technological development stalls out at whatever it was at when the secret was discovered and stays there until they stumble across another species that advanced slightly further before discovering it themselves. The most advanced empire in the galaxy was at the level or primitive muskets, mass linear battlefield tactics and basic gunpowder bombs when they find it, and they crush their opposition as they conquer planet after planet. And then they invade Earth, which has gone into the middle of the 21st Century having not discovered the secret yet. The invasion...[[CurbStompBattle doesn't go well]]. The invaders are horrified to realize they've just handed the keys to the galaxy to a species who are unimaginably more advanced.
23rd Jan '17 12:22:31 PM Morgenthaler
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* The world of Erna in the ''ColdfireTrilogy'' has been stuck at the same tech level for a ''thousand years'' thanks to the fae. It turns out YourMindMakesItReal doesn't mix very well with technology: for example, worrying about a gun jamming/misfiring will make it happen, and humans can't help but worry. Furthermore, all of the advanced technology possessed by the original colonists who landed on Erna was lost [[spoiler:when one officer sacrificed all of it, including the colony ship itself, to make the fae into FunctionalMagic that humans could safely use.]]

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* The world of Erna in the ''ColdfireTrilogy'' ''Literature/ColdfireTrilogy'' has been stuck at the same tech level for a ''thousand years'' thanks to the fae. It turns out YourMindMakesItReal doesn't mix very well with technology: for example, worrying about a gun jamming/misfiring will make it happen, and humans can't help but worry. Furthermore, all of the advanced technology possessed by the original colonists who landed on Erna was lost [[spoiler:when one officer sacrificed all of it, including the colony ship itself, to make the fae into FunctionalMagic that humans could safely use.]]
6th Jan '17 4:02:49 PM KamenRiderOokalf
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** Timeline A, containing ''VideoGame/TheLegendofZeldaALinkToThePast'' through ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink'' has first a lengthy period of stasis, but then averts the trope in a strange way as there is a great technological regression. There is, after the long period of stasis, a clear loss of historical and architectural knowledge, loss of more complex clothing technologies, a large population crash, and the loss of much of the SchizoTech artifacts such as juke boxes, telephones, hardhats, etc.

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** Timeline A, containing ''VideoGame/TheLegendofZeldaALinkToThePast'' ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast'' through ''VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink'' has first a lengthy period of stasis, but then averts the trope in a strange way as there is a great technological regression. There is, after the long period of stasis, a clear loss of historical and architectural knowledge, loss of more complex clothing technologies, a large population crash, and the loss of much of the SchizoTech artifacts such as juke boxes, telephones, hardhats, etc.
4th Jan '17 12:35:39 AM LinTaylor
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** An attempted avertsion comes from the Moriya Shrine characters, who transferred to Gensokyo from the Outside World relatively recently and are attempting to introduce more advanced technology like hydroelectric dams and even nuclear power. This isn't just for Gensokyo's advancement but because Kanako, one of the shrine's patron goddesses, wants to shift her godly domain to technology so she can [[GodsNeedPrayerBadly get more worship]]; she's also the one responsible for the aforementioned hell-crow. However, when they discuss this in one of the official manga, Kanako remarks that it'll take a few generations for any of their ideas (even lesser ones like a cable car) to be implemented.
31st Dec '16 7:24:12 AM Doug86
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** WordOfGod has it that MedievalStasis ended entirely from the Fourth Age on due to the Elves' magic no longer stopping the world from "changing", and that Middle-Earth is the world we live in many thousands of years ago. V-J Day at the end of WorldWarII in this chronology marks the transition between the Sixth and Seventh Ages. However, all the magical and otherworldly aspects of Middle-Earth slowly faded away until only Men and material things were left (although the hobbits and goblins are said to have lived on in hiding, the goblins even designing some of mankind's nastier weapons). The Elves of the First Age didn't have modern technology because they didn't ''need'' it; they had all sorts of magic and magical materials that allowed them to make things like the aforementioned flying ship.

to:

** WordOfGod has it that MedievalStasis ended entirely from the Fourth Age on due to the Elves' magic no longer stopping the world from "changing", and that Middle-Earth is the world we live in many thousands of years ago. V-J Day at the end of WorldWarII UsefulNotes/WorldWarII in this chronology marks the transition between the Sixth and Seventh Ages. However, all the magical and otherworldly aspects of Middle-Earth slowly faded away until only Men and material things were left (although the hobbits and goblins are said to have lived on in hiding, the goblins even designing some of mankind's nastier weapons). The Elves of the First Age didn't have modern technology because they didn't ''need'' it; they had all sorts of magic and magical materials that allowed them to make things like the aforementioned flying ship.



* Zigzagged in the ''Literature/{{Destroyermen}}'' series' backstory. Prior to USS ''Walker's'' arrival in the books' AlternateHistory in 1942, the last time the Lemurians advanced much technologically was by moving their entire race onto giant seagoing "Homes" centuries ago in order to escape the series' BigBad, the reptilian Grik, by crossing the Indian Ocean to the islands of southeast Asia. The stasis returned partly because there was no driving force for innovation (why mess with what works), and partly because of a trade secret-hoarding guild system that developed in some Lemurian cultures. It takes the Grik finding them, coupled with an influx of WorldWarII-era technology from human ships, to knock them out of the rut once and for all.

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* Zigzagged in the ''Literature/{{Destroyermen}}'' series' backstory. Prior to USS ''Walker's'' arrival in the books' AlternateHistory in 1942, the last time the Lemurians advanced much technologically was by moving their entire race onto giant seagoing "Homes" centuries ago in order to escape the series' BigBad, the reptilian Grik, by crossing the Indian Ocean to the islands of southeast Asia. The stasis returned partly because there was no driving force for innovation (why mess with what works), and partly because of a trade secret-hoarding guild system that developed in some Lemurian cultures. It takes the Grik finding them, coupled with an influx of WorldWarII-era UsefulNotes/WorldWarII-era technology from human ships, to knock them out of the rut once and for all.
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