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Playing With: Medieval Stasis
Basic Trope: A society has remained stagnant technologically (and perhaps culturally) for a long time.
  • Straight: The Kingdom of Genericland still has the same tech, borders and ruling dynasty as when they were founded a thousand years ago.
  • Exaggerated: A man emerges from stasis after twenty million years and can't tell the difference.
  • Downplayed: Nothing has changed in the kingdom in a hundred years.
  • Justified:
    • Another society is manipulating things behind the scenes.
    • Alternatively, people are just VERY traditional and that causes history to repeat itself again and again, allowing for no great changes.
    • Or a previous, possibly extinct society had And Man Grew Proud issues so either the local gods or the society itself try to have it remain on a tech-level where things can't result in random self-extermination.
    • Severe isolation has kept technological development of others from reaching the town, while it's small size insured it had very few advances of it's own.
    • The society was designed with certain "instructions" programmed end that ended up, either through failure to follow or because they were followed, prevent technology from going forward.
    • People (SCA, reenactors, etc) like it that way and don't change because it would ruin the fun.
    • Environmental factors, like lack (or presence) of certain resources, mean that Genericland either can't support an industrial revolution on the scale that other countries did, or never needed to. What use is central heating if there's no wood nearby and the weather is always temperate, anyhow?
  • Inverted: See Lensman Arms Race.
  • Subverted:
    • The stagnant society is a facade for a much more advanced one.
    • The world still looks and acts like a medieval one, but Schizo Tech more advanced than even today's is present.
  • Double Subverted: Which itself hadn't advanced for centuries.
  • Parodied: Genericland has not advanced since the beginning of time itself.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Another country, one that is a thousand years ahead, invades and conquers easily. It then turns out that this other country has been at the same a thousand years ahead level for two thousand years.
    • See the entries for Clock Punk and Schizo Tech
  • Averted: Genericland does not have any absurd levels of technological stagnation.
  • Enforced: The work is a sequel, far separated in time from the original but the creator didn't want to change the feel of the work too much.
  • Lampshaded: "Did you notice how we're all still using horses to plow when Advancilvania next door has tractors?"
  • Invoked: An especially bright peasant designs a device you mount on your plow that drills holes in the soil for seeds...a "seed drill", if you will. His neighbors give him funny looks, and the local sheriff gives him a clunk on the head for "thinking beyond his station"...
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: he leaves for next-door Advancilvania and builds it there. Assuming there is an Advancilvania.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: Genericland is an insulated bubble kingdom that expels its creative and inventive people and has a massive conspiracy to maintain the status quo, and eventually gets overrun by the world that passed it by.
  • Reconstructed::
    • But then something like a Cataclysmic event happens and reverts it back to the stone age, meaning that Genericland is the only land that does not devolve into chaos.
    • Alternately, Genericland and all the world around it are constantly experiencing new intellectual ideas, political upheavals and social changes. The reason everyone is still swinging swords, wearing armor and driving horse-drawn wagons is because gunpowder and the internal combustion engine simply don't work in the world's science.

Back to Medieval Stasis. You'll notice Brother Gerard did a fine job on the illumination of the initial "HTML".

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