thanatos wrote:Having reread HG, I also came across another aspect of Arcanan society that could further hamper their development. Gadriel comments to Jasak that Halatyn (and all magisters for that matter) zealously guards his research. The Shakira magisters and magistrons are even less willing to share their research and new discoveries, probably in order to maintain some sort of "technological" edge over their competitors, rivals and outright enemies. So how then would you disseminate groundbreaking changes and breakthroughs in technology? I presume that they might have something like patent laws on Arcana but I'm equally certain that enforcing them is an issue, particularly when some Gifted individual can recreate any spell or application of magic in the privacy of his home without anyone knowing about it.
Not sure that the breakthrough is disseminated at all. I do believe that the devices are created, but the actual spell is not. I may be wrong, but that's why recharging the more difficult spells is problematic. I doubt that there is something intrinsically preventing magisters and magistrons from replicating those spells. Some Gifted won't understand what the particular elements of the spell and Why it is important for the overall effect. There seems to be an interplay between the universal laws of physics and arcane technology, after all.
Complex spells then, are like unique programs written in a computer language specifically written for that program using a computer and interface that's idiosyncratic in all ways to the creator of the spell. Unless a magister or magistron understands both the program, the language and the idiosyncrasies behind the creation of the spell; copying the spell won't work. Copy write protections would have to register all those trade secrets so that the law would protect them from infringement. Better to keep the idiosyncratic elements secret.
Ransarans focus on producing magistrons argues this assumption is accurate. The magistron creates the animals and would know how to adjust any spells that are tailored for that animal. It is easier to buy enhanced animals than go through the effort to reproducing the alterations and spell work necessary to generate the desired effect. The magistron can patent the specific variety of animal to prevent anyone else from breeding and selling the enhanced animals commercially. Revealing secrets is not necessary to disseminating the innovation.
If there was a reliable way to safeguard magister's spells beyond withholding the secrets, the Shakira would be equally wealthy to the Ransarans as a whole. The Shakira wouldn't need to have an underclass to support them in their study and research into magic. Since the research into magic is the entire point of a Shakira's life, they would use the most efficient system possible to promote their research and the advancement of magic. Because this is not the case, one assumes that there is no effective protection to prevent the use of spells from being stolen.
I would suspect that production lines for basic spells that are no longer secret are open to anyone who wants to set one up. The more complex spells are far more difficult to obtain, even for the Army. That's why the Army had its own research facility to produce those effects it needed and could not get from the Shakira. Also why Gadriel was booted out of the Mythal Falls Accademy. If she had stayed, she would have had access to the base research necessary to replicate too many of the complex spells the Shakira controlled.