When Nimue Alban's PICA awoke and integrated the briefings from her confedrates, dead for over 850 years, with the data from surveillance of Safehold, she determined that the best way to fulfill her mission was to "infect" Safeholdian culture with advanced Federation technology and ideas.
She adopted the persona of Merlin Athrawes, and entered Safeholdian society.
Existing Safeholdian technologyEdit
While the Church and its Inquisition made every effort to maintain their control and to prevent technological progress, cracks had begun to show by the late ninth century after colonization. Powerful nations had arisen around the world; while each of those nations still accepted the Church as the ultimate religious and temporal authority, the developing sense of national identity and priorities separate from those of the church was beginning to have a noticeable effect. While the Church was not yet threatened, it was concerned that if the balance of power among the other powers were to shift, some nation might become strong enough to consider defying it. In addition, the prevalence of corruption among higher church officials, and the underhanded tactics often used by the Church to maintain its temporal supremacy, had led to an increased perception that the Church hierarchy, at least, was often more interested in its own power and profit than in the spiritual well-being of the people of Safehold.
Also, despite Church restrictions, some technological progress had been made. Gunpowder had been reinvented nearly a century previously, having slipped through the Church approval process before anyone realized its military applications. Guns and cannons were still at a relatively primitive state, but were becoming more commonplace. Innovations in naval designs were fueling, and being fueled by, the rising fortunes of naval powers. reference missing
The most successful of these naval powers was the Kingdom of Charis, whose increasing wealth and influence placed it in a position to potentially alter the balance among the more powerful nations -- possibly directly, but more likely simply by inspiring other, larger nations to follow its successful and innovative example. The Church was also somewhat suspicious of Charis simply because, with the limited technology available, the long distance between Charis and Zion made communications and travel, and consequently careful monitoring and control, decidedly inconvenient. The Church hierarchy thus began political maneuvers to damage Charis's success.
The qualities that made Charis dangerous to the Church, however, also made it an ideal gestation ground for the now much-delayed period of technological rediscovery initially expected to conclude Operation Ark. reference missing
Technology introduced by MerlinEdit
These included the introduction of the abacus and Arabic numerals; water-powered cotton gins, spinning jennies, and looms; schooner rigging and copper-sheathed hulls for ships; improvements to gunnery including the flintlock, gunpowder, pre-measured and bagged charges, and trunnion-mounted cannon; and patent laws. reference missing