This is part 3 of a series. Part 2 can be read here. It's the same premise, in a different era.

Imagine that you live in France during the European Renaissance (roughly 1400-1500). One day, you and five friends have the ability to magically induce redox reactions at-will.

Each person can use this ability to effect a total mass of 3 tons, per day. They can control the speed of the reaction, the scale of the reaction and remove the need for any activation energy.

The goal of you and your friends is to exert economic dominance over neighboring polities using the least amount of this power.

You and your friends are in complete agreement about this goal and the means of achieving it. Nobody will be founding new religions around you or your powers. You have no foreknowledge of history. There are no particularly important figures for you to assassinate, though you could use this for warfare if it were cost-effective. Your environment and tools are otherwise typical of the time and place. The power can be used on yourselves, inanimate objects, and non-human animals.

How would you do this?

closed as off-topic by Mołot, Trish, StephenG, bilbo_pingouin, elemtilas Dec 8 at 21:39

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  • 1
    I just want to point out that this question can only be "answered" with movie/fiction logic on about the same level and world view of your average high school student. I have seen the other top answers from your previous parts, they basically say that you make some stuff that already exists more efficient. In reality, such a power makes little sense. We are dealing with quantum mechanics here. Unless you explain exactly what this power does, you might as well ask "what are important processes used during period X including redox reactions?" – Raditz_35 Dec 8 at 16:58
  • This is off topic, IMO, because you're effectively asking us to write your story or plot rather than comment on the underlying logic or self-consistency of your conceptual base. The former is the author's job, the later is what WB does. – StephenG Dec 8 at 20:59
  • I think that power really needs to be more specific for the question to be answerable. Can they really do any kind of redox reactions affecting any atoms anywhere on Earth for as much as they want until the total mass of the affected atoms reach 3 tons. And that each day? Is that really it? – bilbo_pingouin Dec 8 at 20:59
  • @stepheng That is not accurate. I'm not asking for a plot or story elements. This is merely an example, not mirroring an actual clique that is present or building a plot around them. I'm going to be working through building a setting, and need to consider how this ability will have impacted its development at various periods of its history. – user49466 Dec 9 at 0:23
  • @bilbo_pingouin I'd add that the effect needs to take place within clear eyesight of the user. Any redox reaction is within the bounds of this specific ability. – user49466 Dec 9 at 0:25

As it has been said in the previous posts you should be able to obtain precious metal from available natural minerals, you can also fertilize the the soil where those minerals remain packed or creating "instantaneous" compost, you can create diamonds from gas immitating the chemical vapor deposition method, and burn anything. Generally you would be able to create an explosive mix and blow it. If an element like sulfur is not available you might bring it with you.

Since your objective is econmical dominance you have to insure the following contidions: posession of your property, market dominance and benefit.

The benefit is assured by the nature of your power, you can create wealth from little ressources and you can do it faster than anyone at any place you can travel, so you can provide anything somebody is interested in buying faster than anyone.

The market dominance therefore would depend on your hability as a merchant. But you can easily overwhelm your competitors by your magical logistic capabilities.

Finally, you can defend from common thiefs with your powers (set their clothes on fire etc) but you might need a private army to protect from big thieves, like the ones that might be of noble origin. You will need protection from the temporal powers (unless you become part of the church) You will need to preserve you and your friends life specially, since that is your weak point, no magicians no product.

Now, in the historical period everything was owned by nobles (even you) so you posession will depend on your hability to gain their favor. You interests would coincide with those of expansionists leaders but oppose to the others.

You could try to gain a certain leverage on the nobles by separating and providing each warlord with one of the magicians.

Finally to gain control you would have to conspire to put you puppets into power. To have the support of the Catholic Church would be great advantage. Otherwise your control would be based on contantly mantaining the instability of the political system. You might be interested in participating of the invasion of England (Hundred year's war) in a large scale as a way of gaining lands and the status of noble.

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