So, consider a fantasy setting where the technology level is roughly early 1800s with a couple notable exceptions. There is a race of reclusive sentient beings that live on a remote island. These beings can fly (never mind that big feathered wings on the back of a human-like creature probably wouldn't allow him to fly), and are generally peaceful. However, their island is forever getting raided by pirates, since the island has certain rare agricultural goods that are luxuries on the mainland (specifically pineapples and coffee, but that's not salient to my question here).
These people have successfully fended off the pirates for quite a long time, losing no more than a few of their own number at every encounter. However, in the last ten years or so, the pirates have started to attack with fearsome weapons, and the flyers' technology can't match the pirates'. The elders of the flyer race have sent a number of envoys to the mainland to learn more about these weapons, to bring samples home, and to establish relationships that will allow their manufacture on the island.
Long story short, the development of firearms on the mainland is growing apace, and the envoys are learning as much as they can and trying their hand at developing specific defenses against ships bearing cannon and musketeers (well, not the French kind). ( Collapse )