How did the Last Sea deal with the loss of psychic powers?
Probably not very well.
On the other hand, it would be strange if the Order didn’t know about the purest psionic bastion left to the world. If you come from the theory they do know about it, then it would be natural to assume they would take action to preserve it.
The Order must know of Saragar - there may even be Saragarn natives within its ranks. I’d go with it taking the Mindlords by surprise, restricting their ability to manifest and that of the Lawkeepers to keep a lid on things. You’d have had several days, maybe even a week or more before enough people twigged to what was going on and the authorities’ inability to enforce things.
I suspect the MIndlords themselves would have swiftly been able to develop some form of localised shield to protect themselves (think the shield crystals the Order had). If they appeared on the streets and used some judicious psionic trickery they would have been able to hold things together long enough to avoid societal collapse, at least in Saragar itself. In the Valley discord and rebellion would have been much more likely to happen if the PCs don’t sort things fairly quickly.
It’s also likely that the Psionatrix field would have devastated the integrity of the Border of Guardians making visits by strangers, animals and magical beast escalate massively - which would have raised the pressure on the Lawkeeper garrisons in the Valley to boot.
Of course, as soon as normal service was restored people would have shut up about it immediately for fear of being harmonised.
There’s also the issue that the MIndlords would have swiftly found out what had happened and who was responsible. There’s the possibility that Kosveret if no-one else might have started surreptitiously knocking off surviving Order members in retaliation - maybe the Mindlords actions/enmity explains why the Order hasn’t managed to rebuild after Pharistes’ downfall?
As I recall in the adventure, it was characterized as a wave of interference, so something that radiates outwards rather then instantly covers the entire planet. It affected Tyr before the rest of the tablelands for instance.
In Psionic Artifacts of Athas it’s sad that it was used to dampen all psionic power in the Tyr region (before being destroyed).
The original artifact could only inhibit all power within a mile for 3 hours, something carried over in the Athas.org version, with a 10 mile range when used in it’s supports.
Also keep in mind, it didn’t wipe out psionics, it increased the cost (quadrupled originally and in the Athas.org version doubled the cost and stopped all psi-like abilities).
IF the wave managed to make it as far as Saragar (in my opinion it didn’t) they would have still been able to function, just not as easily. Dregoth’s impact when realigning the elemental conduits affected the entire world, but the Psionatrix didn’t.
Psionic Artifacts of Athas tries to quantify what was essentially a Plot McGuffin in DSE1. The invoked power’s radius is 3 miles; the psionatrix academicia sheet from the adventure makes plain the support apparatus can increase its powers tenfold - that would only extend the field to 30 miles from Dasaraches and that would barely reach the Forest Ridge.
Athas.org’s Legends of Athas reduces the field to a 1 mile radius which is increased x10 with the apparatus - so an even smaller 10 mile radius. I scrap the pre-destruction Psionatrix write up in both PAoA and LoA and run with DSE1’s version (the post destruction fragment left however…)
Page 5 of Dragon’s Crown states that the entirety of Athas is covered by the field in Part 1 of the adventure - suggesting that although the field doesn’t move at the speed of light (or anywhere near it), its not moving at a snails pace either - within days it would have reached the Last Sea. I prefer the idea of everything being affected - it also explains why the Kreen EMpire is so intent on getting to the Hinterlands - it would have been devastated by the Psionatrix field so it makes sense they’d be out for revenge against the squishy mammals.
The whole idea that the Psionatrix would be destroyed by the PCs is absurd. The PC that got control of the Psionatrix would have a font of limitless psionic power.