"Let's go zapping!" Since magic works, there’s been a long knowledge of what electricity is. Being able to use it for something other than zapping people hasn’t been known for quite so long, though.

It’s been known for millennia that iron & copper conduct electricity. Large ironworks have used teams of magicians and electric forges when working with high meltingpoint metals. In the mid 4300s alchemists discovered that passing a current through a coil produced magnetism (experiments wrapping copper wire around retorts and blasting a lightning bolt along the wire; some of the retorts were iron….); in 4406, the inventor (?) demonstrated that one could produce electricity by moving a coil through a magnetic field, and in 4489, the Engineers Guild in Nerol produced a novelty generator that could produce enough voltage to be noticable, and in 4512, they produced the first experimental arc lights, which they tried unsuccessfully to sell to a variety of cities for illumination (the light spell, though expensive to buy as a permanent spell, provided much better - and quieter - illumination)

The field of electric research didn’t advance much in the next century, aside from some installations of electric arc lights in places where it was impractical to use magic. In the early 4600s, electricity was used for an unexpected purpose: communication. The Demos of the Horde, worried that their communications lines were insecure, set up electric telegraphs for secure lines between some of their arsenals. (Long-distance communications was dominated by magic: the Gate spell made it easier to just pass the article in question through the portal. But a Gate spell produced a formidable, and easily detected, magical field, and it was a well-known routine to open another gate in the area and observe what was going on around the existing one.) During their third war of independence with the Empire, the Demos managed to lay a substantial network of telegraph lines through the core regions of the rebellion. The electric telegraphs started up using arc lights for the receivers, but attenuation became a problem on the longer lines, so by 4650, relays had become the telephony gear of choice in the Demos. (In 4669, the Empire captured the secret of telegraphy from the Demos and used it in a limited fashion during this war.)

The next advance of electricity was in the starting years of the 48'th century. The first railroads that were built into large cities did so under protest from the inhabitants (and the city guard, who were understandably nervous about punching large holes in the city walls) of those cities, so, whenever possible, they were dug underground. By the 48'th century, some cities also had developed a subway system along the tunnels of these railways; every city with an extensive tunnel system had already realized the problem of smoke. Where they could afford it, the railroads had purchased Telekinetic pilot engines for moving things around in the city tunnels, but this was hideously expensive. In the 4800’s, some scientists had started playing around with using electric generators as motors, and by 4825, the first electric railway was demonstrated at the Festival of Arts in Nerol.

In 4831, the city of Marrephilahd completed the new City Loop subway, and contracted with the Khanate engineering firm (?) & (?) to install electric power on the subway. Even though there were numerous setbacks with the cars, the generating equipment, and everything else, it was a success, because it was clean. In 4836, the city of Nerol did a wholescale electrification of their horsecar street railways; in 4844, the cities of Cinnabar, (?), and (?) did the same.