The printing press was invented in Ashenia in the 350s, with 358 being the date usually attested. The invention is credited to Sevael Turan, who was later ennobled by the king for his efforts.
Why no one had previously thought of carving letters, words and pictures into rearrange-able blocks of wood, none could fathom. Mr. Sevael however, remained humble despite the amazement of the King and the University officials. He pointed out the difficulty of getting an even coat of ink, the skilled labour needed to carve wooden blocks for illustrations, the wear that quickly rendered the individual wooden letters useless, the fact that he was forced to devise a significantly less elegant script in order to make the printing process practical and numerous other minor flaws.
The press was the cause of a major diplomatic incident some years later, when the plans for the press were appropriated from Sulvan's Fury through unofficial channels by Marrik Sunder, and returned to Jarrland. The design was then openly sold at the Fourth Raaneki Games to a number of attendees in 392, much to the horror of the kingdom of Ashenia, which had until that time maintained a fairly strict control over its dissemination.
A cold war between Ashenia and Jarrland ensued for nearly thirty years, eventually being settled in the early 420s during the early reign of King Tansan. Jarrland provided court scriveners to Ashenia by way of compensation, and the peace was sealed by the marriage of King Athelmere's daughter Eirwynn to Tansan's son Prince Hazael. Jarrland and Ashenia thereafter operated a near-monopoly on the printing press and its necessary resources until the discovery of paper by Sycia in the 470s.