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Mad Tinkering

Jared Terwilliger, a mad tinkerer of the Setward Isles
     In the Elements Realm of Untamed Empires, the years after the Pulse War were a desperate struggle for survival. The Barriers sucked all the Pulse from the global power grid, and since nearly all technology used Pulse as a power source, nothing worked any more.

     As the years went by, scientists started to work on getting the best technology working that they could. By Yr150, the first steam-powered devices were appearing, and it didn’t take long for people to take some scrap Celestium from a broken Artifact of the War years, augmenting the technology. These were the mad tinkerers, as they became known, the dangerous experimental fringe of academic science.

Science And Mad Science

     In Yr208 the famed philosopher, social commentator and scientist Zachi Da Benecasa (Yr174 - Yr249) wrote:

     Of the Celestium Empires’ many imports to the Setward Isles, the one with the greatest impact has been steam-based technology. Although the standard ship of the line and musket work exactly as one would expect them to, experimental devices full of whirring cogs and gizmos have quickly opened up the land’s secret horizons to great changes. Steam-powered digging, diving, and chess-playing machines have progressed past the ‘blowing-up dangerously’ stage to the much more useful stage of ‘occasionally blowing up while still providing useful functions’.

     Most steam technology rests in the hands of engineers trained in the far-off New World, although local tinkerers with less academic understanding of the craft are on the rise. These homegrown mechanists modify the shining brass and rivets tested in grand academies with bits of rope, leather, and other scavenged material. Often this jury-rigged steam tech is inscribed with signs of spiritual significance and decorated with feathers and garish paint to the point that it’s unrecognizable as a tool of man. Ever since the Glass Kraken incident six years ago, local governors have been under pressure to crack down on these upstarts. Like most calls from above, however, they have been widely ignored.

     Science and steam tech change the world on a daily basis, constantly coming up with new and impressive solutions to problems you never knew you had. There is one category of scientist, though, which gets treated warily even by their peers… those who fuse Celestium into experimental steam devices. The results can be truly remarkable, but are just as likely to leave a truly remarkable crater in the ground. ‘You don’t have to be mad to work here,’ the sign above the workshop door reads, ‘but you do need to be flame resistant and have a well-written will’.

     These people distill Celestium tinctures and lotions with random ingredients, using themselves as test subjects. They take Artifacts and plug them into house-sized automatons, just to see what happens. And every one of the Celestium Empires has secret labs of these madmen trying to get the best hybrid technology before their rivals. Hence why so much effort goes into finding Celestium.

     Composed of a dizzying array of knobs, levers and cranks around a core of lost technology, the results of these tinkerings have a fearful reputation. And typically the ability to vaporize a small town or turn the entire populace into mindless zombies. Imperial laboratories are well monitored and an ocean away… it’s the maverick inventor genius who moves to the Setward Isles to get away from the scrutiny of the empires who’s the real problem for the locals.

Mad Tinkering In The Varlinian Soke

     The Varlinian Soke was a particularly interesting place for tinkerers. Church doctrine stated that Celestium could only be used for works of art glorifying Trinity? and the Avatars, but a small number of scientific-minded clergy found a way to use Celestium in more than statues and icons. After all, they reasoned, doesn’t a well-formed nautilus with a hull shaped by the most divine of mathematics and crewed by the righteous celebrate Rokar? and Wara?, the twin Avatars of craftsmen and creativity?

     With such a narrow focus on perfection, Church scientists worked at a slower pace and more methodically than their secular brothers. As a result, their efforts tended to be more pleasing and user-friendly. On the downside, advanced technology was incredibly difficult to find in land governed by the Soke and even more expensive than elsewhere. On a more personal level, any up-and-coming mechanist with an idea was in for a long, boring series of debates and hearings before being allowed to build it.

Realms > Mortal Realms > Elements > Untamed Empires
Features Of Realms > Technology

Created by: Last Modification: Monday 01 of June, 2009 20:50:49 UTC by MMK.

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