The Clockwork Lands
“What once was a paradise, greed has transformed to a hell. This is what the Corporations call progress.” Ovin Trastrapotal, Elan Bard
Government: Plutocratic Technocracy
Major Settlements: Crucible (27,300), Gaytes (27,960), Pyroness (29,675), Havacord (28,900), Treadwell (11,298)
Ruler: Dr. Heinrich Brandenburg, CEO of Gaytes Enterprises
Major Races: Boggles, Blues, Dromites, Gnomes, Goblins, Half Giants, Humans, Kobolds, Ratkins
Major Religions: Linium, Eshsalqua
Resources: Iron, Copper, Tin, Coal, Petroleum, Manufacturing, Shipping
There is little known about the area before the Clockwork Lands arrived. It was a verdant region with tall cliffs that overlooked the sea, and a mild climate. The Clockwork Lands changed that. It brought tropical breezes, bits of jungle, and an industrious workforce ready to revel in the treasures that nature had provided them. The Red Cliffs that overlooked the Clockwork Lands were rich in iron, copper, and tin. The forests and jungles provided hardwoods, coal, and petroleum to fuel the factories.
When it was landed, the Clockwork Lands were in turmoil. The ridged cast system that had existed since the founding of the Clockwork Lands was showing cracks as workers begin to organize. The four major Corporations, Gaytes Enterprises, Havacord Mechanics, Imperial Dynamics, and Crucible Industries were at war. Corporate espionage had given way to assassinations, thievery, sabotage, and occasionally street battles. Minor Corporations were looking for blood in the water, and Imperial was dealing with a civil war between the founder’s son CEO Magnus Galwater and the largest stock holder, the arch-artificer Emmanuel Pyron. The tipping point came when Crucible unveiled the Crucible Mark 1 Multipurpose Golem. The reprogrammable inexhaustible golem who could go from worker to soldier in an instant was heralded as the marvel of the age. It put Crucible in firm control of the Clockwork Lands. It helped that they aided Pyron in the destruction of their chief rival Imperial, and the creation of Pyrodyne Heavy Industries. The autonomous Mark 1 were used to quell worker uprisings, and made the streets safe for citizens and workers.
By the time the Mark 5s entered the market most menial manual labor and repetitive manufacturing was being done by golems. This led to uprisings in the lower social strata caused by lack of jobs and poor living conditions. An influx of Porphyran refugees had made a bad situation worse. A sorcerer from the worker caste by the name of Koseem Treadwell began to gather followers after demonstrating his “dominance” over the powerful military golems the Corporations used as security. Soon a device called Null Gauntlets began flooding the streets. With a touch these gauntlets could render any golem inert. For a time it appeared that the days of the Corporations were numbered, but greed would be the undoing of the Progressives. Treadwell with his partner Xevid Gozen, a Blue and master artificer sold the secrets of the Null Gauntlets to the Corporations in return for enough starting capital to get Treadwell Defense Industries off the ground.
The Corporations maintain a heavy handed control over the Clockwork Lands. The streets have been under martial law since the early uprisings, not that the citizens notice. The executive caste is made up of the masters and board members of Corporations. They are the government of the Clockwork Lands, and their word is law. The life of a citizen is one of corporate sponsored consumption and leisure where they are waited on by golem servants built to cater to their every need. The negotiators are the public face of the Corporations. Most are psionicly gifted and are both feared and revered. The artificers are showered with praise and worship. They are beholding to their employer, but tend to make up the rules of engagement. They are celebrities; both famous and infamous. Most of the worker caste does demanding physical labor such as mining for little reward. The religious caste maintains a balance between keeping their rich patrons happy and seeing to the wellbeing of the less fortunate. The casteless are the underhand of the corporations. Not officially existing they make a living doing the dirty work the Corporations cannot be connected with.
Crucible: The capital of the Clockwork Lands and the headquarters of Crucible Industries, Crucible is the very definition of efficiency and precision. The citizenry are conservative compared to the other corporate enclaves. Even the golems are streamlined and reserved. The Rail Carriage is looked upon as the world’s best mass transit system, and always runs on time. Crucible is the center for golem design and manufacturing which is the Clockwork Lands chief export.
Gaytes: The city by the sea, Gates is known for its illuminated buildings, posh casinos, and sparkling night life. It is also the headquarters of Gates Industries which makes personal magic items and home conveniences. Gates is also the center for the growing sports of golem fighting and arena dueling (sometimes referred to as sorcerer baiting).
Pyroness: The phoenix city which rose from the ashes of Imperial Dynamics, Pyroness is on the forefront of alchemical and medical research. The sanitariums and medical facilities of Pyroness are considered miracles in their own right. Here the largest temple to the Forgefather towers over the city keeping it safe and prosperous.
Havencord: It is said of Havencord there are three golems for every resident, and that statement is not far from the truth. The gleaming city of machines, Havencord is the heart of education for the Clockwork Lands. Havencord Mechanics produces personal learning devices, educational tools, and information systems; Havencord the city produces research mages, engineers, alchemists, and artificers.
Treadwell: Called the city of traitors by some, Treadwell presents the face of the perfect host city, but beneath the friendly smile is a hard attitude. Treadwell is the chief producer of top of the line personal defense systems and magical military gear. Treadwell sells their wares to anyone or anything that can afford their weapons of war.
During the last Innovation Cycle, what outsiders would call an election, the Gaytes Corporation took the leadership chair with the anti-gravity, self calculating abacus called the Math Pad. Pyrodyne Heavy Industries, who presented golem based prosthetics called Forgeware, and the church of Linium have called for an external audit of the results. Forgemaster Ella Suradam who made the initial inquiry has disappeared, and Brandenburg and his cronies are doing their best to silence the outcry.
There has been a rumor that in the city of Treadwell there was a golem that said no, and it was recued from destruction by agents of the church. An urban legend for the better part of two centuries, the awakened golem has been a bard trope and the center of speculative stories, but the idea that golems are evolving both fascinates and terrifies the Clockwork Lands. The city masters will admit there was a theft of a prototype golem, but will say no more on the matter.
Stories of cults are commonplace in the Clockwork Lands especially those belonging to Eshsalqua. There is a tale that comes from Crucible that a son of a board member barely escaped death at the hands of his own father. He claims that if not for the actions of a mysterious ratkin druid called the Arbiter he would have been sacrificed to Eshsalqua. He was put in a Pyroness sanitarium for his “own protection.” The story would have ended there, but the Arbiter has been credited with the destruction of a northern manufacturing facility belonging to Crucible. Survivors of the attack mentioned seeing a ratkin with glowing blue eyes on the back of a white tiger commanding the stones to erupt from the ground and purge the land of Eshsalqua’s corruption. He was accompanied by a half giant warrior, a kobold in shining armor, and female human sorceress who bore a striking resemblance to Brandenburg’s eldest daughter, Elsa.
Gearhead You grew up tinkering with machines both magical and mundane. Gain a +1 Trait bonus to Disable Device or Use Magical Device. That skill is always a class skill for you.
Negotiator’s Child You may not be a psychic like your parents, but you know enough about body language and tells that you can fake it well. Gain a +1 trait bonus to Diplomacy or Sense Motive. That skill is always a class skill for you.