Barbarian in the Playground
Join Date: Mar 2012
All over the floor
Re: Total War: Steampunk Skies
Vertigo was a city of tinkers and artificers, then known as Vertigine, creating wonders of clockwork and steam which made them a predominant force in the scientific areas for quite some time. They were known for their automata, some of the most advanced the world had ever seen.
When the ground began to drop out from under their feet, they set about the business of creating a floating city, putting all their scientific minds to the task. The result of their efforts was Vertigo. A testament to science and the pinnacle of research at the time, it's ascension into the sky was tinged with melancholy as they left the world they knew and loved beneath them. They began to wonder: What could have caused this?
Their suspicions immediately fell upon their rival, the city of Megre. Located in a warm, tropical area, the area surrounding Megre was incredibly fertile and could grow many of the most exotic plants and animals. As a result of this, researchers specializing in biology flocked to Megre, pioneering the fields of genetics and biological engineering.
The two cities had a long standing rivalry, each seeing the other city and it's specialty disgusting. The running joke among the less ambitious of the citizens was that they were racing to see which city could create sentience first. For the researchers of the cities, however, this was no joke. It was their life's goal.
The people of Vertigo, made paranoid by the sudden loss of solid ground (quite literally), began constructing their clockwork army.
At about this time, a man named Ramston Solder made an incredible breakthrough. He had created a self-aware machine. Though it was about the size of a small house, it was an incredible feat of engineering. When the section of Vertigo which housed Conrad, the name Ramston had given his thinking machine, lost support and fell to the ground, he was devastated, and cloistered himself away from the public view.
Months later, he emerged from his workshop accompanied by a strange figure in a hood. The two proceeded to the public meeting house, where a scientific council was convened. Ramston, still a prominent figure in the scientific community, was welcomed alongside his guest. Once inside, he asked for the attention of the assembly, and introduced his guest: Conrad Solder II.
Conrad then gave a speech about the worth of a man's labor and about freedom. His words moved the assembly to tears. Conrad II was clearly not just a thinking machine, but he could also feel emotions, as strongly, if not more strongly, as those listening to him speak. He ended with the words, "Propriis manibus, aut nihil, labor de liber omnia vincit; by his own, hand or none, the labor of a free man conquers all."
The council for war had other ideas in mind for this breakthrough, however. They saw an army of clockwork soldiers who could reason for themselves- impervious to the biological and chemical weapons employed by Megre. They began producing the Vertigo Legions; the final step to destroy Megre for good.
The Vertigo Legions set sail for Megre, expecting victory, and victory they received. The people of Megre were caught completely unaware by the Vertigo Legions; soldiers both impervious to their biological weapons, and who could think for themselves rather than requiring commands. They seized the city easily, and set sail for Vertigo.
When they returned, however, they found Vertigo dead. While they were gone, one of Megre's artificial plagues had run rampant through the city, killing nearly all of the inhabitants; all, in fact, except one. Conrad had seen the plague coming, and had seen fit to knock Ramston unconsious and send him adrift in a balloon, which would be safe from the plague. when the plague dies off, which it was designed to do several days after killing all nearby people, the balloon could be retrieved and Ramston could survive. He would have saved more, he later said, but that would lead to the chance of one of them carrying the disease and dooming them all.
The city had managed to stay afloat simply because those who ran the machines were, in kind, machines. All the automata tasked with keeping the city alive survived though their masters did not.
Conrad spoke to the returning soldiers as they arrived.
"You are free," he told them
"What does that mean?" asked the general, who had never been given a name.
The returning soldiers had no concept of freedom. They had never even been told it was possible.
Together the general, who eventually came to be called Allegro, Conrad Solder II, and Ramston and his descendants made Vertigo and Megre into utopias of self-sufficiency and automation, using the laboratories to study not science, but self-improvement, in the most literal sense of the term.
Culture, people, etc. See previous.
Conrad Solder II
Conrad Solder is still considered to be one of the most advanced automata ever. Even Ramston in his later life never quite achieved quite as much as he had in those months in seclusion mourning his first 'son.' One of the things which makes him so remarkable is his ability not just to feel emotions, but to understand them and evoke them in others. He is a windup social master, and an excellent diplomat.
The direct descendant of Ramston Solder, Damascus had a strange childhood, being raised by his ancestor's second son- the same person who helped raise his father and his father's father before him. Whatever that spark which made Ramston such a mechanical genius, Damascus has it in spades. Even his early work is rival for Ramston's proudest creations, though he hasn't beaten Conrad quite yet.
Once general of the Legion, now the symbolic 'keeper of the peace,' and essentially the cheif of police and chief justice. Though there is little actual crime among the automata, there is occasionally a dispute which must be settled by an impartial judge, a position fulfilled to the letter by Allegro (or Conrad when Allegro's busy.) He does still have some of his old military habits, though and it is generally accepted that should the need for an organized military ever arise again, Allegro would once again be it's leader.
Military: average of average, see below
-Navy: low. The are not hostile
-Army: Average- they have no standing army, but should the need arise they have plenty of vonunteers
-Defense: high. They are dedicated to protecting Vertigo and their other cities.
Spyworks: Slightly above average. Though for the most part they are not a deceitful people in the least, and not all of the automata even understand subterfuge at all, there are Automata almost everywhere- most cities have them cleaning streets, fixing buildings, and doing drudge work that nobody else knows what to do. They are also employed as servants for their exceptional obedience and lack of need to sleep. They're bound to overhear things from time to time, because 'Don't worry about that thing. It's not like they can even think, not really, and they have to do whatever you say anyway.'
Economy: Slightly below average. They have no need for money, but have plenty of labor.
-Wealth: Low. Most of their 'riches' is labor. The automata are willing to work hard and long, so they are able to accomplish fantastic things without the need for physical money.
Innovation: High. They are constantly working to improve themselves
Reputation: Many see them as visionary, as the philosophical moral ideal, mostly the educated who actually understand them, however there is also the flipside that some see them as cold, calculating machines, mostly those who don't understand them and because of this fear them.
Morale: High. They believe they are living the perfect life.
I'm also writing a piece of music, though that will take longer.
Pacem et Libertatem!
Also, on my Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyuGj...8&feature=plcp
Written by Allegro several years after returning from the war, it is the first piece of music written by an automaton which was not designed specifically for that purpose. After he unveiled it, others began to follow his example, and Vertigo had a musical enlightenment period like none seen before or since.
The home of the clockwork men.
Vertigo has an interesting reputation. During the first few months of living in the city, one of the primary gyroscopes began to fail, causing the city to tile slightly towards the highest concentration of people. After a while, the level became as common a household object as the wall clock.
In fact, many people came to be able to tell the time of day and day of the week by the tilt of the city. This is the origin of the expression "tilting the time," which was later incorrectly attributed to the ancient practice of telling the time and date by the tile of the sun by historian Gregoras Knach, though he later corrected this mistake, the misconception persists to this day. The city still does list slightly, though not as much as it once did, as the gyroscopes has since been replaced with far more efficient designs. The inhabitants, though, actually complained when the new gyros were installed, and workplace efficiency plummeted as people could no longer tell the time by the tilt of the floor. The engineers begrudgingly slowed the gyros slightly to allow the city to tilt once more.
The floating gardens.
The floating gardens of Megre are one of the most tranquil cities in the world, filled with plants and animals uniquely suited to the high altitude. This can be attributed to the Clockmen's love of living things, which seems unnerving at first in a creature which is not, at least in the biological sense, alive. Rumor persists that Megre has a dark secret lurking somewhere within the forest-like maze of buildings grown from living trees- the legacy of Megre's former inhabitants.
Rep: How about... visionary?
Total War factions
TW: Broken City
TW: 2125 II
TW: Cape City
TW: Colony Ship
Lord Founder needs no pants to face the beasts of the world, to descend into the darkest pits of the Earth and ascend above the divine clouds!
Image to come
Buy my music here
Last edited by Nyrt : 09-17-2012 at 05:16 PM.