Many aeons ago, there existed a world called Utokron. It was a world of great civilization and enlightenment, where the inhabitants had developed a means of blending science and sorcery into a strangely harmonious force. Using this advanced skill and knowledge, the Utokronians developed their culture to dazzling heights, managing to eliminate war and disease, and relegate virtually all menial tasks to machines and constructs, leaving them with much leisure time in which to perfect many disciplines of art, music, and study.
As such stories typically go, however, this paradise was not eternal. Though accounts of exactly what precipitated the calamitous end of Utokron, some say it was greedy overuse of the world’s resources, others some new technological development that was put into use before its consequences could be adequately considered, the entire planet was torn apart in a devastating cataclysm that left it just another collection of barren rocks floating in the unforgiving vacuum of space.
Though most of the Utokronians perished in this disaster, some managed to escape, and the weary refugees wandered long and far in search of a new home. After generations of searching the stars, they finally located an uninhabited planet with conditions that were conducive to colonization. Recognizing that they were now a new people, and to keep ever present in their minds the power that had stripped them of their homeworld, they named their new world Mechanicus.
The leaders of this exodus were a cadre of technomages that had foreseen their world’s destruction, but whose warnings had fallen upon deaf ears. Eager to avoid another such occurrence, the mages established strict laws governing the uses of both magic and technology, and in a rather extreme (but deemed to be necessary) step, they pooled their skill and power and covered the entire world in an arcane aura that would actually limit the technological development of the world.
Mechanicus is very similar to Earth, in terms of its biological, chemical, geological, and meteorological patterns. Though the continents and landmarks would not be recognizable, it has different seasons, climate zones, and environments. Vast oceans cover swaths of its surface, and the land contains forests, mountains, plains, swamps, and other such familiarities. The weather can occasionally be difficult to predict, as usage of magic will occasionally disrupt the conventional weather patterns, but the Council of the Arcanum works diligently to minimize this.
The most unique aspect of the world is that, due to the magical aura it has been infused with, any technology more advanced than clockwork mechanisms and steam engines will simply not function. The technology is not permanently damaged in any way (although, to a spacecraft that enters the planet’s atmosphere and suddenly flies about as well as a boulder, this may seem a moot point); it will resume normal function once it leaves Mechanicus.
In terms of flora and fauna, Mechanicus is both similar and dissimilar to Earth. Plants and animals strikingly similar to those found on the Blue Planet coexist with creatures summoned and altered through sorcery, and even beasts who have partially or totally merged with the world’s curious technology.
Mechanicans physically resemble humans, although it is not uncommon for them to have incorporated elements of their esteemed clockwork technology into their own bodies, whether to compensate for an injury or other physical deficiency, or simply to allow them to better perform some function. While many might consider the limitations placed on their technology a serious hindrance, the Mechanicans have developed within this restriction to an almost staggering degree, and are masters at adapting their existing technology to be as versatile and adaptable as possible.
Their personalities run the gamut, but as a whole they tend to be devoted to their families and their world. They also highly value expertise, and the respect accorded to an individual has less to do with what they do, and more to do with their dedication to and mastery of it. A simple laborer will hold his head as high as an archmagus or a master tinker, provided that their labor is considered to be of high quality.
Their leaders are the descendents of the original technomages that orchestrated the escape from the death of Utokron, some related by blood, and others initiated into the order after having demonstrated the necessary aptitude for their art. In addition to general administration of the planet’s governance, they also directly oversee the usage of all sorcery. Though they are as prone to disputes and conflicting personal agendas as any other government, they maintain a strong devotion to preserving their world and culture. Perhaps the most legitimate criticism that can be levied against them is that they do sometimes veer dangerously close to zealousness, in this regard.
Locations of Note
The largest city on Mechanicus is its capital: Cogopolis. Though other settlements are scattered across the planet, often near some hub of travel or important resource deposit, the center of government and culture is here. It is a massive sprawling city, one whose growth was very obviously dictated by need more than by any careful planning, and crossing from one street to the next can lead a visitor suddenly standing in a completely different type of neighborhood. Crime and pollution are not exactly rampant, but they exist, and a visitor should be prepared to take the necessary precautions if they decide to go wandering without a guide.
Within the city, one of the most notable landmarks is the Keep Arcanum. Despite the rather medieval-sounding title, it is a wondrously advanced structure, having employed by magic and clockwork mechanics to create a truly unique edifice. The lower levels are open to all, and contain cultural and historical records, administrative offices, and a college of sorts where inclined Mechanicans can study and test their aptitude for the arcane.
Another location of note is Voidsteam Station. The station hovers in the sky above the planet, right on the edge of the atmosphere, and through the unique synthesis of sorcery and limited technology, actually contains a fully supportive interior environment. It is also the closest that most ships of higher technology can get to the planet, and those who come to Mechanicus for business may dock their vessels here and arrange for transportation to the world’s surface. It serves as a “customs office,” of sorts, where the rules and expectations are explained to outsiders, and as such, anyone magically transporting themselves to Mechanicus is expected to make their arrival here (although first-time infractions are usually subject to nothing worse than a firm warning), unless given special authorization by the Technomages.
- Anyone with the requisite knowledge (which would include most characters with some background in interstellar affairs or arcane practices) and ability can come here.
- Upon arrival on the planet (defined as being within its atmosphere), anything of a technological nature more advanced than what you would typically find in a steampunk setting (which usually means anything more advanced than clockwork or steam technology) will simply cease to function. Such tech will resume function immediately upon leaving the planet.
- Anyone is welcome to create their own NPCs, locations, organizations, etc, within the boundaries of the OP. Likewise, creation of Mechanican characters is also fine. PM me with any questions about doing so.
- Site and CVnU rules apply, as per usual.