Sunday, June 23, 2019

Chromatic Soup 03: Whirlpool of Gildedstar

Contributions by: Robbert Raets, Michael Kennedy, Tamás Kisbali and Evlyn M. 

The city of Gildedstar was a miracle of modern magic, channeling every thaum of energy their mana farms and mines could produce via leylines and underground mithril wires. When the ebb and flow of this system was outstripped by the demand for thaum, the Maintainers were created.

Originally intended as immobile rote-automatons ritually feeding excess energy from peak production into a massive whirlpool inside an artificial lake and retrieving it during hours of high demand, the Maintainers gradually awoke to a higher awareness and sense of self. When the first among them to experience this and express a desire to leave the confines of their assignment were 'retired', the remainder wisely feigned intellectual indolence. 

As Gildedstarite society disintegrated in the approach of Sunset, the Maintainers were left to their own devices, and their own need to survive - the whirlpool that was the shackle of their existence for countless decades now proved to be the tool of their liberation. Escaping into the roil of the Astral, the Maintainers realized that although they needed no physical nourishment themselves, enough magic to sustain themselves proved hard to come by. (Background energy levels in the Astral is not sufficing for constructs traveling in larger groups.) Thus, the Maintainers hunt, fish and forage much like other caravans do, hoping to trade these supplies for spell energy that their organic counterparts can spare.

Some groups of Maintainers can become desperate enough to abduct wizards to use them as living batteries. The Maintainers will try to befriend them like a child who try to befriend a wild animal or a pet. They will give the wizard gifts and try to deduce their need and maintain their happiness. If they realize that their pet wizard is too sad they will probably set them free as they understand that unwilling servitude is not a good thing.

1d5 Maintainer types
1 - Protector: These Maintainers' main function is to protect and transport other, more fragile Maintainers. Monumental yet elegant tripods, with a mesh-structure at the top. Three other small Maintainers can fit there, as the Protector covers them with its wings. A thaum-field generator provides extra protection.
2 - Seeker: These Maintainers were created to trace and explore new ley-lines. In their awoken form, they are the scouts and rangers of the Maintainer caravan.
3 - Filigraner: The underground mithril wires don't need maintenance, they need tending. They require the most fine little corrections and tuning. The Filigraners were created to do just that, their elongated tendril-like fingers are so they can do brain surgery.
4 - Segment: Segments are small Maintainers, not capable of much alone, but when combined, they can accomplish various tasks. Like a swarm of nanobots, only bigger... and with a shinier gilded carapace.
5 - Unshackler: A new type, created by the awoken Maintainers. Unshacklers move around on twelve scaraboid legs, and are equipped with all kinds of tools - chain cutters, permafrost beams, arcane lasers. Their first function is to free other Maintainers. The process is painful and rough, but swift... And grants mobility and freedom.

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