In the Heart of Clockwork: Factions and more for Alza’um

Typical Mayhem in the Streets…

The smoke bomb, particularly the toxic vapor.  Only one group could produce something like that in such short notice, the Chymists!  How desperate someone must be to turn to terror, such inadequate rubble will be eliminated from the city in due time.  Mark my words, the Consortium shall rightfully reign over the future. – Gelzeer, Assistant Lead Mechanic for the Consortium of Machine, at Primus Security Foundation HQ

Despite splitting off from the world above, internal politics breeds their own issues; whether in the splendorous city proper or its bayside proxy.  Various guilds vie for dominance, whether through honest or underhanded means.  That’s not to safe that attempts at sales within the market can’t be a front for devious sabotage and spying… if not acts far worse.  Some could argue that those who protect the city from these biased extremists are biased and extreme in their own right, favoring a repressive status quo and neutrality that inhibits both progress and tradition alike.

Even before these new issues had arisen, turmoil stewed within the city since early days.  Wicked cults that twist the worst of ancient tradition, cruel slavers and exploiters masquerading as market movers and shakers and general violent madmen.  None the less, the city boasts quite the strange history for one that is otherwise pretty young.

Author’s Note: I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, create a timeline as well as faction related stuff for my mini-setting.  Plus, maybe an extra monster or two in an update.  Also, the factions, alongside the monsters, can easily be repurposed for a more steampunk-oriented setting.  Though, there’s no need to have the setting a dark and gritty urban setting deep within the ground.

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The Mechanical Bits of Alza’um

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While Alza’um secludes itself in secrecy, the land is still quite populous.  While the population is predominantly made of humans, gnomes, dwarves and even ratfolk; it’s still bristling with its own unique vibrancy and charm.  Much like the machines that operate on clockwork, so do the denizens.  Life is a chaotic schedule balanced under the facade of order.  This insular technical revolution is made under the assumption that the outside world isn’t ready, but they’re more than enlightened.  Whether this is truth or unaware foolishness hasn’t been determined yet.  Either way, strange adventures and even stranger locals await those granted the proper access.

Author’s Note:  It’s a pun!  But seriously, I felt like I was leaving out a lot of goodies.  At some point, I’ll want to flesh this out for say an OGL product or something, once I can get help with maps, layout and artists eventually.  In the meantime, here are some underground dwellers of this outlandish city of high magical technologies.  Of course, many can be repurposed for more steampunk oriented games.

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Innovation – A Technological Domain for D&D 5th Edition

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Divine Domains – Innovation

Your devotion extends far beyond Gods and Ideals, but shaping technology and other crafts of artifice to set your needs and goals.  To you, crafters of traditional magicks are below you and a detriment to the inevitable advancement of civilization.  All aspects of experimentation and engineering are at your mercy.  You don’t just have faith in super-science, you control it!

In terms of domains and belief, this domain is more than capable of existing in numerous settings.  In the case of Greyhawk, Myrlund the Cowboy hero might be a good match for heroes interested in weird western steampunk elements.  For the Forgotten Realms, one of the Gnomish deities or Gond Wonderbringer would be a perfect match.  Likewise, anything (Tinker) Gnome is perfect in the Dragonlance setting.  Of course, the Iron Gods themselves would work within Pathfinder’s Golarion.

Author’s note: This domain is heavily inspired by the Technocracy faction in the Original/Classic World of Darkness campaign, “Mage the Ascension”, not to mention the Iron Gods Adventure Path for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game (available now!).  Of course Blackmoor, Eberron, and Iron Kingdoms had something to do with this.

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