So, I have decided that my poll has gone on long enough, and the results are ones that I can work with. At a commanding plurality of 44%, the winner is Steamhammer. I really liked Warhammer: Age of Steam and Rune Engine also, but I’ll go with the results of the poll on this one. I do think that is a good title and I’ll run with it.
Also, I’ll give a little tidbit of one of the ideas that is going in to this game as well. Note that any wiki links below are to items and persons that as they were in 2519 IC, not as they now exist some 500 years or so later.
One of the distinctive features of this setting is that, not only is it in an industrial revolution/age of steam type tech level, but also that certain enterprising factions have also begun fairly serious explorations of the possible integration of magic and technology, leading to some steam-powered wonders of rune and steel known to modern science as Rune Engines. The first pioneers into this area of knowledge were of course the verminous Skaven with the insane warlock-engineering of Clan Skryre, and the Skaven remain on the bleeding (and extremely explosive) edge of this technological wave.
However, outside of Skavendom, the field of magically-empowered technology owes much of its current state to experiments and concepts pioneered in the New World rather than in the old. Cultural factors such as the influence of elvish views on magic and an eagerness to recruit engineers that were willing to innovate beyond the bounds and restrictions of the dwarven engineer’s guild in the Old World combined to create an atmosphere that was more receptive to this sort of endeavor. Indeed the civilized nations of the Old World have been slow to adopt or pursue this area of knowledge and remain far behind due mostly to their distrust of magic at large.
The greatest of the early innovators in this area were the Get of Oroboros, the magical society operating out of Schloβ Drache as part of the Dragon Brethren. Their leader, the immensely powerful Liche Cedric Enric, along with his closest collaborators Derelek Caravan the dwarven alchemist/engineer and the intuitively gifted Rahann Magritte Gunderit, pioneered most of the early work in this field and much of what stands today is based on their body of innovation.
One particular area into which very few other than Enric have been willing to delve is a sub-type of rune engine that has immense yet eerie and ethically worrisome promise. This is arguably Cedric’s greatest invention: the Wraith Engine. Using mysterious necromantic arts both of his own devising and derived from ancient nehekaran texts, the master Liche has learned how to bind the spirits of the restless dead into arcane machineries to provide them with motive force and even the ability to operate with a guiding albeit often malevolent intelligence.
Since the fall of the original Schloβ Drache into the harbor at Kalterhafen, Cedric has turned the partially-submerged fortress into his own personal workshop and field for experimentation. Few mortal beings are permitted (or would desire) to enter now, and no living men patrol its crooked battlements though their position commands a highly strategic point for defense against any naval assault on this critical port city. Mortal defenders are unnecessary, for Enric has filled the place with spirits, undead beings and wraith engines in the form of both automata and artillery.
Around the ancient fortress, sunken ships litter the bottom of the harbor. These ships have been visited, partially repaired and imbued with wraith engines of their own by Enric and his minions. He has several times deliberately scuttled captured enemy vessels to add to this number. Should any hostile fleet dare to sail on Kalterhafen, they would have to contend not only with the mortal navy stationed there and the formidable gunnery of Cedric’s tower, but also would have to contend with a flotilla of ghost ships rising up from the deep in their very midst to wreak havoc.
We shall further examine Rune Engineering, the Wraith Engine and other subjects of interest to Steamhammer at another time.
Also, because I’m a dork that enjoys creating these silly little electronic paper dolls, I’ll post a pic of a possible character idea that I had – I haven’t named him yet, but I envision him as a descendant of Rahann Gunderit who has continued to pursue advancements in rune engine technology.
Young, well bred and a mad sorcerer-scientist. What's not to love?