Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Clockwork Soldier

Clockwork.  Soldier.  The name says it all, really—in most clockwork-related adventures, it will be these constructs, bolstered by clockwork servants, that will do the bulk of the fighting.  They also have a wicked ability to spring (ha!) into action out of hibernation (that is, standby), which bolsters their already speedy reflexes from being of the clockwork subtype.

But the best part about them is a tiny detail I would never have noticed were it not for this blog: the Latch (Ex) ability.  In every man vs. robot movie scene, there’s always a moment when the robot’s iron grip comes into play, particularly when at a crucial moment it so casually wrests the man’s weapon right out of his hands.  With Latch, clockwork soldiers have that move programmed in as a game mechanic—a nice touch.

Clockwork soldiers attack a wedding festival.  Their odd equipment—enchanted nodachi and blue fireworks for flares—suggest they are the work of a foreigner…perhaps a wu jen from north of the Tiger Wall.

When the Clockwork Army invades the Märchen Marches, the invasion of this fairy-tale domain scatters nightmares (both the dreams and the outsiders) into the closest mortal duchy.  The assault also frays the fabric of magic as well.  Adventurers who rise to the challenge and cross into the Marches will have to fight not only invading clockwork soldiers, but also many of the Märchenfee.  The quickest route to the Clockwork Army’s flank runs through the Marrowcat’s March, and neither that fey elder nor his many baobhan sith subjects believe their realm needs saving by mere mortal “meals.”

Even gearthralls look upon the World-City’s clockwork soldiers with ambivalence.  It is widely reported that companies of clockwork soldiers stationed at key chokepoints are all that keep the skum in their flooded tunnels.  But Cognomon’s clockwork soldiers also raise their enchanted halberds against humanoids—and once activated, they often seem to have trouble distinguishing between rebels and bystanders.  Even the most loyal citizens are terrified of the deployment trees—great metal towers that, when activated, open to reveal revolving gears that disgorge clockwork soldiers as they spin, like some terrible life-size version of a rathaus glockenspiel.

Pathfinder Bestiary 3 57

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