Steamjack

Iron Legacy of the Past

Description:

Large Natural Animate (Construct)

Initiative -2
Senses Perception +5; Darkvision

HP 76; Bloodied 38
AC 25; Fortitude 13, Reflex 11, Will 13
Immune Disease, Poison, Sleep
Saving Throws +2
Speed 4 (Cannot Shift)
Resist 10

Attacks
Steam-Hammer Slam (Standard, At-Will) : Reach 2; 18 vs AC; 2d108 damage, and target is pushed one square and dazed (Save Ends).
Berserk Attack (Immediate Reaction, When damaged by an attack while bloodied; At-Will) : Steamjack makes a Steam-Hammer Slam against a random target within its reach.

Alignment Unaligned
Languages -

Str 27, Dex 7, Wis 8
Con 21, Int 3, Cha 3

Bio:

Steamjacks are advanced mechanika constructs. A steam engine provides their motive power, but they are given basic sentience through sophisticated wizardry. The human Kingdom of Cygnus originally developed the technology from exposure to Phaedric construction techniques of their Iron Golems, and remains a unique skill possessed by the local chapter of the Shek-Pavair, or Guild of Arcane Lore. The iron ginats are still seen peacefully toiling away across the city providing heavy labour on the docks and in reconstruction efforts on the city walls. The units can grasp huge tools in their powerful claws, allowing them to be equipped with mattocks, picks and their omnipresent steam-hammers.

Most Steamjacks are from between 8’-tall and 12’-tall, and weigh around four to six thousand pounds. Once quite numerous, the loss of economic power has reduced their numbers to a tenth of their original number, with their rusted corpses being pilfered for scrap when they break-down. In war, the beasts are a fearsome terror, though few have the desire to see the creatures damaged, so they are rarely used as weapons of war.

To remain active, a Steamjack requires constant refueling of twenty pounds of good-quality coal or twenty gallons of oil, and an additional twenty gallons of water every active 4-hour cycle. Older, less-efficient models tend to use more resources, requiring more frequent fueling, and ironically, these tend to be the units that remain active. Cheaper coal and wood can be used in a pinch, but they tend to damage the machines and make them less efficient.

Because of their constant hunger and thirst, steamjacks make for poor assault troops and travelling machines. Sometimes the local military has used them against invaders, but they are usually towed along with the armies on great wagons of wood and iron, pulled by a dozen oxen, before being fueld for combat. A handful have made their way to Phaedra, and can be seen in very limited numbers among nearby cities, like Mornhaven and Aleath, but they are uniquely rare and expensive to maintain. Almost all models seen today are run-down and worn models, and none have been built from scratch in over a hundred years.

The machines understand common, and occasionally another tongue if they have been so designed (often Dwarvish, from their gnome creators). Simple instructions can be given, but Steamjacks are incapable of evaluating their environment to act without constant supervision to avoid catastrophic activity. All direction must be given within 60’ by the machine’s “handler”, and must be clear and concise. Steamjacks are incapable of speech, but produce a “mutter” of steamy hisses, clanks and metallic groans as they work.

Steamjack brains are an intricate mechanika device that accounts for half the price of the machine. A rugged sphere of copper bars inlaid with gold and platinum lines, they are surrounded by the swirl of magic that marks them as a magical construct. Polished gemstone windows cover this vortex, capturing the unit’s magical “charge”, that acts as an encoding matrix to hold the machine’s memories, skills and cognitive functions. Destruction of this cortex utterly destroys the machine. The cortex is hidden deep within a Stemjack torso, making them difficult to access without tools or Thievery skills. If destroyed bodily, however, the Steamjack cortex is salvageable, and can be placed back within a new construct’s body.

There are rumors of Warjacks being built anciently, massive Huge-sized constructs with weapons for hands and built to stand at the forefront of fights against dragons, giants and worse. Only mentioned in the codices of the Guild of Arcane Lore, none have been seen in centuries, nor is there even a rusted shell of one to be found still intact.

Steamjack

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