Technological Advancement

Steamware

Were it not for my decision to declare this age to be the age of the empire (so I can decide when it officially ends) I would declare this age to be the enlightened age of steam. For this age has allowed for Gretchen medical genius to finally be benevolently bestowed upon mankind thanks to the wonder drug that is Besume.

Finally are you barbarians now granted the opportunities that we Gretchens have had for untold centuries, to heal the debilitated and suffering from your countless petty wars and injuries. Further, countless improvements are now possible upon your frail flesh, from fully articulated limbs, to specially crafted hunters eyes, to armour plates to protect your inferior body sacks.

The Velten Express

Although the age of steam did not have its predicted outcome due to the collapse of imperial trade, the Velten Express project is still literally steaming ahead! A joint project by a consortium of interests who officially registered as a guild under the name The Enlightened Carriageway Consortium is a locomotive system that begins at one end of the empire, flows through to the east, continues to the Brankovici kingdoms and then onto the khanates!

It is perhaps due to this single route that many towns along it are still paying lip service to the imperial throne. Certainly without it the Hive would no longer be a viable urban environment.

Exactly which entities are funding the Velten express is a mystery, this is of particular interest due to the fact that the Velten express route does admittedly interfere with the monopoly currently held by the Cetus duchies (or more specifically the eastern provinces company). From the lack of any friction at the further end of this route from the Eastern Provinces Company, I would expect that they are one of the chief funders and that the imperial registry office has been placed in the interesting position of protecting them from clerical interference due to the heavy reliance the empire is placing on this route to keep their domain secure. This stated, why the EPC would still encourage this route when they have an almost total monopoly by sea remains a mystery.

Examples of technology gone rampant

The Giant Clockwork spiders of Baron Krusphausen

Once again probably the work of some inspired human nutcase and definitely upon a humans direction was allegedly an army of 7 foot high mechanical spider contraptions (certainly there were a fair few of them). These were at the direction of Baron Krusphausen, who, located in the north eastern reaches of the empire, terrorised the local villages surrounding his castle who had for many years refused him his taxes (due to allegations by local burghers that he was an insane megalomaniac who planned to spend their hard earnings on building a army of giant clockwork spiders).

The locals put up for this for an entire week before uprising with the local bandit population (and according to rumour the then king of the Vlastimovici) and turning his family home into a funeral pyre for him and his infernal contraptions.

The Red Death

The red death is without a doubt the foulest concept ever to be conceived by mankind. Through a stolen and then warped Gretchen process known as Vat Breeding the black death disease was warped into something even more virulent and deadly, that could be contained within a weapon until its release upon an innocent populace.

No one knows precisely who created the first brand, and fortunately for humanity only the black death has been successfully warped in this manner, though there are large variations by strand.

This said however, the sick psychopath who created it did fortunately engineer in a suicide function to the virus, and thus deadly though it is, the red death is usually localised to a specific area.

There have been three notable red death attacks so far, two of which were in the Cetus duchies which were contained mostly thanks to an uncompromising blockade by her majesties forces. The third was in Port Rid, after their declaration of independence, and had a number of nasty alterations to the basic disease including a long onset, which saw to its spread across other ports across both the empire and other partners.

The Mirror Lagoon

It is a well know fact that those who stray too far south of the Kimish archipelago may disappear never to be seen again and even occasionally crewless ships are found. For many years I followed up on every rumour about it and indeed the publication I made was my first widely accepted piece of work. Although records from this time are scarce for obvious reasons I was fortunate enough to be granted access to her majesties royal shipping records which revealed the fact that these disappearances coincide with an incident at one of the smaller island networks of the submerged continent. Although vague, it appears that a special inquisition was declared upon a well known pirate in those waters whose base was rumoured to be there. A further record reveals that two ships were sent from Marrechia and only one returned.

It was finally through a nameless source that I managed to access the records of a crew member from the surviving ship. From his story it appears that the inquisition arrived in time to witness some kind of hideous rite, a rite that they attempted to halt by entering into the central lagoon of the island. During the ensuing battle both the pirates ship and the denizens of the island disappeared in a thunderous flash that destroyed the vast majority of the island.

Make no mistake the co-variance between this records are not to be disputed.

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