Discussion in 'Clockwork Empires General' started by OddProphet, Oct 27, 2016.
Gah. I'll be on it tonight, posting by tomorrow.
I'm using the experimental build, will that stop me?
I would go ahead and use the regular build if that's okay, barring the go-ahead from @Nicholas. That said, are you in?
My reward for founding a successful colony was well deserved. After dropping my designs for the Royal Order of the Dodo with Administrator Lance's studio, I stopped by the Foreign Office for official Government Vouchers and the Bishopric for Official Indulgences – both vital forms for the bacchanalian laudanum-fueled debauchery that was rightfully mine. By my calculations (done by hand on the airship home) I had earned enough in both currency and clout to excuse my absence for approximately three days. That would be just enough time (including the trip to and from the colony) to really indulge, centering myself through Neopharmaceutical Exercise.
I was midway through the first bottle when an unwelcome cough roused me from my reverie. Staring through bloodshot eyes, I made out a young Bobby, clearly doing his best to Not See the laudanum stains on my shirt, the half-full bottle on my nightstand, the whisky bottle on the pillow, the bloodstains on the headboard, the lumps under my sheets, or the literature on my desk. Holding out a crimson envelope while doing his best to stare only at his own nose, I only barely resisted the urge to strike him with a bottle. Taking the little red slip I waved him off, leaving the Labourer to scurry out on his own (what, am I to see out some lowly constable myself?). Hauling myself out of bed, I reached my desk and read the message from the Foreign Office.
ATTN: COLONIAL GOVERNOR
PROCEED IMMEDIATELY TO MAST 33B-12 TO BOARD AIRSHIP “BAUMGART” FOR PRIORITY TRANSPORT TO COLONY 7-G. FIND ENCLOSED ONE (1) BACTERIOPHAGICAL FACIAL MASK AND WEAR IMMEDIATELY UNTIL DEPARTURE TO AVOID EFFLUVIAL LUNG.
COG SAVE THE QUEEN,
– ADMIRAL XXXXXXX XXXXXXX
Ah. The effluvia rating was rather high for the season, but it was still unusual for two potential governors to let themselves be struck by the disease – and damned inconvenient, too. Still, the rest of the day's laudanum and whisky may still prove useful. If rationed properly then not only will the airship ride be agreeably shortened, but I may retain a more tolerant mood in spite of issues raised by my predecessors.
I suppose I could describe my predecessor as “ambitious”. My desk was covered in sketches and blueprints for workstations, housing, and amenities. Looking out of my window, I could see that much of the planning had been translated into action: multiple shells of buildings had been thrown up, with rough outlines marked out for beds, bookshelves, kegs, chairs, and even carpeting. Despite all this, it was clear that the labor was in dire shortage, along with overseer housing. The time had come to re-organize.
Looking at my colonists, I could see none of the hopeful eyes or laughing smiles that I left behind. Instead, thousand-yard stares and startled jumps were the norm. Labourers and Artisans alike reacted to their re-assignment with dull, resigned sighs. Clearly something terrible had happened. I will examine my predecessors' papers.
Looking over my predecessors' reports, I discovered a near suicidal policy of aggression had been adopted against all Foreign and Unknown threats, including drawings of what appeared to be people with bulging black eyes, gills, and terrifying claws. According to the after-action report, Mildred Fladgate (the colony's founding NCO) had died in a skirmish with the horrible piscene creatures! I would be tempted to mourn, but she always seemed a little too eager for blood to be shed. I don't doubt failure to rein in her morbid aggression was a factor in the newly populous graveyard that half the colony seems to look towards at least once a shift.
In any event, we need to make immediate and visible changes to effect swift improvements to morale. Starting by sharply curtailing existing labor orders (and filing most of the blueprints under a convenient stone) is a crucial first step. Focusing our efforts is also essential.
Food fit for Civilized People
Lumber for construction of Civilized Quarters
With that in mind, I can focus our colonists' labor and give them something to strive towards.
Besides death, anyway.
Looking more carefully at the colonists' dispositions, I find some measure of relief. Some colonists have had a cup of tea recently. This may be an empty ritual, but we all find comfort in ritual. I can only hope their rituals remain chiefly composed of drinking tea and gossiping.
Construction of good sturdy lumber has begun again – some overseers have complained about their positions changing, but the day I let some foppish prat prance around in a laboratory coat in an empty lab while their fellows sleep on stone floors is the day the Cog grinds my gear.
At sunrise, the chef (a Zora Steelgrass by name) spooned out some sort of yellow gruel into my bowl. Seeing my confusion, Ms. Steelgrass explained that, when boiled and strained, this “maize chowder” is perfectly nutritious. After several minutes of Constructive Shouting and a thorough examination of the inexplicably well-stocked spice rack, Ms. Steelgrass began to manufacture Farmers' Stew. It is a bit Novorusian for my taste, but at least it will be better than that damnable gruel. Some decent, stimulating food is sure to improve people's moods – the Labouring Classes can make do with Fungus Stew (which apparently keeps for ages) and the existing chowder.
Our stocks of lumber continue to grow. A Proper House for our solid Middle Classes is essential. We need something spacious, and quickly. This may mean eschewing traditional design philosophies...
We must sometimes make incredible sacrifices for the sake of expediency. The building is at an awkward angle, and the cells themselves may not sit well with more traditionally-minded overseers, but what I do must be done, traditional rectangular housing be damned!
I was handed a small sheet of paper by a hollow-eyed farmer, who muttered something about "a chittering host come to collect their due”. Dismissing the fellow to his sorrows, I notified the NCO that any chitinous (or chittering) intruders were to be destroyed on sight.
Wavering shouts from the maize field alerted me to a hazard that I had not yet encountered in the flesh: enormous, chitinous monsters with massive horns and compound eyes as large as a man's head! The cry for the militia went up as soon as the beasts were spotted marauding around the maize-field. Then it went up again. Casting about for my redcoats, I found Barnabas Cord sobbing over the gravestone of Mildred Fladgate, his former NCO. The lower classes have always been more susceptible to emotional compromise, but weak-minded sentimentality like this only makes more graves! A swift boot to the backside sent him running towards the current NCO and towards the fight.
Following a fusillade of pistolshot, one of the enormous beasts fell dead, black blood soaking into the farm soil (one hopes it will prove beneficial for the maize). A Labourer, unable to handle the excitement, ran from the village out of panic. Nellie, despite my protests, ran into the woods after the slope-headed illiterate. In what could be described as a comedy of errors, the Labourer ran deep into the woods carting his lumber, followed by the wounded beast, followed in turn by Nellie's squad of pistoleers. It was nightfall by the time everyone got back to the colony.
Continued in the next post.
Day 2, continued.
While Nellie Crimbleelm's neanderthal adventures played themselves out, I returned to the field to find another of the hideous creatures disporting in our farm! I was about to draw my own service pistol when the farmer, Darckense Brazenlocke by name, shouted at me to stand down. Ignoring the woman's brazen disregard for authority, I holstered the weapon and politely shouted at her about the dangers of Consorting with Unknown and Foreign Presences. Darckense assured me (between shouts, as I was too agitated to actively listen and shout at the same time) that the creature was entirely docile, patting the creature's flank with her bare hand (think of the stew, Darckense!). My throat began to grow raw at this point, so I let the matter drop there and retired to my room to plan the next day.
A good meal and hope can do wonders for a colony. The introduction of properly spiced Farmer's Stew combined with my inspired leadership returned some measure of merriment to the colony. Some, including the (frankly uninspired) NCO continue to have morale issues, but I believe that building decent housing will go a long way towards helping along everyone's moods.
Nellie Crimbleelm returned shortly after dark. Her mouth was still stained with her dinner and beetlejuice stained her uniform, but despite this she seemed more at ease with the colony even as the bags under her eyes begin to develop. Asking about her hygiene, she snapped further awake as if aware for the first time that crumbs and stains exist, and asked to excuse herself to the barracks to make herself presentable. I truly hope she will not remain oblivious to these details during further inspections. Poor discipline, whether from ignorance or malice, damages us all. As soon as her eyes came into focus long enough to pull a salute, I retired to my chambers to plan my last day in this colony for some time.
Day 3 in the next post.
Pathena Robinhooke walked into my office this morning, took the blueprints for the overseer's apartments, and walked out without so much as a “by your leave”! A less tolerant overseer would have her questioned by the NCO, but a brief pull from the last dregs of my whisky gave me the patience to follow her outside without shouting myself hoarse (which would be inconvenient so early in the day!) Carrying a teetering pile of bricks and lumber, I watched Pathena set her materials down with precision expected of her solid Middle Class breeding. She is a true salt-of-the-earth patriot, and I need no longer worry about how we will get that house raised.
At noon, the sun went out briefly, followed by a pair of suns appearing in the sky. The second sun became a comet, streaming down southeast of the colony! With a terrifying roar, the object slammed into the earth, kicking up dirt and dust and fire! As the dust cleared and the smoke rose, it became clear that the comet was in fact an airship, but of unfamiliar make. I immediately made for the Foreign Office to check the remains of the aero-jib against known Foreign Presences.
Only now do I realize that this colony has yet to construct Foreign Outreach facilities of any kind since I erected a Barracks during the colony's founding. We have an arachnophiliac laboratory, but no Foreign Office. Once I leave this colony, I will find the one responsible for this dreadful misallocation of resources, and I will have him or her questioned. Regardless of the lack of proper facilities, there are some formalities that I will need to attend to, even without a line to the Proper Authorities. Afterwards I will ease this unwanted stress with the last of my laudanum. I just have to make it through this last day, then it is back to the Home Counties for that long-awaited bacchanal.
It dawns on me that we lack competent leadership to investigate the crash. After casting about for volunteers (someone pushed a dead-eyed Philomena Steelsmith but that hardly counts). I decide on sending Nellie Crimbleelm, against my better judgment. Worst case scenario, she gets herself killed on some debris and I can appoint someone with better hygiene.
Nellie, in her wisdom, decided that the whole thing could be safely blamed on bandit forces native to the region. Ignoring the fact that no one is “native” to the region, while also ignoring the fact that any existing bandit forces could not possibly bring down an airship of this size, while also ignoring the fact that shards of glass and the stink of gin was on the pilot's burning corpse, Nellie Crimbleelm's report detailed a massive ground-to-air attack from bandits that brought down the ship. It is plain to see that the pilot herself crashed the ship, but it is doubtless that the Tzar's advisory council will turn our report against the Empire in general and us in particular. All we can do is scavenge the remains, but labor remains too scarce for salvage operations.
Philomena's hollow-eyed rantings distressed my evening paperwork. Hauled in front of me by a surprisingly enterprising militiaman, the woman spoke darkly of robed figures and alien worship. I sighed inwardly. I have heard of this condition: lacking stimulating surroundings and engaging work, even the most stolid Middle-Class subject of the crown begins to turn her enterprising mind towards Unauthorized Thoughts about Questions Most Dire. They begin to question the perfect order of the Holy Cog's Cosmic Blueprint, and begin to introduce their own order into their work. In extreme cases, this can badly interfere with their work as they spend time and resources constructing shrines to their own ideology: a little not-Cog to call their own. I gave her a spoonful of my laudanum and sent her to sleep, to be watched by the guardsman.
Parthena's whistling cut through the evening air. Looking past the maize field, I found that she had finished constructing our first actual apartment building! The bedrooms sleep eight, with room for improvement in each cell and a large central lobby. I feel better about the town already, and begin shifting focus from raw plank production to the construction of solid, practical beds.
The guardsman I charged Philomena with entered my chambers, pale and shaken. Philomena's whispers and rants could be heard from outside her room during the evening. Through the dark, her fevered whispers grew louder, turning to shouts, then morphing into the impossible sound of the sea, waves rising and falling without a shore to break them. The man noted that his skin felt dry and itched when he thought of what she had whispered. With a sigh, I withdrew and dispensed the last of my laudanum via a convenient napkin. Dragging the man back to the Labourer's Bunkhouse, I then returned to my study for a final assessment of my work.
While hardly an unqualified success, I can safely say I once again averted immediate disaster through strong leadership, good breeding, and hearty meal plans. When morning dawned, I hoisted my luggage and paperwork onto the airship, and prepared a spare bacteriophagical facial mask, just in case effluvia levels were still above tolerance. It wouldn't do to interrupt my Scheduled Hedonism with the sniffles, after all.
Man, your write-up leaves mine to shame. Good job! I guess Cthulu is next, right?
Yep. File is in the write up whenever Hello's ready.
Ok, I'm in a bit of problem right know: I have played and noted things, I just don't have the time to write everything down this evening and probably I won't have it neither tomorrow, so should I post the save or skip the turn?
FROM THE PERSONAL NOTES OF
BRONZESTEAMINGPISTONWHISTLINGONPROGRESS VAN COGLITTHON ALEXANDER III
My Bureaucratic Mandate on that small outpost went in the worst possible way. But that was only the beginnig: I eft a really uncomfortable situation behind my back, and was thrown in a hellish pit of boiling troubles. As soon as the Ministry caught a word of what happen during those days, an excited welcoming committee was sent to my humble apartment. with them, two invitations for the most unsettling tea party I ever participated on the Rightful Lands of the Empire (tea parties on the Frontier can be... rather particular....). One was written in stern characters and pleasing, formal yet accusing words. I could just feel the angry gaze of the Colonial Ministry staring at me from that letter. The second one was an ominous letter in a purple envelope and written with purple ink. The elegant characters were the most unsettling sight I could ever experience in the rightful domains of civilization.
It seemed like the Occult Ministry, along with the Ministry of the Colonial Expansion were asking for a brief meeting on the recent events. To be honest, I'm not even sure I got TWO invitations: after I had left the welcoming committee of redcoats in the hall, waiting for me to change in a more appropriate attire, and the two invitations on the desk in the studio I wasn't able to find the purple enveloped and the purple written letter in it, ever again. While re-ordering my stuff before the next assignment all I found was a small trail of dark blueish dust. Nothing more.
The delegates of the Ministry received me in a sumptuous office and asked for a first hand and direct report of the events that took place. The three stern and rather annoyed High Bureaucrats in front of weren't really pleased of the outcomes of my mandate, and of loss of those loyal subjects of the Queen. Not that they really cared for the colonists themselves, but they took those losses as a wound on the Empire's pride. Overall, despite the harsh words, they approved of my conduct towards the horrible creatures that attacked us. And then, just when I was reporting those terrible moments, I noticed the presence of the two purple fully uniformed figures, lurking in the shadows behind the Bureaucrats. The Ministry for the Handling of Occult and Eldritch Manifestations sent two Inspectors to the meeting with the Ministry. The two inspectors highly approved of my conduct, saying that "no sacrifice is too high for the safety from Manifestations of the Eldritch", the Bureaucrats did not seem to be of the same opinion but couldn't really disagree with them. The meeting ended soon after, but not before the Inspectors had a fully and detailed description of the creatures that attacked us. But, not really satisfied by my confused observations, they requested future detailed reports from any new encounter and... "samples, to be sent back to Ministry for research purposes". Just in to be sure that fire and guns are enough to stop them, they added.
I could have been worse. But from now on I won't be able to pass any Investigation from the Occult Ministry, and they will accurately redact my reports, before they get in the hands of the Ministry. It was the first time in a while that the thought of being sent back to the Frontier felt refreshing and reassuring. Well, it lasted only for a moment.
REPORTS OF THE FRONTIER, WRITTEN BY B. van C. A. III
I just took another mandate on this same ominous outposts, and I already find my desk covered by papers. What a lovely way to start.
As I pass through the recent reports and developments of the outpost, I'm finding a lot of complaints from the previous Bureaucrat on how the colony was managed. He must be a young one on his first attempts, an experienced man wouldn't be surprised by the sudden change in people's mood: everyone is happy and excited when they arrive. Then you have to face the first troubles: the food from home is consumed, the farms do not output enough, no booze, and so on. And things can go even worse if some monstrous creature from the deep see raid your colony and butcher your militia...
And this young lad doesn't seem to be that much in the grace of the colonists: I heard them half-whispering comments on his noticeable alcoholic behaviour. And traces of empty laudanum bottles. To be honest I can't find anything deserving contempt on his passion for liquors: I too have a personal little stock of Laudanum always with me. The Frontier is an Eldritch place of Eldritch things. And most of them are to be forgotten.
Anyway, this outpost has progressed since first visit here. In an unusual way, I have to admit, but still progress it is. And I dare to say, I can now call it a proper colony.
What caught my eye the most was the arachnidian lab. What a peculiar structure! And from what I can collect in the documents, its planner had strange and unusual ways of thinking . When I asked the colonists the told me of the strange look into his eyes.
The colony is up and productive, there are enough materials to work and my desk is covered in plans for new housings to be accommodate in a proper way our present (and future) colonists and notes about the need of more manpower. All and all that youngster did a good job, despite the ramblings. He knows what he's doing, and I think that during this mandate I'll follow his plans and extend the housing spaces and improve them to make the life in the colony a more comfortable.
But, first of all, we need better weapons; some tripistols for our soldiers is a good idea. My precious experience here taught me lesson.
There is a proper public house in this colony! How delightful! A place in which to drink in this dangerous and wild land! But I think they forgot to put the vats in it... I think I'll fix this right away. Booze is necessary to keep the morale up!
A bullettin from the Frontier Traders Union informed us of a soon arrival of a Sthalmarkian convoy ready to trade with the colony. This might be helpful.
The morale is good, my predecessor did a fine job to re-establish a good climate between people.
The new design of the overseer house is peculiar, but I saw something similar on the Ministry Journal of Colonial Expeditions, so I'm not that surprised. This type of design has quite some advantages. The fact that no windows were planned it's quite concerning, on the other hand. I must fix this.
I'm tempted to boost the technological research, to get some proper decor for the colony.
Traders had just arrived. During tea-time, how rude. Foreigners will never learn manners! Since there is a lack of clay, which is needed for the ceramic weapons, an exchange for a pair of glass panes would be wise. Nothing too valuable, anyway.
Traders leave at Dusk. An unwise decision, I dare say.
And with the darkness of the Night, something strange happened: our dear carpenter, Eugenia Steelthatch had visions of a talking workbench. What a bunch of nonsense. We don't have time to pursue the visions of troubled colonists who, apparently, are smart enough to distil their own whiskey, but too stupid to show some restrain in drinking it.
We will need a Naturalists office in the near future, to move our mine in a better and more metal productive spot. It would also help with the meat provisions and Material for the Ministry of Occult.
Our dear carpenter apparently can't hold her liquor.
Two new overseers joined the Frontier. Good, we need more manpower to progress further!
But, someone is not all that normal... He has a strange look in his eyes... something... kind of fishy? I have better report this to the Ministry...
Plinths. A good decor, apparently, as suggested by our carpenter. The mad one. This explains some things... But the colonists seem to like them.
In the meantime, Steelhatch regained her senses. Good, now back to work!
I issued the demolition of the old Stone ceramic Kiln, since it's no more needed: we have the two built and working Brick Ceramic Kilns, and one boxed on the stockpile, ready to be built if needed. I also decided to prepare some Science Material, since soon we will be able to re-assign a crew to the lab to progress the decor research.
To the attention of my fellow Bureaucrat
I must inform you that the documentation regarding the past three days is, right now, under the attention of the Ministry of Occult and Eldritch Manifestations, due to my personal conduct on a previous mandate. Still, I expect you to find no difficulties in improving the current state of this colony, as an experienced Bureaucrat of the Empire shall do.
BronzeSteamingPistonWhistilingonProgress van Coglitthon Alexander III
Bureaucrat of the Almighty Clockwork Empire
Spoiler: Out of the Role
If you want skip my my turn, you can do it without problem: I miscalculated my time during these two days... -.-' I just left here the save just in case you might want to keep it with a delay in the narrative.
Edit: 12/11 Finished! Apparently there is a limit to character for a post... 10K to be precise
I've come to trust the Kitchen work-crew, so I dared to try the Farmer's Stew they cook. Not bad, but I like My Stew to be spicy and peppery: more spice racks in the kitchen, apparently they don't have enough. While surveying the the colony I found out that the projects for expansion will need more flat and clear terrain to be available, so I issued a few chopping, mining and flattening jobs to be done, so that we will have enough space to expand in the future.
Another bulletin from the Union: a convoy from the Republique, we will see what they have for us...
Bad news from the air surveillance: A new gag of bandits has established near the colony. These violent scum will meet the firing end of our guns if they dare to enter the boundary of our rightful colony!
On another note our dear mad carpenter is, well, mad again...
While food is enough right now, I think that with the arrival of new immigrants we will need more farming space.
Now the kitchen has a new table: with this have a new use for the abundant fungus stored in our stockpiles. A more commercial use.
Dusk of day 19
Nothing peculiar happened today. This was a much more smooth journey to the Frontier.
While chatting with some colonists at the Public House, I found out that Mudhooke would be a reasonable choice for a future NCO. I hope he will be the second, and not a replacement.
Traders are coming. From what happened so fare, I decided to buy some Opium, and investment for a colony that seems to need it.
Off I go, back home. Hoping to NOT find other tea party invitations for strange Ministries...
I'm super confused. How long was your turn, what happened, and is the colony in Terribly Entertaining Peril? Even if you have neither the time nor the inclination to actually write everything out, we would appreciate at least a screenshot of the colony in its current state an a brief report of the colony's current state (resources, new construction, number of colonists, etc).
Oh, nothing serious, really. I have screenshots, the session was actually quite uneventful: I just let the tasks get done and planned a new house, a talking workbench event, and two new overseers came as immigration. (I checked the colony yesterday night and took a fresh save before posting it, just to be sure that everything was ok.). The thing is that I really like this role-playing reports and I really enjoyed doing the previous one, and I had some ideas that I wanted to use. I just found myself with a session done, notes&screens taken but not the time to write them down here in a proper shape -.-'. The note I left was just an idea to justify the delay in a lore-related way. If you don't like it and prefer a linear and progressive development, fell free to ignore the save and skip my turn , all and all it was just my fault for not planning my time correctly...
[If you still want the screens I won't be able to post them in less than 7-8 hours: it's 7:30 A.M and I'm writing this on a phone, while traveling on a train, and I have lessons this morning.]
Summary: I wanted to do good things, I didn't have time to write them down, you can safely skip what I did and load the OddProphet's save, don't worry.
I just don't want to mess things up, because I'm having a great time here.
Meh, lets just keep going with your save. Just do your write up whenever you can.
Quite right. The edit button is there for a reason. Hey @Unforked, you're up!
I'll try to get it out tomorrow, probably a quickie.
Nah I can't. The stable version barely runs on my hardware. I'll have to wait until you guys do a new one for a new version.
Dang. Well, there's always next colony!
Ugh, turns out I can't play at all today. Over to you, @Puzzlemaker
Alrighty! I'll try to have an entertaining writeup for everyone sometime tonight.
So once again I am called into action, to assist with a colony temporarily. My airship hovers overhead, like a giant... balloon. In the sky.
The colony looks... It's a colony. Also, bandits, which are to be expected in The Wilderness.
First things first: I trade some extra furniture for more opium. You can never have enough of the stuff, it cures almost anything you know.
DISASTER. We ran out of BOOZE.
I keep calm and remember my training. First step first, we need a new farm. With more farmers. Then they can make more booze. Yes, that seems to be the ticket. Maize for everyone! It's A-Maize-Ing!
Nighttime strikes, and so far it seems everything is running smoothly. Too smoothly. I begin to worry.
Ahhh, there it is. Evidently miss Steelthatch got a glimpse of the Tax Law Book, driving her to dispair. Completely understandable. Still, a relief for my nerves.
Fascinating! Some sort of ancient Tax Book, not behold to the Laws of Accounting! By all means, this shall be studied!
I also ordered the construction of a foreign office. We need to be proper and civilized, and to do that we must have Diplomats!
Excellent! SCIENCE! What's that about repercussions? What's the worst that can happen?
See? Everything is Perfectly Fine. (OOC: It would be nice if they gained the Strange trait after this event, or something akin. It would also be nice if someone is despairing past a certain point they also gain the Strange trait. Just sayin.)
Ah, and on top of that good news, we have Immigrants! I will put them to work!
Yes Yes I know I know, I am trying to get a chemistry workshop built. What does that do with a chapel you ask? WELL THAT'S A STORY FOR YOU!
You see, twenty some years ago Sir Steelweld Coghead decreed that all Chapels in the colonist must be Proper and Civilized. Of course, his brother was part of the chemists guild, and so-
Let me cut to the chase: All chapels require lacquered planks. Personally, I think this is madness and there is nothing wrong with gold plated brick painted a lovely shade of magenta like back in The Homeland, but what am I to go against the wisdom of my Betters.
Separate names with a comma.