Sapient clockworks, and without the usual evolution from organic to machine. They're like little mechanical brownies, in my mental image.
I like the included bit about how winding down is akin to death for them, to a degree that you can't find one in a tomb someplace, wind it up, and expect it to come to life. Do the 'dead' ones, reactivated, just kind of totter in place like toy soldiers? Or could you perhaps end up with a 'clockwork undead' that echoes the 'living' clockfolk in the way that zombies and skeletons imitate living people? Go to Comment
How would they react to someone animating an empty 'shell' of a deactivated clockfolk, in the fashion of a golem? Probably about as well as fleshy races tend to react to the 'desecration of the dead' done by necromancers, I expect? Go to Comment
That's awesome. I could see a couple of plot hooks from it; one being the clockfolk trying to hire or otherwise convince the party to help them retrieve a shell, the other being a 'grave robber' wanting to hire the party to make the clockfolk leave him alone (my, what a lovely toy soldier his son is playing with!) Go to Comment
I adore this one. It is a little short and only fairly complete.
In similar fiction, they tend to need to be wound every 24 to 72 hours or so.
1) Momma: She might still be here, the first one. She who was literally the Mother of Her Race. What position might she be held in? (Pappa is still the original watchmaker.)
2) I assume they can wind each other, otherwise they have to have a symbiotic relationship with Humans or other species with hands.
3) There might be "winding stations" made. Given some strong gear, or water wheel, or wind to recharge it, you would simply back up with your key in to the station, put your feet in place, and let it go whrrrrrrrrrrr and wind you up.
4) They are masters of Dollhouses as well and other non clockwork dolls. Their scale allows them to make some impressive things.
5) Extending on that, their clockwork devices can be much smaller than any humans. They could make some impressive things.
6) I could see a Clockfolks Arcology being a manufacturing factor where they make steam and clockwork things. Imagine hundreds of them working together. They need to sell things so they can afford to make more of themselves.
7) Can they make bigger ones? Can they make ones of an odd shape or size? Clockwork cats and dogs would be a smash!
8) Clockwork folk can bond with humans it seems. Imagine them deciding to become Children's and eventually adult companions, starting with the upper class and working their way down. These clockwork folks could be shaping humanity to fit their ideal of perfect people (strong, smart, caring, moral). (Much the way the Robots do in Asimov's Robot series, which is actually the foundation of the Foundation. ) Go to Comment
Now this one is short, but complete. Have a couple of questions - not too important, but would like to know:
Just how miniature are you envisioning them?
Could a wound-down clockwork be 'refurbished' - completely dissassembled and reassembled? Perhaps a different personality would arise in this case. Go to Comment
It depends on how long its been inactive for. A few minutes, it might just be some memory loss. A couple hours, and they would be severely mentally impaired. But after a day or two, they would be little more than amusing toy soldiers. They might even make good toys in such a case, though you may have trouble getting the "relatives" (it's builder, and others built by the same) to give up the shell. Go to Comment
The first challenge to even try that would be to get one of the inanimate shells. If they can recover them, they will bury them, often in small cast off containers, such as a large matchbox. There is, in fact, one notable Clockfolk tomb, which is actually an abandoned wine cellar with a few empty racks. In each rack, a small, inanimate, yet still perfect looking Clockfolk lies in gentle repose. Should someone desecrate one of their shells, there will generally be a reaction. Limited in actual striking power, the offender will have to suffer virtually every mechanical thing they own being sabotaged until they return the shell, a stubborn man may well find that not a ticking, boiling or clanking thing in his house is worth a penny more than the metal it's made of. Go to Comment
I happen to enjoy this, and want to see if I can translate it over to the setting I am working on (Gaslight & Aether). The clockfolk will definitely be part of the setting, if I have permission. Go to Comment