The walking siege engines of the Cosmic Era
The Rocky Mountain Republic owes in large it's existence to a single limited run of primitive mechs, the Assault/Bombard Mech model 1.
T'was a great roar, milord, and the ground was rent and the horses took their bits in their teeth and there was much confusion. No magic could reach so far, and none of our magehounds scented wizards. We do not know the deviltry of the enemy, and for this we lost the battle.
An old, misanthropic and paranoid man feels his time is coming. There are sons to leave his fortune to, but they are not worth it, not a dime do they deserve! And he doesn't really trust anyone else. And so he has made a decision: as a part of his last will, his henchmen are instructed to burn and destroy all his holdings, buildings as harvest. The lands shall be auctioned off, the proceeds used to pay the servants. Nothing shall stay behind. Nothing.
Depending on the status of the grumpy old man, this weird occurrence may be only a family drama, or it may end up bringing an entire region into chaos. Or the son(s) have found what should happen, and want to prevent it before their sick father dies.