The Ancient Empire
The K’tonian Hegemony was a mightly empire that ruled the known world in Atlantean style. Their cities were massive constructs built to careful geomantic and ekistic planning. They build clockwork monuments and wonders of iron, steam, and stone. Everything they build was made to last forever.
Yet the K’tonians, for all their wonders and techno-magic and brilliant devices are dead and gone. Their cities of marvelous design were one by one eroded and destroyed by the passage of time, the forces of nature, and the hungry hands of men. Only the subterranean cities and underwarrens survived this acid test, and most of them were destroyed by changing water tables, cave ins, and rare magma fills.
The K’tonians, being a basically humanoid race, IE having two legs, two arms, a head, and two genders, were destroyed by a disease. Like the Black Plague being spread by merchants and their ships, the Airships carried the diseased and dying to new areas, spreading the illness even faster. For a wise and long lived people, their culture was gutted in less than two years. A few lingered on, but by then, the enemies of the K’tonians struck, and the last vestiges of the living race faded away.
Like The Old World submission, this scroll is to serve as a foundation for a new general milieu of submissions that revolve around the K’tonian civilization, their legacies, and the devices, traps, and other oddment that they left in their passage.
Additional Ideas (7)
Stolen from chat with Muro
Nimz grew from a small archealogical site to a thriving city, its treasure being the ruins of a K'tonian city and cache. The families of the sages and scholars drew in more people, and craftsmen, and eventually anyone looking to make a gold piece, or get their hands on a bit of K'tonian paraphenalia to sell back home. A few even came to better understand what was there.
Within two generations, the artificer Gerraulf Nimz sponsored the construction and staffing of a university devoted entirely to the restoration and study of K'tonian legacies. His most visible contribution was the Nimz clock tower, a massive edifice that houses a K'tonian salvaged tension spring powered clock, rather than the normal water powered clocks.
Found over six centuries ago, it was only recently that explorers were able to reach this platform of earth and stone floating nearly a mile above the ground. Resembling a shield volcano studded with quays, scaffolding, and massive hangers, the Shipyard is over 2000 feet long and 150 thick along the edges. The structure is flat bottomed and from above looks like a drifting tropical island.
Explorers using records and information salvaged from the initial K'ton site discovered that the platform was used by the K'tonians for constructing airships. It could move closer to resources like forests and mines to reduce the cost of moving goods as well as limiting the impact of large numbers of workers building a city near siad resources. Once a forest started looking thin, the platform could easily be moved to the next harvesting site to gather lumber and other goods again.
Roughly a century ago the platform was reached and less than 50 years ago K'tonian plans for airships were reverse engineered by Altibore researchers. Now a new airship can be built in about 6 to 12 months, depending on size and intended role.
The first airships launched from Artania were lighter than air vessels. These largely resembled small boats slung under large vapor filled bags. The alchemical cloud inside was more bouyant than air, but could be held without danger of spark or inevitable leaking associated with modern helium or older hydrogen filled Earth airships.
Propulsion was delivered by means of belt driven props mounted to the rear of the craft. A few made use of side mounted props for faster climbing, or more careful maneuverability.
Weaponry was crude and largely limited by the weight limits of the craft, and the strenght of the hanging hulls as oppossed to those supported by water. The vapor bag also proved to be a staggering weakness as it could not be armored, and was easily damaged even by medium to strong storms.
The Wooden airships would find other roles as transports, courier, and exploration vessels, as well as the playthings of the immensely rich.
Disaster in the Air
The biggest danger to these craft came from the primitive lighting used aboard the vessels. A spilled lantern could literally be the end of a ship, sending it plummeting to a fiery wreck. Storms could damage control elements, and many ships were lost in storm related crashes, or were marooned in alien locales such as deserted islands, desolate mountains, or burning deserts.
Thi airship was one of the largest build, financed by the lucrative Casino Guildmaster of Xanadu. The black ship was nearly 900 feet long and had 12 vertical engines for altitude control and two double rotored drive engines that were driven by a firewheel engine. The Gambit was lavish inside, being a floating casino in its own right. Much of the time, this massive black ship drifts above the city of Xanadu as a symbol of Lord Spadestar's wealth and power. Other times, he uses it as a pleasure yacht to saor above rival lands, reminding them of the immanense of Calcobrinan power.
Further research into records available in Artania revealed lost techniques of working metals as well as building a heavier than air airship. These new ships were split into two classes, the Repulsors and the Levitators.
The repulsor craft were built around a rotating drum assembly which generated a field that pushed the craft away from the ground. By altering the characteristics of the rotating drum, this repulsion could be modulated into foreward and lateral movement, or rising or diving. Such craft were invariably small given the metal working capacity of the Kingdom who controlled the shipyard. They also suffered from the drawback that if the drum siezed up in rotation the craft would quickly crash. Few repulsor craft are built as a result of this mechanical fault.
Resembling their lighter than air counterparts, the Levitator craft are not very fast or agile. They are much more durable than the lighter than air ships, but much more dependable than the quirky repulsor craft. By using a series of floating ballast spheres, the craft is able to make itself neutrally bouyant. A degree of control can be directly asserted over this ballast system that keeps the craft floating, though the majority of ships make use of time tested geared prop systems.
The newest series of airships coming from the Artania slips, the Comet class displaces some 2200 tons and are 300 feet long. They are traditional style Levitator style ironclads. They have a very robust ballast system that allows them to support signifigant armor protection. Propulsion is primarily generated by a pair of small repulsor systems that are not tied to lifting the airship. This gives the Comet class the appearance of a paddlewheel steamer made of iron.
Weaponry consists of flame cannons, penetrator ballista and a wide assortment of other smaller weapons. The most potent weapon of the Comet class is the cadre of mages that serve along with the Air Marines who serve as ship's troops.
The second ship of the Comet class, the first being the Comet itself. The Jadgmund is considered one of the finest ships to ever launch in the modern age. According to K'tonian scholars, it would have rivaled many K'tonian era airships.
Many of the things learned from the K'tonian ruins and reverse engineering their equipement is less that brutally obvious. While the flying airships and the grand artificer's mechanical clocks are obvious, less so are the mundane applications.
The Screw Drive
This is no fancy method of travel, but a functional differential that can change the force of motion from one direction to another. The use of a screw drive allows for the energy/motion generated by a waterwheel of horse turned capstan to be translated into vertical or lateral motion to power a weaver's loom, automate billows for a forge, or some other semi-industrial application.
The Christie Suspension
This form of suspension allows for carriages and war wagons to have smoother rides. The wheel is mounted to an axle, and then the axle is mounted to the far side of the vehicle body and fixed to the close side by a shock dampening body, in some places a spring and in others a cylinder filled with air and water. This makes for a heavier carriage as well as making the vehicle a good bit taller, but a much more comfortable ride.
The creak and groan of the iron hearted, wood shod windmill was a constant one in old K'ton. When water was not available to drive water wheels, the K'tonians raised great scaffolded towers and mounted slatted wheels to capture the power of the wind. These could reach as large as fifty feet across in areas with reliable winds. While modern windmills exist, most are fixed in location, built as part of a greater building. The K'tonian windmills worm gears that could be used to rotate the great fans into the wind no matter its direction for greater power.
The common applications for these giant mills were dirving pumps that kept water out of the deep mines that the K'tonians dug into the earth. Other uses included drawing water from wells, powering grist mills, and running the strange sliding and swinging booms of their technology.
While it is speculated that the K'tonians were decimated by illness or some similar plague-like catastrophe, one of the great enigmas of the Realm is the lack of K'tonian remains. While many of the ruins have been close to hermetically sealed, none have contained any sort of burial chambers, mausoleums, or even unceremonious dead left where they fell. A number of theories have been put forward as to the reason behind this oddity.
The Cremation Theory - This version holds that the K'tonians cremated their dead and had nu use for the trappings on honored dead. While there are certainly K'tonian Furnaces that have been uncovered that could have immolated a body very quickly, unless the operators threw themselves in after the last dead body, there would still be some dead somewhere.
The Continuation Theory - this theory holds that the K'tonians were removed from theit vault cities by the survivors who made a wide-scale abandonment of technology. These cities were later sealed away from the rest of the world by happenstance and nature.
The Void Consumption Theory - this is one of the more outlandish theories floating around. It defines a powerful anti-ego demon that was drawn to acts of hubris, and in massive strike destroyed the K'tonians and drew them into some hellish realm of non-existance.
The Nimz Mummy - One of the most amazing finds from the Nimz deep excavations was a partially buried corpse that had by virtue of cavern airflow and calcium buildup from a stalagtite had survived, somewhat. Controvery surrounds the partial remains, and it can be determined that the creature in life had hollow bones and feathers or a vestigial, or possibly juvenile nature. Some claim this is the only known K'tonian corpse while more level heads assert that it was some sort of pet or form of avian livestock.
The Tevash Dead - Found a decade before the Nimz Mummy, the Tevash dead consist of six skeletal corpses. Each has a humanoid profile but long spindly fingers and a thick lower jaw. Many construe that the Tevash K'tonians would have looked similar to a hybrid human-orc creature with possible elven features such as pointed ears, slanted eyes, and delicate hands
The Vyger Bone Pit - The Vyger Bone Pit is a shallow mas grave discovered near the ruins of the Old world city of Vyger, now almost completely destroyed by wind and rain. The pit contains a large number of bones, reconstruction reveals a humanoid creature, though the skulls are so bady crushed and destroyed that they could not be reconstructed. The bodies are similar to the Tevash Dead, but are slightly lighter in build. Many of the bones show signifigant damage, many being fractured, broken, or severed.