The Imperial Corps of Engineers
We live in an age where technology has allowed us to finally choose our leaders based on the nobility of their blood and spirit, rather than the weight of their coinpurse or archaic mystical talents. Together, with science, we will build a better future.
-Machinist Elizabeth Richter, The Imperial Corps of Engineers
The Imperial Corps of Engineers is an organization of architects, scientists, laborers, and other innovators which has strong political ties to families of ancient noble lineage. With the patronage of these aristocrats, they have taken the world by storm with their inventions, from the steam train to the journey ship- and they continue to pursue scientific progress from the laboratories of Amara to the wild jungles of the Ki’Maran frontier.
The origin of the Imperial Corps of Engineers about a century and a half ago has been long shrouded in mystery, as the very first Engineers were recruited in complete secrecy. The team was assembled through the patronage and organization of several noble-blooded Amaran citizens, who could trace their lineage back to the Acherian kings and queens of old. Believing technology to be the future and the magic-dependent Order of the Solemn at the center of the empire utterly corrupt, this covert alliance of skilled scientists, engineers, and nobles staged a bloodless coup. They raised the colossal Palace of Parliament in a single day, using great industrial machines powered by Helatite. Rather than face civil war between the imperial army and the Corps’ machines, the Empire conceded to a compromise. Half of Parliament would be populated by traditional oligarchic leaders, while the other half would be noble-blooded appointees from several recognized families.
This new governing body, charged with managing the vast Imperial holdings and the initial colonization of Ki’Mara within a few decades, has never quite made peace with itself. A silent war rages on between the factions of Parliament that mirrors the conflict between old magic and new science being faced by society as a whole. The corps continues to innovate, and all of Parliament benefits from its technological and scientific brilliance of its members, but their prolific construction projects over the last century has also contributed vastly to the burgeoning resource crisis being faced by the Empire. While some engineers may have doubts about the Empire’s sustainability, others single-mindedly pursue progress in an effort to outrun the crisis through improved resource management.
Among other extraordinary inventions authored by the Corps,
they are responsible for the existence of the Helatite-powered steam train, as
well as the Firearm (though this latter example is now in wide use outside of
the Engineers). Recently, their cutting edge has been more impressive than
ever, with treatments for long-incurable maladies being discovered every month,
humanoid automatons attaining ever-greater situational awareness, and airships
being built with increasing tactical and logistical viability. Not every member
is a scientist, or even a craftsman; many have simply placed their faith in the
promises of technology or the noble families and work for the corps as general
laborers and managers.
Engineers in the Caravan
As an Engineer in the Caravan, you are uniquely poised to make extraordinary scientific and technological discoveries using the mysterious and prolific resources of the Ki’Maran frontier. The Caravan is also the most important place to be when it comes to deciding the future of the Colonies, and perhaps the Empire itself, in the interest of the Corps: namely, to leave rail lines in the Caravan’s wake, and to bring the wonders of technology to every settlement founded by the expedition. Of all the political groups with a prevailing interest in solving the Imperial resource crisis, perhaps theirs is the most desperate, and nowhere is that interest reflected more strongly than in the Caravan.
Ranks and Powers
(Faction powers are legal abilities that rely on in-game compliance with the law and are not enforced by any game mechanic.)
The Imperial Corps of Engineers, while made up of a wide
range of individuals with varying skill sets, nevertheless employs a fairly
linear organizational structure, with plenty of special titles and associated
duties for specialists in various fields. The upper management of the Corps is
not a part of this command structure; instead, its leaders are appointed by the
Noble Families. The knowledge of ranks beyond the ones described below is
provided to established members only.
Description: You are a new addition to the Corps or a basic
laborer with no desire or aptitude for advancement. Apprentices must work on group
projects at the behest of Artisans, Machinists or higher ranking engineers.
Power: At each check in, you are given a minor but useful gadget to use for the duration of the event.
Catch: You must conduct tests and make a verbal or written report to your superiors on the effectiveness of the gadget you are given. If you fail to make reports, you risk losing your membership in the Corps.
Description: You have made a mark as a Apprentice, likely by means of a notable creation, helping to advance the political interests of the Corps, or both. You may be tasked with management of a project team, or other critical tasks.
Power: Once per month, you may invoke the Parliamentary influence of your noble-blooded patrons to cut through any legal opposition on a construction project you deem essential. You are more or less granted a “Warrant to Build”, which your opponents can only revoke by successfully appealing directly to your superiors.
Catch: If you encounter any opposition when enacting your right to conduct essential construction projects, you will be expected to justify your actions to your superiors in the Corps. If you fail to do so, you may find your project cancelled.
Description: You are more than any tinkerer or talking head; you are a valued leader, responsible for coordinating massive projects across multiple teams. Many Machinists are scientific or technological visionaries themselves.
Power: Once every three months, you may launch a project with more than just the right to do so; provided your idea passes the evaluation process, you will enjoy the full support of the Corps, including a Convoy of laborers and supplies.
Catch: Before an Imperial Convoy is dispatched, you must compose a detailed construction plan including a list of necessary supplies and labor. This plan is then evaluated by your superiors and a decision will be rendered within a month.
- The Advocacy: "It’s a complicated matter. On the
one hand, these philanthropists are our closest allies in Parliament. On the
other, they have more than once made their ethics an obstacle to our scientific
advancement and expansion of rail lines in Ki'mara, despite the obvious benefits to all.”
- The Caravan Union: "They are undoubtedly a necessity
to all potential futures in Ki’Mara, but what with their attempts to play
mediator between opposing interests, it remains to be seen where they stand on
the important issues of our age."
- The Foreign Legion: "They can be brutal and
mercenary, but are generally seen as a necessary evil. They are our protectors,
but great care must be taken to ensure they do not abuse the power of that
- The Order of the Solemn: "Driven by pure greed and
lust for power, this delusional, sneering gang entertains outdated fantasies of
a world run by wealthy businessmen with mystical insight. Bottom line- they’re
the past, we’re the future.”