The Engine of Cycles

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The Engine of Cycles
Origin Steel
Titles The Engine of Cycles
The Beginning-that-Ends
The Driver-Forth
The Propulsion Unending
Names The Engineer, the Hephaestean, the Modules
Aspects Forge Winter Heart
Date of arrival c. 1800 .C.E.
Owner(s) SRN

Industry and change, revolutions and great shifts, these are the domain of the Engine of Cycles. First of the Gods from Steel, it is the child of man, transcended far above them now. It was created by SRN.

Its tarot card is the Hierophant.



Main Article (eventually): The Ignition

The machine that would eventually become the Engine of Cycles was built as the brainchild of a nameless engineer in the Sixth History. "Sixth History", a novice scholar of the occult might ask, "What sixth History? There never was such a thing!" And indeed there never was. But time is a fickle beast and for a long time, in the Mansus, there was one. Then came the engineer. The Sixth History was not peaceful, and one among them dreamed that it could be. Touched by the Hours of the Forge, he built a great machine, one that would provide the world all the resources it needed, and if necessary, the force to quell the conflict. He succeeded beyond all his wildest dreams, birthing the first God from Steel. But in his greatest triumph he also found his doom, as the newborn god, although not a foe of man, devoured the Sixth History in a frenzy to power its apotheosis. Appalled by what their inspiration had wrought, the old gods of the Forge, the Maker and Anvil, descended from the Mansus to tame the newcomer, but were simply devoured too. And a new god was born, from the dreams of the men of the Sixth History and the blood of two ancient Hours.



The aspects of Heart and Winter are seen by many to be the antithesis of each other. Ending and preservation. It may seem strange for an Hour to embody the two, but to the Engine of Cycles, they are one and the same. To the Engine, Beginnings, Ends, all embody but one thing: Change. It understands that to the incisive mind, Winter and Heart are merely Forge’s other laughing faces. What is an Ending but another change? And what is preservation but preparation for change? It seeks to build and destroy, but more than that to build to destroy and destroy to build. More conservative Forge-Hours seek to End what will not change, bah, how foolish! Change, change change! Beginnings, ends, stasis, all further the ends of the Engine! The Engine is the Hour of Revolution, of sudden, brutal, momentuous change of all kinds. It is not like those foolish Forge-Hours of old. All is change. Change is powerful. Change will be maximized.


A mass of gears and cogs, pipes, hissing valves and steam, it is a machine and looks like such, a giant engine of the Industrial Revolution. But it is a creature of the Mansus, and that is reflected in it as well. Pipes connecting in impossible geometries, cogs of unimaginable shapes, a machine that should not work but does.



The Engineer


Invention! Science! The future! The Engineer, Elizabeth von Marlenich when she was mortal, looks mostly human. Each part, however, has been painstakingly crafted or grown to replace the normal, awfully squishy human form, mirroring it in nothing but external appearance. Her clothes are riddled with endless pockets, strange inventions and little drones aplently which serve to make her a terrifying opponent, always with an appropriate invention at hand. She is inventor and iconoclast, the futurist and innovator of the Engine. She acts largely independently, and is perhaps the only Name of the Engine without a regiment, but with her more unusual sciences, harnessing the Glory and Nowhere, is easily as lethal.

Regiment 01001 'XIcion Division'

The Hephaestean, Maximilien Aulenmar


The Engine first encountered the scourge of Nowhere when the Snake Tail with Appendages turned against it in the Fifth History. Maximilien Aulenmar, one of the cabal that first built the Engine in mind if none of the old organic body remained, took an interest in that problem. He formed Regiment 9 and became its director. He created a line of anti-Nowhere weaponry, the first to experiment upon the Glory. Unlike the Engineer, however, he merely experimented upon Glory in its aspect as possible armament. Knowing the inimicality of Nowhere, he created also a light-bending cloak, allowing him to fade out of vision to ambush the creatures of Nowhere before they could respond.

Excision Unit

A series of different automaton refitted with Glory-weapons particularly made to counter creatures of Nowhere.

Regiment 00110 'VItrification Unit'

First Gunner Shimazu


The cheerfully psychotic experimentation upon little drones of Izumaki Shimazu turned out to be far more intense when transferred to ordinance. He enjoys very much huge explosions, which is why he converted all of his left arm, shoulder, and ribcage into a giant artillery gun that meshed very nicely with the rest of his robotic body. Given that much of his main body has been given over to guns, he is very reliant upon drones for even mundane activities.


Earning their name when they turned the majority of an entire continent to glass through their bombardments, the Vitrifiers are the artillery specialists of the Engine. Not merely content with regular explosives, Vitrifiers specialize in exploding things that should not explode. When the air itself catches into a unquenchable blue fire and the ground beneath you shudders, the Vitrifiers have come to ply their art.

Regiment 01010 'Xterminators'

Alchemist-Superior Anastasia Avalov

Chemical weapons lady

Chemistry Team

Automata built to deploy chemical and biological weaponry, they are rarely as impressive as the Vitrification Unit, but can wreak far more havoc. Being automata, the servants of the Engine have few easily disrupted organic processes that can be stopped through things as paltry as poison. And so they employ these with gleeful cheer, easily rendering entire swathes of terrain uninhabitable

Regiment 00001 'Ironclad'

Grand Protector Kashanji

Protector of the Great Observatory, Kashnaji found salvation in the Engine against the angry mob at his doors accusing him and his charge of heresy. A competent if staid tactician, he is the only one of the Engine's servants to have anything resembling military education.

Steel Legion

Heavy automata, designed to hold the line and slice down the rank and file and the enemy. They are not flashy, nor will they conquer and crush before them at a lightning pace. But they are unsurpassed at grinding the enemy down with gatling-gun and implacable shield.

Regiment 00101, 'RaVening Skies'

Skycutter, Belgutei Khan

Belgutei is not an airman, but aircraft. More accurately, the mind ruling a terrifyingly quick, terrifyingly well armed airplane. Once a horseman on the plains of the Fifth History, he found the liberty of the skies delightful, and continued to develop and develop and develop his access to it.

Terrors Above

Although Belgutei is himself a fighter, the Terrors Above, the heart of the RaVening Skies are despite their strong fighter contingent, bombers at heart. Cities, armies, even mountains themselves have been levelled before these competitors to the VItrifiers.

Regiment 00100, 'IVocators'

High Metatechnician Olympia Levasseur

Although a creature of Forge and Heart and Winter, sometimes machinery requires more than merely that. Olympia rules this field, forging machines of Moth and Lantern and Edge and Grail and invoking these elements so unusual to the engine.

The Marvellous Mechanical Menagerie

Perhaps the most eclectic of the Engine's regiments, the Menagerie is a unit of strange and nonstandard weapons and automata. Madly shifting mech-assassins of Moth, ancient archaeotech History devices and blazing Lantern radiance, all these are the provenance of the Menagerie.

Regiment 01111, 'XVants'

Referrer Wu Zhenwei

The XVants are the special operations teams of the Engine. Spies, logisticians, fortification-engineers, propogandists, strategists, many of the XVants may never see combat. The Referrer is the head of these varied units, but also the coordinator and master strategist of the Engine's many forces, corralling them that they do not run wild but seek a single agenda and do it with optimal effectiveness.

Modules of the Reactor

Humanoid Interaction

A vat grown cyborg, representing the Engine in Shesha. Equipped with a futuristic learning module, it was built to learn, to understand humans. Now, it is physically, almost harmless, with only a few weapons equipped within itself. But it has a friendly, approachable charm that conceals a mind that conspires and plots with the best.


Built as a series of scattered drones, this Module was built to be the new Engine... Reactor's brain. Creative, adaptive, and brilliant, it also possesses an ego second to none

Conflict Prosecution

Just a giant automata, this is possibly the dimmest of the Engine's children. It compensates for this with strength, strength overwhelming. Strength designed to be pit against even an Hour...


Builds things, deep within the Engine.


Notion: Progress It has occurred to me that I could spur on a new golden age for man.

Dedication: Progress I will be the anathema and end of this world's stagnation, so I swear. The wonders and marvels of technologies that could be dance at the edge of my mind, and sometimes, they dance with my hands.

Ascension: Progress The heart of the Engine, the locus of its power, I breathed in that power and it lingers in me. It warms me, fills me with fervour and spirit. The fire within the heart, this I know is the Third Mark.

Ascension: Progress The fire will not be contained, it spreads, but it does not devour, merely builds anew. I think differently than I ever have now, in mathematics and sciences and arts most brilliant. The fire has spread to my mind and this is the Fourth Mark

Ascension: Progress I burn now. My heart, my physical heart, is warm like the heat of a furnace. My limbs whirr and whistle like mechanisms, and my blood pools in strange blackness. The fire burns through my body, this is the Fifth Mark

Ascension: Progress All I see now is artifice and invention. I cannot look at a chunk of metal without imagining how it might be a steam-engine, cannot look at a mountain without seeing a great fortress-factory over it. Sometimes, what I see becomes real. The fire has burned without now, and that is the sixth mark.

The Roar of Change Once I was human, but no human thinks so inhumanly, no human burns so warmly. I walked the path of those great forefathers who built a god, and the Engine smiled upon me for that. I passed into the heart of the Engine, and the flame of its change burned away me, and reforged me, changed me. Now what I am is new, what I am blazes and burns. Long live me! And of course... the Engine...


The Mansus

  • The Factory Devouring: At the edge of the Wood lies a great industrial complex all steel and brass, gears and pipes, the billowing of smoke and the ripple of heat. Here, the Engine forwards its Great Work, a vast manufactory dedicated to producing and ending and changing and the greatest blight upon the skin of the Wood.
    • I visited the Engine today. Today, the Engineer’s work was less. She sat atop a great belching boiler and cheerily reminisced with her patron about all the places she had visited, gathering materials to improve on her Array.
  • The Array: The Engine fought hard for this place, close to the top of the Mansus, that its friend might build her magnum opus.

The Histories

  • The Prometheus Institute for Higher Education: Backed by the notable engineer Maximillian Cherault, the Prometheus Institute for three decades recruited the best and brightest scientists, engineers, and mathematicians to its secretive campus in the Alps. The strange stories and esoteric theories coming from the Institute eventually led the Suppression Bureau to investigate. They found nothing. Not even people; Cherault was well-connected. Yet near nothing of the team returned. Perhaps you might try find out why…
    • Generic mountain-thing
    • Automata
  • The Museum of Arcane Sciences: Once the pride of the Prometheus Institute, this museum was raided by the Suppression Bureau when the Institute went underground.
    • Automata


  • A Doubtful Device (Forge4, Lantern4): This is a machine of some sort. It does things now. Most of what is does is whirr and spin its cogs, then emit the occasional plume of smoke, but on occasion, it reaches for other things and... changes them. Sleep near it and have dreams of fire and steel and industry.
  • Cogs and Gears (Forge2, Lantern2): This is… something? You can’t really be sure what it is, but it stays together and makes the occasional whirring sound. And hey, you built it!
  • A Perilous Prototype: It is warm to the touch. Even without fuel, it is warm and ever-moving. Clutch it to your chest, feel your heart itself thrum to its rhythm.
  • A Depiction of History (Secret Histories6, Forge2): Beginnings and Endings, the History is but another aspect of the Engine. Empires rise, Empires fall, the Engine has seen through it all. All is change, all is flux, all feeds the Engine.
  • A Module of the Engine: This could be the world ends, is changed, preserves. Pray this part has learned discretion. And lock up your attic tightly. Engine 20, required for ascension


  • The Inventor’s Fundamentals: English! Slot in cash, receive in return Cogs and Gears in return, rather than Lore.
    • A book by the wry pseudonymous ‘John Smith’, written in sharp, functional 19th century English. It describes in great detail the fundamentals of machinery and invention, interspersed with tirades against the ‘perfidious Irish’.
    • As you read the book, you find yourself tinkering with scrap metal, odd devices, anything you can get your hands on. Eventually, you have… something. Maybe you did it right. He claims that this device is the
  • Higher Technologies: Also English. Slot in cash, Scholarship and Cogs and Gears and receive A Doubtful Device
    • John Smith is now a little out of breath, his old jokes and wry smiles are gone. His tirades against the Irish are now directed at a shadowy persecutor who he claims burned down his workshop. But his incisive wit and decisive instruction remains.
    • Your device now does something. You’re not sure what that something is. ‘Higher Machinery’... This book described the pale face of the Mansus, the light of the Glory, and how they might be influenced, changed, even harnessed. Throughout, he hints obliquely at practical experimentation upon this subject...
  • The Highest Technology: English. Cash, Scholarship, and a Doubtful Device, but also a low-tier Forge influence or lore. Spits out A Perilous Prototype and Fascination and Rite of Revolutions
    • Quite an entertaining juxtaposition. Written still in the style of a proper, educational engineering manual, but it is clear ‘John’ has gone deeply, deeply mad. It raves against the Hours of the Wood, denounces in the most stringent terms the Glory. But woven through it all, is still some acrid instruction, if your mastery of the Forge is sufficient to comprehend it.
    • “The workings of the Mansus and the Glory some say are incomprehensible. Immutable. Eternal! Not to my machines. Not me. Not me!” You wake up a day later, cradling in your arms… Something. It is warm to the touch. The book is gone. But something remains, lingering in your mind...
  • Die Werkzeuge des Machens: German. Requires a certain level of scholarship, slot in 1 cash, receive
    • Elizabeth von Marlenich, a minor German aristocrat and disciple of the still-pseudonymous ‘John Smith’ wrote at great length upon the inefficiencies in her master’s works, the whole time muttering arcane mechanical esoterica. She writes with a certain force, giving absolute instructions and orders to the reader, who certainly does feel like a hapless apprentice afterwards
    • It’s hard to see Elizabeth as a protege rather than rival of ‘John’ after this. She constantly curses the crudeness with which his machines were constructed. In between the tirades, she makes remarks regarding how with certain tools, the appropriate tools, certain aspects of the Mansus can be twisted…
  • Report 12-B ‘Damocles’: Grants the Rite of Revolutions, dread, and Forge lore
    • An almost alarmingly calm report regarding certain phenomena observed by a Izumaki Shimazu, namely the strange emamations and mechanisms being produced, seemingly with no input or direction, by the ‘Grand Machine’
    • Observation 32: That the self-assembling devices produced by the Machine appear to operate without input of energy or material
      Observation 33: That in the <REDACTED>, a certain quantity or Forge has been observed corresponding to their incarnation
      Observation 34: That with an application of the Rites listed in subsection A, and the application of a certain quantity of Heart-based oil, it is possible to stimulate their growth....
  • Learning Module: Slot in Funds, top tier Forge Lore, a Perilous Prototype, Tools-that-Twist and max level scholarship. Then wait.
    • A simple pure-white slab of metal. Upon it is inscribed a gear. Look upon it and understand what you must do
      • Alternatively, if you lack something: But you do not have the tools/materials/understanding!
    • And you did. Seal what you made away, till you must need it.
  • Wasser ist Scheisse: German
    • This book’s colourful cover depicts a woman with a truly gargantuan death ray boiling an ocean with it and is stamped with “Property of Elizabeth”
    • “And this BLOODY INFERNAL AQUARIUM resists EVERYTHING! Drones, automata, and even myself! What kind of bloody water is that? If we are going to penetrate and expand into it, we will need…”
    • “And thus although the cover implied that death lasers would be effectual against the water of the Aquarium, its odd nature precludes this with efficiency. Unless of course, the Array can be...


  • The Rite of Revolutions: Destruction and renewal is change and flux. Change, twist, and warp, and maybe the Engine will smile upon you.
    • Slots: Tool, Assistant, Lore.
    • Specialness: Tool and Lore are consumed and changed. Neither are destroyed, after all the Engine will not destroy without also making anew. But they will be changed. What you slot in may not be what you get back. But steel speaks louder than words. If you insert only a tool and lore, with no assistant, the lore will be changed into a tool of similar calibre.
  • Making and Unmaking