City of Iron: The Beginning

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Published on Wednesday, 14 August 2013 17:15
steampunkblog
 
Ahead, the rutted track darkened with shapes approaching from the City of Iron. The shapes became a man on a horse and a wheeled contraption that spewed black smoke into the canopy of trees shading the road. The horseman galloped ahead and the merchant recognized the messenger, his face drawn and damp with sweat.
The merchant leaned toward the messenger. “Is that...”

“The Master himself,” the messenger said. “Tork. He could have sent any of his Engineers but insisted on coming himself.”

“Did he know the dead man?”

The messenger shook his head. “He came because he thinks he knows the killer.”

Tork waved his cigar over the dead soldier to scatter the flies, then knelt and tugged the cloak aside. He grunted. The body was as he’d expected, and feared. Legs missing below the knees, the stumps indicating several hacks from axe-like blades to sever the limbs. Chest and stomach pocked with dozens of bruised puncture wounds, as if the poor lad had been stuck again and again with needles as large as a fire poker.

Tork had seen enough wounds of butchery, on others as well as himself, to know the soldier had been alive for all of it. The only good news was he didn’t have his entire chest cavity bored out, as some of the bodies had, and he’d most likely died of blood loss. Not a bad way to go, if it happens quickly enough. And it must have happened quickly—Tork couldn’t find a drop anywhere on the body.

He pulled the cloak over the young man’s contorted face and stood. The corpses were increasing in frequency, dumped throughout Legion territory without any effort to conceal—let alone consecrate—them. King Jeraziah and the Martyrs believed they were sacrifices to the dark gods and arts of the Hellbourne.

Tork knew better. He’d built and tested countless machines designed to maim, kill, destroy. This body, and the others like it, were target practice.

Tork spat the cigar into the mud and returned to his steam-powered wagon. He cranked the steering column around and churned toward the City of Iron, unsure what worried him more; the fact that the target practice seemed to be nearing an end and the source of the grisly deaths would soon be unleashed upon the battlefield, or that he recognized the twisted mind behind their creation.
 
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Ultimate Pyromancer
Steampunk Pyromancer

* Caustor the Pyromancer lost his magical ability to command the flames of Sol, then rejoiced when he learned of the steam-powered weapons and armor the Legion Engineers were building to battle a new mysterious Hellbourne threat. Now he has his beloved flames back, as long as he can control them...
* Item/Effect:
* Mana Battery/Power Supply: Weapon changes from gun to arm-mounted flamethrower
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* Portal Key: Clockwork Dragon Minion
* Sheepstick: Unique Form Change (Clockwork Sheep)
* Grimoire of Power / Spellshards: Body Armor Upgrade
 
Organ Grinder Bloodhunter
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Drillex Gromancer
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Steamoth Behemoth
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Mortracksus Moraxus
Mortracksus

* Someone in Hell's Keep is developing new machines of destruction for the Hellbourne, and the first to roll onto the battlefield is Mortracksus, a steam-driven and blade-covered butcher.
 
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