by Max Barry

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The Wandering City of
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Overview Factbook Dispatches Policies People Government Economy Rank Trend Cards

5

Military capabilities of Eisenstern

Branches of Eisenstern's
Armed Forces

The Black Legion


Designation:

Primary Combat Force

Troops in active service:

Variable
Generally around 9,000,000

Reserve Troops:

Variable
Potentially infinite

Form of Service:

Purpose-built

Headquarters:

The Blackforge

Commander:

Vehn, the Crafted

Military Quality Index:

Skill: 7.5
Discipline: 10
Morale: 10

The Guild of Eisenstern


Designation:

Elite Troops

Troops in active service:

138,000

Reserve Troops:

205,000

Form of Service:

Enlistment via
Guild contract

Headquarters:

The Guild Halls

Commander:

Vinzenz Kresge

Military Quality Index:

Skill: 8-10
Discipline: 7-8
Morale: 7-10

The Municipal Peacekeeping Force


Designation:

Paramilitary Police
Reserve Defenders

Troops in active service:

67,000

Reserve Troops:

800,000

Form of Service:

Employment

Headquarters:

Municipal Justice Block

Commander:

Kuno Detlev

Military Quality Index:

Skill: 4-7
Discipline: 5-6
Morale: 4-6

The Watcher Corps


Designation:

Internal Security

Troops in active service:

Unknown

Reserve Troops:

N/A

Form of Service:

Unknown

Headquarters:

Vault Nexus

Commander:

Vinzenz Kresge

Military Quality Index:

Skill: 10
Discipline: 10
Morale: 10

An Overview

Though Eisenstern has no land area to speak of, harbors a comparatively small population, and consists of a single city, its military capabilities are rather disproportionate with what its description would suggest. What follows is a breakdown of its most notable military assets and branches.


Branches and Divisions


The Black Legion

Kresge knew, when considering defensive options for his city, that he would be severely limited by manpower constraints. After all, his guild was numerous in membership when compared to other organizations of its type, but still paled in comparison to most nations' standing armies. He decided to solve this issue with the creation of the Blackforge - a massive, highly complex device, capable of manufacturing potentially infinite duplicates of certain objects and mechanisms at practically no resource investment. Then, he devised the templates of what it would actually produce - thus, the Black Legion was born.

In effect, the Legion is made up of a variable number of "drones" - golems, built to one of several standardized templates, serving as Eisenstern's primary combat branch. At their head is Vehn, the Crafted - quite apart from his ilk, he was personally built by Kresge himself, and imbued with complexity unheard of in prior models of golem. He was also built with a mind - a great, expansive thing, capable of far more complex thought processes than that of a mere human. Powerful enough to, for example, assume direct control of innumerable bodies simultaneously, puppeteering them with perfect precision. This is how the Legion operates - as a cohesive whole. It is a hive-mind of sorts, and Vehn may relay information between units as he sees fit. Thus, anything seen or felt by one unit is immediately transmitted to the rest. And each individual soldier has other advantages over their organic counterparts - they do not require rest, are immensely durable, capable of repairing themselves in the field, and can sustain grievous damage before finally ceasing operation. Functionally, each golem is little more than an animated metal shell - hollow, and with no internal components to speak of for the most part. It is functionally impossible to "kill" one without the usage of some rather esoteric magic - that being said, a golem that sustains enough damage to render it incapable of both combat and self-repair will likely be abandoned by Vehn in order to free up processing capacity.

Most importantly, their numbers may not be depleted - the Blackforge can keep churning them out, making up for any losses sustained. It is worth noting that while the processes maintaining the Blackforge's function are eternal, its operation still requires mechanical forging and assembly, and is therefore not instantaneous. This limits the number of troops that may be created at any given moment, though the exact speed of production varies between models. Once assembled, troops may be warped to practically any location within the Tower's range - this means more or less the entire omniverse, save a few choice regions where such travel is rendered difficult.

Golems of the Legion come in various shapes and sizes and may be fitted with various armaments, depending on their role. Some notable models are listed below.

  • Legionnaire
    Standard model. Approximately human-sized, plain save for a black cloak and the Eisenstern brand, etched onto the front of the otherwise featureless head. Similar to mannequins in appearance, with ball-jointed limbs. Highly resistant to small-arms fire or typical melee weaponry. Notably superhuman strength, marginally superhuman speed and agility. Right hand is of standard human-like configuration, and is generally used to wield one of several melee weapons (the most common being a single-edged sword with a hooked tip). Left hand contains medium-yield arcane projector, attuned to non-elemental magic. This makes it equally effective against most enemy forces, and difficult to defend against (though it also precludes specialization, and holds no particularly high degree of effectiveness against any specific form of foe). Generally used to project a personal shield, fire various forms of projectile, or supplement the physical capabilities of itself or other units.

  • Protector
    Standard model. Somewhat larger than a human, approximately 2 meters in height. Heavyset build. Plain, save for the Eisenstern brand etched into the front of the head. Appearance similar to Legionnaires, though with notably heavier armored plating and concealed joints. Immune to small-arms fire, highly resistant to conventional explosives. Vastly superhuman strength. Hands absent - right arm terminates in heavy, single-edged blade with hooked tip. Left arm terminates in greatshield, large enough to easily cover the entirety of the Protector. Shield is heavily reinforced and warded, to the extent of withstanding artillery fire and most magical attacks.

  • Marksman
    Standard model. Similar size, build, adornment and physical capabilities to the Legionnaire. Right hand is of standard human-like configuration, but may be converted into deployable blade on demand. Left hand absent. Left arm terminates in weapon bearing marked similarities to a repeating crossbow. Notable differences include arcane-assisted acceleration mechanism, lack of conventional "string", and the ability to imbue fired bolts with spells affecting their in-flight performance, impact effects and physical properties.

  • Arquebus
    Standard model. Identical to the Marksman, with the exception of the left hand. Left arm terminates in repeating cannon-like device, with a barrel diameter of approximately 5cm. Common ammunition types include solid lead spheres, explosive charges, arcane-infused solid lead spheres (the trajectory of which may be controlled mid-flight), armor-piercing charges, corrosive charges, fragmentation charges and others.

  • Harrow
    Specialized model. Approximately 2.2 meters in height, lanky build. Adorned with ceremonial black and gilt robes, though these are often ragged and torn. Vastly superhuman speed, agility and strength. Unlike most other models, is generally not under Vehn's direct control. Accordingly equipped with much higher cognitive functions than standard models, and may act independently. Both hands of human-like configuration, though notably longer and thinner. Additional joints present in arms, legs and fingers. Equipped with highly sharpened claws, alongside a heavy, single-edged blade with a hooked tip. Capable of highly specific magical feats, generally pertaining to perceptual and mental manipulation. Capable of disorienting, temporarily blinding and deafening, or even controlling enemy targets, alongside several other forms of similar attack. Often heralded by a dense mist or fog - a byproduct of integrated stabilizer units, with a similar effect to Weston's Shroud (viz. Relics).

  • Juggernaut
    Specialized model. Approximately 7 metres in height, heavyset build. Equipped with incredibly heavy-duty armored plating, making them highly resistant to most forms of conventional attack. Massively superhuman strength. Right arm terminates in combination weapon, similar in construction to both a large axe and a hydraulic ram. May be used for hacking and slashing using the axe blade, or propelled forwards using a powerful hydraulic system to crush vehicles and destroy fortifications. Left arm terminates in multi-barreled revolving cannon, with a barrel diameter of around 20cm.

  • Shrike
    Specialized model. Approximately 2.5m in height, average build. Equipped with spaced armor plating on the forearms, upper torso, head and legs. Shoulder plates extend into two wing-like appendages, around one meter in length, each ending with a small Aether Turbine. Forearm plates extend into two curved blades. Torso plates feature detents capable of carrying bombs, supply payloads or other Legion golems. Capable of flight in both atmospheric and vacuum environments, with a maximum sustained speed of Mach 2.5 and potential burst acceleration of up to Mach 5. Depending on altitude and speed, wing appendages may extend into spectral flight surfaces, up to six meters in total length. Hands absent - each arm terminates in a specialized arcane projector, optimized for long range offensive use.

  • Desolator
    Specialized model. Similar size, build, adornment and physical capabilities to the Protector. Both arms terminate in Fel Cannons, capable of projecting Felfire via various delivery modes. Felfire is far hotter than mundane fire, burns with a distinctive green tint, and may not be extinguished except by magical intervention or depletion of fuel. Common delivery modes include flamethrower-like stream, "fireball"-like explosive projectile and short-ranged conical blast.

  • Coach-a-Bower
    Specialized model. Non-humanoid in appearance - most similar to a heavy steam locomotive in size and form. Monolithic, angular armor plating, covering all external features and blemishes. Featureless, save for Eisenstern brand on the front of what would usually be the boiler. Also unlike a traditional locomotive, is capable of traction on any surface (including semisolids and liquids), via the creation of semi-corporeal guide-rails. This grants pseudo-levitative capabilities when needed, though the unit is ill-suited for aerial combat due to poor maneuverability. Utilized in place of traditional armored vehicles, as either a troop transport or breakthrough device. May comfortably carry approximately 16 humanoid troops, or 32 Legionnaire units. Armored plating is backed up by heavy-duty warding and an active-engagement point-defense system for the interception of kinetic, magical and energy-based attacks. Offensive capabilities mainly consist of integral Felfire cannons, alongside a number of flechette dispensers for anti-personnel use. May occasionally repolarize frontal point-defense components to provide striking force, and thereby augment its already considerable ramming capabilities.

  • Geist
    Specialized model. No physical body - each Geist is an energo-conceptual construct, given shape and partially tied to the material plane through a complex series of incantations, alongside a physical locus (generally a so-called "binding cube", stored within the Tower). Their appearance may vary wildly, though their base form resembles that of the Legionnaire, albeit unarmed, slightly translucent and possessive of numerous spike-like protrusions along the forearms and torso, alongside two large, curved horn-like spikes atop the head. While unable to directly interact with matter, each Geist may direct its considerable arcane energies (which also allow them to excel at practically all forms of spellcasting) towards manipulating local reality in various ways, and may also interact directly with the morphic field and conceptual basis of both material and immaterial targets. As such, Geists are the primary combat force utilized against opponents that, for one reason or another, may not be destroyed through conventional means. In traditional, material combat, they occupy the role of support spellcasters. They are also occasionally dispatched in small numbers to deal with non-magical forces (as they are impossible to harm or halt through corporeal means).

  • Kineticlast
    Specialized model. Identical to Legionnaire in size and build, save for the absence of a cloak and the presence of numerous rod-like protrusions on the upper back and shoulders, alongside a small crown-like conglomeration around the forehead and temples. Generally unarmed, though may be equipped with a standard-issue blade if necessary. Capable of projecting seemingly sourceless, directed force. Such projection is visibly indicated by a distortion of space around the ends of the rod-like protrusions, and may be applied in a variety of ways. Typical applications include a striking or cutting force for offensive use, alongside the deflection and halting of airborne projectiles. May also be used to telekinetically manipulate enemy soldiers and equipment, create invisible "force walls" that block the passage of physical matter, or reshape the environment to create advantageous combat positions. Provides no protection whatsoever from energy-based attacks and immaterial magic - as such, Kineticlasts are rarely deployed alone, and are typically backed by a smaller contingent of Geists.

  • Referator
    Specialized model. Approximately 2 meters in height, slender build. Atypical composition - carapace formed from an opalescent, resin-like substance. Surrounded by ring of 25 hovering crystal rods, around 40 centimeters in length, typically orbiting at shoulder height in a vertical alignment. Practically immune to directed energy attacks. Rods serve as both defensive tool and weapon - may be telekinetically manipulated by each unit, and arranged into various conglomerate mechanisms when multiple units are in cooperation. Rods are highly durable, and possess notable piezoenergetic properties, releasing energy blasts upon striking solid surfaces with sufficient force. They may also be utilized for the reflection, refraction, diffraction and capture of energy. Typically utilized to intercept directed energy fire, and refract it into storage gems within the unit's body. Energy may then be re-released in the form of focused beams, or an increase in the potency of piezoenergetic energy blasts in close combat. A sufficiently large number of units working together may, without issue, shield a primary force contingent from all manner of directed energy weaponry, up to and including what may traditionally be considered superweapons. Several instances of their use as a planetary defense network against such weapons have been recorded.


The Guild of Eisenstern

Despite the Black Legion's impressive military strength in both individual capabilities and sheer, unending manpower, there are certain gaps left in battlefield roles that they cannot quite fill. Such gaps are adequately closed by the Guild of Eisenstern - the creators and technical owners of their eponymous city-state and accompanying Tower. Though the Guild seldom interfere in the daily runnings of the city, they gladly lend themselves to the defense of its interests in armed conflict. Practically every member of the Guild is possessive of some degree of superhuman capabilities, exceedingly well-trained in various forms of warfare, and typically skilled with some combination of conventional weaponry and arcane practices.

While the Guild does not employ a traditional system of regiments and unit specializations (primarily due to the large diversity in the capabilities and combat styles of its individual members), it does deploy operatives in specialized teams. These are assembled according to cooperative dynamics and the synergy of individual fighting styles, generally under the command of a more skilled and experienced adventurer. Several exceptions exist - most notably within the Council of Seven, the ruling body of the Guild. Members of the Council generally venture into battle alone, as each of them is more than capable of besting entire armies single-handedly. On the few occasions where the entire Council was deployed simultaneously, they have been known to level whole worlds without much difficulty.

While the abilities and feats exhibited by Guild Operatives vary wildly by rank, species and fighting style, they are consistently at some level of superhuman. The primary factor behind this is the so-called Experience Effect - a pseudo-magical phenomenon inherent to certain realities, affecting cell development and bodily attributes at an unexpectedly high rate when facilitated by training or combat. Kresge has studied this effect extensively, and has managed to infuse it into objects - practically all equipment utilized by the Guild, alongside the Tower itself, is imbued with this property, allowing Guild Operatives to hone their skills and capabilities far beyond that which would normally be possible (though such improvements still require rigorous training). As this is a sympathetic, borderline-mundane form of magic (if it can even be called that), it is unaffected by phenomena and techniques which nullify or restrict conventional magic. Due to this, Operatives of the Guild may be expected to exhibit feats surpassing their racial norm, regardless of circumstance or inherent magical ability of the Operative in question.

Typical Equipment:

Highly varied. No standardized uniform or loadout exists - Guild Operatives may be clad in practically any combination of clothing, armor and accessories. They may also carry equipment of their choice, ranging from heavily-enchanted medieval weaponry to advanced directed-energy armaments, and everything in between.

Combat Style & Doctrine:

Equally varied. Influenced heavily by each Operative's history and provenance. Parties typically house Operatives whose combat styles compliment each other, and form the basic military unit of the Guild.

A few notable operatives of the Guild are featured here.


The Municipal Peacekeeping Force

While not technically a military organization per se, the Municipal Authority's peacekeepers are considered reservists, to be employed as defenders in the event that the Tower is breached. In equipment and training, they are more akin to a police force (which is, in fact, their primary function), although with a notably larger armed presence than is typical of such an organization, owing primarily to their diverse stock of equipment and unusual racial makeup (including certain races with inherently heightened combat capabilities).

It is also worth noting that the Tower maintains a voluntary citizens' militia, which may also fall under the command of the Municipal Authority in the event of a siege. Aside from this, there exist several independent factions and organizations within the city that will likely rise up in armed defense of it, such as security contractors and mercenary firms.

Typical Equipment:

Enchanted body-armor, reminiscent of riot police. Stun batons and concussive pistols are typically carried for patrol purposes, though paramilitary units are often equipped with far heavier classes of weaponry, alongside powerful magic.

Combat Style & Doctrine:

Primarily defensive. In the event of an attack on the Tower, paramilitary units will make sure to set up easily defensible chokepoints, while evacuating citizens to safety. Strong element of team cohesion present. Usage of cover is emphasized, alongside saturated fire for the purpose of suppression and area denial.


The Watcher Corps

The Vault is a keystone of Eisenstern's agenda, and one of the most securely-guarded places within the entire Tower. A stringent security detail is paramount, for the relics stored within are perhaps the most crucial asset (in both a military and economic sense) to which the Guild may lay claim. A large part of this security comes from the so-called Watcher Corps - an order of knight protectors who are rarely, if ever, seen outside the Vault's winding halls.

Information on the Watchers is scarce, as they not only reside in seclusion, but are never known to speak or show their faces. Each member of the Corps is clad in a distinctive set of Abyssal Iron platemail, which covers their entire bodies. Despite this, they seem to move with a level of grace and fluidity that one would not expect from such heavy apparel - a testament to their tremendous strength, speed and agility. They carry double-edged greatswords, which they utilize in a fighting style that is purportedly based on that of the Guildmaster himself - their signature technique involves the creation of a second, spectral blade by magical means. This mana-blade is then wielded alongside their physical weapon, and the two may even be temporarily combined, echoing Kresge's greatscissor.

Their exact numbers, race, providence and identities remain known only to the Guildmaster, whom they obey without question and with great zeal. In the few documented cases where they were known to exit the Vault, they have typically occupied the role of an honor guard and escort force.

Typical Equipment:

Heavy platemail, composed of an Abyssal Iron alloy. Straight, double-edged greatsword, forged from the same material. Both are heavily enchanted, primarily for the purposes of magic resistance. As such, Watchers are exceedingly difficult to take down with spells or any sort of targeted reality warping, and may easily negate defensive magic with their onslaught. Their armor composition also ensures tremendous conventional durability - due to the outlandish physical properties of the constituent alloy, kinetic and thermal impacts against them are not only lessened in force, but also often transition into am as-of-yet poorly understood form of intent-guided proto-ward.

Combat Style & Doctrine:

Emphasis on dodging over "tanking", deceptively agile despite choice of equipment. While Watchers seldom audibly communicate, they show a remarkable level of awareness of each others' actions, and will often operate cohesively. Generally fight in pairs when possible.


Other Weapons and Defenses


The Tower

When considering Eisenstern's defensive capabilities, it would be foolish to discount the Tower in which it is situated. Kresge envisioned it as a machine of war from the very beginning - its role as a city was more of a sidenote, an interesting usage of its interior properties. The walls of the Tower were not built, but forged - three meters thick, composed of solid Abyssal Iron. This alone is enough to deter most forms of attack, both conventional and magical, as this exceedingly rare metal is not only immensely durable, but also acts as a fantastic absorber of magic. In fact, magical energies that dissipate through the walls of the Tower are collected within great arcane batteries on its core systems level, to be utilized for powering its armaments and systems. As an additional precaution, the walls were warded over with a triple layer of protective spells, further increasing their durability and tensile strength. The core protective elements are supplemented by an unfathomably complex, layered network of subroutines, integral charms and existential markers, providing additional protection from a wide variety of sources, as well as making it quite literally impossible to manipulate space within the Tower without direct access to its authorization systems (thus barring any sort of temporal manipulation, instantaneous transit or targeted reality erasure of the Tower's interior from being executed by any external entity). The end result is a structure that can (and has, several times) withstand forces up to and including point-blank thermonuclear detonations in the gigatons, planet-killer superweapons and strikes from beings widely considered to be gods. The Tower is also completely vacuum-sealed, and constructed in such a way as to allow full operational capabilities underwater, within a vacuum, and in extreme environmental conditions.

One must then take into account the Tower's mobility - though its speed of levitation is rather sluggish, its true strength comes from the so-called Rift Rail - a massive device, constructed around the artifact known as the World Casket, that allows for the instantaneous transportation of the tower to practically any point in omniversal spacetime. This may be used as a tool for repositioning, rapid advance or equally rapid retreat. There is a short cooldown period of around three seconds in between jumps - occasionally longer, depending on the distance traveled. It is somewhat hazardous for the Tower to jump into an as-of-yet unexplored reality, as its laws of physics and environmental attributes may be unwelcoming to the existence of conventional matter. The Rail also acts as the fulcrum for a complex and expansive warp network, which is often utilized for troop deployment to predesignated points. If provided with sufficiently precise locational data on the target area, its range is approximately equivalent to that of the Tower itself - that is to say, theoretically unlimited. Such capabilities may in fact be repurposed offensively, in order to relocate elements of the Tower's armament system (viz. below) such as projectiles or even whole armament platforms in-transit, allowing for range extension and the bypassing of defenses.

Finally, there are the Tower's offensive capabilities. Its armaments are as varied as they are effective - in both the mundane and the magical, Kresge has sought to outfit his creation with the best available technology. It is also worth noting that these weapons are constantly subject to upgrading and replacement, generally by the hand of the Guild's Grand Engineer, Sabira Vetui. Most such systems operate on some form of autonomous framework, or are manned by dedicated gunners. They are also linked to a central control device within a specially-designed chamber of the Guild Hall, from which they may be utilized directly (typically by Kresge himself). The targeting interface resembles an overly complex, mechanically-augmented pipe organ (and is, in fact, capable of producing music, both alongside and irrespective of its defensive controls). Some notable examples of the Tower's armaments are listed below.

  • Fel Cannons
    Similar to the smaller, drone-mounted equivalents detailed above, Fel Cannons are a weapon primarily designed for large-scale area strikes against both vehicles and personnel. Each is powered by a trapped Daemon, and fires a signature combustible mixture known as Felfire. This flame burns with a distinctive green tint, and can reach abnormally hot temperatures. A fully charged Fel Cannon is capable of entirely vaporizing heavy vehicles with a direct strike. Perhaps the most notable (and infamous) characteristic of Felfire is its inability to be extinguished by non-magical means - once an object is ignited, it will burn until all fuel has been depleted. It may burn underwater, in an inert atmosphere, and even within a vacuum.

  • Vortex Lances
    Another example of a directed-magic weapon, Vortex Lances utilize large-scale gravitational manipulation to compress all matter within a target area into a single, tiny point. It is then selectively decompressed - having gained significant energy through compression, such an action generally results in a directed discharge of plasma. Typical patterns of decompression include omnidirectional explosions, shotgun-like cones and concentrated plasma beams.

  • Shards of Balthazar
    More of a defensive tool, though with definitive offensive applications. Manifests as translucent panes of glass-like substance, which hover around the Tower. When struck, they shatter into smaller pieces of incredible sharpness, and proceed to seek out whatever shattered them. This is done via an "intent-seeking" system - the shards will always target the originator of the intended strike. For instance, shattering a pane using a cannon shell will cause the shards to seek out the gunner responsible. Usage of a drone will cause them to home in on the drone's operator, wherever they may be. They are constrained by maximum range, however, and will not target artificial intelligences (due to their criteria for what constitutes as "intent"). The shards possess some rudimentary facsimile of intelligence, and an awareness of their surroundings - they are capable of selectively splitting into smaller pieces in order to fit through small spaces, and avoiding interceptive fire. They are also sharp and durable enough to easily slice through body armor, and potentially bore through vehicle armor given time.

    It is worth noting that only kinetic and explosive armaments will cause the Shards to fracture. Energy-based attacks are instead refracted - they may then be refocused and fired back at the attacker, dispersed harmlessly, or diffracted and channeled into the Tower's batteries.

  • Quake Engines
    Their name is somewhat deceptive - Quake Engines have absolutely nothing to do with earthquakes. They are instead capable of projecting directed vibrational pulses - in layman's terms, sounds of tremendous volume. Such a pulse may be tuned to a specific frequency matching the target material, resulting in its total disintegration. They are most useful as anti-personnel weapons, especially when tuned to the frequency of bone; notable effectiveness is lost during anti-vehicle use. They may also be used to destabilize and entirely collapse enemy structures and fortifications.

  • Bai's prism
    A weapon designed almost exclusively for usage within the vacuum of space, its application in-atmosphere is ill-advised and largely ineffective. It requires the selection and locking of a target, typically a stellar vessel, in order to fire. The primary firing stage involves the projection of numerous energetic "strands", connecting the output to various preselected points in spacetime, so as to form a conical cage or barrier around the target. The number, thickness and length of strands varies depending on the size and shape of the target. Upon completion, the strands are sealed together, causing a contraction in the overall "cone" - once this is done, all matter within its confines is annihilated. The resultant energy is siphoned off into the Tower itself, and the strands are retracted.

  • Artillery (various)
    Caliber and design vary, as does time and location of origin. These range from ancient bronze mortars (though heavily reinforced, fitted with autoloaders and capable of firing several advanced forms of ammunition), to directed energy weaponry typically mounted on the starships of future-tech empires. Of note are several KE-15-pattern railway guns sourced from Uvoan, along with a single, carefully reverse-engineered KE-20.

  • Autocannons & HMGs (various)
    As above, feature wide variation in design, age and source. Typically used for close-range target engagement, along with CIWS-like interception of incoming projectiles.

  • Missile Launch Systems (various)
    As above, feature wide variation in design, age and source. May range from wire-guided anti-air/anti-vehicle armaments and MLRS-like systems to various forms of ballistic missile. Are also used in an interceptive, point-defense capacity.

  • Hydraulic Rams
    Capable of unfolding from within the Tower, pivoting towards a target, then extending to a distance of several dozen meters at extreme velocities. Typically used to destroy fortifications that are too close to safely target with artillery, or to crush nearby enemy vehicles.

  • Pendulum Blades
    An unusual form of defense, seldom utilized except against nearby troop formations and overlarge fauna. Essentially a set of six identical, crescent-shaped blades, each spanning several meters and secured to a central ring by a set of heavy chains. The ring is mounted on ball bearings, and may be spun at varying speeds in order to flail the blades around the immediate area surrounding the Tower. Also useful for clearing landing sites of unwanted vegetation. Chain length may be adjusted in order to alter the effective range of the blades.

  • Bephlegor's Eye
    A complex transmutational framework, scattered throughout various sections of the Tower. Its bulk is present on the exterior wall, in the form of a largely hidden runic matrix, revealed only with active use. Aside from these concealed surface markings, core systems of the Eye are inscribed onto a series of prisms, located within several undisclosed sections of the Tower. All of these are linked to the central control chamber in the Guild Hall, and may only be triggered from there. The Eye is, in effect, a large-scale, variable-focus reality manipulation engine. Passively, it provides a form of "unreality field", affecting incoming projectiles and hostile entities capable of damaging the Tower. Any such attack is, by its very proximity to the Tower itself, diminished in its level of spatial cohesion - that is, such objects are made less "real" prior to making contact. The end result of this is a variable degree of lessening in their effectiveness - physical projectiles exert less force, while energy-based offenses are sapped of their energy. The extent varies depending on the attack in question, though it is typically not complete regardless of form or impact.

    The Eye may also be activated, revealing the runic markings that make up its exterior shell. When exposed in such a way, it may be utilized for the selective spatial decohesion of target objects, aggressively sapping them of their reality quotient. This may be utilized defensively, in order to completely erase incoming threats from existence, or offensively, in order to do the same to enemy targets. The Eye has an effectively unlimited range in such a configuration, though direct line of sight to its target is required for correct function. Particularly large targets, or those with a significantly higher reality quotient than is typical, are often targeted using a visible, purple-tinted beam of light, while smaller and less resistant targets (including those of an ethereal or purely conceptual nature, which the weapon is particularly effective against), are attacked with no visible indication of vector.

  • The Iskandar Protocol
    While not technically a weapon in its own right, the Iskandar protocol is a hardcoded subroutine, designed to leverage the Tower's defensive assets for the purposes of neutralizing attacks of a reality-altering, retrocausal, temporally-disruptive, metaconceptual, thaumocidal ("anti-magic") and antienergetic nature. The Protocol activates automatically based on a set of metaphysical triggers that denote the impending impact of such an attack, and proceeds in three distinct stages. These are as follows:

    • Stage I: Setup
      Forces spatiotemporal distension onto the area directly surrounding the Tower. The required malleability of spacetime is achieved through partial firing of Bephlegor's Eye (viz. above), and the resultant area is then further restructured to feature thaumoenergetic "traps" and basilisks of a disruptory nature. It is worth noting that although the properties of the attack forms against which the Protocol is designed to defend are typically conducive to the dismantling and neutralization of such defensive measures, this effects a correspondingly minute (expanded due to relative temporal distension) slowdown in their advance and/or effect, allowing ample time for the initiation of the following two stages.

    • Stage II: Interception
      The vehicle or delivery method of the attack having been identified, the defensive setup is now restructured to form what may loosely be described as a "cage" around said vector. The method by which a constraining effect is achieved is essentially brute force, with the various "cage" elements repolarizing and counteracting the effects of the attack by virtue of an exceedingly high impulse output. Said output stems from unknown elements of the Protocol's basis, situated within the Vault. It is worth noting that this impulse may not be described as "energy" in a traditional sense - rather, it exists as a metaconceptual driving force, and one that may not be constrained by typical reality restructuring or temporal dissonance.

    • Stage III: Neutralization
      Elements comprising the "cage" are reconfigured once more, though the resultant product varies wildly based on the nature of the intercepted attack and its method of delivery. This may range from a mirror-assembly (so as to neutralize the attacking impulse with a reconstruction of itself), a repolarization (so as to neutralize the attacking impulse with a reconstruction of what may be deemed as its own antithesis, either conceptually or energetically), or simply a purpose built disassembly vehicle, allowing for the metaconceptual deconstruction of the target impulse. Once Stage III is complete, affected space is returned to its baseline state, based on a pre-"saved" quantum model. If such a model is somehow prematurely affected by the attack that was intercepted, the model is scrapped, and the target space is reconstructed by a method of extrapolation.

    Due to the abovementioned temporal distension, the relative time taken to complete the Protocol is so minute as to be functionally indistinguishable from the concept of Planck time. The Protocol may also be adapted for other purposes - most notably, it allows for the temporary creation of a region of space in which the World Casket may operate unimpeded, allowing for the Tower's safe egress from a region of space in which hindrances to interdimensional travel are present (or have been deployed). There exists a manual trigger for the Protocol, athough its nature and location is unknown - Kresge was known to utilize it on at least one occasion, in order to forcefully purge [INFORMATION REDACTED BY COUNCIL DECREE].

The Tower is capable of deploying autonomous fire support platforms at will, bearing many of the arms detailed above. Termed "Bastions", these primarily defensive emplacements are typically left behind in locations of strategic importance, and are possessive of similar levitation capabilities to the Tower. They may also be relocated by means of the Rift Rail if the need for such arises, allowing them to act as substitute strike units in absentia of the Tower itself. One crucial deficiency of Bastions is their surface composition - unlike the Tower itself, they are not typically plated with Abyssal Iron (due to its immense rarity and the difficulty of reliably working it into a usable form). They will typically supplement this with heavier arcane coverage, however (which, ironically, is made far easier by their more standard armoring materials, as these are more readily pliable to enchantments).


Relics and Artifacts

While Kresge's collection of artifacts is generally kept safe within the Vault, he does occasionally bring out choice examples for use during times of conflict. A few known artifacts, along with their capabilities, are detailed here.

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