As mentioned on the Victoriana realm page the automaton gained widespread use when werewolf attacks became too common for the Crown to contain the news of monsters among the general population of Angolia. The creation of the first successful automaton, however, dates back several years prior to a professor named Linda Sylvictra Hollowell. Professor Hollowell was a leading expert in the field of theosophy, the study of the Soul and other Occult matters, and hired by parliament in secret to develop a cure for lycanthropy when it was still largely unreported. While her work on a cure was unsuccessful, she would still go on to become a legend in the scientific community. Her specialty in theosophy was working with a material called quintessence, a stone found naturally in the world, and that when melted to a liquid form exudes a feeling of tranquility and has an eerie green glow.
In her experiments, she discovered that quintessence had several other innate qualities. First she discovered that when it was melted it also released an invisible gas that generated ten times the lift of hydrogen with none of the flammability. Second, when mixed with metal and oil it grants that metal elasticity and flexibility. And finally, when mixed with organic material it counteracts decay similarly to formaldehyde, but does nothing to relieve the smell of rotten flesh. The last of these experiments yielded a second result, however, that quintessence and gray matter could be used to create a consciousness. The details of this discovery are lost to history but not before the creation of Humbolt, the First of his kind.
Unfortunately, much of her original work has been restricted by parliament, and the modern creation of automatons differs greatly as advances in science and technology continued to improve after Hollowell's death. Automatons today are built on an artificial gray matter which is a sort of paste that's mixed into the elastic metal used to create their bodies. Severe damage to an automaton can change the way they act or think and it is believed rust will speed up binary creep.
Ask anyone in the known galaxy and they will tell you that Planet X is the crossroads of the universe; in all truth a misnomer that's been propagating for years. The planet is located in a part of the galaxy called the Outer Reach and for centuries it was known as Kepe'nok 00X4-7; a remote jungle planet with no valuable resources and a single fueling station operated by an Irran mining and refinery corporation called DrudgeCo. That all changed when the crew of the Dustseeker, who had been surveying the planet for several months, stumbled upon a cache that belonged to Captain Krall and found a data chip with new clues to the whereabouts of his legendary treasure. But you might be asking where does this planet sit when considering the rest of the galaxy?
The known universe was formed when two neighboring galaxies collided some many billions of years ago. One was a typical spiral galaxy that centered on a super-massive black hole while the other was alien in almost every way. At the center of the second galaxy is a dark red crystalline mass with a gravitational field that destroys matter entirely when it gets too close. Between the two galaxies is a massive solar storm, called the Dark Nebula that very few spaceships have ever survived traveling through. This double-sided universe is divided up into hundreds of regions, and each is composed of several neighboring star systems that contain millions and sometimes billions of inhabitants. The regions are organized into three jurisdictions by their inhabitants which are called The Galactic Federation of Planets, Irran Space, and The Outer Reach.
The first jurisdiction is largely made up of regions in the spiral galaxy, the brighter and larger of the two, and of which is inhabited by carbon-based lifeforms. The Federation is an intergalactic political body that believes in peace for all and aims to increase its membership through diplomacy. They have no unified military of their own although each member world often maintains their own fleet of spacecraft. Galactipol resides in this jurisdiction but is a separate entity from the governing body and sovereign over the space that surrounds its planet. They handle inter-region and inter-jurisdiction disputes and evaluate external threats to the galaxy as a whole.
The second jurisdiction is called Iz'sidladra Dratlz which roughly translates to "Empire of The Volcanic One", but it's colloquially known as Irran Space. This jurisdiction is primarily made of planets controlled by Irrans and the surrounding regions that swear their allegiance to them. Denizens in this half of the galaxy are mostly silicon-based and their anatomy differs greatly from our own. Irran Space can be as tough as the people who live there and the Empire regulates a great many things on their planets.
The last Jurisdiction goes by many names but among those are "Wild Space", "The Sea of Black", and finally "The Outer Reach"; which is most commonly used. No one is really sure how many planets or regions are in this zone as it is larger than the other two combined. Traveling in the Outer Reach is akin to taking the long way around when moving between the two centers of the universe and is considered very dangerous. Most travelers pass through a schism in the Dark Nebula, however, this route is not always open, and may remain closed for weeks at a time. The Outer Reach is not regularly policed by galactipol and effectively under martial law.
Thanks for reading the first entry in Lore 101, next time we will be taking a more in-depth look at the time cycles of Mundania, and delve into one of the races of New Zygaxia. Send us an email or comment below to have your questions answered in a future lore post!