“Technology is the destiny of man. He will always seek to improve himself, to become more resilient in the face of adversity. But only when man realizes that his flesh is inherently flawed, will he turn to the surety and perfection of the machine and be enlightened.”~Chief Fabricator Zvindershawl
In a world enveloped by an age of darkness that has taken all forms of electricity in light, the Engineering Corps is the shining beacon that stands defiant against the mournful night. The realm’s sharpest minds have come together with a singular purpose, the rediscovery and preservation of ancient technologies long lost along with the age of prosperity. This knowledge is jealously guarded by the Corps and is only shared with those who complete a lengthy application process for a license to produce technologies outside the boundaries of Corps facilities. The corps is also in charge of maintaining and protecting the roads between major cities all over the realm from disrepair and the occasional monster nest. These “Road Engineers” as they are called, wander the roads in search of anything that needs repairing or driving off. This organization has given birth to many technological wonders that denizens of Tenebris Realm enjoy today. Chief among these is the advent of Magitek technology, utilizing mana energy in place of electricity to power the antiquitous designs of the past and use them to springboard the realm back into the future.
The Engineering Corps is an organization that values, above all, the sanctity of its knowledge. It does not entrust ancient blueprints or templates with anyone until they have proved themselves trustworthy enough to keep the knowledge safe and resourceful enough to make use of it. As such, the Corps does not have a hierarchy so much as it has varying roles. The only discrepancy on “rank” comes in the form of the difference between Neophytes, Adepts, and Chiefs who are assigned different jobs within their department by their time-in and experience.
With the exception of leadership roles, which simply must exist, most Engineers in the Crops are seen as equals. Much like the machines and technology they produce and maintain, each and every component plays an integral role in making the device function. Without even a single screw, the entire machine may fail.
As such, the Engineering Corps is divided into several different “Cogs”. Each Cog represents a different department of the Engineering Corps including Research and Development, Acquisition, Production, Mana Systems, and Archives.
(An additional Cog was added to the Corps when the road network was built some 100+ years ago known as Road Maintenance.)
Each Cog plays a specific role in the grand machine of the Engineering Corps. Every Cog has a specialized job to do and, as such, has access to different knowledge specific to their duties. No knowledge is shared between Cogs. While this can cause setbacks and has undoubtedly been the major contributing factor to how slow society is advancing, it preserves the security of knowledge by not allowing any one Cog to cause the leak of massive amounts of information to those who would use it for ill, nor can they claim to be capable of doing another Cog’s job and attempt to upset the system.
The Cog responsible for acquiring materials for Production and new knowledge for Archives. Their Adepts are tasked with venturing out into the world in search of ancient, technological, relics of the past and bringing them home. What they can reverse engineer and create blueprints for, they do, and submit to Archives. What they cannot, they scrap for parts and scrap metal before sending them to Production. This is the Cog most detached from the mechanical aspects of the Corps. However, they do get to test all the new toys from Research and Development on their outings… so that’s fun.
This Cog handles all production of mundane and Magitek products produced by the Engineer Crops. Their drills never tire and their assembly lines never cease. They work in shifts of 12 hours non-stop, constantly producing tech to meet the ever-growing demands of a world that has no idea how to repair their devices and, as such, is constantly buying new ones. The assembly lines are perpetually running and Adepts are manning their many controls 24 hours a day. A typical work week for a Production Cog Adept would be 5 days of on and off shifts (12 hours on 12 hours off) with two days off back to back. Work conditions are poor, the work exhausting and laborious, but the pay is outstanding.
Research & Development (R&D)
Research and Development (Or R&D for short) is the stomping ground for all of the Corps’s most creative and resourceful minds. They tinker day in and day out in their workshops, mashing gears and motors together together in every possible combination until something neat pops out. In this case the Adepts do not do most of the Cogs labor, unlike the others. The Adepts and Neophytes assist their assigned Chief by seeing to his every need and helping stimulate his mind to consistently pump out new ideas. They assume the awesome tasks of fetching coffee and other snacks, dabbing sweat from the Chief’s forehead, and other wonderfully rewarding jobs.
Mana energy is the main source of all power used in Magitek technology. In its rawest form, mana is highly volatile and can cause mana poisoning even in skilled mages. In order to be used for commercial power, the raw mana must be refined. The Mana Systems Cog is responsible for maintenance, fueling, and monitoring massive and highly unstable mana converters and reactors present in every Engineering Corps facility which constantly pump out usable and relatively clean mana power. The long exposures to so much raw mana at once that Adepts experience in this Cog is so great that members of this cog are required to go through extensive mana resilience conditioning in order to train their bodies to resist the negative effects of the raw mana they’ll be working around.
The life of a Road Engineer is a life of solitude and constant peril. The roads between the many well-lit and mana-abundant city states of Tenebris Realm are extremely dangerous, to put it generously. This Cog is responsible for these roads. Their maintenance, protection, and potential expansion in the future all fall under the purview of the Road Maintenance Cog’s responsibilities. Road Engineers are specially trained mechanics who patrol the roads and see to any problems that might present themselves. Clearing rubble, helping a broken down vehicle get back on its way, or even (and most daunting of all) clearing minor monster or bandit incursions along the roads. Road Engineers do tours of several weeks patrolling the same road over and over again before they are let off on leave for a time, the only time in which they can be with their families (assuming they’ve any time to start one). There are outposts at every minor settlement and at certain points along the longer roads where Road Engineers can stop to refresh their gear and get a good night’s sleep. These Adepts and Chiefs are held in high regard within the Corps due to the great gravity of their sacrifice. Without them, there would be no travel between cities.
This Cog is the only exception to the regulation prohibiting the sharing of knowledge between Cogs. Unlike the other Cogs this facet of the Engineering Corps is not comprised of Adepts or Chiefs, rather, it is made up of Magisters and Arch Magisters who are in charge of every piece of information at the disposal of the Engineering Corps. Records are kept under lock and key as well as the crushingly scrutinizing watch of the Magisters. Their jobs include transcribing old and faded texts, keeping records organized, and supervising the eb and flow of information into and out from the Archives. Each Cog is allowed certain information and what information they have access to is detailed in a strictly governed codex kept by the Grand Fabricator. While it seems to be a glorified desk job, Magisters are revered and treated with a great degree of respect by their fellow Corpsmen.
The grandmaster of the Corps, this position is held by Corpsmen who have served in every Cog for at least five years each. They are expected to be masters of the mechanical craft as well as have strong command over some magical ability. They oversee and advise each Cog to ensure they run smoothly and without hitch. Where the Cogs are the parts of the machine, the Grand Fabricator is the grease that facilitates their smooth and effective running.