Steamfolk Tales


Vivian

posted Oct 27, 2012, 11:50 AM by Timo Liimatta   [ updated Oct 27, 2012, 11:51 AM ]

The following story was inspired by our first proper test play session. It wasn't published as a Steamfolk Tale article.

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Vivian was walking behind her new owner Sir William Charleston III, who hurried after the leaving party of gentlemen.

”Wait a second”, the master cried to the men. ”There is one more thing. I would like to give you a new automaton of mine, she should be useful to you in your endeavors. Step up now, Vivian.”

Vivian stepped before of the party and beheld a rather curious group: a rather non-refined large automaton, a shaggy mechanic, and – oh dear heavens – a crocodile-man, who appeared to be a medical doctor. But when she laid her eyes on the gorgeous musketeer with his silky hair and face like a god, she felt a strange weakness in her feet that never quite occurred before. Even in her confused state she managed to recognise the royal family symbol in his coat, and determined he was the leader of the troupe. So, for reasons of both etiquette and her own, she bowed for the whole group, but kept her eyes intensely on the musketeer. She heard his name: Vincent de Schultz.

This was good.

The man itself showed surprising courtesy by inviting Vivian to ride with him on his horse, like he would have a human lady. She blushed when his arms came around her to hold the reins and they left for whatever destination they were headed.

It was de Schultz's hotel room. He told the party he had to change into something more suitable for their mission, and surprisingly enough, he took Vivian with him. And just like that, he began to change, like Vivian wasn't there at all. She was shocked. Didn't he just treat her like a lady, and now suddenly she was a machine?

Well, that shock only lasted a few seconds. As Vivian shamelessly watched the muscular hunk strip off his uniform, she was ever so glad that mr. De Schulz was ill-informed of a Doll's level of intelligence.

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It so happened that Vincent de Schulz invited Vivian to spend the night in his room, since he had accepted her as his property. Vivian giggled to herself when she thought about it – nobody had actually given her specifically to Vincent, so much as to the whole group. It was Vivian who had planted the idea in his head, and everyone had simply acted accordingly. She was looking forward to the night, in a completely new way.

Things hadn't really been working out the way she'd hoped for. She had to charm some man they had been associated with, because the simple automaton had been ruining some plan of theirs, and she wanted to be helpful. Master Vincent, as she had come to call him, hadn't really paid any attention to her at all. He was merely being polite – she had dramatically misinterpreted his gentleman's gestures to be something more personal. He had been quite simply... indifferent.

Not that Vivian allowed that to let her down. In fact, it had only increased her interest in that chunk of man-shaped paradise. Vivian was used to being an object of men's desires, and to all kinds of ridiculous attempts on her, if she was mistaken for a woman. And even if not. Those few times that she had found a man desirable, she knew she was able to have him. Never had she lain with a man as an equal, though, but still, there was a kind of satisfaction in knowing they adored her. Master Vincent was completely different. He treated her like a machine, he had absolutely no interest in her in a physical way.

Such arrogance! Such self-security! Such... a challenge! Someone whose love she should fight for.

Vivian was now following Vincent to his room, and he started preparing for bed.

”You may stay on that chair tonight”, he told her, like it wasn't the preposterous suggestion it was. She agreed, smiling to herself. As soon as he would fall asleep, she would have the room alone. Master Vincent settled finally in the luxurious bed, and soon Vivian listened to his slow deep breath, and knew he was fast asleep.

Vivian was well aware that her ivory-colored dress was tainted with dust and mud. She opened the dresser and found, to her pleasant surprise, a charming lace tunic that was probably worn as nightgown by Vincent's lady friends, of whom there were likely many, by the looks of the clothing she found. She slowly stripped off her clothes, playing with the idea that Master Vincent would suddenly wake up and see her, and finally find her attractive. He would see the lacing in her back, the opening to her control panel, which resembled the lacing of a corset. Many men found it alluring in a dirty, alien way.

Vivian walked to the bathroom naked, with her dirty dress and the lace nightgown, lit the lamp on the wall and let some water to the bathtub. She spent something of a half an hour to wash the dress with soap meant for bathing. She took a towel and cleaned herself as well. She then put on the luxurious lace gown and hung the dress to dry near the window.

Now she was bored again.

She had a glimpse of Vincen't sword case and soon suddenly found herself holding the sword in her hands. She had practiced swordsplay with her former owner, and actually been good at it.

She gave it a swing. The sword moved smoothly and felt good in her hand. She swung it again. She imagined a moment, an intense game of swords with Vincent, ending with a fiery kiss in the orange and purple twilight. Before she even noticed, it was past midnight. She put the sword back in its case. She sat back down in the chair, swinging her feet to and fro and staring at the sleeping man in the bed.

She rose and slipped smoothly on the large bed next to Master Vincent, who now slept facing her. She closed her eyes and imagined she was a woman, his girlfriend perhaps. She became bold. She caressed his hair very softly, barely even touching him, but she felt the soft curl in her fingers. He made a noise, and she retreated. She would make him love her, somehow, no matter how long it took. She would be his, really his, not just temporarily in his posession.

He would be hers. She would have to be cunning, though. Seem innocent. Offer an intellectual challenge. Make him hate her, admire her, feel something towards her. And then, eventually, he would fall. Vivian the Doll would become... just Vivian.


Written by: Marianna Jantunen of the SteamJazz Crew

The History of Human Civilization

posted May 29, 2012, 12:37 PM by Timo Liimatta   [ updated May 31, 2012, 9:55 AM ]

Introduction

Greetings dear readers and sincere apologies for you who have waited for the first article of the Steamfolk Tales. The Independent Weekly has received a fine article about the history of the civilization from Professor Cunning of Albertshill University, and our dear editor-in-chief has decided that this is more important that our freshly announced Steamfolk Tales. Of which we have received a remarkable amount of letters from you, our dear readers, by the way.

We will try to make this up for you next month as we will have an interview of the famous inventor-genius Dr. Dominic Johnnel, the inventor of the Crystal Intelligence Clockenspiel. He will tell us of his background and of his inventions and plans. We might hear a bit of his travels in the mysterious Crimson Empire.

I hope you enjoy the scientific article about the history of civilization.

Introduction by: Harold T. Chapman, the reporter of Steamfolk Tales




The History of Human Civilization in Erthair

Essay by: Sir Edward J. Cunning, Professor of History and Anthropology, Albertshill University
Written: 20.5.1797


Until about 10,000 years ago, most humans lived as hunter-gatherers, usually in small nomadic groups. The advent of agriculture led to the formation of permanent human settlements, the domestication of animals and the use of metal tools for the first time in history. Agriculture encouraged trade and cooperation, and led to a more complex society than before.

About 4,000 years ago in the southern part of the continent, the tribe of Kheim united the whole area under their rule. The whole Empire of the Sun was formed in less than 200 years' time. The Kheimani spread their language and their religion all over the Empire. The Kheimani were more developed than other tribes in the area. It is presumed that it was bronze weaponry and swords that allowed the Kheimani to conquer all of the southern continent and spread the newly formed Empire of the Sun effectively.

About 3,000 years ago a new philosophy started spreading in the eastern Empire of the Sun. The local historians point to a prophet whose teachings had become popular in the area. This led to a civil war lasting several centuries and a feud between the Empire of the Sun and its eastern rebellious areas. The Empire of the Sun was then divided to two: the western Kheiman Empire and the eastern Crimson Empire.

While the southern part of the continent was in a state of civil war, the loose tribes of the northern part of the continent were united under a single banner of the Empire of Frost. Many of the tribes kept their areas and traditions but were united under the same rule. The tribal languages were forgotten and the ancient version of the Northern language was born.

Not much is known of the reasons for the great war, but it started about 2000 years ago between the three empires that ruled the world; the northern Empire of Frost, south-eastern Crimson Empire and the south-western Kheiman Empire. It is known that the majority of the war was fought with iron weaponry, but there has been discussion in the scientific community whether all of the three empires knew the art of smelting iron before the war or whether the knowledge spread during the first years of the war. The war lasted at least 200 years and its end was marked in all of the empires as the year 0. This is known as the Treaty of the Emperors. From this point on there are records of peaceful interaction between the nations.

Around the year 500, the six western provinces of the Empire of the Frost united, starting a civil war to gain their freedom from the Empire. The Empire lost five of the western provinces and much of the islands in the Western Sea. The remainder of the Empire was renamed as The Empire of Wulffgart according to the ruling emperor Bronislav Wulff. The five western provinces that gained independence stood together against the common enemy in the east but became small separate kingdoms: Cailea, Rocksborraugh, Neven, Chardiel and Hanseburg. The sixth rebellious province, Gardsburg, remained under the Wulffgartian rule.

In the year 1367, after several decades of pressure and danger of war from Wulffgart, the four western kingdoms united under the common rule. The four former kingdoms were renamed as duchies with the former kings named as dukes, ruling their own areas under the rule of one king. The newly formed kingdom was named The Great Kingdom of Victora as an omen to be victorious in the future years. The war with Wulffgart was avoided and the foundation for the modern Victora was laid. The duchies were not renamed as they are known today but until later. Soon after this the islands of the Western Sea were united to Victora as a duchy of Seahome.

During these times, the Kingdom of Hanseburg changed its name to the Grand Duchy of Hanseburg, following the Victoran way, but remained independent. Hanseburg held good relations to both Victora and Wulffgart. The protective mountains around Hanseburg have made this peaceful existence with the two large neighbouring nations possible.

After the 16th century, revolutionary ideas and technologies changed the world. Technological innovations such as the printing press, steam engine, railway, steam wagon and gunpowder have led to the industrial revolution and industrialization. The grown industrial factories have drawn people from the countryside to the overpopulated cities. The printing press has changed the way of thinking, education, and the spread of knowledge and innovation. This has naturally affected the culture and life in the whole of Erthair.

Victora built a railway to the Kheiman Empire and past it to the distant and secluded Crimson Empire around the year 1700. This, among other political disputes led, to the war between Victora and Wulffgart in 1702. The war lasted for almost eight decades, ending in 1781, and is now known as the Great War. During the war years many inventions were made to fuel the wheels of war: cartridge-firing weapons, revolving mechanism, flying airships, armored battleships and combat automatons among other things. In 1774 the western islands united under a common flag and joined the war to gain their independence. In the peace treaty written in 1781, the Union of the Free Islands was recognized by all the other nations, thus forming the first democratic nation in Erthair.

Wulffgart suffered many losses in the last years of the war and surrendered to Victora, thus ending the war it had started in the first place almost 80 years ago. Wulffgart agreed to pay war reparations to Victora. The Tzar Ivan IV of Wulffgart started transferring funds and men from the military to civilian industries to cover the reparation costs. A few high ranking military officers turned against the crown and overthrew the Tzar in a quick revolution. The Tzar disappeared during the events, and the newly-appointed Marshal General Friedrich Krause announced military rule in Wulffgart.

Introduction to Steamfolk Tales

posted Apr 15, 2012, 5:20 PM by Timo Liimatta   [ updated Apr 15, 2012, 5:23 PM ]

Greetings, dear reader and welcome to read the Steamfolk Tales. 'What is this Steamfolk Tales?' you wonder. Rightly asked, my good sir or lady. The Steamfolk Tales is a new, monthly article in the Independent Weekly, published by the Independent Press, in all Victora, Free Islands and Hanseburg.

The article consists of astounding stories of death defying feats, adventure reports, letters from the field and interviews of the world known adventurers and heroes. The article is named Steamfolk Tales to honour the tradition of the homeless adventurers calling themselves "the steamfolk".

In the coming months you can expect to read adventures of the weird Circus Grimshaw folk, letters from the privateers of the Free Islands and an interview from the world known scientist, Dr. Dominic Johnell, the strange inventor of the Crystal Intelligence Clockenspiel.

Keep your eyes open for the Independent Weekly so that you won't miss anything when we prepare to take you up to date with all of the stories of the steamfolk.

Written by: Harold T. Chapman, your reporter in the field

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