Among the Monsters

In the world of New Europa, one might look at Sorcerers, Faeries, Dragons, and Dwarfs and conclude their integration into society to be related to their immense power and unusual skills. After all, it would be foolish not to invite someone who could char you to a crisp for dinner or snub someone who could walk through walls and briefly alter the very fabric of reality.

Three beings of power in New Europa, however, studied the place of spellcasters, the Good Neighbors, the underground craftsmen, and the ancient reptiles in society and gleaned something else entirely. Personal power only means so much in the grand scheme of things, they decided. Collective power, as so eloquently explored by Marx and aptly demonstrated throughout history through the potency of guilds, associations, and social clubs, was what truly separated Sorcerers, Faeries, Dragons, and Dwarfs from the equally alien and often equally capable freaks and monsters so often eagerly hunted down and exterminated by humanity.

And so three of these unique individuals came together and founded "The Council of Oddities", a secret society dedicated to providing protection, fellowship, and acceptance to those lonely and strange beings who not only existed outside of human society but who lacked the collective strength to exist beside it.

Tahoser, ancient Queen of Egypt returned to life. Medardus, keeper of the Devil's Elixirs. The Monster, most famous creation of Doctor Victor von Frankenstein*. These three strange wonders of New Europa came together to found the Council of Oddities to work towards a time when the "oddities" of the world could live without fear of humanity's bigotry and wrath. This worthy mission requires inviting those who can benefit from the Council's aid to join, sanctioning those rare "oddities" who jeopardize the Council's mission, and, of course, scholarship to understand the many beings who fall under the Council's banner.

The first of three books in a series, Council of Oddities: Automatons is a compilation of notes by The Monster on beings like himself: creatures created by humanity through artificial means. The Monster uses the word "automaton" to describe himself and others but obviously does not limit himself to the traditional, mechanical definition. Among the beings catalogued in Council of Oddities: Automatons the reader will find:

  • Clockwork creations such as the Clockwork Servants and Soldiers from Steam Age as well as the clockwork beetle originally constructed by John Dee.
  • The Golem, a being sculpted out of clay and brought to life by Jewish Magick.
  • The chess-playing Turk, who might well not be the fraud it was in our world.
  • An artificial woman, constructed by none of then Thomas Edison but brought to life by a spiritual entity.
  • The Steam Powered Man of the Prairies/Plains, used as a servant by a precocious genius boy.
  • Lady Cecily, the enchanted clockwork woman featured in Like Clockwork, the sample Adventure Entertainment in the core rulebook.
  • The Raj, a wheeled house pulled by a steam-powered mechanical elephant mentioned by Jules Verne himself.
  • The Monster, most famous of the "created men" brought to life by science.
  • And the Brazen Head, a strange, brass head which has appeared at several key moments in history to give prophetic knowledge to those seeking it.

Rules will be included to allow Players and Hosts to construct and play automaton Dramatic Characters! With these rules, Players may create an automaton of flesh like the Monster, a magical automaton like the Golem, a clockwork automaton, or a steam-powered automaton. Construction follows the template system first introduced in The Memoir of Auberon of Faerie, which begins with a set of base Abilities but allows for customization beyond that point. In addition, each of the four types has certain standard special powers as well as at least one power which may be chosen to make each automaton unique.

I will update you on the progress of the book as it continues through transcription, layout, and approval. Thank you for your patience.

Your humble servant,

J Gray

* Those Friends of Falkenstein who wish to know more about these three individuals are encouraged to read The Romance of the Mummy by Pierre Jules Theophile Gautier, The Devil's Elixir by E.T.A. Hoffman, and, of course, Frankenstein; or , the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley. 

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