How Goblins do Steampunk

The world in which Slothjemia sits is one filled with ridiculously goofy inventions designed to do everyday things. A water wheel to power a mill is perfectly ordinary, but perhaps the dam holding back the river is exaggerated beyond reasonable belief. Romillia has her skycruisers, essentially small galleons slung beneath zeppelin-like gas-filled canvas superstructure. Slothjemia has a handful of spelljammers, which is akin to Star Trek meeting Dungeons & Dragons, and that’s all I am going to say about that here. The main idea is to convey that sure, you can just take a horse-drawn carriage to travel someplace, but wouldn’t you rather harness magical energy and build a ludicrously concocted infrastructure to accomplish the same thing at four times the cost? Of course you would!

Enter the Golemotive. A magical construct, similar in theory to an iron golem, but designed for one purpose only: to haul lengthy trains of passengers and cargo up and down the Coreland. Golemotives are often cantankerous, prone to mood swings in which they refuse to function, or to cease functioning, whichever is most annoying to their mortal operators. They are too dangerous to be allowed to operate on the normal causeways that run through the swamp, and so specially constructed wooden trestles had to be build to permit them to get from one place to another. So far the tracks that they run on only have a limited number of destinations. One line runs up and down the north-south axis of the Coreland swamp, and a second line runs from Slothenburg to Jaggerholmschloss through a previously disregarded cleft in the cliffs southeast of Slothjemia’s largest city.

Cargo hauling along these corridors has been heightened tremendously, even owing to the difficulty of getting the golemotives to operate on a decent schedule. The primary restriction to their usefulness is the size of the carriages they pull. Simply put, they just are not very big. Oversized cargo, such as tree logs or even finished lumber, are too long to be toted by the golemotives, but if goods can be stuffed into a carriage-sized wagon, then it is good to go. Passenger transport is equivalent to as many people as can fit into a stagecoach, multiplied by how many carriages are attached to the golemotive. Prices run a fair bit steeper than a normal, horse-drawn vehicle, but the time spent on the route is significantly lessened.

In appearance, the golemotive resembles a huge mechanical face resting on two, massive wheels that sit on either side of it. Golemotives are able to maintain their balance as a part of their construction, and while they have a certain amount of freewill and personality, their operators have to be on hand to keep the magically imbued beasts operating in some semblance of normalcy. It is a tough job, but somebody has to do it.