While the other races mixed and became one, the dwarves secluded themselves from this process. They continued working on their machines and improving their own bodies until they made the leap and could transplant their consciousness along with their vital organs to an otherwise completely artificial body. Out of fear what could happen to Hardora when this new-born race decided to leave, they were put under a curse that would limit their freedom to working on the core of the island. At least until the populace remembers their fate, which would break the spell…
The Automatoi have forged themselves bronze exoskeletons that look like idealized versions of their ancestors. Those machines have texturized beards and hair, muscular bodies and short but very strong limbs with a height of about 1.8 meters (6 feet). Inside the metal apparatus resides the actual organism. The limbs are reduced to muscles and nerves that are connected to the metal joints of the exoskeleton. The vital organs are contained in glass, floating in brightly colored liquids that keeps them and the integrated metal parts healthy and functional. The bones have been removed as well as any tissue that served no vital purpose after the organs have been transplanted into the new body. A ventilation system can transport air from the environment and directly to the place where it is needed.
Genetics and Reproduction
The Automatoi are infertile, their reproductive organs not being seen as important for their own survival.
Growth Rate & Stages
Automatoi aren’t born, they are made. A dwarf who was willing to turn himself began by forging his or her new metal body. After that, a team of assistants helped removing any excessive material of the body, which wouldn’t be used by the Automaton. The vital organs are transplanted to their glass containers and enhanced by the addition of implants. The heart is replaced with a electrical generator. Over the course of several weeks during which all necessary improvements and operations take place, the individual undergoing the process has no body. This time is considered their rebirth into their new selves. When the brain is transferred last and the core activated, the Automaton is complete and begins its new life.
Ecology and Habitats
Automatoi are built to endure any environment. They only need to be able to breathe in order to survive indefinitely. They function ideally in habitats with low humidity and air pressure and are tolerant to temperatures between -100°C and +80°C.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Automatoi neither eat nor drink; the electricity that is produced by the core is sufficient to keep the body moving and working.
Stability and reliability were core design concepts of the bodies the Automatoi made for themselves. They don’t show any seasonal changes in their behavior, but become somewhat lethargic when they don’t get a chance to rest every few days.
IQ of 110-130
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Since the Automatoi have left none of their outer sensory organs intact, they had to devise another method to perceive their surroundings. Directly underneath the bronze plating lie nerve-cells that react to vibration. This essentially allows them the sensation of touch and sound. More than that, vibrations are enhanced by the metal acting as a resonating body which allows the Automatoi to feel what they feel over a significantly greater range than any other living being, but also to discern small fluctuations in the air. While being blind, they can perceive what surrounds them with this sense, especially in complete darkness.
Civilization and Culture
The names of the Automatoi consist of two parts; the name of the dwarf who turned himself into his new self and the year after the rise of Hardora in which the transformation took place. Common dwarven names were Alberich, Flint, Ingrim, Osrik or Ulf for males and Amber, Glumba, Helja, Rosstin or Virtra for females. Most transformations took place between the years 440-500 after the rise.
Average Technological Level
The dwarves were a very crafty species and the Automatoi have only improved upon it. Nearly any kind of technical or architectural work on Hardora was made by them or their ancestors. Levitation-mechanisms, intricate pipelines, street-layout and similar concepts were well established in the society even before they reached their greatest achievement in turning themselves into a new race of people.
The dwarves didn’t have any magical powers, but they were very adept technicians and inventors. When the surface of Feidalis was destroyed, the dwarves of one clan came together and created a machine, that was powerful enough to lift Hardora into the sky by giving the spell the other races have weaved structure and reliability. After Aitheris was founded and first conflicts arose, the dwarves didn’t want to mingle with the other species, but sought out to further their own by improving the technologies they used to augment their bodies. When the breakthrough happened and the first fully functional exoskeleton was created, most of the dwarves followed. They created their new bodies out of bronze and mutilated their old ones in order to achieve their final goal: immortality. Those who made the change called themselves Automatoi from then on. For a few years, they continued their endless task of maintaining Hardoras flight mechanism. However, once the Ascendi started overtaking society and tried to suppress the non-magic users, the idea of leaving the island began to spread among the Automatoi. The Ascendi who became aware of this were justly frightened, because their whole civilization would crumble and fall from the skies without the constant work of the Automatoi. A group came together who cast two different, very powerful spells. The first was a curse that was brought upon the Automatoi, that prevented them from communicating in any way and also forcing them to continue their maintenance work. The second spell was a memory alteration, performed on any Ascendi who weren’t themselves part of the group, making the general public forget about their former allies. The Automatoi were just perceived as machines from that point forward. Since the spells were very powerful, they had to include a condition to make sure it lasted even after the death of the original casters. The curse could only last as long as the Ascendi were not aware of the true nature of the Automatoi while the memory alteration could only be broken when the sanctum of the temple outside of Aitheris were to be entered by anyone who wasn’t a member of the Committee. The Automatoi can still think and feel, but they are unable to express themselves or do anything besides resting and maintaining Hardoras flight. Their greatest achievement, immortality, became part of their curse. Over the centuries, they turned bitter and resentful, just wishing their labor to end.
Gilderich Ironsight or as he was later called, Gilderich 401 was the first dwarf who successfully transformed himself into an Automaton. Since they are immortal and nearly indistinguishable for outsiders, he is still working at the core of Hardora to this day.
Interspecies Relations and Assumptions
The relationship to the Ascendi is one of slaves to their masters. The Automatoi can’t stop working for them and can’t escape the mental commands of the Committee. The only freedom they have left is in their thoughts, which most often circle around how their overlords can be bested and punished for the crimes they committed against their people.
The dwarves that co-founded Aitheris were members of a single clan that lived in a secluded valley. They had skin that resembled the ground in color and texture, were about 1.5 meters (5 foot) tall and had hair that resembled moss.
There is no documented event of an Automaton which stopped working simply due to age. For all intents and purposes, the race is ageless.
1,8 - 2,0 meters
200 -300 kg
Despite their original gender, any Automaton’s metal body resembles the original, which was modelled after a very tall and muscular male dwarf. Hair and beard are long and forged as if bound together, the short limbs are strong and the torso is wide like a barrel. The variations between different Automatoi mostly stem from facial features and height alone.
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