Muhandasa Item in The Million Islands | World Anvil
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"The Clock is my most important invention, and I will not allow it to be destroyed by the fearful and the ignorant." - Zaman al-Razaz

When the public sentiment on Bakunawa turned against the Prophecy Clock and attacks began to be launched against it, Zaman al-Razaz set his mind to devising some way to protect the machine. He created the Muhandasa, clockwork soldiers programmed by the clock itself to carry out the task of preventing anyone from harming it.

The Muhandasa come in many shapes and sizes, but all are controlled by sheets of thin brass with holes punched through them. These sheets are fed into slots in the machine, and provide the instructions for the automaton to carry out. These sheets are created by the Prophecy Clock via mechanisms al-Razaz has connected to it. Each of the Muhandasa receives a new sheet each day, with precise instructions of what to do. The instructions that the clock provides are informed by its ability to predict the future, and the machines are uncannily able to respond to events as a consequence.

Since the Muhandasa have been put into service, all attacks upon the Prophecy Clock have been deflected before they posed any risk to the machine or the lighthouse it is built into. The mechanical soldiers do not venture far from the lighthouse and do not enter the town, but those who approach with any intent to harm the Prophecy Clock find themselves blocked by one of the Muhandasa. They do not initiate violence, but they will respond with force if they are attacked. So far, they have incapacitated attackers with minimal injuries, but it is certain that they will kill if forced to do so.

Observers from the Tagápulo Empire have expressed interest in the Muhandasa, and have attempted to pressure al-Razaz into making clockwork soldiers for the Empire's armies. He has explained that without the clock, they are not useful as soldiers. To demonstrate this point, he programmed one of them himself to give an impressive battle display, and then showed that he could simply circle behind the device and push it over. He then contrasted this against a Clock-programmed soldier, who was able to anticipate his every move and easily pin the inventor.

This demonstration has done little to deter the Empire from wanting the automatons on the battlefield, and they continue to press al-Razaz to invent some way to bring the technology to military readiness, perhaps by creating a series of mobile Prophecy engines to direct their actions.


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Feb 23, 2024 20:56 by Carolyn McBride

I love the concept of clockwork protectors and the fact that they can't be used as an army. That they are so tied to the Prophecy Clock in so specific a way is refreshing and intriguing. Great piece! Keep up the good work!

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