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Steam Cannons

In the bloody year 1860 AGC, international war had broke out as countries made allies and it is still on going. For the past 4 years, the battlegrounds consumed much of Maiden, being the center of the conflict, bunkers and heavily armed bases were made and clear territories were established and the sounds of guns thundered across the landscapes, followed by the wailing and screaming of those who were near to judgement from the Sister On The Swing. Eventually the war came to a stalemate and the countries needed solutions to this problem. The United Lions then came up with an idea and with help from Maiden, they created the first Steam Cannon and was appropriately called the Warhorse MKI.   Patrick Tanner was put in charge of coming up with a better weapon to break the bloody stalemate that their allies were facing, thanks to the improved designs of the guns his family company was notable for designing. As he listened and took notes on the current affairs that were on the battlefield from the commanding general, a loud clash distracted them both, a couple of trenchcoats had dropped an artillery cannon off the train deck and then he thought outside the box when he noticed a large cannon cart in the steam train's convoy and set out to work. After getting approval, Operation Warhorse was then in affect.   The Warhorse MKI was shaped like an "H" but with a box in-between, housing the cannon and crew members inside, the tracks oval in shape and were just slightly taller than the main chamber to keep the box off the ground, wheels lined all around from bottom to top while most of the side was plated except the bottom quarter. The Steam Cannon moved like a train, with several big wheels at the bottom being moved with an axal and propelled only this time it wasn't on rails but rather using tracks, metal sheets connecting to each other to create a sort of belt that wrapped around all the wheels, being moved by the bottom set of wheels while still being kept in shape and rotated round thanks to the set of wheels going up and around onto the roof of the vehicle and back down again. The main weapon of the Warhorse MKI was the Cannon which stuck it's muzzle out the front of the box and 2 slit holes for the driver and secondary gunner to look out of. Steam Pipes at the back left and right side, parallel to each other to let out the smoke and steam from the engine inside and a door in-between to allow soldier to enter and exit the vehicle.   The MKI had it's advantages, being lightly armoured the fact it could move on land certainly scared the opposing factions on the battlefield. However, bullets were easily able to penetrate the armour at close range and the cannon can only be loaded so fast, Steam Cannons would often hit mines and traps and quickly overrun by the enemy and to only combat this, the Steam Cannon had to rotate the entire vehicle, just to be able to face the right direction to hit, and so exposing themselves to more incoming small arms fire. Patrick hit the drawing board again, only, he wasn't the only one now. The creations had been known and the opposing factions now had physical blueprints. This lead to what the next 2 years would know as an age of motor warfare.   Patrick, after creating 3 more failed attempts had finally managed to create the perfect design which was hugely popular and had since not changed. The Warhorse MKV, Tracks were slightly thicker and armour was much thicker at the front and sides, the cannon became a rotating turret that could rotate a total of 230 degrees at the top of the steam cannon rather than the front and heavy waterguns on rotating covers poked out from thin boxes that were now on the sides of the Steam Cannon with a rotation of 165 degrees. It was also made longer, able to house more passenger soldiers making it an additional APC. However, due to the heavy armour and modifications, it could only reach up to 40mph which made it much slower to it's first design, but offered more protection and devastation to make up for the lack of speed. Communication was hard and so whistles which gave a haunting high pitch, almost alien sounding whistle, was then implemented for distant communication between other steam cannons.   Tinaki Sato, another remarkable man had taken the steam cannons that had been captured during the battle of Lenington and begun creating his designs to help the war effort. He had come up with a design which would revolutionize the Tenar Empire. He had called his Steam Cannon the Ryōken.    The Ryōken was quite a bit different to the Warhorse. It was wider and longer, the tracks were instead made into two large and wide track in the middle, underneath the main chamber which almost covered the entire floor. The front was heavily armoured while the engine was built behind the machine, It two had a rotating turret with a longer and larger barrel, below the turret was the drivers seat but also a slit for 2 heavy waterguns to stick out of as well as an semi exposed armoured turret, smaller than the main gun was at the back with a heavy watergun hooked up to it, guarding the rear of the steam cannon. It was a beast to behold.   Since then, Steam Cannons have been the main source of weaponry for war and have  almost become the new infantry and thus, the age of tanks was upon them and they are still used 'till this day.

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