Updated: 20 March 2009

Cradle: Starfall
Typical Countries: Downelands, Starfall, Sunterranse Federation

Background

In many ways the Clockwork religion is an evolutionary derivitive if the philosophies of the Gnomish "Duality."

Baerst was the Gnomish Master Tinker and Clock Maker, who awakened the first living Clockwork, Cable. Cable killed Baerest soon after being brought to life. He escaped into the wilderness and was hunted by Baerest's kith and kin, and later by Clockworks specially designed and awakened, based on Baerest's notes, for the purpose of finding him. Cable was never found; nor, for that matter, were many who went looking for him. Those who did return, came back with strange tales, that, with the passage of time and the deepening of the mystery, formed the foundation of an equally mysterious sort of devotion. Who was Cable? Why did he kill his creator? Several codices exist in Tick Talk, detailing some of the interpretations of Baerest's death and the events that followed.

Frankie, the famous gnomish Tinker, discovered more about the mysterious religion of the Sons of Baerest from the manual for a nefarious thrall module embedded in the Clockwork, Calibre:

While Frankie is in Folha's Grove working on Calibre, she has the opportunity to follow up on a couple of passages scribbled on looseleaf notes caught between the pages of the Enthralled Clockwork Manual that she noticed while frantically working on Calibre inside the Devourer. They jumped out at her given Calibre's strange behaviour in relation to your conversations about religion, as well as what they say about the Clockwork's own mysterious Pantheon...

Passage No. 1: The thrall module affects those Clockwork mindgears that underpin its psyche's inclinations towards free will. A notable side effect of the implant procedure is the elimination of all moral inclinations even in those who, before hand, had a studied indifference towards either good or evil.

Game terms: Clockworks with a thrall module become Lawful Neutral (you already knew that); Lawful Neutral Clockworks become "Lawful Indifferent."

Passage No. 2: Clockwork Clerics and Paladins generally lose all of their abilities associated with their faith in the process of implanting a thrall module. Thrall modules seem to eliminate the subject’s capacity to use faith, in either a God or a Power, as a means of focussing divine energy. In these instances, although an entire skill set can be lost until the thrall module is properly removed, the enthralled Clockwork still functions as a capable servant. The thrall module ought never to be used, however, on Clockwork Clerics who draw divine energy from the schizophrenic mythical figure that serves as their own godhead, Cable. I have known of no Clockwork Cleric of Cable, regardless of which of Cable's personalities it associates with, to have survived the implant process. What this says about the role of free will in their bizarre religion is for theologians to debate. For my part, I have made 11 separate attempts on Clerics of all the various Cable-sects, and doing so has only ever meant incurring considerable extra cost that even the unit's salvage and scrap value cannot cover. Furthermore, the thrall modules themselves are always a write-off. Happily, devout non-priestly Clockworks, even those who adhere to a particular version of the Cable myth, are no more adversely affected by the implant process than any other unit with a particular religious inclination. The complete loss of interest in religion that accompanies the implantation only improves their value as servants, so long as you do not press them to discuss religious matters with you when you are bored. This only confuses them and may require that they be left to wind down and then be re-started.

(By the way, I have never experimented on a Clockwork Druid or Ranger, but would be delighted to have the opportunity to do so. If you ever capture a unit alive, I would make it worth your while).

Frankie learned more about the Clockwork religion in conversation with the Cleric of Cable the Finder, Keratone, aboard her uncle's airship:

The Three Aspects of Cable

Keratone explains that there are three distinct sects to which that worship and draw strength from three different manifestations of Cable - one good (the Finder), one neutral (the Observer) and one evil (the Liberator). Keratone explains that the devotion from which it derives divine energy is the FInder. This manifestation of Cable eternally seeks forgiveness that it can never be granted for his patricidal act. The devout Clockworks of the Finder dedicate themselves to pursuing Cable's redemption.

Keratone explains, "Clockwork phiolosophers argue about the meaning of Baerest's death and Cable's unforgivable act, and interpret it in various ways. There are those, particularly the neutral sect who go so far as to suggest that Baerest actually offerred himself up for sacrifice.

"We Finders believe that Cable's killing of Baerest created the seeds of the ultimate split in its personality. When the first Finders were awakened and sent into the wilderness to hunt Cable, many did not return. Most of those who did, had found that the trail had gone cold. A small number returned with fantastic tales of having met Cable and held palaver with it. Some claimed to have seen some of the missing Finders with Cable and others still claimed to have received enhancement crafted by Cable itself. The one question that the Cable could not or would not answer to those who searched it out was "Why?" To this, it only said, "Look into your own being and find an answer to this."

"The other sects claim different responses, of course. To us, Cable is an object of devotion beacuse it sinned; because it had faults and failings with such serious consequences; because it was trapped in a labyrinth of its own madness and could not find a way out. Nothing can altar the fact that this was the font of the first Clockwork experience, and all sects yearn to understand these origins. Cable was flawed. Life is flawed. Perfection is misanthropic.

"The Liberators considered Baerest's murder the ultimate act of free will, something in which they firmly believe to the detrimant of all else, I'm afraid. All of our gnostic traditions tend to characterize Baerest's death as the completion of a divine cycle of creation and destruction - something familiar, I think to the more abstract, and less anthropomorphic religion of the Gnomes, I hink. In a sense, the Observers are correct, Baerest's death was indeed a sacrifice - the ultimate one that a parent makes for its child - whether he did so knowingly or not. The question we ponder is whether Cable must be punished forever for this malfunction. It is the dearest wish of all devout Clockworks to learn of those first waking moments. For this reason the awakening of any Clockwork is a sacred event.

"Who is right? All of us? Perhaps. There are idealists who believe so. There is no question that all of the sects derive divine power from their particular devotions. There is no question that when differently aligned Clockworks look into their fundamental beings, the find very different Cables. That is to say, they find very different destinies, and what is being alive if not discovering and pursuing one's own destiny?"

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Name
AL
Domains
Portfolio
Favoured Weapon
Worshippers
W.AL
Source
Cable the Finder
LG
Creation, Life, Protection, Law
???
Any
Clockworks, Gnomes
LG, LN
CAR
Cable the Observer
LN
Balance, Knowledge, Travel,
or Creation + Destruction
???
Any
Clockworks, Gnomes
LG, LN, LE, CG, CN
CAR
Cable the Liberator
LE
Destruction, Liberation, Madness, Law
???
Any
Clockworks, Gnomes
LN, LE, CN
CAR

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