The Astral Gale
The God-Machine of Hest
This gigantic clockwork regulated Hest for milennia until it was broken by Trobriand. Now that his creations, the silversann, have integrated themselves into it, who can say what it will become?
The constructors of the God-Machine of Hest are unknown, but this giant clockwork regulated the functioning of the outpost. It created pablum to keep the populace healthy and fed and ensured that all appointed tasks were undertaken. The God-Machine regulated prices appropriately according to its calculations. It regulated society So things went for millenia, although no further expeditions were launched, and Hest’s trading function superceded its function as a military outpost.
The renegade wizard Trobriand came to Hest about a century ago after his exiling by the Festrilian Mages’ Guild, who forced him to Dimension Door into solid rock as punishment for his use of forbidden divinatory magics. Exile proved to be better than living even as an elite wizard in the Guild and he was amazed at what he saw. Experiments with golems and clockwork had gone on in Festril, often from old findings dug out of ruins, but nothing could prepare him for what he saw in Hest. Even the copper mechanism that the Guild had in its vaults was of no comparison. That looked cheap and tawdry. Trobriand realized that this could be the secret to the power that had eluded him for decades.
He managed to sneak inside the God-Machine using the very spell that exiled him, Dimension Door. The Hestans were largely unconcerned with security, assuming that the God-Machine would regulate this function. He marveled at the mechanisms inside it, the whirring of gears, the movement of pendulums, gyroscopes, and hydraulic flow mechanisms. He studied for several years, and purchased what mechanisms he could in the market, until he gained sufficient mastery. Then he used Dimension Door once again and stole into the God-Machine, where he tore key components from it that he knew could be used to make a master golem that would make him invulnerable. So he tore out the components, and the God-Machine malfunctioned.
In the ensuing chaos, Trobriand went through the cubic gate on the other end of Hest, never to be seen again by the Hestans. The God-Machine at this point began demanding worship from all within Hest, and became more arbitrary. Still the folk of Hest submitted themselves to its will. What else were they to do? Fortunately for them, Razalflow the Arcanaloth appeared to provide security. And so things lasted for a century, until folk came through the cubic gate and upended Hest once again. Now, who can say what the God-Machine of Hest will do?