Logic, science, and self-determination are the foundations upon which the empire is built. Technology was at first merely a shiny bauble to draw the blinded masses away from worship of the Asrae, but in time its potential was realized in other ways. When the armies of the early empire collided with implacable foes, one of the Lichelords’ responses was technological advancement. Dozens of diverse disciplines thrived, employing thousands of artisans, but soon the Lichelords worried that this knowledge might fall into the wrong hands, and so they rounded up the masters and lay upon them bonds of secrecy, forming them into a brotherhood. Thus was the Technostratum born.
The various guilds, colleges, laboratories and factories of the Technostratum are staffed by an army of laborers and artisans who are managed by a corps of administrators, but safeguarding the technological secrets under lock and key is the Conclavus Segreta. All senior positions of the Technostratum are held by members of the Brotherhood whose access to knowledge is regulated according to their rank. The brotherhood is made up of the finest scientific minds in the empire – inventors, scholars and masters of the various disciplines – and is headquartered in the city of Phasatium.
Whether it be weapons and armor or the everyday tools used by the four bureaus of the empire, the Fabricati Guild runs the forges, factories and workshops that manufacture items on an industrial scale for the servants of the empire; everything from sappers’ shovels to scribes’ quills. The “machine city” of Hetatium is the heart of this industry, where ghastly contaminated factories produce hellish chemicals, mixed according to formulas devised by the Alchemists, producing inks, dyes, paints, rubber, oils, waxes, sealants and leather tanning chemicals. Toxic spills, explosions and poison clouds are a common occurrence in the factories. Hetatium also hosts the insufferably overheated forges, where armor and tools are cast with little regard for safety, making molten spillages and fires common hazards. Suffering under the inhumane conditions of the Fabricati factories are the working-poor and hereditary slaves, and only working in the empires mines could possibly be more dangerous or arduous.
New chemical weapons are concocted by the most depraved and talented minds within grotesque laboratories crammed with much convoluted glass apparatus holding bubbling chemicals, seeping condensates and circulating gases. Promising formulas are tested on convicted criminals and the horrendous results carefully observed and catalogued. The Alchemists Guild also manufactures the highly secret and deadly concoctions not divulged to the Fabricati Guild such as poisons for spoiling enemy wells prior to invasion and quick-acting, fatal toxins for the eradication of leading enemies of the empire. Workers assemble poison gas bombs, naptha canisters for fire-lances, spitfire bombs of sulfur and black-powder, barrels of flammable tar, smoke bombs of zinc chloride and aluminum and many more sinister creations used by the troops of the Technostratum.