SING, MY ANGEL OF MECHA





A mechanical monstrosity like this can’t be captained like a ship, or lead like an army, or ruled like a nation. It is a monster in the purest sense- an omen of a profound horror to come. Some day, wars will be fought with these monstrosities, wars that level mountains and grind civilizations against the wheel until nothing is left but dust and guilt. Not today. Not tomorrow. But soon.

They are mindless, these beasts, all guts and glory. Their hearts pump black and acrid blood, their yawning orifices drip with rainbow drool, their stomachs belch smoke that chokes out the sun. They rage and laugh and topple towers in fevered delirium, or slip into a dreamless sleep from which they do not awaken for centuries or more. There is no one to guide them. No one but you.

They can’t be lead, or captained, or piloted. But their empty heads can be filled with genius. Your genius, to be precise- that intangible force as powerful and incomprehensible as the sea, that lifts you and flings you from one great work to another- you compose symphonies that shake the sky, poems that still the heart, lay bear the terrible secrets of creation but you, you are a vessel of such fragility. When your hand shakes, when your eyes flutter closed, when you faint from exhaustion, you can feel your genius pounding against your skull, raging like a fire in your soul. But now you have a worthy vessel, a beast capable of channeling your genius in its truest, purest form, unleashing its colossal power onto the world and changing it forever.

This will annihilate you. But it is the only thing you have ever been able to do.




The head of the colossus is your workspace: choking, sweltering, cavernous. The walls are layered keyboards of soot-stained ivory, coiling brass pipes whose slick throats burst with steam. The thundering of the beast’s blood is loud, but their music is louder still, and it echoes through the chamber like the bells of a cathedral. The floor is a viper’s nest of razor-needled looms stitching splattering reams of half-molten metal and coper wire, and massive printing presses that translate, through the clicking of innumerable tiles, your own manuscripts into glyphic shapes that slot into secret spaces that open in the monster’s guts. Massive spotlights project kaleidoscope shapes through the stained glass of its eyes.

And in the ceiling, there’s you. You dangle from an intricate suspension of metal wires in your wrists, shoulders, knees, throat, skull. They are as strong as spiderwebs, and as flexible as silk. On your head is a crown of black iron, its prongs piercing your skull like spikes and tap-tap-tapping against your brain. They fit slick and clean, and your genius plays them like an instrument, sending electric convulsions through your body and signaling the delicate movements of the chandelier-like apparatus that you hang from. Under its guidance, you move three-dimensionally within the space, drifting and leaping like a dancer.

The behemoth is a vessel for your genius, and here it is free- you will compose and play music that shakes the world and levels mountains, write works of breathtaking beauty that spark ablaze to burn cities to ash, contrive impossible ideas, destroy them in fits of acid madness, and contrive new ones, until your fingertips are stark bone and your heart is a carbuncle bulging through your chest.





Once you’ve become the Mind of the Monstrosity, you have two aspects: LION and MOTH. If you had any aspects or stats before, they no longer matter.



LION

The Path to Emptiness. It is the strength of your new body, the certainty of your convictions, and the devotion of others.

The Strength of the Lion starts out at 1000: You are whole, you are certain, and the domain where you joined with the monstrosity is loudly and publicly loyal to you, out of some combination of inspiration and fear.

You may expand your domain by inspiring the people of the world to loyalty and terror, whether by protecting them, intimidating them, or both. A swath of territory equal in size or in population to the original domain of your monstrosity increases the Strength of the Lion by an additional 1000. 

You can only maintain dominion over your adoring public if you keep up your strength. If you are supported by a domain 7 times larger than you started with, and the Strength of the Lion falls below 6000, you must chose which of your supporting territories you no longer have the strength to maintain. The same for 6 times and 5000, and so on.

When you take damage from artillery, siege weapons, tremendously powerful magic, or other monstrosities, reduce the Strength of the Lion equal to the damage received. When the people turn against you, reduce the Strength of the Lion equal to the portion of your domain they represent (so if half of one of your territories rises up, reduce it by 500) until the insurrection has been put down. 

If you are ever made to seriously doubt the power of your genius, the strength of your monstrosity, or the worthiness of your choices, reduce the Strength of the Lion by an amount equal to half your Flight of the Moth.


You may spend Strength of the Lion to:
  • DESTROY- Deal damage equal to strength spent to a point within crushing range. Divide the damage between everyone and everything within 50 feet of that location as you smash it flat.
  • PROTECT- Reduce the damage something else would take by an amount equal to half the strength spent. Requires you, or at least enough of you, to be physically between the thing you’re protecting and the source of the damage, and for the damage to represent something you could physically block. You could shield a castle or a person standing in an open field, or push your hand through an opening smashed in castle wall to shield someone standing inside. You could block a hail of machine-gun fire, but not mustard gas.
  • RESTORE- Use your metal-weaving looms to repair the monstrosity’s intricate components, and to fill in the tears and holes in your flesh and in your soul with pure, clean metal, reducing Flight of the Moth by an amount equal to the strength spent.
  • CONTROL- Your public adores you, and fears you, and resents you. Hopefully in that order. When you demand something of someone (that they give you something valuable, that they mobilize some number of people under their command to complete a task, etc), you can spend strength equal to the value of your request to all but ensure a favorable response. Normal rules about negotiation, and the personal and political consequences thereof still apply- you’re just presenting an extremely compelling threat and proving you can back it up.

If the Strength of the Lion is ever reduced to 0, you no longer have the certainty, strength, and devotion you need to sustain the colossal weight of your own genius, and your monstrous edifice comes crashing down, desperately straining to move as its own massive bulk crushes it into the earth. By the end of the night it will be a pile of metal scrap. If you are not rescued immediately, there will be nothing left of you but a thin mist of blood.



MOTH 

The Path to Annihilation. It is the frenzy of your genius, the ragged holes torn in your soul, your desperate fluttering toward the light of impossibility.

The Flight of the Moth starts out at 0. The only number that can be added to infinity.

You can increase the Flight of the Moth by channeling your genius into tremendous works of art. Dance across the keys of your nested pipe organs with ink-stained fingers and spray steam into the sky, scrawl poetry that ignites the soul and feed it to the yawning maw of the machine. Run yourself ragged, a tattered marionette dancing on the strings of inspiration. In this way, the Flight of the Moth increases by 1d6*1000 per day.

You may gain additional Flight of the Moth to:
  • YEARN- Travel a distance in feet equal to three times the flight gained in a single graceful bound. You don’t leave a significant impact crater or anything. You may use this to move in any direction where solid ground doesn’t impede you, including straight up into the air. You may use it even when there’s nothing strictly there to jump off of, if you like.
  • BURN- Your new body is a vast and largely incomprehensible complexus of metal and glass, but like everyone, it has hollow spaces that must be filled with fire and purpose, and your words, translated by the clicking of innumerable printing presses into glyphic shapes beyond your understanding, carry your glorious spark into the darkness, increasing the Strength of the Lion by an amount equal to the flight gained, up to the maximum amount appropriate for your domain.
  • CHANGE- Reshape a solid mass of undifferentiated matter into something extraordinary- turn a mountain into a massive statue, or sculpt a palace out of a glacier No matter how complex it is, you can do it, given time and material. A solid pillar would take only minutes. A palace may take all day. You gain flight equal to three times the amount of material shaped, in cubic feet.
  • DREAM- Here in the Mind of the Monstrosity, the Ultrareality hangs in the air like fever-sweat in a sickroom. It eats through your heart like worms. You can double your current Flight of the Moth to unleash a power of the Ultrareality on the waking world, to calamitous effect. Choose any Principle, then roll on the mishap table for that Principle, with a ritual magnitude equal to the amount of flight gained.

If the Flight of the Moth ever exceeds 100,000, your soul hatches like an egg. Your skin tears from your body in winding sheets. Your eyes are struck blind, calcified to shimmering gemstones, your skeleton leaps and capers and burns, burns, burns. Your monstrosity screams and laughs and cavorts and explodes in a neon rainbow fireball of molten metal and liquid glass, annihilating itself and everything nearby and infecting the land with frenzied dreams and impossible colors for years to come.




OK, WHAT'S THE DEAL HERE?


This is a mecha you have to commit to activating (find some Alexander Scriabin type and persuade or force them to commit the rest of their life to something that will definitely kill them), have to use as soon as possible (it explodes in between 2 weeks and 3 months if left alone, and faster if you use it for literally anything at all), can only use to excess (you need to conquer to fight, need to fight to do magic and not explode), and can use to spectacular excess (annihilating whole cities, building new cities out of stone and ice, irrigating valleys, exploring the moon).


SIDEBAR: BEING HUGE AND FIGHTING STUFF
Your behemoth is massive, about the size of the Notre Dame cathedral, and takes appropriately large steps, but it’s also comparatively slow to maneuver, so in combat, it may only take one LION or MOTH action per turn, and anything substantially smaller than it gets to take its turn first. Naturally, even most armies will be loath to fight you directly, but their improved mobility may allow them to escape more easily, or find ways to hinder you or bring you down.

Comments

  1. I can't get out of my head this idea of, like, Bach and Mozart doing an organ mech battle, cackling all the while. This is a really cool idea!

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