Secrets of Motive Science (banner)
"A Wutton Restoration"

t is one hundred and seventy five years since the Beatification, that blessed time when the isles were uplifted and placed in the great darkness. Despite the ever widening divisions between the thrones of Europe, it is agreed that the lands were raised in order for the godly to be brought closer to the Almighty.

What is less certain however, is why beasts and birds were forbidden entry to the uplifted isles. Theologians have argued that such creatures are too base and unclean to live so near to the Lord of Hosts, yet this belief is thrown into confusion by the presence of insects such as bees and flies and those things which crawl and creep through the soil.

Whatever may be the truth behind this great mystery, at the time of the Beatification, it was discovered that cunningly constructed mechanicals had replaced the beasts of the field and metal birds soared in the unfamiliar vaulted skies. In those early years, skilled craftsmen were instructed in the working principles of these unusual creatures by the special ambassadors. Inside every mechanical, from the most crudely fashioned tin fighting cockerel, to the Queen's own Ladies of the Privy Chamber, there are glass phials containing a fluid named ichor.

the cog and the rose
The sophisticated models possess four vessels of these different coloured "humours", each one governing separate aspects of function.
green ichor ("phlegm")

The basic fluid is the green which maintains balance and motion. Vulgarly called "phlegm" it is present in even the most rudimentary creature.
Amber ichor, also known as "yellow bile" controls intent and obediency and must be in harmony with "temper" the red fluid which instills character.

balanced "temper" and "yellow bile"

Last and most precious of all is "black bile", a precious elixir to be found in large quantities only within the servitors of the richest households. This costly liquid imparts elementary thought to a mechanical and is valued many times higher than gold. When one of these creatures suffers an injury or a piece of its intricate mechanism needs replacing, it is despatched to a workshop to undergo repairs.

black bile
Suet (sketchbook)

One of the most reliable establishments is located on a small isle in Suffolk known as Malmes-Wutton. There, under the watchful guidance of Master Edwin Dritchly a learned Master of Motive Science, three apprentices toil over all manner of mechanical beasts.
"Suet" is an example of a very basic mechanical. The casing of this piglet is roughly fashioned from a small keg and is of a type commonly found on small farms.

For tradition's sake, piglets such as this will be found in groups of three or four and share their sty with a much larger mechanical sow. Some observers have noted with interest that over the years these groupings will form strong bonds, just like that of a family of real, living beasts. Of course these creatures contain only the basic ichors, no black bile is wasted within their feeder pipes.
a wooden Tizzy

The wealthy members of society are wont to display their riches by keeping more sophisticated devices. Within the mansions of the rich there are mannequins capable of playing musical intruments and performing mummers' plays. In the Royal household Elizabeth, the Queen, owns many expensive creations. The most lavish are kept locked in her treasure house but others are in daily usage. In her private bedchamber, two jewelled Eliza's attend her whilst five brass Besses care for her majesty's countless costly gowns.


More humble in appearance, yet still fashioned to resemble the Queen, are the twenty wooden Tizzys whose duties include serving guests at royal banquets.


One of the most unusual mannequins to dwell within the uplifted isles is the secretary of Doctor John Dee, the Royal Astrologer. Known only as "Lantern" this peculiarly shaped mechanical is made from copper and serves as the old astrologer's secretary. Yet there are many rumours concerning this odd device, some believe that it is really an imp of the devil summoned by the Doctor to do his bidding and many fear it.

The miniature of Lantern

Torture Master (sketchbook)

The isles of Europe have often given rise to outlandish looking mechanicals but the most sinister creation is undoubtedly the Torture Master.

The Torture Master


This frightful abhorrence serves as a walking torture chamber.
Agents working for Sir Francis Walsingham report that this fiendish iron monstrosity is capable of forty seven different torments and the intention is that each of King Philip of Spain's ambassadors will be equipped with one.


Return to Deathscent homepage

God save us from this new horror...

© 2016. Robin Jarvis. All rights reserved