Entering Friedrich Yahn's shop, Arcturus Mengsk looked around. Friedrich followed the emperor's every move with his eyes, and could feel an enormous amount of tension build up. Every moment the emperor shopped, the tinker got more and more nervous. With each minute that the powerful man stayed silent, Frederich felt sick to his stomach. After a few painful minutes, the emperor brought over a simple pocket watch and placed it on the counter in front of the tinker. He looked down expectantly at the tinker, as he looked back, still in awe that the emperor was in front of him.
Arcturus spoke, "Well, aren't you going to tell me how much it costs?" As if woken up from a stooper Friedrich shook his head and said, "For you sir it - it's free." "Well I'm not sure if I want this one, or something different," the Emperor responded. Friedrich looked up in awe and noticed his mouth was open and quickly closed it. "Aren't you going to sell me on it?" Frederich responded, "Of-of course. That trinket, oh emperor, is a pocket-watch. I made it myself, and it will serve you faithfully." With that the tinker and the emperor talked for several minutes going over how it worked, and how it could help the emperor. "And of course I have a guarantee on all my merchandise that if it ever stops working, I will fix it for you for free," the Tinker finished.
"Well truth be told Mr. Yahn, I'm not really interested in the watch," the emperor said passively. Friedrich responded gesturing to a glass cabinet, "Well I have plenty more watches over in these cases here." The emperor responded, "Actually I"m not interested in watches at all." Friedrich told him, "Of course sire. We have plenty of other th-" Arcturus interrupted him, "I'm looking for something bigger." "Bigger sir?" Friedrich asked. He pointed at the largest item in his inventory, "well I do have this. It is-" the emperor interrupted again. He never took his eyes off the tinker saying, "Tell me have you ever thought about building something that has," he paused for a moment, "more of a military use?" Friedrich's eyes widened.
Arcturus addressed the man, "If I asked you to make me a soldier, one made completely of your craft, do you think you could do it?" Arcturus emphasized the word you. Friedrich spoke up, "Well I'd need materials, more materials than I have here, or at any of my shops really." "No problem," the emperor said bluntly. "What else?" Frederich went on, "Well I'd need to close up my shops for a couple months as I worked on it, I'd run out of funding far before I could finish the product. I'd run out of savings just living before I could deliver you a final product sir." The emperor turned to him, "Well that wouldn't do now would it? Tell you what, you come live with me and I'll put all of The Empire's resources at your disposal. I'll give you men and your every need will be filled. And I wouldn't want your mind to be burdened with your shops' well being, so how about I take care of any of the bills they rack up for as long as you work for me, how does that sound?"
Friedrich was speechless. He managed to get out a, "That'd be very fine sir," through a lump in his throat. Arcturus responded, "Good, I'll expect you over for dinner tomorrow and we can discuss the finer points of the deal. Have a good day Mr. Yahn." And with that, Project Rhythm had begun.
Phase 1 - Prototype and Schematics (3 years)
Started Under: Arcturus Mengsk
Finished Under: Arcturus Mengsk
Arcturus assigned Yahn to create a prototype clockwork war machine. Arcturus knew that creating sentient constructs that followed the orders of their creator was nothing new or even particularly difficult to his wizards. But machines that relied less on magic, were self-sufficient, and could be mass produced, that would be something world-changing.
It took over 2 years for Friedrich to finish the prototype. It wasn't much but imbued with the magic from magicians that Arcturus brought, it was enough to show him that the project had potential. Countless iterations later a final prototype was created, and Arcturus was pleased. He asked for Friedrich to make dozens more. Arcturus had several of The Empire's up-and-coming minds apprentice under Yahn, that way the soldiers could be made faster. But it still wasn't enough. Arcturus threatened to pull the plug on the project, knowing that it would spur a man like Friedrich on to find a solution, and find a solution he did. Friedrich came up with a series of machines that would work together to build the machines for him. Arcturus was pleased and the project moved onto phase 2.
Phase 2 - Mass Production (9 years)
Finished Under: Valerian Mengsk
A factory was built, to Yahn's specifications, outside of the city. This factory produced Clockwork Knights, Clockwork Servants, and Clockwork Spies.
Phase 3 - Additional Factories & New Types (8 Years)
Finished Under: Edmund Duke / Valerian Mengsk
Several other Factories were built to produce different kinds of clockwork creatures for the military.
These new types include Clockwork Mages, Clockwork Steeds, Clockwork Dragons, and the great Clockwork Goliaths.
The sounds the Clockwork Dragons make.
Phase 4 - R&DStarted Under: Edmund Duke / Valerian Mengsk
Finished Under: Valerian Mengsk
These Clockwork monstrosities were prototyped and field tested protecting / destroying the town of Gilgamesh from threatening sea-creatures.
These suits are designed as automated armor sized for humans. Unlike plate mail, a firebat suit completely envelopes it's user, and is so heavy that it is impossible to manipulate without it's clockwork automation.
Unlike the lightning reflexes characterized in most clockwork creations, the suit moves in very robotic clunky movements making it practically impossible to use traditional weaponry. For this reason it comes with it's own weapons and sports twin perdition flame throwers, one on each hand, that throw alchemical fire stored in tanks on it's back.
Several prototype firebat suits were produced and field-tested with the mobile incursion system.
Mobile Incursion System
The MIS is a system that allows military assets to be deployed wherever a dragon can fly to. It involves a frame that a dragon can hold with it's claws, and pods that can store up to 4 clockwork soldier-sized creatures. The pods can be deployed from the air and safely transport the troops inside to the battlefield.
Phase 5 - New Types & Full ProductionStarted Under: Valerian Mengsk
Finished Under: Valerian Mengsk
All of the prototypes designed in phase 4 were put into full production, as well as new clockwork. These new types include Clockwork Angels, Clockwork Fiends, Clockwork Guardians, and Clockwork Hounds.
Destroyed factories were rebuilt, security was increased.