Celtechnia is a roughly circular recursion, some 200 miles in diameter. It is ringed by a range of imposing mountains known as The Wall of the World. A terrible, acidic ocean, The Caustic Sea, lies in the center of the recursion, separating the land into three distinct masses. To the west lies Ult, named for the kingdom that dominates most of this fair land. To the south lies Gul, a land of petty lords and fallen splendor. To the east is the land of Brae, a fine land divided into the kingdoms of Alb, to the north and Loegr to the south.
While the overall level of technology appears high, the people of the land live in a society similar to that of the early Dark Ages. The technological marvels of this recursion are not fully understood by its inhabitants. Great, ancient machines create the automata and modify the biological inhabitants of this world. Technology is baroque and strange. For example, hover cars do not exist, but warriors ride to battle in antigravity chariots pulled by a team of cybernetically-enhanced horses. The rules of physics work differently here. Gunpowder does not work and the inhabitants do not have access to any ranged energy weapons either. The most advanced ranged weapon is the heavy crossbow used by the Pyx of Alb. Most warriors carry a sling and several javelins for battle.
The recursion of Celtechnia is an anomaly. The fusion of technology and Celtic myth seems too rare to have spawned a fictional leakage of this size and age. Could an alien recursion have been colored by the legends of the Celts?
Celtomatron: A race of humanoid automata. The Celtomatron are completely mechanical, free-willed, intelligent beings. No automaton is identical to another. They are not mass produced, but rather assembled by a device they call the Broodmech. When they wish to reproduce, each partner “donates” a small portion of their body to the Broodmech, which creates a new being incorporating the donated parts. They use an alpha-numeric naming convention, with a string of 4 to 6 characters being most common. Their everyday speech is technical-sounding, for example: they use “designation” instead of “name”, “downtime” instead of “sleep”. They do not breath, are immune to most toxins and their metal bodies provide them with 1 Armor. They cannot swim, sinking like a stone in liquid.
Human: All humans have some obvious form of bio-mechanical augmentation. While not present at birth, it seemingly appears as the child grows up. The player should determine what type of cybernetics his character has when he translates. This is purely descriptive and confers no game-mechanical benefit or penalty; descriptor and focus can be mined for ideas though. For example, a Tough character may have dermal-plating to represent the natural point of armor, while medichines explain the ability to recover more quickly than normal. The only “natural” humans in this recursion entered through an inapposite gate. It is unknown if cybernetics will appear on such people given time. Their names are Celtic-sounding, but usually shorter.
Pyx: The Pyx are a strange insecticoid race that lives in the northern land of Alb. In form, they resemble enormous ant-like creatures festooned with mechanical parts. They stand about four feet in height, but weigh about as much as an average man. They have six limbs, the lower four used for locomotion, while the upper pair are used for manipulation. Reclusive beings, they claim to be the original inhabitants of the recursion and many blame the Celtomatron and Humans for the fall of their once mighty civilization. Their Steel Henges still dot the landscape and many of their ancient tombs and barrows are filled with marvelous technological artifacts. The Pyx gain an asset to all tasks involving running, balancing or climbing. They suffer an inability when jumping or swimming.
Additonal Foci: If you own Numenera, the following foci are appropriate for the recursion: Controls Gravity, Employs Magnetism, Fuses Flesh and Steel, Masters Weaponry, Rages, Rides the Lightning and Talks to Machines. If you own Numenera Character Options, the following foci are appropriate: Defends the Weak, Fuses Mind and Machine, Metes Out Justice, Never Says Die and Performs Feats of Strength.
Places of Interest
Alb: The land of the Pyx is a rugged, unforgiving place and yet it has a stark beauty unlike anywhere else in Celtechnia. The predominant terrain of Alb is mountainous. The Pyx farm the low valleys and tunnel into the hills to create their village-hives. Alb is not a unified land, despite the claims of the so-called “high king” Brumic. The Pyx are tribal and typically quite insular. Strangers, even other Pyx, are treated warily. If you can win the Pyx’s affection though, they are valiant companions. The southern extent of the land is defined by a huge concrete wall, nearly 50 feet in height and 30 feet thick, that stretches from the Caustic Sea east to the Wall of the World. The age of this cyclopean structure is unknown. The Pyx claim it has always been there. Passages and fissures riddle the wall, allowing raiding parties to venture into the kingdom of Loegr.
Caustic Sea: A roughly T-shaped body water divides the recursion into three land masses. While the sea is rarely more than 50 miles in width, it is a significant impediment to travel because its mildly acidic water is harmful to cybernetics. While falling into the sea will not cause any physical damage, prolonged exposure corrodes mechanisms. Those who work on the sea have significantly shorter lifespans than their land bound brethren. The sea does provide a bounty, for its animals cybernetics are constructed of pure gold. Trade also flows between the lands and some are willing to endure the caustic spray in exchange for wealth. Sailors and fisherman are often known as rusters for their tarnished appearance. Wealthy merchants opt to have mechanical parts electroplated with gold in an attempt to stave off the deleterious effects.
Gul: An ancient land, the inhabitants of Gul look back upon the glories of their past, rather than looking forward to the future and given the troubles facing this kingdom it is not surprising. Humans are the dominant race of the land, comprising 90% of the populace. The Pyx are almost non-existant and found only in the darkest forests. The kingdom claims that all civilization and culture originated here. Civilization seems to be on the wane in Gul now. The high king, Conn, is weak. The nobles have taken the opportunity to grab power, carving up the land between them. Gul is a fair land of rolling plains and mighty forests. It’s farms and mines are productive. It’s cities are some of the largest in the whole recursion and its capital, Parye, is considered to be the most beautiful city in the world. All of this is endangered as the nobility wage their petty battles and power games. Mercenaries have flocked to the land and banditry is rife. Ancient ruins and barrows dot the landscape and with central authority so weak, bands tomb robbers have begun to spring up.
Loegr: Loegr is a kingdom under siege. Nearly 50 years ago, a civil war raged as two claimants for the high kingship struggled for power. The land was ravaged. Battles were fierce and As the struggle became more desperate, no quarter was offered to the enemy on either side, draining the land of fighters. Finally, as a lord named Utr seemed to gain the upper hand, his opponent V3R7 brought in the Kray as allies from The Strange to bolster his armies. Utr’s forces eventually prevailed, driving V3R7’s armies to the edges of the recursion, but he could not dislodge them completely. Peace reigned for a few years, but the high king has disappeared leaving no heir in his place. The Kray are again on the move and with anarchy ruling the land, nobody has mounted a defense against their depredations.
Ult: The kingdom of Ult dominates the northwestern portion of the recursion. The Celtomatron are the dominant race of the land, with few humans and nearly no Pyx living here. The ruler of this land is Adjudicator C0N4. A brave and valiant warrior in his youth, C0N4 is getting on in age. He still maintains a band of stout fighters about him known as the Guardians of the Crimson Path. Ult is at peace, so these warriors spend most of their time hunting and questing throughout the land. It is well that they do, for Ult is still untamed and many terrible things prowl the forests and highlands.
The Wall of the World: Celtechnia is surrounded by an enormous range of mountains. They define the boundary of the recursion and separate it from The Strange. Tunnels riddle the mountains, ancient tunnels lined with pipes and conduit. Occasionally an explorer may come to an inexplicable machine built into the solid rock silently pulsing away. Other technological marvels may be found in these tunnels, but function of most lie beyond the ken of mere mortals. Some of the passages lead to the edges of the recursion and many of the kingdoms have setup outposts to guard against incursions from creatures from The Strange. When the kingdom of Loegr fell into civil war nearly 50 years ago, many of the posts were abandoned and now creatures from The Strange have found their way in. In addition to those beasts, terrible things like the Iridium Wyrm stalk these chthonian halls. GMs interested in running a dungeon crawl with a twist need look no further than this benighted place.
Many terrifying creatures haunt the recursion. When designing your own beasts, remember to make them purely machine or a fusion of flesh and steel. Everything native to Celtechnia has some mechanical components. Only creatures that have entered through an inapposite gate or made their way in from The Strange itself will be completely biological. The following creatures published by Monte Cook Games fit into this recursion easily.
The Strange: Cypher Eater, Inklings, and other denizens of The Strange may have wandered into the tunnels below The Wall of the World. Kray have found their way into the kingdom of Loegr and are waging war against the inhabitants.
The Strange Bestiary: Catastrophe Cloud, Cog Mite, CRAZR, Mad Creation, Mechadrone, Mechanomancer, Regoid, Scrap Drone, and Warbot. The GM may allow any creature native to The Strange to be encountered in the passages and chambers beneath The Wall of the World.
Numenera: Callerail, Disassembler, Oorgolian Soldier, Steel Spider, and Zhev.
The Ninth World Bestiary: Accelerator, Blitzer, Decanted, Dedimaskis, Etterick, Gazer, Grey Sampler, Herder, Kalyptein Crab, Magmid, Plasmar, Warder, and Xacorocax.