The Mosian Mechs
Construction and colonization efforts on Mos have frequently benefited from the use of mechs. These large, often lumbering machines, typically built with two to four sets of legs for navigating difficult terrain. Due to industrial limitations, the vast majority of these machines trace their origin back to the initial colonization period, and are too expensive to operate for most people and projects. This combined with the low demand for new mechs, has left the majority of these machines mothballed away in storage, cannibalized for parts, or heavily modified and sold off as farming, mining, or emergency rescue equipment.
Paradoxically, this means that mechs are both uncommon and abundant, with thousands of machines sitting in warehouses to be picked at for parts or awakened by anyone who can afford their restrictive upkeep costs. As such, the mechs that can be found on Mos are diverse and eclectic relics, which have been tweaked and customized for a dozen jobs across a long history. New mechs are built from the bones of old mechs, and a truly new machine is an oddity built with a very specific purpose in mind.
Types of Mechs
Mechs designed or repurposed for use in the day to day operations of civilization spread out along a dangerous frontier, or to operate within the confines of urban territory. These mechs are typically small and spritely constructions, usually standing between six to eight meters tall, and usually bipedal, with a mount of cargo or auxiliary systems on its back. They are quick, capable of keeping up with some ground vehicles, and are often capable of leaping twice their height. These mechs are most commonly used as mail mechs, delivering post and parcels to far flung settlements, or as fire fighting machines turning their cargo compartment into large water tanks. These mechs are also known to be used in limited numbers by police forces as anti-riot machines and to give chase to criminal elements.
Big lumbering ponderous machines, typically standing eight to twelve meters tall, with their weight spread out on three to four legs. Agricultural mechs are expensive, and require regular maintenance, but are well worth the cost as these machines can easily plough, till, and harvest entire fields in a day, and transport enormous amounts of tools or harvested goods across otherwise treacherous terrain. These machines tend to be slow and cumbersome to pilot, but are durable and while they require regular maintenance when in operation, can be left unattended in a field, warehouse, or cave for decades without any need for repair. Agricultural mechs are the most commonly used mechs on Mos, with most villages and towns at least having limited access to one of these enormous lumbering machines.
The most varied in design and used mechs on moss are industrial mechs. These machines are built for dozens of tasks and modified yet further in the field to better suit those purposes. Typically standing between eight to ten meters tall these machines are built to be durable, but easy to be disassembled for maintenance or repair. Industrial mechs tend to be bipedal or tripedal, though can be easily modified to gain yet further legs, with several mechs designed for lifting having been equipped with six legs for increased stability. Industrial mechs are commonly used for hauling heavy materials, flattening terrain, quarrying, and construction.
Named by many an angry babushka for their loud engines and stomping feet; Bellowers are a new classification of mech that is the result of the ingenuity of Mos’s youth and criminal elements. Beginning with highly customized municipal mechs,bellowers have grown to be a class of their own, typically constructed from abandoned and broken municipal and industrial mechs, though in more recent days workshops have opened up manufacturing the devices from scratch. Typified by their lightweight frames, large engines, and maneuverability; these mechs are almost exclusively bipedal and stand between eight and ten meters tall. Each bellower is truly unique, with each machine a highly personalized custom job, cobbled together from anywhere between a couple or a dozen mechs. In general though, bellowers combine the speed and maneuverability of a municipal mech, with the durability and multi-role capabilities of an industrial mech.
These machines emerged as the pet projects among tinkerer clubs as faster, more rugged racing machines, and were quickly adopted by gangs for illicit use. Street gangs favored the machines for illegal races and betting. Bootleggers and smugglers prefer the more rugged designs for moving goods. Bellowers have even been used in several train robberies as the means of attack and escape for the robbers. Despite this quickly soured reputation, Bellowers are popular enough machines among the law-abiding portion of Mos’ population that they have not yet faced bans or heavy regulation. Mechs and the Larkspur Combine
Industrial tools, and fast moving vehicles have always had a place in organized crime, and mechs are no different. Industrial mechs have a history of being used for intimidation and destructive purposes. Typically industrial mechs are only employed as threats; but like any good threat one must be ready to use them. Members of the Combine can easily access mothballed mechs sitting in dusty warehouses or ‘borrow them’ from work sites across the planet, and turn them with little to no hassle. It is a rare thing for members of the combine to own and operate an industrial or agricultural mech due to their expense to maintain and operate and their ease of acquisition.
Additionally, the combine has made limited use of municipal mechs for some time. These fast all-terrain machines can be quite useful for moving illicit materials from place to place. Municipal mechs have been long time favorites of smugglers and rum runners moving bleed aged moonshine, weapons, and drugs. Despite being viewed by older members of the combine as ‘haughty taughty’ or ‘newfangled noise makers’, bellowers have been replacing municipal mechs as the tool of choice for smuggling and rum running. Bellowers are tougher, capable of mounting weapons and armor, and just as fast as municipal mechs. This means less shipments lost to difficult terrain, wildlife, hijackings or police intervention. Additionally, despite their names bellowers can be designed with discretion in mind, and even if they’re the size of a small building they are far less conspicuous than a plane or an airship.
Mechs and Magic
While not commonly done, the use of the bleed is a tool employed by many a Mosian mech-wright to further customize or push the capabilities of their machines. Most commonly gravity magic enchantments have been used to make mechs lighter or capable of carrying heavier loads. Technomancy is commonly used by mech-wrights and owners capable of using the bleed to assess damages and run repairs. Telekinetic enchantments are not uncommon to allow pilots to load their mechs or manipulate objects outside of their machines. More exotic enchantments blur the line between pilot and machine, create gravitational force fields to defend against shrapnel and small arms fire. Some have even applied gravity magic to allow mechs limited flight, and claim that it would allow their machines to operate as well in zero-gravity conditions as they would on the surface of Mos.