Welcome to the world of The Gilded Age.
1877. The full dawn of Industrial Revolution has collided with the twilight of the age of magic and alchemy, leading to a most curious progeny: self-aware clockwork men. Man-made machines, with clockwork gears and steam-powered joints, serve man even as the followers of the old ways continue to nurse growing resentment of these new creations. Their continued development and growing self-awareness have pushed society to form the Mechanical Movement. This organization, led by Pope Engineer III, sees these creatures as little more than complex machinery geared toward particular tasks. In their view, any human who would defile their bodies with metal parts should no longer have any place amongst the purebloods. Opposing them are the Protechnicals, who push for coexistence with and equal rights for both the mechanical beings and the humans who have “polluted” their bodies with artificial limbs.
Trying to find its own way in this world, the Branning Troupe, made up of actors and carnival folk, moves throughout Europe performing its acts night in and night out. For some, the Troupe offers a direction to their lives; others seek the adoration of the crowds. For all, it represents a fragile, simple refuge from a world which has cast them out. They are a new family.
And each member has their own desires and secrets…
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