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The Snartan Klaugorikios

by Ethan Deneault

Within the past 200 years, the Snartan Empire of Vulcania has toiled to improve its military might. The result is the Klaugorikios, or Battlepod. The Klaugorikios is used by the mechanised infantry of the Snartan Empire, and a phalanx of them is a fearsome sight on the battlefield.

Each of the thirteen Snartan Earthshakers have their own regimental design and insignia, but each model incorporates the same basic attributes. The Klaugorikios looks like a headless metal humanoid standing about 9 feet tall. The main torso is slightly egg-shaped, and is supported by 2 ostrich-like legs. The arms are attached midway up the torso. The armour plates overlap slightly, giving the Klaugorikios a "plate mail" appearance. On the back of the machine are 2 upward pointing steam vents, which pour out steam and smoke when the machine is on. Standing unshielded behind a Klaugorikios is not advised. A third steam pipe vents itself directly into a steam reservoir used by the cannon.

The Klaugorikios is very fast and surprisingly mobile for its size and weight, it has a base armour class of 0, with 75 hp/9 HD. The armour is highly resistant to damage, and all typical non-magical weapons do half damage. Non-magical weapons that are much larger than man sized, such as used by a giant or another battlepod, will do full damage. The Klaugorikios is an all-terrain machine, but is not aquatic - The machine will sink and the pilot only has a few minutes before the cabin fills with water.

The Klaugorikios is armed with two basic weapons: A giant sized longsword and shield, and a gnomish cannon.

The sword is roughly 6' long, and is holstered in a scabbard on the back of the Klaugorikios. Use of this weapon is considered to be at the same normal sword weapon mastery as the pilot (usually skilled or expert), and does 2d6+10 points of damage. The shield is permanently attached to the left arm.

The gnomish cannon is held in a holster at the machine's hip. This cannon is a remarkable synthesis between gnomish ingenuity and technomancy. The basic design was created by Kyand Nik, a technomancer of ill-repute, who was a mercenary working with the Snartans over 3 centuries ago. The original cannon was a monstrosity, useable only when attached to an earthshaker. Through a few centuries of Snartan and others' refinement, a smaller version was created. The Klaugorikios' cannon resembles a 5' long Blunderbuss made of steel. The stock of the cannon is attached to a flexible pipe connected to the back of the Klaugorikios. The cannon has two basic attacks. It can shoot a huge cloud of steam which does 4d6 points of damage versus all targets standing up to 40' away from the blast. This attack can only be used once every 3 rounds, as it depletes the weapon's steam supply. The second type of attack fires a blast of flame in a 50' line from the cannon's maw, doing up to 10d6 points of magical fire damage on the target. 20% of the time, this attack will also destroy the cannon and do 30 points of fire damage to the machine itself. This attack draws directly on the plasma fuel of the Klaugorikios, draining 10% of the available fuel per dice damage, and doing d6 damage to the pilot due to heat backwash.

When a Klaugorikios runs out of fuel, it immediately stops working, and slumps over, still standing. The pilot will usually eject himself to fight on foot, leaving his machine behind for the engineers to repair/refuel/recover.

The pilot of the Klaugorikios sits inside the main torso of the machine. The front of the torso hinges upward to allow entry. Inside, the pilot controls walking by foot pedals, and all other movement controls by hand levers, switches and buttons. There are small glass window ports, and a short periscope for the pilot to get almost a full 360 degree view around him. The interior of the machine is infernally hot and greasy, and the pilot takes 1 point of damage for every three hours inside the contraption. Controlling the Klaugorikios takes a large amount of effort on the part of the pilot, and the "Battlepod Piloting" skill is required to use the Klaugorikios at all.

The Klaugorikios is powered by a plasma matrix engine, a smaller version of the fire elemental engines on board the earthshakers. These engines don't require elementals, but instead rely on solid material collected from the plane of fire. Luckily, Vulcania is rife with planar gates, so fuel is plentiful. A fully fuelled Klaugorikios will run for 5 months before needing a refill.