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by Diego Calugi

This is what I wrote about meks and their masters some years ago. The only information available can be found in the master rules, in M5: Talons of Night (where a mek is guarding the Temple of Dawn) and in IM3: The Best of Intentions (where 30 meks are killing every lifeform in the outer plane of Pyx to obey the last order of their master).

The main question is: who are the masters of the meks and how did they die?

As DM suggested, they must be some kind of inhuman race, whose civilisation came suddenly to an end. But why? IMHO Immortals didn't killed them as someone suggested: in fact IM3 states that the Immortal Mazikeen is going to study some mek to research their origin (IIRC). So the Immortals know only a few information about them, which means that they have never dealt with meks before.

So, how did they die? This is my own version

(What follows is all IMC).


The outer plane of Starless is indeed a strange one. Its only planet (called Starless, too) hangs in the sky, surrounded by millions of miles of empty space. Not a single star can be seen from its surface and only a little weak and pale sun lights its wastes.

On this lonely planet an ancient race of insect-like creatures acquired the spark of intelligence: they learnt to talk. Eons after they developed magical abilities. They manage to unite their whole world under an unique kingdom and they called themselves 'The Masters'. However, life on Starless was very hard: little water and many famines; few people and a lot of free space. Magic was the only way to survive the rigours of a "weary" world.


But the fate of Starless was already written in the stars. Its little sun was burning out; year after year its pale light faded away... The Masters, with the most powerful of all their spells, created big caves under the surface of Starless, summoning big fire elementals to warm their bones. Like bears, the powerful Masters go into hibernation in the depths of their own cruel world. And so they died one after one, frozen while they were fighting for a piece of bread.


But Pyx, the biggest hero of The Masters, knew that their magic could not help them. The solution to the problems of Starless was far away from it, somewhere in the darkness which surrounded it. Somehow Pyx intuited the existence of others plane of life, first among all the magic-users of his race.

He roused some of his companions from their torpor and urged them to act! Magic was useless, and so they had to rely upon the mundane arts of technology.

A few years before the last sunbeam hit the surface of Starless, some "point of flame" were seen rising and heading straight into the darkness.


Pyx had managed to do it! He and his friends had built a new race, a new kind of servants: the Meks. On Starless nobody trusted them: "If even magic is useless, - they said - nothing can help us now". But he persisted in his opinion, and now he was travelling beyond the horizon of the place where he was born, with a dozen of companions and hundreds of meks...


But their journey, their space odyssey, was long and difficult. During the trip many of his friends left his side to colonise nearer planets. But Pyx continued along his way, leaving meks in all the planets he could find. He ordered those meks to obey the natives of the planet, and he became soon a symbol of civilisation. In fact he wanted to spread the knowledge of technology, which was in his opinion the key to a better life.

Old by now, he settled in an outer plane (later this plane became one of the 24 planes of Mazikeen - See IM3), where he built a temple to house the information needed to built the meks. He had fulfilled his fate and now he was waiting for the death to come.

And he did die, but by the hand of a Draeden (see old Immortal rules - pag.38). This powerful lifeform entered the plane of Pyx, overcame nearly all the meks of Pyx and destroyed him and the information in the temple. Why did it do this? Nobody knows, but many believe that the Dreaden wanted to stop the construction of meks. Why? Because they are DANGEROUS!


The hope of Pyx for a better world, built around the work of the meks, died with him. The meks (only 30) which survived the attack of the Dreaden, destroyed all the lifeforms in the plane, willing to obey the last order of Pyx.

But, what's happened to the meks of the companions of Pyx? After leaving Pyx, they reached empty worlds, where they built some colonies. Here, they just seat down, waiting for their meks to do all the work. They didn't need friends or relatives any more and so, years after years, the family ties became less and less important. After a few generations all the descendants of the first settlers were spending their lives alone, surrounded by hundreds of miles of fields and woods managed by the meks themselves.

In these world, everyone was as lonely as the "now frozen" Starless was alone in the black sky. Nobody was interested any more in relationships and in this situation no coupling was possible. These "sons of Pyx's Dream" died alone, without an offspring, each surrounded by hundreds of meks who, after saving their lives on Starless, had slowly killed them. Maybe the Dreaden was right...


The meks are the most perfect robots ever created. They were built by their masters to take care of them and to do all the hard work on their planet. Every mek was designed for a special task and was built with the form that suits better this task. For this reason they can look like many different animals or objects.

Mek Bodyguard: Today these are the most common meks (see below). They are very resistant (AC -4, immune to fire, and so on) and strong. They are born to fight for protecting their master. They can even change their shape to offer a better protection (such as the mek in M5). Usually they can fly and swim, so that they can follow their master everywhere or pursue his enemies. They are very good fighter, but they aren't very intelligent.

Mek Farmer: It is built to work in the fields. Usually it has the shape of a farm tractor. They are not intelligent and they never fight.

Mek Technician: His task is to work in the factories. It looks like an humanoid with many arms. Some of them can repair or built others meks.

Mek Miner: It works in the mines.

Mek Supervisor: This is the most intelligent mek. They have the shape of a man and they usually control many less intelligent meks. They can direct the work in the fields or the production of a factory. Today there are only a few exemplaries of supervisors left, who are still running the old colonies! Since they are the only really intelligent meks, they are the only ones who can tell the true story of their masters.