The exact origins of the Clockwork Man remain something of a mystery. He was found in an underground laboratory on the coast of Africa by a team of archaeologists some seventy years ago. In fact, he was part of the cache that kickstarted the burst of technological innovation that has led to the current advancements that transform the world daily. Initially studied and examined, it was only when the Clockwork Man was about to be dismantled that a scientist accidentally activated him. Through trial and error, they determined that the Clockwork Man had his own intelligence and understanding, a mind of his own, but that there had been damage to his programming over the millennia. He no longer remembered his primary purpose, or his origins, nor could he reliably translate the hieroglyphs or writing that decorated the lab and the objects found therein. For some time, the Clockwork Man was the darling of society, called upon to perform before royalty, gracing salons across Europe, and so on. But as human ingenuity and technology caught up to him, and even surpassed him, he fell by the wayside. Invited at some point to join the Strangers Club, he took them up on their offer and now resides in the club house. He serves primarily as the chief recorder of tales and librarian, but when called upon to defend the Club, he can still fight quite ably.
Indeed, it is clear that the Clockwork Man was built as a war machine. As to whether he is unique, or part of an army built by the ancients, he does not know. He is curious about his origins, and took up the role of librarian in part because the Strangers Club has access to so much esoteric knowledge.
Abilities: STR: 10/30 (-/+10) DEX: 10 (-) CON: - (-) INT: 16 (+3) WIS: 14 (+2) CHR: 10 (-)
Skills: Climb 4
Disable Device 4 (+7)
Gather Information 4
Knowledge: Physical Science 4 (+7)
Knowledge: Technology 4 (+7)
Notice 4 (+6)
Feats: Beginner’s Luck
Powers: Blast 10
Density 10 [Toughness +5, Immovable 3, Super-Strength 3; Buoyant, Reflective]
- DAP: Insubstantial 4 [Incorporeal; No Effective Strength]
- DAP: Strike 10 [Affects Corporeal]
Immunity 30 [Fortitude Saves]
Combat: Attack +10 [Blast DC 25, Strike DC 25, Unarmed DC 25], Defense +10, Init +0
Saves: Toughness +5/+10, Fortitude -, Reflex +4, Will +6
Description: The Clockwork Man is an artificial being built in the shape of a human. He stands about six and a half feet tall, bronze in color, with the form of a robustly built man. His face is an expressionless mask, with orange crystals for eyes and a black slot for a mouth. The segments of his body that allow him the full range of human movement make him resemble a Medieval knight in armor, and though he does not need to wear clothing, he commonly dresses in a dark purple tunic and cloak with hood. Secreted within his chest is a gravimetric drive, the pinnacle of Atlantean technology. The drive powers the Clockwork Man, even after ten thousand years beneath the Moroccan desert, and it also allows him to alter his density. He can increase it a hundredfold, becoming diamond hard, super strong and incredibly durable. Alternatively, he can decrease his density, diffusing his atoms and allowing him to become virtually insubstantial. In this form, he attacks by piercing foes with his ghostly hands and then partially solidifying them, causing great harm. The gravimetric drive also allows the Clockwork Man to defy gravity and fly through the air, at about the speed of a fast carriage. And he can generate a pulse of gravitic energy from his eye crystals that can punch through steel plate.
Under the Hood
The idea of strangely advanced technology found beneath the sands of North Africa and catalyzing an alternate timeline I totally stole from Mary Gentle's Ash series, which features a highly advanced Carthaginian civilization lead by pyramid-sized artificial intelligences fighting a war against a Medieval band of European mercenaries. I have long used a dead Atlantis as a source of advanced tech and character concepts in my M&M games, so it wasn't difficult to combine the two ideas. The Clockwork Man, as an ancient artifact and a relic from the 18th century, is meant to introduce a little clockpunk into the steampunk setting.