The Automaton Empire


The Ottoman Empire began in 1299, after the demise of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum. Osman I, the son of a leader of one of the Turkish tribes, united all of the tribes under one banner. The Ottoman government was based on Islamic law.

When Osman's son, Orhan, suceeded him in 1326, he took the title of Sultan. Therewith the Empire grew, expanding its borders throughout Asia Minor and Eastern Europe. In 1453, the armies of the sultan Mehmed II captured Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Renaming the City Istanbul, Mehmed II declared the city the new capital of the Ottoman Empire.

During the next 100 years, the Empire experienced a time of expansion. Under the rule of Sultan Selim I, Egypt was occupied by the Ottomans, and they established a naval presence in the Red Sea. Suleiman the Magnificent, Selim I's successor, established an Ottoman presence in Eastern Europe, controlling most of the Mediterranean and expanding farther to the east as well, capturing Baghdad in 1535 and gaining access to the Persian Gulf.

The late 1500s and early 1600s were marked by internal strife. In 1571, the defeat of the Ottoman empire at the Battle of Lepanto put an end to the Ottoman control of the Mediterranean Sea. By the end of the 16th century, it appeared that the age of Ottoman Expansion was at a close.

However, it was soon to be shown that this period was only the beginning. In 1630, a new fleet was launched in the Mediterranean, and a new army was dispatched over land to wreak conquest and havoc on the European continent. It was at this time that the new technologies and weaponry, long in development by the Ottoman government, were unleashed: the آلية الساعة العملاقه or "clockwork giant". These steam-powered mechanical men were like nothing that the western world had ever seen: enormous war machines of steel and clockwork in the shape of human beings, immune to all but the largest of cannons,
able to stride through the European armies at will. In the infamous Battle of Vienna (popularly known as the Vienna Massacre) in 1645, the forces of the Holy Roman Empire were decimated, leaving the Ottomans a clear path into the heart of Europe.

The Holy Roman Empire, desperate to find some countermeasure to stop the onslaught of the Clockwork horrors, applied new advances in hydrodynamic technologies bought from the English to create the Damfsoldaten, the Steam Soldiers. These more efficient, more powerful counterparts of the clockwork giants were able to withstand their forbears at the battle of Warsaw in 1664, pummeling the Ottoman forces in an ambush outside the city. But such an advance was forseen by the Turkish government, who had wasted no time in improving their original design.

By 1667, a new breed of clockwork giant was unvieled during the battle of Venice. These medium-sized war machines held a particular horror for the European forces: the absence of pilots. In addition to streamlining their original design and upgrading to match the hydrodynamic technologies of the Europeans, the Ottoman forces boasted a technological advance that made obsolete the need for human pilots. Instead, utilizing an advanced analytical mechanism developed in secret by the Turkish government for nearly a century (indeed, the design of the mechanism remained a closely guarded secret, known only to an elite group of Islamic engineers, even during its employment in combat. Each engineer was assigned a Hashshashin bodyguard, with the dual responsibility of protecting the engineer from capture as long as possible, and killing them when protection was no longer an option. In addition to this, each engineer was also
supplied with a vial of lethal poison to use on themselves in the event that their guard was incapacitated before completing their duty).

While dependent on human minds for strategic thought and programming, the Ottoman war giants were fully functional in combat operations, displaying rudimentary sensory ability and able to differentiate between the European and Ottoman forces. They were also lethally efficient at destroying the former. In addition to this, the advances in manufacturing technology enabled the Ottoman Empire an almost unlimited force of automated warriors, dependent only on a small number of heavily-protected engineers and mechanics.

By the mid-1700s, fear of the Empire's automatons and continued inability to decode the steam giants' programming led to the unification of European governments, and the subsequent focusing of resources to combat the Eastern forces through the advance of military technology. Of prime focus was the advance of Aeronautical engineering and the
continued development of hydrodynamics, seen as the last European strongholds in the area of technology. (Although the steam giants utilized by the Automaton Empire were decades ahead in terms of analytic mechanistics, they were several years obsolete in terms of hydrodynamic efficiency.)

Following the unification, the next several decades witnessed a slowing of Ottoman conquest as the European Enlightenment advanced technologically and began to restructure itself sociologically. European Airships rained destruction upon the armies of the Empire, and while several attempts to create flying automated robots ended in failure
— the complexities of maintaining altitude while maneuvering around objects *and* attempting to destroy other objects were too taxing on the standard-sized mechanical minds of the automatons of the time. Essentially, a greater amount of space would have been required to fit a flight-capable analytic-machine than it would for a standard military crew. This forced the Ottoman empire to utilize a mixed crew of humans and automated analytical machines, and combined with the Empire's inferior hydrodynamic capabilities caused the Ottoman airship to be both bulkier than the European ships while paradoxically limited in maximum size.

By 1850 the situation had resolved itself into a sort of stalemate between the two powers. The European Enlightenment was no match for the Automaton Empire on the land or at sea, while the Ottoman Empire could not compete with the Europeans in the air. After several spectacular battles — the naval battle of Siracusa, the aerial battle of Agram, and the ferocious battle of Bavaria that lasted nearly two months — the two governments settled into an uneasy ceasefire.

The Enlightenment continued its radical cultural revisioning at all social levels, and the Ottoman Empire continued its investigations in the area of analytical engines, searching for the key to unlock an artificial consciousness.

This tenuous peace would last for several decades, but few were foolish enough to believe that it would last forever. Five years ago, in 1892, the European Enlightenment staged an attack on Milan in the former nation of Italy, and blamed it on the Ottoman Empire the Ottoman Empire traitorously and unprovokedly attacked Milan, in the former nation of Italy, leaving no witnesses survivors. The European Government used this as an excuse to launch their own assault bravely responded by sending their own troops to war against the Ottoman forces in Austria.

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