[Tinkering] The Esotericum of Clockworks and Machina Obscura

The Esotericum symbol

Leave the smiths their works of metal, the carpenters theirs of wood. We work in ideas, in motion, in forces others would call magick. There is no such thing, of course, but how else can they explain why the lever or pulley allow the moving of weights greater than can be lifted by hand? The Esotericum was founded for the study of such things, to expand the understanding of Mann and grant mastery over the world around us.

The time for superstition and ignorance is ending, and it is through knowledge that the future will be decided. Today, the sword may rule the battlefield, but we foresee a day when weapons capable of launching arrows with more power than the greatest archer will be usable by anyone with but a single day's training. Will you hold that new weapon, or will your enemies? Do your builders lament the time and effort wasted simply moving and positioning heavy materials? Would your scouts be more effective if they could perceive distant objects clearly? The Esotericum pursues the objects of all these questions and many more.

Join us, and together we will be the lever that moves the world.


What is the Esotericum?

The Esotericum is a Tinkering guild (or school; this is addressed below) with an emphasis on research to provide the Kingdom of Vornair an advantage in mechanical technology. We believe the products a Tinkerer creates will play a substantial role in many different aspects of CoE's gameplay, especially as the general tech level progresses, so it will be important to keep our kingdom on the cutting edge of development.

In addition, we believe that a spirit of innovation will be shared by many people in the Tinkering profession and beyond. We want to foster that spirit and see it grow, and a great way to do that is to establish a community where members are like family. The Esotericum is a research organization and guild, but it is also a place where members can openly discuss their plans and aspirations with others of like mind. When a member needs help, whatever it may be, we want them to be able to turn to the guild and find the support they need. Most importantly, we want the Esotericum to be an organization that our members enjoy being part of.

How to join

  1. Be a citizen of the Kingdom of Vornair (go here to learn about the kingdom and how to join). At present there are no plans to expand outside of this kingdom. However, if you are interested in starting a similar guild in your own kingdom, feel free to get in touch if there's anything you'd like to discuss. I'm always happy to talk Tinkering!
  2. Contact me. Discord is preferred (either in our server or via PM), but I'll try to check my messages here and on Vornair's forums regularly.
  3. We'll coordinate from there on whether you want to join the HQ campus, find the branch campus nearest you, or start a new branch.

I hope to hear from you soon!

Esotericum Discord Server

Member Benefits

  • Training offered at no cost, and supplies for training at little or no cost (as funds allow).
  • Use of Esotericum facilities at any of our campuses for no cost.
  • Materials, tools, and supplies are available at reduced costs.
  • If there is enough demand, large campuses will include basic lodging areas for members.
  • Each campus will either maintain a storefront or have agreements with local merchants to sell our products. Members will be able to offer their personal crafts through these as well.
  • Access to special orders from governments, other guilds, and wealthy clients.
  • Commissions offered for research work on things deemed of great importance for the guild.
  • Additional bounties for the discoverer of a new technology.
  • Access to our vault of information and blueprints.
  • Access to proprietary designs before they are available to the public.

Block and Tackle

Member Duties

  1. There will be no dues or explicit duties except for those in administrative positions.
  2. Instead, each campus will have a job board with various tasks to benefit that campus and the guild as a whole.
  3. These may be things like maintaining the facilities, providing requested training to other members, making tools and components, requests from the community, and making items for the campus to sell to cover its costs.
  4. Each task will be assigned a point value based on the skill, time, and materials needed to complete it.
  5. Each member will be expected to earn a certain number of points per week (with reasonable allowances for real life getting in the way) based on their rank in order to remain in good standing.

Guild Structure Document

If you want to learn more about the internal structure of the Esotericum, how interactions between branches will work, the point system, and more, please check out the document here.


Questions you may have

That name is quite the mouthful. Do you really expect people to use the whole thing?

That'd be great, but I understand most of the time you'll want something quicker to say/write. I'm not immune to that either, so here are the two shortenings I use: "The Esotericum" is what members would typically call it in the world, and "TECMO" is an option if you prefer acronyms like that.

Who should join the Esotericum?

Do you want to create mechanical marvels that tell time, crush your enemies, and do everything in between? Do you dream that one day the inventions of Mann will take us above the clouds and beneath the seas? Do you just really like gears, sprockets, and cogs? If yes to any of those, the Esotericum is the organization for you!

Will gatherers and other crafters have a place in the Esotericum?

Absolutely! In fact, this section stands separate from the above specifically because we want to be clear that the Esotericum will have need of many different professions. The guild is focused on Tinkering, but it is likely that our research will require parts made by Blacksmiths, Carpenters, and many others in addition to gathered materials that our Tinkerer members may not have the skill or time to collect. Just like any good machine, it takes parts of many different shapes and purposes working in well-oiled concert to achieve great results. Anyone who wants to support the advancement of mechanics, and reap the benefits, is more than welcome to join us!

What if I'm not interested in big research initiatives and just want a place to make stuff?

We would still be happy to have you! The purpose of the Esotericum isn't to have the big boss handing down orders. Tinkerers are supposed to make cogs, not be cogs after all. Even if you're not into the research aspect, we hope you'll find an enjoyable community with us. And if all you really want are the facilities, that's fine as long as you meet the duty outlined above or just buy a day pass.

Day pass?

We know some tinkerers may spend a lot of time travelling or just live a ways from the nearest branch. For those who will only need the crafting facilities from time to time, we will offer access to any branch's facilities (with the branch leader's approval) on fee per day basis. If you fall into this category but still want to have full guild membership and participate in the community, get in touch and we'll work out a plan.

Is the Esotericum a guild or a school?


Joking aside, that depends on exactly what the differences between guilds and schools end up being once we get more definite information. If schools have an advantage in research over guilds, that's definitely something we would want. However, if guilds can limit distribution of a discovery and schools can't, that would also weigh on the decision.

Where do I have to be to join?

Aside from "somewhere in the Kingdom of Vornair", that is largely up to you! The Esotericum headquarters will be located in Maidin, capital of the county Eiri Greine within the duchy of Fenixvalle, but we are looking to open campuses in many cities throughout the kingdom. If you have several people who are interested in Tinkering and already have an area you want to live in, why not start a campus in your local town or city? Get in touch if you're interested in leading or supporting a branch in your area, and we’ll get get preparations underway.

But really, what's with that name?

It's an homage to this masterpiece, one of the most amazing cRPGs of the era. Actually, depending on how SBS plays out some of the hints they've given, I wonder if CoE might head in a similar direction to Arcanum if magic makes a significant reappearance over time. Also, if you haven't played Arcanum or just want to relive the awesome, keep an eye on GOG. They put it on sale for just a few bucks from time to time, and it really is a great game.

Repeating Crossbow

The Esotericum

5/28/2017 11:59:04 AM #1

Proud to house a branch in my county :)

5/29/2017 8:09:30 PM #2

Thank you kindly, Zariel! I'm thrilled to work on setting up a branch in Iskar with you, and I hope it will be of great benefit to both of us and Vornair as a whole.

The Esotericum

6/2/2017 7:46:31 PM #3

Love the name. Looking forward to doing at least some of your metalwork ;)

6/4/2017 1:27:48 AM #4

We'll be glad to work with you, Arbroath.

I'll take this moment to remind readers that TECMO is both interested in forging good working relationships with other guilds and happy to accept members who are interested in Tinkering products but plan to pursue other professions themselves.

I suspect Tinkering will develop a symbiotic relationship with several other professions where we produce contraptions that make their lives easier while they produce components we need for our construction. Getting that rolling sooner than later will benefit everyone involved.

As for other crafters and gatherers who are still interested in seeing Tinkering thrive, TECMO will have a member position, Associate, for non-Tinkerers who want to be part of the advancement of mechanical technology. It offers benefits such as requesting tools and mechanisms be made and using any of the facilities needed, in exchange for providing those materials and components needed by Tinkerers that the Associate can gather or craft.

The Esotericum

6/7/2017 6:08:18 AM #5

For those that are interested in TECMO the people are awesome. Being a Branch Headmaster there will be a branch in the County of Iskar

6/8/2017 11:45:46 PM #6

Hey terrific post, very well laid out. I look forward to sharing or purchasing inventions with you all in the future. The group in my county you will likely be hearing from and interacting with is called the Crimson Core. Do you have any issues with me linking your post on my discord channel so that they may find you easier?

6/9/2017 8:30:56 PM #7

@Zariel I just can't wait until we can actually walk into a campus. I'm going to have to make an alt just to go visit each branch. XD

@Deadlymad Thank you, and please go right ahead. My only preference is that links come to this post (instead of linking our Discord server directly, for instance) so people can get a look at what TECMO is about before dropping in to chat with us. It doesn't sound like you were planning to give them a link straight to the Discord anyway; I just wanted to make this clear for anyone else reading it. ;)

The Esotericum

6/10/2017 1:48:21 PM #8

Posted By Cortillaen at 1:30 PM - Fri Jun 09 2017

@Zariel I just can't wait until we can actually walk into a campus. I'm going to have to make an alt just to go visit each branch. XD

O yea im so excited to actually walk around the campuses and watch the people actually make stuff.

6/18/2017 1:36:48 AM #9

Just a quick announcement to make: The first draft of the guild structure document is complete and available for perusal. It is a much more in-depth look at the way the guild is put together and how interactions between members in various parts of the guild will be handled.

The Esotericum

10/10/2017 12:10:11 AM #10

Concerns were addressed, deleting my post..

8/11/2018 10:59:13 PM #11

In case anyone was wondering, we changed the image host long ago.

The Esotericum