Steamjacks are advanced mechanika constructs. A steam engine provides their motive power, but they are given awareness by sophisticated wizardry. The human Kingdom of Cygnar originally developed the technology for warfare over two centuries ago, but it has since made its way into more peaceful uses. The iron giants can now be seen peacefully toiling away anywhere there is heavy labor to be done. Units may grasp huge tools in their powerful claws, or they can be fitted with picks, shovels, or thundering steam-hammers.
There are many different kinds of steamjacks, from plodding dockside laborers to swift military units that wield shields, cannons, and potent magic protections. Most steamjacks are between eight and twelve feet tall and weigh four to six thousand pounds, but in days past units ten times that size have been fielded in battle. These once fearsome behemoths now lie in ruins, but their smaller and more efficient cousins have taken their place.
To remain active, a steamjack needs constant refueling twenty pounds of good-quality coal and twenty gallons of fresh water are required every few hours. The frequency of refueling depends on the exact model, of which there are many. Older, less-efficient models need water and coal every hour, while a newer unit might be able to run for three hours without tending. Cheap sulfurous coal or even firewood can be used in a pinch, but doing so reduces the efficiency of the unit.
Steamjacks can understand Common and occasionally another tongue if they have been so designed. Instructions must be simple, but steamjacks are capable of evaluating their environment well enough to prevent catastrophe. Steamjacks cannot speak, but they can produce steamy hisses, clanks, and metallic groans
A steamjack’s ‘brain’ is an intricate mechanika device that can account for up to half of the unit’s price. It is a rugged spherical matrix of copper bars inlaid with platinum and gold, surrounding a swirling magical vortex. Polished gemstone windows are inlaid into the glowing orb, preventing the captive charge from dissipating. Into this chaotic knot of energy is encoded all the unit’s memories and cognitive faculties. If the cortex is breached it is utterly destroyed, and the escaping charge often does electrical damage to anyone nearby.
The cortex is hidden deep within the steamjack’s torso, cunningly mounted to protect it from impact. Only a trained mechanic or high level rogue can access the cortex. If the steamjack is destroyed, there is up to a great chance that the cortex will be salvageable.