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Submitted on
October 25, 2008
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Protectorate Scout Car by MikeDoscher Protectorate Scout Car by MikeDoscher
To say that the Iron Road is a 'strange phenomenon' is an exercise in understatement. Sometimes a rutted trail, other times a cratered superhighway, always within earshot of ruin and war. Speculation suggests that forces unknown have bound all battlefields towards some unknown purpose. On this matter heaven is silent and hell only shrugs. Whatever the reason for this dubious providence, The Road is walked by soldiers, refugees, and all manner of of other things skulking through the smoke and ruin, searching for either plunder or home. Some stretches are presided over by kinglets and other petty tyrants, but The Road itself has never had a ruler. It may not be one place at all, but rather a charred backstage behind reality itself. The laws of nature change as you travel the road, and change more dramatically when you diverge from it. The Road is littered with ruined and abandoned equipment, cast aside by desperate armies when gasoline refused to burn or U-238 spontaneously turned to oricalcum.

One of the more ambitious powers along the Road are the self-styled Etongi Protectorate. The Etongi themselves were once human, but after a combination of technomantic surgery and ingestion of certain unique agents they are no longer recognizable as such. Most of their armies are human enough, and here we see a conscript of the Arbatel Cohort next to a Type III Scout Car.

The Type III was a simplified version of the tracked Skorpion scout tank, the complex quad-caterpillar suspension replaced with a more conventional wheeled layout. This one is fitted with a primitive infrared illumination system, indicating that the driver and support units are probably unmodified humans. They were produced in large numbers by the Invictus-A complex, but are comparatively rare now. Unlike the Skorpion, the Type III has only a single crew, albeit their load made a little lighter with a primitive electromechanical autodrive system and a revolver autoloader. Propulsion is either bioelectric or nuclear pellet, and some examples are fitted with both systems to counter the changing conditions of the road. Visibility is still poor, and this model still needs accompanying infantry or riders to be used to best effect.
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maxwildcat Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2014
Valakun Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013
A bit of necromancy here...I was wondering if you had any more information you were willing to share concerning the Iron Road mentioned in this pieces description? I'm quite taken with the idea and wanted to get a better grasp on your vision of it. Anything you can share would be appreciated.
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013  Professional General Artist
It's funny that you should mention this. I'm actually working on a novel set there, which I'm going to try to have done by Christmas.

I have a couple illustrations from the book I did recently, and I've created a subfolder in my gallery with this stuff in it:…

I'm working on another illustration now, and should probably have that up soon.
Valakun Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2013
I look forward to reading matter when it comes out.

Commander-Fillmore Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013
Cool dude I like the look of it
RelativeEquinox Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Who are the Etongi a Protectorate of?
MikeDoscher Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2012  Professional General Artist
The Protectorate is the zone of control for the Etongi. It is centered at their stronghold, the Palace of the Engines. It is of variable size, due to the vagaries of The Road.
RelativeEquinox Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Ahh, I thought you meant Protectorate in the sense of a government that is sovereign but controlled/overseen by another government.
Mistikfantasy Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Metal Slug tank ispired! X)
weremole Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Tinytank! *hearts*
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