"To him, the dynamo itself was but an ingenious channel for conveying somewhere the heat latent in a few tons of poor coal hidden in a dirty engine-house carefully kept out of sight; but to Adams the dynamo became a symbol of infinity. As he grew accustomed to the great gallery of machines, he began to feel the forty-foot dynamos as a moral force, much as the early Christians felt the Cross. The planet itself seemed less impressive, in its old-fashioned, deliberate, annual or daily revolution, than this huge wheel, revolving within arm’s-length at some vertiginous speed, and barely murmuring,—scarcely humming an audible warning to stand a hair’s-breadth further for respect of power,—while it would not wake the baby lying close against its frame. Before the end, one began to pray to it; inherited instinct taught the natural expression of man before silent and infinite force."
--Henry Adams, "The Education of Henry Adams"
- A mage's guild has begun mass production of mechanical golems powered by elemental spirits. Normally, the spirits are bound completely, losing all sense of identity and self, but when an elemental lord is accidentally bound to a golem, it retains its memories and powers. The golem immediately rebels against its wizard creators, destroying much of the guild in the process and using its elemental affinity to take control of a veritable army of lesser golems. Soon, the city is beset by this army. What will the PCs choose: Fight or flight?
- After a local blacksmith begins a series of experiments with engines and electricity and other strange forces, he is forced out of his community by a populace fearing his creations. For months afterward, his possible return is feared, but he is eventually forgotten. That is, until orc raiders bearing strange weapons, spouting fire and shooting projectiles faster than the eye can follow them, and riding on vehicles not pulled by horses but pushed forward by mechanical monstrosities that belch black clouds of soot. It is soon revealed that the orcs have captured the blacksmith and are using his mad genius to their benefit, arming the tribe. When the PCs attempt to rescue the blacksmith, however, how will they react when they find he doesn't want to leave the community that accepts him and fosters his lethal creativity?
- A demigod, having angered other divine entities, has fled to the Material plane, and decided to hide out by binding itself to a powerful magic item which happens to be in the possession of one of the PCs. At first this may have little or no effect until the demigod becomes bored, sending the PCs dream visions and occasionally manifesting some impressive magical effect relating to the function of the bound item. This exercise of its power seems to be a boon at first, until the item begins to obsess the PC, compelling him or her to spend hours playing or practicing with it. This might not be a huge problem until the followers of the demigod's enemies hear rumors of its displays of power and send emissaries to collect the bound item at any cost.