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Machinations of Magludias Fynch: the Clockwork Workshop

Machinations of Magludias Fynch: the Clockwork Workshop

Magludias Fynch’s Wandering Clockwork Workshop, Miniature Carnival, and Artisan Trade Show is known to a select, secretive few to provide several far less-frivolous, amenities. Amenities only found behind the flashy, noisy, overpriced games, gadgets, and repair services.

Read up on previous machinations of Magludias Fynch!

Magludias Fynch’s amazing clockwork workshop serves the irascible gnome as a mobile home, traveling business, and relocatable criminal headquarters. Here, the excitable thief-turned-inventor-turned-criminal-mastermind negotiates, plots, and plans his elaborate capers and illicit business dealings.

It’s quite a sight once waxed and burnished. Reflected sunlight glints warm and orange from the enormous coach while tiny calliopes tootle-away cheerily. The twisted and scorched lightning rods, projecting from locations topside, fly bright pennants and strings of jingling copper bells.

Fynch’s clockwork and lightning-powered wagon house resembles a towering, top-heavy carnival wagon. An upper superstructure crowns the top, replete with gnome-sized mezzanine, hatches, and ladderways.

Once the clockwork carnival is set up and the staging is complete, costumed staff assembles their gear, assumes their stations, and Fynch’s Clockwork Carnival opens for business.

The Carnies

Here is an overview of Fynch’s current chief operatives and cohorts in crime.


Flamboyantly costumed in royal crier’s garb, this foppish, seven-foot-tall gearforged (see Midgard Heroes Handbook) is the gate manager. Barker cajoles and wheedles passing locals and peering crowds. Calling, rhyming, or singing out his grandiloquent invitations, Mister Barker gathers the crowds and sells the show. Barker’s job includes taking tickets and taking notes on well-attended, wealthy, or official-looking customers, passing those details to Glit’ch.

Barker also functions as a business ambassador for certain “sit downs” on Fynch’s behalf, and serves as the driver/forward lookout when the caravan is on the road.


Magludias’s big-boy enforcer is a swolbold (see Creature Codex) who usually stays out of sight unless setting up or breaking down the show, or if Top-hate summons him with his whistle. Otherwise, if Churl is awake and on the move, something loud and fatal is about to happen.

Churl serves as pure muscle.


A clockwork assassin (see Creature Codex) calling itself Top-hatoversees the midway (gaming area) and attendants at the venue’s center. Top-hat also supervises the clockwork handlers, tending the nearby mechanical menagerie. Top-hat is Fynch’s onsite security enforcer and Churl’s handler if things get too hot. He has a silent dog whistle that can alert Churl if he is within a quarter mile.

After hours, Top-hat serves as the outfit’s frontline bodyguard, leg breaker, and hitman.


The kobold scoundrel Glit’ch is a junk shaman (see Creature Codex) who prances as a clown and troubadour, wandering the show and local environs to entertain and advertise. Glit’ch juggles flaming batons (his junk staff equivalent); performs children’s magic and attempts acrobatic antics.

Glit’ch serves as the crew’s eyes about town. A spy, lockpick, and infiltrator, Glit’ch investigates Barker’s leads and observations on potential targets (or suspicious-looking attendees) before reporting to Zephii or Fynch for further instruction. Glit’ch oversees and outfits the wrench monkeys and also has a dog whistle to summon Churl.


Zephii is Magludias’s ace in the hole for second-story work, spying, and aerial security. This evil pixie is also a stone cold assassin. As Fynch’s personal security chief, Zephii helps Glit’ch and Top-hat oversee the grounds, with carnival flyovers and check-ins. But Zephii’s daylight hours are largely spent assisting Fynch and maintaining security, quietude, and communications inside the lair.

She also assists with product logistics, money laundering, contract negotiations, and pay-off distributions.


This clockwork raven rarely journeys outside and never far from the workshop. She’s known to lurk among the superstructure’s topmost lightning rods and sensor arrays. Unknown to Magludias and crew, Mabdnoct is compromised. A kikimora (see Tome of Beasts 1) has recently inhabited the avian construct. Currently spying on Fynch’s doings, the kikimora reports to Odessa Von Throop, a vengeful devil-bound gnome and onetime intimate and professional associate of Magludias Fynch.

The Clockworks

These clockwork creatures do numerous tasks around the carnival. If you need stats, use various clockwork creatures from Tome of Beasts 1.

Performers. Roughly twenty jugglers, instrumentalists, dancers, painters, and storytellers perform daily throughout the venue.

Handlers. Older automatons appear in various wheeled, bipedal, and quadrupedal forms, sometimes bordering on disrepair. They include game booth attendants; maintenance, menagerie tenders, and labor teams.

Tinkerers. These constructs work the sales, repair booths, and parts and service tables of the trade show. They serve as technical labor or as wandering customer service, and assistance.

Wrench Monkeys.  These miniature clockwork simians are squirrel-sized and operate largely at night or from the shadows. The wrench monkeys perform minor maintenance and handle decorations and displays. Incidentally, they work as eyes and ears, keeping tabs on the backstage, backdoors, and the nooks and crannies of the carnival. Wrench monkeys gleefully trail and tattle on overly curious visitors.

Home Again, Home Again

The interior of Fynch’s amazing clockwork workshop is said to contain many astounding and ingenious things. It’s also said that of the eight (rumored) entrances, only one (changed daily) isn’t rigged to distribute some form of electromagnetic death or crippling alchemical disfigurement.

Accessing Fynch’s workshop headquarters is, at best, a risky proposition. Nonmagical workshop defenses include electrified floor panels and rust-gas traps that degrade armor and constructs. Worse are rumors of miniature caltrop golems, and clockwork leeches (see Tome of Beasts 2).  And most dangerous are Mabdnoct, the clockwork raven, Zephii, and Fynch himself.

Upper Deck. Houses Magludias Fynch’s quarters, kestrel-lockers, and the electrical power supply/storage area. The power supply compartment is also home to Zaxx Sparkheel the spirewalker (see Tome of Beasts 1), Fynch’s most recent and still secret recruit.

Main Deck. Alchemical, and clockwork lab spaces, machining, and engineering compartments, and the library/drafting room.

Cargo Deck. Berthing areas for Top-hat, Glit’ch, and Zephii; clockroach modification, deployment-and-retrieval area, storage, and supply-lockers.

Lair Actions

On initiative count 20 (losing ties), Magludias Fynch causes one of the following:

  • A dozen clockwork beetles (see Tome of Beasts 1) attack, scurrying and flittering out from nooks, crevices, and machinery everywhere.  
  • Using a hidden foot switch, Fynch activates high frequency subsonic alarms and causes all creatures and constructs (other than Fynch) within 30 feet, to succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take 20 (6d6) thunder damage. This alarm also summons Zephiiin 1d4 rounds.
  •  Until initiative count 20 on the following round, creatures other than clockworks attempting to cast a spell must succeed on a DC 14 Intelligence saving throw or the spell fails and the slot is expended.

Fynch can’t use the same effect twice until he completes a long rest inside his lair.

about Robert Fairbanks

Robert Fairbanks, first plunged into the unknown in 1976, with ye olde boxed, blue-book basics. He has yet to return.

Robert’s been fortunate to be a long-time contributor to Kobold Press, with whom he broke into game design in 2014. His other publisher contributions include Inner Ham Productions, Storm Bunny Studios, and TOR books.

1 thought on “Machinations of Magludias Fynch: the Clockwork Workshop”

  1. Yay! I am always genuinely delighted to see another entry in this series. It brings a smile to my face… and it makes me check my pockets in case Magludias lifted my wallet or bugged me with one of his contraptions. Thank you for putting so much care and attention to detail into this. It shows!!

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