Automata is the gate-town to Mechanus. As such, it is a tiny reflection of nearby Mechanus - there's a rule for everything here.
The streets are a perfect grid, and even the houses are set at perfect intervals. A visitor could could set a clock by the timing of the watch patrols. Everyone rises with the sun and retires when it sets, which splits the day into two equal halves of light and dark. Automata's got about a thousand bodies packed behind its rectangular walls. There are six gates into town - two on each of the long walls and one on each of the ends. Inside, every block's got a definite purpose. Some are nothing but houses while others are workshops, and a few are devoted to the government - more than're really needed in a burg this size, but then Automata's got a lot of laws. ￼￼￼ The one thing that doesn't fit into this perfect order is the blocks themselves. A cutter'd figure that blocks of the same type'd be set together, but it ain't so. Everything's scattered all over Automata; workshop blocks are next to mansions, which are next to stables, which are next to the armory, and so on. Ask a body here about it and they'll just shrug, saying you don't see the grand pattern of things. "Such are the mysteries of order."
Remember that Automata is order and that means there's laws for everything. A sod's got to watch where he steps, what he says, what he drinks, and even when he drinks. A cutter can't buy ale after the third hour and shops can't open before the first. No merchant holds a sale unless it's approved by the Council, which means nobody holds a sale unless everyone does. There's no haggling on prices, no credit, and no bartering. A berk'd better have funds when he comes into town, because there's no place for beggars here, either.
Automata ain't perfect order, though. It's got an underside that isn't seen by the common traveler, as it's literally underground. Beneath Automata there's a network of passages, chambers, apartments, and even streets that house the hidden life of the burg. Here, the petitioners of the Outlands even the balance between law and chaos. Crime, violence, disorder, and revelry echo through the tunnels. There's rumors of a hidden gladiator arena where games are fought to the death, festhalls where every vice can be found, even conclaves of conspirators led by fiends. This is where the bodies of Automata go at night, after the laws have sent them to bed.
Although the agents of Mechanus have a firm grip on the surface town, the wild undercity keeps Automata firmly planted on the Outlands. Of course, the proxies of Primus the modron-lord would love to shut down the criminal side of Automata because, once it falls, the burg's shift into Mechanus would be assured.
Places in Automata
|The Divine Machine||Hotel|