Bufoceus's(/bʊ,foʊ,ʒiː,ʌs/) Isochronotron, also known as the Seminal Chronometer, was the first and best known construction of a stellar orrery. It was constructed by the ancient engineer, Bufoceus, in his 31st year supposedly after witnessing The Shattering of Sipphax. Modern analysis of the Shattering suggests a time frame of about 379 B.E.D. The prevailing current explanation of the fragmentation of the moon Sipphax is that of a comet collision, a theory supported by what little we have learned from Bufoceus's garbled and damaged writings.
Bufoceus, already established as a great engineer through his contributions to Aeretzvian technology and architecture, completely withdrew from society shortly after the Shattering. Though he was never seen publicly, his retinue of servants and students poured in and out of his grand workshop located in the coastal city of Fulmenquan. After the fear and awe of the Shattering, these messengers easily garnered pecuniary and material support for Bufoceus's secret project from terrified Aeretzvian nobles. Scattered reports from the 45 years which Bufoceus remained in concealment suggest that bronze and iron forges across the entirety of the island nation belched shimmering black soot so thick it dulled the light of the sun, though it is now believed that this was most likely Sipphar debris accumulating in the atmosphere.
Construction & Design Edit
The modern record indicates that the Isochronotron was built between the years 379 and 334 B.E.D. The completed project is detailed in only one extant source, The Lost Aeretzvy by Eglaeus. He describes it as a,
- "completely massive room the center of which is dominated by a gargantuan golden orb representing the sun. On the floor around this sphere were such delicate and intricate clockwork that to look upon them in motion one would imagine the scurrying of mice fervently chasing one another. Arrayed above this filigree of gears were multitudes of spheres of bronze, silver, copper, and iron. Many were begemmed with colors of garnet and onyx, ruby and opal, turquoise and quartz, and so many more that I wither now to think of that beauty lost.
- Most clearly among these spheres stood the wandering planets and their satellites. Great Zhuman and its many followers. Ignoble Dythmia, cursed to wade into the licking flames of the sun. Brilliant Cosimet and its twin Fycanth. Still there were more there that I did not recognize. They were small and distant, like encircling motes of dust. As I watched, they flitted in and out of their ring with such peculiar motion that I had to approach for confirmation that they were not, in fact, living creatures bound to the machine."
Though this is the only physical description of the machine, many of Bufoceus's writings were spirited away from his workshop before the Collapse of Aeretzvy. Bufoceus's workbooks contain multitudes of incomprehensible writings, most likely written in a sophisticated code. Some however are legible and contain predictions of celestial events, which have proven to be unsettlingly accurate. The accuracy of such predictions have been the center of much speculation as to how Bufoceus detailed such precise calculations. There is also the matter of the power source of the device. Eglaeus's writings confirm that there appeared to be no external power source and the operation of the machine perplexed him greatly. Some have theorized that Bufoceus's exacting methods and precision gear-making allowed the machine to be powered through the vibrations created by the interaction of the Alicitic Field with the physical plane.
Bufoceus's Disappearance Edit
Mystery shrouds much of the construction of the Isochronotron. Bufoceus's Disappearance before the construction of the device has sparked intense debate as to the fate of the engineer and the legitimacy of his accreditation to the work. Some historical scholars suggest that Bufoceus died either before or during the construction of the project. Some skeptics even go as far to suggest that Bufoceus killed himself during the Shattering and an apprentice impostor took up his mantle and hid the news of the death from the already desperate and terrified public. Regardless, it is recorded that after the Shattering, no person laid eyes on Bufoceus again, even after the completion of the project. While his death is recorded in the annals of history, there is no account of funerary proceedings. This has lead to numerous and absurd theories ranging from immortality to time travel.