Ah, but it has the same problem as windmills. You need a soul to be intent and praying to get the message going. Even though the prayer wheel (or top) is going faster than their prayer, it is just speeding up the repitition of the prayer the priest/monk is making. That is powered by the intent of the one making the prayer.
This plus windmills are not powered by the intent of the one praying. Thus you get lots of spinning, but not much intent. If it goes too fast and you aren't intent enough, then you are just wasting revolutions.
Besides, it is a magical fantasy world... less likely that steam engines will be present.. especially with oppressed peasants and a seriously in control faction of nobles.
The Dead don't count. While clones and bio constructs can be considered alive and intelligent, thus they can't be tastefully enslaved, the Dead don't count. What The Dead are is "Left Overs". Leftovers are just stuff to be recycled.
Thus re-animation happens. It isn't a pretty process, so it is only nominally medical. Families are paid to take the bodies off their hands, saving them the higher and higher costs of funerals. The Workers are reanimated. They have some of their innate skills and a few more patched in by the re-animation process. When done right, all notably higher processes are removed. However, now they are being done on the cheap... so... things slip through.
It is also not menial workers, office workers, managers, and even skilled labor are being re-animated.
Once the intial investement is put in, there is only a very nominal upkeep costs. They can save the companies money and effort. They also last for decades, if not centuries depending on the humidity and insect impact.
It is a good time to be alive. Things are cheap. You don't have to work much. In fact you don't have to work at all. The Dead serve you.
The Dead do almost all the work now. Even those that didn't work are often sold into work after their death by spiteful relatives. And they are being handled "on the cheap".
Many of them "remember". Many of them can remind the others.
They may be dead, but they are not powerless. The Living these day, aren't really living, they are just floating through a haze of opiates and other designer drugs.
It is time for the Dead to Remember.
Then it will be time for the Living to Remember what it is like to be alive.... or they can just join The Dead.
In the South they're breedin' men like they was animals. Worse than animals; they're treatin' them like they was tools - breedin' them up, strappin' them into moulds and feedin' them up on quack formulae from birth so you'd barely know they was men, and what them rich folk are doin' to their own kids only looks prettier on the outside. North ain't much better - they're fixin' to replace men with clocks and steam engines, where they ain't just ruled by 'em. Ain't none of it Godly. But some folk, decent, churchgoing folk are out to abolish all that in the name of the Lord - and in the meantime just get on by. We're all God's children, whether we got a clock for a heart or grown eight times the proper size, and God's children gotta look out for each other.
Hum, that seems entirely too optimistic and clear-cut for me.
Thus I give you Abolitionpunk
A man can only see so much, you know? For me, I broke when I saw an innocent young, slip of a girl being torn apart by dogs. I just couldn't take it anymore. So I set the dogs on her asshole of a master, and shot the overseers. Then me an' some buddies, and a couple of the now-free slaves armed up, and decided to take out all the goddamn slavers in one go. We waited till Sunday, rolled a big carriage up to the doors of the church, then burned all them bastards inside, womenfolk and all. Not like they don't order slaves beaten even more then the men. Then we headed out of town, pointing the way north to the slaves, and taking off before the army shows up. Now we live like bandits, killing and murdering slavers all across the south, staying one step ahead of the law. Sure, they'll catch us eventually, but damn if we haven't brought justice to a hell of a lot of bad, bad men on our way. Sides, you ever seen one of those big plantation houses burn down? Its a pretty, pretty sight. Even better when we get our hands on some dynamite and can blow it up.
RemeberA: Punk is inherently self-destructive and nihilistic, which is why, while I hate aesthetic-only steampunk, I don't actually like most true punk things.
Mmmm, asymmetric warfare. This is similar to my own idea: Occupypunk
They killed my Charlotte. Sweet innocent girl, just trying to make the world a better place, protesting and going to sit ins and crap. Then the pigs beat her to death, and left me for dead. Too bad for them I didn't die, and remembered their faces. I waited outside the police stations for days, waited until I saw one I recognized, followed him home, out to the nice, safe, surveillance-free suburbs. Then I beat him to death, just like he did my Charlotte. The next one I just shot; after the first they were more careful. I had to get help with the next few; they new my face by then, but luckily with all the shootings and beatings the pigs do, it wasn't hard to find help. Once the goverment let them off their leashes, they've been running rampant, and there are a lot of people who've lost loved ones, limbs, and bedmates to them. Only deal I had to promise them was that once we finish the ones who killed Charlotte, I'd help them with the ones who hurt them. You know, if I'm still alive. It isn't like pighunting is conductive to a long and healthy life. One day they'll catch me, like they caught Joe. Sent an entire SWAT team after him. Too bad for him someone got word to him they were coming, and he had time to take so many uppers and dreck that he forgot how to die, for a little while anyway. Jumped them with a couple hatchets. They had to take him and a buncha the cops out in a bad, cus they couldn't figure out what bits belonged to who. They'll never get the blood out of that apartment, I live there now. Rent is really cheap, and the spray is kinda artistic, if you're into that kinda thing. Anyway, I don't expect to have a long life, but hell, the courts ain't administering justice, so someone has to.
They say "Eat to live, not live to eat," right? Well maybe they've taken things too fucking far this time. By 2130, over half the world's population is allergic to peanuts, gluten, some starches, and is lactose-intolerant. The obesity epidemic has been forcefully reduced, with a side-effect of rampant diet pill addiction. In response, the world's governments, in collusion with YUM Corporation, have all but closed down public food markets, banning most varieties of food and transitioning the public onto a steady diet of "Subsidized Nutritionally Adequate Capsules," or SNACs. Every major country's on government mandated SNACs now, which have just enough nutritional value to keep the human body stable. The SNACs come in a variety of "flavors": chalk, fiberglass, and Cool Ranch. One of those is wrong, I think.
But where's the flavor? Where's the frikkin' love? My friends and I are working on that.
Kala's a Nutritionist, kinda an expert in all the "lost lore" that YUM Corp. and the governments don't want you to know. See, she knows the ins and outs of what goes...well, in and out. And then she plays with that intel. Now, she's developing a kind of vat-grown super-wheat-grass. It's supposed to be like crack for your immune system! I'm first on her list to taste test, if YUM doesn't shut her down first.
Benji's one of those Foodies, so you know he's got stories. Did you know there's a place in Malaysia where bananas are still free-range? Benji's seen 'em! He brought me back something called a "passionfruit" too--Simply amazing! Foodies like him may not have the recipes of the Nutritionists or skills of the Battle Chefs, but they're the only ones adventurous enough to find rare cuisine hidden throughout the world.
I got a call from my Battle Chef buddy last night. In the Kitchens, he goes by "Pepper Man", but that's for show. I knew him when he was just Paul. He's really amped up his technique over the years. Not many people these days can poach a lobster tail, not to mention doing it blindfolded on a spinning platform--plus doing it faster and better than his opponent. Battle Chefs are all about the thrill of cooking--good for them.
If any one of my friends got caught by YUM, not only would their gear and ingredients be confiscated, but they'd definitely have an appointment with a Dietician. I heard those guys can change your whole body, so all you can digest are SNACs. Ugh--sends shivers down my spine...
A Victorian explorer who bit off his own tongue while being tortured by pygmies realized that he could replace it with a tongue-eating isopod. Now 15 years later a mysterious Dr Moreau is breading his enhanced isopods in his greenhouse under Islington. And they are much in demand by every explorer who lost a part of their body on their travels, and by those who are whole of body but would like GIANT ISOPOD MANDIBLES grafted onto bodies.
It all started with a movie, about 14 years ago. It was about Aeroboards, AG/Vector thrust flying skatebords (Well it was about a boy, a girl, a heist gone wrong, and a rescue, but really... it was about the boards). The Corps built up this whole industry about Aeroboards, ready for the next big thing.
That didn't happen.
Still the plans and some production is still going on. There is a small and tight community of Aeroboarders. There is also the lower end, where used boards trickling down to siblings and sold to other peoples.
Aeroboarders are restricted about where they can fly and how high. The Top Tier boarders, obey the rules to keep the boards from being outlawed. The lower tier boarders use the cover of night or just fly in areas where they are a nuisance rather than a threat.
This wouldn't be so bad, but they are often out of bounds after curfew. They are also probably not watching as much video as they should be.
Boardganging kids are around the city. They are trying to out fly, out trick, and out play their opponenents. Some are working angles. Some are just working wind. Of course something is not right, and they are in a place to notice it where law abiding people are not. Yet, if they come foreward, they are the ones breaking the law. And something about the videos... people are not right...
Humanity always needs cheap workers willing to do the crummy jobs, solider who can spill their lives, and a host of other less than desirable things. Genetic Engineering was supposed to solve these issues by giving us "human products". However people squeeled about Slavery, the rights of man, and so on. The Supreme Court came down. If it started from non-human seed (or from hypermodified human seed) and was less than 50% human DNA, it was not a person.
Given the ruling, the Gene Cartel shifted product lines from Human Products to Animal Products. Bipedal Constructs (can't call them Moreau, that is trade marked) that were animals with 49% Human DNA became the tools of the new genetic age. They did all the hard work. They did all the dirty work. They fought all the wars. When they were done, you could just get rid of them. That lasted for a while, but people thought it was too harsh on "the animals". They tried to set them up for adoption to another human owner, but that was not too success. Then the wars created a huge surplus of constructs. The companies that owned them were about to inherit a huge problem of graying constructs. In some cases, companies didn't want to create "pastures" to put these constructs out to. They simply let them go and gave them limited legal rights as a spun off corporate division. Dispossessed elderly constructs were taking up Human Homeless positions, and alcoholics, and ... Well it was no way to treat a man or an animal OR EVEN A BIPEDAL CONSTRUCT.
51% was enough not to be human, or treated with dignity.
"We are 51% Angry at being used. We will use every skill we learned in your wars. We will use our understanding of the infrastructure. We will use are our animal cunning.
You will give us 51% of your attention.
It is the call of the Wild. You better take that call.