Consortium of Merit
Lady Aeres Powell
Born into a wealthy Welsh family, Aeres had everything she could possibly need, but as she grew up she began to despise the decadence on display. While her grandfather had been a coal miner who built a vast fortune from many decades of hard work, Aeres's parents and sisters were only interested in living like kings and queens. At the age of 21, Aeres left home for London, and her love of science and learning led her to stand at the forefront of electrical engineering only four years later.
Soon after the start of the Anglo-French war French bombs struck Aeres's family home, killing everyone and leaving her as the sole inheritor of her grandfather's wealth. Vowing to avenge the deaths of her sisters, Aeres formed the Powell Energy Company and began to fully focus on the research and development of new energy weapons, leading to the creation of the energy lance class of weaponry.
- Artificial Limbs: For unknown reasons, her right arm has been replaced by a stylish mechanical prosthesis.
- Easy Amnesia: The premise of the tutorial is that Aeres lost her memories in the attack on London, and must be taught the basics of Ironcast operations. By the time it's finished her memory's back in full.
- Honest Corporate Executive: Founder and chief technology officer of Powell Energy as well as an Ironcast commander, Aeres displays integrity and heroism throughout the campaign.
- Lady of War: Aeres is a lady of impeccable looks and fine attire (including a magnificent feathered top hat), but she is also one of the empire's finest Ironcast commanders and the best there is at energy-based weaponry.
- Rebellious Princess: Technically not an actual princess, but her running away from her decadent rich family to actually do something that matters fits the spirit of the trope.
- Weapon of Choice: Specializes in energy-based weapons, being able to deal more damage with them than any other commander. This reflects her expertise in electrical engineering.
- You Killed My Father: Losing her family (especially her sisters) to a French bombardment is what turned her towards a more warlike path.
Mr. William Beechwood
William was born into a family with a long history of skilled metalworking, the Beechwood Metals Group being known to create some of the world's finest alloys. With the outbreak of the Anglo-French war, William changed the direction of his company towards the production of munitions, creating projectiles containing miniature explosive payloads. Beechwood Metals became Beechwood Munitions, making William one of the wealthiest and most important men in the Empire.
Though living a life of luxury and wealth, William became bored, and decided to seek fame and glory in battle as an Ironcast commander. His critics call him out on his vainglorious and dangerously selfish actions on the battlefield, but he nevertheless has a reputation for getting the job done.
- Glory Hound: Although an incredibly wealthy and successful businessman, William became an Ironcast commander out of a desire for a glorious legacy, without much regard for others.
- Honest Corporate Executive: Successful owner of Beechwood Munitions, and despite his initial selfish tendencies he's ultimately no less heroic than any of his fellow commanders.
- Hot Blooded Sideburns: A talented mecha pilot with an aggressive fighting style and prominent sideburns, William wouldn't look out of place in the world of anime.
- Weapon of Choice: Being Britain's foremost munitions pioneer, William specializes in projectile-based weapons and is able to use them in especially devastating ways.
From the young age of 15 Halisi worked on Kenya's newly-implemented rail network, beginning her career as an unskilled labourer who assisted the older men and women in placing the railroad. It soon became clear that she possessed ingenuity beyond that of her fellow workers, but her ideas were either dismissed or outright stolen.
In 1873, while working to bridge a shallow ravine, Halisi noticed a flaw in the design and brought it up with her superiors, leading to an audience with Sir Benjamin Leaver, chief architect of the railway. Realizing the young woman's intervention may have prevented a serious disaster he made her his advisor, and five years later she was the engineer in charge of several important bridge construction projects in East Africa.
What really got her noticed by the world at large was her invention of a way to meld two metal surfaces together almost instantaneously, creating a bond stronger than the panels themselves. Only a few years later she was invited to join the Consortium of Merit, and her expertise helped to greatly improve the quality of British Ironcasts.
- Afro Asskicker: Her imposing afro haircut is notable, as is her skill in battle.
- Token Minority: Stands out among the otherwise Caucasian commanders as a native Kenyan.
- Wrench Wench: Is an expert at efficiently repairing her Ironcast in combat, as well as getting the most out of salvaging the remains of enemy Ironcasts and steamtanks.
Prof. Walter H. Kylock
Professor Kylock is one of the senior members of the Consortium, a man paralyzed from the waist down, possessing great brilliance but also an unfortunate history of violent outbursts and bouts of melancholia. Taking great interest in both conventional and arcane science, it is said that he was the man tasked with unlocking the potential of Voltite. While rightly famous for his part in making the Ironcast project a reality, he is personally focused on creating a machine that will allow him to regain the use of his legs.
- Anti-Hero: Emotionally unstable and prone to shocking acts of violence on the battlefield, Walter is only kept in active service because of his undeniable prowess. Still, he is no less heroic than his fellow commanders during the events of the campaign.
- Badass Boast: Calling oneself "the embodiment of mind over matter" is certainly pretty badass.
- Cool Chair: His wheelchair is a fancy steampunky piece of engineering that looks like the offspring of a throne and a locomotive.
- Genius Cripple: Possibly the smartest man in Britain, definitely the smartest man without the use of his lower body.
- Handicapped Badass: Not having the use of his legs doesn't make him any less capable of commanding a 20 ft. mecha into battle. In fact, he has a reputation for being exceptionally brutal towards his enemies.
- Lightning Bruiser: Any Ironcast he commands is capable of reaching greater speeds than those piloted by other commanders, and with no penalty to attack or durability.
- Mad Scientist: He is undoubtedly far from being the most mentally stable individual, prone to emotional outbursts and hammy proclamations as he is, but he's simultaneously perhaps the greatest scientific mind Britain has at its disposal. Even his allies don't quite trust him, but they would be fools to ignore his genius.
- Mysterious Past: While the other three commanders have their early history described to the player, Walter's is only described as "shrouded in mystery".
- Nerd Glasses: Wears the traditional round glasses of smartness, without which no Victorian professor would be complete.
Lady Emmeline H. Blackwell
After Lord Butler died during the attack on London, Lady Blackwell took over the Consortium and the role of the player's commanding officer. An older woman with a penchant for tea, she puts the nation's best interests before anything else.
- Grande Dame: She's a dignified, serious, and imposing old lady.
- Iron Lady: Probably the most important person outside of the royal family, Lady Blackwell is a cold and sometimes manipulative leader who'll do anything to keep the British Empire safe.
- Mission Control: After Lord Butler dies between the tutorial and the campaign itself, she's the one who is in constant contact with you and updates you on mission parameters and offers helpful advice.
Commandant René Durant
Widely known as one of the best Ironcast commanders in the world and with a reputation as exacting and ruthless, René Durant pilots the massive Gargantuan Ironcast Tueur De Reines as the man in charge of the French invasion of Great Britain.
- Disc-One Final Boss: For the first half of the campaign Durant is set up as your final enemy. Then you defeat him, and learn of the existence of the Interloper...
- Hero Antagonist: Turns out, Durant is actually a more-or-less heroic commander leading the army of a broken nation in a desperate struggle for survival against an empire that refused them refuge, something you unfortunately learn far too late. The protagonist even laments not having him with them in the final battle.
- Officer and a Gentleman: Commandant Durant is exceedingly polite even to you, the only one with the potential to defeat him, and would've been happy to share a bottle of fine wine with you if the circumstances were different.
- Worthy Opponent
It is a closely-guarded secret known only by the highest-ranking people in Britain and France, but Voltite is not a mere product of human science. It was from studying the gigantic mechanical being called "The Interloper" that Voltite technology was born... and now it's awake. After crushing all resistance it encountered in France it's now headed towards England, and it won't rest until its kin is free from mankind's oppression.
- Fantastic Racism: By the time of the invasion it regards all humans as evil, and has zero compulsion about laying waste to entire nations just to free its kind.
- Kill All Humans: Its' implied plan, as it effectively destroyed France as a nation and plans to ravage Britain.
- Outside-Genre Foe: The final boss of a by all appearances steampunk game is... a titanic alien war machine that would be more at home in Star Wars or Mass Effect? Of course, it makes more sense once you learn that it's the source of Voltite technology.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The only reason it attacked France, and subsequently Britain, was its kind being imprisoned and used as a power source.