I have hit another snag in my quest to become or raise the ultimate dwarf, and this one is somewhat urgent.
My son has returned from his adventure in human lands, and brought back a number of rare books he purchased with the profits. At first I thought he was going to sell them here as part of a secondary profit-making venture, but then he started reading them every spare minute that he has - and, after seeing what the books are about, I approved of his new interest whole-heartedly. They're a series of treatises on the design and construction of automata, an excellent and deeply traditional dwarven field, and I'd like to encourage his newfound interest in it as much as I can.
Unfortunately, it's also a field that I don't even know the basics of. My own training, prior to becoming an adventurer, was as a surveyor; I never learned even the simplest of smithing, let alone the mysteries of fine gears and precise weights. I'm sure that my ever-curious son will soon think of questions to ask me - and I'd like to avoid disappointing him with my answers, so I need at least a layman's knowledge of the field.
I've been pouring through my own library to glean what I can, but there's one question that continues to elude me: Are automata magical?
It was a certain bestiary that put the question in my head; According to page 148 of Lairs & Encounters, "All constructs are enchanted creatures." The idea seemed absurd at first; We dwarves have no gift for sorcery, and rarely know much about it. But then I considered that we do make fine alchemists, and that may be considered a kind of magic in itself, or so my human mage friend has told me. For all I know, skilled dwarven mechanists make use of minor natural magics in constructing their machines - it would certainly explain how they can make ranged weapons that need no ammunition and clockwork that runs without being wound...
Or perhaps I'm being too fanciful; I was rised on tales of gold ribbons stronger than iron chains. Have I simply mistaken fantastic tales for true accounts? I do not want to sound like a fool when answering my son. Please tell me, Autarchs: Are automata constructs, and thus magical? And, if they're not constructs, then what are they?