- "There are many who pour scorn on the engineers. They call us madmen, fools, or worse. We have no honour in the Empire, nor in the lands beyond. And yet I foresee a great change coming. When the sword fails and where the spell miscasts, iron and blackpowder will still retain their merit. Our time has not yet come. But as the days grow darker, it surely will. Only when all the Emperor’s companies are Iron Companies will the future of our race be secured. Then we shall no longer be scorned, but lauded and justly appraised as the mightiest and most learned of men."
- —The Notebooks of Leonardo da Miragliano[3a]
Leonardo da Miragliano came from humble and obscure origins in the winding streets of the city. His genius first came to light when he was a mere apprentice to one of the architects of the Prince, engaged in the task of rebuilding the city on a new plan. Prince Cosimo came to inspect the work and by chance saw the plans drawn by young Leonardo. The Prince saw that Leonardo was the genius he had been looking for and immediately placed him in charge of the grand scheme for the whole city. After many years Leonardo had not only completed the master plan for the new Miragliano, but also devised a new set of ramparts, even more ingenious and impregnable than before.[1b]
- "It grieves my heart that the Church of Sigmar distrusts us so. While we remain divided, our enemies muster beyond the mountains, an everlasting tide of darkness that lusts for nothing more than our destruction. What more could we accomplish together! Perhaps the day will come. If the art of the engineer could be allied to the fervour of the noble warrior priesthood, I fervently believe that no force in all the Old World, not even the hordes of Chaos themselves, would be sufficient to stand against us."
- —The Notebooks of Leonardo da Miragliano[3c]
Leonardo went on to become court inventor to Cosimo and his house. Leonardo soon found his talents in demand from every Prince and city in Tilea and he set his intellect to many varied problems and served as advisor with several mercenary generals. His fame eventually reached as far as the Empire. This led to Leonardo's most famous achievement which was to found the Imperial Engineering School. Leonardo presided over this establishment and created many new war machines while he was there, most notable of all being the dreaded Imperial steam tanks.[1a]
One of Leonardo's favourite hobbies and intellectual exercises was to devise leaning towers. He would set himself the problem of designing a tower which would stay up despite the most exaggerated angle of inclination. Soon the Princes of Tilea vied with each other to acquire Leonardo's latest design for the most outrageous and gravity-defying tower! Leonardo also designed an enormous number of strange and potentially very effective war machines. Many of these are doodles on scraps of parchment or on the backs of maps or military messages, which Leonardo made to while away the time in camp while on campaign.[1b]
The Enlightened Man
- "I have learned, over long years of study, not to judge the exterior of any object without knowing the full details of its interior. The grandest building may conceal a rotten core, and the meanest-looking pistol may hide the finest rifling workmanship within it. That seems to me a good maxim for any engineer. We have often discovered that the way a device looks is no guarantee of its quality. In fact, though I hesitate to make the comparison directly, the same may too be said of men. Some of us who seem most fearful by reputation may turn out, on closer examination, to be nothing but weaklings and cowards. Conversely, even those who have sunk low, almost to the point of becoming nothing, may carry within them the smouldering spark of greatness, ready at any moment to leap once more into flame…"
- —The Notebooks of Leonardo da Miragliano[3d]
He would give these doodles to the various merchant princes he served, on the off chance that they would actually ask him to make the machine. Usually his patrons were too busy waging war and just stashed the plans for use later on. Many of these devices could not yet be made with the technology available. Even so, the plans, which are now distributed throughout the Old World, change hands for vast amounts of gold and are eagerly sought by merchant princes. Leonardo was able to apply his intellect to any problem and come up with a way of improving things. Of course, mercenary generals found his special talents very useful and would consult with him when making their battle plans, constructing field defences or siege works, planning the order of march or just inspecting the artillery and crossbows before battle.[1b]
Cause of Death
Unfortunately, Leonardo da Miragliano's illustrious career was cut short while he was attempting to pioneer heavier-than-air flight. A tragic accident not only killed the inventor himself, but also destroyed many of the Imperial Engineering School's original buildings.[2a]
- "These are nice drawings. They are by your children, yes?"
Leonardo is neither a general nor a wizard. He is a scientist, and his genius is illuminated by the light of reason and method, not superstition! Therefore, Leonardo does not have magic items. Instead, he has Scientific Items, reflecting his expertise as an inventor and investigator. These items are not affected by anything that normally affects or negates magic items.[1b]
- Sphere of Alchemy: Leonardo dabbles in alchemy and has mixed up a powder which he has enclosed in a bronze orb. When thrown, the orb cracks and the powder explodes on contact with the air, creating a small blast. If Leonardo misses his target, the orb is assumed to have exploded prematurely, fallen in the mud or bounced off someone's helmet and has no effect.[1b]
- Prism of Power: Leonardo has a specially shaped glass prism which uses pure physical properties of refraction to diffuse any kind of energy flowing over the battlefield. The effect of this is to steal the winds of magic and dissipate the energy, just as if it were rays from the sun.[1b]
- Compass of Meteoric Silver: Leonardo has a special compass with a direction arrow made from meteoric silver. This will point to the greatest concentration of magic on the battlefield.[1b]
- Leonardo da Miragliano lent his support to the Fellowship of the Shroud.
- As a way of commemoration, Bronizo gathered a battery of specially designed guns forged in the very same foundry as that used by the legendary engineer Leonardo da Miragliano to be melted down to forge a colossal brass statues of himself.
- The famous inventor Daddalo became obsessed with trying to fly like a bird after he acquired some lost manuscripts of Leonardo da Miragliano. Inspired by the ideas these contained, he began experimenting with flying devices. Only later did it emerge that these manuscripts were clever forgeries. However, by then it was far too late; Daddallo's obsession had quite literally taken over his life. He also made a working version of Leonardo's parachute.
- In the Temple of Myrmidia of Wurtbad, completed in 2011 IC as a place for the mercenaries to worship, the domed ceiling is painted with a famous fresco by Leonardo da Miragliano. The fresco was Miragliano's last commissioned work before entering the Emperor's service.
- Soon after came the Tilean renaissance, the works of Leonardo brought a new appreciation for engineering that result in new ways to deal with medicine and amputations technique such as the Gaelenic/Mechanical which continues to characterize modern medicine.
- Leonardo da Miragliano is based on Italian polymath Leonardo da Vinci.