A steam engine was a piece of human technology, a heat engine that performed mechanical work using steam as its working fluid.
Merlin Athrawes simulated the heat signatures of steam engines on the Castaway Islands in order to find out if the kinetic weapon platforms in orbit of the planet Safehold would be triggered by them. When nothing happened, he was hopeful to soon introduce them to the Empire of Charis. (HFAF)
- ↑ The testings seem redundant: if the weapon platforms were triggered by the steam machines, they would be triggered by virtually any fire and boiling water. There are no principal differences (seen from orbit) between a steam engine and a cauldron with boiling water.