Origin: Possibly Melaka or Johor
Item Age: Early 1800's
Resembling a toy mouse, this rare, harmless looking object may have actually been a clever sabotage device used during the early days of the Indo-Malaya rebellion. It is speculated that its purpose was to crawl its way through the machinery and disable exhaust vents for Imperial automatons and/or human controlled clankers.
However, due to its size, and the complexity of the clockwork, it is speculated that the device could only work if manually placed within the confines of a machinery where it would home in on the nearest heat source. If so, that would mean saboteurs would still have to get close to the automatons and clanks in order to deploy the device. While such methods would have been rendered in an open battlefield, it is logical to assume that the device was employed under the guise of sneak and run operations and records of it in action, while rare, have been recovered.
It is unsure whether the device was outfitted with a tiny explosive or it served to block the mechanisms that controlled the steam generator vents. As mentioned, very few records have been found regarding the said device especially after the Qing Empire upgraded their automatons and clanks with sealed steam generators (and later on micro-boiler generators) rendering the Clockwork Mouse obsolete. The fact that sabotaged automatons and clanks were destroyed in the process as well made it even harder to pinpoint just how the device worked.
It is largely assumed that the use of the Clockwork Mouse was a significant mark in the Indo-Malaya rebellion against Imperial Qing Dynasty. It is also assumed that its success, however limited lead to more underground/subversive use of steam/clockwork tech rather than open warfare.
"Even a behemoth of a machine can be so humbled by the simple actions of a tiny mouse"
- Unknown Imperial mechanic