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ID: 6556


December 4, 2011, 11:48 am

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Fire is best kept in the boiler; it's much too dangerous to be using for something as simple as lumination.

What are you doing?! Put that thing out right now! Don't you realize how dangerous combustion torches are? Even a spark could ignite all this lubrication and slag the entire machine! Fire is best left in a boiler, where it can be properly contained and controlled. Where's your cogtorch?

Despite having fire for thousands of years, humans still suffer from the dangerous misuse of fire, burning down innumerable homes and claiming countless lives. In addition, the sources of lubrication used within mechanics are notoriously combustible, which poses a huge threat to machinery being worked on. Thus was born the Cogtorch.

A simple enough device, it's often one of the first things that a mechengineer learns to build during their apprenticeship, and they'll use it for the rest of their career. Through the combination of gears, cogs, and crystals, a piezoelectric current is passed through an electroluminescent emission crystal, producing a strong, stable source of light.



A cogtorch is a handheld tube, approximately 33cm long and 6cm in diameter. The length accomodates the insertable flywheel power source as well as the series of stepdown gears required to convert it's motive power into a usable current for the emission crystal. The very tip contains the emission crystal (and supporting stabilizers), capped with a glass lens to protect the internal mechanisms while still allowing light to escape.


Plot Hooks

  • What's in here? -- A cogtorch is almost guaranteed to be present with any mechengineer; likely on their toolbelt, but if not then definitely inside their toolbox.
  • Crack! -- The emission crystals are notoriously fragile. Any major impact is likely to fracture it, reducing the cogtorch to a fancy paperweight. They're also quite expensive; the helper who drops a cogtorch is going to get a nasty berating from the mechengineer. The utility of the cogtorch for rough-and-tumble environments is thus limited, and some will prefer to stick with the old-fashioned kind.
  • Where was that damn power pack again...? -- The entire internal assemblage is powered by an insertable flywheel cartridge. No power pack, no light. In addition, flywheels small enough to carry around conveniently run down in a matter of hours; you only get so much use out of it before you have to respin the power pack, a delicate affair not easily done without specialized tools.


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Comments ( 6 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
December 4, 2011, 12:07

A useful thing, simlerler to my idea of glowing mori rock but much more fragile.

Voted dark_dragon
December 5, 2011, 9:00

Solid item that adds flavour to a world.

Voted Scrasamax
December 6, 2011, 0:26
Only voted
Voted Dossta
December 6, 2011, 17:35

Steampunk flashlight.  Good for flavor, and provides a good occasional distraction (as the engineer has to pause to rewind his cogtorch).

December 6, 2011, 19:41
It just didn't make sense for engineers to be building amazing devices of technological wonder and still be working by candlelight. Does not compute.
Voted valadaar
December 3, 2012, 8:39
A nifty item. A great piece of steampunk gear, though the difficulty of recharging it might make it less used then it should be.

I'd put an exposed friction wheel that could then use any local spinning wheel to 'charge' it.

One would have to be careful about overcharging it, either by charging it too long, or by using a wheel spinning too fast.


Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Castoria, Land of Shattered Stars

       By: Veretrix

Castoria was once a thriving and prosperous nation, a rich trade center for the surrounding lands. This all changed when, on one fateful night nearly a century ago, the Mist of Eternity rolled in and surrounded the land, obscuring more of the outside world as days and nights passed.

By the time the Mist blocked out the sun, a new light shone during what was assumed to be daytime: The Starpoint Spire, a mysterious place atop Castoria's highest peak in the northern-central region. Some say that there is some sort of building atop the mountain shining the dim "sunlight" onto the land, but it is only ever too bright or too dark to fully make out any structure, not to mention the mountain's immense height.

Not a month after the Spire's light lit up, the stars fell. Flaming rocks and debris from far-flung edges of space plummeted downward onto the eastern region of Castoria. Once the shower subsided, a strange energy from within the fallen stars transformed the eastern lands in what are now known as The Voidwastes, a barren gray land littered with craters and strange alien creatures (these can vary, but I had Pathfinder's Akatas in mind).

To the south, strange mechanism of eldritch origin are again at work after aeons of rest in the Ruins of Kchuthngnl, an ancient city of non-human creation that is estimated by scholars to be no less that five millennia old.

To the west, the once peaceful and serene forest, now known as The Plagued Woods, has been experiencing corruptions of the wildlife and humanoids living there. Some humans have reported creatures that appear not unlike a halfling, except that they can open their mouths to massive proportions to swallow creatures the size of an ogre.

When adventurers and citizens alike try to make an escape from Castoria, they are never seen again, and it is utterly unknown whether they found hopeful sanctuary or agonizing death withing the Mist's depths.

What is unknown to all residents of Castoria is that all of these events occurred because of the actions of a secret but powerful cult loyal to the Elder Gods who call the space between the planes their abhorrent home. The cult still lives on, larger than ever, and their plan is for the alien horrors to incubate and thrive within the dome of mist that now envelops Castoria, so that when the Elder Gods return as the cult's prophecy foretells, they will have an army of blasphemous creation at their disposal that they will use to make war with and enslave the denizens of the Material Plane.

Ideas  ( Locations ) | August 4, 2015 | View | UpVote 3xp

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