"Miners often warn those new to the trade of many dangers- collapse, suffocation, the black cough that the veterans sometimes suffer. Devil's Spit is one such danger."
Usually found imbedded within veins of iron ore, Devil's spit appears to be a unique type of iron, easily told apart due to the green glow is gives off. Most accounts insist that it is oftentimes harder to mine than normal iron, leading to broken and bent tools, as well as much frustration.
"A miner lead me down an older shaft, long abandoned after the iron veins had been exhausted. Pockets of the mine were lit only by a green glow, ominous and faint compared to the fiery light of a lantern. The grizzled old man had me hold a hand close- warning me sternly not to touch- the glowing ore. It was only when I was a mere hairbreadth away that I could suddenly feel a most malicious heat threatening to burn my hand."
Those foolish enough to touch Devil's Spit with the bare hands often suffer severe burns, often with crippling results. Wearing gloves can often stave off actual injury, although it requires the heavy sort of gloves a blacksmith might use to dull the heat enough to avoid pain.
Devil's Spit burns hot enough to start fires with continued contact with extremely flammable substances such as paper, pitch and oil. It will char wood, but usually does not catch aflame.
"It was only later in life that I began to encounter Devil's Spit more widely. The machinations of the rich and noble often ignore higher considerations in the pursuit of wealth and power, something that has allowed Devil's Spit to find its way out of mines. It is with sorrow that I must admit that some fools have taken to beating the ore flat, fashioning it into swords. Rumors abound that some vile souls have been using it as poison."
Making a blade out of Devil's Spit is dangerous, requiring numerous special preparations. The blacksmith must be comfortable working with the bulkiest clothing available, preferably taking care to make sure that he doesn't breathe the caustic fumes that quenching heated Devil's Spit produces, which burn the eyes, threaten to suffocate one who breathes them too deeply, and greatly aggravates the respiratory system.
Devil's Spit forms a particularly brittle alloy of steel, meaning that blades made of the material require constant care and attention. Improper use often leads to damage to the blade. Given the painful properties of Devil's spit, repairing such breaks, chips and cracks is extremely difficult.
The advantage to using a Devil's Spit blade is that any injury is not only significantly more painful, it also burns causing additional trauma to the victim.
"I gagged. The wound was surrounded by a very violent red rash. The few inches surrounding the large scab were tinged a very dark green, almost as dark to be black. The scab itself was a black puddle of blood that seemed to have been dried extremely quickly by the heat put off by the small fragment of Devil's spit lodged in the victim's side. Removing the scab immediately caused the wound to bleed and spurt profusely, releasing the putrid scent of hot blood through the air accompanied by a sizzling sound that still reminds me of bacon cooking. This procedure caused the victim great pain. We were required to incapacitate him while we extracted the Devil's Spit."
Long term exposure to Devil's Spit generally occurs in one of two ways, through a foreign body lodged in the body, or repeated exposure to the vapors, fumes, or extremely small doses of the metal.
"After the procedure to remove the offending contagion, his mind calmed and returned to normal. His paranoia and malaise disappeared almost entirely, although it was a week before he could recall his own name, the only thing absent from an otherwise fully functioning individual."
Prolonged Devil's Spit exposure invariably leads to insanity, which varies widely from person to person. Severity usually changes depending on dose.
Use in The Kingmakers:
Two individuals thus far have presented with Devil's Spit afflictions:
- A guard, Kimber, was stabbed with a sword made of Devil's Spit. The blade broke, lodging the tip of the sword in Kimber's back. Kimber became unnaturally obsessed with pirates, becoming paranoid, intellectually stunted and withdrawn from others.
- Agrivaine's malaise and transition to greedy and corrupt Captain of the Guard might be influenced by shavings of Devil's Spit put into his tea at regular intervals by his wife. (GM Note: Tentative plan. Subject to change. No refunds or Guarantees.)
- Blades made of Devil's Spit do 1d extra burn damage on a hit, but requires skin contact and has no effect on armor.
- Devil Spit blades count as Cheap (extra odds of breakage).
- Insanity can be handled individual through disadvantages as needed