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October 3, 2013, 5:28 pm

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Dry Ice


A mineral responsible for refrigeration, arctic landscapes, and hot springs across the world.

Part of my series on pseudo-magical world building

Dry Ice

Dry ice, otherwise known as Venrestone, is a white mineral that can be found in cold settings, often near hot springs and streams. It has the natural property of absorbing heat from the surrounding environment, until it reaches an internal temperature of 1085 C (1985 F) it stops absorbing heat from objects cooler than itself. When exposed to water containing certain molds and algae, it releases the stored up heat into the water, enough to create a hot spring or stream, until it reaches room temperature.

Venrestone has been known to single handedly create arctic regions in otherwise temperate locations, albeit, one peppered with hot springs. It is also is mined for it’s cooling and heating effects, allowing the production of ice, frozen desserts, air conditioning, and refrigeration.

Venrestone can be held by hand, but is cold enough that it starts to burn fairly quickly. A person handling it would want to use gloves. If worked however, it can be forged carefully into almost any shape, or even into other materials, provided that the craftsman is skilled enough. Alchemical substances are rare because of it's high value as a material, however it can be used in a salve to pull heat from a wound.

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Comments ( 6 )
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Voted Scrasamax
October 3, 2013, 13:24
Once it is thermally saturated, can it bleed off this heat in another process? Can it be handled by hand, or is it dangerous to touch? Can it be shaped into tools, or decorations?
October 3, 2013, 17:23
1) It could bleed off heat in any process the GM wants. Water is an easy, and thematically appropriate way to handle, but certainly not the only way. I have made no provisions for other ways to bleed off heat.

2) I will add in my post that it could be held, but you would want to wear gloves. It's kind of like real life dry ice in that respect. The heating, and cooling is gradual enough that it shouldn't be usable as a weapon.

3) It can absolutely be shaped, worked into other materials, used for decorations. It's a mineral. The whole point of simple materials like this, is to blur the annoying line between magic and mundane, in an almost believable way.
Cheka Man
October 4, 2013, 1:14
You forgot the - symbol.
October 9, 2013, 14:34
No, he didn't - the material becomes internally very hot by absorbing heat from the surrounds - cooling them.

Voted FirsthandTuna
October 9, 2013, 21:37
Only voted
Voted valadaar
October 10, 2013, 10:59
I like magical materials, but something seems off using them to create hot springs.

So access to the correct substances essentially disables its physics-bending features, turning it into simply really hot stone. This heat would transfer to the local liquid, heating it. This would continue until the stone was out of latent heat and matched the water's temperature. Unless the water was subsequently removed, it would not gain any additional heat and everything would return to normal until the water left in some manner.

Now, if the algae were killed when the water got too hot, and began to grow when it cooled off again, then I could see a sustained cycle occurring, keeping the water at the desired temperature for the algae.

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 4xp

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