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Non-Magical
3.69
8 Votes

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Comments: 16
Ideas: 3
Rating: 3.6875
Condition: Normal
ID: 3245

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Updated:
May 10, 2007, 12:12 pm

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Kassil

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Mirichromite

By:

None save the gods know the origin of this unique metal.  It is found generally in the same ores as silver and until it’s special properties were discovered, was considered a poor byproduct.

“And that brings us to our next item, gentlemen.
This unusual metal is called Mirichromite, and has a single, very interesting and useful property.
Here I have a large sample of this material, fashioned into a drinking goblet.  Note it’s dull, blue color.
Now, as I bring it near this enchanted helmet, do you see the change?  Note how the goblet lightens in shade as I bring it closer?

What is especially interesting is that it accomplishes this without radiating magic in turn.   This is easily demonstrated with a second such goblet.  If this material changes color in presence of magic, if this itself were magical in nature, it should activate itself, or other samples of the same material.  But no- as you see, they only change color from other magic, not themselves.

Now, before you say ‘What if the magic of the material is simply weak’ I can tell you that direct detection of magic is fruitless - the very act of casting any spell on this material will cause the color change. 

Exerpt from the Proceedings of the Arcane Academia, Volume VII ic2.

A lively exchange followed on the philosphy of what is and is not magic…

Characteristics

Mirichromite appears most commonly as a soft, blue-grey metal with structural properties nearly identical to silver, with the exception it does not tarnish.  It is dull and is generally matt in aspect.

It’s most remarkable property is that it changes from blue-grey to blue to white in the presence of magic, the lighter the color, the stronger the magic. This behavior is similar to Thermochromatic dyes(materials that change color in response to temperature variation.)

Coupled with it’s matt surface, Mirichromite close to a powerful magic source appears more as pale ivory then a metal.

What makes this material useful and interesting is that this property is the material’s response to magic, and is not magic in itself.  This is similar to magical fire starting mundane ones.

History

None save the gods know the origin of this metal.  It is found generally in the same ores as silver and until it’s special properties were discovered, was considered a byproduct.  With similar workability to silver, it was often made into simple implements such as cutlery, combs and other items not requiring high mechanical strength.

It’s special property was discovered when magic began to be used more extensively in the silver mining process - when spells to help extract or find silver were used, the color change of various Mirichromite items was noted.


Varieties

Bright Mirichromite

There is an even more rare variant of this metal which will actually glow in there presence of magic.  This is a physical process similar to that displayed by lightning bugs and certain fungi.  The light produced is invariably white.

There has been some study into the possibility that this phenomena is bi-directional in that if a sufficiently bright source of light could be used, that this type of Mirichromite might produce magical emissions.  However, since no suitable light-source has been found, this is still only a theory.


Applications

This material can be combined in alloy with other materials to improve it’s physical strength, especially with copper.  The Mirichromite/copper alloy has properties similar to Electrum, although it’s color changing or light emitting properties are directly affected by the ratio of Mirichromite to base metal.

If the technology is available, electroplating is the most effective means to provide structurally sound items with the color changing or light-emitting properties intact.

Use of the color-changing form is limited primarily to magic detection devices or for novelty purposes.
Casting wands are commonly tipped with this material - they can be used to detect magic, and will change color also when used to help cast spells. 

Casting Wands
Minor magical devices which serve to ease the casting of spells, usually by simplifying the somatic(gesture) component.  In some cases, more powerful Casting Wands can lend power to the user and increase the effectiveness of the spell.

Another use is to make stoppers for magical potions intended for long-term storage.  As the potency of the potion degrades over time, the color of the stopper will fade.

The very rare variant which actually radiates light is more useful in the creation of magical devices.  It provides greater feedback for detection, and can serve as light sources when combined with some item of magic.  This would allow, for example, cursed items to have some utility. 

Enchanted items can be inlaid with this material to provide interesting visual effects, especially if gemstones, colored glass or crystal is laid over-top the material.

Persons with a large quantity of either material could inlay floor tiles. The tiles then could be used to show passage of unseen magic-using entities.


Alchemical Properties

Though strongly related to Silver, Mirichromite does not occupy the vaunted station of it’s brighter sibling. It is not considered one of the seven metals of alchemy (gold, silver, mercury, copper, lead, iron & tin).

Alchemists who have experimented with the material have found that it seems to have affinity to chimera, and a celestial relationship to comets and other erratic bodies.



Additional Ideas (3)

Mirichromite Marbles

These useful items are small metal balls plated or otherwise coated with a thin layer of mirichromite and polished smooth. Bright Mirichromite is by far the best type for this application.

When thrown on the ground they can be used to indicate the location of magical traps, or can serve to show if magically invisible entities pass through the marble-field.
1xp

2007-05-10 12:19 PM » Link: [3245#27319|text]
Honest Scales

In worlds where this metal can be found, use of it to produce devices 'certified' against magical influence would be common. To prevent magical tampering with scales used by merchants, it may be mandated that scales be made or at least coated with such a metal. This of course does not prevent more mundane forms of tampering, but should prevent use of invisable weights.
0xp

2007-05-10 12:25 PM » Link: [3245#27320|text]
I could see an unscrupulous sort using this against the merchants, in turn; a minor, easily hidden cantrip, worked on the scales as the merchant puts things on it, and you could get people up in arms about manipulations. Easy to prove wrong, but certainly likely enough to cause some havoc in a crowded store and allow, say, a mystically inclined pickpocket to practice his craft much more easily.
0xp

2008-11-14 02:21 AM » Link: [3245#68370|text]
A lucky charm

Worn by a king, noble or just someone with a reason to fear the magic users, it changes colour when a wizard, witch, shamen or magical creature is close by, allowing the wearer to take evasive action or prepare for combat.
0xp

2008-05-01 06:56 PM » Link: [3245#65057|text]
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Comments ( 16 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

valadaar
November 7, 2006, 12:30
0xp
Hmmm. I wonder if this is a little too boring....
Voted Murometz
November 7, 2006, 13:18
0xp
I dont think its boring. It has a nice dry academic tone which works for the piece, as well as being an intriguing metal!
Voted manfred
November 7, 2006, 13:22
0xp
It may be a bit dry, but it is an okay submission. The idea is quite interesting I must say, and with pretty much all options covered.

What is to be considered, however, is the possible impact of this material. If the means to detect magic are easily available, magic may loose something of its charm. How to smuggle an innocuous crused item somewhere, or use a spell secretly, without resorting to further trickery?

So the question is, how widespread is the material? Is the effect permanent? Plus, are there any downsides to using it?
valadaar
November 7, 2006, 13:46
0xp
As with all things, the GM should adjust the scarcity with an eye towards it's true impact.

A lot of posts I see can have very powerful affects on a campaign if allowed to occur in large quantities, but the same can be said for classic magical metals like Mithral and Adamantite. Some pretty good subs get low ratings because people extrapolate the impact of large quantities of the material.

The sensitivity of the material I have left somewhat deliberately vauge - the only hint provided is from the passage at the start:

Now, as I bring it near this enchanted helmet, do you see the change? Note how the goblet lightens in shade as I bring it closer?

It is up to you how strong that helmet was in magic, and how close he had to bring the goblet for it to change color.
Voted Scrasamax
November 7, 2006, 15:03
0xp
It's okay, and I think it would be quite rare in my setting, and more a piece of curiosity, or used in small pieces of jewelry to detect the presence of magic.
Voted Cheka Man
November 7, 2006, 18:12
0xp
I think it may be dry but it is very useful.
Voted the Wanderer
November 7, 2006, 18:26
0xp
Would be great to use for false magic items.

My questions would be, could the properties of this material be hampered?

Is the material strong enough to mix with other metals, like iron or steel, and would the effect be changed in the process?

Otherwise, an excellent idea though I'd like to know a little more about it.
valadaar
November 7, 2006, 18:41
0xp
It is supposed to be a physical process, like some materials glow when struck by UV light, so it is difficult to interfere with it apart from blocking the magic emmissions.

Now, since it is not in itself magic, spells could be created to darken the material again or otherwise hide it's feedback. Without any magical energy of it's own, it will have no way to oppose a magical effect.

As for it's mechanical strength, it is an analog to silver and can be mixed with steel or other alloys, but it will reduce the strength of that material. It is much better used as a surface treatment, just as you would silver a sword or arrow. I'm partial to the idea of inlaid runes myself, glowing mystical symbols instead of the whole blade.

Anything else you would like to know about it? :)
the Wanderer
November 7, 2006, 21:21
0xp
I think that about covered it....and gave me a few ideas. Thanks!
Voted MoonHunter
November 8, 2006, 8:56
0xp
Good Basic Post with a good fantasy material.
valadaar
May 10, 2007, 12:12
0xp
Updated: Changing to open scroll to allow for ideas for use of this material.
Voted Kassil
November 11, 2008, 22:49
0xp
Having had this brought to my attention, I have to say I like it. I could see it being in use for people in important positions, to determine if someone is trying to work a mental charm on them.

Could it be tasked to a specific type of magic?
valadaar
November 11, 2008, 23:27
0xp
If you found a material that could block particular types of magic, then you could use it as a screen. Perhaps special alloys of this could be made type-specific.
Kassil
November 12, 2008, 23:26
0xp
This is a notion that quite intrigues me.

If said alloys could be created, I imagine that you would have rulers with the traditional magical protections in place, as well as an alloyed form of this as jewelry that reacts to magics that work to influence or control the ruler's mind. Priestly types might have relics that react to 'holy' or 'unholy' magic. Or, if you're a specialzed kind of spellcaster, you might have something that doesn't react to your own form of magic, warning you of other potential hazards in the area.

Quite an intriguing item, and definitely with plenty of potential.
Voted Chaosmark
November 12, 2008, 11:28
0xp
Absolutely no commentary on this is available from my mental banks at this time. Please accept a cookie and a vote instead.

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