Full Item Description
Orthacarium in its normal state is a dull gray mineral that will briefly shine silver when mined. Compared to some minerals mining it is relatively easily extracted, although it is best to wear a face mask to avoid getting any dust in the lungs. When forged properly it can be as hard and durable as steel, but is rarely used upon the surface world because after being exposed to sunlight for ten seconds it explodes violently. No other form of light has this effect on it.
If it is to be used only underground or elsewhere where no sunlight can get to it then it can be used for all kinds of items both civilian and military, but it’s uses above ground are mainly military in nature.
Slavers who seize people from above ground can fit collars of this either around the necks of their new slaves, or if they are more cruel in nature, around their ankles and wrists. If the slaves later escape and make it to the surface, the body part/s that have this mineral placed around them will be destroyed when sunlight explodes the mineral.
The mineral can be made into large grenades that are taken out and thrown just before exploding. The sun must be up and not covered by clouds for the grenades to work though, so the grenadiers carry conventional weapons as well.
Some grave goods in cultures that provided their dead with goods are made of this as it renders the goods useless for thieves if they live above ground, and makes theft dangerous. (PC “Hey, look at this helmet!” *walks into sunlight* BANG! GM-The helmet has exploded and taken most of your head with it.)
Secret messages can be engraved in code on thin plaques of this-if the message is seized it may well be destroyed by sunlight before being read. The one who it is meant for just reads the message in the shade.
Unscrupulous armourers can make armour and weapons out of this and cover it with a very thin layer of something else-meaning that when it is used in combat in sunlight it will break/explode very quickly, either exploding the user or just breaking and leaving the user defenceless in a fight.
Of course, underground it can be as useful as other metals so races that rarely or never go to the surface would use it for themselves without any problems.
Historically this has been of great use to the underground tribes of goblins,dwarves,neckron ect, both for their own use underground and for preventing slaves from escaping to the surface.
For surface dwelling races it has been used for grave goods, explosives and as a subtle assassination tool, but in most surface-based cultures it’s use is at the very least, frowned upon and is often illegal
In sunlight it explodes after ten seconds, which depending on what it is used for can be a blessing or a curse.