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4.29
7 Votes

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Hits: 4080
Comments: 8
Ideas: 0
Rating: 4.2857
Condition: Normal
ID: 5423

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November 9, 2008, 8:01 pm

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Dr. Farthing's Fabulous Engine

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Most steam engines require vast quantities of coal and water. Dr. Farthing’s Fabulous Engine requires only the water that it will turn into steam, or so the good doctor says…

History
Frustrated with the high intake requirements of the other steam engines, Dr. Farthing went about looking for a replacement to burning coal for power. After many years searching, he settled on the single thing he could find that generated heat without burning - The ore pitchblende. With careful refinement and shaping, Dr. Farthing discovered that the metal yielded would create great amounts of heat, especially if the the floride gas was centrifuged, and then returned to the metal.

While the danger was great, and several of his apprentices died of peculiar illnesses during the creation of the first engine, still, it was completed, and proven to function.

Function
Essentially a primitive fission reactor, Dr. Farthing’s Fabulous Engine is basically a drop-in replacement for any other large steam generator. Rather than burning through vast supplies of coal and spewing out soot, however, it carries a supply of refined pitchblende that will generate steam for several years, at a certain cost: Although Dr. Farthing does not realize it, the steam that it generates is radioactive, and over time, this will take its own toll on the people exposed to it, a toll of strange sicknesses and odd cancers, and of children born with twisted and failing bodies…



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Comments ( 8 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Chaosmark
November 9, 2008, 19:53
1xp
You, sir, are a genius.

Nuclear steampunk, for a better global future. Ha! This would probably work better in more modern steampunk worlds, but could definitely be adapted to just about any world.
Voted Kassil
November 9, 2008, 19:56
0xp
Simple, sweet, and an excellent blending into steampunk. Right down to the radioactive steam that could be put to so many nasty uses in a darker version of the setting. A city filled with cancer-ridden, perpetually ill citizens, where no one knows why the strange plagues have begun. And yet there are those satisfied with the situation - the illness keeps the population from complaining too much, and these marvelous engines let most of the work be done without the wastrels at any rate.
Voted Scrasamax
November 11, 2008, 13:49
0xp
Nukepunk

Nice.
Voted valadaar
November 11, 2008, 19:46
0xp
Well, if you consider 40000 leagues under the sea steampunk - I think so - a nuclear powersource was suggested, so this fits in perfectly.
Murometz
November 15, 2008, 19:19
0xp
This is pretty damn cool. Radioactive steam!
Voted Kuseru Satsujin
November 22, 2008, 17:45
Only voted
Voted OmegaDraco
February 15, 2012, 16:40
0xp

I want pitchblende quests offered by big companies. I love it!

Voted Murometz
January 27, 2015, 2:54
Only voted

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       By: Raptyr

Nine times out of ten, it’s the undead that do the running.

Not strictly animal or vegetable, the Corpse bud is a peculiar individual that shares characteristics from multiple kingdoms and species. In appearance, all corpse buds bear a shape of a large rounded top bud divided into four lateral segments, and a much longer, narrower bottom bud, also divided into four segments. Between the two halves are a set of four radial limbs, rounded on top and flat on the bottom, covered with tiny serrated hooks facing towards the body. In overall size, it’s limbs reach as wide as a spread hand, with the body being as thick as a fist. It is as long as a human hand from top to bottom.

Internally, the top bud of the corpse bud contains a bacteria filled membrane that produces the hydrogen that the corpse bud uses to stay aloft, and a series of fungal gills for the dispersal of spores for reproduction. The lower half of the bud contains a number of fine filaments, as well as a sharp barbed stinger containing a powerful local anaesthesia.

The Corpse Bud mobilizes by inflating its top bud, and steers by rotating its arms rapidly about its body. The corpse bud ordinarily drifts with the wind, orienting towards the scent of recent decay and death. It preys on the recently dead, burrowing the lower bud into the victim, using the anaesthesia in case the victim is dying, and not truly deceased. Once embedded, it releases its filaments into the body, replacing the current nervous system. This gives it full animation of the body, and allows the corpse bud to direct it.

Corpse buds are not a malevolent species, being primarily concerned with breaking down the host body for food, and infecting the reproductive cycle with spores in order to mate with other corpse-bud bodies. To preserve the corpse for this purpose, Corpse buds will seek out dry locations to prevent bacteria from destroying the corpses. This often causes a large number of corpse buds to gather in a single location.

In culture, Corpse buds are used to repair broken spines or degenerative diseases, as the sentient mind will easily overcome the mind of the non-sentient corpse bud. Once infected by a corpse bud, however, removal is usually fatal, and the infected individual cannot reproduce, or risk infecting another. Thus, it is a technique often reserved for the elderly, or a last resort.

Necromancers and other dark sorcerers will often preserve the corpses of their victims magically, and infect them with corpse buds, creating traditional undead as well, so as to seed their lairs with undead both offensive and non, in order to throw their enemies off balance. They will also enslave the rudimentary minds of the corpse buds, and transform the docile things into a plague. There have also been accounts of magically transformed corpse buds with stronger minds and a taste for living flesh, but thus far all accounts are unproven rumors.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | October 12, 2011 | View | UpVote 3xp


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