A mineral responsible for refrigeration, arctic landscapes, and hot springs across the world.
Part of my series on pseudo-magical world building
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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? Responses (6)
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?
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.
You forgot the - symbol.
No, he didn't - the material becomes internally very hot by absorbing heat from the surrounds - cooling them.
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.