12 years ago: When Lord Caasi turns his restless mind to the ancient art of alchemy, he unleashes Philosopher's Mercury, a primal source of matter and a key to manipulating the four elements of Danmatum, Lux, Phlegm and Gas
Last night, sometime during the 1st watch I discovered Philosopher's Mercury, a metal that acts as a medium for vibrations, transferring them into the aether. However, I have also unearthed that in its pure form it conducts ALL vibrations into the aether in a completely uncontrolled manner; I melted the glass in my windows simply by talking around it, what had happened if I had boiled my blood I shouldn't like to think! In order to control what vibrations move into the aether one must mix the Philosopher's Mercury with some other substance into an alloy, whether it be a metal or not. The resulting impurity of the mixture will then control which vibrations can be moved into the aether and so also what might be affected.
~an excerpt from Lord Caasi's Lab Notes, Volume 11, Chapter 23, Pages 142-143
While attempting to create the Philosopher's Stone in a vain pursuit of immortality, Lord Caasi stumbled upon Philosopher's Mercury, a substance that can transmit vibrations into the aether and so manipulate the ferments, or molds, that bind the elements to each other.
This silvery metal is a liquid at room temperature and will transmit vibrations into the aether changing the affinities that exist in that vibration (like jamming a radio) destroying or creating bonds. It can be stored in any kind of container, as long as it is protected from vibrations as much as possible. The substance works be changing normal vibrations, like sound, into vibrations in the aether. Common methods of control use a crystal goblet with the stem in the Philosopher's Mercury, and then running a wet finger around the rim of the glass. Normally this makes a sound, but in this case the Mercury absorbs the sound, and puts it into the aether, then depending on what sound it was, different things will happen.Using Philosopher's Mercury you can release the Lux in air, creating flame; or strengthen the bonds in water making it ice...use your imagination.
N.B. This item is the base from a whole slew of alchemical items that can do seemingly magical things, but along laws (steam engines that use no fuel and collect water from the air) and so might not be thought of as an item by some...to those people I apologize and note that other items that use this will follow.
Adapted from Newton's Cannon, Book One of The Age of Unreason, by J.Gregory Keyes
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? Responses (12)
I have a few questions: How would this item be stored and used? Wouldent it just create a fireball as soon as it was created? Or does the owner have some sort of mental control over it? I like it, but I dont fully understand it.
Yeah, Um so I forgot to say anything about that...Um look at it now...I think I aswered your questions
I like the basic alchemical process of the piece. The description could be beefed up some. Feel free to post some of the other alchemical toys from that series (sigh... another book set to read).
A very interesting idea that has yet to be fully realized. Now, do something interesting with it.
Hmmm... an original and interesting idea
If I read this right, this stuff turns sound into magical energy
Query 1 - I understand that the impurities in the alloy allow the power to be controlled, but is it the nature of the impurity or the type of sound that shapes the effect?
If it's the sound, how about incorporating it into some kind of musical instrument?
There could be a whole new method of doing magic here.
Query 2 - How hard, or expensive, is it to make? And therefore, how easy is it to get hold of?
If it's rare, or prohibitively expensive, it might be easier to use technology rather than magic.
Great idea - 4/5 - would love to see the items made from it
(BTW: I would consider such items magical since they require a magical substance to operate)
DL- ok in answer to the first Query, yes, to both, the sound is what shapes the effect, and the impurities in the alloy allow only some sounds.....think of the impurities as a filter for the sound. And some have made songs that can create powerful, and hiden items, simply by singing the song in the presance of pure Philosopher's Mercury.
Also it is very hard, and very dangerious to make, and simply cannot be found on just any market. And I didn't call it magical, because with magical items there is a temptation to say 'Hey, It's magic, it just works.' And this should follow more laws and rules (at least it does in my world)
Thanks for the clarification
Excellent idea - a different approach to science, a highly interesting item.
I just wonder - what would it make of an earthquake? A whale's song? Thundering applause?
Bards would love this stuff! I'm really liking these Steampunk items you're making.
You have some really good ideas! If only you would take the time to expand on this a little more, maybe try answering some of the questions from the comments, this could become an exceptional submission. I would love to see you come back and update this post with some more information -- especially on the effect of non-sound vibrations and the difference between varying intensities of vibrations.
I really like this idea!
Regarding power levels, I would assume that the greater the sound, the greater the power, but I would also consider that the vessel containing the substance would be under stress. Perhaps not of equal intensity, but still increasing with the power level. As a result, truly loud sounds would potentially destroy the vessel, removing the 'filter' effect.