I’m pulling this one from the archives because I saw this on Twitter this morning, and I said chlorine trifluoride without looking. And lo! It was. …Chlorine Trifluoride is fascinating stuff, really. It’s like a critical success on your Chemistry roll… or possibly a critical failure. Or, insanely: both.
The Alkahest Projector [10pt]
Because in 1008 AD they didn’t really have “pistols” or “muskets,” that’s why. They still had to call it something.
The workmanship is clearly Creationist; there are seven Alkahest Projectors whose whereabouts are still known, and they all somehow manage to simultaneously look identical to, and completely distinguishable from, each other. The basic form is that of a crossbow, with a thick tube filling the slot where the quarrel would normally go, and a vestigial bow (more meant as a rough sight than as anything else). Firing was accomplished by grasping the stock and willing activation; pulling the fake trigger actually disabled the weapon until the proper mental command was given.
This was deemed necessary because the Alkahest Projector was precisely that; a weapon that shot “universal solvent.” The phrase is in quotes because the Projector didn’t actually create some sort of mystical substance that could dissolve anything. Such a thing would be absurd. What it actually creates and shoots is chlorine trifluoride, which is a perfectly-explicable colorless, poisonous liquid capable of setting water on fire, let alone sand. This is apparently done by a variant of Creation’s Abracadabra attunement, which has been — somehow — imbued into the Projector. Successful attacks require a successful Ranged Weapon (Crossbow) roll.
Damage done by this artifact is… tricky. Again anything corporeal, don’t bother to roll damage. If it hits, it’s an instant kill, followed by spontaneous combustion, and probably a hole in the ground. Against anything in a vessel, note the CD of the skill roll, and reduce the level of the vessel by that much. Protection is irrelevant, as is anything up to (but not quite including) the Corporeal Song of Shields.
If a successful attack reduces the level of the vessel to 0, then the vessel is destroyed. Even if it doesn’t, the vessel’s Charisma immediately goes down to -2, reflecting the large gaping holes burned through the victim. The Corporeal Song of Healing will fix the cosmetic aspects of this relic, but will not return lost vessel-levels. Lastly, while the artifact is designed to create miraculously unstable chlorine trifluoride molecules, there’s just enough lag time to justify 6 dice of explosive damage, centered on the target (but not including it – or, rather, it’s already factored in).
The Alkahest Projector is an excellent example of an artifact that has pretty much had its day. The only reason that Eli, Archangel of Creation even created the blessed things was because he was fairly certain that his Servitors might soon need to be able to inflict damage that even Legion, Renegade Shedite Prince of Corruption would not be able to ignore… and he turned out to be completely correct. After the Legion Incident ended, one went up in the wall in Eli’s Cathedral, one went into Lightning’s Museum, a third took its place in Laurence’s Hall of Weapons, and a few more stayed in utterly reliable hands; the rest were promptly recycled.
It’s easy to see why: by modern standards Projectors are loud, Essence-hungry, short-ranged, unsubtle, and generate clouds of hydrofluoric acid as a by-product. No sane angel would want one of those around. No sane demon (or even Habbalite) would, either; Vapula, Demon Prince of Technology in fact does have one, but it’s just for looking at. There are a lot easier ways to kill things.
Still. The first time Legion got hit with one of these things, it blinked. As in, “every vessel blinked.” That’s something worth respecting.
Shots: 1 per Essence spent (capacity: 1)
Variant of the Abracadabra Attunement 10pt
Activation Cost: 1 second, silent +1pt
Use Restriction: Mental command +0pt
Visibility: Automatically Detectable -3pt
Final Cost: 8pt
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