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Phlogiston Excitement Rod

David Sat, 02/09/2013 - 20:10
Game Effect: 

Blast, Fire trapping.

Flavor Writeup: 

Prepared by Doctor Erasmus Littlefield, Oxford, under HM seal.

Under of the direction of Minister Holmes, I have investigated the devices and interviewed their inventor, one whelp by the name of Wayne Smythe. I daresay the process was entirely unpleasant, the boy being uppity, uncouth, and pig-headed at matters scientific. And while I was never able to properly activate the items themselves, his explanation of their workings strain belief. However, I can only affirm that they do seem to work under the young man’s control to an astonishing degree. Herein I describe said devices and attempt a rational explanation of their workings.

Phlogiston Excitement Rod

The item I have taken to call the phlogiston excitement rod appears to be at the center of most of Master Smythe’s inventions. The rod is about the length of a man’s arm, fitted with what appear to be batteries and a controlling mechanism (more on that item below) on one side and an adaptation of the electrical coils of the Serbian on the other. When deployed, the coil end of the rod is aimed at the target; the effect depending on the setting of the control mechanism:

  • If the control mechanism is not attached or not used, the device creates a massive amount of heat and flame to be generated in a rough cone before it. This fire has no motive force, and thus does not push aside items in the area or cause structural damage unless directly applied (usually via heat). However, the device seems to store no fuel. According to the boy, an electrical charge “excite the phlogiston” in the area, causing the flame. This is obviously poppycock, given the disproval of that element, but at this time I cannot provide any further explanation. Burst, Fire trapping. Does not cause pressure, but can burn non-living subjects.
  • With the control mechanism attached, the effect is more directed. Instead of filling an area with flame, a target is directly set aflame. This appears to affect both organic and non-organic substances depending on the setting. Smythe reports that he “attunes” the rod to the target’s “inherit humourous balance,” again making reference to long disproven science. Bolt, Fire trapping.
  • The boy has postulated that with further adjustments, he believes he could further constrain the effect of the excitement to a burst instead of a blast. I have not seen this in action, though the boy clearly believes it is possible. 

Overall, this device baffles me. It should not work. No scientific principle I know of could explain its effects. Its lack of motive force when it blasts, its action at a distance with no intervening charge for the bolt, none of these should be physically possible. This device should not be left in the hands of a unschooled youth and should immediately be handed over to others more able for immediate study and possible dissemination.

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