This page contains information on artificial substances that are either unique to the setting, or have properties that make them differ from their counterparts in either reality or more mainstream fantasy worlds.
Firedust and Firegems
Early firearms used smoky gunpowder as propellant for its ammunition, but recent alchemical advances have produced firedust. This powdered variant of alchemist’s fire produces practically no smoke when used in firearms, has a lower risk of fouling or corroding the weapon’s internals, and is hydrophobic, allowing it to burn even after immersion in water (but not during).
Many other firearm accelerants exist, including magmite (a granular black substance rendered in alchemical furnaces) and phlogistite (transluscent red vapor slime that floats in globules if exposed to open air), but firedust is by far the most widely used. Steam engines use a variant, firegems, which burn slower but longer.
While it is the source of a firearm’s deadly power, firedust is relatively harmless as a weapon in its own right, since it burns too fast to cause serious wounds like traditional alchemist’s fire. If someone ignites a whole cask full of firedust, though, the resulting explosion could seriously hurt those nearby. The dwarves of Drakr field grenadiers who use hand-held explosives, but constables (and even criminals) find little use for such indiscriminate destruction in an urban environment.
Gold, when formed into an unbroken loop or border, blocks all forms of teleportation. Creatures wearing gold rings or necklaces cannot teleport, and no teleportation can move a creature or object across the boundary of a golden barrier (see the New Rules section).
When properly enchanted, gold can also have additional effects on creatures who teleport, though this magic is rare. One example can be found in the Wand of Egal the Shimmering, which is somehow able to block all teleportation effects on its carrier even though it’s not part of a golden loop. Many cities in Crisillyir are known to have enchanted golden bells as part of the local defenses. When rung continuously from their high bell-towers, teleportation is blocked for as far as the sound will carry.
Iron has been shown to contain fascinating properties with regards to certain forms of magic, even when the metal itself is entirely free of enchantments. While there is no concrete mechanic to govern its effects in-game, players should remain aware of its place in Lanjyr. Iron is seen by the people of the world as a symbol of progress, and whether it is due to that belief or some intrinsic property of the ore itself, shaped iron has been seen to suppress chaotic magic, particularly when placed in regular, orderly patterns. This was seen in much of the Danoran buildings on Axis island, where even the mines had iron spikes in the wall at regular intervals. It’s also a much-touted accomplishment of the Avery Coast Railroad; the area surrounding its path through the Malice Lands seems more stable than most.
Fey creatures are loath to enter an area with too much iron, avoiding it much like humans might avoid the sound of nails on a chalkboard. It does not entirely bar them from entering an area though—that goal is usually achieved by making a ring of salt. Fey who spend a lot of time in the natural world may gradually become resistant to these weaknesses. Races who’ve lived here for generations, like eladrin and elves, are not likely to feel any repulsion at all.
(Sometimes called bleak oil, or other names)
Thought to have been invented either in Danor or the Malice Lands, witchoil is a magically-created form of fuel that can power both mundane engines (via a process called internal combustion) and magical machines. Its effects were seen in the underground complex beneath Reed Macbannin’s home, where a giant engine powered the magical lights on the first level, as well as the various pumping mechanisms. It was also used to power the bleak golem guarding the warehouse where the shadow-infused jaguars were first created.
Witchoil acts like normal oil in many regards: it is thick and smells like burnt engine grease, and just as flammable as more conventional fuels. The process to create it involves infusing it with shadow energy, which occurs naturally in the Bleak Gate; the energy is concentrated to the point where a creature that touches the oil takes necrotic damage. It’s solid black in color, but often has tiny little white lights adrift inside it, though not bright enough to illuminate any darkness around the substance.
These lights are the souls of sentient creatures, their essence trapped inside the oil, which are consumed as the oil is burnt. Only the morally bankrupt would ever use such an unholy and dangerous power source. But for all its drawbacks, it does have one benefit—the soul energy it unleashes is stable and self-sustaining, so it keeps magic devices functioning normally in zones of dead or wild magic.