Liquid Cold and Liquid Heat [GiTO]

Technomagic came from enchanting, to the point where it is impossible to build a technomagic devisement without depending on ancient, time-tested enchanting methods and materials.

The Beyond is a world of magic — magical creatures, magical substances, magical abilities. Many things that are real there are simply impossible in our world. (Or were, until the Emergence.)

Cold, for example, is an active form of energy that negates heat. Where properly aspected magic is strong enough, and the ambient temperature low enough, pools of liquid cold can form. (And when aspected magic is strong enough, and the temperature high enough — in the most torrid of deserts on the hottest days of the year — pools of liquid heat can form.)

Liquid heat is reddish, with swirling golden highlights that glow. It’s a thick sludge, about the consistency of a slurpee or milkshake.

Liquid cold is a clear liquid (barely thicker than water) with thin, white bands swirled in. The white layers reflect light, gleaming and shimmering like sun on snow.

Liquid heat and liquid cold have no temperature: they are energies, in liquid form. (In the Beyond, all energies can be made into liquids and solids, through arcane and difficult means.) They have no temperature, instead they invoke temperature: they cause hotness and coldness in that which they touch.

Liquid heat is inconceivably caustic, causing third-degree burns on contact. A tiny drop will flash ignite any flammable substance (by raising its temperature above the kindling point and causing autoignition). For safety reasons, it is stored in a specially enchanted flask of crystal glass, which insulates the surroundings against the liquid.

Liquid cold is a cryogenic liquid, capable of freezing nearly any mundane substance or object it comes into contact with (akin to liquid nitrogen). A liquid cold spill is invariably devastating, as everything mundane it touches is deep frozen, becoming highly brittle. Any heat energy will negate the cold, causing the fluid to evanesce, so it is typically stored in a vacuum flask (thus insulating it from outside heat), made from a different type of enchanted crystal glass.

When liquid cold and liquid heat come into contact, they both evanesce, becoming energetic heat and cold. If cold predominates, the surroundings grow colder. If there were more liquid heat, they grow hotter.

These liquids are inherently unstable, but both can be made into stable solids.

At the coldest temperature possible, liquid cold can coalesce into a solid. This solid — “perfect ice” — is clear as glass, cool to the touch, remains solid at temperatures far above the boiling point of water (indeed, it can only dissolve in liquid heat), and can be knapped like obsidian or flint.

There is a counterpart to perfect ice, called perfect fire, formed from heat. As a solid, heat is soft, like stiff clay, and looks like a black or dun volcanic rock that dimly glows red. It’s warm to the touch, and a fist-sized chunk can provide enough heat for a person to survive a frigid night in a howling blizzard.

Perfect fire is formed deep in the earth or in volcanos, where the heat and pressure are incredibly intense. Unlike perfect ice, it can’t be knapped, hammered, or permanently shaped — it’s just too soft.

All of the foregoing is impossible. Utterly impossible. But it happens in the Beyond. And, since the Emergence, on Earth.

Enchanters are masters of these and other exotic materials. They must study them, experiment with them, and master their uses. In this case, liquid heat and liquid cold are used to make (respectively) firegold and frostsilver.

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