Transcript of A Study in Aether
Projects[edit | edit source]
The blackfire lance was one of my earliest creations. It's a simple device - a standard keshik lance modified with a single-shot black powder mechanism mounted behind the blade. Stick 'em with the pointy end, then ignite the mechanism for maximum damage. It was the perfect weapon for a keshik raid, a single hit-and-run on enemy forces. Or, if ignited before hitting the enemy's front line, could fell them before contact is even made - truly shock and awe.
Its employment within the towers of Stormguard is far less strategic, but we keep them on hand regardless. There is not enough time to prime the mechanism for a second shot in the heat of battle. Still, this is a low priority, as the citadel is enveloped in a storm cloud to mask its location, and the research area is surrounded by a charged barrier of my own design. (Note to self: increase range and accuracy, allow for multiple shots.)
The Stormguard commander has required all researchers to adopt codenames, to help protect our identities should we step outside of the citadel or be captured by enemy forces. I have taken my name from the high-pitched winds that whip around my lofty workshop.-'Howl'
Projects Night Owl and Hawkeye
My latest work has involved the development of different types of visual aids. While aviansie eyesight is quite keen, especially among our warrior tribes, not all aviansie are blessed with the eyes of a hunter, and only a handful of tribes have night vision. These would be advantageous to all aviansie, so I have been studying the eyes of my compatriots and trying to mimic their natural adaptations in a mechanical fashion.
The first of my successes led to the production of Night Owl flight goggles. Their range is somewhat limited - (note to self: improve viewing distance) - but via the application of liquidised quintessence (note to self: let's try to solidify some quintessence into a chuluu stone) on the lenses of some everyday flight goggles, we can now all see in the dark. This could significantly improve the effectiveness of Night Guard raiding parties.
The other project I have been working on is Project Hawkeye. It will be, effectively, a multi-purpose telescope - I'm working both on portable variants and larger, more powerful, mounted versions for installation on key islands. One of the lenses will, of course, employ the same processes as used for Night Owl production, but those inspired me to see what other effects could be generated. To that end, I've been experimenting with other elements - the element of fire has led to a lens that can see heat, and air allows for a lens that can see through most solid objects. I'm still having some difficulty adapting the water and earth elements to have any useful function.
Telescopic vision was a cinch, however, being that it is an existent technology, but I've been able to increase our efficacy with it ten-fold! Not only have my research team being[sic] testing it out by observing the land below, some of the younger ones have been using it to view the skies above, particularly at night to view the stars in greater detail (note to self: research microscopy).-'Howl'
Chay'ot's injury was not uncommon among aviansie, though far more common since these blasted wars began. For an aviansie to damage or lose a wing, such that flight was no longer possible, was as good as a death sentence back home on Abbinah, and many would opt for Sha'va'taya rather than become a burden on their friends and family. While the practice has long since been outlawed, this new world has such abundance that I was inspired to find another solution, such that those injured so can regain some of their independence and agency.
The breakthrough discovery of quintessence has allowed me to create a mobile power source, and I have initiated Project Carina with the intent of creating a pair of artificial wings. My early designs suggest they will be able to give limited flight even to our human allies, but freedom of movement will be confined to a certain distance for one of our island's gravitational cores. (Note to self: increase both height and range extremities for effective functionality, failsafe mechanisms.)-'Howl'
The Stormguard commander has tasked me with adapting the Project Carina system with military applications. I tried to explain that the suit is best suited to provide mobility to the less fortunate, that it was not suitable for combat functionality, he reassured me that this was only for defensive purposes. Better to be prepared, he says. Well, it's not my most creative work, that's for sure, but I have adapted some keshik blades and front-mounted them on the wings. It's not as simple as just slapping some swords on the front, though, as I needed to factor in typical force and momentum profiles of warriors in combat, such that the blades not only have some offensive and/or defensive capability, but also don't cause the user to be knocked out of the sky.
As current, they should push any obstacles along the blades and out towards the wingtips, at least moving them aside, but hopefully also creating enough force to cause significant damage. It's rudimentary but should be effective enough. (Note to self: research magical force deflectors, personalised shielding.)-'Howl'
My greatest work nears completion! While the name is simple, the function is far from it. Who knew back then that this is where the discovery of quintessence would lead? Any first-year alchemist could describe the four base elements, but our presence here in the skies above this world placed us in prime position to stumble upon a fifth. It's ethereal, being that it does not appear within the magical spectrum, but rather only naturally in the world, in convergence points for cosmic energies high above the surface. To aid in harvesting, the quintessence counter has been essential, and it is only after many decades of harvesting that we have been able to gather enough for more than simple experimentation.
My earlier work in metallurgy and the ever-increasing demands of these constant wars happening beneath us, along with much cajoling from the Stormguard commander, led my experiments down the path of weapon production. To that end, the spy, Mat'ahar'i, was sent out numerous times to collect samples from our allies-turned-enemies-turned-allies-again. I have long-since learned how to blend the various techniques of hardened bronze with our own lightning-charged steel, and the singing alloy of the icyene with the burning hellfire metal of demonkind, but extracting their essence and blending it with quintessence has led to the creation of a new metal, which I have dubbed aetherium alloy.
This alloy shall form the basis of a new weapon, one which can harm even a god. I have been experimenting with different forms to determine the most effective delivery mechanism. It appears there is something in direct contact, so my primary research is leaning towards a melee weapon of some design.
This weapon shall become a turning point in these wars between the gods...at least once we've managed to secure more metals in order to forge enough aetherium alloy to forge a full blade. This may take some time, but before long, Armadyl will bring peace and justice back to this world.-'Howl'