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Aelectricity & Chaositech

Aelectricity is the pinnacle of science reached in the world of Praemal. Experts create this energy—which scholars express as “nonmagical artificially produced lightning”—using powerful steam engines or special static chargers. It is almost unheard of in Ptolus today, and even the dwarves of Dwarvenhearth had not mastered it. At the height of the Empire, however, aelectrical lights illuminated the Imperial Palace in Tarsis.

Aelectricity powered experimental devices such as constructs, lightning weapons, and even charged barriers that shocked an intruder when touched were being developed and refined. One could smell the scent of ozone when such devices were operating and, unless muffled by magic, they made a great deal of noise.

One is likely to find only a couple different aelectrical implements in Ptolus today. Such items are relics, no longer produced in modern times. Virtually no one knows how to create or even repair them:
•A generator-powered aelectrical light or system of lights might still exist in an older home; they are not portable, however. Price (including the generator) 1,000 gp.
•A static gun fires a charged line up to fifty feet that inflicts 4d6 points of electricity damage. It is fueled not by a steam-powered generator but by a hand-cranked one that builds up a static charge. The gun requires 5 rounds of cranking (a full-round action each round) to build up the needed charge. Price 15,000 gp.

Only in extremely special circumstances will I consider letting any player start a character with knowledge of chaositech - this section is more for flavor, to let you know some strange things exist in this world.

Most people have never heard of chaositech. Of those who have, most consider it an abomination. The Holy Emperor himself has stated that there is no greater threat to the world. A select few, however,find chaositech useful. And even fewer—chaos cultists—revere the stuff as gifts from the gods. The evil twin of technology, chaositech offers amazing devices fueled by raw chaos itself. The creations of the ancient Galchutt, chaositech items are coveted today by dark forces.

Chaositech enslaves even as it empowers. Its addictive nature grants the Lords of Chaos a foothold in controlling your mind, your body, and even your soul. But still the Galchutt find people willing to make these sacrifices to harness its great power. Of course, many believe they can use chaositech without falling victim to its dangers. A few are even correct.

Despite how it may appear, chaositech is not technology—it is technology’s dark twin. It is not magic, but another power altogether. It is corruption and destruction given form. It is like nothing anyone in your campaign has ever seen before.  Most chaositech items are fairly straightforward devices made of steel, glass, and other inorganic substances. Many such devices bear a design or embellishment that makes them look organic, while others incorporate organic parts, such as actual skulls, bones, fleshlike coverings, membranous sacs, and so on. For this reason, some call these devices the “bones of steel”. A more aberrant type of chaositech is entirely organic based, but examples of such perversions of living organisms are quite rare.

Chaositech is a very scarce class of item in Ptolus. Characters can’t buy it in a store—they can only find it in the Dungeon or receive it as a gift from an ally or organization. Most people in the Empire—even those in authority—don’t know it exists, and the Church of Lothian does all it can to cover up word of its presence in the world. Those who see chaositech firsthand assume that it’s magic. As a remnant of ancient days, chaositech can’t be created, and only a rare few can repair or modify it. (It’s thought that only the Galchutt themselves can make it, so no one even tries.)

The few times such devices have been used publicly, it has caused panic and confusion - until the Church proclaims it is nothing but strange new magic. And the rumors of a being known as the Surgeon in the Shadows is nothing but stories of boogles to scare children!