I had spun that stick between my clumsy hands for what felt like hours, without producing so much as a hint of smoke. It wasn't my fault I was unaware of how to start a fire in this manner, I had always had a chliklo alongside me to start my fires with ease— except for that night. Seeing my exasperation, my Tollouchi? companion— who had refused to aid my fire-starting endeavours— finally came to me with a devilish grin.   I shot him an annoyed glance, yet still retained some hope. "Come to help, finally?"   "I have." He said, producing something from his pocket— a well worn tapered ceramic tube with a once-bright blue stripe around its center, my chliklo. I spent the next several minutes attempting to light him on fire as he ran, laughing maniacally.
Ponal Qichklio
  A chliklo, which literally translates to "fire arm," is an indispensable tool used throughout the world of Qet to start fires quickly and efficiently. Before its invention, most had used a variety of fire drills— which take time, skill, and patience to utilize.  

Appearance & Usage

A chliklo is a small tapered ceramic tube with a second, smaller tube, fastened inside. This inner tube is lightly coated with an explosive alchemical potion— not unlike those used to concoct grenades— that has been watered down so as not to cause harm, or destroy the chliklo. When one blows into the tube or pushes gently on the inside, a small fire is briefly lit at the tapered end.   Given the brevity of this flame's life, most hold the chliklo directly against whatever they wish to set aflame as they light it, or light a smaller object— such as a bundle of tinder or charcoal— and carry that to what they wish to light. To reuse the chliklo, one must simply rotate it so that the inner tube falls back to the wider end of the outer tube, and blow or push again. To safely store a chliklo, one should place it with a stopper pressed inside— typically some sort of small cloth— to prevent it from moving, and thus lighting.  

A Failed Weapon

Many have attempted to create a weaponized chliklo, with little success. Attempts to elongate the tube or increase the strength of the potion within have lead to injury at best, and death at worst. There are few tales of chliklo being utilized effectively in battle, and even fewer of these tales are actually true. Pyromaniacs will have to put aside their dreams of breathing fire, and settle for alchemical grenades, instead.


Author's Notes

While working through the TTRPG's equipment tables, I realized that while I had plenty of flammable items— I hadn't actually thought of a firestarter! I spent a while researching ancient methods of starting fire, and few really sparked something in me (get it?). Especially in relation to the Americas— where as far as I was able to find, people mostly used variations on fire drills, which aren't very quick to use in the middle of situations players may find themselves in throughout the course of a TTRPG campaign.   And then I realized; "Wait, this is my world I can just make up something cool." and here we are!

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30 Aug, 2022 21:51

What a cool little item. Can definitely see someone forgetting to stopper it properly and ending up with some nasty burns!

Sage Timepool
Garrett Grace Lewis
30 Aug, 2022 22:26

Thank you! Yeah that's a possibility for sure, the evil side of me almost wants to make it so players need to stopper it to avoid burning their inventory but I won't cause that'll not actually be fun haha.

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