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Fireshot Muskets

Article Contents

ARTICLE CONTENTS
Fireshot Muskets are a classification of Magically powered firearms that utilize a mana crystal to ignite black powder and create a chemical reaction, forcing a ball of lead or other material through the barrel and down range at high speeds. Actual functionality is nearly identical to non-magical muskets, and come in smooth-bore and rifled varieties.

These weapons are single-shot firearms and must be reloaded with each shot. Depending on the time period, a powder charge and ball needed to be reloaded separately. In later times, reloading was accomplished by loading a paper cartridge containing a powder charge and a minié ball.

Info

Type:
Place of Origin:
Year Designed:
Time in Production:
Number Made:
Manufacturer:
Magic Musket
Estercrest, Faeon
1981 I.A.
1000 years
5 million
various

Operation

Fireshot Muskets utilize two separate chambers. The first chamber is the barrel that contains the powder charge and bullet. The second chamber contains a mana crystal charged with fire magic. There is a small silver wire connecting the two chambers together.

The trigger of the weapon is also made of Silver, which conducts mana very well. When the operator squeezes the trigger, contact is made between the trigger and the mana crystal. The mana crystal then starts to siphon a small amount of the operator's own mana energy. The crystal then heats up, transferring that heat to the silver wire that is attached to the powder charge. The result is the powder charge igniting and the bullet being forced out of the barrel at high speeds.

Right: A view of the back of a fireshot musket with the back cover flipped open. Inside a small red crystal is visible and glowing. The cover exists to protect the crystal and also protect the operator. Depending on the crystal type, it can glow so brightly as to cause temperary blindness, and heat up so much as to burn anything near it.

Materials and Crystals

Crystals

All natural crystals on Vreathe are capable of acting as a mana battery in some capacity. Virtually any crystal capable of holding a charge of fire magic will work with a fireshot musket, though different crystals have different efficiencies and values, and different storage levels. The delay between squeezing the trigger and the weapon firing also depends on the crystal.

Rubies are considered the best crystal to have installed in a fireshot musket because they are the only crystal that allows instant ignition after squeezing the trigger and they heat the silver wire more than any other crystal. Diamonds are a close second only because they allow twice as many shots before replacement is needed. A Quartz crystal has similar storage capability as a diamond, but a quarter second delay in firing. These are actually kind of terrible for use in a gun where little to no delay between squeezing the trigger and firing is necessary for accuracy.
MATERIAL # OF CHARGES FIRING DELAY
Quartz 100+ 0.25 seconds
Tourmaline 20 0.05 seconds
Topaz 35 0.1 seconds
Garnet 40 0.01 seconds
Ruby 50 Instant
Diamond 100+ 0.05 seconds
Chart showing the six most efficient crystals to use with a fireshot musket.

Alternatives to Silver

Silver is by far the best conductor of magic on Vreathe, but it is expensive, and moisture can corrode it easily. A cheaper alternative is copper, though it will corrode slightly more quickly. A more expensive alternative is Gold, which does not corrode. These three metals have similar conductive properties and will not affect the delay in firing a fireshot musket in any meaningful way.

Using other metals, such as Stainless Steel (a Chromium and Iron alloy) will also work, but it roughly doubles the delay in firing. The delay in firing can be avoided if a Ruby crystal is used. Some metals shouldn't be used at all as it will just melt from the fire magic. Tin is a good example of this.

Ammunition Types

There is nothing wrong with using a lead ball in a smoothbore musket or a minie ball in a rifled musket. Vreathe being a magical place, there are alternatives. A popular but expensive alternative is to enchant a bullet with aether, giving it instructions to duplicate itself as it flies down range, allowing even a small unit to create a hailstorm of bullets with ease. Another popular alternative is to enchant a bullet with aether, giving it instructions to transmute itself into a different material before it reaches its destination. One popular enchantment turns the lead ball into a powerful acid.

Care must be taken not to have a bullet enchanted with too much aether. The radiation may activate the fire crystal and prematurely fire the weapon.

A long rifle version of the fireshot musket.

Disadvantages

Finding a crystal charged with fire magic is difficult but an experienced mage can charge the crystal themselves, or hire someone to do it. There is an entire career centered around professional Mana Chargers that spend all day charging crystals with mana for various applications. It can take up to ten hours to fully charge a ruby crystal for use in a fireshot musket and the cost of a charged ruby is ten times that of an uncharged one.

Because of this, Flintlock muskets, though less reliable, are much cheaper and easier to use. Fireshot muskets also have many of the same problems as other muskets. Powder and bullets need to be loaded in a specific way. Wet powder doesn't ignite (though operation with a ruby crystal will vaporize the moisture and make the weapon able to fire with a small delay). Rifled weapons need to be regularly cleaned or repeated use will foul the barrel. Smooth bore versions of the weapon are very inaccurate, though cheaper than rifled versions.


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