Weapons

Table of contents


Especially among the people on The Surface, in Cessnock, weapons are a fact of life in Newgulf. Outside of Kaipalu, it's a rare family that does not at least own a Swickershot, and in Cessnock, walking around completely unarmed is an unwise decision, at best, unless you have a bodyguard or pimp to keep you safe from harm. The only places that completely prohibit their patrons from carrying sidearms of any kind are the church and government civic buildings, and the latter keeps their staff behind steel cages and heavy wooden desks, just in case.

Weapons can all be designed, depending on quality of work inside, to act as extensions of the body. Whether it be a blade, whip, or gun, a person can have a sense of feel through their weapon, and can develop a very accurate sense of where the weapon is in relation to their body and vision, as though it were just another appendage. Extremely low-quality weapons cannot do this at all, but weapons of the highest quality can even improve a person's basic senses. Constant physical contact is needed to preserve this effect in virtually all cases.

Pellet Guns

Weapons that fire projectiles, generally called pellet guns, exist in many varieties, though there are three general styles. They all are triggered by directly influencing the Actin nerves inside with magic.

Pellets

The ammunition of pellet guns are small, round chucks of baked clay or Chitin, depending on quality. The ceramic bullets can be made by anyone with access to a fire, proper clay, a small mold or swage , and Haemol glue. These are, by far, the most common kind of ammunition. Chitin bullets are used by the more careful and dedicated Frontiersmen and high-priced bodyguards, as well as in the weapons of the Aristocrats.

Swickershots

Swickershots are the most common, designed to fire a single, accurate shot at long range, without the need of an Ommatidia crystal to operate. Historically, these were the first pellet guns that utilized a long, rifled barrel to spin the shot for accuracy, and referring to Swickershots as rifles is fairly common. The name "Swickershot" comes from the telltale noise they make as the Actin cords inside of its body spiral around the central pin, after a shot is fired. They have a long barrel, and can usually be reloaded from the top. Arming the weapon can either be directly affecting the Actin muscles inside, inducing it to load its spring, or by pumping a leveler action to tighten them manually in extremely cheap guns.

Crackshots

Unlike Swickershots, Crackshots are small and inaccurate, though they're based on the same general principal - a coil of Actin springs loaded around a central pin that smash the pellet forward at high speeds. They tend to be cheap and jam easily - the cracking noise they make when they fire is the muscles unraveling and slapping against the pin, rather than spinning freely, which can do something similar to "spraining" the weapon's mechanisms. Usually, a Crackshot can only be loaded through the barrel, and is only really intended for one or two shots before they need maintenance. These are preferred as concealed weapons, especially among prostitutes.

Shotguns

Shotguns are the only weapon that don't use standardized pellets as ammo. Rather, they can usually fire anything loaded in them (though the shot should be as small and round as possible, to help prevent jams). Some Shotguns are designed to fire slugs as well as shot. They're usually top-loading, or load through the trumpeted front end, and are usually not rifled inside. They fire much like a slingshot, as an internal mechanism, and frequently have very wide, oblate bodies to fit the whole mechanism. In order to carry enough energy to fire all their shot, a standard shotgun is outfitted with a small Ommatidia crystal, which powers them for a number of shots according to the quality (from one to two dozen, usually around six), and can be recharged by the owner, given some effort and a good night's rest.

Sequential Guns

The final type of pellet gun is the most general category. These are the 'semi-automatic' weapons, or the guns that can fire many shots without needing a reload. How they hold the extra pellets depends on the mechanism. There can be a revolving set of chambers, a clip, and sometimes even a simple resevoir, and which kind of Seq-Gun (or Second) is the best is hotly debated among those who love sidearms. These are the most common guns among criminals, and a revolving-style, long-barreled hand-hugging Second is standard issue for the Frontiersmen. Though not necessary, many Seconds are equipped with an Ommatidia crystal to assist in firing, allowing them to shoot more quickly and with greater range.

Other Weapons

Blades

Swords and daggers made of Chitin are sturdy and hold a blade, but need to be maintained properly. On the surface, proper maintenance requires frequent cleaning with a special Haemol compound, designed to slow Blightborne corrosion (or, more accurate, repair the damage Blight causes). Frequently, a Chitin blade will be a very fine layer of the great material over an inexpensive base, such as wood or clay, producing cheap, lightweight weapons, albeit of an inferior cutting quality. Spiracle nerves to allow for perception along the blade are extremely uncommon, as blade-fighting is a rare occurrence (never bring a knife to a gunfight, as the saying goes). Generally, a dagger is just an improvised weapon.

Whips, ropes, and Lassos

Especially among ranchers, quality Actin cords are used frequently, originally as tools to drive and tie their stock. Whips became a favorite weapon in fights where the two parties don't intend to cause grievous bodily harm to each other (as a pellet gun normally would), and are frequently used in sporting events. Because they're made from tight bundles of Actin muscle and Spiracle nerves, it's possible to exercise great control over a whip, and even get them to wrap around objects to provide a grip or change velocity midair. One of the most famous relic-hunters of all times, Jeb Kansas, was famous for being able to swing from building to building of Lapidum armed only with his whip and a fedora.