Techno-Wizard Elemental Mines:
The Walter Paper
Early in 105 P.A., a long range Vermont Free State patrol on a deep recon of the areas surrounding Lake Eire, witnessed a dogfight between Coalition and Free Quebec air units, and the subsequent crash of a Coalition Nightwing stealth jet near their position. Eager to gather as much intel as they could, and equally eager not to reveal their presence, the patrol quickly trekked to the crash site and grabbed anything that looked important to them. Minutes later, the jet's wingmates arrived on the scene and proceeded to bomb the wreckage and surrounding area to its constituent molecules. Taking the hint, the VFS patrol silently slipped away into the wilderness, apparently unseen.
Returning to base, the patrol turned over their finds to their commanders. It was then that they began to get a hint of what it was they'd found. By great fortune, the patrol had stumbled upon the remains of a courier jet, carrying sealed orders and copies of new military manuals (on disc) to the CSN base at Halifax when it had been intercepted by Free Quebec military units. The courier, Benjamin Walter, had not had time to activate the self-destruct switch and charge-device on his courier bags when the attack came...or else the self-destruct mechanism somehow malfunctioned. In any case, the VFS now had the Coalition's new tactical and strategic policies guidelines to study.
What alarmed them, though, was reference to the "tactical use, and procedures relating to, the deployment of shipborne nuclear devices in the maritime combat theatre", ....the Coalition's plans to use ship-launched nukes.
Paladin Steel was shocked. Here was confirmation of the existence of Coalition nuclear weapons, and weapons deployed on vessels within easy range of their pwn facilities. Given that the Coalition's policies on nuclear torpedoes were less stringent than for strategic weapons, PS began to fear for its new marine facilities at New Bath, and its new types of large vessels, which they considered possible targets.
The Walter Paper has galvinized PS to seek possible defenses against nuclear attack, and factored strongly in PS's decision to develop its own low-yield nuclear weapons. PS is looking at ways to harden their larger vessels against the effects of close-proximity nuclear detonations, as well as more elaborate anti-torpedo defenses. PS has recently begun experimenting, with T-Tech as a partner, on applying Techno-Wizardry and Warlock magic to the problem, possibly using Armor of Ithan and Elemental magic to shield against the shockwave effects of submarine nuclear explosions.
Its also had a profound affect on PS's own ideas and policies towards the Coalition Navy. Whereas Paladin Steel and the Vermont Free State had previously tried to avoid contact with the CSN, recognizing their usefulness as a buffer against Splugorth activity in the North Atlantic, they must now contemplate more aggressive policies towards the Coalition naval presence. Should all-out war break out between the Coalition and the eastern kingdoms, the VFS has several plans to quickly, seize or otherwise neutralize New Halifax.
Elemental Torpedoes & Underwater Mines:
The first companies to develop Elemental Torpedoes were T-Tech and Paladin Steel. These Torpodoes are known as Warlock Torpedoes. There were initially designed so that they could deal with Coalition forces which they expected to meet. In addition to the numbers required for their military, many other parties were interested in the torpedoes including many other techno-wizards. The two companies simply could not keep up with demand and several other groups of techno-wizards decided that they would see if they could copy the design. With the assistance of water warlocks, they were able to copy the torpedoes and were able to also produce mines using the same basic principles. Several techno-wizard navies use these torpedoes and mines regularly.
Elemental Torpedoes are modified heavy torpedoes with the conventional warhead replaced with a one-shot crystals containing the enchantment and a P.P.E. battery to power the spell. Upon reaching its target/being triggered, the Warlock Torpedo activates, casting its spell and going up spectacularly. The torpedo can have all the standard guidance systems whihc are normally available on conventional torpedoes with active sonar guided and wire guided being the most common. Mines are presently limited to only large types of mines and can use a variety of detonation. Common Detonation systems include contact, magnetic, timer, and remote controlled. Both torpedoes and underwater mines are similar in nature to the land mines in that they are combination of techno-wizardry and warlock magic.
The problem with Elemental Torpedoes and Underwater Mine is, of course, that with the exception of the Whirlpool Torpedo (which is produced by T-Tech and Paladin Steel using both Elemental magic and conventional Ocean Magic spells), the line is dependant on the friendly cooperation of Water Warlocks to produce. Combining conventional techno-wizardry and the much more exclusive Elemental magics is a difficult, time-consuming, and expensive process. As a result, Elemental Torpedoes and Underwater Mines tend to be fairly rare on the market, hard to come by, and expensive. Buyers of Elemental Torpedoes, even the paramilitary forces of T-Tech and the VFS, tend to horde their stocks of these powerful munitions, using them only for special missions and desperate situations. As stocks increase, though, it's expected that these weapons will see increased distribution and use among the Five Star Technologies forces.
Currently, Paladin Steel and T-Tech (along with several other companies) are trying to refine the processes involved to create smaller and cheaper warheads for mounting on smaller torpedoes. One advantage of this is that Rocket Boosted Torpedoes could be developed.
- Hurricane: (Five Star Technologies designation is WT-01H Warlock
Torpedo) This warhead unleashes a Hurricane spell that is equal to spell
casters level, affects a 120 foot (36.6 meter) area, and inflicts 3D6x10
MD to anything struck by it, plus 1D6 MD to anyone caught by flying debris.
This spell also affects airborne opponents up to an altitude of 500 feet
Cost: 300,000 credits per torpedo or mine
- Tidal Wave: (Five Star Technologies designation is WT-02T Warlock
Torpedo) The Tidal Wave Torpedo / mine acts as a sort of "shaped charge",
directing a massive wave of water into an enemy formation, swamping ships
and destroying port facilities. A favorite for attacks on shore facilities,
shipyards, and docks. Tidal wave spell is equal to spell casters level,
is 200 feet (61 meters) per level of the spell caster, is 10 feet (3 meters)
tall pe level of the spell caster. and up one tidal waves per level of
the spell caster is created ( 1 per melee, for continuous bombardment),
doing 4D6x10 MD. The waves each have a 5% chance per level of the spell
caster of capsizing all but the largest of vessels. The waves can also
reach up to 30 feet (9 meters) per level of the spell caster inland. These
weapons are considered the rarest and most devastating of the torpedoes
and underwater mines.
Cost: 500,000 credits per torpedo / mine
- Whirlpool: (Five Star Technologies designation is WT-03W Warlock
Torpedo) This munition is somewhat easier to come by than the other Elemental
Torpedoes, because it is produced by Five Star at two different locations;
by T-Tech's master facilities at New Seattle and by Paladin Steel at New
However, though T-Tech uses the Elemental Warlock spell whereas Paladin Steel uses the Whirlpool Ocean Magic spell, with effects as described on pg. 70 of Rifts: Undersea, the weapons are identical for all intents and purposes in effects and cost. Other manufacturers of the warhead use the Warlock spell for their weapon.
The Whirlpool Torpedo / Mine affects a 120 foot (32.6 meter) radius, lasts 1 minutes per level of the spell caster, and inflicts 1D4x10 MD per melee to anything caught in its grip. Low speed vessels (10 knots or slower) have a 30% chance of escaping the maelstrom, medium speed vessels (10 to 30 knots) have a 50% chance of escaping the whirlpool, fast vessels (30 to 45 knots) have a 75% chance of escaping the maelstrom, and extremely fast vessels (45 knots or greater) and hovercraft have a 90% chance of being able to escape the whirlpool. Ships smaller to fit completely in the Whirlpool subs suffer 2D6x10 MD and will be drawn into the center in 1D4 melees. Anything that reaches or is caught the center/bottom takes additional damage; 1D6x10 MD to small items and people, 2D6x100 MD to large vessels, 90% chance of any small surface-riding vessel being sunk. Large vessels may be larger than the Whirlpool will be unable to pull away but will not be pulled underwater. There also so self righting vessels which will roll back to an even keel and will not sink.
Cost: 200,000 credits per torpedo / mine.
(Unless otherwise noted, all Paladin Steel and T-Tech Torpedoes are considered TENTH-level with regard to spell strength, range, and speed. Other torpedoes and mines can be a variety of different spell strengths based on Warlock's level)
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