Friday, June 4, 2010
Quinne Quilliam is a half-elf wizard/inventor who has dedicated her life to studying the practical applications of magic for the common good. A true patriot of the Republic, she believes technology holds the key to taking magic out of the hands of the rich and privileged and putting it in the hands of the people. Quinne invented the Quad-Que for cleaning the city sewers (I'll discuss that later - think "mecha-gelatinous cube" and then have a stiff drink) and in return has a cushy studio in the North District where she lives, works and sells her wares.
Quinne is unusually short and awkward-looking for a half-elf. This is because she's actually also half-gnome - people just assume the human part and she goes with it because Carrow doesn't distinguish gnomes from goblins very well. She's very bright, cheerful and talkative - especially about politics, magic or technology which are one and the same to her.
MY PLAYER'S SHOULD STOP READING NOW
QUINNE'S Quartzcaster: Other inventions of Quinne (who lives in Carrow's northernmost district) include magi-mechanical arms that resemble pepper-box pistols but fire magic missiles (one per round, holds six). In place of bullets, small quartz points specially designed to contain a missile bolt are loaded into the chambers. Pulling the trigger shatters the stone and releases the bolt. Releasing the trigger rotates the barrel and queues up the next crystal round.
Quinne will reload the gun for a stiff price. If an unarmed crystal were obtained and studied by a competent wizard, they could learn how to cast Magic Missile into it and have the beam trapped, thereby arming the "bullet." With further study they might be able to make the points themselves. Regardless of who made them, the points are under tremendous tension and will misfire if the gun is dropped, struck, subjected to a concussive blast as that of an explosion, etc. Any attempt to disenchant the gun will make all the remaining bullets fire, striking whatever is in front of it. Anti-magic spells will disarm the gun, leaving the bullets intact but turned into duds.
QUINNE'S AS-YET-UNNAMED VERY BAD IDEA: Quinne has also built a heavy iron version resembling a shotgun with four barrels sticking out from four 2-liter-sized cylinders. This highly dangerous and mostly untested weapon can fire 1 fireball per round, or all loaded fireballs can be launched if the trigger is fully depressed. The cylinders contain 1 fully cast Fireball spell, a glowing ember magically suspended in pressurized ether. Pulling the trigger causes one or more of the chambers to open, releasing the gas and sucking the ball out with it. It will explode on impact.
This gun is a terrible idea. If a chamber is punctured, the ball within will explode where it sits, rending apart the other chambers and exploding their contents as well. A hard jolt will not make it misfire, unlike the six-shooter. However, after being dropped there is a 10% chance a bit of dirt got in a barrel and the gun will explode when fired. This remains true until it is cleaned. The chance is raised if the gun is submerged in something, allowed to rust, packed with Drider eggs, etc.
Quinne hasn't thought of a good name for this disaster-piece. If a player can suggest one she likes (anything with "Qu" in it) she will lend them one "to try out" on the condition they return it when empty. Really, she wants someone willing to fire the thing for her.
QUINNE'S "QUEENLY COLLECTOR": Quinne's worst idea is currently sitting in many of the poshest homes of Carrow. It's basically a combination toilet and waste disposal, and enables the wealthy to get rid of their sewer lines, which are prone to backing up. The device is a big iron chamberpot with a lid and lots of exposed cogs and doodads. When the lid is set and the lever is cranked, a series of rotating disintegration rays annihilate the contents. It's great for hiding murders.
Unfortunately, 1 in 5 will explode on its 13th use, having the same effect as a disintegration ray, but within a 30-foot sphere. The result is often a clean spherical void cut out of an upper story of a noble's mansion, and probably a dissolved or dismembered noble to boot. Quinne has sold 10 in town, and another 30 to a trader from the nearest kingdom who will have left the day before the PCs discover the problem. Because Carrow's relations with this kingdom are historically tense, the resulting events will be seen as an act of sabotage and will incite war unless prevented (or covered up).