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Hi,

I am running a Chronicles of Future Earth 'campaign'. (I use air-quotes here because it was suggested and started at very short notice and lacks a lot of my usual planning.)

One of the players has asked about the metal-substitute Alagin. His character (a psionic) is interested in learning how to craft it (or, knowing the player, exploit it to his own benefit).

There is little information in the rules about it. CoFE page 46 has descriptions of the substance as "dark brown or jet black substance ... created - some say grown - by the mysterious Spider Folk." It is "vaguely translucent, and warm to the touch, as though alive."

CoFE p.17 says "Gardeners, producing raw materials, growing vocali, luminacts or alagin colonies in specially prepared environments."

So, where does it come from? Here are my thoughts so far:

It is clearly grown from organic materials. What if the Hsun are like 40K Tyranids? They dissolve organic components in vats of their own digestive fluids to produce a gruel of protoplasm. This is then mixed with inorganic material from their own chitinous shell, which is perhaps from natural shedding or harvesting from dead Hsun. The alagin colony is then psychically manipulated into many different shapes, from bizzare and beautiful sculptures, to plain ingots, sheets, blocks, rods and even wires. The shaped items are then left to 'air dry' in a Helium-enriched atmosphere. 

What do you all think? Any suggestions or official "canon" would be massively useful.

Thanks in advance,

Colin

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On 6/19/2018 at 10:57 PM, colinabrett said:

Hi,

I am running a Chronicles of Future Earth 'campaign'. (I use air-quotes here because it was suggested and started at very short notice and lacks a lot of my usual planning.)

One of the players has asked about the metal-substitute Alagin. His character (a psionic) is interested in learning how to craft it (or, knowing the player, exploit it to his own benefit).

There is little information in the rules about it. CoFE page 46 has descriptions of the substance as "dark brown or jet black substance ... created - some say grown - by the mysterious Spider Folk." It is "vaguely translucent, and warm to the touch, as though alive."

CoFE p.17 says "Gardeners, producing raw materials, growing vocali, luminacts or alagin colonies in specially prepared environments."

So, where does it come from? Here are my thoughts so far:

It is clearly grown from organic materials. What if the Hsun are like 40K Tyranids? They dissolve organic components in vats of their own digestive fluids to produce a gruel of protoplasm. This is then mixed with inorganic material from their own chitinous shell, which is perhaps from natural shedding or harvesting from dead Hsun. The alagin colony is then psychically manipulated into many different shapes, from bizzare and beautiful sculptures, to plain ingots, sheets, blocks, rods and even wires. The shaped items are then left to 'air dry' in a Helium-enriched atmosphere. 

What do you all think? Any suggestions or official "canon" would be massively useful.

Thanks in advance,

Colin

 

Your idea seems as good as any. If it's a biological substance then to craft it might need a mold or casing (perhaps some other insectoid carapace), or it might need to be 'pruned' or encouraged to grow in one way or another. That encouragement could be some sort of low level psychic power (instead of sunlight). Maybe the spider folk keep their young above the alagin pits; and the alagin grows toward 'life'.

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If you deal with "social insects" or their alien counterpart, there is a possibility that they have special breeds who grow body parts out of this substance which they can shed (and possibly regrow). If the species follows an r-strategy, it could easily assign a caste of lesser queems to produce drones or even just purpose bred maggots that create this substance in the desired shape and size. Epigenetics triggered by tailored royal jelly equivalents or pheromones produced by yet another caste, etc.

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