Red Matter (Rm), or colloquially, 'Areum', is a rare, high atomic number element that possesses unique not-well understood but semi-observable properties and behaviors, most notably in its use as the catalyst for few capable species to perform magic, which cannot be done without it. It has an atomic number of 124 and an atomic mass of 302.
Antiquity and Early Middle Ages Edit
The exact circumstances of Red Matter's discovery are unknown, but written records dating from the mid 11th century speak of a crimison 'aether' that when condensed into liquid allowed a 'chosen few' to perform miracles. One such individual in this category is the famous ancient wizard Merlin.
Red Matter must be contained within a receptacle in order to be utilized, preferably a specially designed one to increase focus and precision of the spellcasting.
Containment methods at this time were crude and limiting, as early wands were fashioned out of materials such as wood and bone, sealed with substances such as tar, tree sap and animal bodily fluids which were not entirely effective in containing Red Matter. Leakages were common, resulting in the power of the user diminishing over time if the core was not replenished. Glass containment vials existed but were often crude as well and their fragility made them unsuitable for containment.
This was exacerbated by the fragility of the channeling devices and the prohibitively expensive and arduous nature of obtaining the material. Red Matter at this time was an exotic substance only found in the colder regions of the planet, which were largely inaccessible to most societies. Because effective sealants and refrigeration did not exist, transportation of the red matter without evaporation was also extremely difficult. Finally, impurities in cores themselves also were detrimental to magical energy projection.
The Age of Sail Edit
Wizarding societies began to form due to greater prevalence of magic during the Age of Sail, during which expanding empires fielded large fleets of ships that heralded the beginning of an era of exploration, international trade and warfare. Red Matter, though still very difficult to obtain, could now be shipped from location to location providing their containers were sealed, thus not allowing the liquid to dissipate into the atmosphere despite turning into gas.
In the early 1500s, an unnamed mage became notorious among magical communities for his reviled practice of creating animal-human hybrids. He was exiled from his homeland, but found refuge in the faraway continent of Australia, which was largely uninhabited by advanced civilization. The resultant conversion of the island's natives eventually culminated in the creation of the sentient species Anthro-feralis which to this day have very trace amounts of Rm within their biology.
During the era where piracy plagued the seas, magical pirate crews would often raid ships carrying Rm from mining sites, either to replenish their slowly depleting supplies, or to increase their own power and capabilities. Thus, nations across the seas would constantly compete with each other in order to secure Rm deposits, which became as valuable if not more than gold. This was done for a number of reasons: with the intention to increase their power and magical influence via their state-sanctioned wizards, for scientific research and study, or to confiscate the exotic material in a bid to wage holy war against the supernatural heretics.
Rm to some extent was used as both a justification to invade and to maintain control over territories acquired by European powers in the colonial Americas. Having not reached the technological level to refine or obtain red matter themselves, Native Americans were easily subjugated by European wizards, who were backed up by already technologically superior militaries and the introduction of disease. However, colonial states did not always remain in this state; by the late 18th century, the Thirteen British Colonies on the eastern coast of North America had enough stored Red Matter and wizards of their own to put up an adequate resistance against, and eventually win, a war of independence against the British Empire to become the United States of America.
Industrial Revolution Edit
The Industrial Revolution brought about great advances in technology that allowed the proliferation of Rm usage to skyrocket, reducing its cost and increasing its availability as well as potential applications. Better mining methods ensured larger quantities of purer Rm, better trade transportation facilitated more widespread distribution, and the advent of refrigeration ensured that evaporation risks were lowered to the bare minimum. The rise in Rm availability led to a rise in the population of practicing wizards, and eventually the Revelation of Wizardkind where magic was revealed to the world and became integrated into society.
20th Century Edit
Following this many nation states around the world began to compete for control of Rm resources, as well as conduct research on its behaviors and properties. World War I was the first major war where wizards were used in warfare in large numbers, and World War II was the first war to introduce heavily advanced Rm-enhanced technology on the battlefield.
During the Cold War, both NATO and the Soviet Union raced to the poles and cold climates around the globe in order to secure deposits of the strategic material as both sides feared an arms race of both nuclear and magical warfare technology. The United States claimed large sections of the Antarctica continent while the USSR established a stronghold in the North Pole and secured sites in their own borders.
Modern Day EditRm is used in modern magical channeling devices, and due to advances in refinement and containment technology, modern Rm cores able to produce much more power than their historical counterparts.
In the United States under the Department of Magical Affairs, Rm is a controlled substance and is also in most other countries with their respective magical law enforcement agencies, with generally only registered wizards able to trade it. Despite this Rm is sometimes misused and its sale fetches exorbitant prices on the black markets.
Red Matter has been mixed into potent drug cocktails by users who are not aware or do not fully understand of the properties of Rm. Other than it being a waste of the valuable material (which can be reused to project magic indefinitely as long as it is contained), due to its erratic properties it often has a negative effect on biology.
Emily Lang obtained Red Matter illegally after enlisting the aid of a friend who owed her a favor, for Charlie Lang's 16th birthday and gave it to him on her deathbed. This supply of Rm was exceptionally high-grade and nearly perfect from impurities, enabling extremely powerful magic.
Red Matter has an extremely low boiling point, evaporating and dispersing into gaseous form at temperatures of only 21°C (69.8 degrees Fahrenheit). Red Matter is only effective for channeling magical energy in a solid or liquid state, as vaporization appears to nullify the effects.
Red Matter is currently the highest atomic mass element known to man, and all attempts at synthesizing it artificially have been unsuccessful as of 2029. It is theorized that the bizarre nature of the element itself allows for an island of stability to be maintained despite its high atomic mass suggesting that it should rapidly undergo decay. Red Matter exhibits no unusual properties and is not radioactive, emitting no alpha, beta or gamma wavelengths and by all measures appearing inert until handled by a wizard.
- Instrumentation readings taken of the substance upon contact with a magically gifted individual yield no conclusive answers, as readings are in a constant state of flux and superposition.
- This however actually is useful for its purpose of facilitating quantum computing in magi-tec computers.
- Rm is used in limited quantities in alchemy labs, in minute amounts that are the bare minimum necessary to facilitate chemical transmutation. The reaction control sticks that are used in the classroom are not allowed to be removed from the lab and are deliberately designed to break easily to prevent theft.
- Rm has been used heavily in biomancy to enhance or modify the biology of organisms. Heavy quantities of Rm in a biological system will have deleterious effects due to its interference with natural biochemistry, such as degradation of neural function, hair loss, organ failure, paling and flaking away of skin, and other symptoms. This is theorized to have contributed to the short lifespan and sickly appearance of vampires.
- Some technology can be designed to run on magical instead of electrical energy, though Rm does conduct electricity and can generate it. When conducting electrical energy it glows a vibrant teal-blue color.
Rm must be kept pure when used to conduct magical energy. Impurities in the core will result in at best, weakening of the magical energy cast, and at worst, depending on how compromised the material is, extreme malfunctions or erratic applications of the intended magical act performed.
- Pure Rm will be clear and transparent, while an impure Rm core will be more opaque and translucent.