Umbral Energy Template
by Prof. Harvey Wangenstein, Electrodyne Engineer
March 26, 1882
The alternate dimension of existence often referred to as the plane of Spirit is one that is greatly misunderstood and underestimated by Scientists new to the field. Research into the Spirit realm is not for the faint of heart. It contains many dangers for the unwary Scientist. Many are the naive, if well-intentioned, researchers who believed they were taking the proper precautions before delving into their Umbral experiments, only to find themselves woefully unprepared when confronted with an aggressive spirit-being. As with all things Scientific, an ounce of prevention is worth not having to completely rebuild your entire laboratory, including the irreplaceable Steam-Driven Matter-Energy Chrono-Transmogrifier it took six years of your life to perfect, and which some spiteful, malicious Umbral entity took such obvious pleasure in destroying. The key to being prepared for an adventure of this nature is the Umbral Energy Template, and the key to the Umbral Energy Template is Distilled Umbral Essence. Distilled Umbral Essence (DUE) is the pattern of Spirit-matter, purified and strengthened to the point that any energy forced through it takes on Umbral properties of its own. A functional Template for a hand-held energy emission device consists of a crystalline cylinder one to two feet in length and three to six inches in diameter, filled with Distilled Umbral Essence and fitted on either end with Umbral Lenses. The Umbral Lenses help to efficiently focus the energy through the DUE. Note that a larger or more powerful energy emitter will require a larger Template in order to achieve the desired effect. If a large emitter is fitted with too small a Template, the Template may overload and rupture, causing the DUE to come forth with explosive force.
Properly fitted to any energy-emissive device, the Template will alter the energy sufficiently that it will now affect Umbral objects and beings. In such an altered form, any number of effects are possible. Examples include a stunning sonic field only audible to Umbral beings, or a Light-Amplification by Stimulated Etheric Resonance (L.A.S.E.R.) Cannon, whose beam travels through your assistant, burning only the Umbral beastie holding him in its clutches. The Umbral Template must be affixed to the energy weapon to be used and properly calibrated. Once this is done, the weapon’s energy “pierces the Gauntlet” by passing through the Template and continues on, affecting only Spirit-matter.
A second use of this same Scientific Theory is in self-defense from mundane energy sources. By a similar application of the Umbral Energy Template, offensive energies may be harmlessly transmitted into the Umbral Dimension in order to prevent personal injury. A wide, thin Template, perhaps with a three foot diameter, a length of only four inches and arm straps across one side, would make an excellent shield against all forms of energy, transforming them into spirit-energy before they can cause damage. Of course, a sufficiently large source of energy may overload the shield, with potentially messy results, but a small defense is preferable to none at all.
(Second Edition.) Whether already in existence (Forces •••, Spirit •••) or created in conjunction with this Effect (Forces •••, Prime ••, Spirit •••), energy passing through the Template retains its original intensity and range and remains visible to the unaided eye, taking on a translucent, greenish cast. Interaction with the altered energy causes no apparent harm to material objects, whether living or not.
The Umbral Energy Shield is transparent, although images viewed through them are green in pallor and slightly distorted. A Wits + Athletics (or Melee, or whatever the Storyteller deems appropriate) roll allows the Scientist to raise the Shield before an incoming energy attack arrives. Each success on a (Forces •••, Spirit •••) roll converts two of the energy’s successes to spirit-energy. If the Scientist botches this roll, the Shield shatters. At the Storyteller’s discretion, any number of things are possible when an Umbral Energy Template is destroyed. Nearby matter (people included) might be cut to ribbons by flying crystal, or transported into the Umbra by the released Distilled Umbral Essence. A final note: although Umbral energy has no immediate harmful effect, the effects of long-term exposure to Umbral energy on living matter have yet to be determined.
1998 Derek D. Bass
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