Earth history is rife with the use of chemical-based explosives. From Chinese fireworks to the American industrial juggernaut made possible by dynamite, the controlled or directed force of explosives has played a role in many of our scientific milestones. Their use in war is matched only by the rapid development in this field for the express purpose of killing one’s enemy. Over time, chemical-based weapons gave way to energy and quantum technologies.

It is no small blessing that explosives technologies have not yet taken root here on Anomaly. I harbored strong reservations about bringing any bomb-making knowhow to a world where the way of life is so singularly focused on killing one’s enemy. Jon made the case that if Erebos’ numerical advantage was not countered by using whatever advantage we could dream up, we’d be gathering the races together for a mass suicide. I dropped my objections on the spot.

The Chinese discovered the rudiments of explosives by accident. The three key ingredients: potassium nitrate, sulfur and charcoal, can be found in ample quantities on Anomaly. What took time was convincing The People there was any value in gathering the waste material of various cave dwelling critters for the potassium nitrate. I’d have done it myself if even the “less dangerous” animals who called these places home didn’t require a deft hand-with-sword to keep at bay. The safer alternative, storing beds of straw stewing in urine, convinced them cave crap gathering was the preferred task. Once the ingredients were gathered, it was a simple matter of carefully packing them into a portable form and setting a proper fuse.

It took more effort to develop a fast-burning fuse than it did to assemble the bombs. All the materials burned here are selected for their slow burn properties. A seamstress, of all people, worked with me to sew threads coated in the gunpowder into the ignition element. The result? Portable boom.

This old bomb type also produces a ridiculous amount of smoke…a lung-filling, choking, opaque black smoke. It could prove useful from a tactical standpoint.