War is often a catalyst for technological advancements. During the Throne War, the nations of Freidia made huge strides in enchantech and runeboosted technology and this effort continues apace in their desperate struggle to stem the tide of the Imperial legions.
To this end, the magitechs and engineers of the Coalition are constantly striving to improve the CAF’s weapons and armor designs. While the crafting of true spell-forged equipment is a lost art, skilled magitechs at properly equipped factories can achieve notable results by melding enhancement schema and mass-produced conventional arms.
Runeboosted projectile weapons are typically imbued with improved accuracy and damage potential while melee weapons are most often made stronger, lighter and more durable than their contemporary versions. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of CAF logisticians, the limited supply of such weapons restricts their deployment to elite troops, leaving the vast majority of provincial units to simply make do with conventional arms.
Magically enhanced munitions were invented during the Throne War and have become increasingly common on the battlefields of Elandis since the Imperium invasion. Originally limited to artillery cannons for use against skycruiser and city defenses, advances in alchemechanics have led to the development of small calibre varieties to counter improvements in ward defenses and for use against biomagical creatures. Most such munitions fall into three major types:
J.A.M (Jacketed Anti Magic) – Armor piercing munition typically used in infantry rifles, light machine-guns and some heavy support guns for use against rune-enhanced armor and magical creatures.
S.C.A.M (Solid Core Anti-Magic) – Armor piercing round designed for higher caliber guns such as anti-tank weapons and naval cannons. A kinetic-kill weapon relying on penetration runes and high-speed impact to breach armor.
H.E.V. (High Explosive Void) – Dual-purpose chemical explosive warhead enhanced with an anti-vim matrix similar to null grenades. Can be impact or delay fused and is designed to disrupt barriers and runic matrices. Typically used by skycruisers for anti-ship combat but can also be used by field artillery for shelling defensive wards such as those found on city fortifications. An advanced version of the HEV shell, proximity fused for airburst, is used in anti-aircraft/anti-dragon Voidcaster batteries.
Called the “poor man’s spellbreaker”, or “zappers”, null grenades were designed to give infantry a hard-hitting, area-effect anti-magic weapon for use against enemy channelers and magical creatures.
Zappers are similar in size and weight to standard fragmentation grenades and are activated in the same manner. The “pin” simultaneously engages the embedded rune matrix and a timed explosive charge. When activated, the matrix begins rapidly drawing ambient vim into a tiny vimstone core, suffusing it to the point of overload. At that instant the small explosive charge detonates, destroying the core to create a burst of discordant magical energy roughly ten mets in diameter. This disrupted zone lasts for only a few seconds but can short out any functioning rune matrices and disrupt spell forms. This makes null grenades particularly dangerous to channelers or battlemancers utilizing wards or impressed techniqs. As the burst subsides the surrounding vim flows back into the void creating a powerful spellshock that can stun vimsensitive beings.
The discordant resonance of a null grenade is powerful enough to be heard by non-vimsensitives and sounds similar to screeching vehicle tires mixed with an unearthly wailing.
Null grenades, by their nature, can only function in areas with ambient vim, making them virtually useless in dead zones. The explosive charge could certainly blow off fingers if detonated in the hand, but otherwise poses little risk to physical targets possessing at least minimal ballistic protection.