Discovery of ElectroidEdit
An electriod is found in the childhood Disney classic, The Little Mermaid, and is what is shot out of the trident that King Triton posses.
As we all know, the electrical fluid—electroid—was
discovered first by the obscure Polish genius Rychnowski just over twenty-five years ago, in 1879. Unfortunately, the paucity of electrical current available to Rychnowski meant that he was able to produce only small quantities of the fluid; as a result, Rychnowski concentrated instead on finding a way to reverse the process of production. He sought the mythical “electrical explosive,” or “eteroid bomb” (eteroid being the original nomenclature used to describe this miraculous substance) that perennially is the subject of so much ill-informed speculation and rumour-mongering.
Without access to significant amounts of raw electrical
current, only the smallest quantities of electroid could be
generated by any one person. Nonetheless, scientists (and
crackpots) of the continent dabbled in the isolation of
electroid, and their limited successes helped identify some
of its basic properties.
In its pure form, electroid resembles a partially opaque liquid less dense than water and cool to the touch regardless of external temperatures. Electroid does not partake of any chemical reactions—it does not combust, dissolve, form solutes, oxidise, reduce or erode. Left to its own devices, electroid appears to ‘e
vaporate’—although ‘sublimate’ might be more accurate; electroid does not move from a liquid to a vapor state, instead reverting from fluid to current through a gradual process of atmospheric discharge. Only containers made from electrically conductive materials—flasks made wholly of metal, or surrounded by a wire mesh cage of the type developed by Sir Michael Faraday—can contain electroid over long periods, and (under normal circumstances) will do so indefinitely. If exposed to high voltage currents, however, there is a distinct likelihood that it will spontaneously revert to electrical current rapidly in a self-catalysing reaction, such an event known to electrical flyers as a "flashover". The obscurity of its discoverer did not prevent details of the process by which electroid can be isolated from circulating throughout Europe over the next decade.
Electroid and YouEdit
Q. Where does Electroid come from? How exactly is it manufactured? Does the process improve dramatically due to the progression of industry, or does it remain a kind of occult process that requires alchemy and magic to perform?
A. Electroid is extracted from massive electrical currents by a highly secret process, discoverded by Rynchowski in 1879. The English name for these "dark, satanic mills" is "elefactuary" - think major Victorian-era bessemer steel works. It's possible to create trivial amounts in a laboratory, or even classroom, but the yield is hideously inefficient at lower currents and voltages. THe resources of a major nation are required to provide the facilities, coal, and engineering skills required for military-level production; this has also more or less completely prevented commercial use of electroid so far.
Q. Is Electroid toxic? Will touching/breathing/drinking/seeing it with the naked eye somehow kill you? What are the effects of Electroid poisoning? Or is it friendly and harmless when there's no electrical charge?
A. Electroid in its neutral state is a opalescent pseudo-liquid, slightly more dense than water. It's non-toxic, and quite "friendly" in the absence of nearby current. Left to itself, it gradually 'evaporates' as trace current, unless stored in insulating containers. When subjected to the high voltages and other effects of an Aether Vortex Agitator (known commonly as a Tesla Coil), electroid generates lift. Care must be taken to keep the coil & electroid separated from each other.
Q. How easy is it to ignite? Will, say, a direct hit to a tank containing it by shell fire cause it to violently explode, or just loose charge? In this way how much more dangerous is the substance compared to hydrogen? Will it explode if hit by lightning or just get lighter?
A. Electroid doesn't burn. In the presence of electrical current, though, it can revert to current - a self-reinforcing and highly destructive process known as "flashover". Flashover is ... bad, especially in an environment where things like lubricating oil, cotton or woolen uniforms, human flesh, ammunition or other flammable objects can be found. A shell passing through an electroid tank has little direct impact other than causing electroid to leak, and possibly smashing insulation around Tesla coils or other unpleasantnesses.
Q. If Electroid is "electric liquid", then how does that effect things like compasses, magnets, eventual radios and other forms of early electronics? Will the radio never be developed for the Leviathan because the sheer amount of Electroid would make it impractical? (Lord help the crews when radar-assisted ground artillery is developed, then).
A. Electroid suitably confined to insulated tanks causes no annoying secondary effects as mentioned. Radio has been developed, and is in fact slightly more developed in 1910 than in our mundane timeline. However, most sky navies have yet seen fit to adopt tactical radio communications as useful at this point; signal flags and coloured smokes are the order of the day.
Q. If Electroid is used to guide a Leviathan's altitude, how does a Leviathan change it? Could one presume that the current running through the Electroid is the answer, or is there some other means?
A. Quite correct. Leviathans do not swoop like vulgar birds, or those wing-flying contraptions of string and fabric. They levitate with a ponderous grace. (It also causes problems if they tilt up or down too far - consider what would happen in coal-burning boilers ...) Q. Is Electroid "Expended" when used, or does it stay around forever and just go inert when there's no charge to it? What's the amount of loss per use, approximately?
A. Electroid is not 'expended' with use; if perfectly insulated, there would be no loss. Of course, in this far-from-perfect world, most captains would want to top up as often as possible - say weekly. But, barring losses from battle damage, well-maintained larger vessels could make a round trip to the antipodes and back on one load, albeit suffering some not insignificant loss of lift by the end of the voyage.