We continue our fiery theme this week with an array that is sure to give your enemies something to complain about.
This week we show you the Heartfire array.
Notation: Transmute, within an area 100 times greater than the array, Blood into Fire if Human Blood is present and Sustain that Fire.
Description: The sadistic footman who first came up with this array’s design called it Heartburn in a dark and ironic attempt at humour. After seeing the horror that it can inflict upon the human body, everyone else in the city decided that perhaps this was one of those things best not joked about. And so the name Heartfire came about. Not as humorous nor as accurate anymore and when first heard, it does make the array seem far more gentile than it truly is.
At first glance, the way this array works seem fairly straightforward: it transmutes blood to fire and sustains it; since this only happens in the presence of human blood, you can tell that it is intended to work inside the human body. With all of this, it is easy to work out that the intention of this array design is to create a fire within the human body, presumably in order to create as much pain and suffering as possible in order to keep an enemy occupied and distracted while you do what you do best.
If you followed along so far, you would have been entirely correct in your assumptions, however there is one thing you are missing: this array has an insidious nature that works within a loophole of the rules of the arrays, and more specifically the way that the array’s field of effect works.
An array’s field of effect stretches out from the array in all directions facing forward from the centrum. Put it flat on the ground and the field will move left and right, forward and back, and up but not down. If there is no Contain rune or Size rune applied to the array, then the field of effect will equal the energy put into array.
This is all well and good, but there is a limitation to the field of effect. While it can flow around objects, it cannot move through them unless they are targeted by the array. Put a rabbit on top of a table, and an array below it with a array that simply says Create a Containment Field that Excludes Rodents and the nothing will happen to the rabbit. That is because the table is blocking the containment field (the array’s field of effect). If the array said Create a Containment Field that Excludes Rodents and Wood then goodbye Mr. Rabbit, because now the field of effect is targeting the table it can move through it.
Now back to the Heartfire. Ordinarily, blood inside a human cannot be targeted because your skin blocks the array’s field of effect. But break through the skin, with a bullet inscribed with this array for example, and then the blood is fair game. Mostly, the body is filled with small capillaries and veins that can be closed off by muscle movement and collapsed by sudden and severe trauma, like a bullet inscribed with this array for example, and so the blood that this array affects will only be that pooling around it. However, should you be lucky enough to strike a major artery (or even the heart itself) then this array’s field of effect can flow into nearly every artery it can find, transmuting blood across the body into an everlasting fire.
That is why this array is so horrific, because it can destroy the body from within, and the fire it creates will last long after the soul has left the body. Truly an array that would make the mad king Markus VI ‘the Incendiary’ proud.
Want to put your arrays to good use? Use them in The Ruined People, the new campaign book released just this month. Click the image above and see what the arrays can do in the grand city of Middelburg.