Ghyll:Ball Lightning Liqueur
Before understanding what Ball Lightning Liqueur is, it is best to determine why it exists in the first place. For every part, there is a counterpart, and such is Ball Lightning Liqueur to "Awal Sleeps", a poorly named weapon that originates from the Evesque Valley.
"Awal Sleeps", as the name suggests, is a weapon based on the principles of Awal shrinkage. Silent but deadly, at the moment of impact a rapid succession of low hums is heard, and then not heard - the hums, as well as explosions, screams, and peripheral environment damage is covered up in the suction of sound during re-obith. By themselves, the weapons are notoriously unstable, but the lack of audible announcement gives them incredible stealth attack capabilities. There are attested instances, though ascribed to "natural occurrences", of small mining communities sleeping soundly, and then awakening in the midst of ruins and collapsed entrances to the mines of jelly necessary for Altoxian Bulb production.
The now rogue scientist Meldersen freely admits he created the weapons from his own research, as a protest to the rebuking of Awal and his colleagues. "Awal Sleeps" is meant derogatorily - that Awal has clouded his judgment and closed his eyes to the possibilities of Meldersen's research. Meldersen has since become a vital member of the Conflict That Is Not Happening and his weapons are deployed against Iganefta; he vows never to slip into the Forgotten Knowledge he once heralded over.
Iganefta, in turn, has developed Ball Lightning Liqueur, based on the same subversion and covert principles of "Awal Sleeps." Deployment is slightly more difficult, however: instead of merely throwing or firing the "Awal Sleeps" parcels, which explode silently on impact, the bottles of liqueur require two people: one to throw them above a target, and another to shatter the bottle with a well-placed stone or arrow. It is because of this somewhat awkward coordination that unexploded bottles of Lightning found in fefferberry bushes are under investigation for their secrets by scientists stationed in Evesque Valley. The initial results of these studies have caused great consternation, foremost due to mounting suspicion that the Anise Engine had a hand in their production; Valley scientists have contracted several occultologists in an attempt to (hopefully) invalidate their fears.
When properly deployed, the effects of Ball Lightning Liqueur are a sight to see: multiple tendrils and families of lighting, literal balls of electrical fire, and a crackling that by sound alone, let alone closeness, raises and singes the hair of most anyone nearby. It was only after many weeks of continuous electrical storms that the inhabitants of Evesque Valley, though no stranger to frequent storms, began to suspect something unnatural at work: such common and focussed destruction were a little suspicious.
The active use of the liqueur and "Awal Sleeps" has only been predominant within the last 50 years, and can be roughly traced to the death of a Bindlet Ball player who kicked with such a fury that more than just nefarious ideas were sparked. Named the Conflict That Is Not Happening in an attempt to deny its continued existence (traceable as far back as the Battle of Barnum Stones), these means of aggression, of late commonly between the southern Iganeftan producers of Altoxian Bulbs, and the northern Evesque Valley manufacturers of Andelphracian Lights, are the latest in a continuing salvo of skirmishes over which lighting technomancy is the strongest.
--Morbus Iff 22:08, 13 Sep 2004 (EDT)