Plasma Weaponry

 

A technology employed most commonly by warriors of the Collected Prides, most plasma weapons are in essence a simple coilgun that uses rings of conductive elements to accelerate supercharged particle projectiles.  While the carefully crafted conducting rods along the length of the weapon’s barrel allow it to produce a sustained torus, the projectile tends to deteriorate fairly rapidly, limiting the weapon's range. The immense energy required to create plasma spheromaks further limits the number of ignitions a weapon can sustain before it must be recharged.

In spite of these drawbacks, plasma weapons are often employed to provide suppressive fire in order to cover the advance of Zhren’thrar troops.  For this reason, the devastating impact of the weapon is prized by Zhren’thrar warriors, over the flexibility of similar technologies such as human EPP weapon systems.  Even a near-miss by the plasma spheromak will generate enough kinetic, thermal and electromagnetic damage to disrupt or severely injure even heavily armored targets.

Construction

 

With their largely rural population distribution, Zhren’thrar Prides are rarely heavily mechanized or industrialized.  For this reason, mass production is typically limited to a handful of staple goods and more specialized equipment, such as plasma weaponry, is machined individually by highly skilled artificers.  Most large Pride communes boast a resident weaponsmith or artificer capable of constructing and repairing these highly delicate weapons.

Plasma Carbines Designed to be easily portable, carbines are carried by Packwarriors and other Warpack troops that value mobility.  These weapons are characterized by a short, “sawdoff” barrel that makes them weldable in one hand when necessary, at the expense of range and accuracy.  Such carbines can typically fire either automatically or fully automatically at a rate of 150-200 ignitions per minute, but can usually only discharge 10-20 times before each power cell is expended.  These weapons tend to fire a less discriminate, more dispersed spheromak than other variants in order to be more effective against targets in defilade, where the plasma reacts in a wide area.

Plasma Rifles A longer, heavier weapon than plasma carbines, rifles boast increased firepower and projectile velocity as a result of the additional propellant coils placed along the elongated barrel of the weapon.  Rifles will often be fitted with a central guiding post that runs down the center of the barrel and helps direct the plasma spheromak into a more sustained torus, allowing for greater range and accuracy.  Typically the construction of these weapons is more advanced than simpler carbines, so their use is often restricted to the ranking Warpack officers that can afford them.

Needle Rifles A hybrid of plasma technology and a simulacrum of EPP weaponry, a needle rifle features a unique double-action mechanism, firing two projectiles simultaneously with every ignition.  The first shot is high-velocity plasma spheromak designed to weaken or destabilize intervening obstacles or armor. The second, a hardened, metallic “needle” projectile launched using the same propellant coil system, easily penetrating through the superheated material impacted by the plasma projectile, conferring the weapon significant armor penetrating properties. These weapons are rare and finely crafted, but highly prized for their accuracy and effectiveness at long range, precision engagements.

Sundering Weapons An offshoot of plasma projectile technology, sundering weapons are highly valuable hand-to-hand implements.  Featuring the galvanized monomolecular blade common among most Zhren’thrar close combat weapons, sundering weapons also mount projector "vanes” that vent a stream of ionized particles ahead of the weapon’s trajectory.  This plasma jet superheats any armor plating an opponent may be equipped with, allowing the weapon to pass through with relative ease. To unarmored opponents, exposure simply to the vented plasma itself is often fatal.

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