Daggers of Donaldham
The Vivus Hydromatic Paroxylizer
Emotion Controlling Water Cannon
The Vivus Hydromatic Paroxylizer
A prototype weapon created by Dr. Archibald Vivus, the Hydromatic Paroxylizer is an outgrowth of the doctor’s work in providing hydrotherapy treatments to women suffering from hysteria. At his clinic in Smogtown, Dr. Vivus regularly uses a version of a water cannon to induce in his patients a “hysterical paroxysm”, relaxing the body muscles and calming rampant emotions. Using the knowledge gained from these treatments, Dr. Vivus began researching how, by applying water streams of varying pressure, temperature, and rhythm, one could incite other types of paroxysm in humanoids.
His resulting theory proceeds thusly:
1. If a given subject is similar enough to a baseline human as to have the same placement of organs and pressure points; and
2. If a given subject is similar enough to a baseline human as to have a sympathetic nervous system with an approximately similar amount of cranial organs; and
3. If a given subject is similar enough to a baseline human as to have a similar capacity for emotion and cognition;
4. Then, via the application of an outside stimulus, the subject may be made to exhibit the symptoms of a desired emotion or mental state.
Put simply, the body can be thought of as a lock with many different pass-keys. Each key is a combination of pressure points hit with the proper amount of force at the proper temperature for the proper amount of cycles per second. For instance, the “key” for inciting anger reactions in a subject could be (35 psi + 373.15 K + 60 Hz to the solar plexus). Dr. Vivus has found that water is a particularly appropriate substance to use for this purpose, as it is very simple for him to quickly change the force, temperature, and cycle rate on the fly.
The current Paroxylizer that Dr. Vivus is using is actually the Mark III. The earliest version was engineered by Vivus during his time in the Donald Guard, but it was much smaller, and capable only of a single solid stream for incapacitating targets. This Mark I prototype was tested in the field during the sortie on the Goblin/Halfling Encampment, and Vivus’ subsequent journey back to friendly territory.
Several years later, Dr. Vivus began performing initial tests at his clinic of the new room-sized Mark II, but he soon reached the research limits of a controlled environment. He constructed a more portable version that could be operated by a single person using a rifle-like dispenser, connected to a 16 liter pressurized tank by a flexible rubber hose. The dispenser unit contains internal heating and cooling elements as well as controls for cycles and stream pressure. The tank can be filled from any convenient water source, and is pressurized by a hand-pump. This is the current Mark III iteration.
Though Dr. Vivus is an accomplished scientist and machinist, the unit has proven to be temperamental in the field. Firstly, the entire prototype is bulky and heavy to wear, making for a slowed movement rate and difficulty when avoiding detection. Second, the tank size is limited to facilitate portability, so the weapon can only be used a few times before it needs to be refilled. And lastly, the unit needs frequent maintenance, requiring the doctor to carry with him certain tools and specialized replacement parts at all times.