Thursday, September 5, 2013

Page 225

Hector’s time with Lance was decidedly less nerve-wracking, however. Working with metal somehow made things easier, perhaps because Hector felt it was more immediately useful. He couldn’t simply take the armor that he worked on with Lance, of course, but there was something about the process of making it. Ideas arose almost involuntarily.

Even before getting started, he took inspiration from Lance’s gauntlets. Replicating them from scratch was still beyond him, but he realized that he didn’t have to do that. Instead, he ventured to a hardware store and purchased a pair of thin, well-fitting gloves. From there, he created an iron framework for them. Rather than making a simple coating, he began by materializing multiple rings around each finger. Then he filled in the gaps, excepting the joints, and suddenly, all of his fingers were covered with iron, yet he could still move them, just like real gauntlets. Nothing held the metal together, however, so the pieces slid right off when he put his hands to his sides.

And that was the trickiest part. He had to form tiny spikes in each piece, all with corresponding holes, so that they would interlock and stay in place.

Then, it was only a matter of covering the forearms and the backs of his hands with metal. The palms were left bare so that he could still make a proper fist, but at that point, he looked at his work and smiled. He had actual gauntlets. They might not have been as intricate as the ones Lance made, but they were probably more comfortable thanks to the gloves. And they were functional. Mostly. Coating the forearms in iron rendered him unable to remove his hands from the gloves.

He annihilated his work and started over. Garovel told him to use it as a form of practice, to concentrate and see how quickly he could correctly form all the individual pieces. And it was far more difficult when he pressed himself for speed. Interlocking all the pieces was of course the most agonizing part. Even after hours of practice, he was still taking upwards of fifteen minutes to form everything correctly.


  1. You know... most people ignore the fact that an actual full suit of armor had different layers, the first one of them being an actual cloth, to prevent self-amputations when falling from a horse. Not much of a problem for Hector, I guess, but would make it more comfortable, and would disperse the force of a blunt impact better.

    Then, sometimes they'd wear a ringmail over that, and below the actual plates.

    But still, I'm surprised how Hector hasn't thought of the most obvious solution for him, with his ability. One that requires almost no skill, protects A LOT, and can be created in almost no time: Studded armor. Depending on the density of the stufs, it protects MORE than people think. He'd only need 2 sturdy shirts sewed to each other, and he's create the studs in the space in between them. No need for finesse, just lumps of metal...

    Other than that, a plaques armor would be also a very easy solution for him... and given the experimentation he's doing, I wouldn't be surprised if that's his first real suit. A plaque armor is just a normal shirt, of any flexible and durable material, with plaques of iron sewed in. It creates some gaps between the plaques, but it works.

    To be honest, I'm kinda pissed at how unimaginative is Hector being with his ability. Manifesting metals, AT A RANGE, can be even more useful in combat than vomiting acid. Not to mention that, if he CAN create other metals rather than iron, Garovel should be forcing him to study the propierties of different metals.

    Now, the fun part: Would be a PURE IRON armor usfeul? Nope. At all. Iron is quite malleable, which means it changes its form without breaking with little effort. That's the reason we use Steel, instead Iron. Cast iron is less maleable, but way more brittle. A hard enough impact (normal strentgh, with a hammer) would break it, again, you need Steel.

    But still is quite easy to create. It just require iron and carbon. Usually you would require to heat the iron, mix the heated iron with carbon, and cool if very fast... but since Hector can create atomic iron, and aggregate it until it's metalic iron, I think it's safe to assume that ANY iron he created while touching his skin CAN contain trace ammounts of carbon, thus making it a low quality steel.

    Once again, his helmet IS steel (what we buy as "iron" is actually steel), and he's pretty much inmune to pain in super fun family time mode... so iron could work for him, under those conditions.

    Would a knife go thru iron? If enough force was used... inhuman levels of force would be required. Would a bullet go thru iron? Definetly. But it'd also go thru thin enough steel...

    And finally (and sorry for the long post) I don't think Hector has been creating iron at all. Pure iron is gray, yes, but quite clear. The usual dark colour on iron comes from impurities, which Hector's "iron" wouldn't have. Steel CAN be quite darker than iron. So I think Hector HAS been creating steel all this time, but he just didn't noticed it, and called it iron, as most people would... Maybe that's the reason Garovel went into chemistry teacher mode after they found of this "iron", and just forgot to mention it afterwards, cause, well, there was no reason to.

    1. I was under the impression that Hector created pure elemental iron, because servant abilities use elements (only they use elements from the periodic table, instead of the classical greek elements), and it's tougher than normal because, hey, magic.

      Technically, considering the whole "what you create belongs to you completely" thing, the long version of "hey, magic" would be that he subconsciously makes it harder because he expects metal to be hard. With more practice/awareness of his abilities, he might be able to make it bend, which could make it simpler for him to create armor he can move in.

      Other theory: Hector can arrange iron atoms in some manner of crystalline structure that sacrifices plasticity for toughness, but either has not been discovered by metallurgists or straight up does not occur naturally.

      But, yes, it's very much true that there are simpler armors to make than full plate.

    2. Different problems with that. First, elemental iron IS light grey, while what Hector has created is "darker"... so it's clearly not iron.

      Second: Steel is TWO basic elements. The only difference is carbon atoms included in between the iron atoms.

      Third: Iron is NOT a crystal. Iron has NO crystaline structure. Iron is a metal. Metals have a different kind of atomic bond. It's called metallic bond. This metallic bond is what makes them malleable, and resistant to fracture. There's simply no "crystaline structure for pure iron"

      Magic reinforcing it... could be, but creates a plothole. He learnt to use his imaginary half AFTER he first reinforced his helmet. Having him create steel has him: 1) Creating PURE elements, just in a particular spatial disposition, 2) Explaining why it's that hard and 3) justifying that Hector needs to go to school, as Garovel insists. That would explain ALL the chemistry things he said when first discovered the power... so it's an elegant solution, that requires NO editing, and NO change in the text, BUT allows for changes if they're required.

    3. Correction: metals can form crystalline structure through heat treating processes such as those used in crafting swords. The size of the crystals are part of what determine if the metal is soft and flexible or hard and brittle. This would simply be harder to notice in pure metals than alloys.

    4. This is actually something I noticed, but for all intents and purposes ignored. Elemental iron has a lot of weaknesses as you mentioned, and I imagined all of the inconsistencies to merely be because of Hector's lack of skill. He can't make basic shapes, so I would really not be surprised if he were pulling in all kinds of impurities from the surrounding area. I don't remember exact page numbers, but the iron seemed actually really brittle for what it was supposed to be.

      Going further into the properties of elemental iron, the fact that it easily changes shape shouldn't be as important as how good of a conductor iron actually is. Hector can actually be a walking lightning rod and be susceptible to heat and electricity. Part of this is covered by what you mentioned with the armor having cloth layers that can actually insulate the person wearing the armor (and we saw Hector using work gloves as a base for his gauntlets/vambraces). On the other hand, he could also use his iron abilities to burn or shock someone once he can use them well enough.

      And about the metal crystal thing: I'm not entirely positive pure metals can actually form crystals on their own (I'm in doubt tbh). I am entirely positive that they can form crystals when combined with other elements (table salt is the best example of this, sodium with chlorine). For swordcrafting, the smith should be using some kind of alloy (steel), which would then fall into the same category as salt. The toughness of the sword blade would actually come from the carbon to iron ratio since that will actually form crystals.

      More might come later, out of time. RD

  2. If Hector attempted to create iron inside something solid -a tree for example- would it displace the object or would it fuse with it without altering the total volume or would it simply fail to form at all.

    1. At Hector's current skill level, it would simply fail.

      As for all the other comments on this page... I LOVE SEEING THE THEORIZING AND SPECULATION. And that's all you'll be getting out of me on this one.

    2. yah, I think we're going to speculate A LOT about abilities, so I made a reddit post, mostly so we have all the discussion in a single page, instead having to check 10 or 20 posts for it xD IT's in the reddit for The Zombie Knight.

    3. I like that you at least have some form of plan for how to adequately explain this at least.
      Has there been a definitive definition of hectors imaginary powers or is that merely what would allow him to hurt geoffrey?

    4. To my understanding, imaginary powers haven't REALLY been explained yet, other than "adds oomph to powers, and allows to hurt imaginary beings". They allow to hurt hector cause they can break the imaginary portion on hector's red shield. Same imaginary reinforcing would also allow to kill a reaper. We've been told that "that's the basic". And you "need to synchronize souls more" for that part of the powers to advance.

    5. Good idea, Shanara. For anyone wanting to join in that discussion, reddit is here, by the way.

  3. I would personally favor carbon version of hectors power or some type of manipulation power on a common substance.
    Silicon, water, carbon, or nitrogen as the top options; anything easy to acquire would be extremely effective and fun as well.

  4. I love seeing Hector's creative side cut loose

  5. I'm surrounded by nerds! XD

  6. Pure metals actually do form crystals. It's just that generally they're too small to see. The technical term is "polycrystalline".