Sturginium (also called Element 270) is a rare element found in the Dystopian World, and acts as a catalyst allowing the construction of many of the vehicles in the world, and powers much of the technology used by the various factions.
Sturginium is named after Lord Barnabas Sturgeon, the Lord of Antarctica, who discovered a way to stabilise Element 270 sufficently for industrial purposes.
The first discovery of Sturginium has never been fully described in the fiction around the Dystopian Wars, but it had been appearing around the world at least prior to 1800.
The first recorded mention of Sturginium in the Dystopian World was during the 1820's, during Barnabas Sturgeon's education at the University of Berlin. In 1825, two of Sturgeon's professors, geologist Herman von Luck and astronomer Federico Manzzini had managed to discover fragments of a blue-green crystal in ore mined from a quarry in Bohemia-Moravia. Although samples were sent back to the University, they never arrived, and it is impled that the samples were intercepted by the Teutonic Knights, and the two professors were forced to keep quiet about the incident.
It was during his explorations of Antarctica in 1845 that Element 270 once again was sighted - this time, during Sturgeon's fight on May 7th, it was the glow of Element 270 crystals that marked the location of what would become known as The Vault - from the air, it appeared that the ice was massivly disturbed, pushed up from underneath by the crystals. Samples of these crystals were also taken back to Britannia for Stugeon's presentation to the Royal Society in 1850, but were dismissed as fabrications.
Significant quantities of Sturginium exist on the Antarctican continent, with veins seemingly spiralling out from the location of The Vault. However, veins of the crystal also exist in other locations around the world, albeit in smaller quantities than that found in Antarctica.
Generally, Sturginium is described as a blue-green crystal, that naturally grows in various locations around the world, both as a stand-alone crystaline structure, and as fragments within other ores.
Industrially, Sturginium is primarially utilised as a catalyst - alloying or impregnating stuginium and other materials results in the properties of the base material being boosted in a way previous unthought of. Additionally, it appears possible to melt or vaporise Sturginium into a liquid, for use as a fuel or similar - in the introduction to the Dystopian Wars rulebooks, it is said that "A single, small flask of Element 270 is enough to power all of Britannia's giant Land Ships for three days!"
One of the most common uses of Sturginium in the Dystopian World is alloying it with steel, resulting in a material 20 times lighter and stronger than its base component. This lighter material is then used to construct the massive vehicles seen on the battlefields.
Another use is in the creation of Sturgicite - coal laced with sturginium, which burns hotter and longer than standard coal. This appears to form the base fuel used by the ships of many navies, but its use is not without risk - during Operation Sirrocco campaign, a Britannian collier ship carrying Sturgicite was set on fire during a convoy raid, and it burned violently for days before being sunk.
Other uses of Element 270 include
- Sturginium Thermal Pressure Engines used by the Russian White Navy
- Sturginium-laced fuels used by the Ottomans to power their Djiin Drives
Behind the ScenesEdit
In some ways, Sturginium can be classified as a MacGuffin, an item that drives the plot, but is never actually seen - although it is a vital part of the world, and, in some ways, drives the conflict, Sturginium is always a background component.
In chemistry terms, there is no element known to modern science that bears the name Sturginium, or has an atomic number of 270 - the heaviest element to be discovered, as of 2014, is Ununoctium (Uuo, element 118, with the name actually being a sequential placeholder), which has only ever been synthesized for very short periods of time.
Additionally, "Sturginium" is sometimes used as an inside joke and catch-all explanation on how Dystopian World technology works - similar in how "aliens" is sometimes used as a joking (or sometimes semi-serious) explanation on how ancient civilizations built large structures such as the Pyramids of Giza.