I need some help from all you science nerds out there. (and I use the term nerd with love and endearment!) I’ve been trying to toy with alchemy, trying to make it more understandable (at least to me). I thought if I could figure out some rules about it, that it might start to drive some missions and backstories. So here’s what I’m starting with:
Humans breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. For lack of a better term - plants breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. The two systems work together in a symbiotic relationship. (Please don’t get too technical if I’m using some of these terms incorrectly.)
So the same should be true in alchemy. There must be offsetting reactions out there. Case in point - dragons breathe out fire. So shouldn’t there be something that “creates” air, water or earth? But before I figure that out, I do have to figure out dragon fire breath.
At first I assumed that dragon breath was some manner of “normal” fire - carbon combines with oxygen to create carbon dioxide and heat. I’ve been around a lot of campfires, and trying to figure out how much carbon a dragon would need to consume in order to get that kind of fire delivered, and it doesn’t seem reasonable. (and dragons can’t fly, but it’s fantasy, but let’s keep going anyway)
So I thought - instead of just saying it’s magic, why not say it’s alchemy. Still magic, but now we’re getting into the nitty gritty. OK, if it is magic, what is it? I’m going to speculate that it’s a nuclear reaction. The dragon consumes and stores some manner of heavy metal. Because the dragon is not sorting the different isotopes, the best fuel heavy metals are not as dense as you would find in a modern weapon (which I believe should be 85%+ of the radioactive stuff). So what I’m saying is that the dragon subconsciously uses alchemy to cause a nuclear reaction within it. Instead of several kg of fissionable material, it has maybe several grams of the metal and (I think I read maybe 3% of uranium is the fission fuel kind) only some much smaller subset is fuel. So when a dragon breathes the E=mC2 equation produce a lot of energy, but nothing on the scale of a nuclear warhead.
OK - So here’s here I need your help: Let’s assume that if the dragon can naturally create a nuclear reaction through alchemy, that the dragon’s body can withstand the effects (because I give dragon hide natural resistances to fire). But does this make sense? Could a small nuclear reaction within the dragon be focused and projected out via the mouth in what most humans would believe to be fire?
Assuming you completely shoot holes in my theory, what do you think it is? The idea that there is a small portal in their throat that opens its way to some elemental source of fire doesn’t work for me - that’s not a reasonable magical use in my mind (just as I despise the concept of a portal to another dimension behind the eyes of the world’s greatest superhero).