Maxwell's Thermic Engine

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Version 0.28: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
A strange sword, one blade blistering hot and the other icy cold. When it hits its target the thermal gradient increases. What causes this effect is unknown but it is rumored that otherworldly forces are involved.

It becomes more effective when it hits something. This effect fades over time.

Maxwells thermic engine.png the +2 Maxwell's thermic engine[1]

+2 double sword

Simultaneous Flaming and Freezing brands (applies both)
Enchantment increases as you land hits and decreases over time

Enchantment mechanics

The engine's enchantment increases by 1 or 2 each time its wielder lands a hit (including those from ripostes from the fencer's gloves), up to a maximum of +14.

The enchantment decreases by 1 for each turn spent not hitting a creature (i.e. not attacking, moving, waiting, missed swings, etc.), but will not decrease past the base level of +2. The enchantment immediately drops to +2 if the sword is unwielded.

Desirability

High. Double swords are already one of the best one-handed Long Blades, and flaming and freezing are among the best brands available for them. A double sword that can make use of both brands at once and has the potential for a very high enchantment makes it easily one of the strongest one-handed weapons in the game, assuming both elements aren't resisted.

Do note that increasing the thermic engine's enchantment requires actually hitting your foes. If you're facing one or more highly evasive creatures from a cold start, it may take you a while to really get the sword going; a more conventionally-enchanted sword might perform better in this circumstance.

This weapon will cauterize a hydra's heads like any other weapon of flaming, then apply freezing for the chance to slow.

History

References