The Net is a purple alloy with a net-like lattice pattern on it's surface. It was independently discovered by both George Starkey and Isaac Newton in the 17th Century. Both discovered it via the same method of investigation - they decoded an ancient Roman myth.
The myth in question deals with Vulcan catching his wife Venus in bed with the god Mars. As punishment, he hangs the adulterous (purple) couple from the ceiling by a net for all to see. In Alchemical terms, Vulcan is fire, Venus is Copper, and Mars is Iron. You use fire and iron to produce antimony regulus, then combine it with copper inside a crucible in an athanor. The resulting purple alloy has a crystaline structure that gives it a net-like surface pattern. The details of the myth provide the formula and steps of the alchemical process.
Newton and Starkey both believed ancient myth was full of such hidden alchemical knowledge, intentionally hidden mysteries and recipes passed down by an unwitting public that didn't know the meaning or relevance of the tales they told. See also Coded Myth.
The Net is one of the stepping stones toward the Philosopher's Stone. If you decode enough of the old myths, supposedly you'll develop all the alloys and substances necessary to make the Elixir of Life and turn lead to gold.
Game and Story Use
- All this secret alchemical knowledge encoded in our myths may be the work of Ancient Astronauts or a Secret Society of Prehistoric Witches or refugees from Atlantis. It gives them a cover story, so they're library of myth they and their descendants study won't stand out as magic or valuable.
- Perhaps they are also Time Travelers, and have developed this body of coded myth, mnemonic devices and bardic tradition so that they don't have to bring repair manuals with them into the past. Should a time machine break down anywhen in the past 5000 years, the Veteran Chrononaut just visits a temple or library to brush up on the mythic tales that reveal the fundamentals of chronomancy or temporal engineering.
- Colors the way you look at mythology, eh? What secret meaning might be hidden in your favorite tale? Time to Reverse engineer.
- The Net might have some as-yet-unknown magical or scientific properties. Applied Phlebotinum, anyone?
- Given that the net restrains two Gods in the myth, the substance might have the ability to constrain, channel, or neutralize the power of the Gods, or just supernatural entities in general.
- Considering that Vulcan was pissed, Venus is lusty and sexual, and Mars was known for his emotional outbursts, the substance might have powers over passionate emotions.