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I was recently playing an RPG, and a discrepancy came up: What should it take to contain a Fire/Ice bird, or Phoenix?

A little background: A Phoenix has been defeated and fallen into a pile of ashes/dust, but has had its ashes gathered and put in a restraint facility.

What would this restraint facility be?

Limits:

  • A fire bird needs access to oxygen to regenerate and survive - otherwise, it would disintegrate immediately - it needs to flame to survive.
  • An ice bird needs water to reform at all.
  • A fire bird is not solid in form - it is made of flame. An ice bird is made of ice, hence solid.
  • The ashes need not be in one pile to reform, but separating them will make it more difficult (Less for the reincarnation to regenerate from).
    • It can regenerate from any one if the piles of ash, however.
  • It must prevent it from reforming, and escaping. This means that you should always have a pile of ash or a Phoenix who can't get out.
    • The restraint system cannot use gravity only to contain it. That doesn't stop/hamper it from reforming.

Apart from this, anything will fly with the DM (No pun intended). Bonus points if you can figure out how to create a generator from a phoenix that escapes the mechanism.

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    $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Sep 8 '18 at 3:39
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch As it currently is, I am unable to access chat, due to a ban. Moving comments on my post to a media I can't access is active exclusion. $\endgroup$ – FreezePhoenix Sep 13 '18 at 14:14
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    $\begingroup$ @FreezePhoenix We clean up comments when they become overly verbose or a distraction from the question at hand. They are intended to be ephemeral not permanent. If specific concerns remain about the fitness of your question you are still free to comment here. $\endgroup$ – James Sep 13 '18 at 19:00
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Use the rebirth
put the ashes in water. When (if!) he try to reincarnate, the water will heat due to the extreme temperature of the rebirth explosion.
At 3000°C (and I hope your phoenix get flames hotter than that, it wouldn't be half as hot as the sun surface otherwise), half of the water turn into hydrogen and oxygen. One (oxygen) is the atom responsible of the majority of combustions, the other is very explosive when mixed with air.
What is the result of a fire bird into a room full of combustible and explosives ? Well, more combustion and explosions, until all oxygen is depleted, and the combustion (as well as the phoenix life if it survives the VERY loud explosion) ends.

Furthermore, you could harness the energy of the explosion with the principle of a motor. enter image description here
(Credits to the Wikipedia page of an engine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engine)

The bird would be in the combustion room, you could add water as fuel, and wait for it to rebirth again.

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    $\begingroup$ This assumes the water won't prevent it from reincarnating. Other than that, it seems like a sound idea. $\endgroup$ – FreezePhoenix Sep 7 '18 at 13:32
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    $\begingroup$ @FreezePhoenix Indeed. But I hope water doesn't prevent it, it would be... disappointing. If it was the case, you could just dump the ashes in the toilets, and... off you go phoenix! $\endgroup$ – Don Pablo Sep 7 '18 at 14:52
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    $\begingroup$ Toilets? Nah, dissolve the phoenix ashes in a big pot, then ration it into a load of small but super-expensive trinkets for the travelers. $\endgroup$ – John Dvorak Sep 7 '18 at 14:59
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    $\begingroup$ The phoenix has been split into parts. All they should get is a big plate of hot chicken wings. Boneless, if you filter out calcium beforehand. $\endgroup$ – John Dvorak Sep 7 '18 at 15:17
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    $\begingroup$ @FreezePhoenix what does happen to the other piles of ash when the phoenix regenerate ? does they stop being magical ? can they still explode ? can we use them as fake-aphrodisiac potions ? "With those TRUE phoenix ashes, you will be as hot and caliente as... Well, the phoenix!" $\endgroup$ – Don Pablo Sep 7 '18 at 15:48
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There is no fire without oxygen

Take the phoenix ashes and store them in a vacuum. Or inside a chamber filled with Carbon Dioxide, Halon or some other fire suppressor.

There is no ice without water

Take the cryo-phoenix ashes (is it ashes?) and store them in a completely dehydrated space. A vacuum works again.

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    $\begingroup$ @TCAT117 If it reforms and there is not enough space, you better have made that tank out of something really durable. $\endgroup$ – FreezePhoenix Sep 7 '18 at 12:25
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    $\begingroup$ This is quite doable even in medieval times. Put a candle under a glass jar to prepare a CO2 atmosphere. As for water - you just need to import a small amount of rice from China and call it a day. $\endgroup$ – John Dvorak Sep 7 '18 at 13:46
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    $\begingroup$ What's the volume of a phoenix's ashes? Human creation leaves only a small pile of inorganic material, so I assumed phoenix would be the same, the rest of the stuff synthesized from carbon dioxide and water. $\endgroup$ – John Dvorak Sep 7 '18 at 14:57
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    $\begingroup$ @JohnDvorak The volume would be roughly 1/100 that of the phoenix... so most would fit in a mason jar. New item on bucket list: Make a jar at home that can contain a medivial creature $\endgroup$ – FreezePhoenix Sep 7 '18 at 15:03
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    $\begingroup$ Does fire require oxygen in D&D? Nobody in our world even considered the possibility of the "oxygen theory", much less came up with any practical tests, before the 18th century, so it's not like it would have to be true in a medievalish D&D world to be consistent with observation. It's also hard to see how the oxygen theory could be true in a universe that's made of 4/8/12 fundamental elements, one of them being fire, each of which comes from its own elemental place. $\endgroup$ – abarnert Sep 8 '18 at 1:05
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Bury it really deep. This is a variation from Kingledion's answer - there is very little oxygen underground. Encase it in concrete to keep worms, moles etc. from ventilating it with their tunnels. This takes care of the fiery ones. For the icy ones, do the same, but make sure the case is also made impermeable first.

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    $\begingroup$ Another thing you could do: Make the concrete with it! $\endgroup$ – FreezePhoenix Sep 7 '18 at 12:34
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    $\begingroup$ Also, when you get deep enough, it starts to get pretty warm, meaning that the icy one would have a bit of trouble freezing anything. And even if it forms, it still has a mile of packed earth above it... $\endgroup$ – AndyD273 Sep 7 '18 at 13:22
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    $\begingroup$ @FreezePhoenix that's the real answer. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Sep 7 '18 at 15:16
  • $\begingroup$ Make a ball of concrete with Phoenix ashes and stick it in a dam. Not gonna go anywhere for quite a while... $\endgroup$ – FreezePhoenix Sep 7 '18 at 15:19
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    $\begingroup$ @FreezePhoenix but when it does, everything goes with it. $\endgroup$ – John Dvorak Sep 7 '18 at 15:47

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