Carenocarbide is a naturally-occuring chemical compound found mainly in the region of the Barrier Range, though it has been discovered in other regions. Its primary use is as a low-powered explosive. Though not dangerous in its natural form, if the substance is exposed to oxygen and water vapor for an extended period of time, it eventually reacts and forms a potent, fast-burning compound very similar to gunpowder. It was favored extensively for this use throughout the Mage Wars, as it could be combined with Magic-Tech to produce very powerful weapons.
Though some deposits are found near the surface, open-pit mining is generally avoided. Tunnel mines are kept dry whenever possible and dis-used shafts are often purposefully collapsed. Several large-scale mine accidents have been recorded throughout history, but by the Golden Age, the preferred method of extracting the material was a sort of "run and gun" approach, in which mines are hastily set up, quantities extracted, then destroyed, before the remaining material inside has time to react with the air.
Carenocarbide is naturally a solid, though is not very hard and can be easily mined. If wetted and allowed to dry, it becomes much harder, but this begins the conversion process.
Carenocarbide is light-grey in its natural form, and if wetted and allowed to dry, turns white. Solid blocks of the substance are quite reflective and hold a good polish.
NOTE: When dissolved in water, Carenocarbide produces acid. This acid can further react with more Carenocarbide to produce a substance similar to acetylene gas, which is flammable.
Carenocarbide explosives are typically produced by grinding the raw material into a powder, mixing it with water, then spreading it on trays and allowing it to react. Carenocarbide can only be set off by fire, so the "wet" compound is harmless. The mixture is then placed in direct sunlight, an important step in the reaction that helps it absorb oxygen. Once the wet mix has had enough time to sit, it is carefully kiln-dried and either packed in bricks (to be used as an explosive) or ground back into a powder (to be used like gun powder).
Demand for Carenocarbide dropped off dramatically with the end of the Mage Wars; the Golden Age saw a shift towards more advanced military weapons that required more sophisticated and precise explosive compounds. While still used in some niche roles, most modern Carenocarbide produced is synthetic, and little to no mining continues. Its most extensive use was by the Goblins.