Laser weapons are by far the predominant type of ranged weapon in the M’rowan Commonwealth, ranging in size from small pencil-sized ‘holdout pistols’, through the large ‘dinosaur lasers’, and though even larger vehicle-mounted cannons up to the powerful planetary defence batteries that protect important capital worlds such as Dr’zhint or Ma’shorra-kai.
Regardless of size, all laser weapons use the same principle: A beam of light is passed through a special ‘laser crystal’, which intensifies and focuses it to the point where it gains enough energy to burn through solid materials.
The advantages of laser weapons include very high accuracy and rate of fire, and a complete absence of recoil. Their disadvantages are a somewhat lower damage potential than could be achieved with projectile weapons of a similar technology level, and interference from smoke, fog or other environmental factors that could break up the light beam.Still, M’rowan laser weapons are years, if not decades ahead of even the most advanced weapons found on Earth.
Laser weapons do also exist on Earth, but these use special reactive chemicals to focus the laser beam, such as hydrogen-fluorine or oxygen-iodine. Since they tend to be quite dangerous in use due to the emission of poisonous gases, as well as somewhat fragile in construction, they have only found widespread use as point-defence weapons on military space ships.