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Phosphorus is a highly reactive mineral, which, though relatively common, is never found as a free element.
In Constantinople during the 16th century, the Ottoman Brotherhood of Assassins crafted their own bombs, and when the Mentor of the Italian Brotherhood Ezio Auditore da Firenze came to Constantinople, the locals taught him their bomb crafting secrets as well. Among these was the use of phosphorus to create smoke bombs with a dense, black smoke.