The history of metallurgy in the common history between the Elves, Dwarves, and Humans spans centuries, though only in the last two hundred years or so have any major improvements and advances been made to metallurgy. Aloria has gone through various phases of metallic popularity in which copper, bronze, and iron were the major product used during forging and casting. Various races have developed unique techniques, such as the Dwarves and Elves, and some yet have been lost to the wear and tear of time as Empires fell and rose in the wake of one another. Metallurgy is by no means advanced in Aloria, but certain techniques can have very unique and purpose driven results that make metallurgy a truly unique craft. For help with minerals and irons used in Metallurgy, consult the Minerals Page.
The earliest records of metallurgy date back to the beginning of the Elven Empire with the discovery of tin and copper. Copper in particular was very popular among the early Elves as it was easy to find, and provided a solid base for weapons and tools with copper casting. The earliest method of copper smithing was to simply create clay molds and to cast heated copper into them, letting the mixture cool down and set into a shape. By 2100 BC, the Elven Empire’s growth required a more sustainable and durable material for their crafts. Eventually, iron forging was developed and Elves started to craft their own techniques for forging. Elven mages started getting involved in the casting process to provide more powerful hammers and bellows, to create fires ever higher, and to strike the metal ever harder. Around 900 BC, the Elves developed a technique called Sky Forging, a highly secretive method of forging by funneling a massive fire through the length of a huge tower, and striking the metal at the very top of the tower, hence the name. This resulted in Hathels of exquisite brilliance of which it was said that you could see the stars reflect in the metal.
Around 200 BC, the Elves developed the more dangerous Funnel Forging, a forging method reliant completely on void essence, not even fire. Void magic was used to superheat the metal as well as cooling it, thus creating a forging process very strongly reliant on mages. This often resulted in crafts with an unnerving finish to it, an unnatural black glow would faintly radiate from the objects. Both forging techniques were lost when the Elven Empire came crashing down. The Orcs killed most of the Funnel Forgers and the Sky Forges were destroyed, only a few ruined towers remain where Orcs usually build their camps around.
The Dwarves had their own forging techniques based largely on the materials they themselves were mining far further down than the Elves could. The Dwarves developed so called “Magma Crucibles”, where a constant flow of lava was used to superheat an ever-shifting firestone slab. Firestone was a special kind of stone that no matter the temperature, never melted, yet always radiated the same heat on the other side. Magma Crucibles were capable of purifying greater quantities of impurities from ore, thus resulting in more pure materials. Their gold was more radiant and their iron more durable. The Dwarves also developed Littite forging, a special technique based on the superheated Littite mineral that would always heat the metal just enough to make it easily malleable, but too cold to actually risk breaking it. Additionally, when the metal was finished it received a thin blue coating that glittered faintly. Unfortunately as with the Elven Empire, these forging techniques were lost. The only holds with Magma Crucibles were lost to the Dakkar, the crucibles used as a last resort to fight the Dakkar by flooding the lava into the tunnels. Littite forging was lost when the Cataclysm occurred. The violent magical storms turned all the Littite in the ground and on the surface into Lazurite, Lapis Lazuli. Nobody really knows why this happened, and some speculate some Littite may still be around deep in the Dwarven holds beyond the reach of anyone but the Dakkar who are ignorant to the material’s uses. After the Dwarven Kingdoms and the Elven Empire collapses, the craft of metallurgy went into its own Dark age before the Humans started pioneering several new methods of casting.
The one hundred years after the Cataclysm saw mostly the century of recycling. Humans and Elves alike reused weapons dating back to the Elven Empire or simply smelted iron objects or furniture that the Elves had made into crude weapons. Around 120 AC, an acute shortage of usable non-rusted weapons caused the Humans in particular to find new methods of casting while the Elves switched to wooden weaponry. Dwarves who had by this time lost the wars with the Dakkar interacted with the Humans, thus exchanging knowledge on casting and it was thus that the Humans developed the Blast Furnace based on the old Dwarven Magma Crucible design with some vague Elven Sky Forging in the back of their minds. The Blast Furnace allowed cleaner production, as well as production on a much larger scale of metal ingots. These ingots could then be sold through to smithies and and various craftsmen, meaning the process of metallurgy was taken out of the hands of the forges and put in the hands of the so called metallicers. The separation of ingot forging and the actual craft allowed craftsmen to move towards urbanized areas as opposed to close to mining settlements. This gave rise to the craftsmen guilds all across the various nations of Aloria.
It was in Ithania where the fine craft of gold forging and purification was perfected around 170 AC, thus allowing the creation of finely detailed golden crowns and objects. A rudimentary form of gold crafting had been developed centuries before by the Elves, but the Ithanians had mastered a technique called Celestial Forging which used various alchemical ingredients in the fire to produce gold with an even more brilliant reflection and shine. The only downside of Celestial Forging was that it resulted in very brittle products, though nobody was exactly planning to throw a crown on the floor, so the Ithanians considered it not a problem. Additionally, the Ithanians believed there was some form of poetic beauty in the supreme beauty being fragile and requiring care. Around 260 AC, the technique of Blue Fold Forging was developed in Regalia. A special metal folding technique involving various hammers and presses powered by water wheels allowed the forgers to fold certain materials into weapons. The reason why it is called Blue Fold Forging is largely because the forgers first started putting sheets of superheated Lazulite into the weapons, thus creating what is more commonly called Blue Steel. These weapons were very practical against mages, but also held a more religious meaning within the Empire. Over the next 40 years, various smaller organizations developed secretive techniques like the order of the Virgin Blade which produced weapons capable of inflicting great harm on Vampires. As much as they are special however, they are also very secret and their exact technique is unknown to outsiders to this day.
Various other forging techniques have existed consistently throughout the centuries. The Orcs have a very crude method of Black Forging in which they use copious amounts of coal and uncontrollable fires sparked by gunpowder to forge large quantities of pig iron and particularly Nelfinite into objects. This results in the infamous Black Iron, a crude and almost charcoal black ugly iron used to produce terrifying weapons that resemble butchering equipment more than weapons. The Elves also used the same Nelfinite in a casting technique called Smooth Strike Forging in which large quantities of Nelfinite were used to produce shining bright armor. When heated to a certain temperature, the Nelfinite would turn cyan and then start losing its color rapidly. When forged at the right time, the Nelfinite would attain a pearlescent color which was then transferred to the casting process. Some Elven smiths were so well versed with this process that the armor they made was practically mirror-like in it’s reflective shine and projecting rainbow colors. Smooth Strike Forging is extremely rare nowadays and most pieces of Nelfiria Armor as they were called, have become decorative pieces as they are quite rare. The Qadir also developed a rare technique called Desert Blasting Forging with which they use a massive amount of mirrors and focussing crystals and glasses to effectively focus the sun’s light into such a strong beam that it heats up anything it touches, evaporating water and even incinerating organic and wooden material. This searing sun ray then melts the various metals in a large cauldron in which the impurities are effectively blasted away. The resulting molten metal is then forced into molds, and when the metal is hard enough, it is then blasted with an intricate bronze machine that funnels wind through various pipes and blasts very fine grain sand over the objects to smoothen the outside. The metal resulting from this technique has waves and etchings on it, much like the dunes of the desert sands.
The world knows various Famous Smiths which among the forgers and casters are called Paragons of the Hammer. Only very few Paragons have ever existed on Aloria, and most of them are already deceased. It is rare for more than one paragon to arise every 200 years. The Paragons are revered almost like deities among the smithing guilds in the hopes that one day they too will be blessed with such skill.
- Edhellion, only known by his first name, is a smith that lived somewhere in northern Daendroc around 400 BC. He was so skilled in Sky Forging on the highest Sky Forge tower that his weapons seemed to radiate with the smallest light source bouncing off of them. His weapons were sharper and finer than anything any Elf had ever produced. Unfortunately Edhellion’s secret was supposedly lost with his untimely death at the hands of Void worshippers who sacrificed him in a fairly botched Funnel Forging session.
- Massare del Anhaleras, the only famous female Smith, was the best goldsmith the world had ever seen. Born in 211 AC in northern Ithania, she developed a fine forging technique called Soldère de Beautee. This technique allowed her to forge golden items with external decorations which were forged separately without ugly attachment wires or melting points thus keeping the decorations intact. She eventually made her final masterpiece, the Regalian Imperial crown, which is never worn, but exquisite in its beauty anyway. Rumor has it the then Emperor Justinian I had her murdered when the crown was complete so she could never produce another marvel again.
- Marcus of Overstagerlion, born to a Dwarven father and Ailor mother, had a keen interest in forging since his father introduced him to the dwarven smithies. Marcus managed to sneak into a Dwarven hold when he was young to acquire a tome of forgotten knowledge from an abandoned hold which allowed him to produce weapons of exquisite bendable properties, yet retaining the strength of any metal. He became world famous as his weapons became desired across the seas, popularly called the Overstaggions. Unfortunately, Marcus was on a mission to gather materials for the King of Nordskag when he came into contact with Manicite. He thought nothing of the material and simply put it in his bag. When he came home several weeks later he had completely lost his mind and was delusional. Marcus is still alive to this day, but spends his days at a caretaker house in Regalia in the hopes his destroyed mind will ever recover the secrets that went with it.
- Bogrond the Impure, the only Orc Paragon, was the Orc that developed the more violent Boom Boocky. Boom Boocky was a technique using a special mixture of gunpowder and various other alchemical ingredients that would result in a bright blue fire. The Dark Iron that came out of it was even more savage, having a naturally serrated edge on all sides which made his produced weapons even more gory than the regular Orc ones. Bogrond was however killed by a rain of Elven arrows when a Ünquale party of raiders attacked his town, attempting to reclaim the Skyforge that was within. Bogrond overcharged the Dark Iron forge which caused a catastrophic explosion, taking Bogrond, the town, and the Elves with it, and causing a forest fire of bright and blue flames that raged for nearly five years around the area.
- Hammerdrond Fedhalland, was an old Dwarven forger who managed to develop String Forging which allowed him to create exquisite instruments of bronze and copper far beyond the capabilities of the other smiths making really simple trumpets. Hammerdrond produced instruments with pure sounds, bellowing noises and shimmering beauty. Hammerdrond’s instruments became famous surface side, but his future career was cut short when his hold was invaded by the Dakkar and he was slain. Only twelve Hammerdrond instruments exist in the world present day, some of which are in the Regalian Empire as part of the Imperial collection, while others are possessed by individuals.
Cannon Forging is a relatively new technique since the Dwarves shared their cannon forging discovery with the Humans. Cannon forging is an incredibly slow process that requires many forge aids to force a large amount of hot rings over a metal tube to slowly hammer the cannon into shape. Various cast objects are then forged onto the whole assembly, thus making forging a proper cannon cost almost a full month. Regalia is the first and only state with extensive cannon forges, forges specifically dedicated to just making cannons for the Imperial fleet. The technique of cannon forging is inherently flawed, producing cannons that are fairly malfunctioned, causing the job of cannoneering to be a dangerous one. In recent years however, the principle of advanced metallurgy and in particular the idea of metal cast molding has started picking up. With this new technique being developed, bombards can already be produced within the span of a few days, but the technique has yet to be tested on cannons or indeed any other metal material.
- A pure metal ingot is often more expensive than the finished product, despite the fact that work goes into processing the object. Mining minerals tend to be fairly uncommon on the market because the various Regalian noble houses have started squeezing down the private markets and monopolizing trade of their national mining produce with intricate and complex rules.
- Elves developed the most forging techniques, but had the least interest in actual forging because magical produce was more appealing to them. This is why Dwarves are world known for forging today, even though the Elves technically did a better job at it.
- It is said that the old Mansuriyah Empire had enslaved Red Desert Dragons to power the furnaces of Mansur-Al-Farillah, the Mansuriyah capital. The Mansuriyah Empire mysterious collapsed and disappeared overnight however, along with the Red Desert Dragons which the Songaskia Qadir hunted to extinction.