Man’s Metal, Old Faithful
Iron Family Metallurgy
Weapons, Armor, Tools, Construction
Middle and Upper Class
Steel is an alloy metal made by combining Iron with extreme heat. Due to its durability and generally low cost, Steel is widely used for many purposes, mainly weaponry, armor, and durable appliances. The metal takes minimal effort to create from Iron ore and varies greatly regarding quality and appearance. The metal is also significant for being used as the basis of other alloys, as specialized metals such as Blacksteel cannot be created without it. While Steel products can get increasingly expensive based on its specialization and quality, it is used by many, though the poorer citizens of the world only rarely get their hands on it.
Steel has many histories of discovery and creation, but many focus on the Ailor narrative as they were the group who made, and still makes, the most use of the substance. After Iron was discovered in Oldtera, local warlords tried to gain a similar advantage to the infamous Warlord Ferrson (a warrior said to have first discovered Iron, and thus conquered many foes) by discovering or crafting a new metal for use in weapons. It took several decades, but in 40 AC, a local Warlord known as Alexric in the east of Oldtera began arming his men with fearsome Steel weapons and shields. Scant records remain of this initial creation process, but it is suspected Steel was first created by Warlord Alexric’s own “corps of engineers”, an innovation of warfare for the times. His own fate turned sour within a year, as he was forced to abandon an armory of these Steel creations, spreading the new metal out to rival clans. As for the Ailor of Corontium, their source of Steel is far less clear, but does appear as early as 100 BC, likely a result of information gleaned from the Solvaan. For other Races, Steel was recognized as an improvement to Iron centuries ago, and while adopted by most, often fell out of fashion for other materials. In the present day, most high-quality Steel is made in Ailor or Dwarven-built crucible furnaces, large industrial contraptions that heat the ore to such high temperatures that impurities are melted away. Tradesmen and blacksmiths often disagree about where the best Steel is made, but much of it is produced within the boundaries of the Regalian Empire.
Most Steel, especially low-quality or impure Steel, takes on a simple gray color with some amount of luster. Bad examples also have discolored marks where the slag wasn’t burned away well enough. As the quality of the metal improves, it takes on a lighter tone and shines more brilliantly. The highest quality Steel, made either from the Holy Forges of Basta or by skilled blacksmiths, take on a faint wave-like pattern that glimmers and ripples when shined upon.
Steel is used for everything ranging from weapons to armor to appliances and instruments that require some measure of durability. It is an affordable material that can be melted and used in other ways, should reforging be necessary. Depending on the carbon content of the metal, Steel can be made very hard and almost brittle, lightweight and flexible. Intelligent blacksmiths combine these traits, using a mixture of both types of Steel to create a precise balance of good characteristics. Beyond military equipment, Steel can be used for more peaceful purposes such as cooking utensils, craftsman’s tools, and a whole manner of goods that could be improved upon from Iron or wood.
- Creating high purity Steel at the Holy Forges of Basta is considered a form of Unionist worship to the Everwatcher. This high Steel is often used to supply the Knightly Orders.
- There is a practice among blacksmiths in the capital city of Regalia, where they melt down statues of important figures and reforge them into weapons or armor. These heirloom items are hugely popular to collectors and sentimental nobility, who pay good money for such items.
- Steel is rumored to have greater blacksmithing qualities that have yet to be fully uncovered. Beyond being crucial in the creation of Blacksteel, Steel is often experimented on in the hopes of creating new forms of Steel for specific functions in combat.
HydraLana on 12/27/2023.
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