|Common Nicknames||Night Iron, Ailor-Metal|
|Proficiency||15 Metallurgy Arts, 20 for Folded Blacksteel|
|Origin||Smiths in the City of Regalia|
|Uses||Weapons, Tools, Armor|
Blacksteel is a sophisticated alloy of Steel and recast Black Iron together created by Regalian smiths based on ideas present in the Orcish forged metal of Black Iron. Instead of their more haphazard and sloppy forging, Blacksteel is made through the continuous, slow application of a small amount of refined Black Iron to Steel being smelted and folded. The material is commonly used in weapons, both by the lower class and the upper class, due to its superior nature to Steel. Given the time and care that goes into edged Blacksteel weapons, many warriors and nobility who carry the metal form something of a bond with their weapons, so often do they need to repair and upkeep them. Blacksteel sits below Skysteel in overall value and effectiveness, but its benefits putting it in a similar category to the Dwarven Metalitra and the Altalarrin Nightsilver, if not an improvement on those two metals due to its usability and relative ease of access. Blacksteel is used in all sorts of weapons and armor and its versatility makes it ideal for the Ailor people.
Blacksteel is a recent development in Aloria, developed within the last 30 years by smiths in the Regalian Empire’s capital city. 30 years ago marks the point when Orcs first started reaching Regalia in large numbers, largely thanks to the new alliance between them and the Regalian Empire. Witnessing Orcish techniques in smithing, Regalian forges sought to refine it, to produce a darkened alloy without the impurities they knew weakened and ultimately made Black Iron somewhat limited in use. So it came to pass that several smiths simultaneously developed and refined ideas on the creation of such an alloy, meaning that no single blacksmith can be credited with creating Blacksteel. One group can, however, be pointed out with popularizing the metal: House Anahera. The material’s sleek black look piqued their interest and they took to giving swords made from the metal to their guards and some of their members also dueled with similar blades. Other nobles soon followed suit and while House Anahera itself soon abandoned the fad interest with such weapons, nobles today still make use of Blacksteel blades and occasionally armor. Commoners also make use of the metal, but in more simple objects like mallets and hammers, with a few fortunate families holding onto Blacksteel weapons as family heirlooms. Blacksteel weapons and armor often make good ancestral weapons, with a select few houses keeping Blacksteel-Starris alloy weapons.
Blacksteel has a simple appearance, that being the appearance of a shining, black-colored Steel. It is rarely reflective without vigorous polishing, but when upkept the weapons carry a smooth, dark appearance. Folded Blacksteel as a variant appears to have a subtle ripple effect up and down the blade and makes any inscription work stand out with a gentle shine.
Blacksteel is commonly used in weapons for both the nobility and the common people. Blacksteel is far more durable than regular steel but does weigh more, making it only truly usable in weapons by those with at least 10 in the relevant Combat Proficiency. Sharpening Blacksteel can only be done with a specially carved whetstone, making it difficult to keep edged black steel weapons in useable shape. For this reason, Blacksteel excels in useability when used in Warhammer, maces, and heavy plate mail armor. Metalitra is still superior when it comes to heavy weapons, but the availability of Blacksteel in comparison makes it far more desirable. Additionally, hammers, mallets, and other blunt pounding tools tend to be used by those commoners who can afford the dark metal. Blacksteel Armor is very expensive and only used by high-end mercenaries or major nobles, but is far more effective than Steel or plate mail. Piercing Blacksteel is near impossible for Steel weapons, though a strong blunt weapon can dent and even break the armor. Bronze is also used in weapons from time to time, but due to its inferiority to Blacksteel, Orcs prefer to use Blacksteel for actual warfare, while Bronze is used for ceremonial activities.
Arak are known to produce some of the most beautiful ceremonial armor also, using horse hairs that are dyed in rich colors to produce fantastic outfits that both showcase the physical raw power of the person wearing it, as well as their wealth with a great polish and gold and silver finish. Orc armor smiths are considered on-par with Dwarven smiths, and Orc smiths actually work very well together with Dwarven smiths, having produced specialized siege equipment like the Dwarven powdered and Orc muscle pushed land-beetle, a completely metal-clad structure that is pushed and rolled around by Orcs inside of it, using black powder and explosives to do damage to the enemy.
Blacksteel's forging process inherently creates a high carbon steel, and generally produces a weapon with increased the strength and durability compared to common Steel. Heavier armor forged with Blacsteel are almost always incapable of being pierced by Steel weapons, but it is relatively susceptible to breakage from heavy weapons. A rarer variant of Blacksteel is so-called "Folded Blacksteel", which is a more refined method of creating Blacksteel. Regular Blacksteel is folded once or twice until the smith believes that it is adequate, but Folded Blacksteel is folded precisely 16 times. This process is believed to remove impurities and evens out the makeup of the metal, as well as enhance it with flexibility, durability and toughness. The softer metal at the core of the weapon allows for more flexible weapons, making folded Blacksteel ideal for blades and lighter weaponry, whereas unfolded or "regular" Blacksteel is still best for heavier weapons and armor. Patterns or words etched onto Blacksteel weapons ...
- Blacksteel piping is a recent development and is largely being used in the construction of dark-toned or gloomy architecture for groups like the Vladno.
- The use of Blacksteel meat mallets were all the rage in the high-end culinary world ten years ago. This fell out of fashion when it was revealed that poorly made mallets would leave scraps of steel in the meat.
- Blacksteel Weapons have become slightly more common in the Capital City, but this has only really resulted in a new black market based around mugging Nobility and careless Adventurers who carry Blacksteel openly. A criminal known on the streets as the "Blacksteel Bastard" has gained infamy over the years for amassing a collection of stolen weaponry.
- Imperial Guards solely use Blacksteel Armor, but the exact forging methods behind their particular suits of armor are unknown.