|Proficiency||Bronze Family Metallurgy|
Lead is one of the most common minerals across Aloria. The metal is very soft and malleable and comes in greyish-black tones and usually bears a bright reflective sheen across its surface once refined. Because of its malleable nature, it was widely used in pipeline construction, and due to its shiny surface, wealthier homes used it for roof plating to achieve a brilliant glimmer on their estate roofs. However, Lead is known to induce several gastrointestinal issues or occasionally death if ingested or inhaled for too long, which saw its usage in cities majorly decline once this became known. Despite this, it is still seen as healthy and fine in other forms, and so exists both in rural constructions and in other areas of the world economy untouched.
Lead has long been a feature of Aloria, but exactly how long is unknown. As a material, it is relatively common and most assume it has been actively used since perhaps the First Civilization, with each successive group relearning and then losing the skills to work it. As for more recently in Aloria, it was the Allorn Empire that began to first mine and exploit Lead most actively, using it in the construction of their pipes and later, roofing. It was from them that the Ailor learned the practice, and as slaves fled in the Empire’s dying days, they spread this knowledge with them. By the time of the Cataclysm, a dozen groups across Aloria had a dozen uses for Lead, from forming it into religiously significant sling projectiles to construction to entombment. As the ages wore on, the Regalian Empire’s centralized power saw the side uses of Lead greatly reduced, largely because they are crude and used by Cultures that either grew more sophisticated and cultured, or had access to new materials thanks to new trade goods. Instead, Lead’s role in construction came to dominate the Empire, and by 190 AC, the material saw widespread use. However, after 200 AC, a series of scholarly discoveries and studies showed that the material has a negative effect on those suffering from excessive quantities of it. For the next 20 years, Lead was actively removed from the construction materials of many new buildings, and older structures that could afford it replaced the material with Copper, clay, or other suitable materials. In current-day Aloria, few major cities of the Regalian Empire possess Lead piping or tiling anymore, but the practice is still alive in some rural regions. Additionally, the material is still used in a handful of rare uses, scattered across Aloria, but on the whole many will never know how lucky they are to be living without major sources of Lead in their lives.
Lead is closely packed together in nature, existing with a dense cube structure that is often shiny and bright grey-black with a tinge of blue when first uncovered. After this time though, as air interacts with its surface, it dulls to a shade of grey where it will remain unless polished. The material is easily worked into a dull grey metal. The substance is known to naturally form in large veins, but also known to separate from other materials that it has attached to or been absorbed by such as Silver or Gold.
Lead was once used widely in roof tiling and household piping. However, after 200 AC, there was an effort made in the interest of city health, to avoid the “miasmatic” qualities of the material when it interacted with water. However, while this took place in the cities of the Regalian Empire with some vigor, regions of the Songaskian Masaya and Altalar states in Daen, in addition to rural areas of the Regalian Empire, did not evenly follow suit, resulting in the substance’s common use in those regions still to this day. As for remaining Ailor uses, various “crude” societies use the substance to create sling bullets, often inscribed with curses from their gods or god. Additionally, Lead sees widespread use in the printing profession, used in the creation of several machine parts, as well as most inks used in the profession.
Lead is highly resistant to corrosion, is highly malleable and has a number of other factors that made it such a useful metal for millennia. However, most educated people of Aloria now know today that Lead has a negative effect on health, though the reasons exactly why are unclear.
- OOC Note: Lead poisoning is explained in Aloria as a result of the substance’s “miasmatic” qualities when subjected to running water. Essentially, it is only bad when water runs over it, “dragging out” the metal’s poison, affecting the water and those who drink it. That is why the other uses are seen as perfectly fine, and also why the rural regions are largely ignored: they are filled with short-lived peasants anyway.
- Pressman’s Syndrome, a negative health effect known to afflict those who have worked long lives around printing presses, is actually a form of Lead poisoning.
- Sihai experiences with Lead are as extensive as that of Aloria. At one time, it was even ingested as a supposed health benefit, though the effects of this were negative, and extensive, on a brief span of imperial leadership in The Far East