|Common Nicknames||Man’s Metal, Better Iron.|
|Uses||Weapons, armor, appliances.|
|Accessibility||Commoners and nobility.|
Steel is an alloy metal made from combining Ferr-Iron and carbon. Due to its durability and low cost, steel is widely used for many purposes, mainly weaponry and durable appliances such as vaults or prison bars. As the metal takes very little effort to create from Ferr-Iron ore, it is the most commonly used metal in the modern age and therefore greatly varies in terms of quality and appearance. The metal also finds great significance in the study of Alchemy and Metallurgy, as specialized metals such as Blacksteel or Bluesteel cannot be created without it. While steel products can get increasingly expensive based on its specialization and quality, it is used by nobility and commoners alike.
Methods for creating steel have been known since ancient times, originating from Old Ceardian traditions for smelting Ferr-Iron. Most civilizations that made use of Ferr-Iron eventually created means to further work the ore and introduce carbon into the metal, producing primitive steel in good quantity. These first examples of the metal were created in bloomery furnaces, kilns made with thick walls of clay and sealed tight to concentrate heat into the smelting chamber. In present days, most high quality steel is made in crucible furnaces, large industrial contraptions that heat the ore to such high temperatures that impurities are melted away. Tradesmen and blacksmiths all agree that the best steel is made in the famous Holy Forges of Basta, a large monastery-factory where monks toil to create high purity steel from elaborate and gigantic crucible forges.
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 wealthy dwarven blacksmiths, take on a faint wave-like pattern that glimmers and ripples when shined upon.
Steel is used for everything ranging from and armor, to appliances and instruments that require some measure of durability. Its low cost and durability has made it an extremely affordable material that can be melted and used in other ways (i.e. reforging). Depending on the carbon content of the metal, steel can be made very hard and almost brittle, to 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 humble purposes such as cooking utensils, craftsman’s tools, and a whole manner of goods that could be improved upon from Ferr-Iron or wood.
Steel has a good balance of durability and flexibility, and serves as a standard middle ground for metals. It has no specific abilities or traits.
- Creating high purity steel at the Holy Forges of Basta is considered a Unionist worship of the Imperial Spirit and Humanity. Currently, the Sancella of Union has a monopoly in the highest grade steel, using it to supply the Helerian Guard and the School of Lancyon.
- There is a practice among blacksmiths in the capital city of Regalia, where they melt down statues of important figures and reforge them into weaponry or armor. These heirloom items are hugely popular to collectors and sentimental nobility, who pay good money for such items.