|Common Nicknames||Man’s Metal, Old Faithful.|
|Proficiency||Requires 15 points in Metallurgy Arts|
|Uses||Weapons, Armor, Tools, Construction|
|Accessibility||Middle and Upper Class|
Steel is an alloy metal made by combining Ferr-Iron with an extreme heat that generates carbon. 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 Ferr-Iron ore and varies greatly regarding quality and appearance. The metal is also greatly significant in the study of Alchemy and Metallurgy, 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 a clear history of development and creation among the Ailor since it is a manufactured product. After Ferr-Iron was discovered in Ceardia, local Warlords tried to gain a similar advantage to the infamous Warlord Ferrson 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 Ceardia began arming his men with fearsome Steel weapons and platemail. 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. For other Races, Steel was recognized as an improvement to Ferr-Iron. In the present day, 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 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 Ferr-Iron or wood.
Steel has a good balance of durability and flexibility and serves as a standard middle-ground for metals. When compared to Ferr-Iron, it is slightly heavier but far more durable and can be sharpened with considerably less effort. A more skilled Smith can properly temper a Steel creation for better effectiveness in combat, and create decorative inlays in weapons, tools, and furniture.
- 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 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.