To Fly on Metal Wings
‘Water Steel’ is a name given to the legendary ultra-strong metal once smelted in Loki’s own foundries. His acolytes taught this skill to the Demothian Empire, and its use persisted into the age of Marduk. During the declining years of the Sacred Kingdom the expense of the process caused it to fall into desuetude; the secret was lost. Still, myths persisted that the elves and the dwarves both retained some fragments of the ancient process and could produce a metal similar to the divine one.
The name comes from the appearance of the metal; a single piece of metal it is run through with bands of subtly different colors and textures, giving it the appearance of rippling with tiny waves even when motionless. A few examples of the steel have survived through the years, but they are fiercely coveted and most, like the blade Arangeist – said to have been one of Marduk’s two battle blades – are cursed.
Among the Vadra-Karracke exiles who fled to the civilized Aetheria in recent years were the scions of two ancient dwarf metallurgy families. Both have found patrons in the middle islands and have begun producing metal according to the ages-old methods of their ancestors. It is said that without their ancestral foundries, their powerfully ensorceled, millennia old, runic tools, and the incredibly pure ores found only in the deep places beneath dwarf citadels, the metal they produce is only a pale shadow of its true form; even so it is finer metal than any seen in the Middle Islands since the day of Marduk.
‘Red Water Steel’
Sven Demidrov Vadra Moriset Karracke found employment with Consolidated Metallurgy of Grufyda Minora (ConMet-GM), and has been producing water steel according to his family’s recipe for commercial consumption. It is expensive and in short supply, but can be obtained with some effort. CITADEL and the Guild have obtained the earliest stocks of these metals and have already begun forging armor from them. Agents of CITADEL may obtain Red Water Steel armor at the costs listed without any extra effort.
The smelting process makes the steel very strong, allowing skilled craftsmen to use much less of it without sacrificing performance. Water Steel of this variety will ripple with deep reds, oranges and some hints of yellow or indigo.
Red Water Steel is 1/5th the normal weight of steel armor (or weapons); have 20hp/inch of thickness, and; hardness 15.
|Light Armor||+600 gp|
|Medium Armor||+1,000 gp|
|Heavy Armor||+1,500 gp|
|Weapon (Not Available at this time||+600 gp|
‘Blue Water Steel’
Ivana Tatyanova Vadra Vorankova Karracke disappeared shortly after her presence and skill in smelting Blue Water Steel became known in the Middle Islands. What has happened to her since then is a mystery, but every once in a while an item turns up that could only have been made from steel smelted according to her methods.
Shaan priests have long practiced a alchemical and metallurgical technique called quenching. They believe that doing so actually kills the soul of the metal; scholars dismiss this belief as superstitious nonsense, but they have yet to successfully replicate the process without the ‘barbaric’ religious icons and rituals.
Mages, especially organizations like the Collegia Sorcerii, import vast quantities of quenched metals, usually lead (the Shaan say the lead spirit is weakest and easiest to quench, hence it is the cheapest metal) to line the walls of their buildings. Quenched Metals have the unique quantity of deadening the resonance; normally the density of mages, the quantity, scope, and duration of the spellcasting, and the sheer amount of technomancy in a mage’s compound would give anyone sensitive to the resonance something between a nasty headache and an aneurysm. Worse, that dense collection of resonant magic would be an irresistible target for Grey Men. The steady regrowth of sorcery in the Aetheria owes less to a decline in the number of Grey Men (no reliable data exists to determine whether there has been such a decline) than to mages learning how to protect themselves. Quenched metal is the cornerstone of those defenses.