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Dergaii
 
PostPosted: Sun, Jan 29 2017, 14:26 PM 

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A copy of the following book is offered to the libraries of the Delta Mage Academy, Cordor, the Seven Stars Academy, Belenoth and Barak Runedar to be reviewed and hopefully added to their collection.


A guide to metals in magical craftwork


Foreword

This work is intended as a practical guide for the use of metals as in magical proceedings. They can be used as components for spells, rituals or as base materials in crafting magical objects. According to the desired magical effects, some metals are better suited than others. Choosing the correct material to use is the crafter’s art. In order to facilitate this choice, the magical properties of different metals have been tested and the results will be recorded below. For each of the locally found metals we will indicate if they have neutralising, inhibitive or accelerating properties for specific spell schools and/or the energy type worked with.

As each of the aspects have been tested individually, the effects of combining different metals or other components have not been chronicled. Take this in mind when choosing different component as the combination of individual magical auras can have a different and even reverse effect in the total result. This knowledge is what separates the master craftsmen from the novice. Following this guide is by no means a guaranteed recipe for success. Also note that while we might touch on the nature of specific metals, that this work is by no means meant to be a guide on metals or metallurgy. If this is what the reader is looking for, I suggest they consult other works.

Adamantine

The first metal discussed is immediately the hardest of the metals studied. This hard and unyielding nature translates to its magical uses as well. It comes to no surprise that it greatly excels when used in wards of the abjuration school. The unmovable nature also lends itself well to conjuration of the transportation type but also to necromancy. For transportation, it will function as an anchor to allow the portal to open even to the outer planes. In regards to necromancy I believe the success of the metal to be due to its resistance to the tarnishing effects of necromancy.

Adamantine is often used in transmutations as well but in the nature of altering swords, shield and armour to have the strength of adamantine. In these matters the metal does not strengthen the magical effect, but merely lends its properties.

It is ill advised to use adamantium for illusions, enchantments and divinations. The unbending nature of the metal is unsuited for the more elusive workings of these schools. Adamantine lends itself badly to most of the elemental energies with the one expectation of that of fire. Where the use of adamantine lessens the effect of elemental energies this is not the case with fire. Furthermore adamantine can resist high temperatures so while it does not boost the element it can be safely used for advanced spells.

Brass

Unlike adamantine and like most metals listed, brass does not have a school or energy type where it has an great amplifying effect. However there are several uses to which brass lends itself well and will improve the results over other chosen materials. It is an alloy between copper and zinc and thus shares some of their features, creating a more tempered mix.

Brass lends itself well to be used for magic that manipulates fire and electricity. Where adamantine resists the effects of fire, brass is less hard and seems to be able to shape itself more to accommodate the needs of these elements. This metals strengthen the effect of different spell schools: divinations and enchantments, abjurations, evocations and transmutations. Where the other precious and more shiny metals are often well adjusted for illusions, brass seems to lack this trait.

It seems to be a well-rounded metal in concern to magical capabilities. It holds quite some similarities to the noble metals in that regard, also sharing a likewise durability. Do not use brass in the workings of cold energy magic as this its weaker point.

Bronze

Bronze is another copper alloy, so it will be no surprise that is shares similar features. Where brass is a mixture with zinc, bronze is copper mixed with tin. The resulting mixture makes for a very even metal. While it has no pronounced deficiencies, it however holds fewer uses in in which it excels if we were to compare it to brass and copper.

On an energy level brass is attuned to electricity, a feature that is made known by the metallic dragon of this type. In concern to spell schools bronze is attuned to evocation, illusion and transmutation. Affiliation to illusion is a trait shared by most of the warmer coloured metals and in this bronze follows suit. What is illusion not but the reflection of light given form? Its softness gives it necessary malleability which is also translated in to the metaphysical link to transformation. Bronze is also a boon for evocation, a school which finds its rooting quite well in metallic components as not a single metal is less effective in the pairing.

In choosing which metal to use copper will be strengthening for more different purposes. However while this is generally a positive aspect, it also means that there is more interference with other magical auras in the vicinity. This could be a possible reason to use bronze or brass for one’s project. Note that on Amia the alloys are not cheaper, I assume this a lack of highly skilled melters. In times of sparsity a copper diluted with either tin or zinc will make the resource last longer.

Copper

As mentioned in the previous paragraph, copper is a multipurpose metallic component. It comes close to the metals silver and gold in the way it can be used. We shall start with the most impressive effect which is the use of copper in the manipulation of electric energies. The metal empowers the magical effects very strongly, possible even to a much larger extent than silver. This affiliation is quite remarkable as the copper dragon is associated with its acid breath. We find that copper indeed lends itself to this use as well but that the synergy with electricity is greater still.

Other applications of energies In which copper shines are cold and fire. An interesting combination shared only with iron. While these elements may seem opposed, they still seem to find a balance in the unique properties of the metal. It is unclear why this is the case and could make for an topic of study in itself.

In terms of spell schools there is an improved effect for illusions, evocations, enchantments and abjurations. Enchantment is generally well supported by the softer metals, however there are exceptions to the rule. With this hardness of copper, it might be a surprise that it relates well to abjurations but the experiments show that the magical auras align well with each other. If we look at existing items made of copper, they are often related to freedom of movement like the similarly named spell. We’d advice use in a similar direction.

Gold

The most expensive of the metals and when using metallic components one might say justly so. Gold, together with silver, are the metals that have the most empowering magical properties. This effect is more pronounced in relation to the different spell schools when we discuss gold. It acts more commonly in the ties to the different types of energies. Gold is the best conductor for fire energy, outperforming the other possible choses. The drawback however is that it performs less well when handling cold energy.

Every spell school is strengthened with the use of gold. Besides the metal’s moldability, durability and resistance to tarnishes, this explains why it is so often used in the creation of magical items. The strengthening effects are even greater when gold is used for effects of abjuration, conjuration of the healing kind, enchantment and evocation. The perceptive reader will have remarked upon the fact that while gold is less effective with cold energies it is extremely effective for evocations. It is so that if the intended effect is one of cold evocation that gold can overcome its own weakness and still perform adequately.

Notice that gold is very effective for conjurations of the healing kind, but also more than effective for the uses of necromancy. This might seem to be opposite but there is a common feature. Both the positive and negative energy often used by these schools are detrimental to most living beings in high volumes. The negative energy, but also the positive energy planes are amongst the deadliest to visit. It is gold’s property to remain untarnished by these energies that make it effective. Be aware that it does not strengthen the energies themselves. It is resistance not synchrony.

Iron

While iron might be considered one of the more crude metals, it is still a good choice to use for any spell, ritual or as a crafting component. The title of crudeness might be a result of the prevalence of this metal and the resulting low price. This means that it has a low threshold for aspiring smiths where the more expensive metals are only worked by master craftsmen for the price tag they carry. Iron worked by an experienced smith is equally eligible for creating magical items.

Like copper, iron combines an affinity with both fire and cold energy. Next to these energies, it is also well suited for electricity and sonic energies. These can be described as sound given force. Many outer beings and aberrations will find they have a weakness against this form of energy. Or perhaps more correct will be they have no resistance to it as they often do against the more elemental energies.

In regards to spell schools, iron is well suited for magical work of the transmutation and evocation type and that of conjurations that relate to transportations. Its prevalence on the prime material plane could be that it makes for an excellent anchor to our own plane and contribute as a point of reference for the magic to be guided. We can conclude that iron has its uses and those beyond that of a product used for testing one’s skills, be they in the nature of the arcane or in that of metalworking.

Iron, Black

Black iron is a metal rarely used in itself, but most often used as one of the components for darksteel. Despite the unwanted brittleness for metalworking, it has some interesting properties when used for arcane purposes. These purpose however, together with the blackish hue, could be the reason black iron is referred to as black. The metal is ill suited for working divine or positive energy, but lends itself well to the manipulation of negative energy. As this is the only pronounced affiliation, the metal is unduly related to necromancers and their ilk.

Like iron, black iron lends itself well to conjurations that apply to teleportation. (Black) Iron mines are also the source of lodestones that, stones that attract iron to themselves. Some dwarves are said to keep a lodestone on a string to prevent them from getting lost above ground. The stone will tug ever so lightly towards the mines that make the dwarf’s home. The effectiveness of this has not been tested and seems dubious unless very large quantities of iron are present. Lastly, black iron also lends itself well to abjurations.

Iron, Cold

Cold iron is most known for magical properties we have not taken into account in this work. It is anathema to fey and certain fiends. This effect can be to such an extent that they cannot touch the bare metal without being harmed. Many weapons made specific to fight fiends or fey have been made with this metal. The harming effect must be taken into account when selecting the metal for one’s desired effect, especially when crafting magical items. It would be unwise to gift such an item to a fey as it will invoke their anger. Then again, if there would be a risk of stealing, it would safeguard the item.

Another reason why this metal is rarely used in magical items is that it is not easily worked. If the temperature is raised too much, it turns into regular iron and no longer has the properties it has before. As such it also comes to no surprise that the metal is ill suited to handling fire energy. Not that this is in contrast with iron that handles it well. It does however work well in relation to cold energies. Like iron, cold iron is a good choice for abjurations.

Lead

Lead is together with iron one of the more cheaper metals and known for its heavy weight. This is one of the reasons it is not often used as magical components. Despite the heavy weight it is also a very soft metal, a second hurdle for many to use this metal, especially when concerned to crafting.

The most known magical application of lead is in the defence against divinations. A thin sheet of lead can foil detect alignment spells. Likewise thicker layers can protect against stronger divinations. As such it is not surprising that the metal is not well suited to support this spell school. The density of its nature is apparently translated into the metaphysical level. It is however well suited to spells of the illusion school attesting that for the latter a certain malleability is more important while the first relates more to permeability.

Lead is ill suited for both abjurations and conjurations of the healing kind. The second is not surprising as white lead (this can be made by putting lead in earthenware jars with vinegar) is known to be harmful and toxic. It is however well suited to work electrical energies. When we take everything into account, we can understand why lead is rarely used in magical work beside its protection against divinations.

Mercury

The liquid metal also known as quicksilver. This is the only metal that is naturally in a liquid state. Be careful in handling it near other metals as mercury can dissolve them to create alloys with the dissolved metals. This new alloys can have their own unique uses however. Quicksilver is usually transported in iron containers as this and platinum are the only metals not to react with mercury.

This metal has few relations to energy besides working well with electricity and a reluctance to manipulate fire energies. It is the easiest metal to evaporate through heat. Notice also that mercury has a certain toxicity, especially while in the form of vapours. It is realistic to use this knowledge as a weapon or in offensive magic.

Mercury is near to impossible to use when working abjuration magic. It makes sense that a magical shield would be difficult to base on an element that does not stay in a solid form. The adaptability of mercury makes for a great synergy with evocations. Quicksilver is the best metal to use for transmutations, superior even to gold and silver.

Mithral

A very desired metal in weapons and specifically in armour as mithral is the metal that offers light weight combined with strong defences. It is an hefty investment however as mithral is nearly worth its weight in gold. Many an adventurer would argue that it quickly pays itself. It also a favourable metal for magical properties as it has no reduced spell effects neither for any types of energies or any spell schools.

Besides boosting sonic energies, mithral is beneficial to magical energies. This is an effect it shares only with silver. Considering the latter is not available to all to be used (see the entry on silver) mithral is often the only alternative to those wishing to manipulate pure magical energies. The metal is most known to be worked by elves but due to its light weight is favoured by spell swords. While it may reduce the constrictions of casting in armour, it will not remove them completely without special measures.

Mithral is well rounded in relation to spell schools. It improves the workings of abjurations and conjurations of the creation kind but also divinations, evocations and transmutations. For those who can pay the price it certainly is a choice metal.

Platinum

While in dragon lore the platinum dragon might be the representation of the pinnacle of strength, this is not necessarily so for the metal’s magical properties. It is a strong metal and like mithral does not have any weak sides when used for spell work. But this comes at a price even steeper than that of mithral. For many purposes it might not be worth the investment.

A comparison with the dragon lord could be made in the hardness of the metal. Platinum is an excellent choice for abjurations, much like adamantium. It is also well suited for conjurations that deal with creation, cold energies and divinations. This makes a contrast to adamantium that does not work well with divination. Is this the influence of the dragon lord or are there underlying workings still unknown at work?

Silver

If gold is the king metal then silver is the queen of the metals in relation to magical properties. And, like in chess, the queen is often considered the most powerful piece. Silver can easily be named the metal with the most empowering effects in relation to magical workings. Many magical craftworks are made from silver and it is also an often used spell component.

Silver has empowering effect on all of the energy types besides positive energy, negative energy and sonic energy. It gives an exceptional boost to electrical energies. As mentioned before it is, together with mithral, the metals that strengthen pure magical energies. Silver is often related to the moon, a powerful symbol in magic. A centre of importance to lycanthropes as well, to which silver is anathema much like cold iron is for fey. It can also harm certain devils and undead.

There is but one spell school that silver does not empower and that is conjuration of the transportation type. Silver bestows a large boon when it is worked for divinations, abjurations and evocations. It is the sole metal to works in such conjunction with divination magic. Once more the connection the moon is made. Selûne is often favoured by fortune tellers and those who rely on divinations for their trade.

Steel

Steel is the product of iron and charcoal where the latter is a hundredth or two hundredths parts of the created alloy. It differs from iron in strength and endurance. The cost is somewhat higher than iron, but certainly not so that steel is considered an expensive metal. It has many uses in weapons, armour and as metal component to many household items. With a different composition also come different magical properties, however we shall see there are still similarities with iron.

A first feature is one not shared with iron, and that is that the metal lends itself well to manipulate acid energies. Steel can endure more and is less susceptible to tarnishes than it father iron. It does share the ability to work well with fire and sonic energy. Enchantment, evocation and transmutation are the spell schools that have a good synergy with steel.

Darksteel

Darksteel is made similar to steel but the ingredients of this alloy are black iron and charcoal. It seems to have its own magical properties however. While there is a relation with black iron, it seems most are the effects are tempered. Darksteel relates well to acid energy and is an excellent conductor to electrical energies. In regards to spell schools it has an empowering effects to evocations. Considering coal is also used as a spell component for the darkness spell, we can assume Darksteel would be a good medium for craftwork that relates to darkness.

This metal is known to be easy to enchant and is described as having an additional advantage that it can be melted down and reforged without losing any of the enchantments placed on it. This was not tested during the research. Finding out how this feat is achieved would be an interesting topic of study in itself.

Tin

This metal is not the first choice to use in common day objects. Tin often seems to be a forgotten metal. Most likely because it is a very soft metal and easily deformed by pressure. Tin is often used to make whistles as it produces a clear sound. This property is translated into its metaphysical workings as tin empowers sonic energy. Many aberrations have a weakness for this time of energy and it is in this use that tin can really shine through.

In relation to spell schools, tin is well suited for evocations and illusions. Most metals associated with illusions are bright and warm coloured. However tin can be polished to quite a shine and this ability to refract light is the basic property of all illusions.

Zinc

Like tin, zinc is a metal that is less often used. Most often to be combined with copper to form the alloy brass. It has some medical uses for which the metal is first heated until it vaporises and it is then left to cool off again. The powder it then forms is used to treat rashes and skin irritated by the sun or cold or by cutting wind. This process requires an alchemical station however and the knowledge to operate it.

In relation to magical properties, Zinc can be found to be underwhelming. While it is not inhibiting for any of the energies or spell schools, it has no strengthening properties for the energies and but one empowering effect for the spell schools, being that of divination. The nature of this relation is yet unknown but it is good to know that a less cost heavy metal can produce great results for this type of magic.


Summary

Following is a summary of the best and worst options to use based on the energy type and spell school that will be worked with. Extraordinary strong or weak effects will be underlined. If a metal is not mentioned this means there is enhancing or inhibiting effect when used as magical component.

Energy Types

Acid
Use: Copper, Darksteel, Silver, Steel
Avoid: Adamantine

Cold
Use: Cold Iron, Copper, Iron, Platinum, Silver
Avoid: Adamantine, Brass, Gold

Divine
Use: Silver
Avoid: Black Iron

Electrical
Use: Brass, Bronze, Copper, Darksteel, Iron, Lead, Silver
Avoid: Adamantine

Fire
Use: Copper, Gold, Iron, Silver, Steel
Avoid: Cold Iron, Mercury

Magic
Use: Mithral, Silver
Avoid: -

Negative
Use: Black Iron
Avoid: -

Positive
Use: -
Avoid: Black Iron

Sonic
Use: Iron, Mithral, Steel, Tin
Avoid: Adamantine

Spell Schools

Abjuration
Use: Adamantine, Black Iron, Brass, Copper, Gold, Platinum, Silver, Steel, Tin
Avoid: Lead, Mercury

Conjuration, Creation
Use: Adamantine, Gold, Mithral, Platinum, Silver
Avoid: -

Conjuration, Healing
Use: Gold, Silver, Steel
Avoid: Lead

Conjuration, Transportation
Use: Adamantine, Black Iron, Gold, Iron, Lead
Avoid: -

Divination
Use: Brass, Gold, Mithral, Platinum, Silver, Zinc
Avoid: Adamantine, Lead

Enchantment
Use: Brass, Copper, Gold, Iron, Silver, Steel
Avoid: Adamantine

Evocation
Use: Brass, Bronze, Copper, Darksteel, Gold, Iron, Mercury, Mithral, Silver, Steel, Tin
Avoid: -

Illusion
Use: Bronze, Copper, Gold, Lead, Silver, Tin
Avoid: Adamantine

Necromancy
Use: Adamantine, Gold, Silver
Avoid: -

Transmutation
Use: Adamantine, Brass, Bronze, Gold, Iron, Mercury, Mithral, Silver, Steel
Avoid: -


Afterword
This work could not have been made without support of the Eldfell Institute in Belenoth that supplied the necessary funds to purchase the more than three hundred samples of metal used. A word of thanks is also expressed to Meriptah Anhet that studies the brittleness and hardness of the metals used. This was essential information for one not used to work with metals.

If the reader wishes to discuss this work the author can best reached by leaving a not in one of the libraries of Amia. He is bound to visit them soon. I hope you enjoyed the work and found it useful.


M. Rindrsen


 
      
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