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Metal and Magic

Iron resists enchantment strongly. Weapons of pure iron (not steel) cannot be enchanted normally.

Steel, being of course iron with added carbon, can be enchanted to the most common degree without difficulty, but higher degrees of enchantment are usually not possible for common steel. The vast majority of nonmagical metal weapons are made of steel.

Gold and silver are unsuitable for weaponmaking in pure form, but curiously both are easy to enchant. This leads to their use in alloy form, as described below.

Mithril is a mysterious metal, similar to silver in appearance and rustproof, but hard and resilient as the finest steel. This metal is produced only by the elves; even the most learned of dwarves do not know where it comes from. Many suspect that mithril is some sort of alloy, but if this is so no smith or sage has been able to reduce it to its components. Damaged mithril items must be repaired by an elven smith; any other smith will fail to work with the metal, not knowing its secret. Like the silver it resembles, mithril may be enchanted to the highest degree.

Adamantite is a darker metal, mined from deep veins by dwarves. It is harder than steel and rustproof, but does not hold quite as fine an edge. Adamantite resists enchantment to the same degree as steel.

Orichalc is an alloy created by an alchemical process. It is already enchanted when created, and may be alloyed with steel by an expert weaponsmith to create magic weapons.

Silver or gold may be alloyed with steel for the making of weapons (though this may be done for armor also, it is strangely rare). Silversteel or goldsteel may be enchanted to moderate levels, and both are resistant to rust (but not proof against it).

Dwarfmetal is a steel alloy which is very rust resistant, strong and resilient. Its making is not as mysterious as mithril, but the process is expensive. Dwarfmetal is capable of being enchanted to moderate levels, but due to the expense is rarely if ever made into armor.

Mages and Armor

Casting spells in normal steel armor is usually impossible, as the metal's magic resistance inhibits the mage from drawing and controlling the mana properly. Elven warrior-mages are generally protected by elven chainmail, which is made of mithril. The elves never make platemail from mithril, for no apparent reason.

Armor made of any iron-based alloy will inhibit mages in this way, as will pure adamantite, or indeed any known metal other than mithril.

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Magic and Metallurgy Last Updated 08/21/2006