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Author Topic: Special woods and metals  (Read 4134 times)
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Glacialis
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« on: January 02, 2007, 06:44:50 PM »

If one were to create a special metal or other material for use in a bladed weapon that was special, holy or just extremely useful to the erunsil, what would you make? The icewood of their metals, perhaps.

I'm not above the sarcosans having their own special materials carried from their homeland. Blank on what to do. Obviously, they brought the secret of steel but there's got to be something special they have.

Making a pair of weapons that are a mixture of both erunsil and sarcosan smithing, symbol of a covenant long past.
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Dirigible
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2007, 07:01:38 PM »

For the Erunsil metal, how about an ore that's been tempered in an icewood fire, leaving it studded with carbonised splinters of the wood; call it crysteel or crystal-steel or something., give it a glassy appearance.

For the sarcosans, perhaps they have the secret of a better kind of steel: Damascus, stainless, or a mystical Ubersteel.
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Glacialis
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2007, 08:18:28 PM »

(( Edited 10:30pm EST ))

Oooooh! I was going to have the erunsil blade be an ever so slightly transparent steel that became more like glassteel as the power of the covenant item's wielder increased. But man...do you know how much icewood it would take to get a good forge fire going? That's a hell of a sacrifice. Much better than the "uh, it's blended with icewood somehow" I was going to use. Great imagery!

The sarcosan metal does sound good. For the particular set of items I have in mind I'm trying to find something fire related. I've always imagined them in tune with fire more than ice, being a seemingly desert- or hot climate-dwelling culture. That's mostly for the wood I want to use, since they already have excellent steel.

An ancient wood brought from their homeland which did not grow well on Eredane. Tended by the sahi, it grew best in special groves near star towers. These groves were sanctified to the stars, and there weren't as many sahi around Eredane who knew the special rites. What's so special about it other than that? No clue. To be an ancient wood and still of use, how about it doesn't rot. Stars are timeless, and so is this wood. What else?

A rare tree also brought from the sarcosan homeland did a little better. It grows best in places of high heat, metabolizing heat the way other plants live off of sunlight. It does moderately well in sunlight if there is no heat nearby but seeds will not sprout and saplings will soon die off unless a great source of heat is brought near. After a forest fire this tree is often the only living thing left, seeding almost immediately. The largest of these trees can be found growing on the sides of active volcanoes, roots reaching down to liquid fire. While not immune to such intense heat, it is highly resistant and can survive days of total submersion. The roots are even more resilient and can be found suckling directly from a lava flow, having burrowed through solid rock to reach the delicious warmth. The wood is a dark red, fairly unremarkable, until it is brought near heat. Even a campfire wihin conversation distance is enough to cause the wood to warm. If actually brought in contact with said campfire it will glow with an internal fire for up to an hour afterwords. Stronger heat will result in a longer glow. Let's name it fireblossom, and say that its blossoms are bright yellow but soon turn brilliant orange-crimson and remain that way until they fall. When steeped, these blossoms make a mild psychadelic. Fireblossom trees are indistinguishable from a variety of native varieties until revealed by a forest fire or other scorching event. After that, the trunks are forever a deep crimson and the tree may flower and quickly seed.

An offshoot of the second idea incorporating bits of the first is the holiest of sarcosan materials next to starmetal iself. When a star falls, it may fall silently, or it may bring cacophany and destruction. In the more violent case it is quite likely that a forest fire will result. If it does and fireblossom is present, the trees are forever altered. What wood remains is cracked and lifeless, stained white along the cracks instead of its typical dark crimson. While the tree itself is now dead, the seeds are fully viable. They are sterile and will not bear seeds themselves, but these starblossom trees have flowers of purest white with pearlescent trunk and wood to match. None know why, but starblossom has been found growing in the frozen wastes of the sarcosan homeland. Apparently it thrives as much from heat as cold, and is now exceedingly difficult to kill. Sahi use teas from starblossom petals as a very dangerous drug that induces a comatose state by which one can speak to the sorshef, if luck is with you. More often than not, the drinker never wakes again but is believed to be honored by the Sorshef for their sacrifice. Some disgraced sahi have taken starblossom tea for final atonement. Starblossom wood glows star white instead of flame red after contact with fire, and although completely inexplicable, they will also do so after exposure to extreme cold. Sahi theorize that this is because of the cold journey the star has made from its place in the heavens. None that have been close to an impact site have spoken of unusual cold, but those who speak are the ones who lived because they weren't all that close. Proponents of the cold journey theory point to the fact that it would take prodigious heat indeed to kill fireblossom so thoroughly, while cold could do so quite easily. Needless to say, starblossom is exceedingly rare. Its wood is exquisitely so, for no sarcosan would ever willingly kill a starblossom tree. As with icewood, trees that die are used with a grateful prayer of thanks.

I still like the sacred grove idea. What do you think of magical fires being used to feed these groves outside of their star tower?

Only the most revered of priest-kings would be gifted with enough star-blessed fireblossom to craft a bridle, but that gift also ensures that such an exalted horse could not help but carry its rider's soul to the sorshef in thanks. The bridles are buried with the horses. There have been cases of horses with star-blessed bridles refusing to carry their usual riders. All knowledgable men agree that the riders were unworthy of such an honor, and forcing the steed to do so condemns the rider forever.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2007, 09:30:41 PM by Glacialis » Logged
Albert
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2007, 07:58:14 AM »

Okay, there are already some special materials in Midnight. Mithril takes over for both mithril and adamantium in core d20, icewood is special for the Snow Elves and the orcs of the far north have Black Iron or Dark Iron or something, which is like an illogical, evil variant of Cold Iron (from core d20) that goes brittle and useless in temperatures above freezing.
Thus, if we don't want to be original there are two materials of the top of my head that have no official place in midnight. Darkwood and Ironwood.

Ironwood seems perfect for elves to me, they have lots of wood, they have lots of channelers and they like light-weight weapons and speed. Their special metal could be a sort of permanent Ironwood, removing the need for special forges or mines, but adding an additional toll on their channelers.

Darkwood is like a duller version of your crimson blood, sensing heat wood thing. Just give darkwood the additional heat-sensing and fire-resistant properties and you have the rules for them.



A special sarcosan metal could involve their view on ancestors or horses in some way in addition to just being superior to regular steel. Like damascus-steel but with a little mumbo-jubo on the side, like they start the fires in their forge with flames from a pyre (of a man or a horse) and so the spirit of the departed lives on in the steel. Or they cool the steel in the blood of a recently departed, favored horse.

There, two ideas I stole from D&D and one vaguely original one. Now, comments.

While I like your idea of a special sarcosan firewood (pun intended) I don't like adding a whole new type of magic trees and the mythology to go with it, reverred trees and priestly gardeners sound a bit more like elves to me.
Also the crystal steel is dull (even diablo II has crystal swords), wastefull and involves a material that already has two major uses, bows and enchantements. Frankly I can't see how or why the elves would experiment with such a method in the first place, and developing it into a viable method for making slightly superior steel sounds like something the shadow would do. Fuel the fires of Steel Hill with Icewood, not the elven ones.
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Glacialis
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2007, 08:28:29 AM »

Considering how rare these Sarocsan woods were in the original homeland, I mean for this stuff to be 99.9% extinct in Eredane. Only in artifacts from the time of the Sarcosan invasion will this material be found. There's maybe a handful of sahi who know the old lore, but I doubt they'd recognize it unless they saw the signature glow. I do not believe the PCs will ever discover this tree again unless I have them find a fireblossom seed. I'm not ruling out darkwood, but I like the additional mythology

Before Diablo II, there was Ultima V. It had glass swords, and I liked them. Tongue This holy erunsil steel would only ever be forged when the Snows, and specifically the snow witches, had been blessed with icewood that was much more difficult to work with than normal, unsuitable for bows. Still used as focuses for ice magics, these would be sacrificed to create items of great importance.

I do like the ideas for the sarcosan metal, and will be adding them to my own material.
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Albert
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2007, 08:39:04 AM »

Darkwood is just expensive and light-weight, as I said, I like the added touch you gave it. What I didn't like was special temple gardens and trees that magically grow after being struck by meteors, but that's me.

Glass/crystal steel, check one more of the list of what we disagree on. However going with that idea, could the magical properties of the steel somehow be connected to the whisper, or don't the elves use icewood for the purpose of storing dead spirits? In addition to being light and glass like the steel could hold an inate connection to the whisper, seeing as it was forged on a fire of wood from the great forest.
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Glacialis
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2007, 08:49:51 AM »

I was wondering what would happen should an elf be bound to an icewood tree, and was going to give my loreshepherd goblin spiritual channeler (soon to be druid) an icewood staff with an icewood-style vine growing on it, containing a bit of the Whisper. There's no reason this rare forge ritual couldn't be performed to gain access to the Whisper when away from the forest. Now that, would be useful. And super rare. I wanted the blades mentioned in my other thread to be made of this icewood-fused steel, to be a physical symbol of an alliance between the erunsil and a secret sect of sahi. Similar in relatinoship to the Order of Truth and the caransil. The oldest living erunsil smith, I forget his name, would have been the one to forge these along with the help of an elder snow witch.

The trees need not be grown in special grovers, it's probably better if they're in the wild so they can't be cultivated easily. Thus, losing rarity. They don't grow from falling star strikes, but they gain much growth from forest fires. Those are pretty common. What's rare is starblossom, a fire started by a meteor. The destruction caused by even a small meteorite impact is significant. Fires are a very common cause when in flammable locales. My planetary science background coming out again, I don't think it's all that impossible. Just really rare. We're talking used for crowns and bridles of the greatest and holiest of kings.
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Albert
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2007, 08:59:03 AM »

As a sidethought, wouldn't the elves love to have a tree like this, that they could cultivate some miles from the burning line, so that once the orcs got there the advance would halt and set of a burst of new fire-resistant saplings. That sounds like a campaign.
Hm, I think your fireblossoms are growing to my liking.
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Glacialis
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2007, 09:05:24 AM »

On a more mundane level, I have them metabolizing infrared wavelengths instead of visible light. Smiley

I hadn't thought of that, but if fireblossom was integrated into the Whisper...?

Suck it, Maugrim!
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Albert
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« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2007, 09:42:41 AM »

On a more mundane level, I have them metabolizing infrared wavelengths instead of visible light.

If you like shiny white translucent stuff this tree could have shiny white translucent foilage, since it does not depend on absorbing visible wavelengths of light for its photosyntesis. Of course, nothing stops the leaves from having any colour you want, pigmentation often "covers" the green clorophyll resulting in non-green leaves. I'm just saying it makes leaves with no colour possible, and mundanely explainable, to a certain point. Although this is way beyond the knowledge of characters in midnight, I think.
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Glacialis
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« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2007, 09:47:10 AM »

I often find myself getting ideas from science to put into fantasy, and sometimes as in this case I find science pretty able to explain good portions of fantasy. It's neat when it works out, but I don't cross the two worlds on purpose unless I'm in Rifts or First Age Exalted. Wink
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Albert
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« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2007, 09:51:08 AM »

Well it's hard to ignore science. I mean, I'm assuming gravity works the same way in Midnight as in the real world, but I'm also assuming no-one have ever written an equation describing it, like Newton did. Super-science however, and characters that know any science, I reserve for our sci-fi games (currently playing in a D6-Space campaign, and going to GM sahdowrun 4th soon).
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