Ink Monkey Bones #4: Perygran Alloys

Here’s a bit of setting material that I threw together back in the day while mulling over Compass of Celestial Directions: Autochthonia. It’s the sort of thing that blog-based design enables; overly narrow setting details of this sort aren’t really worth the wordcount in a published supplement, but if it’s available for free online, why not?


Alloys of the Magical Materials

The magical materials are not always used in pure form. Dynasts are intimately familiar with jade-steel alloys, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Countless alloys of the magical materials have been designed by Essence users to fulfill specific purposes. In the current era, the Sodalities of Autochthonia are likely the most knowledgeable about such things, as their records stretch back over five millennia of research, including both their own inventions and those alloys discovered in their explorations of the world-body of the Machine God.

[BEGIN TEXT BOX]
Alloy Mechanics
We’re not going to present elaborate lists of trait bonuses associated with each and every potential alloy. Instead, these alloys provide examples and guidelines for when you want to create a unique item whose attributes don’t match those provided by any of the Six Magical Materials.
[END TEXT BOX]

Atrast is a light, hard metal composed of three parts starmetal to two parts soulsteel, supplemented with various trace metals and metalloids. Its matte-black surface is spattered with pale, colorless gleams. Attuned to axiomatic forces, it is antithetical to variance, such that any given atrast fiber in a magitech device can only convey impulses of a single intensity. Atrast is used as a medium for artifacts intended to impose objectivity. While this includes devices for truth-telling and for suppressing emotion, it also includes all manner of lethal weaponry, as atrast is a fine tool for replacing the murky probabilities of life with the certainty of the grave.

Electrum Major is made from equal parts orichalcum and moonsilver, along with trace quantities of gold, silver and mercury. Though strong by most standards, it is softer than either of the magical materials used in its manufacture. Electrum major effectively channels various flavors of Essence, and is used to harmonize flows of Essence that would otherwise be incompatible.

Gradient alloys are a category of alloy defined by structure rather than substance. An object made from a gradient alloy shifts smoothly from one metal at one end of the object to another metal at the other end. For instance, a rod of copper-tin gradient alloy is composed of pure copper at one end, shading steadily through proportions of bronze in the middle toward pure tin at the other end. Gradient alloys are common in the theotechnological organ-structures native to the body of the Machine God and are sometimes utilized in magitech infrastructure and Alchemical Charms.

Jade admixtures are most often cosmetic in nature, wherein substances with compatible magical qualities or which are magically null are added in order to change the jade’s appearance. Common admixtures of this sort include colored jades that have been lightened or darkened through the addition of powdered black or white marble, translucent jades that incorporate sizable amounts of glass or crystal, or the addition of metal filings to make the jade sparkle.

Alternatively, one color of jade can be mixed with another to blend their magical qualities. Such admixtures include the off-white hue of “ash jade”, which includes a small amount of black jade for resilience, and the many peculiar properties of blue-green jade alloys. The admixture of red and blue jade to create purple jade falls within both categories; its fusion of unpredictability and speed makes it useful for both arms and armor, while its unique hue makes it popular among the Chosen of Endings.

Majestrum is a hard, dense metal composed of six parts orichalcum, four parts soulsteel, one part moonsilver and one part starmetal. Although it appears a lustrous black in indirect lighting, when illuminated directly it throws off a golden sheen. Majestrum both resists and distorts the flow of Essence, making it useful in magitech circuitry. In addition, when forcibly infused with Essence, it harmonizes beautifully with magics of dominance and control.

Virinc is a composite material composed of four parts adamant and one part starmetal. Though transparent, it shines with brilliant varicolored patterns in even the dimmest light. The inner angles of its crystalline structure flex in accordance with the flavor and intensity of whatever Essence is channeled through it, altering its configuration in predictable, replicable ways. This makes it ideal for use in artifacts designed to reflect, refract, reify, focus or disperse energies or imagery.

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5 comments

  1. Very nice! Now, with Virinc, Infernals have another option for artifact armor that works with their Shintai charms besides Moonsilver and or the various magitech shapeshifting clothes!

    Also, Gradient Alloys are pretty cool, too, and I think it’d be possible to produce them mundanely. Would they be a good example of the non-specific “First Age alloys” that make up the bulk of things like airships and Gunzosha armors?

    1. I doubt that savants in the Time of Tumult can produce gradient alloys of adequate quality for magical applications without magical assistance.

      The unspecified First Age alloys mentioned in the text are probably things akin to alpha-phase titanium, chromium steel, invar, zirconium alloys, and the like — not inherently magical, but incorporating unusual combinations of trace metals not easily producible by Second Age metallurgical processes.

      1. >I doubt that savants in the Time of Tumult can produce gradient alloys of adequate quality for magical applications without magical assistance.

        So, something like Damascus Steel or a katana-style folding process wouldn’t work? Because making the “Katanas are Underpowered in d20” meme literally true by turning it into a Gradient Alloy (Reaper) Daiklave would be hilarious.

  2. > So, something like Damascus Steel or a katana-style folding process wouldn’t work?

    I’m sure Creation has something akin to Damascus steel, though of course it would have some other name. On the other hand, I have no idea how you’d make gradient alloys in the real world with modern technology, so I can’t imagine Creation’s artificers doing so either by mundane means.

  3. >On the other hand, I have no idea how you’d make gradient alloys in the real world with modern technology, so I can’t imagine Creation’s artificers doing so either by mundane means.

    Well, besides the aforementioned katana-style folding process (which produces a blend between high-carbon and low-carbon steels), there’s also the rather more simple (if also very time- and fuel-consuming) method of heating two (or more) blocks of different metal up above their annealing temperature, placing them in contact with each other, and then waiting for the metal atoms to diffuse across the barrier. It’s called diffusion bonding or diffusion welding, and while it’s usually just used to weld things together with the blended area remaining relatively thin, there’s nothing stopping you from creating a smooth blend across the entire metallic structure. It’d just take a really long time to do, unless you decide to help it along by using plates of multiple grades of material and layering them on top of each other.

    There’s also a similar process called surface or case hardening, that involves creating a layer of alloy around the surface of an item (usually a few millimeters thick, though nothing stops you from going deeper besides time and the risk of making your material overly-brittle) by heating up the metallic item, then submerging it in a bath or an atmosphere of the substance you’re planning on treating it with (like charcoal for carburizing or ammonia for nitriding).

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