Fonaj Material in Binaka | World Anvil

Fonaj (/foˈnaʤ/)

Fonaj, or fire steel, is the magic infused metal mined largely by the Dwarfs and forged, by them and others, into magic items, including swords and armor. Knowledge of the mining and forging techniques are jealously guarded by the Ujajoxoro clan.   Fonaj is a shortened form of fonujajo, which is literally fire steel. While some old-school dwarfs still insist on using the long form, most now use the short form. It is known as nöžaŗö /nɔˈʒarɔ/ in the ancient Thevan. Most modern cultures and langauges use either "fonaj," or a variant of it, or nöžaŗö or a variant.   During the First Age, fonaj was used to make powerful artifacts, many of which still exist. The Ujajoxoro actively seek out and study these artifacts, hoping to improve their own techniques.   It is possible to create fonaj from raw basalt stone, rather than mining it. The specifics of the technique are known only to the dwarfs, but the basic procedure is as follows:
  1. Pour intense magical heat into the stone.
  2. This results in a molten pool of lava. Continue pouring heat into the pool.
  3. Begin pouring protection magic into the pool of lava, while continuing to apply heat.
  4. Rapidly solidify the molten pool using strong alteration magic.
The creation of fonaj in this way has only been attempted once by the dwarfs. The process created a very small amount (less than 100 grams) and cost the lives of two of the three experimenters applying energy to the stone.


Material Characteristics

Raw fonaj ore is a dark, dull red in color. It is slightly warm to the touch. Magic sensitives will notice a very faint emanation of magical energy.   Refined fonaj is dark red with flecks of brighter red. It can be polished to a mirror shine, which it will hold even after extensive abuse. It is slightly warm to the touch and emanates faint magical energy.   Fonaj can be honed to a razor edge and hold that edge as well as it holds polish.

Geology & Geography

The largest deposits of fonaj are in and around Viž Nuzo and Viž Tyuot. Other deposits exist, but they all pale in comparison to this dwarfish stronghold.

History & Usage

Everyday use

It's primary use is for creating magical items.


Fonaj is refined from a raw ore in a process similar to the refinement of steel from raw iron ore. However, the details of how it is heated and what additional materials are used remain a secret to all but the master aushexuža.


Law & Regulation

Raw fonaj is considered by the dwarfs to be contraband. If possible, they will kill on sight any non-dwarfish possessor of the material.   Refined fonaj is only allowed to be in the possession of outsiders if they have been contracted to transport it. Earning such a contract is a rare feat.   Once fonaj has been forged into useful items, it's considered legal to possess by the dwarfs.   Most other organizations and nations tend to respect these rules and the dwarfs will accept the presentation of raw and refined fonaj from know enforcement organizations without repercussions.
Extremely valuable
Very rare. Located at only two sites known to the dwarfs.
Strong metallic, with a slight hint of sweet
Dark red to dark red with flecks of brighter red.
Boiling / Condensation Point
Melting / Freezing Point
3480 °C
.23 lb/ft³ (6.4 g/cm³)
Common State
Related Locations
Related Species
Related Items

Cover image: Scotland Cliffs by Frank Winkler


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