Nullmetal Material in Cairne | World Anvil

Nullmetal

Discovered only fairly recently, this new metamaterial is revolutionizing the face of Cairne, opening up the potential for vastly superior means of production and the generation of energy. This strange and exceedingly rare substance is only found in the outer fringes of the Void, remnants of debris from the old world that have been left in the ambient, less potent Void energies that exist there long enough to become saturated with the essence so much so that it has become an inert counter to the reactive quality of the Void itself, leaving it the only known substance on the planet that can resist direct contact with the energy of the Void without being destroyed.

Properties

Material Characteristics

Nullmetal retains the approximate weight and density of steel, but has a violet tinged, iridescent sheen to it from the exposure to the Void for so long.

Physical & Chemical Properties

In its raw, found form, the material is very cool to the touch, and has been described as having a numbing sensation if it comes directly in contact with the skin. Prolonged direct exposure to Nullmetal is extensively damaging, and can lead to severe health concerns as the Void enriched material retains the toxic elements of the Void energy that permeates it.

Geology & Geography

The raw scrap elements are found in low density zones of the outer fringes of the Void, mostly recovered from the Ventryte territories known as the Eastern Wastes, where a greater area of the Blight damaged lands are, as well as the former territory of the Gaul Do Shah elves, though this region is extremely dangerous as the elves remain territorial.

Origin & Source

The majority of the metamaterial that has been recovered has been primarily steel. Whether this is due to it being more susceptible to the process or because that was what was most widely used is debatable.

History & Usage

Discovery

The initial discovery of Nullmetal is credited to a small group of Ventryte salvagers who in 212 PR were picking through the wreckage of several airship crashes in the outer fringes. Curious of the strange color and the sensations on the skin that contact left behind, they brought what they could gather back to their traveling group, where it was seen as an item of interest that might sell or be traded as a novelty. While they had little luck trading it to their fairly practical kin due to its appearance and a general wariness of anything new found in the Void regions, the discoverers kept the scrap. Over the next year, the members of their salvage team started to show signs of a strange illness that the more home grown means of treating seemed unable to affect. These symptoms turned from simple dehydration, pains and cramps, and an inability to keep foods down, into deteriorating mental states and memory loss and shortness of breath, leading the team to the Benevolents at Olive Branch where they sought help. One of them salvagers died of a heart attack while in their care and the Benevolents were at a loss, seeing no reason for the illness within the scope of their understanding.    It was almost by chance that one of them began noticing discolorations on the fingertips of the sickest members, a faint violet hued darkening of the pigment there. This discovery led to the benevolent searching through the dying salvagers' equipment where he eventually discovered the scraps of metal they had uncovered the year before and been unable to sell. Curious and suspicious, the Benevolent began to study the strange material but was unable to fully grasp what he was seeing. He was, however able to associate the symptoms with the salvager's contact with the substance when he began to exhibit symptoms himself. Starting the remaining salvagers on a regiment intended to purify the blood and digestive systems, he sent the remaining material off to Armuun for further analysis.    The metal and a letter explaining the situation and circumstances it was found was received and studies began digging further into the nature of the strange anomaly.  The research was initially inconclusive, revealing little about the substance aside from the toxic aspects of it resulting from direct contact, though this could be circumvented if the material was handled with thick enough gloves. Eventually, the material was sent to Ephram Nadus , well known already as an innovator and one of the most prevalent researchers working within the cutting edges of technological and scientific fields that most consider more unorthodox. Under his direction, the research began testing the element under various types of strain and conditions, realizing quickly that the material was strangely resilient. On a whim , Ephram tested it with Void material, curious to see if the resilience might hold there as well and, to his surprise, it was far more than resilient, but able to withstand direct contact with the essence. Further investigations and testing over the next few years opened up a multitude of practical applications for the substance, though it was incredibly rare and difficult to find, the Becht depleting tha vast majority of the available resource within the Blighted Lands quickly as word spread of this new discovery and more importantly, of its value. Thousands began pouring into the fringes to seek their fortunes, though far too many did not return. This caused the Becht to turn their attentions to the Ventryte Lands as negotiations began for prospecting rights, something the Ventryte people were largely against, not wanting to give up a potential high value economic resource that remains largely within the realm of their domain.

Everyday use

With the advent of the Culvarkt invention of the Hammerdrive Engine , the methods of Void Compression  that they proposed and was refined into a practical method by the Becht needed considerable amounts of the metamaterial to work, elements of it paramount necessities in the construction of the pumps, containment, and transport of Void energy needed to power the new engines.    The engines themselves rely on smaller amounts of the new element, depending on size as well in order to shield the external parts of the device from the Void reactions is generates.

Cultural Significance and Usage

The Ventrytes seeing an opportunity to, as a people, further protect their way of life by gaining a significant foothold in the global economic arena, have been very quick to secure as much of the material as possible and maintain these stores in secreted locations allowing them to barter and negotiate safely. Their ability to set the value and availability have created a substantial amount of bargaining power for them. The new Hammerdrive engines and the method of collecting and refining the Void energy have opened potential world changing technological opportunities for the larger nations of the Culvarkt and Becht, but these endeavors remains extremely limited by the availability of Nullmetal.

Refinement

Null metal is melted down in crucibles made of a reinforced ceramic make in small factories that have been built in more isolated locations due to the amount of toxins the refinement generates, often further poisoning the ground around the area from the emissions that the process generates, making the air dangerous as well.

Manufacturing & Products

Anything that can be forged or molded could technically use Nullmetal, leaving a wide area of practical and impractical applications available, though the availability and toxicity of the material make this very unlikely, dangerous, and inefficient.

Hazards

The toxicity of the substance in both its raw and processed form is not only hazardous, but potentially lethal in cases of prolonged contact with it. These symptoms persist in the areas where it is processed and manufactured and can lead to a deterioration in the mental acuity of those affected as well as severe digestive issues that will, if contact continues without treatment, result in kidney failure and cardiac arrest.

Environmental Impact

During the smelting process, some of the Void energy is released into the area around the factory containing the crucibles. This leads to a build up of the ambient Void energy in the area and can very quickly become uninhabitable. This has resulted in the majority of these few factories being built along the fringes of the Blighted Lands, and the work done in them to be rotated from one location to the next allowing some of the ambient emissions time to disperse.

Distribution

Trade & Market

The Ventrytes maintain the largest store of Nullmetal to date, as their territories offer the broadest expanse of land affected by the Void energy with the most wreckage and scrap left behind by the impact of the Blight, ironically once thought to be the most unwanted portion of land in the mainland. While even for them it is incredibly rare to find even small caches of the resource, there are a number of enterprising Ventryte salvagers that had the foresight to stockpile all they could find, having littler interest in the technological aspects of it. Both the Becht and Culvarkt remain at odds in their attempt to secure salvage and prospect rights, but this is something the Ventrytes refuse to negotiate on, preferring to keep their lands to themselves and not see a huge influx of outsiders moving into their domain to remove the resource that has escalated their bargaining and negotiation position within the economic and political arenas.

Storage

While Ventryte storage of the raw materials is mostly done very simply, using sand and dirt as insulation and keeping  their stockpiles buried in most cases to assure no issues can arise with the toxic elements of it, and to further make theft a difficult matter, the Becht and Culvarkt utilize more industrial methods, keeping their small and dwindling stocks of it in insulated vaults.

Law & Regulation

There are currently no laws regulating the material in its raw form aside from the territorial rights involved in the gathering of it.

Nm

Type
Metamaterial
Value
Approximately 1500 per ounce
Rarity
Extremely rare
Odor
Nullmetal has a faint ammonia-like smell
Color
THe metals in their raw state retain their normal appearance, but a closer look will reveal a strane infused quality visible as a near indiscernible iridescent sheen on the surface, only visible in the light.
Melting / Freezing Point
1400°C is required to melt down Nullmetal, achieved through the use of specially made ceramic crucibles. The freezing point is -1753°C
Density
8.84 g/cm cubed
Common State
It is recovered from scrap.
Related Species
Related Technologies
Related Professions


Cover image: null metal by Midjourney

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!