Orichalcum Material in Changing Stars | World Anvil

Orichalcum

Orichalcum is known as Divine Gold. What is it really?
  A shimmering metal imbued with the essence of the divine, orichalcum is a rare and precious material sought after by potent mages and alchemists alike. While not inherently owned by the gods themselves, it resonates with divine energy, making it a powerful conduit for channeling celestial magic. Its value is equal to that of platinum, gram for gram, yet its true worth lies in its unique properties.

 
 

Historical Lore:

  In ancient Greek mythology, orichalcum was described as a precious metal second only to adamantine. Plato, in his dialogue *Critias*, described Atlantis as a city adorned with orichalcum, emphasizing its value and rarity.
Alchemists throughout history have sought to unlock the secrets of orichalcum, believing it held the key to immortality and divine power. Paracelsus, a renowned alchemist of the 16th century, believed orichalcum could be used to create the Philosopher's Stone, a legendary substance capable of transmuting base metals into gold and granting eternal life.
Many legendary weapons and artifacts are said to be crafted from orichalcum, including the spear of Poseidon and the armor of Achilles. These mythical objects are imbued with immense power, their strength and resilience attributed to the divine essence of orichalcum.


 

Availability and Use:

  Orichalcum is incredibly rare, found only in deep volcanic caverns and meteor impact sites. Its acquisition is often fraught with danger, more often than not guarded by powerful creatures or shrouded in magical wards by those who would keep it for themselves. Those fortunate enough to obtain Orichalcum find themselves in possession of a material of immense value and power, sought after by the greatest mages and alchemists in the land.

Properties

Material Characteristics

Lustrous metal with a vibrant golden glow that gently pulsates. Unlike common gold, it possesses a subtle, inner luminescence that seems to pulse with an ethereal light. This luminescence intensifies when exposed to divine magic, radiating outward like an angelic halo.
Incredibly strong, almost on par with adamantine.
Resistant to corrosion and damage.
Emmits a faint, cleansing radiation. Not strong enough normally to cure diseases, but can help reduce infections.

Physical & Chemical Properties

Divine Conduit: Due to its inherent instability, Orichalcum readily absorbs then slightly amplifies and re-emits divine energy, making it an excellent conduit for channeling celestial magic. Orichalcum amplifies and refines the flow of divine magic, allowing for more potent spells and rituals. It can also be used to channel divine energy into objects, imbuing them with holy blessings or potent enchantments.
Alchemical Power: The decay process of Orichalcum releases small amounts of energy, which alchemists believe to be the source of its potent properties. This energy can be harnessed to create powerful elixirs and enchantments. Historical alchemists believed orichalcum held the key to unlocking the secrets of immortality and divine power. Legends speak of alchemical elixirs crafted from orichalcum that granted extended life, enhanced physical prowess, and even the ability to communicate with the divine.
Resistance: The unstable nature of Orichalcum gives it an incredibly strong lattice structure, making it highly resistant to physical and magical corrosion. It can withstand even the most potent magical attacks, making it ideal for crafting armor and weapons for champions of the divine.
Purifying Properties: As Orichalcum decays, it emits a faint, cleansing radiation that can repel dark magic more easily. Orichalcum is said to possess the ability to cleanse and purify. It can be used to create wards against evil forces, purify polluted water, and even help heal wounds imbued with dark magic.

Geology & Geography

Orichalcum is incredibly rare, typically found only in deep volcanic caverns and meteor impact sites on the prime material plane, but more prevalent in divine realms on other planes.

Origin & Source

Orichalcum is related to gold, as it is an isotope of the element. However, it possesses unique properties due to its unstable nature.

Life & Expiration

Orichalcum has a half-life of approximately 10,000,000 years.

History & Usage

Everyday use

Priests and Paladins are the most common users of this material outside of Nobility.

Cultural Significance and Usage

All who see it recognize it from stories if not from personal experience with it. It's said it came into use when the Archfey betrayed the Gods and Dragons in the first Demon War, because many of the remaining Archfey of the time would pretend to be local nature gods to gain power from worship. This metal was a way to tell if their miracles were divine or not for the common folk. It's said this secret was given to humanity by the great god Belthrial.

Refinement

Refining Orichalcum: A Trial of Skill and Patience
  Refining orichalcum is an arduous and perilous endeavor, demanding the utmost skill and dedication from even the most seasoned smith. Due to its divine nature, ordinary tools and techniques are insufficient to tame this celestial metal.
 

The Refining Process:

  Preparation: The smith must first acquire the necessary materials: a specially crafted crucible forged from adamantine or mithril, potent alchemical reagents attuned to divine magic, and a source of incredibly intense heat, such as a volcanic forge or a dragon's breath.
Purification: The orichalcum must be cleansed of impurities. This involves bathing the metal in a concoction of rare herbs and divine essences, carefully separating the orichalcum from any unwanted materials.
Melting: Once purified, the orichalcum must be melted within the crucible. This requires a constant and precise application of heat, exceeding the capabilities of any ordinary forge. Only the most skilled smiths, possessing an innate understanding of fire and its manipulation, can achieve this feat.
Tempering: Once molten and any remaining impurities smelted off, the orichalcum must be tempered with divine magic. This involves channeling powerful spells or rituals into the molten metal, imbuing it with the desired properties and ensuring its stability. Only clerics, paladins, or other individuals attuned to divine energy can perform this intricate task. The blacksmith may work the metal, but someone must channel a divine spell slot into the metal every 8 hours it is worked.
Shaping: Finally, the tempered orichalcum can be shaped into its desired form. This requires exceptional craftsmanship, as the metal is incredibly resistant to manipulation. Only the most skilled and patient smiths can successfully forge orichalcum without shattering or marring its divine essence.
 

The Risks of Refining:

  Divine Backlash: Improper handling of orichalcum can trigger divine backlash, causing severe injuries or even death to the smith and those around them.
Loss of Essence: Mistakes during the refining process can cause the orichalcum to lose its divine properties, rendering it worthless.
Corruption: The potent energies within orichalcum can attract and amplify evil forces. Unskilled or unprepared smiths risk becoming corrupted by these dark energies while working with the metal.
 

Benefits of Refined Orichalcum:

  Enhanced Weaponry and Armor: Refined orichalcum can be used to create weapons and armor of unparalleled strength and resilience, imbued with potent divine enchantments.
Powerful Alchemical Reagents: The residue left after refining orichalcum can be used to create powerful alchemical reagents with potent healing, restorative, and even life-extending properties.
Favor of the Divine: Successfully refining orichalcum can bring great favor from the gods, granting the smith blessings, divine guidance, and access to powerful artifacts.

Hazards

It doesn't discriminate on type of divine energy, meaning it is unaligned. This makes it highly sought after by worshippers of evil deities just as much as good ones.

Environmental Impact

This metal causes no harm to the environment naturally.

Reusability & Recycling

As long as it's half-life hasn't been decayed it can by smelted down and reforged into a new item by any skilled blacksmith able to work similarly difficult materials.
If it's half-life has decayed, if it is smelted and mixed with at least an equal mass of Orichalcum whose half-life has not decayed can renew the decayed Orichalcum back to another 5 million years of half-life.

Distribution

Trade & Market

Very few known sources for this metal. Most people who are selling it are reselling recycled ingots or already crafted items made with it.

Storage

Totally safe to store normally just like gold.
You can store it inside lead lined containers to prevent its interaction with divine magic nearby it.

Law & Regulation

Highly varying levels of legality depending on the nation.
Felston Accord has no laws against it's ownership or use.
Confederation of Georgia and Land of the Great Ones both have laws against commoners owning or using it.

79OAu

198.965 amu (average)
Value
1 Orichalcum Piece = 10 GP = 1 PP
Rarity
Very Rare
Odor
Orichalcum has no odor on the Prime Material Plane, but smells faintly of honey sweet baked bread in the Astral Plane.
Taste
Orichalcum is said to have a metallic taste, similar to gold but with a hint of sweetness to it.
Color
Orichalcum is a lustrous metal with a gently pulsating vibrant golden glow.
Boiling / Condensation Point
Orichalcum has a boiling point of 2,403°C (4,357°F) and a condensation point of 2,204°C (3,999°F).
Melting / Freezing Point
Orichalcum has a melting point of 29.76°C (85.57°F) and a freezing point of 30.15°C (86.27°F).
Density
19.32 g/cm³ (average)
Common State
solid ore


Cover image: A strange planet this way floats. by magejosh with DALLE3

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