Starmetal Material in Changing Stars | World Anvil

Starmetal

Whispers of the Starforged

"I remember the night the sky wept stars. They fell like tears of the gods, each a blazing streak of light carving its sorrow into the fabric of the night. As a child, I stood in the fields outside our village, eyes wide, heart racing with a mix of fear and awe.   One star, brighter and closer than the rest, seemed to reach for me, plummeting to the earth with a muted thud, mere paces from where I stood. The ground trembled beneath my feet, a gentle quake that whispered of power and secrets. With hesitant steps, I approached the crater, the air around me humming with an energy I couldn't understand.   There, amidst the charred earth and smoldering grass, lay a fragment of the heavens. It was smaller than I had imagined, no larger than my clenched fist, yet its presence was immense. The fragment pulsed with a soft, ethereal glow, a heartbeat of distant stars. It was starmetal, the whispered legend of our people, now lying before me, tangible and real.   In the days that followed, our village was visited by many – scholars, mages, and even cloaked strangers whose eyes held stories of distant lands. They spoke in hushed tones, their words weaving tales of magic and power, of weapons forged from starlight and crowns that commanded the heavens.   But my father, the village blacksmith, was the one who took the fragment into his care. Night after night, I watched from a distance as he worked, his hammer falling in a rhythmic dance, yet never touching the metal. He moved as if in a trance, guided by some unseen force, his eyes reflecting the starry glint of the fragment.   I would often hear him whispering to the metal, a language unknown to me, as if he were sharing secrets with an old friend. Each morning, he looked more weary, yet there was a fire in his eyes that I had never seen before.   The fragment slowly began to take shape under his skilled hands. It was not being forged into a weapon or a piece of armor, as many had hoped. Instead, it was becoming something else, something unique – a talisman, perhaps, or a key to some celestial gate.   One night, as the moon cast a silver glow over the world, my father called me to his forge. He held the now-complete artifact in his hands, its surface alive with a tapestry of light. He spoke of a journey he must take, a calling from the stars that he could no longer ignore.   I watched as he walked away, the artifact cradled in his hands, a silhouette against the backdrop of the starlit sky. He left without a backward glance, leaving behind more questions than answers.   The fragment of starmetal was gone, but its legacy remained. It had changed us, marked our village on the map of the world, and ignited a thirst for knowledge about the stars and their mysteries.   I stand now where my father stood, under the same starry sky, wondering about the secrets of the starmetal. Its whispers still echo in my dreams, calling me to an adventure I'm not yet ready to begin. But one day, I will follow in my father's footsteps, to unravel the enigmas of the stars and the starmetal that binds us to the cosmos.   For now, I wait, and I watch the sky, knowing that the stars have more stories to tell." -Unknown bard, approximately 42,000 B.C.  

Beneath the Starlight:

Introduction to the Enigma of Starmetal
  Starmetal, unlike earthly minerals, is a celestial gift, born not from the bowels of the earth but from the vast, unknowable expanses of the cosmos. It is a material of legend, whispered in the hushed tones of awe by alchemists and sorcerers, revered for its mysterious properties and otherworldly origin.  
Cosmic Birth: The Starlit Crucible
  The genesis of starmetal is a cosmic event, a rare alchemy that transpires when celestial bodies, torn from their astral dance, plummet through the heavens. As they streak across the night sky, consumed in a fiery embrace with our atmosphere, fragments survive - not as mere meteorites but as starmetal. This ore, forged in the heart of dying stars, carries the luminescence of the heavens, shimmering with an ethereal glow that echoes its celestial lineage.  
Ethereal Properties: Light and Might
  Starmetal defies conventional understanding. It is paradoxical in nature - lighter than the most delicate elven craftsmanship yet surpassing the strength of the finest steel. Envision armor crafted from this heavenly metal, a harmonious blend of ethereal elegance and formidable resilience, glinting under the caress of moonlight.  
The Celestial Connection: A Conduit of the Cosmos
  The true marvel of starmetal lies in its innate affinity with the stars. It resonates with a faint, otherworldly hum, a whisper of its celestial origins. This resonance is not merely an echo of the cosmos but a conduit to its power, amplifying star-based sorceries and enchantments, channeling the raw fury of comets, and casting spells woven from the very constellations.  
Molding the Unmoldable: Shaping by Starlight
  Unlike earthly metals, starmetal defies traditional smithing. It cannot be melted or hammered into shape. Instead, it is sculpted by the very forces of the cosmos - bathed in moonlight's silvery embrace or caressed by the focused rays of captured comets. This is a craft of patience and attunement, a dance with the celestial powers that birthed the metal.  
The Price of the Heavens: A Sacrifice of Soul
  The forging of starmetal is not measured in gold or gems but in the currency of the soul. It is said that those who seek to shape this celestial ore must offer a fragment of their essence, a sacrifice that forges a bond between the smith and the stars. This union bestows incredible power but at a cost - a vulnerability to the celestial ebb and flow, tethering the wielder to the eternal waltz of the cosmos.  
Artifacts of Legend: The Creations of Starmetal
  Tales abound of artifacts crafted from starmetal - swords aglow with the light of distant stars, slicing through darkness as if it were mere shadow; armor reflecting the tapestry of constellations, bestowing upon its wearer the might of celestial bodies; and the ultimate artifact, a crown woven from a fallen star, rumored to grant dominion over the heavens themselves.  
The Call of the Stars: A Cosmic Destiny
  Starmetal beckons those who dare to dream, to reach beyond the terrestrial confines. It promises a journey of discovery, of forging pacts with ancient celestial beings, and of encounters with adversaries armed with the pure essence of the cosmos. It is a material that weaves dreams into reality, beckoning adventurers to partake in its celestial legacy.  
The Whispering Metal of Destiny
  Remember, adventurer, beneath the vast expanse of starlit skies lies starmetal, a whispering promise of dreams and destiny. It calls out to those who yearn to touch the heavens, to wield the power of the cosmos.   Will you be the one to answer its call?

Properties

Material Characteristics

Starmetal appears as a solid, iridescent metal, its surface shimmering with a celestial radiance. To the touch, it feels both smooth and alive, as if pulsating with the energy of distant stars. Its unique luster captures the essence of the night sky, making it a mesmerizing sight to behold.

Physical & Chemical Properties

Physically, starmetal is cool to the touch, emanating a subtle vibrational energy. It is non-reactive to most chemicals, impervious to fire, and possesses an innate resistance to magical forces. When exposed to starlight, it becomes energized, amplifying its inherent mystical properties.

Compounds

Starmetal rarely forms compounds, maintaining its purity and celestial essence. However, it is often used as a core material in the forging of magical artifacts and weapons, where its unique properties can be harnessed and amplified.

Geology & Geography

Starmetal is found exclusively at sites of fallen stars or celestial events. These rare locations are often shrouded in mystery and magic, accessible only to those who are attuned to the cosmic forces or who possess the knowledge of ancient, celestial pathways.

Origin & Source

Starmetal originates from the heart of dying stars. It is not found within any earthly ore or tree but is a direct celestial deposit from the cosmos, making its presence on the material plane a rare and wondrous event.

Life & Expiration

Starmetal is virtually indestructible and does not deteriorate over time. Its half-life is immeasurable, retaining its cosmic power and integrity indefinitely. It is a timeless material, as enduring and perpetual as the stars from which it was born.

History & Usage

History

Historically, starmetal has been perceived as a celestial blessing, enveloped in myth and legend. In ancient times, it was revered as a gift from the gods, a material manifestation of the divine cosmos. Its use and significance have evolved over the centuries. Initially used in sacred rituals and as symbols of divine authority, starmetal gradually found its way into the hands of powerful mages and legendary warriors, coveted for its unique properties and the prestige it bestowed.

Discovery

The discovery of starmetal dates back to the earliest recorded histories of nomadic star-gazing civilizations. It is believed that the first known starmetal artifact was discovered by a society of astral mages, who recognized its celestial origin. These mages used the metal to enhance their understanding of the cosmos, and its first practical use was in the creation of powerful magical artifacts.

Everyday use

In everyday life, starmetal is rarely used due to its scarcity and revered status. However, on the rare occasions it is found, starmetal is primarily used in crafting items of significant magical or symbolic value, such as amulets, ceremonial blades, or astrological tools.

Cultural Significance and Usage

Starmetal is deeply entrenched in cultural and ritualistic traditions. Many cultures view starmetal artifacts as sacred relics, imbued with the power of the cosmos. Ritualistic uses include ceremonies aimed at celestial communion, blessings for good harvests based on celestial events, and in some cultures, the forging of starmetal is a sacred rite performed only under specific astrological conditions.

Industrial Use

Due to its unique and mystical nature, starmetal has little to no industrial use in a conventional sense. Its use is almost exclusively reserved for artisanal crafting, primarily in the creation of magical artifacts and ceremonial items.

Refinement

Starmetal typically requires no refinement in the traditional sense. Its celestial nature means it is often found in a near-perfect state. However, its shaping and molding into artifacts is a process steeped in ritual and requires deep attunement to cosmic energies.

Manufacturing & Products

Products made from starmetal are often of a magical or ceremonial nature. These include enchanted weapons that carry the essence of the stars, astrological instruments of unparalleled accuracy, and amulets that are believed to connect the wearer to the cosmic energies.

Byproducts & Sideproducts

The crafting of starmetal artifacts often produces no byproducts or side products due to the mystical and precise nature of its handling. Every fragment of starmetal is considered precious and is utilized fully in the crafting process.

Hazards

The primary hazard associated with starmetal is its potential to attract unwanted cosmic attention. The resonance of starmetal with celestial energies can sometimes act as a beacon to otherworldly beings or forces, potentially leading to unpredictable and dangerous consequences.

Environmental Impact

Starmetal has no known adverse environmental impact. Its presence is so rare and its use so controlled that it does not interfere with natural processes or ecosystems.

Reusability & Recycling

Starmetal is inherently reusable due to its indestructible nature. Artifacts made from starmetal often outlast their creators by millennia, and it is not uncommon for them to be repurposed or reforged to serve new functions in line with the needs or understandings of different eras or cultures.

Distribution

Trade & Market

Starmetal is almost exclusively traded through secretive and high-level transactions. The primary sellers are ancient collectors, powerful mages, or celestial beings. Most starmetal available in the market is in the form of ancient artifacts or recycled fragments, with new pieces being exceedingly rare.

Storage

Starmetal does not require special storage conditions due to its stable nature. However, it is often stored in enchanted or sanctified containers to protect it from theft and to contain its celestial energy.

Law & Regulation

Legal restrictions on starmetal vary significantly. In the Empire of Altherion, possession and trade of starmetal are strictly regulated by the Mage Council. In contrast, the Free Cities of Zephyria impose no restrictions, leading to a thriving black market. The Kingdom of Thaloria prohibits private ownership of starmetal, reserving its use for the royal court and selected high priests.

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unknown and possibly variable
Value
1 Starmetal Ingot = 20 GP = 2 PP
Rarity
Rare
Odor
The aroma of starmetal is as elusive as the material itself. It bears a scent not of this world, akin to the cold, crisp air of a starlit night. This ethereal fragrance is said to evoke a sense of the vastness of space.
Taste
Starmetal possesses a taste that is otherworldly, a testament to its celestial origin. Those few who have dared to sample it describe a sensation that transcends mere flavor - a tingling, almost electric taste that resonates with cosmic energy.
Color
Starmetal exhibits a color that defies simple description. It shimmers with a radiant silver hue, interwoven with specks of deep cosmic blue that seem to shift and dance like distant stars. In moonlight, its surface glistens with a spectrum of starlights.
Boiling / Condensation Point
The boiling and condensation points of starmetal are phenomena that defy conventional physics. At extreme temperatures, rather than transitioning to a gaseous state, it radiates an intense, star-like light, suggesting a boiling point beyond measure.
Melting / Freezing Point
Starmetal's melting and freezing points are equally enigmatic. It does not melt or freeze in the manner of earthly metals. Instead, it remains perpetually solid, its form unaltered by heat or cold, as if retaining the immutable essence of the stars.
Density
Inconsistent, fluctuating in response to celestial phenomena. Its structure appears to be in constant flux, resonating with the movements of the stars and the ebb and flow of cosmic energies.
Common State
Starmetal is most commonly found in a solid state, its form ranging from rough, meteoric fragments to refined, sculpted artifacts. It maintains this solid state regardless of the environmental conditions it is exposed to.


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

Comments

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Jan 20, 2024 10:52 by Lia Felis

It's so put together, easy-to-read, and beautiful article. Thank You!

Aspiring fantasy writer and part-time Dungeon Master. Dragon Goddess of Evera.
Jan 21, 2024 06:05 by mage josh

Really happy to hear you like it! Hoping to expand it more sometime soon. Well, it's on the list to get to at least :)