"You see this? Ecca! Aether stone. Is from underworld. Know what is? Is thousands of years of ghosts of yesterdays. All compressed into stone." The Kobold  licked it. Then again. Yellow pupil points looking at him expectantly. "Tasty dead yesterdays."
Am I supposed to lick it or eat it now? "I this take now, yes?"

Manufacturing process

Several lengths of Soulsteel about 0.5 cm by 8cm by 1 m were heated in the smith fire with coal and Aether stone. The stone hisses and screams as it burns, boosted by the bellows. The Soulsteel lengths were then beaten together, folding over in several layers and several times over. The heated Soulsteel moans and groans more and cries out with a dozen voices when hit with the hammer. Talking to the Soulsteel gets no responses. Wax plugs were worn in the ears to muffle the sounds. The fuller runnel was formed by swing swage. The shape was hammered and the edges flattened. Quench was Kobold vitriol and the smithy's standard oil drench. The vitriol flux was applied to edges to allow polishing and sharpening as Vitriol warps reality, bending rules of shape, substance and qualities where Soulsteel would normally be unaffected.


Uthar, the troll master weaponsmith was alerted by Dwarves lower down on the Street of Swords. Adventurers had found and sold to the dwarves several lengths of SoulSteel. The dwarves marveled and appreciated it but couldn't work it and were put off by the wailing and moans. "Tis an evil aura, and I'll ne have it about! I'll let ye have it for a few thousand gold."
Uthar tried working it and failed. His Ghenid journeyman smith knew it. He hid it and he used his Shadow, a ghostly dead ancestor to ask about it amongst the dead of his kind. They wanted it if he had any. He denied having any.
In the day he spoke with Uthar. He would find a way to work it and if he could, this would be his Master work. Soulsteel is strictly a creation of the underworld. Souls beaten and folded into the underworld dark iron with other materials. Mortal fires do not harm it nor soften the metal, though the cries of the enfolded souls become louder.
He choses to consult the various scholars of the University of Incaras and the theophilosophical society. He dresses carefully in his best clothes. He asks at the university gate and is refused entry. He pays a runner to carry a message that he seeks an audience. This human youth is allowed entry. Some time later an assistant comes to guide Chiru into the campus and to the offices of a scholar. He is introduced to Delona, a scholar of the theophilosophical society and the nature of the minerals and matter. She shows him a variety of books which might be helpful. While he can do figures and numbers, he can't read. He is given a note to pass the gates and assigned a student of Delona to read the books aloud and translate as needed. Months are spent and he learns to read the common Atan language. He also discovers he needs the Aether stone of the underworld which is rare in the living world.
Seeking Aether stone, he finds it can be obtained from Kobolds. Unsettling, disturbing creatures that make his skin crawl. Who can see his Chains. Who ask what he will do. He must bargain with them. Blood for blood. He gains Kobold Vitriol for temper. He tries to set a chain, but the Kobold shrugs it off, manifesting it and breaking it. The Kobold has Chiru use his shadow's slaves to get Soul Stones. This they exchange for Aether stone.
The Aether stone also wails and groans when burned. In the fire with it the soulsteel can be shaped and reforged. It screams. He has to plug his ears. Vitriol tempers and allows the blade to be sharpened. After nearly a year he finally holds the finished blade and is awarded Master status.
The Magical metals are special materials - rare, difficult to work and possessing unique qualities.   Orchalcum:  This "golden metal of the Sun" glows faintly yellow.  It is typically warm to to the touch.  It has magic disrupting qualities- draining essence from mages and other magic users that it contacts.   Soulsteel:  black,oily metal. Cold to the touch. The surface swirls with impressions of faces, hands, feet, shoulder, hips pressing against the surface and then sinking away. It emits a faint keening wail and moaning sound.  Formed of Dark iron and forged souls. It damages ghosts and spirits, reducing their memory and ectoplasm- shrinking them if they are dissipated.  While it is popularly believed Soulsteel destroys ghosts on a single swipe, it takes many dissipations before the ghost becomes a faint whisp unable to even exist in the underworld. Soulsteel manacles or collars prevent ghosts from demanifesting. Wounds caused by Soulsteel weapons are critical and take weeks to heal.   MoonSilver, Lunaargent.  Has a blue-white glow. It causes critical wounds when used in weapons, which drink blood.  Contact dispells illusions and causes tranformed things and creatures to assume their primary form.  Items of Moonsilver will also consume liquids equal to their volume in an hour.   Pyropus: red coppery color.   Adamant: dull grey metal that treats other metals and earth like butter.  The anti-earth aspect causes critical wounds when used in weapons.   Etherium:  A dark green metal with a yellow-green glow.  It is mostly known to Imperial region dwarves.
Current Location
Current Holder
Raw materials & Components
The blade is soulsteel. Hilts and pommel are steel, worked with etched skull and bone designs.  The hand grip is wood with leather wrap.

Cover image: https://azgaar.github.io/Fantasy-Map-Generator/ by mutterwolf


Please Login in order to comment!
12 Dec, 2021 15:39

He had some serious dedication toward the creation of this weapon and mastery. That he learned to read and write while interacting with things close to the underworld is quite a lot.

Kriltch, arcanities not included.
6 Jan, 2022 01:50

Your prose is alluring and pulls the reader along the story of how the journeyman made the blade to the point I came to the end of the story and looked around the page and wondered where I would find more. And absolute delight to read, and best of luck in the Item Special Category!

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive
6 Jan, 2022 02:30

Thank you very much. This is high praise coming from someone of your stature in the community and your great talent.

Eternal Sage MoonRaven
Jeroen Heijster
9 Jan, 2022 20:09

"Tasty dead yesterdays." Ah love it. Great article!

-MoonRaven creator of Paldurog.
9 Jan, 2022 21:46

Thank you.