When the Fragmented War came to its climactic finish, and Zanizer was banished from the Material Plane, a massive amount of elemental and magical energy washed over Aitreas. Zanizer's destruction led to the devastation of northeastern Aitreas, which created the Fragmented Isles, and the resulting magical shockwave that shook Aitreas led to a great many changes in the land and the people of the continent. Of those geographical changes, the greatest one was the creation of an elementally supercharged ore known as akrium. Metal veins of all kinds, from iron to gold, were magically converted into this strange arcane ore, and though it would be nearly a century before its discovery, akrium would change the course of history in Aitreas. While Rheomia founded the Imperium and conquered the entirety of Aitreas above ground, these new deposits of akrium grew in strength and size. They slowly absorbed the residual arcane energy in the soils and minerals around them, and some deposits grew to be cavernous in volume. These deposits were finally discovered in the late 400s AT by a group of Imperial delvers, and when they brought samples back to the surface, the Imperial College of Battlemages immediately set about studying this heretofore unheard of metal. What they discovered was truly astounding. Akrium could receive and store certain arcane and elemental energies, allowing it to maintain their effects and powers akin to a magical battery. This discovery would revolutionize the Imperium, and send it leaps and bounds ahead of the technological levels of any other civilization in the Age of Extant. Magic became something available to all, from small magical lamps to massive golems, all powered by akrium. The Imperium spread even more rapidly across the continent, with akrium-powered artificy allowing Imperials to settle in grand numbers in inhospitable places. From artificial oases in the Ureret Desert to massive aqueducts allowing cities to grow even more massive, the Imperium owes much of its massive population and infrastructure to akrium.
A Beautiful OreAkrium is a truly magical metal. Whatever ore it used to be, akrium appears of a similar color and luster but with hairline cracks forming a lattice network across its surface and throughout its form. These cracks, when the akrium is imbued with magical energy, glow a beautiful color corresponding to the element or school of the magic used.