True Metal

True Metal can be considered an apex of imperial metallurgy, and one that today carries an almost religious significance. It is an alloy which creation requires astounding number of extremely rare and elusive materials, and also extensive knowledge regarding not only traditional metallurgy but also alchemy, techmaturgy and enchanting. Easily making it worth dozens of times as much as gold, with at best few metalworks in the entire Imperium of Karadia capable of creating it.   True Metal was created mostly by applying standard concepts of highest level of alchemy to metallurgy. Advancing alchemists soon stop using ingredients in material sense, using almost metaphysical solvents to shed all sort of 'matter' (considered an unworthy contaminant at this point) from them. Then creating potions of mixtures from their basic, equally metaphysical essences. True Metal was firstly conjured by alchemists as a sort of description of certain 'idea' of a metal, one that was a materialized essence of metal. Not being a matter in a traditional sense, but in a more metaphysical one.   It existed merely as a concept, sometimes referenced in a metaphysical treaties that all books of high level alchemy truly are, for a rather long while. Imperium, however, progresses slowly over time, learning more and more. This process isn't fast, but it leads to changes nevertheless. It wasn't until the late Middle Empire Period before True Metal was finally achieved (and in a verifiable way, since as with most magical things in this world, it was probably around for much longer, however only in a hands of truly mystical masters of the crafts).   Both ways of achieving it (one more alchemical and one that includes more traditional metallurgy) were created in more or less the same time, however even to this day they weren't done on industrial scale. Exactly 100% of True Metal-made objects are a work of a small group of true masters of their trades (including metallurgists, smelters, alchemists, mages and so on) that made at best few kilograms of it. Still costing a not so small fortune to truly finish the job. The extreme resilience of the metal, however, means it can be reusable for a long time (if one has everything that is required to actually smelt it and recycle, a quite costly thing on its own). Its overall number in the world slowly rising.

Properties

Physical Characteristics

True Metal looks rather unremarkable. It is grey, not unlike smelted iron, but is noticably lighter than it, sitting atop a fence between gray and white. It, however, cannot be mistaken with any other metal when one uses magic to analyze, as it is always betrayed by its extreme mana conductibility.

Properties

True Metal metaphysical origin gives it an edge when it comes to combining almost completely incompatible traits and properties. It is extremely tough and resilient (much more than any other metal, which from alchemical point of view are merely matter-tainted and imperfect versions of it). All of this while also being resistant to extreme temperatures (making smelting it extremely hard) and physical damage - it is almost impossible to be weakened for example by friction (with acids and so on almost useless as well). Once sharpened (which also requires advanced technology) it will remain so for long. Once it reaches its melting point it almost immediately becomes very malleable, even without turning fully liquid (making actually hammering it in shape surprisingly easy).   Beside this, it also has a very low weight (making it unsuitable for a blunt-based weaponry, but a surprisingly good slashing weapon), an extremely high mana conductibility (that far surpasses all known metals and practically reaches level of dedicated mana crystals), and working on all daemons pretty much like Antegnite does. Meaning that even touching it can be deadly for weaker daemons. It also reinforces spells casted on it like all 'noble' metals (silver, gold and so on) do.

Compounds

There are two almost completely different ways of creating True Metal, both including almost completely different materials. With the metaphysics incorporated heavily into the process of making it, it can be safely assumed, however, that once created, True Metal has next to no compounds in a traditional sense, probably not inheriting anything from the materials that are used to create it.

History & Usage

Cultural Significance and Usage

It is considered a sacred metal of Demiurge and Hammer, Imperial Gods connected to crafting and metallurgy. Saraknaar, a demigod sidekick of Demiurge is supposedly made entirely of True Metal, which is also used in a personal equipment wore by both Gods (and in several of their most mystical artifacts).

Refinement

There are two basic ways of creating True Metal. First is more alchemical one, while the second includes more of classical metallurgy.   ALCHEMICAL WAY
Alchemical way can be described as a several steps of purifying the 'idea' of metal itself, by firstly creating several lower levels of 'true' metals. Before the True Metal itself was created, the idea of using high level alchemy to enhance typical metallurgy bore several other fruits.   Creation of True Metal via alchemical route requires True Silver, True Steel, True Levityte and True Antegnite. Each of them is a very rare and costly materials. Not to mention that True Steel is a True type alloy as well. What's more, one kilogram of True Metal requires one kilogram of every of the materials mentioned above.   Beside this, it also requires a state of the art mana furnace, a number of special materials to heat it to more than 3600 degree Celsius (and keep it like that for circa five days). All of this while flooding it with aether mixed with crushed mana crystals (... and of pretty much every colour in the same ammount). Making slightest mistake can have a potentially disastrous consequences (and all of that despite losing all used materials, which is already disastrous on its own).   METALLURGICAL WAY
Metallurgical way of creating True Metal is only SLIGHTLY easier (which is debatable actually). It is achieved by melting several extremely rare metals and alloys, each of them either very or extremely costly. First step is melting Mithril, Orichalcum and Adamantite together. Resulting alloy (unstable and fragile on its own) has to then be smelted together with several other high level midstate alloys, namely Inferite, Palanite, Solarite, Lunarite, Glacielite, and Thorite.   What is then created is merely another midstate alloy. It then has to be further refined in a specially created Pressure Forge. It is a rarely used (and costly) technomaturgic 'tool' that can be described as a squeezer that can 'squeeze' materials put inside while simultaneously bathing it in extreme ammounts of aether. What's more, the Pressure Forge used to create True Metal that way has to be specially modified to also 'squeeze' space inside itself.   After spending circa two weeks in the Forge, a midstate alloy is finally 'squeezed' into True Metal. During the process it loses circa 90% of mass and volume.

Hazards

Failing in creating True Metal via alchemical way can create unstable and potentially explosive material. Which results not only in explosion but also in heavy magical pollution. Which can kill every person unfortunate enough to be there via aether irradiation.

Distribution

Trade & Market

True Metal is almost never sold. It's extreme value and rarity makes this something only kings or people of equal wealth can buy. Rarely an extremely successfull adventurer can make a small ammount of it simply by gaining all or most of required materials. More often a big group of succesfull adventurers combines materials they possess to smelt a kilogram or two of True Metal, almost always selling it immediately to a highest bidder.

Type
Metal
Value
Varied, circa ten times as much as platinum of equal weight.
Rarity
Extremely Rare. Probably less than 100 kilograms in a whole world.
Melting / Freezing Point
Circa 3600C.

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