Arcite

If istralite resulted from the wounds dealt by Terra Arcana's detonation, then.. would this other material not be fragments of that world? Arcite, if you will, for 'arcana'.
— dwarven scholars of the Iron Order
  The single most calamitous event in history - as remembered by mortal scholars - is the Worldrend. A deific prison for wielders of the arcane torn asunder in a single horrific moment, shattering the cloned planet into meteors that would have decimated the surface of Istralar had the gods not broken their own rules to stop the calamity.   Most scholars and smiths are aware of the chaotic energies involved in the Worldrend: they need to be, given the dangerous nature of istralite. But though istralite remains well-recognised in the Underdark and throughout many surface nations, its counterpart from the fallen Terra Arcana is rarely spoken of.   For all that it was thought sundered and spirited away, fragments of arcite still lurk in Istralar's surface as embedded daggers of a fallen world.

Properties

Material Characteristics

Unrefined arcite is turquoise shot with veins of ebony and silver. Unlike most materials, the veins pulse as if alive. Attempts to mine arcite with normal methods cause these veins to detonate, releasing a surge of primal magic stored inside of the arcite.   When refined, arcite retains these silver and black characteristics as swirls of colour in a sea of turquoise. It also develops a shimmering lustre.

Physical & Chemical Properties

Arcite is innately charged with primal energies, likely drawn from both its former whole and the events of the Worldrend. These manifest in a variety of properties when experimented with.   Arcane mages find that proximity to large deposits of arcite augments their spellcasting but removes a significant amount of control from each spell. A fireball, for instance, might grow in size but fly off uncontrollably. Touching a fragment of arcite, however small, causes an intriguing reaction with arcane casters: the fragment will begin glowing and if left in place, will merge with the spellcaster's flesh. The exact effects of this merging are unknown, but experimentation has revealed increased power and propensity for chaos.   Clerics, druids, and other divine mages find the opposite reaction is true for their own powers. Casting divine spells in proximity to arcite causes the arcite to absorb much of the spell's quintessence, leaving it weakened and controllable. Physical contact with arcite weakens the magic of divine mages - leading the more religious nations, such as Gildómar, to label the material as 'cursed'. The current hypothesis for these properties is that as Terra Arcana was a deity's prison, the earth became capable of containing divine magic - and the presence of so many arcane casters allowed it to tend towards boosting that power.   For non-casters, arcite is unbearably warm to the touch. It is not flammable under any circumstances, fortunately.

Compounds

Alloying arcite with istralite produces an explosive force and subsequent primal storm that even adamantine cannot contain. Thankfully, this experiment has only ever been performed once. The following research determined that sufficient amounts of each metal would be enough to potentially blow a hole in the planet's side, drawing enough energy to match a deity's power.

Geology & Geography

Arcite is usually found in spear-like formations within Istralar's surface. It was spread across the planet in a rain of fire and ash, and remains where it was first deposited. On rare occasions, volatile geographical changes force arcite deep beneath the ground. No natural occurrence of arcite crossing with istralite has yet been found.

Origin & Source

Originated from Terra Arcana prior to the Worldrend - can no longer be replenished.

Life & Expiration

Can hold a nigh-infinite amount of power without exploding under the strain. Draws in ambient aether whilst embedded into the earth.

History & Usage

History

Arcite was first discovered on the northern continent of Iskaldhal by a team of dwarven miners of Gildómar in the mid-3000s. News of their horrifying discovery travelled quickly, with even the continent's dragons taking notice. It quickly prompted fearsome discussion between the Keepers of Divinity and arcane-supporting groups such as the Mages Guild due to its wild properties, with the former wishing to destroy all samples lest a malcontent adventurer seek to use the shards to imprison another deity.   It wasn't long before owning shards of arcite was outlawed in most of the world's states due to the danger they represented. The Medimian Empire was one of few exceptions to this rule until the early 4100s, when a shard of arcite was used to amplify an assassination attempt on their then-King.   Nowadays, arcite is relegated to a solitary pedestal in history. Few wish to use it for fear of what it could do to them, yet destroying such a rare resource would be unthinkable. Some collectors seek out the rare metal, wishing to add it to their own collections or armouries.

Enviromental Impact

If activated with istralite, can be one of the worst environmental impacts in existence.

Arc

Type
Metal
Odor
Smells like the rain before a storm.
Taste
As with istralite, do not put the dangerous magical metal in your mouth!
Color
Bright turquoise with veins of silver and black.
Common State
Solid


Cover image: Shimmers by Sharon McCutcheon

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