Among the Stenza, metal ores and their resulting refined products are considered to be the domain of the Snow Warrior and Snow Pups, especially Fire. It is for this reason that miners follow such strict rules for their profession, and metalsmiths have particular customs around their forge fire. Steel is no exception to these practices, despite its widespread use in weapons, tools, and spacecraft. In fact, some would argue that steel (and iron ore accordingly) should be managed as carefully as food, and all items built with it should be made to last as long as possible.
History & Usage
Steel is used for pretty much anything that needs to be durable, from the blades of knives to the hulls of spacecraft. It sees its widest use, however, as one of the primary base materials of the components of computers, drones, and other advanced equipment (save the crystalline base for projectors of holographic screens). It is primarily used for sturdy equipment that needs to last under stressful conditions, and in some cases has really excelled. Infantry Drones left on Desolation for hundred years have been utilized with limited functionality in the Rally of the Twelve Galaxies, and with some reprogramming may be indistinguishable from modern Infantry Drones.
The work of a metalsmith is to refine the raw ore dug up by miners into metals of various shapes. Smiths construct forges in caves, where it is considered that the force of fire can be safely contained (and propitiated with offerings). It often takes several days to smelt the iron, process it into steel, and shape the steel into the basic components indicative of the end results.
Byproducts & Sideproducts
The slag produced by the smelting of ore, along with the slag of other materials, is combined to produce the coinage serving as different denominations of Krin. The combinations of materials make krin coins almost unforgeable as a result.
The mining of ore (for iron or other metals) primarily affects the asteroids in Mudewei's star system, rather than the planet itself, and is therefore relatively safe from that perspective. However, this was not always the case: mining for metal ores within the Frozen Wastes generated a lot of waste products, many of them potentially toxic to the Ice Flats. This is the primary reason that all the restrictions governing mining as a profession exist, and why the Protectors of Life are deeply invested in the process. The invention of inter-system travel and the ability to mine asteroids has been seen by the Protectors as a great boon to their work protecting life on the planet as far as possible, balanced with the needs of Stenza civilization.
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