"Understanding of the laws of this new dimension will require tools, which these cultures, if we may call them so, do not posses. Encouraging of their technological development will be necessary to our aims. For this we can take inspiration from our own early history."
-Boundary Walker Hakuan Brestelveri Sar, the Scientist
Element 26, or iron, has the stablest nucleus of all elements. This has little to do however with its elemental properties. It has great strength and flexibility and can be wrought into many shapes. This makes it the ideal substance for most crude instruments of labor and of war. When combined in the appropriate way with element 6 - carbon, the resulting alloy has even greater strength and can be used to build large devices and machinery. This point however has not been reached yet within the Outer Plane. The importance of iron tools can not be stressed enough. It allows for better agricultural implements which in turn allow for larger settlements, which are conducive to technological research. Iron is also necessary for the creation of precision instruments for studying the laws of this world. Its development is both a means and an end of the expansion into the Outer Plane.
Currently, most iron is made using earth furnaces called bloomeries, which use charcoal as fuel. These produce low quality iron, however it is superior in most uses to bronze. Experimental blast furnaces are being developed in the city-states of Gardun's archipelago. It is hoped that these will be viable and ready to produce superior alloys in the coming few tens of cycles.
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Having started in the islands of Gardun, in the middle of the Adronian Sea, the advantage of iron weaponry allowed the city states of the archipelago to conquer those who could only resort to bronze, establishing colonies on islands closer to the continents and then to the great landmasses themselves. Their tradition of trading by ships allowed such rapid expansion which also lead to the spreading of the art of iron smelting throughout the area. Cultural change has swept throughout the societies of humans as a result.
The high temperatures involved in the production in iron smelting, results in the need of knowledge of bronze and tin smelting beforehand. Thankfully, these are easier to achieve in simple earth kilns. Most importantly, settling down is required as more advanced kilns are difficult to transport and take longer to build. That is why the cultures of the Gardun archipelago were chosen as the receivers of knowledge - nomad life is difficult when constrained to a patch of land.
Following of the decision of the Arch Council, scientists dispatched by Am'Thurbd were the first to teach the humans the art of smelting. With the perfection of the smelting of iron, agriculture has flourished, allowing the development of bigger settlements. However, because of the nature of the Boundary, control is hard be exerted on those venturing outside and many have manipulated humans to their own ends.
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