Being a recent event, the ultimate consequences of the rediscovery of ironwork are not something that can be known, but even as its influence continues to ripple outwards across all the lands, it can be seen that life has been forever changed. It should, perhaps, be a point of shame that it was not our own people to rediscover it, but the Dokhar, whose Empire of the Sea has been the foremost rival of our people when we were it custodians. It is all the more humiliating, because in their incessant obsession with the tide and rhythms, the Andokh Renar have managed to invent a new type of iron that we had never imagined, this bras-colored sun-iron, as easy to shape as bronze, with only a meager loss of strength.
Ironwork goods—usually sun-iron, given its dramatically simpler technological requirements—has seen use in every conceivable way across the world. Ironwork plows increase food production. Ironwork hatchets are superior at cutting wood and clearing out brush. Ironwork weapons and armor are stronger than their bronze equivalents.
Ironwork manufacturing in the traditional Aestyvine style required a type of furnace called a bloomery, which heated iron ore so that a bellows could pump air into it. The heat from the furnace destabilizes the fundamental structure of the iron ore, allowing the gasses pumped by the bellows to attract the impurities. From that point, lower amounts of heat are necessary to destabilize the metal enough to hammer it into the desired shapes. Sun-iron, in contrast, requires a much more elaborate mechanical setup, but is much simpler. A soapstone rod, with an attached soapstone disk, is driven by a crankshaft into the metallic iron—held in a soapstone container—at a rhythmic pace, exciting trace amounts of the flesh of Mallat in the metal, causing it to turn into a liquid, while the impurities remain solid and sink to the bottom. This still requires the fundamental structure of the ore to be weakened but it requires much less heat than the Aestyvine method. From this point, the liquid metal is poured into a mold, the shape of which it adheres to as it cools.
- The original discovery of ironwork in the era of the Aestyvine Empire was attributed to the Craftlord Dantol Marolos Grol, and while he was involved in the theoretical basis for its discovery, most of the actual work was done by uncredited assistants and apprentices. A team of metalworkers from the island of Kholanyhr, in the Vala Dokh Chain, were responsible for the rediscovery of ironwork in the modern age. Sun-iron was discovered by a coterrie of Andokh Renar in the city of Myh Dokh.
- Access & Availability
- When they held the knowledge to iron production, the Aestyvine Empire guarded it closely, as they did to all secret knowledge they possessed. When the knowledge was rediscovered under the Dokhar League, it was allowed to spread out over the rest of the world without restrained, including the process of making sun-iron.
- Manufacturing any ironwork goods requires some means of removing impurities from the iron. When it was discovered by the Aestyvine, the only method of doing this required a high-temperature forge, with a system to pump air through it. From there, further heating and percussive force were all that were required to shape it. This was also the method originally discovered in the dominions of the Dokhar League, but the production of sun-iron is far simpler, requiring a forge capable of temperatures similar to bronze, a crankshaft, and soapstone which has been carved into particular shapes.
- The use of iron has been discovered twice throughout history. The first was before the War of Shadow, under the reign of the Aestyvine Empire, where it was first conceived of through careful study of the Worldforge, and then created through careful experimentation. However, the knowledge of producing iron was kept as a secret known only to very few people, and the knowledge was lost following the destruction of their empire by the Godeaters' Legacy. The second was long afterwards, in the lands of the Dokhar League, by a metalworker who chose to experiment with the iron impurities they found in bronze. Following the discovery under the Dokhar Legaue, a group of Andokh Renar experimented with the procedure, and found that by applying the theoretical principles of their arcane practice—that is, conceiving of motion as inherently rhythmic—they were able to devise a non-arcane process which dramatically simplified the act of creating something from iron, by turning it into a substance they called sun-iron.
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