Tiaoyuezhulisten, also known by its common name blood metal (a literal translation from Miorangian) is a metal which holds special religious significance in the Tanzit Suzerainty. Though it can be found across the Sora, the first realm the nascent Suzerainty explored following their discovery of soraflight, Bangrsan, is unusual in that it has large exposed deposits of tiaoyuezhu on the surface.  

Religious Significance

The goblins of the Tanzit Suzerainty consider tiaoyuezhu to be a sacred metal and it is from them that the name is derived. The primary deity of the Miorangian pantheon is Yinuo, the goddess of creation, birth, and family. According to legend, when Zuofou (the sky) escaped from Yinuo, the blood from their wounds fell upon Miorao. Most of the blood became the first goblins, but some of it seeped into cracks in the ground and became trapped, transforming into tiaoyuezhu instead. The goblins considered this metal to connect them to the primal aspects of creation, a symbol of potential and strength.   When the first Miorangian explorers ventured into the Sora, the first realm they discovered was Bangrsan. This realm is a somewhat misshapen planet realm, fairly ordinary in most senses, but it has extensive deposits of tiaoyuezhu exposed on the surface. These deposits are visible from orbit, giving the realm the appearance of a vein-lined heart. At the time, many Miorangians were reluctant to explore the Sora, believing it to be a dangerous and perhaps blasphemous, akin to piercing the heavens with mortal concerns. However, the discovery of a world full of tiaoyuezhu allayed many of these concerns, as it was seen as a gift from Yinuo, a sign that the Sora held further potential for them. This spurred the expansion of the Miorangians, leading them to birth the Tanzit Suzerainty and become a major power.  


Tiaoyuezhu is naturally a steel-blue metal with very little surface luster unless it is polished extremely thoroughly. It is somewhat lighter than iron, ductile, and malleable, yet extremely hard and not brittle. The edges can be made extremely sharp, purportedly able to slice a thread of silk in half lengthwise. Its melting point is relatively high, at just over 1900 °C, making forging and working with it typically available only to those with access to elemental fire or other ways to create extremely high temperatures.   The most notable property of tiaoyuezhu, and the source of its common name, is the patina that forms across its surface after exposure to elemental fuliginous energy. This patina is a dark, metallic red color that resembles a pool of blood. This patina forms naturally over time due to ambient fuliginous energy in the environment, but can be induced through direct application of the energy.  


Tiaoyuezhu is naturally found on most realms, most frequently as inclusions in galena. Such occurrences are typically rare, however. Discovery of the metal tends to be first noticed when the galena is smelted and small solid chunks of metal are left behind. This excess metal is typically discarded as slag and not given much mind. Rarely, however, the inclusions are large enough and have been exposed to sufficient fuliginous energy to render them naturally red. In such cases, the metal is typically extracted as an oddity. Similarly, slag tiaoyuezhu can acquire the patina after a few decades, though they are rarely kept long enough for this to occur. Due to the difficulty involved in smelting or working it, it is generally not given much value, treated as a curiosity and not much else.   If a realm continues to study tiaoyuezhu, it generally discovers how to work it shortly after they are able to harness elemental fire. The metal has several useful applications, but its availability determines how many get used. Even considering these applications, unless it is found on the realm in unusually high concentrations, it is rarely mined except as a by-product due to its relative rarity. It only tends to get wider use when a realm spreads out into the Sora, where it is somewhat more available due to the wider availability of minor realms which contain large amounts of it.  


Tiaoyuezhu has a variety of uses, though some are largely considered impractical due to the relative rarity of the metal.  


Tiaoyuezhu can be alloyed into a number of metals to enhance their usage. Most commonly it is used to provide strength to a metal, such as the tiaoyuezhu-steel alloy, which greatly increases the strength of steel. Often, the alloys do not require more than a few percentage of its volume to be tiaoyuezhu; tiaoyuezhu-steel contains less than 1% of tiaoyuezhu and still provides greatly enhanced strength. Tiaoyuezhu-silver and tiaoyuezhu-gold similarly greatly enhance the strength of those metals, allowing them to be used for a number of practical purposes for which the individual metals are typically too soft. Most alloys are used the same way their base metals are, though in situations where additional strength would be greatly beneficial. However, the tiaoyuezhu alloys with various precious metals have seen some use in creating weapons or armor; while generally equal to steel at best, the magic retention of precious metals has made the alloys highly sought after for high end enchanting.  

Weapons and Armor

While most armaments using tiaoyuezhu use an alloy, a few rare items have been made fully of the pure metal. As noted above, the pure metal can have an extremely sharp edge, though its ductility means it does not hold that edge extremely well. Bladed weapons made from it require constant maintenance to remain useful. Armor similarly dents and deforms somewhat easily, making it less effective against crushing weapons. Weapons and armor made from tiaoyuezhu thus are mostly created for the aesthetic value of the red color. Most creations intended for actual use are treated with magic to reduce their drawbacks.  


The red color of tiaoyuezhu allows for striking visuals in sculpture, jewelry making, gilding, and other metal working. It usually is not available in enough quantity to make large pieces, though it is frequently used as an accent on pieces composed of other metals.

Cover image: by Denis Khusainov


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