'Blood steel' is one of the many names of the rarest metal in all of Veshiri - if not the entire Council of Worlds. The metal is also commonly called black steel and rose steel, with a few rarer names floating about.
The metal varies slightly, from unrelentingly black - so dark it looks like a hole in the world - to a dark shimmering red, that looks alternatively as black as night or as red as blood. It has a low sheen, and is barely to not at all reflective.
Physical & Chemical Properties
The metal is cool to the touch, no matter what temperatures it is subjected to. It is incredibly hard, and it is said a blood steel sword will always keep its edge. Blood steel, once made, cannot be worked further.
Origin & Source
Blood steel has a very specific origin - metals (not necessarily steel) immersed into the blood of the dead god Imgah. It is suspected that metals immersed in any Veshiri god's blood would have similar properties, though it's a matter of theoretical debate whether the properties are influenced at all by the god.
History & Usage
The first example of blood steel was the Sword of the Rose, the blade that the hero Sabi Jobai used to slay the god Imgah in the year 1,588 of the Dawn Era. Sabi's followers, the Order of the Black Rose, quickly figured out that the tremendously magical properties of the Sword of the Rose weren't unique to it, and that any blade - or indeed any metallic object - successfully dipped in Imgah's blood would obtain previously unimaginable magic. However, the vast majority of objects so immersed are destroyed, either reducing to a fine powder or outright exploding, and the Roses have yet to divine a pattern. As such, immersing a weapon is an intensely sacred process, reserved for blades that have already proved themselves on the field of battle. However, none of the blades since the Sword of the Rose have had even a twentieth of the original sword's power, and the potency of the god's blood has been fading slowly over the millennia. The location of Imgah's body is unknown, the Roses' most carefully guarded secret.
That the Sword of the Rose had transformed was discovered immediately after Sabi Jobai's body was returned to her followers. It would be a while yet before the exact properties of the sword were discovered, and another year before a young Rose dared bury his blade in the dead god's body - due to a stroke of fortune, his already storied blade was transformed.
The metal is used only by the Order of the Black Rose, most commonly in weapons and rarely armor, but also in the grand doors to the Order's main temple.
Cultural Significance and Usage
The metal has tremendous cultural and ritual significance to the Order of the Black Rose, and is recognized throughout Veshiri as an indicator of magical power. Peoples vary on whether blood steel is sacred, blasphemous in the extreme, or merely a powerful tool.
If an object fails whatever test the god's blood puts it to, it usually crumples into dust that can be extremely dangerous if inhaled. Rarely, it explodes, potentially causing tremendous damage to the wielder. Roses have lost hands or even lives to failures.
Trade & Market
The Roses jealously guard any examples of blood steel, and only a few items have found their way outside the Order - mostly through killing and looting those transporting them. The Roses have made it one of their highest priorities to recover any lost blood steel items, which sell for astronomical prices on the black market.
Almost priceless. The least of the three items currently on the black market recently sold for ten million Veshiri crowns.
Only thirty seven items have been successfully made, not including the original Sword of the Rose.
Black or blackish-red
Boiling / Condensation Point
None, the items are always solids
Melting / Freezing Point
None, the items are always solids