The inky metal capable of switching between solid and liquid form

Mechanical Benefits:

  HP/Inch: 30   Hardness: 10   Special: An item must be at least mostly or partly metal to be made of Inksteel. So, a sword, an arrow, a bullet, etc would be fine, as would chainmail, but a crossbow, a longbow, or hide armor would not. GM Discretion.  
For Weapons: Weapons made of Inksteel can be commanded to, as a swift action, become a Tattoo upon the skin of its wielder. While in tattoo form, an Inksteel weapon is indistinguishable from a normal mundane tattoo, though upon the death of its wearer it pops out of their skin and returns to full size. Returning an Inkblot Weapon to weapon form from Tattoo form is a swift action. Once, when an Inkblot Weapon is used to successfully damage another creature(or hits another creature, even for 0 damage, as long as they have open wounds), you can cause the weapon to break apart into ink and flow into their body - each round the creature must make a Fortitude Save (DC 10 + 1/2HD + STRMOD or DEXMOD(Wielder's Highest)) or take the weapon's damage, taking half as much on a successful save. This effect lasts for 1d4+1 rounds, or until they pass 2 consecutive saves. This damage bypasses DR, but doing this destroys the weapon. You must decide to destroy the weapon this way before the attack is made, and an enemy can only be affected by one transformed Inkblot weapon this way at a time.
For Armor: Armor made of Inksteel can be commanded to, as a swift action, become a Tattoo upon the skin of its wielder. It does not provide its benefits as armor in Tattoo form, but is indistinguishable from a normal mundane tattoo while in this form. Upon the death of its wearer it pops out of their skin and returns to full size. Returning Inkblot Armor to its full size is an immediate action, and can be made to spring back to equipped status if the wearer is not currently wearing anything that would conflict with it, otherwise it appears unworn nearby. Once, you may command a set of Inkblot armor to take the form of a Tattoo Guardian for 24 hours, though it has some HP(5 for Light, 10 for Med, 15 for Heavy) and +1 Natural Armor per HD of the wearer(Max 200 HP) and has appropriate damage for a creature of the wearer's size(attacks go off touch AC) - after the 24 hours, the guardian becomes a mundane tattoo upon your skin, destroying the armor. You may only benefit from one Tattoo Guardian at a time in this manner.


Ammunition:20GP per missile   Weapons: 2,000 GP   Light Armor: 1,000 GP   Medium Armor: 3,000 GP   Heavy Armor: 5,000 GP   Other Objects: 100gp / lb


Material Characteristics

When in physical form, Inksteel resembles normal, mundane steel - save for occasional dripping of ink or wispy black smoke curling off of the blade or armor at very rare intervals. In tattoo form, for all intents and purposes, it seems to be no more than normal ink, albeit very high quality ink flecked with gemstone dust.   When carefully inspected in the right light, Inksteel Weapons, Armor, Ammunition and Objects can be seen to be covered in magical script and faint tattoo-like drawings across its surface.

Physical & Chemical Properties

Almost like a quicksilvery material, Inksteel swirls and ripples with deep black eddies when in physical form, though it feels hard to the touch - in Tattoo form, it appears to be dried, set ink bonded with the skin upon which it is worn.

Geology & Geography

Inksteel and the blend of inks, dyes, gemstone dust, and other materials needed to make the ink neccesary to create it are things common enough in the wild, save perhaps the gemstones.

Origin & Source

The technique and the ability to do create inksteel is exclusive to Tortles - it is not a desire for secrecy, though, as other races lack the mysterious magic that runs through the bodies of the Tortles which is so crucial for creating Inksteel.   Thus, Inksteel was born from the most ancient of Scrimshaw and Tattoo artists of the Tortles - their ancient ancestors who pioneered the very first Inksteel tattoos as a a misguided attempt to wear armor despite the normal impossibility of doing so thanks to their shell - though it was a failure, the efforts of those ancient legends created a most special material.

Life & Expiration

In metal form and Tattoo form both, Inksteel will decay as normal, but will not really ever fall apart - only rust away or fade over time. With extreme passage of time, it has been known to break apart, but usually not - it is good at holding its shape even after long periods of time.

History & Usage


The history of Inksteel is rooted in that of the Tortles - their ancient Shamans who invented, pioneered, and mastered their people's ancestral art of Scrimshawing and Tattooing invented Inksteel in a misguided attempt to allow their brethren to wear normal clothes and armor, to try and fit in with others - though the attempt failed, an accidental material was born and has been a treasured ability of the Tortle ever since.


Inksteel was first discovered by ancient Tortle Grandmaster Tattooists, who sought a means to elevate their craft into the divine and give their odd-bodied kin a way to wear things as normal races do.

Everyday use

Inksteel is not a comparably expensive thing to create - it is commonly used by many as an easy means to hide their weapons and armor on their skin, and is prized by assassins for its covert potential. Tortles, on the other hand, like to use it on objects and weapons to make them easier to store - to them, it is a matter of convenience and a thing to make their lives more convenient.

Cultural Significance and Usage

Inksteel is a cultural touchstone of Tortles everywhere - a treasured thing unique to their people which is a close part of their people's long and storied history as Tattoists and Scrimshaw Artists, and artists in general.


The process of creating the inks to create Inksteel is one any can do - but the magical binding process where those inks are used to literally draw a weapon, suit of armor, or an object(Or applied to an existing one) is one only capable of being done by the Tortles - no other race can mimic the unique magical power that flows within their veins, gift as it was from the Tortles' creator god, Rakmou-Dahmu, one of The Old Gods.


There are few hazards involved in the wearing, using, or creating of Inksteel - it is a relatively cheap material and process.


Trade & Market

Inksteel can be found relatively easily anywhere Tortles can be found - elsewhere, it is a rare commodity sold in certain markets.


The item is stored as normal when in physical form - but in tattoo form it is stored upon the skin like a normal tattoo. The inks used to create it must be kept chilled, but little else.


Common where Tortles can be found; Rare Otherwise
Common State
Liquid / Solid
Related Species


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