METALS AND MINERALS OF CAELERETH - AN OVERVIEW
The vast continents that spread across the disc of Caelereth contain many unique and valuable resources, not least of which are their minerals. Besides the common metals such as tin, lead, iron, pewter, copper, and so on, there are the lovely silver, gold, mithril, aurium, and many more. (Brass, bronze, steel, and other alloys are also known, but of course are not found as original ores, so are not mentioned in this list: please see Resources of Caelereth).
There are the bright crystals dug with care from the sides of the mountains, or brought up from the magma-warmed pits of the Thergerim, polished and cloven by clever-handed gnomes. There are the shining ores and gnarled veins of metal, soon to be refined and transformed under dwarven hammers. The bounties of Earth are not easily delved, but they are worth the effort!
Image description. A display box showing various common minerals of the world of Caelereth. From top left to the bottom right in the box: Malthanune, Fyrite, Herne and Orcalescent Crystal. Outside of the box you find Sandstone to the left and Indiquartz to the bottom right. Picture drawn by Bard Judith.
The various kinds of metals and minerals currently known in the world of Caelereth are listed below (in alphabetic order):
A beautiful yet hardy metal with the soft glow of gold but the resistance of good steel. Fairly rare, used mostly for expensive blades or very high-quality chainmail. King Thar is said to have commissioned a cloth-of-aurium tunic for his queen (possibly the first recorded kevlar-vest in Santharian history!) which required the combined skills of the Boltgrumm Dwarves and their associate Brownie clan to produce. Found in similar situations as gold, mostly in quartz deposits, and easily confused with ‘pyrite’, or ‘fool’s gold’.
Black Iron, Blue Iron, Red Iron
All forge-wrought variations on iron ore to produce different colours and levels of hardness/brittleness. Black is the hardest but also the most brittle, while red iron dents easily but rarely snaps. (‘Regular’, or ordinary grey iron, stands between blue and red.) Depending on the utility, or sometimes simple aesthetics, the Thergerim smith will choose which colour variant he desires by using different types of chemically-treated charcoal (available from the gnome alchymists), various sorts of quenching liquids (again, often in collaboration with gnome merchants), and possibly trace amounts of other metals.
Shimmering with refulgent shades that range from deep metallic pink through pale lavender to peach to copper orange, fyrite is a stunning decorative metal. It can be set as inlays or mock enamelling, and as it conducts both heat and cold poorly, it is particularly popular for shoulder and breastplates (many a knight has frozen his beard to his plain iron cuirass in winter, or cursed the searing heat of Foiros on his back in the summer). Fyrite is found only at the deepest levels that mining technology can currently penetrate, so it is exclusively mined by the hardy Thergerim.
A strong greyish-green metal with high resiliency but easily malleable. In nature it occurs as herne-ore, large irregular dendrites of the metal growing throughout the rock. Commonly found at relatively shallow levels in granite deposits, herne is used as a veneer on tougher metals to colour the surface, or as a layer between other metals in sophisticated armour to provide a natural cushioning effect (the blade seems to rebound from the surface rather than skidding along it). Often used by elves as camouflage mottling on lightweight hunting plate. Also popular for small items such as buckles and brooches which take a lot of flexing but not high impacts.
A close relative of mithril, but less valuable due to its weaker consistency. Found as fist-size hexagonal lumps pocketed throughout aggregate rock, it is porous and dull when forged into an item, and by sun or firelight appears a flat and unattractive leaden colour. However, some trick of its subatomic structure reacts when under moonlight to give a radiant reflectiveness, thus its common name “moonsilver”. Only used for ceremonial items and decorative jewelry, as obviously it is no asset for a warrior to ‘flash’ on and off when trying to creep up on his enemies by night...
Malthanune (Vitrinune, Vitrium, Vitriol)
Also known as “Vitrinune” or “Vitrium”, this fire-classified substance occurs in bluish-green nodules, slightly reflective but also appearing powdery to the eye. Touching the surface of unprocessed Malthanune to verify this, however, is a dangerous test; the substance will ‘melt’ and cling to skin in an oily greenish film, burning it. If not immediately ‘drowned’ or neutralized by water with potash mixed in it, this ‘vitriol’ will begin to actually eat into the flesh beneath, scarring it. Handled with care, Malthanune is useful in cleaning and etching; the nodules are dissolved in a solution (the secrets of which gnomish alchemists keep to themselves) to create Vitriolic Malthanune, its formal name.
Mithril (Silversteel, True Silver)
Extremely rare kind of metal, silver in color, a metal that does not tarnish. Mithril can be beaten and polished without being weakened, and it is both light and hard. It is treasured greatly by the Thergerim as well as the elves and made into powerful armour. Kor Mithrid once was the greatest provider of Mithrid, but nowadays there exists no mithril-vein anymore on the whole world of Caelereth worth mentioning. Mithril items therefore are priceless and very difficult to come by.
Orcalescent Crystal (Orcrystal)
This beautiful crystal is similar to cerulean quartz but generally is formed in sharper, more elongated planes. It is also more opaque; veins and striations can be seen just below the surface of the crystal, but the translucence of quartz is rarely found in Orcrystal. Its main uses are in cutting or piercing applications, as it cleaves crisply, creating a fine-edged miniature blade that puts even dwarven beard-trimming razors to shame. It can also be worked, carefully, into drill points for projects which require close tolerances and careful measuring.
Information provided by Bard Judith