The rise and fall of Empires can often be measured by the timely discovery, invention, and application of metals. History refers to these periods as Times (e.g., Time of Bronze, Time of Iron, Time of Steel). The Yrūn Times are generally accepted as:
- Time of Bronze: -5500 HK
- Time of Iron: -1101 HK
- Time of Steel: 835 HK
The preceding years are not absolute numbers, as different cultures developed the lore at different rates. The development of steel by the Dekàlans in 835 HK was not matched by the Vulmùrans until centuries later. The manufacture of steel remains a challenge to most Yrūn cultures (rf. Steel).
- Bronze. Bronze is primarily a copper and tin alloy. Due to the fact that the two materials rarely occur together, the appearance of bronze usually indicates thriving trade within a culture. Bronze can be used for tools, weapons, armor, and ornamentation.
- Pewter. Pewter is an alloy of tin, copper, and antimony. It is most commonly associated with food wares (e.g., mugs, goblets, utensils, plates, bowls). Lead is used in lower quality pewter.
- Iron. Iron is the most commonly used metal in all of Teréth End. Its applications are endless (e.g., tools, weapons, armor, locks, hinges, tackle). When the composition of metal goods is not given, they should be assumed to be iron.
- Steel. Steel is an iron and carbon alloy. Yrūn steel is a product of the Fourth Age, but even today (650 DR), its manufacture continues to challenge even the most wealthy of guilds. The creation of Yrūn steel in the World of Teréth End requires a process that is more complicated than might be suggested by “external” sources.
Mass-production of the metal was impossible by Yrūn metallurgists until the discovery of an Orborrum Chamber within the flooded Dwürden mines and tunnels that surround Oð. The enormous device was removed from the mines and taken to the foundry Village of Vullinshrith. After much study of the Orborrum, the Pryr Roð were able to glean its purpose. Within years, copies of the device were under construction and the followers of Roð presented their findings to the High King (835 HK). During the final stages of the Battle of Oð during the Second Acèntyri-Dekàli War, the chambers were hauled into the mines and deposited into ancient shafts.
- Copper. A naturally occurring metal, copper was used by the earliest Yrūn civilizations. Though copper has been used for weapons, food wares, and ornaments, it is currently reserved for monetary purposes. The smelting of copper from other compounds has led to the mass-production of copper coins today.
- Silver. Silver is produced as a byproduct of mining other metals (e.g., copper, gold, lead, zinc). The metal has long been used in the production of precious objects (e.g., food ware, jewelry, coins). Among its other properties, silver is renown for its purity; doctors and anatomists claim that the metal is instrumental in healing their patients.
- Gold. Gold is a naturally occurring metal that is usually alloyed with silver. Gold that contains over 20% silver is called electrum. Yrūn have long considered gold to be the most precious of natural metals. Gold variations (e.g., Pazum, Zad’ir) occur in different regions throughout the World of Teréth End. Naturally occurring red and blue golds fetch high prices on the international markets.
- Feyrul. A prized metal that is not native to the Waking World. Feyrul has an appearance similar to Mythrul. Feyrul is formed from the blood of the Perverse. The metal is known as Feyrul due to legendary Feyri wars which were waged to harvest the metal from the bodies of their kin. When a Perverse creature dies, there is a brief opportunity to capture the blood leaving its body. The Feyri believe that the spirit of a creature exits the body through the blood. If the infused blood is collected and contained within a prepared skin, the spirit cannot escape. The skin is then buried within the Shadow World for a hundred years during which time it is transformed into Feyrul. The Shadow metal has a number of remarkable properties. The metal scintillates when exposed to Inkàðura magics. Weapons forged from Feyrul can strike at opponents that are not anchored in the Waking World. Lastly, when Feyrul is held by creatures of the Waking World it reacts, badly. The exact effect varies from object to object, and is thought to be related to the creature(s) whose blood was used to fashion the metal. A oft-told example is the story of a Kændàlan thief who stole a dagger from a drunkenFeyri. As he exited the tavern, the Yrūn was seized with an uncontrollable fear of the ground. He climbed atop the tavern but was still too close. Leaping from building to building, he sought higher and higher rooftops, but was still too close. Finally, atop the tallest building in the town he leapt for the stars only to fall to his death.
- Mythrul. Mythrul is a silvery organic metal that is most often found in ancient forests. It is highly prized by the Eylfāe who use it to craft all manner of valuable objects (e.g., weapons, armor, utensils, jewelry).
Mythrul is the material left behind when a “silver thread” is broken. Once severed, the thread contracts into a silvery pebble which can then be collected and worked like other metals. The size of the nugget is relative to the distance the outsider traveled from their point of entry. The further a traveler wanders, the more the Skein unravels. If the thread is severed close to the traveler, the nugget will be tiny with the remainder retracting into the Skein. The closer the thread is severed to the breach, the larger the resulting nugget will be. Either way, a nugget (of some size) typically manifests near the traveler. Ancient forests are popular places to seek Mythrul due to the fact that Feyri are the most common travelers to move between the Worlds. Feyri Rings are particularly prized for this reason. The main problem with gathering Mythrul nuggets is that they are exceedingly rare and seldom large enough to make anything substantial. Unbeknownst to most of the world, the Eylfāe long ago moved beyond searching the forest floors for these silvery treasures. Sometime in the Second Age, the Eylfāe developed a technique for mining Mythrul directly from the veils, a process not too dissimilar from the unraveling that occurs when travelers pass between Worlds. Drawing Mythrul directly from the Skein is a delicate process; pulling too much from any one point weakens the veil in that area. Early experiments with the process left rifts in the veils that are now guarded by Eylfāe guardians. It is not known whether Mythrul is a renewable resource.
- Orm. Orm is an ancient iron alloy fashioned by the Roðites. The secret surrounding its manufacture has been closely guarded by the Cult since its discovery in the 3rd century HK. Orm is one of the strongest metals known within the World of Teréth End. It is remarkably resilient and exceedingly difficult to craft. Small examples of the metal (i.e., coins) exist within laboratories and foundries throughout the Lands, where it continues to confound both alchemists and founders. The most remarkable property of the metal is its ability to shed heat. An Ormic coin placed within a proper forge will produce a soft orange glow in approximately one to two hours. Once removed, the metal will cool within seconds, a fact that makes working the metal near impossible (i.e., one strike per hour). It is guessed that the Roðites employ a magical means to working the metal, but the secret of this process has never been revealed. Production of the metal is also something of a mystery. While most consider the founding process to be entirely magical, others have suggested that the iron is infused with an “impurity” that grants the metal its special qualities. The Dwürden take issue with this explanation as they mined the Iron Coast long before the Yrūn settled it and never found a similar iron ore. The origin of Orm is tied to the legend of Golôm and Ættràkar. The Roðites maintain that a great blacksmith named Golôm the Black lived in the hills surrounding Oð. Each day he would lower his apprentice into the Dwürden mines to collect ore. On one such day the winch malfunctioned and the boy plummeted into the deep. Golôm fastened ropes to his mules and descended after the young man, finding his broken body on a deep ledge, clinging to life. Carrying him from the mine, Golôm fastened his apprentice to a mule. At his smithy, Golôm began fashioning the boy new parts to replace those that had been shattered in the fall. Praying as he worked, the old blacksmith used the found-ore to rebuild his apprentice. When he was done, the boy had new legs, a new arm and shoulder, and half of his skull replaced with the new metal. Golôm then took his apprentice to the temple and showed them what Roð had revealed. The priests used this revelation as a sign from Roð on how they should proceed with the building of the Third Temple. Centuries later, both of these figures are still revered within the Cult. Golôm the Black is credited with the discovery of Orm. His apprentice Ættràkar, whom some claim never fully recovered (and others claim to be undead), would go on to develop weapons for the Empire, and eventually be elevated to an aspect of Roð, chosen as he was to survive his mortal wounds.