Full Item Description
Dracorex Steel is a vitrious looking metal that has a unique dichroidic color. The metal has a slick appearance, as if the glass-like metal is wet with oil and is primarily a golden hued color but if turned 30 to 45 degrees, the metal gains a green appearance.
It has the same general properties as middle grade steel, it is certainly strong enough to make weapons and armor out of. It does have a slight propensity towards being brittle if the metal is drawn out too thin, and it does not make good jewelry or jewelry items other than being shaped as pendants, amulets and the like. Rumors of Dracorex chains are unlikely, but there is a certain credence to their persistence.
It is not known how long the Alchemist Guild worked on this project, some speculate that the work was generations in length given the secrecy involved. It is only within recent memory that Dracorex steel was deemed viable and began to see limited circulation. The most common items created from the material were small pendants and charms that ‘devoured’ weak magics cast at them, mainly along the lines of divination spells and minor offensive spells. this absorbed power was grounded out harmlessly through the caster’s body into the ground.
After a few decades of lucrative trading in amulets, charms, and the rare and very expensive ring, the Guild took the next step. A Dracorex steel sword was forged and the true powers of the metal became obvious, as many creatures thought immune to mundane weapons were greviously wounded by the steel and the metal survived attempts to dispel the magic that might have lurked in the blade.
The Secret Formula
Dracorex steel begins as mundane iron, generally of high grade ores that is hammered into cold iron bars, that is no heat is applied in the process, just the sheer effort of manually beating the imperfections out of the chunk of iron. After this the cold iron bars are treated in a vat filled with Tincture of Moly, an herb known for its magic repelling properties.
After this, the metal is brought to the forge, instead of coals, dragonscales billow and smoulder. The scales are hard to ignite, but once they take to fire, they burn for a long time, and burn hotly. The metal is placed in the fire until it glows cherry red. A tedious process of folding and hammering follows with the alchemist/smith adding handfuls of powdered dragon bone to the metal and adding it back to the fire.
Slowly the metal begins to take on a glassy consistancy and it begins to affects a less metallic ring as the hammer strikes it. During this crucial time, the metal is shaped into it’s final shape. Most items are lost during this point since there is a point of no return that is passed when the metal tone changes. Prior to this, failed materials can be recycled and a second attempt can be made. Once the metal changes, however, it cannot be recycled as something in its fundamental nature has been changed.
The metal, while still glowing hot, is quenched in a Tincture of Mandragora, a disillation of mandrake root. With a hiss the metal is cooled and takes on its characteristic dichroidic color. There is a superior form of Dracorex steel that evinces a red rather than a green alternate color though the process that causes this is still under intense study. Some alchemists speculate that it could have to do with the type of dragon that the powdered bone was taken from.
Dracorex steel can affect an creature regardless of magical protection, literally slashing through wards and protective spells like flesh and bone. Only mundane armor can resist the metal, and enchanted armors do so with only their base armor rate. Creatures that can only be harmed by magical weapons can be harmed by weapons forged of this metal, including creatures that have damage reduction, protection from metal weapons and the like.
Spells directed at the metal can be dissipated, grounded out by the metal, though the red dracorex steel shows a propensity for reflecting spells off in random directions, if such an action is possible.
Dracorex steel has no bonuses to attacking, or to damage, nor does it grant any protective powers or the like. Attempts to Detect magic or the divine the nature of the metal automatically fail since 1. it would absorb, or dissipate the spell magic to begin with, and 2. it is in no way magical.
Sword of the Kingdom - A powerful guild/noble family/state commisions the Alchemists to make them a royal sword as a symbol of the faction. This is very expensive and the weapon is a rare red dracorex steel longsword. The PCs have to 1. protect the sword from thieves in transit 2. steal the sword while in transit 3. wield the sword in defence of the faction, etc.
11 herbs and spices - the Wizard’s Guild is VERY unhappy about this new Dracorex steel since it negates many of their core advantages. This would be moreso if the PCs, possibly armed with one or two of these weapons have made a habit of whacking evil mages with their swords. This magebane steel needs rectifying. The PCs, possibly spellcasters, are required to discover the process of making the metal, or finding the mine that the marvelous material is coming from. Can they penetrate the guild, find the secret, and possibly destroy the methods of manufacturing the weapons so effacious at killing mages?
Support Your Local Bounty Hunter - The spell happy PCs are being stalked by a dracorex armed bounty hunter after them for some action they previously took. Perhaps the last lord that they worked for was displeased when their delayed fireball detonated and killed half of the royal guard and wounded many more. The magic reliant PCs are forced to more mundane methods to face and defeat this menace!