Full Item Description
Twice forged steel appears identical in all respects to normal steel.
Twice-Forged Steel radiates minor magical emanations of indistinct nature though a good enough investigation might show traces of transformative magic.
The history of this metal is linked to that of steel itself, for as described in the properties section, it is made out of a rare, magical variant of normal iron. As a result it has been used many times by those unaware of its magical properties.
True discovery of the metal has been credited to at least three civilizations and which one came first is the subject of much academic debate. The current consensus is that the Elves were the first to make active use of the metal. The most common application was to hide weapons of war in more aesthetically pleasing forms. It was only later that the same activity - hiding weapons - was adopted for reasons of subterfuge.
Since then the material has been found in use in various special 'niche' applications, and most of these involve some form of subterfuge.
Twice Forged Steel is steel which has been made using a rare type of mythimorphic iron. By itself, mythimophic iron is remarkably magic-compliant metal - spells which would affect normal iron are 400% more effective on this material or require only 25% of the energy to accomplish the same result.
Once used to make steel, it is remarkable in that it is a type of Memory metal. After being forged and worked into a given shape, it can have this shape 'locked' through application of magic. Any significant magic will suffice for this purpose, and the stronger the magic used, the longer the memory will be.
Once 'locked', the steel can then be remelted and then reformed into a new object. No additional metal can be added at this point - either to change the alloy or to increase the amount. The new object will persist until the identical spell effect that was cast upon it to lock it is again cast upon it. At such time, it will revert immediately into it's former shape. The forged item can 'flip' back and forth repeatedly. The spell used to trigger the transformation is not reduced or dispelled as a result.
In all cases, the initial mass of steel is preserved and the entire amount must be used in the same object. If used to create an articulated object - chainmail, etc, missing parts will damage the alternate form or reduce some of its dimensions or strength.
The nature of the Transformation can take a couple of forms, at the GM's discretion.
1. Simple Benign Transmutation
The metal simply disappears and reappears in it's older form at the same location. If this would cause the metal and other matter to occupy the same space, the metal object is displaced the minimum distance needed to prevent this.
If it cannot move to a 'safe' location, the transformation fails and the object remains it newer form. The magic is dispelled and can no longer change shape unless the entire process of forging/reforging is followed.
For example, a helmet transformed into a dagger would cause the dagger to appear resting on the top of the helmet-wearer's head.
2. Simple Malign Transmutation
As for Benign, but it will reappear exactly at the original location, and any other matter will be forced out of the way unless stronger then the metal. In that case, the new metal object will be damaged. For example, a helmet turned into a dagger would end up imbedded in the head of the helmet wearer when the transformation is triggered.
3. Benign Morphing
The object will smoothly transition from it's current shape to the older shape, moving quickly through transitional shapes until the new form is reached. It will push itself away from other objects to accomplish this. As for the Simple Benign Transmutation, if it cannot accomplish its change without affecting other objects, then the magic fails.
An example of this would again be the helm transforming into the dagger, and it would also move to the top of the head of the wearer and then form the dagger shape.
4. Malign Morphing.
As for benign morphing, but it will transition without moving away from other objects. In the case of the helmet, the wearer would have their head crushed as the helmet collapses into the dagger shape.
The duration of time between when the item is created and when it can revert varies from a few days (if the 'locking' spell is very weak) to centuries (for very powerful rituals).
It is possible to develop other means to trigger the reversal other then the simple reapplication of the original locking spell, but this requires dedicated research, a great deal of expense and extensive experimentation.
A given amount of Twice Forged Steel can be forged and reforged an unlimited number of times.
Twice Forged Steel cannot be mixed into other alloys without losing it's magical properties.
Concealed weapons - Ordinary metal implements that shift form into daggers,etc when triggered. This is normally of a Benign change type.
Cujuro's Steel Staff
This 6', 1" thick metal staff has been forged from Twice Forged Steel. It is largely hollow with internal reinforcements. It second form is a short, solid steel cylinder. In both modes it weighs about 2lbs. To trigger the transformation requires a simple, custom-developed spell known by Cujuro.
Trapped Armor - The first time it is forged, the breastplate includes a sharp sliver of steel placed to skewer the heart of the wearer. The second time it is not.
The change is of the Simple Malign Transmutation type.
Similarly, a helmet can be made with no bottom opening, and then reforged with one. When triggered, the wearer is decapitated. The change is of the Simple Malign Transmutation type.
Collapsible Door bolts - First forged into a collection of ball-bearings, then forged into key elements of locks - Door bolts, hinges, etc. When triggered, a portal which was once strong simply falls open. A rogue type could have a mission where they are paid to replace some components prior to installation at a jail or similar location.
Concealed messages- Metal pounded thin and inscribed with text. Reforged into something else completely. Can be used to get information out of heavily secured facilities - assuming one has access to a forge or spells that accomplish the same.
As this material shifts shape in response to magic, it could theoretically be used to convert spell effects into mechanical energy.
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? Responses (8)
Trying to come up with a reasonable escuse for someone reforging the spoiled sword into a suit of armor or the like, but it is not coming...
Updated: Looking for suggestions on how to finish the backstory... Am coming up dry..
Can twice forged steel change mass as well as dimension? If so I would have a twice-forged dagger that can with a simple malign transformation turn into a bastard sword.
The intent - I will edit - is that is preserves mass. I belive that is an important factor to balance it. Otherwise some could have a ring that becomes platemail, one for shield, sword, etc.
An interesting magical "memory metal". I like the presentation and the many suggestions for how it could be used within a campaign.
I could see a key made of this material being reforged into something else to hide it from those who would magically seek it. A mask of iron could be made so that it is easily placed on the victim's head, then becomes a confining mask of solid iron locked onto the skull, held in place with no vulnerable lock or rivets to allow escape.
Perhaps other variants of these alloys could be found: One made with black meteoric iron (loaded with nickel), resistant to rust and corrosion; or one laden with copper and tin, forming a strange pale bronze.
I like that one - they would make excellent handcuffs as well. Hopefully of the Benign form....
Oops! Forgot to vote!