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Steel and Iron: What's the difference

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  • #91
    In my game, back before the Primordial War, there were gods of Iron that totally hated the fair folk. They worked out how to make their Iron inimical to those from the Wyld. Later, in the First Age, Steel was created from Iron, and like all new things, got its own god. The god of steel, however, was a god of crafting and industry, and did not have any direct inimical feelings for the distant fey. Thus Iron hurts the Fair Folk, and steel does not.

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    • #92
      I like this dialogue, and Kintanis post.. Especially as the Fair Folk are about creating stories/dialogues and epic tales, so the Gods of Iron could have woven such a magnificent tale/adventure that all fae were bound to it's glory. Or such /shrug.

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      • #93
        Originally posted by armyofwhispers View Post
        Okay so this is something that's bugged me in Exalted. In exalted the raksha are weak to weapons made of 'iron' but not weapons made of steel or other alloys. Apparently cast iron or wrought iron qualify as 'iron'

        So first, let's discuss real world definitions.

        pure iron: No alloy material. Not quite as bad as making a sword out of lead, but similar. Pure iron is a terrible material. It's soft, it's weak and it would be about as effective a weapon as a butter knife.

        Wrought iron: Extremely low carbon content by weight ~ 0.08% carbon. Also is alloyed with slag (up to 2% by weight). Slag is a byproduct of the transition from iron ore to iron. Better than pure iron, but only because the slag gives it some kind of structure. The carbon here provides some structure but not a whole lot.

        Steel: ~0.1% carbon by weight - 2.1% carbon by weight - Most people know what steel is. What most people don't realize is that 'steel' encompasses thousands of materials with distinct properties based on the exact carbon content and the heat treatment it undergoes. Some steel is also slightly altered by small amount of other alloying materials. In general, higher carbon = stiffer, harder steel while less carbon generally indicates softer steel but due to heat treatment you can get a some steels that invert this. All historical swords (and most other weapons in the iron age and beyond) that comprise iron of any type live in this range.

        Cast iron: 2.1%-4% carbon content by weight - Once again, multiple different types of cast iron with different properties. Pretty much the defining characteristic is that cast iron is hard and brittle. It does not behave as a ductile material. Once again, this range is terrible for making weapons out of. Here, though it's a matter of your sword shattering the first time you use it. This is the same problem as forging a sword out of steel, quenching it and then forgetting to temper it.

        So this is why I have trouble with the whole Raksha are weak to 'iron' but not 'steel' thing. Steel and cast iron are literally just iron+carbon with heat treatment and wrought iron throws in some extra slag for good measure. The range of steel that's closer to pure iron than wrought iron is huge. The range of steel that is closer to pure iron than cast iron is all of it.

        So reality aside, how does this work in Exalted? Because I'd love an explanation and I know too much about real world steel to just brush it aside (I had an entire engineering class dedicated to just steel and cast iron. I'm not a metallurgist, but I'm not a layperson either).
        It's fucking magic you pedantic silly. Stop overthinking it. There is no science involved. There are not chemicals or purities or any of this nonsense. It is fucking magic.

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        • #94
          Originally posted by Fenrir666 View Post
          It's fucking magic you pedantic silly. Stop overthinking it. There is no science involved. There are not chemicals or purities or any of this nonsense. It is fucking magic.
          This is uncalled for. Please remember to keep your posts respectful of others, and of the conversation.


          Onyx Path Forum Moderator

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          • #95
            What do people think salt water is in the setting?


            I have approximate knowledge of many things.
            Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
            https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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            • #96
              Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
              What if we just replaced iron with some fictional metal which is found just as plentifully but which is good for nothing other than hurting fairies?
              I feel there's a very simple solution being overlooked, here.


              Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

              My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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              • #97
                Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                What do people think salt water is in the setting?
                Terrible tasting.

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                • #98
                  Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
                  What do people think salt water is in the setting?

                  Little gods of salt skinny dipping in water?

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                  • #99
                    Originally posted by Yawgrimas View Post


                    Little gods of salt skinny dipping in water?
                    No, it is obviously little gods of salt having orgies with litlle gods of water!

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                    • Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                      I feel there's a very simple solution being overlooked, here.
                      ​It is straightforward, but I personally would find it unsatisfying for a couple of reasons.

                      ​I was thinking about the manner in which folklore around the banes of fair folk has evolved over time, and considered how that might correspond to a scenario in the setting; in which raksha weaknesses can't be traced back to a single, iconic cause*, or particular interaction of Essence, but has been a gradual thing emerging from a number of factors that evolved over time. Some of them a matter of shapes or substances interacting, some a deliberate cultivation of narratives or sorceries in opposition to the fae, some a case of the Wyld Essence adapting to circumstances (in ways that might seem irrational to us, but make sense with an idea of a form of life and will that thrives in tumultuous circumstances).

                      ​Drawing a bit directly on some of the folklore, I have a notion in which, in the very early days of the raksha preying on humans, it was an overall case of being repelled by the sight of little charms representing ingenuity and hard work and marking the sanctity of hearth and home, at a time when the raksha were more abstract, more feral, more dread figures in the night than David Bowie. Human society changed and the raksha changed to reflect them, and at a certain point the little doorpost charm lost its mythic weight, both in the significance that it held to people and the ease with which such things were manufactured. There were a few iterations of changing weaknesses, but it finally settled on the material from which some of those early charms were made; it still had qualities that would resonate with a weakness in the Fair Folk, while offset by being a bit less common and effective as something to make functional weapons from.

                      ​*Much as the raksha themselves will distribute stories of such.


                      I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                      Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                      https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                      • Isator Levi I think Sunder was making a bad chemistry pun, rather than a speculative statement.

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                        • Originally posted by Saipjas View Post
                          Isator Levi I think Sunder was making a bad chemistry pun, rather than a speculative statement.
                          Oh, I wish I was being that clever.

                          But no, I just think that people are making this way more complicated than it needs to be. And I’m not referring to the people whose suspension of disbelief is broken because they understand the realities of metallurgy.

                          Why should we know why a particular substance is anathema to the Raksha? Why can’t it be a mystery solved different ways at different tables?

                          You can't provide an answer to the mystery that will satisfy everyone, and you shouldn’t need to.

                          But what you can do is substitute iron for a similarly useless metal that would be just as meaningful within the world of Exalted. A metal as useless to Solars as it was to the people of our world when they first started telling stories about fairies.

                          Back then, wasn’t iron just a metal form of mistletoe? Poetically chosen to be the bane of the immortal because of how ridiculously silly it would be to try and make a weapon of it?


                          Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

                          My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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                          • Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post

                            Oh, I wish I was being that clever.

                            But no, I just think that people are making this way more complicated than it needs to be. And I’m not referring to the people whose suspension of disbelief is broken because they understand the realities of metallurgy.

                            Why should we know why a particular substance is anathema to the Raksha? Why can’t it be a mystery solved different ways at different tables?

                            You can't provide an answer to the mystery that will satisfy everyone, and you shouldn’t need to.

                            But what you can do is substitute iron for a similarly useless metal that would be just as meaningful within the world of Exalted. A metal as useless to Solars as it was to the people of our world when they first started telling stories about fairies.

                            Back then, wasn’t iron just a metal form of mistletoe? Poetically chosen to be the bane of the immortal because of how ridiculously silly it would be to try and make a weapon of it?

                            Sunder iron was one of the major weapon metals for ages because it could be easily remade and repaired as well as a decently strong material.

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                            • Who/what do you want to be responsible for Raksha-Bane? I think some in universe mythos from differing perspectives would be fun.

                              Solars: A solar made it happen of course. To confirm solars in charge and the Creation Ruling Mandate, many diplomatic trips were made into the Wyld to establish peace with early Rakha forces. The first was to establish the rules of negotiation. They displayed the finest jewelry, finery and foods as presents and neutral items to use at the talks. Gold, copper, bronze, the finest steels, glass and stones were displayed to impress the Raksha leaders.

                              But, one set of utensils, an old iron soup ladle, offended the fair folk diplomat so badly, he declared that they must not even touch something so hideous, and that to be forced to use it would be considered a violent act. The Eclipse diplomat general saw the use of the Raksha's words and shook on it, locking in one of the earliest agreements with Fair Folk: that ugly Iron is their weakness even to the touch of it.

                              More in game mythos later, hard to do this via phone

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                              • Originally posted by nalak42 View Post


                                Sunder iron was one of the major weapon metals for ages because it could be easily remade and repaired as well as a decently strong material.
                                Then who was arguing it was uselesly brittle compared to bronze?


                                Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

                                My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

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