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A matter of iron

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  • A matter of iron

    So I've been reading the pre-released changeling 2e stuff and came across a section on iron that's left me with a few thoughts and questions.

    Question: In relation to cold-iron, it's stated that fae creatures and changelings suffer aggravated from it, however it isn't explicitly stated whether that is on physical contact or if the iron must cause damage to the victim somehow, such as in the form of a weapon.

    Question 2: So, anything that could narratively be described as iron counts as iron, what does this mean for human blood? It's pretty common to think of blood as sweet and metallic smelling in literature, and it's often a signal of poor health when somebody is anemic. Does this mean that human blood could be considered to be iron, and since it is not manufactured in any way, cold-iron at that? I know this is a technicality, but strictly as written the rules for iron do allow it.

    I personally would never run blood as iron, especially cold iron, considering that admonitorians are a thing, and would prefer that cold-iron do aggravated on physical contact, however if there is a canon answer I would be interested to know.

    This is not a criticism either, I just thought it was kind of interesting.


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  • #2
    Blood is not iron. Blood has iron in it, but it is not iron. It is less iron than steel is, narrative-wise.


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    • #3
      Steel isn't narratively thought of as iron, but rather it's own metal, even though a majority of it is made of iron. On the other hand, blood is thought of by many as full of iron in a healthy individual.


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      • #4
        Originally posted by Blue-01.exe View Post
        Steel isn't narratively thought of as iron, but rather it's own metal, even though a majority of it is made of iron. On the other hand, blood is thought of by many as full of iron in a healthy individual.
        That was their point. They were saying that steel is more 'iron' than blood is not that it is.

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        • #5
          That does bring up some interesting points. Yes, blood is not iron, but there IS iron naturally in blood. There's also a natural source of iron in meals and supplements. The fact that the game so far makes no mention of this implies that there is a certain "threshold" of iron exposure that Changelings can stand without being damaged or "poisoned" by it. It does make me wonder if normal human disorders that can come about because of too much iron in the body become deadlier to Changelings in similar situations.

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          • #6
            I'm genuinely confused here - since when did living fairy tales that run on dream-logic became so reliant on modern chemistry?


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            • #7
              Originally posted by nothri View Post
              That does bring up some interesting points. Yes, blood is not iron, but there IS iron naturally in blood. There's also a natural source of iron in meals and supplements. The fact that the game so far makes no mention of this implies that there is a certain "threshold" of iron exposure that Changelings can stand without being damaged or "poisoned" by it. It does make me wonder if normal human disorders that can come about because of too much iron in the body become deadlier to Changelings in similar situations.
              The threshold is when it stops being something people think of as a substance containing x amount of iron and starts being something people think of as iron.
              Last edited by Charlaquin; 12-15-2016, 10:59 AM.


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              • #8
                One could say it isn't the iron itself that harms the Fae, but the idea of Iron that does it. The object actually being composed of element 26 is just a useful trait that reinforces the idea.


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                • #9
                  Yeah, I'm pretty sure you can't repel one of the Gentry by pelting them with spinach.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                    Yeah, I'm pretty sure you can't repel one of the Gentry by pelting them with spinach.
                    But is Dramatic Irony still effective?

                    What about unplugged clothes irons?


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                      The threshold is when it stops being something people think of as a substance containing x amount of iron and starts being something people think of as iron.
                      This brings up an interesting question. Do massive shifts in people's mindsets alter the way Fae function, or are their metaphysics fixed to their original expressions? If humanity as a whole was convinced that steel is indeed iron, would Fae start to be affected? The alternative is that only what the earliest blacksmiths considered iron would be effective. Now, that is an extreme example, but many words and concepts shifted in meaning over time. The word "man" is a classic example, since it used to be gender-neutral. Centuries ago, if a Fae couldn't be slain by man, that was about that. Did they keep their immunity since then, or are they now vulnerable to women? Language is not the only thing subject to change. Would a Fae able to punish criminals only punish for acts considered crimes at the time of the contract, or would it adapt to different times and places?


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Teatime View Post
                        This brings up an interesting question. Do massive shifts in people's mindsets alter the way Fae function, or are their metaphysics fixed to their original expressions? If humanity as a whole was convinced that steel is indeed iron, would Fae start to be affected?
                        Yes, absolutely. Although, I would qualify that a bit by saying that it's not so much about what humanity as a whole believes, but about the stories humanity tells. That's the difference between Asenscion's Consensus and Lost's Wyrd. In the modern day, most people are aware that steel is iron. But as long as we're still telling fairy tales where The Others are immune to the finest swords the kingdom's forges can produce but stricken down by the farm boy's rusty old pitchfork, the latter is the material the Fae will be vulnerable to.

                        Originally posted by Teatime View Post
                        The alternative is that only what the earliest blacksmiths considered iron would be effective. Now, that is an extreme example, but many words and concepts shifted in meaning over time. The word "man" is a classic example, since it used to be gender-neutral. Centuries ago, if a Fae couldn't be slain by man, that was about that. Did they keep their immunity since then, or are they now vulnerable to women?
                        Yes, they would be vulnerable to women, but because everyone remembers Eowyn declaring "I am no man!" as she slew the Witch King of Angmar, not because feminism pushed English speakers to stop using a gender-specific term as the default for humankind.

                        Originally posted by Teatime View Post
                        Language is not the only thing subject to change. Would a Fae able to punish criminals only punish for acts considered crimes at the time of the contract, or would it adapt to different times and places?
                        They punish transgressions that our stories caution us against, regardless of their legal status. Keep to the path. Obey your parents. Be kind to your elders. Don't feed your mogwai after midnight. They don't really care so much about unpaid parking tickets though.


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                        • #13
                          That's very helpful and helps me settle things in my head. One thing to clarify, though.

                          Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                          Yes, they would be vulnerable to women, but because everyone remembers Eowyn declaring "I am no man!" as she slew the Witch King of Angmar, not because feminism pushed English speakers to stop using a gender-specific term as the default for humankind.
                          I was wondering how a specific True Fae would react, if they maintained a single form for all this time. If Flesh-Crusher the Merciless Lord of the Canyon laughed at the puny Anglo-Saxons as it pulped them regardless of their gender, would this specific manifestation become vulnerable to women? I used "they" where I should have used "it", hence the confusion.

                          Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                          Yes, absolutely. Although, I would qualify that a bit by saying that it's not so much about what humanity as a whole believes, but about the stories humanity tells. That's the difference between Asenscion's Consensus and Lost's Wyrd.
                          (snip)
                          Yes, they would be vulnerable to women, but because everyone remembers Eowyn declaring "I am no man!" as she slew the Witch King of Angmar, not because feminism pushed English speakers to stop using a gender-specific term as the default for humankind.
                          (snip)
                          Don't feed your mogwai after midnight.
                          You just reminded me of the Hook, and how True Fae can crib things from pop-culture. A worthwhile post all-around.

                          EDIT: Another thing occurred to me. While many stories are universal, cultural mores can and do differ, even within the same country. There is a lot of mileage in putting the players against a creature modeled after different values. An enforcer of the Indian caste system in modern Europe, for instance.
                          Last edited by Teatime; 12-15-2016, 06:50 PM.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Blue-01.exe View Post
                            It's pretty common to think of blood as sweet and metallic smelling in literature
                            Yeah, but every time I've heard fiction describe the scent and taste of blood, they refer to copper, not iron. I don't know why.


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                            • #15
                              For some reason the other stuff in it makes the iron taste of copper. Flavour's weird like that.

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