The Blighted Metals: Ch 1
Azhl - The Vilestone
“Tis a most abominable thing of detestable nature. A steele metal so vile, suff’ring is conjur’d forth in its presence.” -
It was said that they fell from the Heavens – great meteors burning vibrant colors across the starry sky, descending to the realm of Aos below. They teemed in the hundreds, all at once falling down from whatever high perch they previously held. The Azh Stones were the first to be taken note of, as they were plentiful and numbered in great proportions. Though none knew the cryptic origins of this ore, for the time they fell was long ago and during a time when the world was young and whole.
A dark stone of pitchen-ash color and most ancient origin, bereft the ravages of time’s erosion. The stone comes in abnormal form, many sharp edges and pointed protrusions of vile nature which face outward in contempt of any would-be miner. Upon its surface, a thin veil of onyx-colored dust that smears under touch and rubs easily into skin and clothing. It is an ore of most uncanny hardness and frailty, crumbling before the swing of a pickax into fine dust. Easily this stone is broken apart by the most relenting of strikes, ashen-like dust flung into the air upon its breakage. These depravity-intent flakes cause a rash of wickedness, leaving a most irritable itchiness upon the skin of any who are so unfortunate enough to be dusted by it. Should dust of the azh stone find itself breathed into the lungs of an ill-witted miner, a rot so blighted will consume their lungs in its most vile of forms.
The harvesting of azh stone requires a moderate amount of preparation and insight into the machinations and functions of azh. The dust that permeates the air when the ore is mined will cause uncovered skin to develop an irritable rash that should not be scratched, less you accidentally dig too deep into your own skin and infect yourself. The eyes are also susceptible to the dust, watering to a great degree and suffering an intense stinging sensation. If the dust happens to find itself in an open wound, in one’s lungs, or on scar tissue, the individual in question will become infected with a kind of blighted rot. Thus, it is suggested some form of covering be worn over the body and face.
Points of Note -
Caves or crevices that have deposits of azh stone are in most cases covered in the dust that comes from the stone.
A damp rag over the mouth and nose are sufficient enough to prevent most cases of infection. However, a rag is not sufficient in cases where thick clouds of azh dust are present.
Aka, worst case scenario, the ore explodes(somehow) and a cloud of dust is flung into the air.
As stated, wear clothes that cover you and you should be fine.
Azh stone originates from a meteorite, so it is virtually found anywhere. However, where it is found, living things should not be found.
Aka, if azh stone is found in a forest, everything around the deposit is either decrepit or dead.
A heinous ash black metal of destitute appearance, dull like rhyolite, but with ribbons of smoldering, vitreous, crimson veins running through it like nefarious vines attempting to strangulate a tree. It holds a weight akin to iron but a feeble constitution unlike the aforementioned, instead being comparable to gold in its durability. Just like gold, this metal is prone to denting and bending under similar pressure. However, it will hold an almost unnatural, arcane edge, to a degree above steel sharpened with a paper wheel to a razor’s edge. This fine edge is the trademark of this most vile of metals.
If one is even slightly nicked by this foul material, it is enough to cause them to bleed profusely; to the degree they were cut - requiring aid which would clot blood, such as tippen’s root or otherwise. Yet, the fine edge maintained by this metal is only a trait to further its sinister intent, for after being cut, the victim would feel sudden sharp pain in the surrounding area of the wound. This would be the most obvious indicator to the victim that they had been afflicted with azhl’s terrible blight.
Alchemical Properties -
Earth, Aether Symbols: Weakness x 1
Curtailment x 2
Lethargy x 1
Poison x 1
Its durability is comparable to gold but is strong enough to maintain an uncanny edge. Take this as you will and craft whatever your heart so desires.
The refinement of the azh stone requires that you crush the ore into crumbles, no larger than oat grains. Any amount of dust should be swept up and gathered, to then be added into the crushed ore. Dust will be thrown up into the air as the ore is crushed, so precautionary measures should be taken to avoid inhaling the dust of the vilestone or letting it come into skin contact while this occurs. After all parts of the stone have been gathered, the ore is put into a crucible of any variety suitable for melting at least iron. Woodchips of the hardwood variety or bones from a Descendant must be added to the crucible.
A forge capable of reaching temperatures adequate for the smithing of iron is needed to melt azh stone. The crucible should be heated to around 2,000°F(1099°C) where the stone will then melt. The molten material will then be poured out and any slag quickly removed, as azh will hastily cool off - an ingot’s amount becoming solid once more in about 30 seconds. The metal will appear as a smoldering crimson during this process, as it cools down it will slowly fade into a dull burgundy gray, with splotches of red dotted across it. Once more, the azh should be melted and the process of removing slag repeated till the metal is left free of any impurities.
The final part of the process is pouring the azhl into a mold, fitting what one desires to make or an ingot if being saved for later. The azhl should be heated to its forging temperature, just where it is as the perfect softness to be easily malleable at a rather humble 615°F(323°C). At this point the crushed bones of a Descendant are to be sprinkled onto the metal as it is worked, this will continually strengthen the metal, making it much more durable than before and thus harder to work. The smith will then conduct the long and tedious process of hammering the azhl into the desired shape, be it ax, sword, or spear. If one neglects to add the crushed, now dust bones of a Descendant, it will result in a soft and easily bent product.
Extra - The Blight
Should one be unfortunate enough to have breathed in the dust of azh stone or be cut by an azhl weapon, they will be stricken with a most terrible ailment of eldritch origin. Those who had become infected with ‘the blight’, via a method which resulted in blood contact will notice the area of infection turn a subtle dark gray mere seconds after exposure. This cursed disease will then quickly spread throughout the body, turning the blood it passes through by veins into a sticky, black substance, which notably causes a decrease in muscle strength and dexterity in the afflicted area. This will occur within the first few hours and spreads at the most, throughout a limb or the size of one’s torso. After a day of being afflicted with azhl’s blight, the victim will develop a high fever and an awful throbbing, pounding in their head, accompanied by vertigo and rampant vomiting. Cold sweats and intense weariness soon follow after. The veins in the area that was afflicted will turn a dark pitch in color, and the skin will have a foul ash color beneath it.
Victims who had become infected with azhl’s blight through their lungs will experience severe coughing soon after infection, and an irritable, unquenchable itchiness within their chest. Within the first few hours they will have trouble breathing, though not to an extent which would result in death, but impaired enough to find intense activities quite unbearable. The victim, should they choose to do an intense activity like combat or running, would easily feel the burning sensation in their lungs, as if they were in a constant state of being deprived of oxygen after an intense workout. After a day of suffering this blight’s affliction, they would become bedridden for the most part, unable to participate in even daily chores; they also would experience similar symptoms in their head, just as those infected through their blood. Any coughing they commit themselves too will result in a black mucus being produced, spat out as they heave for fresh air.
The treatment of azhl’s blight is relatively mundane and tame in nature, as alabaster leaf finds itself to be the most recommended cure for the ailment. Easily enough, the alabaster leaf must be brewed and made into a tea and simply consumed by the ill. This, along with a day’s worth of rest will result in a moderately recovered individual, with only faint displays of the blighted sickness that afflicted them on display. This will also recede after another day of rest.
However, should the vile curse be left untreated, the blight will slowly develop into a chronic illness that is nearly incurable. The anemia seeps into the very bones of the victim, resulting in dark gray veins overtaking a large portion of the body, and where these veins develop the skin will blacken and become thick like hide. The detriments of this illness are chronic fatigue, brittle bones, stiffened skin and joints in the afflicted area. Muscles seem to repair themselves after the first throes of the illness, but not entirely to the extent they were previously, crippled beyond repair. The hide-like skin of these victims is disgustingly thick and has many cracks which expose the soft, tender flesh beneath, resulting in painful sores. Piercing and slashing seem to have reduced effects against this hide, but the force of the blow still exists. Those affected by this chronic disease give off a mild odor which smells of brimstone and ash.
From what many scholars have gathered over the years from attending to hopeless victims of the vilestone, is that baths which contain salt in quantities greater than sea water by two-fold will lessen the pain experienced by these individuals. This does reverse its effects. Something of note is that many surgeons have used bloodletting and various methods of ‘flaying’(the peeling and carving away of the thick hide) to cure this foul condition. This has resulted in mixed outcomes, with some patients dying of shock, blood loss or another disease, however some have lived.
The black substance that is made from the blood of Descendants afflicted with azhl’s blight in of itself has alchemical properties. One draught of this black blood has these properties.
Azhl's Blight takes 3 to 5 emotes to debilitate a victim's limb, causing extremely noticeable pain in the afflicted area and reducing the dexterity and strength of the muscles. 3 emotes for creatures that are of a lower mass individuals such as musin, halflings, goblins; 4 emotes for humans, dwarves, elves; 5 emotes for orcs and larger.
Aka, the limb would have half the strength it would traditionally have, wielding weapons, armor, or carrying things normally doable within reason is of a much greater difficulty.
Alchemical Properties -
Death x 5
Weakness x 3
Dark x 3
Creatures of the Fae and their derivative beings, such as epiphytes and other demi-fae, will suffer the effects of azhl’s blight to a much greater degree, varying in severity depending upon the type of creature afflicted. These beings would also be capable of ‘sensing’ the presence of azhl in the near vicinity, resulting in the fae creature or individual becoming uncomfortable if within a moderate distance(8 blocks). The closer they are to azhl, the more unbearable this feeling of discomfort becomes, eventually transitioning to dread, despair, and so on. Once the distance is closed to being only a mere meter or two away, the feelings they experience become torturous in nature, the individual or creature unnerved to the point that the desire to distance oneself from the source is paramount.
Natural Fae -
Creatures truly of the Fae will suffer a gruesome death within minutes of being afflicted with azhl’s blight, reeling in pain and being overtaken by the blight’s ill symptoms in mere moments. After a short and painful duration of being afflicted, the fae creature will shrivel up and die.
Since most Fae creatures are ST or event use only, this effect can be done within a reasonable timeframe for event purposes. The few fae creatures that exist as CAs would die after 3 emotes.
Tree Lords & Soul Trees -
The Tree Lords will suffer a terrible fate after having come in contact with azhl’s blight, either becoming corrupted or dying soon after being infected. Should they become corrupted, they will appear similar in nature to typical Descendants who are afflicted with azhl, but to a much greater degree and across their whole form. Azhl is capable of cutting into a soul tree, resulting in the eventual death of the tree as it recoils away from azhl weapon.
They will either die or become corrupted 5 emotes after being afflicted with azhl’s blight. The choice of dying or becoming corrupted is up to the Tree Lord in question to decide.
The demi-fae such as epiphytes and so on will suffer the effects of azhl at a much more drastic pace, becoming afflicted with azhl anemia within an hour at the least. They become decrypt husks of their former selves, whatever foliage or flora which adorned their form having become sickly and rotten, appearing as if it was overtaken by some terrible illness of a most nefarious nature, unnatural.
They will become afflicted with azhl anemia after 10 emotes during conflict, or over the course of an RP hour for encounters outside of conflict. It is of the player’s choice if they become afflicted with azhl anemia or just die, not all demi-fae are as hardy as others.
Mundane Flora -
Not even mundane plants are spared the insatiable anathemic blight that is azhl’s curse. Most plants that are smaller in nature, such as flowers, shrubs, ferns, grass, and bushes, will slowly wither away and eventually die over the course of a few days if they are exposed to the azh stone’s dust, or come into contact with azhl. These flora will slowly ‘rot’ away, becoming black and sickly, giving off a foul sulfur smell as they quickly decay and die. Larger flora, such as trees, may survive for quite some time longer before eventually meeting their demise, suffering a similar fate akin to their smaller, more fragile kin.
Small plants will die after an OOC day, large plants(trees) die after an OOC week. This affects most ‘mundane’ flora, stuff that isn’t innately magical. However, one must consider that most plants that are magical, also fall into the realm of fae.
It takes 7 OOC days for Azhl Anemia to become chronic, and even then it is up to the player if they wish to develop the condition chronically.
Blight Healing is capable of healing Natural Fae, Tree Lords/Soul Trees, Demi-fae, and mundane flora/fauna of Azhl's Blight. However, Blight Healing does not heal Descendants of Azhl's Blight.
Main Writers - Elennanore
Migrant Worker - Panashea Feedback Analysis Division - A_Keefy, Random Fae Players