Tyrian Ceramic-Glass



Oct 09, 2006 7:14:38

Athas is a dying world, but it is not dead, yet. A major problem for it’s inhabitants is the lack of metal from which to create durable tools and weapons. Although Tyr does have an iron mine, it’s production it tiny compared to what the demand is, also, So-uts have a damnable habit of wrecking precious metal gear in their insane frenzies. A solution, of sorts, has finally been discovered in Tyr!

Since ceramics are one of the main crafted items, it’s unsurprising some experimentation has gone on over the centuries to improve it. A psionic-crafter mul named Kloss RedDiamond hit upon a new method of crafting ceramics to give it a strength equalling steel! His work is so important and sensitive that the templars of Tyr “took him under their care for the security of Tyr”…unsurprising since his invention has major ramifications for the power balance in the Tablelands.

It seems Kloss was investigating the properties of obsidian, and working from this developed a method to create a tough form of ceramic that doesn’t shatter so easily as normal materials.

“Tyrian ceramic-Glass” is a dark orange-reddish, highly lustrous material with a purple tint to it’s highlights, and translucent. Able to keep a keen edge, it’s slightly harder than steel but not quite as strong, It’s unharmed by any form of corrosive, but cold does half damage to this unusual material (unlike the normal ¼ damage effect). An advantage is that it is much lighter than steel, ½ the weight. It makes good armour since it doesn’t heat up as readily as steel, but it also doesn’t cool down as quick either.
There is so far, one major flaw with it: Tyrian Ceramic-Glass cannot be made into any weapon or object larger than a shortsword or battleaxehead. The process used in it’s creation results in a proportionally higher chance of the object shattering on creation the larger it is, so, while making arrowheads, scales for scale armour etc is pretty reliable, a handaxe blade is a 50/50 chance at best and a shortsword only comes out of the mould in a useable fashion one time in four.
The process of creating this remarkable material is not cheap and is time consuming, though a highly guarded secret, it’s obviously not an easy process and requires highly skilled people, probably with psionic abilities. On worlds where metal is common, it would perhaps be impractical or too expensive, but not on Athas, additionally some of the required ingredients seem more common on Athas than elsewhere: obsidian and magma drake blood (or similar) seem to be prime materials.
Since Tyrian Ceramic-Glass must be moulded, and cannot be forged at all after creation (except by magical or psionic manipulation), it isn’t suitable for some items, but Kloss hit upon a method to create chainmail form it. Moulding chain links is easy, but there’s no way to forge or mate solid ceramic rings…except by psionics. Kloss can craft batches of rings and using psionics make them partially ethereal, and thus link them through each other and them cancel the effect, leaving perfect unbroken rings linked into the armour!

Due to the difficulty and time used to make Tyrian Ceramic-Glass items, they are always masterwork quality, and their cost reflects that, as well as costing ten times more than normal due to exotic materials etc. Also, it is not metal, so it can’t overcome the immunities of some creatures to being hurt by specific weapon materials.

There is one final problem with this wonderful material: it cannot be repaired by any normal means. While edges can be resharpened (on extremely hard whetstones), actual damage to such material simply cannot be repaired by ordinary folk, only magical or psionic abilities can undo any harm. Thus about the only folk typically able to repair it will be a cleric of Earth, or a psionic crafter.

While adventurers may desire this wonderful new material, it is not only a state secret and thus closely guarded, only produced in the templar smithies, much of the production is used to equip Tyr’s army, templars and importantly, to make mining tools for the Iron Mine. Only those with “connections” and a lot money can hope to get equipment made from this wonderful new material. It seems a great deal of effort has been poured into this affair, but the amount that can be produced is not huge, certainly not enough to meet demand. Typically it would seem 1 suit of armour (either a chain shirt or scalemail), a dozen daggers, 2 or 3 hand or battle axes, 8 spears, 180 crossbow bolts or arrows are the most that can be sold at best per week IN TOTAL, usually a lot less than that due to failures or templar acquisitions. The templars though are funding expeditions to get a lot of unusual materials though no one knows how much of that is actual ingredients, and how much a ruse to preserve the secret, or for other goals. Craftsmen, freemen or slaves with skill in ceramic, or psionic crafters are in extremely high demand, being pressed into manufacture of this new “wonder material”, thus such slaves could attract easily 20 times normal value, and freemen guaranteed safety and good treatment…but controlled with magical compulsions like Geas or the like and incredibly stringet security.

D&D statistics of Tyrian Ceramic-Glass
Tyrian Ceramic-Glass Hardness 12, hitpoints 25
Immune to Acid, ½ damage from cold.
Cost is 10 times normal, plus cost for masterwork item (all Tyrian Ceramic-Glass items are masterwork)
½ the weight of steel.
Armour made from it counts as 1 category lighter
Does not count as metal for damage reduction.
Does not suffer the Inferior Material penalties.
Can’t be made into large objects. Daggers, knives, shortswords, axe, pick, spear heads, scale mail and chainmail pieces are typical.
Cannot be repaired except by magical or psionic means.
Cost: 10x normal, plus price for masterwork

Kloss RedDiamond is a 9th Level Psion (shaper), 5th lvl Expert

In your campaigns of course you can change the city-state it hails from and have it be part of political events since it's use on the battlefield and monetary influx can have major ramifications for the cities



Oct 09, 2006 16:25:35

I've thought about the old material glassteel (from the old spell). Thought I would just give it the stats of mithral, but created through an alchemical process rather than mining it.


Oct 09, 2006 18:10:19
I remember Glassteel, that was cool

I was thinking more along the lines of previous discussions regaridng obsidian,a nd how innovation chnage STILL OCCUR even in primitive societies ;)

Athasians are not dumb, and have access to psionic powers, and even magic...so, over time...new things would occur.
just they would have a high likelyhood of being snuffed out, as was the secret of Greek Fire on earth, by events killing the few folk who have such secrets...because they'd be unlikely to share such secrets...