[MUD-Dev] Re: Spell components, chemistry, and the like...

Caliban Tiresias Darklock caliban at darklock.com
Wed Nov 11 20:43:48 New Zealand Daylight Time 1998


On 07:23 PM 11/11/98 -0700, I personally witnessed Ben Greear jumping up to
say:
>
>Actually, it's Damascus blades.  They are made by layering high
>carbon steel which is very hard, but brittle, with softer, more
>pliable steel.  This ideally yields a blade that will hold an
>edge, but that will not shatter if bashed against some poor fool's
>noggin!
>
>There's a city over in Turkey (or nearby..forget my geography)
>called Damascus...  I would hazzard a guess that folks from there
>invented it, but I don't really know.  Anyone know?  Been meaning
>to shore up that piece of my trivia knowledge for a while :)

Yup, that's where it came from. Originally, the way this worked was by
magic. You forged the best blade you could, and then heated it up red hot
and plunged it into the body of the nearest person. The person's soul would
enter the blade, and make it mightier in battle!

Actually, of course, it was the absorption of carbon molecules that did the
trick. Once somebody figured out that you could get the same effect by
using a barrel of old cowhides, blacksmiths regained some of their former
popularity. Eventually the method was scientifically defined, and a little
more magic went out of the world.

The method has been refined over the ages, and is now often combined with
the ancient Japanese methods by using a bar of each type of steel back to
back. This is beaten thin and folded over repeatedly (often thousands of
times) to produce the effect you describe, which is a reasonably accurate
description of the end result.

I liked it better when it was the guy's soul going into the blade. ;)

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