Considered one of the greatest accidents among blacksmiths, steel is envied not only for its strength, but its versatility as well. Strong enough to guard against harsh blows and many piercing weapons, this precious, smithed metal is also malleable enough and strong enough to be used for musical instruments. Many highly regarded bards and music lovers alike covet it for the strings of their instruments due to its long lifespan; strength; and natural, waterproof characteristics. Through the years, steel, in general, has grown to high demand due to its range of uses.
The precious metal itself is not one that is mined, but one that must be made by a skilled smith during the smelting process of iron and carbon. Women and men alike train for years on not only the smelting process, but also on how to identify the proper woodchips for burning. Each woodchip must be gathered by hand, as it has been discovered that magick can have a negative effect on the quality of metal produced if used during the woodchip harvesting process. Due to this great attention to detail that must be taken in all aspects of creating them, steel ingots are known to steadily increase in value over time. In some places, they are valued higher than gold or platinum, and are a great item to have on one’s person should they be looking to barter. At the dawn of steel making, women were believed to have a keener eye for gathering the right woodchips for the fire used to heat the carbon and iron together. For this reason, the earliest producers of steel ingots were women. Unfortunately, the right to gather the chips and smith was passed through the lineage of the males in the family. Because of this, the right to gather and smith was handed down to the wives of sons and male cousins through marriage, even if their female relatives were older and more experienced in the craft. This led to many arranged marriages between smithing families. Fortunately, in the modern age, such age-old customs have died out and are only upheld by the few, remaining, original blacksmith houses.