Old Metal

By Charles Ferguson

The Living Gods are many milliena old.

They are from Bronze Age cultures and they have preserved this level of technology in their own cities. Bronze and ceramics are ubiquitous. The craftmanship of the Divine Cities in these two arenas has reached unrivalled heights.

Bronze is called the Old Metal in the Divine Cities. It can be cast in molds, or hammered, or both. Using molds allows great utility and beauty. The bronzesmiths (or maybe the priests? May the Living Gods themselves?) imbue it with glyphs and charms.

Why do they use bronze?

The Living Gods have ushered in an age of unbroken prosperity and stability for the Divine Cities around the Halcyon Sea. This age has lasted many thousands of years.

It is a hierarchical world of order and ritual. Change is not permitted. Change is chaos, the end-bringer. Living under the rule of the Living Gods may be dangerous but everyone in that world has a place, and the danger has s single source: the God.

Iron is used by the barbarians of the Wastes like the Saracii but it is inferior to the finely crafted bronze of the cities.

Another reason the Gods do not permit iron is that iron is the most plentiful metal in the world, whereas the copper and tin needed to create bronze is comparatively rare.

If everyone could afford their own weapons, how would the population be kept submissive? If everyone fought in the army, wouldn't they all demand a voice on the city council?

Wars in the Divine Cities are fought by a tiny elite of professional warriors who are sponsored by the Elect, the nobles favored by their God. Wars are highly ritualized and have their own codes of behavior, honor, and rules, like every facet of life in the Divine Cities.

Maybe also the Gods have power over bronze weapons, and can't be slain by them? Maybe they fear iron weapons?

In the east, the warlock tribes known as the Godkillers make weapons of flaked stone that can kill gods. Maybe only something older than the God itself can kill them?

Note that steel was used in the lost culture of the On.