Cold Iron

Cold Iron

Postby KrisT » Sat Aug 01, 2009 5:21 am

I just want to note that, folklorically speaking, forged iron IS cold iron, as it clearly includes iron nails and horseshoes. Which were forged perfectly normally, thank you.

Technicalities & expert definitions notwithstanding.

I shall now cite wikipedia as an authoritative reference, because it suits my sense of irony: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_iron
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Re: Cold Iron

Postby Fetch » Sat Aug 01, 2009 6:54 am

I would like to point out that wikipedia never states that nails and horseshoes are cold iron, only that they are iron and held to provide some aid against various nasties. Cold iron is "A sword, or any other weapon for cutting or stabbing", or something that would have been cold wrought to hold a better edge.

In other references that I don't feel like digging up right now use of cold iron is prescribed for dealing with witches in the sense of 'give Satans servants a taste of cold iron to send them back to him.'* Maybe I'll find it later later.

Basically so far as I can tell (keeping in mind I'm not a specialist in history nor even especially knowledgeable) cold iron was used to make weapons and weapons were prescribed as the cure for witches, fae, and other things that go bump in the night. At some point steel entered the equation and cold iron became cold steel in usage while iron got kept the general anti-things that go pump in the night status. Hence nails, horseshoes, and fences.

* Yay, pseudo quotes!
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Re: Cold Iron

Postby Jared Thaler » Sat Aug 01, 2009 1:52 pm

While you *could* "Cold Work" the edge of a weapon to make it harder, (called work hardening) I'm not aware of any group or culture that did that, and by my understanding, you would wind up with a *very* brittle edge that would quickly become notched and useless, especially since it would be nearly impossible to get the hardness uniform in this fashion, so you would wind up with a blade with lots of weak points. (Usually you would hot forge the blade and then differentially temper. I suppose "Cold Iron" could refer to the fact that you temper the edge at a slightly lower temperature than you temper the tang...)

As far as I can tell "Cold Iron" was just a name for weapons. (as the wiki article implies, "give them a taste of cold iron" is the archaic form of "Taste cold steel, Mother******" as you shove a knife in someone.)

Given the categories they define in Rites of Spring (and the affects they assign to them) what they really mean is

"Natural Iron"
"Refined Iron"
and "Steel"

When they say "Cold Iron" they mean "Natural Iron" This is iron in it's rock form or smelted through naturally occurring processes (such as "bog iron" or "meteorite iron") Bog Iron in particular is supposed to be one of the better pre-steel Iron sources and produces *very* good blades compared to other irons available without smelting.

Refined Iron (or what they call "Iron") is anything that is predominantly Iron metal, and has not been smelted into steel. In the modern world, this means cast iron, wrought iron, pig iron and presumably "chemical" or "Reagent Grade" Iron that Flynn referred to. (Note that I couldn't find any such thing as reagent grade Iron, just assorted "Reagent Grade Iron Oxides" Which is to say, "very pure rust". I did find "Pure Powdered Iron, Pressure fused into bars.")

Steel is any of the many alloys that are produced by the smelting process.
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Re: Cold Iron

Postby KrisT » Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:33 pm

Cold Iron only affects true fae; the optional rules affecting other supernatural entities do NOT apply. The exception is changelings and hobs using fae magic, where the cold iron does bypass any magical armor or weapon enhancements. This includes hedgespun and any changeling-forged contracts, even if they have never been used by the true fae. True fae take aggravated damage from cold iron weapons if you successfully make your attack roll; however, it's just kind of sparky and (really) uncomfortable if they handle or touch it otherwise.

Anything worked by magic or automation is "Iron-null" and so no longer bypasses supernatural or damages fae.

Types of Iron:
  • Iron that has not been worked at all (chunks of ore that you are throwing at the true fae) work only just as well as any other rock.
  • Hand-wrought iron bypasses fae supernatural but does not damage fae especially. 1 hour per draw on the extended test. You can use a forge, but must still hand work it.
  • Cold-wrought iron bypasses fae supernatural and damages fae especially. 1 DTA per draw on the extended test. You can't use a forge, but must hand-work it without any heating but the friction of the hammer hitting the metal.
  • Legendary Iron is funky ass shit with specific purposes (iron-foil hats, or other types of "hedgespun" iron aka "ironspun") that require you to get legendary or mythic iron, just like any other kind of hedgespun only using smithing test pools instead of hedgespinning test pools. 1 DTA per draw on the extended test. Typically has to follow the cold-wrought forging rules, except in special cases where it doesn't because it's special that way.


Smith kith can spend a permanent willpower dot to create one cold-wrought iron object using the hand-wrought rules. This is the mechanism by which Smith Kith changelings can "Reforge" Cold Iron weapons, repairing even a shattered cold iron weapon, without it ceasing to be cold iron. This is also how they gain the ability to rework wrought / cast iron into cold Iron.
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Re: Cold Iron

Postby Fetch » Sun Nov 22, 2009 9:45 am

So we also have hedge iron, called mine-ral in Dancers in the Dusk. I'm thinking it works like normal iron for the most part but has some differences.

• It's a hedge material and so can be hedgespun.
• The first successful use of fae powers on it fail but de-natures it making it no longer count as iron. It's not 'real' iron after all.
• I'm also thinking no agg to true fae when cold worked but I'm on the fence on this one.
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Re: Cold Iron

Postby KrisT » Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:52 pm

"No agg to true fae when cold worked" seems completely antithetical to the nature of even hedge iron.

Nevermind. I think I see what you're getting at.

State it rather "No agg to true fae at any time, because it is not 'real' iron."

Saying it the other way makes it sound like it doesn't do agg to true fae if it's cold worked, but any other kind of working will let it keep its ability to do agg to true fae...
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Re: Cold Iron

Postby Fetch » Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:39 pm

Cool. Updating the iron list for quick reference.


Types of Iron:
  • Iron that has not been worked at all (chunks of ore that you are throwing at the true fae) work only just as well as any other rock.
  • Hand-wrought iron bypasses fae supernatural but does not damage fae especially. 1 hour per draw on the extended test. You can use a forge, but must still hand work it.
  • Cold-wrought iron bypasses fae supernatural and damages fae especially. 1 DTA per draw on the extended test. You can't use a forge, but must hand-work it without any heating but the friction of the hammer hitting the metal.
  • Legendary Iron is funky ass shit with specific purposes (iron-foil hats, or other types of "hedgespun" iron aka "ironspun") that require you to get legendary or mythic iron, just like any other kind of hedgespun only using smithing test pools instead of hedgespinning test pools. 1 DTA per draw on the extended test. Typically has to follow the cold-wrought forging rules, except in special cases where it doesn't because it's special that way.
  • Mine-ral aka hedge iron may be hedgespun as it's a materiel of the hedge. The first successful use of fae power on it fails but denatures the metal and it cannot deal agg to Fae as it's not 'real' iron.
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Re: Cold Iron

Postby Fetch » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:22 am

Types of Iron:
  • Iron that has not been worked at all (chunks of ore that you are throwing at the true fae) work only just as well as any other rock.
  • Hand-wrought iron bypasses fae supernatural but does not damage fae especially. 1 hour per draw on the extended test. You can use a forge, but must still hand work it.
  • Cold-wrought iron bypasses fae supernatural and deals Agg to True Fae. 1 DTA per draw on the extended test. You can't use a forge, but must hand-work it without any heating but the friction of the hammer hitting the metal.
  • Legendary Iron is powerful iron for specific purposes (iron-foil hats to stop mind control, iron mirrors to see thru illusions) that require you to get rare or unique iron. Crafting rules are the same as Cold-wrought iron but require special preparation and ingredients such as using meteoric iron that has never been touched by fire.
  • Mine-ral aka hedge iron may be hedgespun as it's a materiel of the hedge. The first successful use of fae power on it fails but denatures the metal and it cannot deal agg to Fae as it's not 'real' iron.
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