Balenite

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Balenite is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.

Balenite is a rare, blended metal that only master halfling smiths have been able to successfully create. It involves the addition of smelted rhimar into a base of mithglin; the product of combined mithril and vultite. Balenite maintains the darkened blue-black coloring of mithglin, but is shot through with arcing pale icy blue ringlets that resemble twisted icicles. Batches imbued with more rhimar often produce sparkling, frost-like patterns that encircle smaller, fractured coils that loop around the larger, central ringlets. The extremely smooth metal can have a slightly blackened appearance in its finished state. It is best used sparingly for smaller items and fashionable accessories. Among the smaller tribes of halflings, only the strongest of warriors were allowed to wear balenite, and it was mainly used as decoration to militaristic uniforms.

The metal itself is only able to truly be tempered and smelted in a below-freezing environment. The construction of highly resistant containers must be used that can contain extreme cold and heat, as each batch needs to be quickly frozen after each fold during the forging process. Facilities for such work are only legally available around the town of Icemule Trace. To create balenite, a smith must first begin by smelting mithril and vultite in the same highly complex process used to produced mithglin. Next, they must slowly combine the cooled base with trace amounts of rhimar that are gradually added into the mixture. If too much is added at one time, the newly created alloy will shatter in a spray of either exceedingly hot or cold metallic shrapnel. The shattering effect can prove to be fatal to the smith and those around the area if not properly contained, and there is always a high level of failure when made by inexperienced hands. While the rhimar is being infused into the mithglin alloy, the smith must then re-freeze the entire batch before the next fold can occur. The compound metals must be re-melted together in between each turn, adding precisely measured bits of rhimar to the properly cooled fusion, and then freezing again at every step of integration.

Each attempt at augmenting the amount of rhimar exponentially increases the chance of shattering the balenite. The lengthy process used to formulate the metal strips it of any magical properties found in the original substances. Due to the extreme conditions involved with the creation of balenite, many experts acquire frostbite on their bodies or the loss of various extremities from frequently working with the unstable material. As such, very few metalworkers choose to master the techniques necessary to make the product. The low number of craftsmen make it an extremely rare metal that is not often exported.