Around all the elements grow unusual metals, some in trace amounts, some in greater quantities. They exhibit strange characteristics, often behaving or chemically bonding in ways impossible for normal metals.
The Lower Knights associate the most prominent metals found around Elements with the The Three Dragons. They use all of them prolifically.
Associated with the Gold Dragon, Abbanosh, living gold symbolizes the absolute power of the Father. This personification is enhanced by the characteristics it displays.
Most often, it forms as semi-perfect sphere crystals on stone in the caverns that surround an Element, usually very close to the Element. The spheres are usually very small and rare, except in the caverns around the much larger Gold Elements.
Lower Knights sometimes use them like grenades because they will explode in a cloud of gold dust if thrown with force. They will also often propell themselves when thrown, making it difficult to predict how they will arc through the air but increasing throwable range.
After being melted down, many of these unstable abilities will go away. The metal can then be used to form alloys. Many Lower Knight sword hilts are made of cast 10-14 carot living gold.
Associated with the Platinum Dragon, Chamanosh, living platinum does not actualy symbolize any characteristic of the Father. To the Lower Knights, living platinum, as well as all other living metals as well, are the mind of the Father. Platinum is considered the most intelligent of all the metals.
Except for the perfect spheres that form during leveling ceremonies, all living platinum forms as irregular, imperfect platinum spheres in the caverns around Elements. Occasionally these form in veins (similar to how normal gold is found in granite), but always as strings of gobules.
Imperfect platinum spheres are also used by themselves as weapons by Lower Knights, sometimes. They behave very unpredictably, but there are patterns (studying these patterns and trying to control them is one of the deepest studies of conventional alchemy).
All Lower Knight armor is made of pure living platinum.
Associated with the Black Dragon, Shuanosh, living iron is used to make dozens of different steel alloys, most using various percentages of both living platinum or living gold. It's associated with Shuanosh because of the ore's dark color, and to complete the unity of the trinity of the Godhead with the trinity of the primary living metals. It is also associated with Shuanosh because it is used to form an Aerodanar Sword, which has extremely strong association with Shuanosh (especially his death and return).
Living iron will rust, as will some of the steels, but the rust will grow more slowly than rust on regular iron. The Standard Alloy, or One-One-One (because the composition is 97% living iron, 1% carbon, 1% living gold, and 1% living platinum) nearly has the same oxidation resistance as stainless steel.
Many other metals form around the Elements, in trace amounts around some but more prominent around others. Some of the more common ones:
- Living aluminum: used for swords. Found in deep ores.
- Living titanium: used for swords. Found in deep ores, very valuable.
- living copper: used to make various alloys
- living chromium: used to make various alloys
- living molybdenum: used to make various alloys
- Living tungstan: used as a carbide to make special finishes for armor or weapons. The carbide builds up slowly on metal that is left nearby Elements for extended periods of time.
The practice of using living metals in various combinations in order to achieve specific, unusual results is often either called Conventional Alchemy or sometimes White Wizardry.