Forgin Cookbook (book)
The Forgin Cookbook
As anyone who has spoken to him knows, Mr. Blarnie speaks a unique and creative version of Common, one all his own. Our thanks to Junzaa Rik'la-Blarnie for beginning the work of translation which we have completed here.
So you wanna be a Smith. Weapons Smith or Armor Smith, the steps are pretty much the same. For this discussion we will use weapons when explaining Forging (Smithing). There are, of course differences, but they mainly deal with volumes of materials used in the mixes. There are three things that are crucial to becoming a successfull Smith. Patience, hard work, and desire are all equally important to becoming a Master Smith.
One of the first things you will want to do is test the materials available (for a slight fee) in any forge for weight and properties. For instance, a tin slug weighs 7 stones and has properties that make it soft and brittle. If you belong to the Barbarian or Paladin guild, you will find Guild-only forges in The Crossing (which is where most begin forging). There are several forges that are open to the public and are scattered around the Realms. A note of caution for the modest, there may be different customs in different provinces, like in Mer'Kresh where some Smiths are known to forge naked.
When creating a mix there are several things to consider. Density determines the weight of the weapon when combined with other factors such as total weight of the mix, and slug volumes used in making a weapon. For instance a sabre or scimitar with a density of 5 will weigh 30 stones when completed. That is because a sabre or scimitar has a slug volume of 6. Try this for several types of weapons and make note of your findings; Soon slug volumes for all weapons will become second nature to you.
Another important aspect when creating a mix is total weight of the mix you are making. Total weight is important because dividing it by the number of slugs used in the mix will determine the density of the mix. In the example of the 30 stone sabre, you will find that a total weight of 80 when using 16 slugs will give you a density of 5. So dig in your backpack and find your old abacus and just have fun.
Finally there is compression. Compression occurs when you mix an odd number of slugs with an even number or vice versa. For instance combining 2 lead slugs with 3 tin slugs will result in a slug volume of 4. And although the slug volume drops from 5 to 4 slugs, you still maintain the weight of all 5 slugs. Combining two even numbers of slugs will not result in compression, nor will combining odd numbers of slugs. For example, combining 2 copper slugs with 4 lead slugs results in 6 slugs total, and combining 3 tin slugs with 1 copper slug will result in a total of 4 slugs. Again no loss due to compression.
Once you have had an opportunity to experiment in the forge you may wish to seek out help to learn the finer aspects of Smithing. There is a mentoring program that gives periodic lectures on forging, and of coarse you can always look to a Master Smith for further guidance.
You will note that the last dust added in no way affects the density or total weight. This dust is strictly used to add carbon to the mix to change iron-alloy to steel. Steel being one of the hardest and most versatile of the metals used to forge.
Oh yeah -- I forgot to mention the most important thing of all about Forging -- Have Fun!
A Comprehensive Guide to Forging
One of the most important things to know when forging is density. Density will determine the final weight of the weapon you wish to forge. D=TW/SV where D= Density, TW= total weight of the mix, and SV=slug volume. Every weapon has a predetermined slug volume. For instance a short sword requires 3 slugs while a bastard sword requires 9 slugs to forge. A chart is listed in the last chapter showing the different slug volumes required for each weapon. It is important to note that while armor follows the same guidelines, armor is measured in bars rather than slugs as a rule.
Almost all weapons and armor are made of steel as that is the strongest and most versatile metal that can be forged using normal materials. It is important to note that a ratio of 40 to 1 (iron or iron-alloy to dust) will yield the best steel (2.5 carbon). I am told however that 2.5 carbon steel is not always the best steel to use in certain types of armor. Since dust has a slug volume of 2 and a weight of 2 stones, the ideal weight for a weapon is 40, 80. 120, 160, etc. Since dust can be broken in half to make 2 separate dusts at 1 stone each, these weights allow for the ideal 40 to 1 ratio.
To demonstrate the principles discussed here let's take an example mix and break down how it all works together. Let's take 2 nickel slugs and melt them; then add 2 tin slugs, melt and mix; now add 1 iron bar, melt and mix; and finally, add 1 full dust, melt, mix, and pour onto an ingot mold. The nickel slugs weigh 6 stones each, the tin slugs weigh 7 stones each, and while a iron slug weighs 5 stones, an iron bar weighs 51 stones. That gives us a total weight of 77 stones and a slug volume of 14: 2 tin slugs + 2 nickel slugs + 1 bar (or 10 slugs since a bar is 10 slugs) = 14 slug volume. So using the equation for density we take 77 TW/14 SV for the density, which is 5.5. If we were using this mix to make say a broadsword (requires 7 slugs to make) the final weight of the broadsword would be 5.5 Density * 7 slug volume required for a final weight of 38.5 stones or 38 stones since everything to the right of the decimal is ignored.
Compression occurs when you attempt to add a even amount of slugs to a odd amount or vice versa. For instance, if you melted 2 nickel slugs then added 2 tin slugs and mixed them together you would have a total of 4 slugs. Conversely, 3 nickle slugs added to 3 tin slugs will not compress, so you have a total of 6 slugs. However, when you add a even number of slugs to a odd amount of slugs (and vice versa) you WILL have compression: 3 tin slugs added to 2 nickel slugs will yield only a 4 slug volume yet still maintain the weight of all 5 slugs. If you take 3 copper slugs and melt them, then add 4 full dusts and melt and mix them with the dust, you will end with 29 stones, 10 slug volume (3 copper slugs and 4 dusts [8 slugs, 8 stones]) as one of the copper slugs will compress due to adding a even number of slugs (8 slugs because of the 4 dusts) to an odd number of copper slugs (3). So: 3 copper slugs mix; 4 dust mix; 1 iron bar mix; and 1 dust will make a 80 stone mix at 20 slug volume for a density of 4. It is important to note that the final dust (the dust that changes the iron-alloy to steel) is not counted in weight or slug volume. Its sole purpose is to add carbon content to the iron or iron alloy to make steel. It is also important to note that currently you can add dust before you add the iron to reduce the density, but this use may eventually be replaced by niniam and lumium, and dust will be used to add carbon content only. You will note that the total weight of 80 stones combined with 1 full dust gives the ideal ratio of 40 to 1.
As you experiment with mixes you will find that softer mixes are easier to pound and grind yet a Hard mix is usually desired due to it's strong construction value. A bastard Sword that is of average strength will break much more easily than the same sword that is well constructed. Some examples of construction are somewhat flimsy, average strength, fairly sturdy, moderately strong, and well constructed going from weakest to strongest. Also you will find that different carbon ratios will result in different degrees in mixes, as in adding too much or too little dust in the mix.