The Windward Coast
Technology and Steel
Rarity of Steel
For the most part iron and subsequently, steel, are rarer than most cultures who claim to be beyond the stone-age level of technology. There are vast fields of red soil called iron loam. This clay-like soil contains a high concentration of iron in the form of iron oxide. Through a complex chemical process iron can be extracted from this soil. Most producers keep the exact nature of their process a secret and as such the processes the different harvesters use leads to a very large span of quality and quantity of iron. The layers of iron loam can be several dozen feet deep. Some other metals such as copper and zinc can also be extracted in the process.
The town of Toriandir in the north is a primary spot on the Windward Coast for the production of iron loam metals. In the south of Laurentia, the Sparrow Peninsula is home to much of the production in the kingdom. It is rumoured that there are vast fields of iron loam inland, but it resides too close to the borders of the elves to attempt to make industry there.
Most metal weapons will be 10x the book prices. Armours will be 20x the listed price. Simple weapons such as maces or flails will be only 5x the book price.
The kingdoms of the coast have still become very capable given the limited supply of iron.
Tanning and Resins
Tanning of animal hides and laminating it into various shapes have overcome the shortage of metal in many situations. The art of the tanner is very complex and can produce any item in any shape, ranging from a laminated axe head made of wood to tough armours made of various skins laminated and formed to resemble plates of steel. While the armours are nearly as tough as their metal counterparts, the tools such as axes remain sharper for much longer than a steel axe head would. However, it is impossible to sharpen, so when it becomes dull, the axe head, knife or whatever the implement is replaced with a new one. The old is sold or given back to the tanner and they recycle the materials.
Currently the kingdoms are running out of materials though. Animals take time to raise and consume many resources. Trees also take a long time to grow, though the lamination process can use very young trees as well as older growth forests. As such, the cities are running low on animals and wood for their industries. This is a problem for all three kingdoms.