This very rare ore has only been discovered in one place, the Dragon Mountains. The dwarves that mine the ore are under orders to deliver all of it to the forces of Jagenash. Very little of the ore leave the mountains in official trade. Some brave dwarves occasionally hide ingots of the precious material and smuggle it out or manage to have it cast into a weapon or armor before it is discovered. In the latter case, the armor and weapons are most certainly going to be smuggled out to Dwarven Dragonslayers. The market for this material is incredibly volatile. In the age of the Mage Wars, what little was available became a highly sought after commodity. A single blade or piece of armor would be worth entire kingdoms. While the cost today for such works is quite lower due to the decreased need for defending against magic, items crafted of the material are still worth vast fortunes.
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Orichalcum items appear to be made of normal metal with red streaks and highlights throughout. Upon close inspection, these red swirls appear to slowly shift and move over time. Maximum Dexterity bonus for armors and shields made from orichalcum is increased by 2 and armor check penalties are lessened by 2 (to a minimum of 0). An item made from orichalcum weighs 75% as much as the same item made from other metals. Items not primarily of metal are not meaningfully affected by being partially made of orichalcum. (A longsword can be an orichalcum weapon, while a scythe cannot be.)
The special properties of orichalcum that makes it so desirable is its ability to absorb magical energies and redirect that energy by enhancing the power of the item itself. Any magical effect, ability, or spell must overcome SR 20 to affect the bearer of an orichalcum item. Spells and effects that fail to breach the spell resistance are absorbed by the item. While this most often occurs when a spell is directed against the bearer of an orichalcum item, it can also happen if someone carries one of these items into an area where a magical effect is occurring. In the case of a permanent magical effect, if the item passes through the area and the spell fails to breach the spell resistance, it is suppressed for 1d10 turns and ceases to function. Area of Effect spells can be absorbed by the item as well. For instance a Fireball spell will be drawn into the item but anyone other than the wielder will be exposed to a half damage spell as the effects are absorbed. Status effect Area of Effect spells are canceled when absorbed by the orichalcum item.
For each spell level absorbed by the item, it gains a magical enhancement bonus equal to 1/2 of the spell level of the effect. This enhancement lasts for 2d4 rounds. If additional spells or effects are absorbed, they are combined up to a maximum of a +6 enhancement bonus. Each spell or effect absorbed by the item also "resets" the duration to 2d4 rounds no matter how much time remained on a previous enhancement. While these items do not interfere with casting spells or using magical abilities, individuals possessing the items can target the items and fail the spell resistance check intentionally. Doing so "powers up" the orichalcum item as if a hostile effect had been absorbed.
Magical effects used by creatures or classes that are not spell may still be absorbed by the orichalcum. Supernatural abilities can be absorbed as long as the bearer of the item is the target. Examples of this are Energy Drain attacks. Spell-like abilities are absorbed as if they were spells cast at the individual.
Items that are under enhancement emit a dull red glow. This glow strengthens depending on the amount of energy it has absorbed. An item that has absorbed up to 12 spell levels or more emits light similar to a torch.
Weapons or armors fashioned from Orichalcum are always masterwork items as well; the masterwork cost is included in the prices given below.
|Orichalcum Items||Market Price Modifier|
|Light Armor||+ 3,000 gp|
|Medium Armor||+ 10,000 gp|
|Heavy Armor||+ 25,000 gp|
|Shield||+ 5,000 gp|
|Other items||+1,000 gp per pound.|