Metal is precious on Mahid. Many must go completely without it, making due with bone and stone, and those who do have it tend to put it to good use. Metallic tools, weapons, and ornamentation are deeply symbolic of an individual’s prowess and status in most Mahidan cultures, and is typically proudly worn on one’s person at all times, leading to such terms as “worth his metal,” “taking his metal,” and the Szaran compliment “he leaves deep footprints.”

The very mountainous terrain that makes it impossible to reach the southern ice cap also gives the southern polar region the best mining potential of all habitable areas. The very little new metal that creeps into Mahidan industry is almost all from the south.

There is a metal called “Diren,” which though not very strong is seemingly indestructible and more importantly has the miraculous property of being almost completely frictionless in both directions of a single dimension across its surface, but somewhat “sticky” towards movement in the other directions, which it naturally tends to turn towards the direction it slides freely in… precisely as wheels with well-made tires do, but without the danger of sinking into the sand or clogging axles with grit. The only known source of the material is the buildings and wreckage of the ancient cities, but thousands of years of scavenging these has made finding new Diren a rare occurrence indeed.

This wondrous metal is used in small quantities for various simple machines among the wealthy, but its chief use is as outer plating on the hulls of sandskips. As no known smithing technique can permanently change its shape, if it is not found in a form amenable to whatever purpose the scavenger would put it, it requires powerful sorcery to mold.

Detect Diren

After tasting a small quantity of the precious metal, finely powdered, and performing a short series of precise movements, you can sense other sources for miles around.

Component Cost: 50 gp

Market Price: 250 gp

Key Skill: Arcana

Level: 5

Category: Exploration

Time: 10 minutes

Duration: 1 hour

You gain an additional sense, difficult to describe to others but analogous to scent. It leads you to the largest source of Diren within a wide area.

Arcana Check Result Maximum Range
9 or lower 10 miles
10–19 20 miles
20–29 50 miles
30–39 100 miles
40 or higher 200 miles

When you finish performing the ritual, you can choose to reduce the area. You may also specify a minimum and maximum size, and your sense will ignore any Diren objects outside these qualifications.


An Introduction to Mahid gnikrul