new metal(aluminum)

any ideas how they might have used aluminum in medeival times?

(edit- all wrong, smokin' too much crack or something, never mind.)

Aluminum - 1812, discovered by Sir Humphrey Davy

Not at all.. aluminium was only isolated in the 19th century.. though according to wikipedia, various aluminium salts were used by the greeks and romans for use in dyeing

Hmmm... I thought otherwise, tho' I could easily be mistaken on this one...

(later edit)

... and it looks like I was, and badly! Probably got platinum and aluminum factoids mixed up in my head, or something- thanks for the correction!

thanks for the repleys!

heh, wasn't a correction.. didn't even know your post was there til after I replied ^^

The first samples of metallic aluminum were isolated in the late 18th Century / Early 19th Century, in France; Napoleon was reputed to have a set of aluminum tableware. It wasn't until the advent of electricity in the 20th century that Aluminum, easily the most common metallic element on the face of the earth, could be used.

For most applications in Ars, or any medieval type world, Aluminum would be nearly useless; It is too soft to withstand heavy use, too weak to be used as a weapon, and too light to be used in armor. As a side note, I made a suit of plate armor out of aluminum plate during my SCA days; I had to use 1/4" plate to get the same protection as 1/8" mild steel plate. I got tired of hammering after making the breastplate and made some chainmail instead (440 stainless steel welding wire makes great chainmail!).

Remember, Most modern aluminum is actually alloy - aluminum and 3 or 4 other metals; German Duraluminium was Aluminum, Copper, Magnesium, and Silicon. Only by adding metals that weren't discovered until the 19th century, and only becoming commercially viable for use in the 20th does aluminum (or aluminium, on the other side of the pond) become nearly as strong as steel and nearly as tough as bronze or cast iron.


If I remember my basic history and science, the reason aluminum was only recently discovered, was the fact it is so HARD to refine. IIRC part of the reason is that it requires very high temperatures to remove from the surrounding rock, and to actually melt it.
Abe, if you actually play in a game, there isn't any reason that a Magus couldn't use Terram and Ignem to refine out the metal...though I would say you would need a VERY hot fire and perhaps a skill in smelting to do so...
Remember though, aluminum doesn't hold an edge, bends or breaks easily, and as was pointed out, you need advanced metalury to alloy it with other metals to even have uses for it...

You get Al from Bauxite which most people would think is a normal rock, a LARGE part of your ceramic plates, cups, vases, ect... are made from some version of alumina. There is good reason it wasn't noticed as a metal until "recently"

Hermetic Magi are probably the only ones able to identify Aluminium.
There are obviously no historical uses in mediaeval times.
(unless Doctor Who used it at some point)
It would be easy to identify the components of a suitable ore with an InTe spell.
This would also give you the properties of the metal.
A simple CrTe spell would give you a sample of the pure metal to work with.
Imo it would not be unduly anachronistic to let the OoH have the use of aluminium.

Who's to say aluminium even exists in Mythic Europe? Just because alum and other aluminium salts were known doesn't mean they were made of the metal aluminium as we know it.

Like Shroedinger's cat, anything that hasn't been observed in setting may or may not exist. Personally, I prefer to think that the future of Mythic Europe is biblical Apocalypse (as planned and announced by the Divine) rather than some WoD-like modern fantasy world based on a scientific revolution. So there probably isn't such a thing as aluminium. Doesn't mean that magic cannot create fantastic materials. :wink:

So where does the line for Mythic Europe and using elements from the Periodic Table get drawn?
Aluminium isn't a classic metal , so fair enough , if it jars with the "look and feel".
We probably don't want magi isolating pure Uranium either.

Is Salt , just salt or is it Sodium Chloride?
Can a magus create sodium or chlorine?
Is water H2O?

A defined list of what chemical elements are known in the 13th century might be worth compiling.

Everyone knows there only are four elements and that Alchemy is magic.

It's salt, there is no such thing as chemistry.

They could create materials with magical properties that would be somewhat similar, but I wouldn't call them "sodium" or "chlorine" ... nor would they combine to produce salt.

Water is Aquam. :stuck_out_tongue:

According to this, the list would be: Carbon, Sulphur, Iron, Copper, Arsenic, Silver, Tin, Antimony, Gold, Mercury, Lead and Bismuth. Gases are conspicuously absent. Phosphorus is up next, sometime during the 17th century (1669). Things start to pick up during the 18th century.

what would be the s&m bones for these types of earth?

The answer is in the book.

I think it would be cool for other mythic metals to exist or to be found by the adventurous. Further, there are examples of minerals misidentified in history (off the top of my head, the chinese called nickel "white copper" or somesuch long before it was "discovered"). In addition, there are examples of alloys lost to time (Corinthian Bronze, orichalcum, or the medieval "confusion" between lodestone and diamond/adamantine hardness could be a mythic material).

Aluminium in a saga? Not by name... but could there be a metal as hard as steel and light as a feather? Oh yeah.