Iron Mud, as it is commonly called, was first discovered occurring naturally and put to use in the golden plains among the various tauric races there. It is not to be confused with iron rich sand, though that material is often used in some of the many artificially made iron mud duplication attempted elsewhere. True iron mud from naturally occurring sources begins as a sandy clay, which has sand ranging from white to purplish white to pale purple and clay of a light yellowish hue, resulting in a pale tan overall color. When properly prepared, treated, formed, cured and baked, the result is a pale grayish-white ceramic, called oxirical by those who discovered it, with specific qualities much sought after. Though, without extra protection against blows,it does not serve well in combat roles, many craftsmen are only to happy to give it those protections. The resultant ceramic, also referred to as iron mud, though it should really be called oxirical ceramic, is traditionally blended with fibers of smoke-grass or fire-beetle chitin for a added stability and enameled to harden it against impact. The fibers add increased heat resistance, though the base ceramic is already more than capable of withstanding intense heat sources unless it is blended with iron sand or other metallic elements. The ceramic is also not conductive electrically unless weakened by metallic admixture and does not corrode, even in the presence of mild acids. With a shellac or similar coating, a properly made iron mud ceramic item can also withstand striking and impact nearly as well as metal. So, while not the best choice for the outer surface of a suit of plate mail or the head of a war hammer, it is an excellent option for hunting arrows, daggers, slashing blades, scale mail with easily replaced scales, armor inner linings, and a host of industrial and domestic uses. It is also an excellent choice for use in hot or wet climates, though it can become brittle in extremely cold environs. It is highly favored in its homeland and is in demand for numerous applications across the world. It is currently most popular among warriors serving in the border wars for weapon handle and armor lining replacements, though it is always of interest to smiths, wizards, and gnome inventors, as well as jewelers, crockery makers, and artists. It can be transported for a week or two while curing, before shaping, accompanied by instructions for finishing and shellac base for strengthening. It is rumored that an artisan recently discovered and purchased a naturally occurring cache in the border country of Pelennia and Uburru, setting up shop in several locations in that region. Note that, while knock off iron mud is not nearly as energy resistant, it is more hardy and durable for combat applications, and is fast becoming a favorite for coating structures beyond the Golden Plains.
Statistics Knock off: DR 5/fire, electricity; DR 1/acid; hardness 7; HP 8/inch. Knock off, coated: DR 5/fire, electricity, acid; hardness 9; HP 10/inch. Base: DR 15/fire, electricity; DR 5/acid; hardness 5; HP 5/inch. Traditional: DR 30/fire, DR 15/electricity; DR 10/acid; hardness 7; HP 7/inch.