The element of Metal includes all precious and working metals: gold, silver, iron, brass, and steel. While it's scope is rather limited compared to Water or Earth, its overwhelming use is to fashion tools, especially for war. Masters of Metal can be incredible artisans or unassailable warriors.
The Metal Soul contains a person's sense of justice, honesty, and fair play. It governs Perception and Dexterity as well. Judges, vigilantes, human-rights activists, and civil-rights supporters have strong metal souls.
Listening to a metal soul reveals if one is speaking honestly (the ring of truth). Enlarging the metal soul can make a person tell the truth. Diminishing it makes it easier to lie.
- Virtue - Lesser Yin
- Constructive Cohorts - Earth and Water
- Adversary - Fire melts Metal
- Yin Attribute - Perception
- Yang Attribute - Dexterity
- Color - White
- Direction - West
- Dzi Dzat - Images of coins or other metal objects; origami swords, bells, etc...
- Festivals - Martial celebrations like Pennons or craft festivals; festivals honoring Shao Hao; Third Moon, Eighth Moon, Ninth Moon
- Kwannon-jin - Chu-ih-yu and Tanuki get an automatic Fortune when using Tieh Tan
- Mu-jen - These figures should either be adorned with metal or destroyed with it
- Poetry - Well-crafted poems about justice, biting satire, or martial epics. Conversely, a brutally self-honest poem may do the job.
- Season - Autumn
- Sense - Hearing
- Skills - Law, Martial Arts, Melee, Crafts, Streetwise, Performance (acting, singing, instruments), etc...
Level 1: The Prodigal Tongue
- Commune With Metal - Like other elemental objects, those of metal have limited senses and limited ways to communicate. A metal sword may be able to comment on the skill of its maker or of its wielder or whether the warrior fights fairly. A metal object one swears on could tell you if the swearer is honest. The one bonus metal objects have is that, as they are associated with hearing, they can actually recount conversations.
- Read Metal Soul - Communing with the Metal Soul of a person will tell you whether the person has spoken truthfully or whether they ignore what is just.
- Speak With Jimu-Tenno - The Alchemist can speak with Metal Spirits, provided they can be encountered.
Level 2: Command Elemental Vassals
- Summon/Dispel Tieh Shen - A Metal Alchemist may summon or dispel a spirit of metal. A Chu-ih-yu or Tanuki may command the spirit while others must bargain or sacrifice to get the spirit to do a task.
- Nurture/Diminish Metal Soul - See above for the effects of this I Chih.
- Increase/Decrease Metal Attributes / Blessing of Shaohao/Curse of Luban - The Alchemist may affect the Perception or Dexterity of the target. The Blessing of Shaohao will grant the recipient great Perception to justly judge while the Curse of Luban, the carpenter god, will make a craftsman clumsy by decreasing their Dexterity.
- Summon the Dragon Boat - Calling a Dragon Boat associated with Metal is useful when the Dragon Line it follows has been covered with a railroad or if the Dragon Nest travelled to or from is associated with Metal or Justice.
Level 3: Raiment of the Elements
- The Enfolded Object - Metal is perhaps the second most easily enfolded object and practical as well. As long as a blade is only metal it can be enfolded with little trouble. Most items, though, especially weapons, are not simply metal and often have a bone, stone, or wooden handle which makes this best for cohort effects, though coins can be easily stored. A firearm requires Earth as well for the gunpowder in the bullets. Technological devices often require facility with Fire as well, though this can be difficult because of Adversarial effects.
- Paths of Iron - Copper wire, metal duct work, or steel girders of buildings... the Paths of Metal are many, at least in the cities. They are less accessible in small villages, though traveling a vein of ore through a mountain is always helpful.
- Metal Form/Metal Fist - This is a common I Chih for both the Chu-ih-yu and the Tanuki who tend to be martial and the defense of a metal hide or the shattering power of a metal fist is useful. Though the Kithain rarely enter the courts of the Hsien, Cold Iron can be made as well. It is unlikely that many Shinma know of the weakness of the fae and as cold iron is rather brittle it is unlikely to be the metal of choice for a weapon.
- Mask Metal Soul / Mask of Gao-Yao - (Not Canon) The Tanuki or Chu-ih-yu who falls to the Mu Courts is a terrifying individual and often hunted down. By masking their diminished Metal Soul, they can still pass through normal Hsien society without their aura betraying them.
Level 4: Awaken the Elements
- Awaken True Jade - The Alchemist may awaken White Jade. (Not to be confused with the Wraithly substance of the same name.)
- Move Metal - A handy trick for the warrior whose weapon has been cast from his hand
- Shape/Sunder Metal / Chisel of Pan Ku - The great workers of Metal Alchemy are noted craftsmen and make beautiful swords and other weapons. They are equally adept at destroying them and a well placed prayer to Pan Ku has saved more than one shinma from attack when a gun has mysteriously jammed.
- Summon Metal - When you need a weapon and don't care what you get, this ability can be helpful. Aside from that a Hsien miner may use this to "find" a vein of ore or a needy person find that coin rolling up to their feet at the right time.
- Repair Metal Soul - (Not canon) Some beings have fallen so far to the darkness that their damaged metal soul isn't just more or less active; it has become unbalanced to the point of death. A patient metal alchemist can help repair such a soul, perhaps leading the fallen one on the path to redemption.
- Awaken Tieh Shen/ Awaken Weapon - (Not Canon) As the name of this level of I Chih suggests, it seems probable that a student of Metal Alchemy could awaken the spirit of a weapon, creating an object not unlike a Fetish which would grant any number of bonuses to using said weapon.
Level 5: Master the Elements, Throne of Jade
- Exchange Properties - At this level of power a Master can make steel as soft as gold or gold as tough as steel. Iron can be made as malleable and strong as steel, ridding it of its soft, crumbly nature.
- Transmute Metal - With this ability metal can be turned into another metal entirely. A bronze coin could be made silver. The Cold Iron aimed at your Kithain comrade could be made gold instead.
- Transmute Tieh Shen - (Not Canon) A spirit of one metal could be made into the spirit of another metal. Such god-like power, though, if exercised rashly, will lead to swift retribution from heaven. With Cohort effects the just spirit of Metal could taste what it means to be Water. This could be a boon of a Tieh Shen who, confronted with a Hou Shen, is going to be Melted (destroyed). In this case, such an act would be seen as re-enforcing and strengthening the Constructive Cycle of the Elements.