The stellar neighborhood surrounding Gaeleth and its parent star, Ekiras, is full of a dark metal known as ebonite. In its natural state, mixed with nickel and iron, ebonite takes on a dark, lustrous shine, especially after falling through the atmosphere to land on Gaeleth's surface. Ebonite is fairly recognizable, though rare enough on the surface of Gaeleth. Small deposits exist in ancient impact craters, as remnants from the original meteors.
Refined ebonite is a rich black so deep that it reflects no light (hence the name). Refinement is a long and arduous process that requires intensive heat, careful attention, split-second adjustments, and considerable alchemical skills. Once purified, the ebonite metal can be worked like conventional metals, though its hardness and durability often wear out lesser metal lathes and files. This means that it can be drawn and filigreed, as well, to create intricate designs or creations.
Absorbing visible light, and reradiating it as near-infrared energy, ebonite remains a deep, dark black even in the brightest sunlight. It has absolutely no reflective index what-so-ever, and is a favored metal of those who prefer to remain in the shadows. Ebonite has gone into weapons, armor, jewelry, and more. Flecks of ebonite that result from working larger pieces can sometimes adorn jewelry, fetching a high price. Overall, the metal is fairly rare, and thus very expensive.
Weapons fashioned from ebonite have a natural bonus to attack and damage. Armor fashioned from ebonite has a natural adjustment to armor class. In both cases, the metal can be further enhanced with enchantments, but the enchantments do not stack with the natural abilities of ebonite. Thus, an enhanced longsword +3 made of ebonite has only a +3 bonus to attack and damage; however, if the weapon enters an anti-magic field, or is magically disjuncted, then it still retains its natural +2 bonus (+2 for being a 1d8 weapon -- see chart below). Weapons and armor fashioned from ebonite are treated as masterwork items with regard to creation times, but the masterwork quality does not affect the enhancement bonus of weapons or the armor check penalties of armor. It is important to note that armor crafted of ebonite gives no penalties to Hide checks made in darkness.
Ebonite has a hardness of 13 and 25 hit points per inch of thickness.
Arcane spells cast through a tanisen focus receive a step-up in power, as though the caster had used a user-directed metamagic feat with no level penalties or requirements. Gems set within rings or amulets were a favorite of the archmages during the Storm Wars, though only one gem of tanisen can be used at a time, per spell.
The amount of energy required to create tanisen is staggering, and only one suit of tanisen armor has ever been known to exist -- made by the ArchMage of the Karatikan Alliance during the Storm Wars. The scale-mail armor was made of many crystals of tanisen arrayed in overlapping scales, on an ebonite-drawn mesh-fiber backing. The actual results are unknown, for the armor was destroyed by Giran Howel, the Godslayer sword, when the ArchMage was slain. Scales of the armor are rumored to exist in various forms, but the Inquisition has probably hidden and lost most of them.
Until the magical energies from pritanium are disjuncted, the metal carries with it from the Abyss natural enchantments that can harm or even kill those of certain alignments. Pritanium is considered unholy (as per the Dungeon Master's Guide), causing harm to good-aligned creature that touches it, or is struck by it. Any good-aligned creature wearing pritanium armor not only loses one temporary level, but whenever the armor is struck, it can deal unholy damage to the wearer as though struck by an unholy weapon. Evil-aligned characters gain no benefit from pritanium, other than the metal's natural enhancement bonuses to attack and damage, and to armor.
Once disjuncted, pritanium can be worn by any alignment. Because of its higher density, it should be noted that pritanium increases armor check penalties for all armors by (-1), chances of arcane spell failure by (5%), and the maximum Dexterity bonus by (1). Obviously, items not crafted primarily of pritanium are unaffected. Because of its inherently magical nature, pritanium cuts item creation feats in half. As with ebonite, enhancement bonuses to pritanium cannot stack with the metal's natural bonuses.
Pritanium has a hardness of 25 and 40 hit points per inch of thickness.