Part 1 can be found here No Iron for your fair-folk maiden? (Part 1)

And part 2 can be found here No iron for your fair-folk maiden? (Part 2)

So, my not so metal inclined Fair-folk are encountering iron and other related metals near its group in the periodic table and they find they really don’t agree with them in any of their refined forms. For some specifics:

  1. Iron burns fair folk and disrupts their abilities.
  2. Titanium causes their powers to feedback and hurt themselves.
  3. Osmium dissipates all their energy based abilities, think perfect shielding.
  4. Tungsten causes necrosis on contact.
  5. Nickel (which is both iron type and silver type) causes bleeding wounds.
  6. Cobalt (which is also an iron/silver type) renders the afflicted body part unable to channel energy through it.

In addition, all of the iron type metals disrupt fair folk abilities. Which basically means that they can more easily push through their shielding and “ground out” their attacks.

The basic premise of all of this is that all iron type metals cause direct harm to fair folk. In addition, it doesn’t matter if the metal is touching their skin or inside their bodies, as long as it is in a refined form it will have the same effect. The effect ends immediately once the metal is removed, or once it reacts, such as forming an oxide.

So here is my question: what would cause these iron type metals to harm fair folk so severely?

To open this question up a bit I’ve decided to remove the “no chemical reaction” part of its limitations.

  • $\begingroup$ define "pure" chemically pure iron is extremely rare, it does not even behave how you expect iron ot behave. $\endgroup$
    – John
    May 26, 2019 at 23:25
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah that needs cleared up, thanks! $\endgroup$
    – Nick
    May 26, 2019 at 23:38
  • $\begingroup$ This is not detailed enough for an answer (mainly because any answer is going to require large amounts of handwaving anyway) but you might have more luck if the issue is not refined metals but rather conductors (which all of your refined metals happen to be). In essence it is something about the electric/magnetic properties of these materials that interacts with your fair folk's physiology and causes problems. $\endgroup$
    – conman
    May 27, 2019 at 10:07

2 Answers 2



Without a chemical reaction, that's all you have left......

The Fae are naturally magical beings so the harm can be magical in origin. The metals affects the magical nature of the creatures like silver affects werewolves.

  • $\begingroup$ The metal itself isn’t reacting, but I was wondering about it maybe acting as a catalyst or some time of conduction? $\endgroup$
    – Nick
    May 26, 2019 at 23:44
  • $\begingroup$ A catalyst is still a chemical reaction. $\endgroup$
    – Thorne
    May 26, 2019 at 23:53
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, but a catalyst isn’t used up in the reaction. Although as I write this it strikes me that I should specify that in the question itself, so thanks for pointing that out. $\endgroup$
    – Nick
    May 26, 2019 at 23:55
  • $\begingroup$ Even though, the energy based abilities sounds like magic to me so magic is still a valid answer for magical beings. $\endgroup$
    – Thorne
    May 26, 2019 at 23:58
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah I can agree with that $\endgroup$
    – Nick
    May 27, 2019 at 0:01

It's all about the lattice. Atomic distances and lattice structure are just right in those elements (and too disturbed if any major impurities are present) to impact the electromagnetic fields that the fae produce. Some reflect, some absorb, some phase-shift...

Usual metallic form is made up from lots of microscopic crystalline structures (cold forged iron different from, say, cast iron, btw), thus achieveing it's effect more or less isotropically. There are metallic monocrystals nowadays, though...


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