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Edit: To clarify, the Title is simply the title, the actual question is stated below.

It is a fantasy world where Magic has been fading away for a millennium and a half. Lead naturally disrupts magic, such as ending/negating Mage Armour (D&D) when struck. Mercury is discovered to create extremely effective Dragon slaying qualities when combined with Lead. Assuming an Italian renaissance level of scientific understanding and technology (if specifics are needed, imagine Leonardo Da Vinci attempting to make it), and with no magical processes:

Would a Lead+Mercury weapon be possible to forge (albeit incredibly heavy and worth less than garbage against steel), and/or be bonded to create a steel (or other metal) alloy for an actual effective weapon?

Tl;Dr Do I need to make up some fake science/magic excuse for lead and mercury forged weapons?

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    $\begingroup$ Lead amalgam with a sufficiently large proportion of lead is a solid, albeit very very soft -- a sword blade made of lead amalgam might bend down under its own weight. Lead amalgam is not a forgeable material, it will melt at a very low temperature. It has been used for a very long time for dental fillings. And yes, lead amalgam was known in the Renaissance. I have no idea how to bond it with steel. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Sep 17 at 2:17
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    $\begingroup$ @Xavon_Wrentaile: Elemental mercury is not all that toxic. Some of its compounds are, but that's entirely different. Just as elemental carbon and nitrogen are not toxic, but their combination is cyanide, which is. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Sep 17 at 5:29
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    $\begingroup$ Does it have to be a sword? Lead might not hold a blade very well, but its weight would make it ideal for a mace or other type of blunt weapon. $\endgroup$ – Darrel Hoffman Sep 17 at 13:33
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    $\begingroup$ @DarrelHoffman, or just make lead bullets, when magic dies you will go for the guns eventually. $\endgroup$ – user28434 Sep 17 at 15:13
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    $\begingroup$ @user28434 Lead bullets in slings could act as a democratizing force, causing mages to have to worry about commoners much as armored knights having to worry about longbows. As tech progresses, the same bullet is just propelled by gunpowder instead. $\endgroup$ – aherocalledFrog Sep 17 at 18:16
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Inlays

Does the lead and/or mercury need to be the actual material doing the cutting? If it's just contact that's required, then you could take a normal steel sword, engrave some channels into the blade, and fill those with lead amalgam. Done properly, the steel will hold the amalgam in place through mechanical strength alone with no chemical or adhesive bonding required. Then as long as the sword cuts or stabs deeply enough, the lead-mercury inlays will make contact and have their effect.

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Make it a mace

As others have pointed out, lead doesn't hold a blade very well, but it would be very effective as a blunt weapon due to its weight. This could be as simple as a large chunk of lead on the end of a handle made from wood or some lighter metal. It's possible the head of the mace would deform with excessive use, but this doesn't lessen its effectiveness as a weapon, since you really only need it to be a heavy thing on the end of a stick. A chain mace or morning star would also work.

Heck, a lead pipe is even one of the weapon choices in Clue. Really any long heavy thing will work as a blunt weapon. Not as glamorous as a sword, but certainly effective.

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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps even lead bolts fired from a powerful crossbow. Only a slight iteration away to real-world projectiles. $\endgroup$ – TylerH Sep 17 at 14:14
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    $\begingroup$ @TylerH to extend on your suggestion: Consider "Stonebows" or "Pellet Bows", which were similar to common crossbows, but instead designed to throw a stone or lead/clay pellet like a slinger would use. $\endgroup$ – TheLuckless Sep 17 at 18:16
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Lead is fine, it does not "alloy" but you can make lead iron weapons.

While lead is often added to steel alloys, it is actually not an alloying element itself. When added to steel, lead does not join with the carbon, iron, and other elements. Lead is actually not soluble in steel. Rather, lead remains in the steel in the form of inclusions. Lead also has almost no impact on the mechanical properties of the steel, but improves the machinability of the steel because it acts as a lubricant between the cutting tool and the steel.

https://www.metalsupermarkets.com/5-more-common-alloying-elements/

Mercury is more of a problem, mercury steel alloy is not chemically stable, you can force the two to mix but the mercury is pushed out of the iron as it cools.

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  • $\begingroup$ So then, it's reasonable to have a Lead edged blade but when it comes to the mercury it would melt and become (at best) a coating of highly toxic poison? Maybe a steel sword with a thin lead edge (similar to a silvered edge), forged/quenched in mercury? $\endgroup$ – Adlez Sep 17 at 3:20
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    $\begingroup$ Mercury simply won't bond to iron, you could coat a sword with mercury but it will not stick to the same way, say water would. swinging it will make it all fall off. A lead edge would be bad you loose all the cutting power, lead inlay would be better, but you can have just a steel sword with lead in the steel. The inclusions are microscopic,like billions of tiny little blebs. early steel in particular is always full of inclusions,japanese steel for instance always had a lot of silicon inclusions due to the high amount of impurities and poor smelting technology. $\endgroup$ – John Sep 17 at 4:02
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It's called Leadamalgam.

(No, really.)

And it occurs naturally! I mean, you have to extract it from rocks of crushed ore, but you can just use magic for that (I believe the 4th level spell Transmute would be helpful in that regard.)

As a weapon, it's bad. Really bad. It's a 1.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness, which, just for comparison, means you can chisel and shape the stuff with your fingernails. Weapons made from it can literally be shattered by a wooden staff, let alone an iron sword. So, no, you don't have to make excuses to justify it's existence because it naturally exists, but it's a terrible weapon.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yea, I know it's one word. But apparently Grammarly and my phone's autocorrect don't. I saw it on the Mohs scale, but then saw it's used in fillings because it can withstand the wear and tear of chewing, and I thought "it must be possible to make it harder then, right?". $\endgroup$ – Adlez Sep 17 at 3:09
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    $\begingroup$ @Adlez Dental amalgam is a completely different beast made of something like half a dozen different metals with one very particular purpose. It needs to be softer than enamel, so that it doesn't wear the opposing tooth down, but needs to have higherr maximum stress, strain, and elastic modulus than dentin (the other compound in teeth) to let it deal with bite forces. Quite the fascinating compound, really. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Sep 17 at 4:57
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Oddly, it's been done.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plumbata

They were essentially 6th century BC lawn darts made out of lead.

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How about lead-tipped arrows? You could make them lead-tipped, with a hollow tip that also contains mercury. When the arrow strikes its victim the tip compresses, injecting mercury into the wound. Should be fairly simple to create.

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  • $\begingroup$ Only issue with this is that Mercury "leaks" through lead. youtube.com/watch?v=2JW8YGTdTjA $\endgroup$ – Adlez Sep 17 at 19:39
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    $\begingroup$ So coat the arrow-heads in wax. On impact the wax would break away, and the lead-mercury arrowhead would contaminate the target with both elements, exactly as desired. $\endgroup$ – Duncan C Sep 18 at 2:18
  • $\begingroup$ You'd probably need a combination of a harder tip (flint, obsidian, steel, or similar) with a hollow point, fashioned as a "stopper", a hollow lead body, a mercury filling, and a wax coating. The hard tip would penetrate the target, and the impact would drive the hard tip into the lead body, squirting mercury out the end. The mercury would also soak into the lead, contaminating the whole arrowhead with lead. You would probably want to keep the amount of lead and mercury small, since they are both quite heavy, which would make the arrow tip-heavy and greatly reduce its range. $\endgroup$ – Duncan C Sep 18 at 13:03
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    $\begingroup$ BTW, does Mercury leak through lead, or through a lead/mercury amalgam? That video you posted creates a lead/mercury amalgam cup, and tests it. I wonder what would happen with a cup made of pure lead? $\endgroup$ – Duncan C Sep 18 at 17:36
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Antimony and tin allow alloying with lead to be made that is hard enough to use in printing presses which may make it suitable for some weapon applications, certainly arrowheads, spearheads and armour spurs for example

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    $\begingroup$ OP is asking specifically for lead mercury. Not for any lead based alloy. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Sep 18 at 16:11

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