Beyond the Periodic Table: Meta-Elements

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There are a number of supernatural substances in the world that exist separately from the natural substances built up of elements from the Periodic Table. Some of these substances are extra elements in their own right; others are more exotic.

However, all of them have one thing in common. Rather than being composed of elementary particles, they are composed of minuscule magical constructs that simulate a particle, known as atomic simulators. In fact, it’s entirely possible to build up ordinary materials from atomic simulators, though in most cases it would be easier and more effective to conjure the actual materials.

Some such materials, sometimes called meta-elements, can be viewed as a chemical element in their own right, and can even be sort of squeezed into the Periodic Table. Most of them are metals. Many of them can be created through the alchemical transmutation ritual (the same ritual said to transform lead into gold; using different source materials in the ritual produces different end results). However, they also occur naturally in some places.


Lighter even than hydrogen, hydrium is a synthetic gas that can provide lifting power in any atmosphere. It cannot exist in outer space, and there are no known deposits on Earth; however, the enigmatic space birds, and some planets do have natural deposits, such as the verduran home planet as well as the second moon of the mrrrzari homeworld. In fact, the mrrrzari are unusual in having actually learned a way to synthesize it alchemically (rather than by manually constructing the atomic simulators).

Hydrium (chemical symbol Hy) has an atomic mass of zero, and is comparable to a stabilized ortho-positronium system. It does not react with anything, but when put under intense pressure, it does turn into gamma rays that can be harnessed for energy.


Mithril is a metal that’s light and hard, and holds an edge well – perfect for forging weapons or armour. It occurs naturally in some deep deposits on Earth, most of which are being mined by the dwarf kingdom. As a result, dwarfs almost have a monopoly over mithril on Earth. It can also be produced alchemically.

There is some dispute over the origin of the term “mithril”. One theory is that it derives from the dwarvish word “myþrral”, meaning “iron-like”; the other theory is that it was borrowed from the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. Some hybrids of the two theories have also been proposed – for example, one researcher suggested that Tolkien actually met a dwarf and heard the word “myþrral” before using it in his works.

Mithril also has a number of other names. In Japan, for example, it is known as “hihiirokane”. The dwarves themselves call it “thanin-tir”, which roughly means “steel woven of silver”. It has a number of other names as well.

Mithril (chemical symbol Mi) has an atomic mass of 8 and an atomic number of 5. However, it’s stable and does not undergo radioactive decay. It can form compounds, mainly with oxidation states of +2 or +3, the same as iron. Mithril compounds are not well-studied, so it’s not certain what other oxidation states it can form.

Mithril forms rhombohedral crystals at room temperature. It has a Mohs hardness of 9 and a tensile strength of around 30 GPa; as a metal, its compressive strength has a similar value.


Historically, the word “adamantine” referred to any supernaturally hard metal, including mithril or orichalcum. However, nowadays its use is more limited, describing a semi-crystalline metal with diamond-like properties.

True adamantine is actually very rare. It does not occur naturally on earth, though a number of alchemists have managed to synthesize small quantities of it. It’s quite a bit more common on Mars, however, and the siless homeworld also had some sizable deposits.

Adamantine (chemical symbol Ad) has an atomic mass of 16 and an atomic number of 8. Though its properties are very similar to diamond, it has a higher tensile strength and is not flammable. It usually forms slender, blade-like crystals, though it can also form a tetrahedral structure.


Orichalcum is a copper-coloured metal that is famous for its use in the old city of Atlantis, which sank beneath the sea. It’s not as widely-used in the new Atlantis city that was built on the new coast, because the only known deposit on one of the mountains of Atlantis was by then nearly depleted.

Orichalcum is about as hard as stainless steel, and like stainless steel is resistant to tarnish. In fact, it’s so resistant that the sunken city’s architecture still retains its coppery shade even to this day.

Orichalcum (chemical symbol Or) has an atomic mass of 90 and an atomic number of 79. It does not react easily with other elements, though unlike gold it has occasionally been seen in compounds, such as orichalcum ferrate which has the chemical formula Or2FeO4.

Alchemical Silver

Chemically, there is no difference between alchemically-transmuted silver and naturally-occurring silver. However, the alchemical form has greater effectiveness in supernatural applications, for example when used against werewolves.


Chrysopeium (sometimes spelled chrysopoeium) is a reddish glassy substance that forms dodecahedral crystals. It is soft, comparable to sodium chloride, and dissolves readily in water.

Unlike the other meta-materials listed in this article, chrysopeium is a compound, with chemical formula Au2CO3. If dissolved in salt water, it reacts with the salt to produce byproducts such as sodium carbonate and chloroform, leaving behind a deposit of gold sediment that sinks to the bottom.

Also known as the philosopher’s stone, chrysopeium is highly sought after for its supernatural properties – pouring a solution of chrysopeium over any object (except those made of certain other elements, such as adamantine) will turn it to solid gold. If drunk, the solution turns the drinker into a solid gold statue. Solid chrysopeium is safe to handle, however. The chemical reaction with salt water neutralizes this supernatural property, but obviously produces far less gold.

Contrary to the myths, chrysopeium cannot be used as an elixir to extend one’s life. However, the alchemical process to create chrysopeium does produce such an elixir as a byproduct.

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