Amongst the knights of the Seven Realms, no weapon is held in higher regard than a sword forged of Mascadian Steel. Other than being dark as smoke (though skilled ironsmiths know of techniques to change their color), the definitive characteristic of the legendary blade are the multiple rippling within the steel where the metal had been folded back onto itself hundreds of times in its forging. The scholars believe that it is this layered structure that gives the steel its legendary strength and sharpness.
Sharp as a razor, but stronger and lighter than even the finest of ordinary steel, Mascadian Blades are said to be capable of cutting through lesser swords and cleaving through stone without losing its edge. Most of such stories are apocryphal no doubt, but the superiority of the Mascadian forged weapons are not to be denied. Because of the rarity of these weapons (and the reluctance of the possessors of the surviving blades to unneeded risk them) it is hard to verify these claims. However, one reasonably reliable account recorded by the Deacon Emmon of Blackvale states that a Mascadian blade wielded by the knight Martin Garzez once “crunched through the breastplate of an opposing knight in a single stroke.” Needless to say, a breastplate made of fine steel is usually proof against all manners of missiles and cutting weapons. Breaking through one in a single stroke would be a daunting task for a heavy warhammer or a battleaxe (both far heavier weapons than a Mascadian blade). The great swordsmiths of Andragoria are said to be able to make weapons near as sharp, but their slim swords are far more brittle and no match for the real thing. Besides their sharpness and strength, the blades are known also for their nigh indestructibility. There exist no records of a sword made of Mascadian steel breaking or notching, and blades discovered in ruins centuries after their abandonment still kept their edge though their hilts had long rotten away. Though Mascadian steel was usually reserved for the creation of longswords (long considered to be the most noble of weapons), axes, spears, and even daggers made of the metal have been discovered.
The forges of Mascada, a legendary city in what is currently Nevros, was the place that succeeded in the creation of Mascadian Steel. The process of their creation was a secret hoarded jealously by the ironsmiths of the time, and the technique died with the smiths who practiced it when the Empire torched the city in their conquest. As stated before, any attempts at rediscovering the art have ended in disappointment. This has caused many to believe that the blades were forged out of a special type of iron ore, or through the use of extensive sorcery. Many of the smallfolk believe that the swords need to be forged through Wyrmfire, a fictitious legend that scholars vehemently protest against, but the belief has given the Mascadian Blades its second name, Wyrmsteel. There are less than two hundred Mascadian Blades known today. Most of them are treasured heirlooms of great nobles, each with its own names and storied history. Though these weapons can no longer be created, caches of such weapons are discovered every few years amongst ancient ruins and battlegrounds. A sword made of true Mascadian Steel would be worth an astronomical sum, but it is impossible to set a clear price since no one has ever willingly sold their weapons. For noble houses, their swords are an embodiment of their honor, their valor, and their history. Many lords would rather lose a son than a Mascadian sword.