Tales of Tolgard
Steel is an alloy of the metal iron and carbon. The most common source of the carbon is charcoal. While steel holds an edge better that iron, and is harder and stronger, it also tends to be more brittle. Its ability to take and keep a sharp edge makes it highly desirable in the creation of swords and other edged weapons as well as shields.
The creation of steel often utilizes the same bloomery where iron is separated from its raw ore. In this blazing crucible charcoal is added to not only heat the iron ore but also to contribute some of its carbon to it. The resulting alloy is highly prized all across Material Plane and is often traded in bars and ingots.