Orichalcum is a pseudomagical metal found in many digsites near Pontensulae's volcanoes, making it dangerous to mine due to the presence of everlava. Researchers think it is a metal closely related to gold, with which it shares many properties, but it's far stronger and harder, and a little less dense, as if its naturally alloyed with something.
Orichalcum is an incredibly good conductor of heat, electricity and other energies, which makes it hard to mine and harder to forge into something not misshapen. Techniques to forge orichalcum into weapons and armour or great works of art have sadly been lost to the ages. The only examples that remain are the orichalcum chains that hold up the Gates of Molten Earth and Boiling Seas and a long shirt of chainmail that belongs to the Qzare.
Early in the fifth century the Salterri Imperium rediscovered the means of forging orichalcum.