"...Those daring (or foolish) enough to venture into the deep places of this world (or is it still this world Below?) report many strange and unbelievable things, most of which may be attributed to the fatigue of deep journeys, overactive imaginations fed by wild stories, and the uncertain cast of torchlight upon distant surfaces. One common report, however, which MAY be corroborated by fact, is that of rust below."
"Many an adventurer has returned with weapon rusted and gear eaten away, swearing that the rust crept or rushed from some piece of corroded metal found below and brought in contact with virgin equipment, spreading across its surface in mere seconds with grinding and screeching audible to the attentive ear. Iron and copper are most susceptible, with silver and gold normally avoiding this strange effect."
"Perhaps the air in deep tunnels and buried ruins is itself corrupt, or etheric currents originating from deep below flow freely through metal and accelerate the natural process of corrosion. In any case, should you find yourself unfortunate enough to venture any distance below, do not let rusted metals contact any of your possessions. You may soon find them rusted and corrupt, too."
- From the writings of Erbius the Lorekeeper, Magus of the Fifth Order
(Housekeeping note: first post in over a month, unfortunately! My apologies. I have wished to be writing, but I have been - and am - dealing with real-world "adventures" of my own - mostly the kind that involve dying of an ancient curse in some gods-forsaken dank hole in the ground. XP )