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Can you think of an anathematic substance other than axiomatic that would be useful in binding proteans?
While I'm not Todd, that came up in a game once, and we had some ideas;
Proteans are all about change and things flowing into other things, leading to new discoveries.
Something pure and unalloyed and relatively enduring / unchanging seems ideal (iron has that rusting issue, but steel is a mixture / alloy / composite material, and pure gold is symbolically changeless, and yet very malleable, perhaps silver?). Also something worked, instead of a powder or raw material. Something that order has been imposed upon, so instead of a ring of silver dust, a fine chain of silver links arranged in a circle around a summoned protean, could represent both singularity / purity (which they wouldn't care for) and also matter being beaten / forged into a permanent unchanging state (ditto).
Other things that represent restraint or permanence, like a bug trapped in amber (life constrained by something that represents stasis and can remain changeless for a million years), could work, as well as preservatives like salt.