Cultural (that is, race- or deity-specific) armor and weaponry has been part of EverQuest since the early days. Originally, player-crafted cultural armor relied on blue diamonds as a major component, along with gems imbued by priest classes, and did not cover all possible race/class/deity combinations. See this write-up on EQTraders.com for a rough idea of the configurations possible under this system.
With the release of the Dragons of Norrath expansion in 2005, a more formalized system was introduced, offering players unique and powerful new equipment options. This system took advantage of augment slots by allowing players to create armor that was race-specific (and race-limited, as characters could only craft armor appropriate for their own race) and "symbols," which are type 11 -specific (but not deity-limited) and fit only into these new cultural armor pieces.
At that time, both armor and symbols were available in four tiers, or degrees of quality, ranging from Journeyman to Grandmaster, each with respective required and recommended levels. The recipes for armors and symbols under this system generally used everyday drops that were already in the game, such as spider silk, medium quality cat pelts, and mammoth tusks, for example.
The major new component of this system, however, was the introduction of "quest books." In order to begin crafting cultural armor, a character needed to return to his hometown and assist an NPC in the creation of "Books of Culture" for their race. These books included one "Ancestral ___ Armor," and four "Book of ___ Culture," one for each tier. Thus, Humans would quest for "Ancestral Human Armor," "Journeyman's Book of Human Culture," and so on. The Ancestral Book generally required drops from several local, low-level mobs while the Books of Culture went on the character's task journal and required him to kill 20 mobs, loot 4 drops, 10 of a different type of mob, and loot 1 drop, all within a specified zone.
The Ancestral book, once it was earned, could be used to create a backpack full of slot-specific armor patterns, required ingredients for the corresponding armor pieces. Symbol patterns were similarly created using the Books of Culture, although these patterns were tier- as well as slot-specific, while the armor patterns could be used to create armor of any quality. Patterns for cultural charms were introduced with the Depths of Darkhollow expansion, and were also created using the Books of Culture. A dated guide from this time can be found here.
The release of the Secrets of Faydwer expansion in November of 2007 brought with it a sweeping overhaul of the previously discussed Cultural Armor system. While some basic concepts were left intact (race-specific armor, deity-specific symbols, the quest books), much of the meat of the system was drastically altered to allow developers to easily introduce additional armor in the future.
The first of these changes was a revision of the tier system. The original four tiers left little room for expansion of tiers above Grandmaster and were thus replaced with two seperate naming conventions, one for armor and one for symbols. At present, there are five tiers of armors and seven of symbols; a list of these tiers and their respective recommended and required levels can be linked HERE once the appendices to this guide are completed.
More dramatic than the restructuring of cultural armor tiers, however, was the introduction of radically new ingredients. In place of the mundane ingredients described above, the developers introduced several new worldwide drops that would be used to craft all manner of cultural armor. These included Loam, Ore, Silk, Marrow, Spinneret, and Animal Pelt, in addition to vendor-bought items. At present, these drops are used only for cultural armor and will not sell to NPC merchants.
What made the introduction of these new items overwhelming at first was that each was available in degrees of quality; higher-quality items dropped from more powerful creatures. At present, there are thirteen tiers of quality to each of these drops, creating an appreciably large number of new items for crafters to manage. The details of this list can be found in the appendix.
It should be further mentioned that not all of these new items can be used in crafting armor or symbols. A large number of them do not actually correspond to armor tiers and their only use lies in creating templates (a required ingredient in armor recipes) which have no associated armor recipe. Crafting these templates, however, can be useful practice for tradeskillers hoping to improve their ability.
A smaller update subsequent to this overhaul saw the modification of the quests for "Books of Culture." While the Ancestral Armor quest remains intact for all races, the original quests for the symbol books have changed to require a number of "impressions" in lieu of collecting drops. Little is understood about this process at present, save that killing a target mob with the impressions book (name?) in your inventory has a chance to create an "impression" of that creature and yield a task update.
At the moment, the status of cultural charms is unknown by this editor. Any relevant information or edits are welcome!
This is the npc outside the library that give out the smithing scroll. Take the scrolls and read them. then go to your hometown forge and ask it to look up the info by giving it the first name of the piece.
The same artisan still gives the quest for the first book. But, The armor quests are given by the artisan historian in POK now via scrolls.
The hometown artisan
I hope these help.
--- Updated March 23, 2010 I found much of this information in the database in Eqtraders.com.
The recipes for armor now are centered around Worldwide ore and loam drops. The rest of the necessary pieces can be purchased in your home town. There are tiers of armors that can be made from you (Cultural) Ancestral Book and the Symbol patterns are created with (Cultural) (Tier) Book. The quest for the ancestral book will yield the patterns or molds in 20 stacks (40 for wrists). The book can be used 10 times before it is consumed and you must repeat the quest for another.
Molds (in kiln)= Ancestral (race) Armor (book) + Compacted Backpack + High Quality Firing Sheet + Huge Block of Clay + Sculpting Tools
Patterns (in book binding)= A Quill, Ancestral (race) Armor, Compacted Backpack, Large Bottle of Ink, Roll of Plain Parchment
Symbols are what add the stats to your armor. They are slot 11 and you can have on Tier 1 blessed armor with a sublime symbol if you meet the level requirement. The quests for the tier of symbol pattern opens as your reach certain levels. The (tier) books of (race) culture produced stacks of symbol patterns.
Symbol pattern pack = A Quill + Compacted Backpack + Large Bottle of Ink + (Tier) Book of (race) Culture + Roll of (Vellum) Note:(**Quality of Vellum varies by Tier: Blessed = Vellum; Revered = Good Quality Vellum; Sacred = High Quality Vellum; Eminent, Exalted, Sublime, Venerable= Superb Vellum)
Note: Loam and Ore are world wide drops from mobs around that level.
Armor (Type) coal + (Cultural) Smithy Hammer + Mold for armor slot + + (kind)(cultural metal) + (Ore) Chain/Plate (Armor slot) Template* + (loam) + Water Flask. The templates require 1,2,or 3 pieces of ore to as well depending on slot
Armor Symbol (Tier) (Slot) Pattern + Blessed Water of (Diety) + (Type) coal + (loam) + (Ore)
Note: Loam and Ore are world wide drops from mobs around that level.
Non-Cultural Weapons (Type) coal + (Ore) + Smithy Hammer + (Tier) Mold(s) for weapons + (Tier) Halt/Hilt/etc + (loam) + (Size) (Metal) of Weapon Grade Ore + Water Flask. The templates require 1,2,or 3 pieces of ore to as well depending on slot
Note: ''Size of the Weapons Grade Ore and Mold(s) for weapon and Handle/Hilt/Haft all depend on weapon.""
Non-Cultural Weapons Symbols Blessed Water of (Deity) + Round Cut Tool + Vial of Vicious Mana + (Type) Spinneret fluid + Uncut (Type)(Gem) in Jeweler's kit.
Note: Different gems will produce different type weapon symbols.
Tier-Spinneret Fluid-Vial of (Type) Mana - Level