Aganjira and Shadarl
Aganjira and Shadarl is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.
Upon the Surita Tree: Exciting Discoveries
The Making of a New Beetle
Protectors of surita trees take extraordinary care to keep pests away from their precious wards, but at one point, a persistent family of common bark beetles managed to swarm a single tree. Caretakers quickly worked to eradicate the danger, but Sylinar noted something unusual - the tree seemed different, healthier. He surreptitiously gathered some of the offending beetles and experimented when others were distracted.
Soon he learned that even a swarm of beetles would not harm a surita, and their presence appeared to discourage other pests. The beetles also appeared changed, different, in some way. He lacked time to discover everything, but he had learned the most important piece; they helped the trees. Indeed, a successful "infestation" of bark beetles sometimes resulted in the production of two seeds instead of the usual singular. Unfortunately, he told no one else of his findings, and the information was lost until recently when an old journal of his came to light.
Too late to help the trees in Atan Irith, of course, the new stewards of surita quickly began their own studies into these changed beetles. Entomologists from both continents were consulted and additional studies made. While Sylinar's notes spoke of occasional double seed production, the trees at Rumor Woods when properly cultivated always produce two seeds. Botanists are reviewing to see if the soil is special and impacting the outcome as well. It was determined the beetles which nibbled on the bark of the tree were also irrevocably changed; a normal bark beetle's life span is approximately a year, sometimes two. One that has fed on surita, however, ages quicker, finishing its cycle in days or weeks, and their carapaces were softened and supple.
The beetles became known as agan beetles (agan meaning aged or old in Erithi, a reference to their quickened lifecycle), and they are the new best friends of the keepers of the trees. Other craftspeople, noting the softened carapaces, took the remains of the agan beetles and began different experiments, focusing mostly on usable materials (although one enterprising chef attempted to create a new tea. It is not thought it will catch on, however).
By soaking the agan beetle's carapaces in an undisclosed solution, it becomes malleable and can be woven into what is being called aganjira. The name literally means "old protection," with the "agan" most likely referencing the aforementioned agan beetle as well as the use of old alchemy tomes to aid in its creation (one must note that which tomes and what solutions is a carefully guarded secret). This material improves the wearer's chances against bolts and warding attacks and absorbs some of the attack as mana or stamina.
Aganjira can only be made from the agan beetles. Attempts to recreate using normal beetle carapaces always fail. Erithi principles, including respect of life, are a large part of the process. The agan beetle must naturally complete its lifecycle; the carapaces are gathered after they die. A visiting weaver suggested forcing a bark beetle to eat from the surita then prematurely killing it after the carapace softened in order to increase production of aganjira. This being the very antithesis of erithi nature, the weaver was firmly and quickly escorted out of Rumor Woods and banned from returning.
Thus, aganjira's production is inextricably tied to both the agan beetle and the surita tree, making it a sought after and rare material. The cloth is amenable to most dyes and is naturally light in hue with bark-brown striations.
Treating aganjira with a specialized blend of alchemical ingredients, including a tincture of chrysanthemum blossoms, serves to improve the material and its inherent properties. Typically known simply as greater aganjira, it is sometimes colloquially known as x'aganjira. While the etymology of aganjira is quite clear, the addition of "x" is less so. There are some historical Erithi examples of similar usages with no reason or definition as to what was truncated to arrive at the x. It may be that someone long ago simply liked the way it looked. Linguists spend decades arguing over such anomalies; adding a newer term to the mix shall keep many a tavern in business as after-hours scholars drink and debate.
Shadarl is a leather-like material discovered while experimenting upon aganjira in an attempt to increase its properties. The creators are being quite circumspect about their processes, but in broad strokes, a reduction of lotus wood fibers and additional agan beetle carapaces were added to aganjira. We're told that a few specialized flora and possibly soil from Rumor Woods were included as well. The presence of a mage known to specialize in earth and shadow magics adds an aura of the arcane to the stories coming from the Woods. Regardless, the outcome was something completely different than aganjira.
Black as pitch, shadarl has the unusual property of absorbing both light and sound. While this absorption is not complete, it is enough to grant a stealthy adventurer an edge over his prey. One unfortunate side effect of this is that shadarl often disrupts spellcasting by absorbing words and sound before they even leave the wearer's mouth.
The term shadarl was coined to resemble the erithi mummery, the shi'hadara, where masks are used to hide one's face.
OOC Notes for Players
- Extremely rare and restricted materials
- Used for armor only
- Cloth Armor: Aganjira (Greater and Lesser)
- AsG 2 only
- Innate material property; doesn't compete with any other property
- Improves chances against bolts and warding attacks when wearing the armor and for the wearer to gain mana or stamina from the attack
- Lesser aganjira: Reduces the d100 against warding and bolt spells by 1d10 for the wearer, and (2d10)% chance to gain 1d10 mana or stamina, -60 material penalty
- Greater aganjira: Reduces the d100 against warding and bolt spells by 1d25 for the wearer, and (2d25)% chance to gain 1d25 mana or stamina, -150 material penalty
- Prioritizes mana or stamina based upon whichever you're missing the most of (in terms of absolute number, not percent)
- An alteration merchant can update the name of greater aganjira to x'aganjira if desired (normal alteration rules/restrictions apply, and it will be confirmed the item has the greater properties)
- Leather Armor: Shadarl
- AsG 5-12 only
- Innate material property; doesn't compete with any other property
- Improves one's stalking/hiding bonus (+40 enhancive ranks, does not require recharging)
- Increases spell hindrance (+1%)
- -100 material penalty
- Cannot be dyed