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Elanthian Gems is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.
Even the most learned scholars of Ta'Illistim do not command all the lore of the world, for such lore changes as quickly as the winds change, and no one can obtain current, reliable knowledge while remaining cooped in even the most exquisite of silver-gilt towers.
Blessed by elven longevity and energized by human perseverance, we have roamed this continent far and wide to gather information about an aspect of lore knotted deeply into the beliefs and traditions of all Elanthian races. We have travelled from halfling outposts on the highest snow-capped peaks to the somber depths of dwarven caverns, and we have sought knowledge people ranging from the most revered giantman sages to innocent Aelotoi children.
We present the information contained within these pages with a prayer to Lumnis that it will encourage understanding between the various races. We ask for this understanding not only upon the continent of Elanith, but in every nation beyond its lengthy shores that should ever encounter the people of Elanith.
Separate and together, the six who authored this document have travelled under many names. To catalogue those names would be a danger to some of those who have aided us, for, as well as histories, legends, and lore, there are secrets revealed within these pages. Therefore, we dare not thank our many benefactors as clearly as we would wish, but we pray that Lumnis guides this document into their hands, and we pray that they know of our gratitude.
By our pseudonyms, then, if not our true names, we sign this document.
On Gem Values
Despite being quite cheap and common, a gem may not be readily available in all parts of the world. Blue quartz, for example, is so common on the east side of the DragonSpine that even elven peasants rarely wear it as jewelry. Even so, those who ask wandering merchants for an item made of blue quartz may experience some difficulty -- a gem may be common, but that does not mean that it is common "here," wherever "here" might be. Elves are more likely to have gems from the east side of the DragonSpine, halflings are more likely to have gems found in the frozen north, humans are more likely to have gems found in the Turamzzyrian Empire, and so on.
Prices offered for a gem may vary from place to place, but intelligent jewelers are aware of the various rarities of gems throughout the world, and few are willing to pay more for a gem from an adventurer than they would have to pay to have it imported. (Many will cheerfully pay less!) Less educated jewelers are quickly rooked by visiting adventurers and driven out of business.
Very common gems are worth 25 silver at most.
Common gems are worth 25 to 75 silver.
Infrequently found gems are worth 75 to 300 silver.
Uncommon gems are worth 300 to 750 silver.
Rare gems are worth 750 to 1750 silver.
Very rare gems are worth 1750 to 3750 silver.
Extremely rare gems are worth 3750 to 5500 silver.
Extraordinarily rare gems are worth 5500 to 7000 silver.
Legendary gems are remarkably valuable, and they are valued at more than 7000 silver apiece.
The stuff of dreams and myths, these gems are snatched up hungrily by jewelers as evidence that they really do exist.
|Value:|| Varies with the variety. Most Elanthian agate ranges between very common and |
infrequently found, but chameleon agate is extremely rare.
Dwarven miners say that agates are nothing but interesting forms of chalcedony, usually accompanied by grunting and grousing over the imprecision of the Common language. (The dwarven language is noteworthy for having a different, specific word for every kind of mineral and gem known to the dwarves, unlike elven, Common, and the other commonly spoken languages of Elanith.)
Some noteworthy varieties found upon the continent of Elanith are described below.
Blue lace agate:
Although one type or another may be more prevalent in a given region, agate can be mined all over the continent of Elanith. Two sources of agate are worthy of particular mention. One is the marvelous agate beach of Lake Ghelutha, found in the territory of the Brughan halflings in northeastern Elanith, where the ground is entirely covered with water-tumbled agates. Few of the agates are of high enough quality to earn a jeweler's interest, but the sight is remarkable. The other exceptional source of agate is the Naesakain River, which flows down from the DragonSpine Mountains in the farthest northwest part of the lands settled by the Nalfein. Pieces of banded agate may be scooped from its depths by anyone with the desire, and agate stones routinely wash ashore at the river's termination, where the Naesakain River plunges over the Aethalain Falls to create the Lake of Mirrors.
In addition, every type of agate found upon the continent of Elanith can be found upon the Erithian continent, with the sole exception of chameleon agate. Rumor has it that the Erithi even possess varieties of agate that are unknown to the races of Elanith, but the Erithi are quite close-mouthed about the resources of their homeland. Considering that their lands have long been raided by rogues and scavengers of many races, their preference for mystery is not entirely surprising, but it is disappointing to those who wish to chronicle such matters.
Agate is aligned with spiritual magic, enhancing spells of spirit summoning, religion, and blessing equally. Some suspect that the Erithi have found a way for it to enhance mental magics as well, but, if so, it is not widely known.
Servants of Gosaena prize moss agate as a symbol of the goddess of death, considering the transition between living moss and deathless stone to be similar to the soul's transition from mortal existence in Elanthia to immortal existence in the unknown lands beyond the Ebon Gates. In circumstances where wearing the goddess's sickle symbol would be inappropriate (celebrations of birth and life) many Gosaenan clerics will don a talisman of moss agate instead. It is also said that those in Gosaena's highest favor can divine the hour of someone's death by meditating on moss agate.
The Erithi value agate very highly, particularly the Surath Dai. Though the record of Erithi history stretches back only fifteen hundred years, Erithian scholars are convinced that the traditions related to agate are far older. The word for "soul" (raiyatha) and the word for "agate" (raiyartha) are quite similar in the Erithi language, making linguists certain that they derive from the same source. A traditional prayer among the Erithi, also suspected to be older than their arrival in Atan Irith, addresses Lumnis as "Mother of Agates" and asks the goddess to aid the Erithian people in showing mercy to one another.
Poets among the Erithi use agate as a symbol for the soul on a routine basis, and every variety of agate carries its own special symbolism as well. Part of a traditional Erithian wedding ceremony requires the bride and groom to drink from a bowl carved of agate, and the specific agate of the bowl is chosen with careful attention to the traditional symbolism.
Alabaster is a lustrous, fine-grained stone often used in sculpture because of its softness. True alabaster is weak enough to be scratched with a fingernail. In hue, it is either snow white or streaked with red. High quality alabaster is translucent with a delicate sheen to its surface, but lesser quality alabaster may be opaque.
Alabaster can be mined in a variety of locations, including the DragonSpine Mountains and most of southwestern Elanith.
Some humans say that powdered alabaster will heal diseases of the skin. Although alabaster has no particular alignment with healing magic, the pale, faintly shimmering powder serves as an effective disguise for most such diseases when combined into ointment.
Magically, alabaster is an oddity. It can be used as a catalyst to enhance almost any spell, but it will always be destroyed in the working.
A major deposit of alabaster once existed beneath Rhoska-Tor, but the magically sensitive stone transforms into despanal when exposed to a high degree of sorcerous magic. Only slight traces of alabaster remain, and those only where veins of mithril or krodera shielded the metal.
The Faendryl are the masters of alabaster. Their greatest stoneworkers know a way to “seal” the stone with spiritual magic and reduce its fragility. They craft ornate and beautiful vases, urns, and pieces of sculpture from the stone. For the most part, these elegant creations do not leave Faendryl hands, but the rare exception has led to Faendryl craftsmanship being present in more than one elven palace.
Alexandrite is noteworthy for its dramatic property of changing color. When seen beneath sunlight, alexandrite stones are an elegant green hue, but magical light or the light of the moon Liabo will display it as red instead. The value of an alexandrite stone is based upon its size, its clarity, and the intensity of its hues.
Alexandrite is considered a good-luck stone by the elves, and both elves and humans consider it to be a particularly useful stone when practicing divinatory magics. It is said that, by considering a situation and meditating upon alexandrite as Liabo rises, the future may be discerned in the stone's color change.
Illistim scholars suggest that the human reverence for alexandrite stems from a half-elf raised in Ta'Loenthra, who suffered a religious epiphany, converted to worship of Jastev, and moved to live among humans. Loenthran legend agrees with the story on all points but one, claiming that the half-elf in question was raised in Ta'Illistim rather than Loenthra. Alexandrite is fairly rare in the Turamzzyrian Empire, as it is mined only in the DragonSpine mountains, but humans traditionally hold that Jastev inspired them with knowledge of alexandrite's properties and that the elves had nothing whatsoever to do with the matter.
Halflings do not divine by alexandrite, but they too consider alexandrite to be usefully in magic. Truefolk diplomats almost always carry a piece of alexandrite because their people believe that it can change the hearts of their enemies and help a call for peace. As a result, alexandrite is called "Stone of the Peacemakers."
Amber is a lustrous, honey-golden stone. The most valuable pieces of amber are transparent, but translucent and cloudy amber also exists. Sylvans say that there are other types of amber, including brown, green, blue, and black, but only the golden shade is honored as "true" amber by the other races. Many pieces of amber contain insects or small fragments of leaves imprisoned within their substance. Amber cannot be faceted.
Amber is found worldwide. It is mined along with other gems in parts of the forested lowlands of Highmount, and dwarves have occasionally mentioned encountering it far below the earth in other places. However, establishing a mine solely to retrieve amber is not profitable, considering that amber can be acquired much more easily when it washes ashore on both coastlines.
Amber possesses power over the spirits of the earth and is often used in spirit summoning magics.
Unlike most stones, amber will burn in a candle flame. When it burns, it produces a white smoke and a sweet scent reminiscent of pine resin. Priests of Imaera say that amber stones are the Arkati's tears, shed when she witnesses the disruption of the natural cycles by intervention of the mortal races or by intervention of the Arkati of Lornon.
Amber is also unusual because it will float in salt water. Among the Ashrim, a customary gift for a first-time sea captain was a piece of amber jewelry, ideally a medallion carved with the image of his ship. The sentiment ran that, just as the waves brought the amber to the shore, the captain's ship would come home safe and sound.
Sylvan legend holds that Imaera sometimes sends spirits in the form of animals into the forest and marks them with a necklace, an earring, or another ornament made of amber. To attack such a spirit would be a grievous crime against the Arkati who sent it, and therefore they are sacrosanct. The sylvan who receives an amber talisman as a gift from such a servant is destined for true greatness.
Many followers of Sheru also take an interest in amber. They draw an analogy between insects trapped in amber and minds trapped in nightmares. Iron-strung amber medallions that contain flies or butterflies are particularly popular.
Tinkerers among the Withycombe gnomes have discovered that, if a piece of amber is rubbed with a cloth, it will then attract tiny objects like scraps of paper, a property which has led to a number of peculiar experiments. To date, none of these experiments have proved particularly useful, but there is always tomorrow.
Amethyst is actually a variety of quartz, and therefore fairly common, but its beauty makes it a highly popular gem. It is distinguished from other quartz variants by its purple color. Typically, it is found in long crystals that terminate in a six-sided pyramid at each end, but it can also form in crystalline crusts that show only the pointed terminations.
Amethysts are mined throughout Elanthia.
Amethysts are associated with the Arkati Cholen, who reigns over wine, festivals, and merrymaking. In the Turamzzyrian Empire, it is said that, whenever a libation is poured in Cholen's name, an amethyst will grow in the earth. It may be for this reason that amethysts are regarded as the sovereign charm against drunkenness.
Supposedly, a musical instrument will play more purely if it has been set with an amethyst. Although the virtue of the amethyst is honored among bards of all races and supported by the experience of the Bard Guild, some Illistim scholars suspect that the belief stems from a practice in Ta’Loenthra, where a magnificent bardic competition is held once every ten years. Traditionally, the reigning monarch presents the winning musician with an amethyst-inlaid harp strung with silver, and replicas of such harps have long been the joy of unscrupulous merchants throughout Elanith.
In traditional elven heraldry, the amethyst is the signature jewel of House Loenthra. An elf that particularly pleases the monarch of Ta'Loenthra (or a royal representative with the appropriate authority) may be honored with the right to display an amethyst in his or her crest.
Magically, amethysts are unresponsive except to spells relating to manipulation. Few are aware of this property on the continent of Elanith, although it is common knowledge among Erithian savants.
Aquamarine is a perfectly transparent gem of an extraordinarily pale blue color with just a hint of green. It can be faceted to produce a delicate yet brilliant fire.
Despite the legends and associations, aquamarine corresponds magically to the mental school of transference, and it remains quite inert to water magics.
Stone-tenders say that aquamarine help protect against seasickness -- a rather ironic assertion, since most stone-tenders come from the landlocked Duchy of Aldora, but many infrequent sea travelers swear by its usefulness. (Others just swear, but the gem's success stories travel farther than its failures.)
Diviners say that aquamarine can be used to predict the moods of the sea and to help find a course least likely to anger Charl.
Ancient legend holds that Niima's mother, like the Arkati Lumnis, took a particular interest in mortals. Supposedly, a seafaring elf was supposed to give up his life upon the ocean and move inland to fulfill the terms of a betrothal made when he was a small child. When he last went to the goddess's shrine, he filled the font upon the altar with saltwater from his tears of regret. The heart of the Arkati was touched by the elf's love of her husband's realm, and she touched the water with her power, transforming some of it into an aquamarine talisman. Ever after, it is said, whenever someone grieves for lack of the sea, part of their grief filters down into the rock and creates aquamarine stones. The dwarves say this is all nonsense, but the legend has captured elven fancy to a degree that seems unlikely to fade.
When traveling far from the shore, human and elven sailors alike often wear aquamarine amulets engraved with dolphins to invoke Niima's favor and avoid Charl's wrath.
A gift of aquamarine represents sympathy, trust, and fellow-feeling.
Aventurine is actually a form of quartz, and it is fairly common throughout the continent of Elanith. It is a milky green stone that may sparkle from its many inclusions when the light strikes it properly. Its translucency varies from cloudy to fully opaque.
One of the best sources of aventurine is the mines near Kragsfell in the Turamzzyrian Empire.
Aventurine receives little attention among elves and dwarves, as it is dismissed by both as a lesser stone, but it is beloved in the human barony of Highmount and in surrounding cities. In Kragsfell, aventurine is cheap enough for even a peasant to own a pendant, a ring, or a few beads made of the stone, and a piece of aventurine jewelry is a traditional courting gift in that region.
Aventurine is only mildly useful in magical endeavors. It can be used in various spells requiring stone components, but it will enhance no particular type of spell more or less than any other type.
Aventurine, "the adventurer's stone," is said to promote creativity and strength of mind. A gift of aventurine wishes prosperity and strength for the recipient. These customs are generally not honored outside human peasantry, however, as most of the nobility would scorn to wear a jewel so common.
In the human barony of Dragach, the locals say that aventurine is special to Tonis because the young Arkati has always had a love of adventure. Wayposts in Dragach are customarily carved with the profile of a pegasus in flight, and the pegasus normally bears a chip of aventurine for its eye. Hideous curses are supposed to befall those who loot the wayposts for the gems.
One human legend speaks of an artifact made from aventurine, the Bowl of Issunion. Supposedly, a forest spirit asked the woodcutter Issunion to spare a certain grove of trees, and, when Issunion agreed, the spirit led him into that grove and gave him a bowl carved from solid aventurine. By filling the bowl with water, speaking a name, and looking into the bowl, he could see the truth of whether that person was alive or dead. He went on a number of odd adventures seeking clues to the bowl's magical property, and he died a very rich man with many healthy children.
|Value:||Regular beryl is uncommon, but Kezmonian honey beryl is very rare.|
Like "agate," "beryl" is a Common word that annoys many dwarves. According to dwarven jewelers, emerald, aquamarine, morganite, helidor, and beryl are all essentially the same kind of stone, varying only in hue, location, and available quality. The dwarven language differentiates them accordingly; for example, "zhaljar greosh" is the dwarven term for emerald, and it translates simply as "green beryl." In the imprecision of Common, however, "beryl" normally refers only to the golden-orange form that is most common for the stone. Some jewelers do differentiate it as "golden beryl," particularly if they deal routinely with dwarves.
One noteworthy beryl variant is Kezmonian honey beryl, which is a translucent golden stone with an intense, beautiful luster. When the stone is turned in strong sunlight, the hues within seem to shift and flow in a fashion similar to clover honey flowing across a surface of glass.
The only known source of Kezmonian honey beryl was, unsurprisingly, a mine on the lost island of Kezmon. Deposits of ordinary golden beryl exist all over Elanthia.
Magically, golden beryl shows a weak predisposition toward spiritual spells, but it is really useful for little more than channeling power for minor cantrips. Similarly, beryl is not used over-much in divination, as it is not considered a sufficiently sensitive stone. However, Kezmonian honey beryl is the exception to both rules, being quite sensitive in discovering and moderating the influences of water spirits.
In Common, the words “bear” and “beryl” spring from the same root. Human woodsmen from Kragsfell claim that bears are spiritually linked to beryl, and they caution against wearing beryl outdoors as a result. If someone is mauled by a bear, then the mayor or a priest of the village will leave a piece of beryl in the woods to appease the bear and encourage it to go away.
Blazestar occurs in a number of hues, including blue, green, gold, and the distinctive crimson color that is most often recognized. Instead of displaying its fire only when turned to the light, blazestar responds to natural flows of mana, causing its fire to wax and wane as the pulses of mana run through Elanith. It waxes and wanes no more strongly upon an earthnode than in any other location, but it continues to sense the ambient mana even when the source is so faint that mages cannot cast their spells. With each waxing, tiny, brilliant specks of light will trace their way through blazestar, and then they will die again as they reach the edge. Due to its distinctive appearance, it is impossible to fake blazestar.
The magnificent blazestar mines near Ta'Vaalor are without parallel, although lesser mines may be found near the ruins of Old Ta'Faendryl and in Nalfein lands. All are on the eastern side of the DragonSpine Mountains.
The crimson blazestar is the official heraldic jewel of House Vaalor. As well as bestowing the heraldic honor upon their own people, monarchs of Ta'Vaalor will often bestow blazestar jewelry upon those who particularly please them. While the monarchs of the other elven houses have all found occasion in one situation or another to bestow such royal favor outside the race of elves, no monarch of Ta'Vaalor has ever granted such an honor to one of the lesser races. Many Vaalorian elves dislike seeing blazestar jewelry worn by non-elves, and, since Ta'Vaalor opened its gates to the lesser races, several petitions have been made to King Tyrnian to make it illegal to sell blazestar jewelry to non-elves. Thus far, King Tyrnian's thoughts have lain more with the economic merit of selling blazestar jewelry than with the worries of the nobility, and he has denied all such requests.
Blazestar is distinctly elemental in its alignment. The hue of the blazestar reveals its element – blue for air, green for water, gold for earth, and crimson for fire. To indicate their preferred element, traditional elven mages wear circlets or ferronieres set with appropriate blazestars when attending meetings of the Wizard Guild.
Blazestar is not useful in enhancing divination magics, but it is used as a divination tool to determine which of many paths to choose in order to make the best of a situation. Seers who use blazestar will set the stone in the center of a specially prepared circle, designate one of the compass points for each alternative, and then, after reciting an incantation to Jastev, watch to see which side of the blazestar burns most brightly in the next pulse of mana. The direction of North is traditionally left undesignated, and it represents any option that the seer has not yet considered for solving the dilemma.
Bloodjewel is a translucent red stone with little to no fire. A piece of bloodjewel normally appears so dark that it is almost black at the center, and then lightens to an intense scarlet hue around the edges. It is normally cut in smooth, rounded shapes, cabochons or teardrops, rather than being faceted.
Bloodjewel can be mined within the hills and mountains of the southern Empire.
In 4273, the elven bandit-lord Terilithian laid siege to the human city of Elstreth, and Lord Jestril of Elstreth sent word to Overlord Selantha Anodheles of Tamzyrr asking for her help. Two days before Selantha's arrival, an assassin killed Lord Jestril in his sleep. When Selantha's investigators located the killer, they found that he was an elf who had been paid off with a pouch of Southron garnets for the crime. When the city of Elstreth declared Selantha to be Jestril's successor, Selantha gave a stirring speech to those gathered about how the garnets had been drops of Jestril's blood and about how she would never forget the sacrifice that he had made for his city. At the end, she donned a bracelet that had been made from the assassin's garnets and swore to everyone assembled that she would never cast off the "blood jewels" as long as she lived. A brief attempt was made by the city of Elstreth to rename Southron garnets as "jestrilase," but it never caught on. People began to refer to the bracelet as "Selantha's bloodjewels," and then, when people came to jewelers asking for "something like those bloodjewels," the name came to encompass all examples of the stone.
V'tull, the Berserker God, has never shown a predilection for sending jewelry to his followers. However, scimitar talismans crafted of black steel and capped with bloodjewels have become popular in the last hundred years among the various followers of this cruel, bloodthirsty champion. One prayer to V'tull exhorts him, "Send your blessing to me, and the rivers will be as bloodjewel!" in reference to the dark red color of the precious stone. This horrifies most humans, as a gift of bloodjewel in the Turamzzyrian Empire is a high honor that symbolically compares the recipient to Selantha herself. Several followers of V’tull have overestimated their skill (or the willingness of V’tull to inspire them) and then died in duels when the knights of Tamzyrr rose to defend the honor of the stone.
Magically, bloodjewel is affiliated with the element of earth.
Bloodstone is an opaque, sea green stone that is liberally speckled with reddish-orange spots. The contrast between the green and the red causes the stone to look as though it has been splashed with blood.
Bloodstone can be found worldwide.
According to dwarves, jewelers, and most alchemists, bloodstone, by rights, should be nothing but chalcedony and jasper. No matter how much skeptics may protest, however, the undeniable fact remains that bloodstone does not act magically like chalcedony, jasper, or anything expected from a combination of the two. Bloodstone possesses powerful warding magic that, when properly keyed, will protect the spirit of one who wears bloodstone from a direct attack.
Among the odder legends attached to bloodstone is one dating from a cult of Mularos in Mestanir. These servants of Mularos claimed that bloodstone redirected spiritual attack, rather than absorbing it. Supposedly, the stone is sacred to Mularos because it channels spiritual pain from the person expecting it to an innocent party who is unaware of its arrival. No outside experimentation ever confirmed this claim in a satisfactory fashion, and the cult itself was destroyed when Jantalar occupied Mestanir.
During the war between Baron Hochstib of Jantalar and Baron Malwind of Vornavis, one of the greatest weapons in Baron Hochstib's power was the legendary Mandis Crystal. The Mandis Crystal was an artifact of the Turamzzyrian Empire that had the power to prevent spellcasting of all kinds and to drain the very mana away from those attuned to its flows. In close proximity, the Mandis Crystal would drain not only the mana but also the very spirit away from those in its vicinity, resulting in hideous death. Jantalar successfully occupied Wehnimer's Landing, but the tide of the occupation turned when a group of local militants snuck into Mestanir and destroyed the Mandis Crystal. During the onslaught, the militants protected themselves from the crystal's ravaging effects by wearing bloodstone jewelry.
A gift of bloodstone warns the recipient of spiritual danger. If given to a priest, it suggests that the priest's faith is ailing -- under most circumstances, a grievous insult.
Carbuncles vary in hue between rich scarlet and a deep, dark purplish-red. The gem can certainly be faceted. Even in cabochon form, however, the carbuncle shines with an intense fire at its core. The gem will be most valuable if hints of blue are visible in its inner fire.
Carbuncles are mined in several locations along the eastern side of the DragonSpine mountains.
Ancient elven records say that the carbuncle was a sacred stone related to one of the Arkati that perished in the Ur-Daemon War. The name of this Arkati is unknown, but the Arkati seems to have had some relation to the physical changes that overcome the elven body with old age. The elven language has changed over time, making it quite difficult to translate the few documents that exist from the period, but Illistim scholars translate the applicable section as, roughly, "The priest had grown tired, and I knew that the carbuncle was in his lips and on his brow as it wrinkled. As he had served, so would the carbuncle's master serve him."
The elven word for the carbuncle gem is "ilaeryse", which is also a word meaning "infirmity." The word "carbuncle" is even less appealing in Common, for the Common word "carbuncle" may mean either the carbuncle gem or a pus-filled skin boil.
Elves generally avoid wearing carbuncle, as they consider it to be an ill-luck stone. Halflings feel that carbuncles are cursed, explaining it simply by saying, "they give me an uneasy feeling," or by fully discussing the disfiguring diseases (usually painful rashes and boils) that are rumored to will come to those who wear carbuncle jewelry. The dwarves ignore the opinions of both of the other races, as do the dark elves. The Dhe'nar see no reason to avoid any sort of gem, as they are confident in their ability to counteract the potential ill effects of one gem with the merits of other gems, and the Faendryl find the dark-hued jewels to be particularly beautiful against their ebon skin.
It is said that, if someone dies while wearing carbuncle, the gem will begin to glow with a blood-red hue if the person's ghost ever approaches. Testing such a claim is rather difficult, but carbuncle is useful in augmenting certain forms of necromantic magic.
Chalcedony is a semi-translucent stone that varies in hue between white and pale grey. It has no fire when faceted, and most people prefer to display chalcedony as cabochons or in small carved forms instead.
Chalcedony is mined in the southeastern and southern sections of the DragonSpine mountains.
Certain difficulties in translation between Common and dwarven resulted long ago in some confusion over what precisely the term "chalcedony" should cover. Dwarven jewelers say that chalcedony, carnelian, sard, bloodstone, onyx, sardonyx, chrysoprase, agate, and jasper are all essentially the same kind of stone, varying in hue and location, and they use the Common word "chalcedony" to encompass all types. Like agate, chalcedony is useful in casting spiritual spells, providing some support to the dwarven argument. Native speakers of Common use "chalcedony" only to refer to the white form of the stone in question. As the literal word "chalcedony" is elven in origin, matters grow even more complicated when elven definitions are included, and jewelers try to be extremely precise in cross-culture trading to avoid winding up with a shipment of onyx and agate when a shipment of white chalcedony is intended.
Chalcedony is not unknown to the giantmen, either, and it holds a place in their culture reaching into the distant past. Ancient daggers, arrowheads, and axeheads crafted in the giantman style have been discovered at multiple sites in the southeastern DragonSpine, and it appears as though chalcedony was the material of choice before the giantmen mastered bronze.
A human legend says that if you find a chalcedony egg in the nest of a bird, you must touch it and whisper your name to it. Then, the egg will hatch when the other eggs hatch, and the bird that comes from it will have stars for eyes and lead you to your heart's desire.
In Ta'Vaalor, chalcedony is associated with the spirit Leya, and her followers often wear amulets made from chalcedony instead of the ivory dagger amulets that are more commonly worn elsewhere. While most followers of Leya agree upon the events in her life between her birth and the hour she left Egan's tomb, the tale fractures beyond that point into a hundred retellings and variants between one sect of Leya and another. According to one version told commonly in Ta'Vaalor, Leya wandered grieving for a great period of time after Egan's death, noticing little of the world around her, and her footsteps drew her back to the elven lands where she had been raised. In those lands, she encountered a Vaalorian woman who caught her eye. Leya asked for the woman's story, and the young Arkati learned that the young woman was a sculptor's wife. In a sudden fit of bravery, the woman had seized a discarded shard of chalcedony and slain her abusive, brutal husband. Afterward, shaken with fear and guilt over ending the life of someone that she had once loved, the woman set out to turn herself in to the Captain of the Guard. Not a stranger to feeling lost and guilt-ridden, Leya purportedly asked the woman to travel with her for a year and a day before giving herself up to elven justice. During that time, the young Arkati supposedly taught the elven woman many skills, including the arts of crafting and wielding various blades. Together, the mortal and the goddess transformed the chalcedony shard into a crude dagger, promising one another that it would never be used unjustly. At the end of the year and a day, the woman did not leave Leya's side, and myth says they traveled together until the hour of the woman's natural death. Because of that story, the members of one sect of Leya's Vaalorian followers often wear chalcedony dagger amulets, and for two reasons. The first reason is as a reminder to accept Leya's mercy and guidance unconditionally. The second reason is to remind themselves that even from a wrong act one can learn the ways to right it, with good and honorable intentions.
Chrysoberyl is a transparent stone that varies in hue between apple green and honey gold, or that may include a mixture of the two. It is quite striking, particularly when it occurs in the cat's-eye form -- no gem really presents a greater resemblance to a cat's living eye than cat's-eye chrysoberyl.
Chrysoberyl may be mined in various places throughout known Elanthia, but it is particularly prevalent in Torre.
Some followers of Andelas, typically those who worship the Arkati primarily as the god of cats, will carry claw-shaped pieces of chrysoberyl or use sacrificial daggers with cat's-eye chrysoberyl gems set into the pommel. Other followers of Andelas, typically those who worship the Arkati primarily as the god of the hunt, scorn such adornments on the grounds that Andelas and his ways are beyond such silly ornamentation.
Magically, chrysoberyl is aligned with the element of air. Along the coastline of Seareach, it is said that ships can be cursed or blessed by taking a splinter of wood from the ship and surrounding it with a pattern of chrysoberyl stones. Patterns that surround the ship entirely will bring storms and ill luck upon it, while patterns of separate lines will bring strong winds and fair weather to the ship. To be properly effective, the pattern must be placed before the ship leaves port and remain unbroken until the ship's return or destruction.
Chrysoprase is an opaque stone that varies in color between a pale, misty green and a dark forest hue.
Chrysoprase is mined most extensively in a dwarven encampment outside Ta'Ardenai, but it is also located throughout the northern steppes and north of Ta'Illistim.
Green-colored stones of many kinds are associated with Imaera, and chrysoprase is no exception, though its magical affinities seal the matter. Chrysoprase has an affinity that enhances spiritual magics, particularly those dealing with forest spirits, grassland spirits, or other spirits tied to plants. Chrysoprase is extensively used in Ta'Ardenai to honor the Arkati Imaera, the House's most esteemed patron.
Although chrysoprase cannot be mined in the duchy of Aldora, it is extensively imported. The traditional practice of healing patients through application of various gems (called stone-tending) is practiced extensively in Aldora, and chrysoprase is noted as a sovereign remedy for pain.
|Value:||Varies with the variety. Some types are quite common worldwide, such as blue coral and black coral, while others are more infrequently found, such as pink and red. More expensive varieties, such as flower coral and cat's-paw coral, can be found along the coast of the Turamzzyrian Empire.|
There are many different types of coral, which vary widely in appearance from one another. Coral stones are composed of twisting protrusions of rock that wrap around each other. The protrusions may be long or short, symmetrical or asymmetrical, rough or polished, and all of these will affect the value assigned to the stone. One noteworthy variant is flower coral, which is pale bluish-grey in hue and receives its name because its protrusions are arranged like the edges of petals. Another is cat's-paw coral, which is a milky white hue and bears some resemblance to a group of cats’ paws. A third is blue ridge coral, which is a distinctive pastel blue color like a clear spring sky.
Coral cannot be mined on land, but various types of coral are retrieved by divers from the ocean's floor (called "harvesting" by those who practice the art). Coral has also been known to wash ashore on both flanks of Elanith. As well, members of the Nathala Dai collect many varieties of coral along the shores of the Erithian homeland.
In actuality, coral is not a stone at all, but the skeleton left behind by a peculiar plant that stretches for miles upon miles underwater.
Coral is considered the sacred stone of Charl, the ill-tempered Arkati who holds domain over seas and storms. As a result, humans consider it bad luck to wear coral in seaside cities unless the person wearing the coral is a priest of Charl or Niima. All along the western coast, human sailors will offer coral to placate Charl before setting sail. Members of the Order of Voln have also been known to sacrifice coral for Charl's approval while trying to earn Voln's favor.
Unsurprisingly, coral is attuned to the element of water. As well, it has certain powers related to the lore of telepathy, which can be unsettling if harnessed unconsciously rather than consciously. In Solhaven, sailors say that carrying coral aboard a ship will attract kraken. Multiple stories exist about foolhardy merchants who tried to smuggle coral and attracted such an attack. In some of the stories, the vessel is saved by Niima's intervention; in others, the sailors save themselves by throwing the unlucky merchant overboard.
Cordierite is currently used as the trade name for low-quality water sapphire. See the entry on water sapphire for more information about its appearance and properties.
Cordierite can be found worldwide.
Before the two cultures initiated trade, "cordierite" was the Common name for a specific gem, and "lathaer selphare" was the elven name for the same gem. When transcribing written records of the elven trade goods, however, scribes misunderstood the elven term as the Common words "water sapphire", and one thing led to another. Eventually, it became necessary to distinguish one from the other, and the higher quality gem from elven territory was officially named "water sapphire", while the lower-quality gem from human territory was officially named "cordierite".
The dwarves are disgusted with both groups for their imprecision in this matter. When speaking Common, most dwarves refer to cordierite as "human cordierite" and refer to water sapphire as "elven cordierite."
Deathstone is an opaque, pure black stone that reflects very little light. Through some trick of the eye, deathstone crystals seem to reduce the fire of faceted gems placed near them. Since deathstone absorbs light in this fashion, it cannot truly be faceted, and simple cabochons are most popular in jewelry.
The best-known source of deathstone is Teras Isle, but other mines do exist. All are under dwarven control, and they are scattered widely across Elanith.
The Faendryl have discovered that, if treated properly, deathstone has certain powers that can aid in the workings of necromancy or in casting curses. It is said that even those who are not sorcerers can sometimes use deathstone to ward off the undead, but it is also said that the undead may gain control over the living person through the magical channel, and attempting the feat is an inherently risky and desperate venture. It is an ill-luck stone, and it has no healing properties.
Deathstone's only purpose in divination is to foretell catastrophe for the diviner. Given its associations, many diviners balk at this, saying that deathstone actually invokes catastrophe rather than foretelling it.
As the name suggests, there are no nice reasons to give deathstone to someone else. Giving someone a piece of deathstone jewelry implies that you hope ill or death will come to the person. Certain groups of assassins use this as a fear tactic, placing pieces of deathstone in a victim's home before finally committing the murder.
Some suggest that deathstone is affiliated with Onar, but, notably, none of those who do so are themselves aligned with the Patron of Assassins. (Not that Onar's worshippers are likely to admit their allegiances, but typically their kills are accompanied with more subtlety and efficiency.) Others, noting the remarkable arcane differences between deathstone and other variants of quartz despite their mundane similarities, believe that deathstone is a creation of Fash'lo'nae.
According to dwarven legend, deathstone was first found by a large dwarven family who exulted with delight over their remarkable discovery. As they settled into mining the vein, however, dark thoughts began to creep into the minds of the dwarves, and each dwarf began to wonder whether his relatives might not cheat him of his share of the fascinating jewel or poorly handle the raw stone. Tension built over months until it erupted in a bloody massacre, and, in the violence of their battle, the roof of the tunnel collapsed, trapping them all. It is said that another group of dwarves tunneled into the area months later to find rotting corpses scattered all over the chamber. The final dwarf had etched the record of their struggle upon the pure, smooth face of the deathstone vein. While some modern-day dwarves discount this tale, common dwarven superstition still holds that deathstone can be mined only in order to be sold and that a horrible fate will come to those dwarves who keep it.
Despanal is actually a transformation of alabaster, which becomes despanal after it has been exposed to an intense degree of uncontrolled sorcerous magic. Like alabaster, it is sometimes translucent and sometimes opaque, but it is more commonly found than alabaster in an opaque form. Despanal is a striking dark red stone that may be shot with veins of black, wine purple, or gold. It is significantly more sought-after by jewelers in its gold-streaked form than in either of the others, and the others are sometimes termed "dark despanal" or "dead despanal" to reflect this lack of value.
Despanal can be found in Rhoska-Tor, beneath Old Ta'Faendryl, in New Ta'Faendryl, near the Demonwall in the Turamzzyrian Empire, and in other locations where significant deposits of alabaster have been exposed to strong sorcerous magic. Some reports also suggest that despanal may be found in the lands of the Erithi, but the Erithi are notoriously close-mouthed about their home's riches and refuse to discuss the matter at length.
Despanal is nicknamed "banshee stone" because it was first discovered in Rhoska-Tor after the destruction of Maelshyve. It has a variety of properties related to sorcery, but it is most notable for assisting summoners in bringing demons between worlds. Using despanal is a two-edged sword, as it increases the demon's power without increasing the summoner's control. Despite its lack of value in jewelry, dark despanal is more sought-after for by practitioners of the arcane, because gold-streaked despanal is less magically active than the other two.
Despanal has no healing properties. When ground finely, however, despanal powder makes a startlingly effective poison.
Despanal is rarely used in divination by most seers, as it tends to twist the results not only to display but to invoke the worst possible outcome in any possible situation -- self-fulfilling prophecies are not a possibility but a certainty when trying to divine with despanal implements.
Most of the elven cities presume that Despana's magic created despanal, resulting in the name, but the Faendryl believe that their sorcery was responsible for its creation rather than Despana's. Outside Ta'Faendryl, despanal is not usually an appropriate gift to anyone who does not practice the sorcerous arts, though it is acceptable to purchase and wear despanal oneself. Among the Faendryl, a gift of despanal is a compliment to the recipient's skill and power, even if the other person is not a sorcerer. Most of the sylvan folk make a point of avoiding the stone entirely.
|Value:||Extremely rare to extraordinarily rare, depending upon the variety.|
The easiest way to recognize a diamond, according to the dwarves, is to attempt to scratch it with another rock; unless you use another diamond or a magically hardened substance, it is impossible to scratch true diamond. The elves dismiss this technique in favor of magical recognition, as, not living underground, they are less likely to encounter true diamond and have no desire to accidentally put a scratch on a lesser stone that might resemble diamond. While the most commonly found diamonds are colorless with a very faint yellow tinge, diamonds do come in every hue of the rainbow. Most of the shades are faint, but there are exceptions; one of the most notable is the diamond variety known as maernstrike. Maernstrike diamonds are actually iridescent, producing a fiery play of brilliant color that is truly unlike any other gem. Two other unusual varieties are the star-of-Tamzyrr diamond and the dragon's-tear diamond. Star-of-Tamzyrr diamonds have a lesser fire than other diamonds, but display a peculiar sky blue star with hundreds of delicate rays when turned to catch the light. Dragon's-tear diamonds display shades of scarlet and cerulean in their pervasive fire, but show not a trace of any other color in the spectrum. There is also a variety of vivid pink diamond that is mined by the Khanshael beneath Dhe'nar lands, but it rarely leaves the hands of the dark dwarves.
Various diamonds may be found all over Elanthia, but some are geographically limited, such as star-of-Tamzyrr diamonds (which are found only in the southern part of the Turamzzyrian Empire), maernstrike diamonds (which are found only in elven lands), and large yellow diamonds (which are found only in the arctic north near Icemule Trace.) The legendary diamond mines at Kherram Olt Dzu are the finest in Elanith, if not the finest in the world.
Worshippers of Eorgina associate all hues of diamond with that goddess, but black diamonds are pervasively known as Eorgina's sign -- a truth that is particularly strong among the elves, where legends of the Li'aerion Artisans still endure. Few elves will wear black diamonds unless they mean it to indicate that they share Eorgina's views and ideals, for, while they do not worship the Arkati, they do recognize their presence and power, and those unwilling to serve Eorgina have no wish to attract her eye.
Virtually every culture has something different to say about diamond, but all Elanthian races save the sylvans hold it in high esteem. (This is not an impressive exception, since the sylvans have never had much use for gems, preferring unadorned silver or mithril in metalwork jewelry.)
Diamonds are useful as focuses in all varieties of magical working save one -- that of sorcery. Diamonds innately resist having more than one variety of mana channeled through them at a single time. Using diamonds in attempts to enhance sorcery will often hinder spells rather than enhancing them. At best, the stones are inert; at worst, they explode. Still, the Faendryl find them attractive, and there is no danger of explosion if the diamond is not deliberately included in the spell.
Although the Erithi rarely wear diamond jewelry, preferring the elegance of agate and jade, they do recognize that this jewel possesses greater power to enhance the mental arts of transference than any other stone. The greatest savants of the Eloth Dai create teleportation talismans of remarkable power from owl feathers with diamond beads upon their shafts. These talismans are attuned to their creators and resist use by anyone not of the Eloth Dai.
In elven heraldry, diamonds are the royal jewel of House Illistim. As well as bestowing the heraldic honor upon their own people, monarchs of Ta'Illistim will often bestow diamond jewelry upon those who particularly please them, a sign of royal favor that may be extended under rare circumstance outside the race of elves. One case of such an occurrence came upon Eoantos 13 of 5103 in the city of Ta'Illistim. After announcing that the Aelotoi would have the right to hold full citizenship in the elven cities, Queen Myasara presented Braedn, ambassador of the Aelotoi people, with a maernstrike diamond pendant crafted in the sign of a peacock to represent her esteem for him.
Beneath the ground, diamonds are not particularly uncommon, but dwarves have a great love for diamonds. They feel that the gem is an excellent expression of the dwarven spirit -- unimpressive at first, but sparkling with a fire like no other once cut -- and diamonds are the traditional dwarven courting gift. Some dwarves give rings when expressing their passion this way, but larger pieces of jewelry are more common, such as bracelets, circlets, beard ornaments, and necklaces. While diamonds are mined in many parts of Elanith, the marvelous diamond mines at Kherram Olt Dzu are really without parallel. The fame of the Oltregek Clan as gem-miners began with their discovery of diamonds at Kherram Olt Dzu, and it has only increased ever since.
The most disconcerting use of diamonds in gnomish culture (to outsiders, at least) is doubtlessly the coming-of-age ritual of the Felcour bloodline, in which the young gnome is given a knife and challenged with defending himself against a hardened warrior. Under rare circumstance, the diamond does not come into play, but the young gnome is not expected to prevail. Typically, the warrior beats the adolescent brutally into unconsciousness, and then someone implants a jagged shard of diamond beneath the young gnome's skin and stitches the wound closed. When the shard works its way out again, the gnome brings it back to the warrior and is deemed an adult from that day henceforth. Some groups of Felcour use the same diamond over and over again to induct their adolescents, while others permit the youth to retain the diamond shard afterward. One particularly savage group is distinguished by requiring the young gnome to hold the shard of diamond while a trained battlechanter shatters it with his voice. This leaves a particularly distinctive scar on the hand that these Felcour call "the second bloodmark."
Star-of-Tamzyrr diamonds were named when Selantha Anodheles, first Empress of the Turamzzyrian Empire, scorned all other gems to wear these jewels in her crown during her coronation. By wearing diamonds on her brow, in the eyes of her people, Selantha called on the power of the diamonds to enhance her keenness of thought. Selantha herself was not noted for superstition, being a practical, deadly sort of woman, but it enhanced her reputation for intelligence. The crown itself was a foot-high marvel of white gold worked into twisted, diamond-inlaid flame shapes. For safety, the crown is worn only at the highest court occasions.According to the traditions of human healers and mages, diamonds strengthen particular bodily functions depending upon where they are worn. It is said that wearing a diamond above the pulse in your wrist will increase your physical strength, wearing diamonds at your earlobes will increase your perceptiveness, wearing a diamond pendant over your heart will inspire you creatively, wearing a diamond on your ankle will make you surefooted, and wearing a diamond ring will inspire passion within you -- which is why human tradition requires that diamonds be given when courting or wedding. The ring is the most common marital diamond gift because, when compared to other pieces of jewelry, rings are extraordinarily difficult to steal, and they are attractive at even a small size -- an important consideration when finances are a concern.
Giantmen traditionally believe that a spirit inhabits every diamond. Dark-hued diamonds are believed to be inhabited by female spirits, while pale diamonds are inhabited by male spirits. It is considered unwise to wear diamonds unless you are a cleric or otherwise trained in spiritual magic, and it is seen as particularly dangerous for people of a fertile age to wear diamonds opposite their own gender, as the diamond's spirit will battle with the potential parent's spirit and cause deformity in his or her children.
Samarak the Grim, first chieftain of the Grot'karesh Hammer Clan, would often describe women who had earned his respect as being "as wily as a black diamond's fire!" Upon at least five recorded occasions, he presented women in his newly formed clan with a distinctive ornament that he called "a black spirit amulet," using it each time as a way to reward someone who had aided the newly forming clan with a significant feat of spiritual magic. Each one was made from a magnificent, tear-shaped black diamond set in a disk of silver, and leather bands spanned the disk in such a way that it could be bound about the head, woven into the hair, or worn as a choker with equal ease. No one ever knew where Samarak obtained these diamonds. The Jastevian priestess Anshosar, who lives in Kilanirij and advises the current chieftain of the Grot'karesh, currently wears one of the black spirit amulets. The whereabouts of the other four (or more, if more than five were distributed) are unknown.
Diopside is a green stone that varies in hue from a dark forest color to a shade that is nearly black. Almost all sufficiently thin pieces of diopside will display a faint four-rayed star if held to the light. The larger a piece of diopside is, the less the star shows, resulting in a stone that may actually lose value with size.
Diopside outcroppings exist all over Elanthia. It is not quite as common a stone as its price reflects, but it is not a popular jewelry stone among any race, due in large part to its fragility. As well, diopside is particularly prevalent near the Demonwall, which has given it a distasteful reputation among human cultures.
Sometimes called "poor man's emerald", diopside is the cheapest gem with a true green color. The dwarven name for diopside translates roughly to "earthweed."
An old joke claims that no one bothers to mine diopside -- the dwarves just kick it on their way past, and the gnomes scurry after them to pick up the pieces.
Upon rare occasion, someone will discover a piece of diopside that displays a six-rayed star rather than a four-rayed star. Examination suggests that these diopsides are crafted by exposure to sorcery, but, while it is rumored that the Erithi know a technique for producing diopsides like these, none of the races native to the continent of Elanith know how to replicate the process. Followers of Marlu treasure such diopsides and say that they are created by the presence of the Demon Lord.
Diopsides can enhance spells related to demonology, but only to a very slight degree -- diopside, being a cheap, common gem, is simply not pure enough in its composition to have any serious effect upon spellcasting.
|Value:||Extremely to extraordinarily rare.|
The rich, intense hue of a high-quality emerald has captivated interest through the ages. Tiny inclusions and fissures often mar emeralds, preventing them from growing to any large size, but dwarven miners delight in finding the rare specimen that escapes the hazards of its creation. Some fine specimens display a beautiful six-rayed star.
Emeralds are often used in stone-tending as charms against poisons, particularly snakebite. They can also be used to avert panic and seizures. In Aldora, emeralds are avoided as jewelry stones for precisely this reason -- in a place where stone-tenders are so common, routinely wearing an emerald suggests that the gem was prescribed to help combat an ailing will.
When used as a tool in divination, emeralds are used to predict the best or worst outcome of a possible situation or decision. This should not be mistaken for emeralds having any power in divination, for diviners often utilize many things as tools that possess no innate magical link to divination. Magically, emeralds possess power over the element of earth, raising mountains or stilling quakes when correctly bespelled.
In the county of Torre, devotees of Aeia hold that the emerald is her sacred stone -- a gem as beautiful as the gardens she creates. Outside Torre, others associate the emerald with Imaera, many saying that the jewel was created by Eonak to remind the dwarves of the beauty of his wife's kingdom. However, Luukosian followers also prize emeralds, particularly those with a strong golden-yellow tint to their green color. To complicate matters of symbolism further, lore holds that Koar's eyes are an intense green hue, and a legendarily rare type of emerald -- the Eye-of-Koar emerald -- bears his name.
Emerald was the heraldic jewel of Ta'Ashrim. As well as granting the right for an emerald to be displayed in a traditional elven crest, Ashrim monarchs often gave beautiful pieces of jewelry wrought from pearls and emeralds to those elves who pleased them particularly well.
Legend holds that some amount of Lorminstra's power was placed into the Griffin Sword. A similar legend holds that Luukos also placed some of his power into a physical object -- a perfect, golden-green emerald as large as a giantman's fist, which, instead of a star, was marked with a line of light like the line on a cat's-eye moonstone -- a serpent's-eye emerald. The stone was mentioned briefly in the memoirs of a guard to Southern Sentinel Marcus Calquinor -- the guard claimed that he saw a vision of a snake-eyed priest bearing the emerald in the hour of Marcus's assassination. The precise whereabouts of the stone, if it truly does exist, are unknown.
|Value:||Extremely to extraordinarily rare.|
Feystone occurs in two distinct varieties: periwinkle feystone and violet feystone. It is not considered a true gem, but an artifact of magic. Every feystone has four layers, which can be clearly distinguished from one another when looking at the gem. The outermost layer is transparent and violet-hued, the second layer sparkles with hundreds of tiny silvery vaalin inclusions, the third layer is reflective enough to produce a distorted image of the jewel's surroundings, and the core of the stone glows. Feystones are found only in cabochon form, though it is possible to facet them if proper care is taken. The largest known feystones are the size of a pebble, while the smallest are the size of a grain of sand.
It is commonly known that feystones are created by the fey, a marvelously magical race living deep within Wyrdeep Forest. They leave their wooded home only rarely, but those who live closest to the Wyrdeep avoid feystone for fear of attracting fey attention. The man foolish enough to enter Wyrdeep and unlucky enough to encounter one of the fey may be blessed or cursed at a whim, helpless in a place where no magic save that of the fey works reliably and where time itself may be twisted to seal his fate. Those who venture in and avoid fey attention are sometimes lucky enough to find feystones lying upon the ground. Some call this the blessing of the fey upon a good soul, for those who enter from desperation instead of greed seem more likely to emerge again. Some others believe the fey bless none but their own and say that bad luck follows their stones.
Because most people avoid the Wyrdeep, it would seem as if feystone should be far more rare than it is, but there is another source. Feystone can often be found in the possession of orcs, trolls, and other bestial yet intelligent creatures that roam through the wilderness surrounding the elven city-states. Why this should be, not even the orcs or trolls can say -- even under torture, they shake their heads dumbly or say, “I found it on the ground.” Considering the vast amount of feystone recovered from such creatures, it seems as though there must be a hidden lode somewhere, but no research of this kind has ever borne fruit. Even to the scholars of Ta’Illistim, the surfeit of feystone so far from its only known source is a great mystery.
|Lore:|| Most jewelers will not facet a feystone because of the great difficulty involved in doing so. It is safe to reshape the outermost layer and the vaalin-flecked layer, but even the lightest scratch along the reflective layer will cause the feystone to be ruined, for its glow will die and the rest of the stone will turn opaque grey.
Because of the fragility of the stone, feystone is most often worn in earrings, pendants, ferronierres, or other protected pieces of jewelry; rings, bracelets, and anklets rarely last intact beyond a month or so. This led to a rather odd insult in Ta'Vaalor; if a Vaalorian says "That man would put feystone on his armor" or "That man would put feystone on his shield," then it means that the person in question is a fool with little to no combat experience.
Feystone produces odd, chaotic effects when mingled with spirit magics. As a result, few practitioners of such magic are willing to wear the jewel, not wishing to offend the greater or lesser spirits with a feystone-twisted spell. There are two exceptions, however: Wendwillow gnomes and worshippers of Zelia. Both appreciate feystone because they delight in the peculiar distortions that it causes. Aside from the spiritual distortions, feystone is inert to the three spheres of magic known to Elanthia.
Firestones are translucent crimson and black stones that glow faintly and display an illusion of movement, each appearing as if it contained cooled spots of magma floating atop a flow of fresh lava. The exterior is solid, however, and they do not emit heat. When firestones are cut and reduced in size, they retain their distinctive appearance until they are reduced in size to be no more than shimmering red gem dust.
Firestones are found in active volcanoes that have attracted fire elemental activity. It is assumed that the fire elementals create them in some fashion, but the details are not known.
|Lore:|| Firestones are inert in the presence of flame -- even the greatest heat of the forge will not cause them to melt or deform. Unsurprisingly, firestones are aligned with the element of fire in magical workings. Both elven and human diviners say that firestone is only good for foreseeing disaster and catastrophe, and most shun its use.
The Vylem gnomes treasure an artifact that they call Beh'Amant's Eye. The heart of the artifact is a firestone the size of an apple, which does indeed resemble a great eye due to the way that the black spots line up within its depths at reliable intervals as they move through the stone. Beh'Amant's Eye is mounted atop a black mithril stand forged in the shape of a coiled drake. It is known to be a sentient object and to grant its bonded owner the ability to summon and control fire elementals. Each time its current owner dies, a brief but bloody struggle ensues between the young Vylem queens for control of the Eye, and the winner earns the right to attempt to bond with the stone -- not a risk-free task in and of itself, for those who fail to bond with the stone are incinerated by its power. In the rare event that they discuss Beh'Amant's Eye, the Vylem always claim that the Eye was a gift from Eorgina, but Aledotter records state that the Aledotters traded Beh'Amant's Eye to the Vylem after borrowing it off the body of a dwarf who encountered an unfortunate accident.
|Value:||Almandine garnets are common, but other varieties are infrequently found.|
Garnet occurs in a number of different hues. The most common is red, followed by green, orange, and a dark violet-red that is nearly black, but others are known to exist. Blue is the only color that is definitely foreign to garnet.
|Lore:|| Garnet is elementally aligned with fire, spiritually aligned with religion, and mentally aligned with telepathy -- magically, it is quite a responsive stone. The strongest of the set is probably the religious alignment. Because it can increase the connection between clerics and their deities, it is often worn by priests, but common lore in the city of Elstreth holds that garnet is only worn by a cleric whose faith is failing.
One specific hue of garnet, an intense, blood red color most often found in Icemule Trace, is associated with the spirit Arachne by her worshippers. Arachne gives tear-shaped pendants of blood red garnet to her most favored clerics, the worshippers say, and, inside the solid garnet, there is a living black spider, which will live as long as the cleric continues to please Arachne. If the cleric displeases Arachne, then the spider will escape its cage and slay the cleric with a single bite. Outside Arachne's faithful, few take this story as more than a tale to frighten children, but both open followers and secret followers of the spider goddess consequently regard blood red garnet with a certain awe.
Humans traditionally use garnet stones as conciliatory offerings to the Arkati of Lornon, although such offerings are not affiliated with any specific deity. Clerics build small sacrificial fires atop stone altars and offer the stones in the fire, calling out the name of the person who has incurred the Arkati's wrath and asking the Arkati to accept the stone in lieu of the person's life or possessions. The garnet is normally set into a small sculpture that represents the matter in question, or, for those who can afford the offering, the garnet itself is large enough to be engraved with the recognizable image. For example, if nightmares plagued a woman's child nightly, then a priest would offer a gilded garnet-inset sculpture of the child and ask Sheru to take the garnet in lieu of the babe. Offerings of this type are also sometimes made to powerful spirits such as Amasalen and Onar.
Human legend also holds that garnet jewelry will strengthen the heart and aid in decision-making. It is ill luck to lose a piece of garnet jewelry, however, as the person's confidence will be lost along with the garnet.
Calling it the "dawn stone," elves often give orange spessartine garnets to one another to symbolically welcome new beginnings, such as alliances, apprenticeships, or the founding of an organization. Spessartine garnet jewelry is also a traditional gift for new mothers.
Externally, a geode is a round rock of unimpressive appearance. Within, however, a geode will either contain a pocket of sparkling crystals at its heart or a core of solid, semi-precious stone. The center of a geode may be made of quartz, calcite, or chalcedony (using the word "chalcedony" in the dwarven sense, which incorporates carnelian, sard, bloodstone, onyx, sardonyx, chrysoprase, agate, and jasper as well as the traditional white stone).
Geodes can be mined in many parts of Elanith, but have little value except as curiosities. Due to availability and local custom, Torre exports a particularly great number of geodes.
|Lore:|| An oft-retold parable among followers of Voaris compares the mortal races to geodes -- the outside may be dull or repulsive, but a shimmering jewel waits within the heart. This story is recounted most often when attempting to reconcile two disapproving families to a love match between their offspring, and it traditionally ends, "Now, if your son's eye is so keen that he can see jewels where you see only dull rock...is it a lacking in his vision, or your own? Be sure in your answer, for your son's happiness and your own depend upon it." Geodes make poor jewelry, but many clerics of Voaris carry a geode around for the purpose of illustrating the story, and shrines consecrated to Voaris often bear one or more of the stones.
Geodes without air pockets are called “thunder eggs” along the coast of the Turamzzyrian Empire. Mined in parts of Torre, they are commonly carried by human sea captains, for throwing a thunder egg overboard will supposedly lessen the wrath of Charl. Regrettably, the origins of this custom have been lost in time.
Magically, geodes are aligned with the elemental power of earth. Some mages who are particularly well-attuned to the earth have the ability to find geodes without splitting the stones open. Meditating upon unbroken stones, they can tell the heart of a geode from the heart of a regular rock.
|Value:||Varies with variety. Even clear glimaerstones are rarely found, and the most desirable hues -- dark blue and pale violet -- are extremely rare.|
Glimaerstone is a semi-translucent stone that occurs in a number of hues, including peach, golden, green, light blue, dark blue, two shades of purple, and grey. A clear variety also exists that is less valued than either of the others. It is quite tough, making it difficult to facet, and there is not much point to faceting the stone -- glimaerstone's beauty stems from the faint, almost imperceptible glow at its center, which diffuses and ruins the rays of light that would normally evoke fire from a faceted stone.
Glimaerstone is mined in a few remote sections of the rocky regions west of Ta'Illistim, just before the true foothills of the DragonSpine begin.
|Lore:|| In the last hundred years, fashionable ladies among the Illistim elves have taken to wearing medallions made of glimaerstone and vaalin at dances, teas, and other society events. These medallions are crafted in mosaic patterns with delicate lines of vaalin connecting the tiny triangles of glimaerstone, and the effect is rather like a stained-glass window. The most common image is a peacock spreading its tail, but other common images include a pansy blossom, the silhouette of Ta'Illistim, and an arrangement of five stars. Recently, dragonfly images have become particularly popular as Ta'Illistim embraces the arrival of the Aelotoi.
Although Winedotter gnomes are not noted for their jewelcraft, one Winedotter family living beneath Ta'Nalfein discovered a technique for enhancing the light of a glimaerstone. The source of these specially treated glimaerstones is not extensively known, and most outside Ta'Nalfein believe them to be elven work. This technique somehow quenches the natural glow within a glimaerstone and replaces it with a remarkable ability to absorb and multiply light. At their brightest degree, such "treated" glimaerstones will leave afterimages in the vision of those who look at them for too long. Regrettably, most of the family died in 5102 in a tragic accident involving an overturned candle and a remarkable quantity of excellent brandy, leaving only the eldest daughter alive. More regrettably still, this eldest daughter (commonly nicknamed Truthie) is apparently quite mad and utterly unwilling to take on an apprentice. Knowledgeable jewelers have been storing away treated glimaerstones in anticipation of the day when the source dries up.
Glimaerstone is strongly aligned with magics of the mind. Although these arts have historically been practiced only in a lesser form among the elves, elven bards and empaths treasure glimaerstones for enhancing their arts. In recent years, Erithian traders have negotiated for large quantities of glimaerstone to be exported to their homeland, where their savants can make full use of its power.
Heliodor is a translucent, pale yellow jewel that forms in long crystals. According to the dwarves, it is simply another form of beryl, but it is quite striking to the eye and can possess a brilliant inner fire.
The highest quality of heliodor is mined in the area surrounding the Lake of Shadowed Sorrows. Excellent deposits once existed near Old Ta'Faendryl, but they have become inaccessible due to the danger surrounding the ruined city. Heliodor can also be located near Ta'Loenthra and Ta'Vaalor, but it has never been located to the west of the DragonSpine mountains.
|Lore:|| Properly enchanted heliodor can be used both to augment elemental spells related to air and spiritual spells related to summoning. Its true glory shines in the use of sorcerous spells, however, where it serves both as a catalyst in demonic arts and as an instrument of control in necromantic activity. Regrettably, however, most of these uses result in the destruction of the gem.
Ironically, House Faendryl selected the heliodor as its royal jewel thousands of years before their discovery of sorcery and their experimentation with demon summoning. Thirty thousand years ago, when the first heraldic designs were being established, a magnificent sculpture carved from a single piece of heliodor stood in the center of the city of Ta'Faendryl. It depicted Geniselle Anaya Faendryl, the first Matriarch of Ta'Faendryl, kneeling before her son, Yshryth Silvius Faendryl, as he accepted the crown of Ta'Faendryl from her hands. It had been magically enchanted to control the weather around the city of Ta'Faendryl, ensuring that storms were scheduled and never threatened the city. Because of this marvelous feat of Faendryl magic, the Faendryl chose the heliodor as their royal jewel. (Oddly, the heliodor is depicted as orange in elven crests, although the gem is actually yellow -- this is to distinguish it from the yellow topaz of House Ardenai.) As well as granting the right to bear a heliodor stone in a crest, the royal representatives of House Faendryl presented intricately enchanted heliodors to those who pleased them most, often leaving the exact workings of the artifact as a pleasant surprise to the recipient rather than revealing it at the time.
Since the downfall of House Faendryl, many Faendryl shun the use of heliodor jewelry, as heliodor stones cannot be found in New Ta'Faendryl, and the Faendryl consider it shameful to import heliodor from the elves. Still, most families retain an artifact or two from before the Faendryl left Rhoska-Tor, and many of these artifacts are becoming cherished heirlooms as they pass from father to son.
Because the spirit Amasalen was once a mortal Faendryl man, his followers often wear amulets made of helidor. To show their devotion, these followers engage in frenzied bloodletting rites that involve pouring the blood of sacrificial victims over the amulets as they invoke Amasalen's favor.
|Value:||Varies with variety. White jade is uncommon, green jade is rare despite being the best-known variety, and other varieties are infrequently found.|
The most commonly known color of jade is green, but jade also occurs naturally in yellow, white, and brown hues. It is opaque to semi-translucent, with a fine, rich luster.
Many fine jade deposits exist throughout Elanith, but the finest are found in the frozen north, particularly the region of Icemule Trace, the territory of the Mhoragian halflings, and the wastelands favored by the Wsalamir giantmen. There are also several noteworthy deposits upon the Erithian continent, where white jade is by far the most common of the varieties.
Jade serves as an excellent conduit for invoking the blessings of various spirits, particularly when worn as an amulet. However, if jade is overexposed to elemental magics, it may become discolored, as its natural affinity for spiritual magic conflicts with the elemental magic and the two combine to produce a sorcerous taint. (In moderation, jade assists in sorcerous magics as well, but an excess of elemental magic can destroy the stone.) Noting this odd property, the Erithi have developed a sophisticated technique for dying jade through careful exposure to elemental magic. Cracking open a piece of dyed Erithian jade reveals that the hue extends only the thickness of a fingernail into the stone, leaving the natural white jade beneath. Some jewelers are experimenting with cameos and bas-relief carvings that take advantage of the contrast between the dark, dyed portions and the pale hue within.
Elven tradition holds that amulets, medallions, and other jade ornaments are said to encourage calm and deep thought in their wearer even if they have not been enchanted. Talismans made of jade spheres enclosed in lattice-worked wood lockets are common gifts from parents to children in Ta'Ardenai.
When a courtship shifts from playful flirtation to a serious romance, a Paradis man will often signal the shift in his intentions by presenting the object of his affection with a talisman of snow white jade. The talisman is carved with an image that is either supposed to represent the woman or some aspect of the relationship between the pair. Iceblossoms, wolves, and pine trees are particularly popular images for these talismans.
The Wsalamir also place significance upon jade. When a Wsalamir woman weds, her husband will tie a leather thong about her left wrist to make a crude bracelet. If she bears a child, then, upon the child's naming day, she will untie the leather thong and add a green jade bead to it to represent the baby. The bead is engraved with the Saramar rune that is the first in the child's name. When the child reaches maturity, the mother will exchange the green jade bead for one of brown jade. If the child dies, she will wear a white jade bead instead of brown or green to represent the lost child's spirit.
In human lands, green jade is often associated with legends of the Arkati Ivas. Priests of Koar often tell stories of the horrors of Ivas's bedchamber in order to warn young men and women against the dangers of physical intimacy before marriage, or, after marriage, to warn them against infidelity. According to these stories, Ivas routinely walks among mortals to tempt them into licentious behavior, and she transforms the most favored of her conquests into statues of solid green jade. Completely aware, but completely unable to act, these undying statues witness every cruelty inflicted by the flesh-eating Arkati upon her less-favored conquests. As a result, many clerics of Ivas delight in jade, but it has sporadic popularity among other humans due to these legends.
Jasper is an opaque stone that may be black, red, or yellow. It can be rather pretty when polished, but it is quite unimpressive in its rough state.
Jasper can be mined worldwide.
Jasper is quite well-suited for channeling and redirecting elemental energy, as many wizards have discovered while experimenting with a certain commonly-used spell that creates temporary storage containers. Of its three common hues, yellow jasper is the most useful in elemental magics, red jasper is the second most useful, and black is the least useful, with the last of the three sometimes producing unreliable results. Alchemical recipes for the summoning and binding of various elementals will frequently include yellow jasper dust as a necessary component.
Jasper is also associated with thieves, and, while it is difficult to learn the complete truth of any matter involving the Rogues' Guild, there is one commonly-known explanation. The Grot'karesh giantmen do not shun sorcery, considering it one more weapon against Despana's return, and many skillful hexers can be found in the fortress city of Kilanirij. Because jasper is a cheap, ready available gem in the Southron Wastes of their home, many Grot'karesh travelers took to carrying a cursed piece of jasper in their pouches to fend off pickpockets. As many clerics of Tonis have close relationships with members of the Rogues' Guild, the clerics rapidly noticed this trend. One of these clerics communed to Tonis and asked for his aid, telling the Arkati, "Your hands are so fast that you can touch it and never draw forth the curse, but ours are only mortal!" The Arkati responded by changing a pile of the cursed jaspers so that they all were blessed with the ability to remove a curse, and the cleric spread the jaspers throughout the Rogues' Guild. Each piece of jasper had been marked with the sign of a pegasus, and the pegasus-carved jasper rapidly became a recognition sign for traveling thieves. Many clerics of Tonis also wear jasper in honor of this story.
The legend of the blessed jaspers has also worked its way into rogues' slang. Among rogues, someone who is a "yellow jasper" is a rogue who uses his skills for the benefit of the city and his fellow citizens, normally through picking locks and disarming traps rather than through pickpocketing, and he will not steal from someone unless provoked. A "red jasper" is a rogue who steals, but who will not steal from empaths, clerics of Lorminstra, other rogues, or those who aid him. A "black jasper" makes his living from pickpocketing, and such a rogue considers few targets off-limits, if any. Related slang includes "She has a jasper wedding ring" (meaning that someone is married to a rogue), "Not a jasper in his jewelry box" (meaning that the person is too snobbish to associate with rogues), and "Give him a piece of jasper" (which is one thief suggesting to another thief that someone would make a good pickpocketing target.)
Jet is a glossy, transparent black stone that is difficult to distinguish from glass.
Jet can be found along the eastern side of the DragonSpine, in various small deposits throughout the southern part of the Turamzzyrian Empire, and in limited areas in the Sea of Fire.
Some of the human desert tribes that inhabit the Sea of Fire consider jet a material that is sacred to the most evil of spirits, and members of these tribes will not speak with those who wear jet for fear that they are possessed by such spirits. Knowledgeable Hendoran traders whisper that this has something to do with the doom that befell the accursed Tehir city of Bir Mahallah. The Tehir themselves will not discuss the story with outsiders, and some react quite violently if it is mentioned.
Outside the Sea of Fire, traditional human lore holds that jet will aid people in hiding, sneaking about, and blending into the night. As a result, jet talismans are often favored by thieves, snipers, and others who require the cover of the shadows. Because of the gem's glossy shine, however, these talismans are usually worn inside clothing or otherwise concealed, because they will otherwise draw attention to the person who is trying to hide!
Current elven lore also relates jet to the art of concealment. In Ta'Nalfein, if a person wears a jet earcuff or a pair of jet earrings, it is a signal that someone practices undercover arts and is currently available for hire. Such pieces of jewelry are often enchanted with potent charms to assist in stealth, hiding, and eavesdropping. In any of the elven cities, particularly Ta'Nalfein, a gift of jet jewelry should be taken as a direct threat; symbolically, it means, "I know what you are trying to hide from me."
In contrast to their city cousins among the elves, the sylvans mistrust jet, and this is due in large part to its resemblance to amber. They consider amber to be a sacred stone, and they believe that jet is a cursed form of amber. More than one sylvan tale exists in which some poor innocent's soul is sucked away by wearing a piece of jet against the skin.
The sylvan belief most likely dates from the year -15,188, and some of the other beliefs may stem from that time as well. In that fateful year, Faendryl sorcerers lost control of their summoned creations and demons decimated the sylvan legions along with the armies of Despana. To distinguish the demon-summoners from the other Faendryl spellcasters, each of the Faendryl sorcerers wore a signet ring set with a gleaming jet stone. At the time, the logic went that jet was cheap, attractive, and could easily be marked with the crest of House Faendryl. Afterward, the memory of light gleaming off so many jet rings remained with the survivors as a mark of taint.
Despite the many negative associations of jet, it is also called “the sleeper’s friend,” for jet is the sacred stone of Ronan. Parents of many cultures will set a carved jet statue beside a child’s bedside and speak a prayer over the statue to keep nightmares away. These statues are traditionally unicorns or mounted knights, but any shape that the child finds comforting and reassuring is beneficial. Wearing a bracelet or anklet of jet can also aid with insomnia, perhaps due to the gem’s faint magical affinity for warding the mind against intrusion.To distinguish true jet from glass, jewelers place a sample of the jet in a candle flame. True jet produces white smoke and turns white about the edges, while glass bursts from the heat. If it is true jet, the residue upon its surface can be cleaned away with a damp cloth after it cools, and the gem will be undamaged by the test.
From most angles, labradorite appears to be a dark-hued, dull mineral. When light strikes it correctly, however, it will blaze with a specific kind of iridescence called "labradorescence."
Labradorite can be found in the northern steppes, among the peaks of Kragsfell, near the elven city of Ta'Illistim, and in a variety of other places throughout Elanith.
Humans, particularly human peasants, believe that labradorite jewelry has many protective qualities, including saving its wearers from risk of death by falling and from lightning strikes. However, experimentation by various guilds suggests that its only true magical property lies with a slight ability to enhance spiritual spells of blessing.
The Sisters of the Hidden Eye, famed seers in Phannus, are known to use labradorite talismans when testing children for divinatory gifts. The children are ordered to look at the labradorite, concentrate on the colors, and picture themselves being filled with the same colors.
Bardic rumor holds that, no matter what disguise he has chosen, Tilamaire can be recognized because his eyes will shine in candlelight with colors just like those of labradorite. Clerics of Tilamaire and bards who hope to earn the spirit's favor often carry pieces of labradorite.
Labradorite is nicknamed "peacock stone" both for its remarkable ability to display flashing colors and because of the mines near Ta'Illistim. For a period of time, it was quite popular for citizens of Ta'Illistim to wear labradorite jewelry in situations where valuable jewelry would be too much at risk -- trials of combat, for example, or treks through the woods. However, this fashion has fallen into disfavor over the last hundred years.
Lapis lazuli (sometimes abbreviated to lapis) is an opaque blue stone marked with streaks and specks of twinkling gold. As a general rule, the deeper the hue, the more expensive the stone, so long as it is not flawed.
Lapis lazuli is a useful magical catalyst when attempting to work with opposing elemental forces, such as combining fire and ice or combining air and earth in a single spell.
According to human tradition, wearing lapis lazuli will bring peace of mind and spirit. The stone-tenders in Aldora believe that lapis lazuli is also useful for easing fever and muscle pain, and suffering patients are often requested to wear lapis lazuli on both wrists, both ankles, and the forehead.
When crushed and added to appropriate substances, lapis lazuli creates the most intense blue pigment known to artists. This art was initially discovered by the elves, and the Loenthran elves have a story about how it was first discovered. The foundation of the story lies in an ancient painting that depicts the young Arkati Niima standing atop an ocean wave. The painting in question is unsigned, but Loenthran records state that it was created by Shirvande Loenthra, the youngest daughter of Callisto Loenthra and also a marvelous artist. Supposedly, Shirvande had seen Niima as she walked along the shore one sunlit day, and she became obsessed with the idea of capturing the moment in painting, but she grew dismayed and saddened because she lacked an adequate blue pigment for the brilliance of the sun-streaked water. After two years of work, she went to destroy her canvas, but Jastev suddenly appeared before her and asked her to spare the painting. When Shirvande did as Jastev asked, Jastev showed her how to crush lapis lazuli in order to make a blue paint unlike any other, and she finished the painting with the beautiful blue paint.
Lapis is also associated with the Huntress. Legend holds that the Huntress was once the bodyguard of a great king, but that the queen, jealous of her beauty, betrayed her and sought to have Arachne slay her. Supposedly, the token of favor that drove the queen over the edge was a teardrop lapis amulet, given to the Huntress by the king's own hands as he praised the Huntress for her beauty and her loyalty. Worshippers of the Huntress have been known to receive amulets in this style when they have truly pleased their goddess. Such amulets are called "the Huntress's tears," but the name is linked to a parable-- it is said that the Huntress wept only once in all her mortal years, and that time only when the king reviled her as a betrayer. The spirit's tears are stone because her heart is so hardened by discipline that she would never weep.
Malachite is an opaque green stone that is easily recognized due to its banding. The light and dark green bands are quite striking to the eye. Dwarves swear that malachite also occurs in patches of tiny, semitranslucent crystals far beneath the earth, but, since these crystals are not large enough to use in jewelry, most surface-dwellers could not care less.
|Lore:|| Magically, malachite is a fairly neutral stone that is not particularly useful in arcane endeavors. However, old elven lore attributes the special property of inducing peace to malachite. Supposedly, wearing malachite will encourage others to feel forgiving and calm toward the wearer. This may help explain why malachite is easily the most popular jewelry stone among the Nalfein, as the Nalfein are noted for the delicate intricacies of their political maneuvering. |
Crushed malachite, like crushed lapis lazuli, can be used to create paint of exceptional quality. Although the colors of House Nalfein are listed as black and jade green in traditional elven heraldry, the true shade of green involved is malachite green, for malachite pigment is used universally by those who can afford it when painting crests. Also, by the rules of tradition and beauty, an official portrait of a Nalfein noble will always include a bit of malachite paint somewhere in its design.
The desert tribes living in the Sea of Fire value malachite as a sacred stone. Both men and women often have intricate, complex tattoos, and the shamans can be distinguished because their tattoos are the intense green of malachite. Those who are not shamans will not wear malachite tattoos for fear of being driven mad by the spirits of the desert. Under special circumstances, such as weddings, funerals, and the first strike of a war, the shamans will also paint intricate, mask-like designs over their faces with malachite powder. If a desert-dweller gives anything made of malachite to someone not of the desert, it is a sign of uncommon respect, but most desert people will react in a strong, hostile fashion if they see non-Tehir in possession of the stone.
Followers of Gosaena also hold malachite sacred, though if asked for the source of the tradition, few are willing to reply. Goseana is known for her silence, and her followers are not willing to risk her wrath. Whatever it might be, it seems to be related to the Gosaenan cult in Ta'Illistim.
Mermaid's-tear sapphires are always a deep, perfect, uniform shade of blue. When compared to normal sapphires, they are significantly more opaque, but they glow brilliantly when struck by light. No uncut or cabochon-cut mermaid's-tear sapphire has ever been discovered, although few are faceted to their best advantage and many are damaged. For this reason, almost all mermaid's-tear sapphires available for sale have been recut by a jeweler, although some buyers take great pride in purchasing only "natural" mermaid's-tear sapphires.
All mermaid's-tear sapphires come from the sea, washing up with a straying wave to lie sparkling on the sand or occasionally turning up in the gullet of a fish. A legend spanning human port cultures holds that each is created when a mermaid weeps truly in grief.
|Lore:|| Mermaid's-tear sapphires are aligned with the elemental force of water, and it is also said that they are quite efficacious in summoning and commanding various spirits.
Despite being the consummate jewelsmiths of Elanthia, the Greetok and Oltregek dwarves shun the use of mermaid's-tear sapphires, and most of the other dwarves follow suit -- the dwarves hold that mermaid's-tear sapphires are too magical to be "real" gems, and they feel that a gem that cannot be found in the earth is neither worth wearing nor using.
Stone-tenders say that mermaid's-tear sapphires can be used to help overcome the effects of breathing water, but they also say that doing so may bind the patient's will to the water, encouraging the patient into future danger.
Human diviners say that mermaid's-tear sapphires can be used to foretell Charl's moods. Merchants traveling by sea from the port of Idolone often seek the services of diviners who use mermaid's-tear sapphires to foretell storms.
The gift of a mermaid's-tear sapphire is usually symbolic of some sort of grief, but whether it is a private grief or a call for action depends on the context and the person.
One human legend heard from time to time claims that a mermaid can be enslaved by placing a necklace of her own tears bound in mithril about her throat. Since mermaids are among the rarest and most elusive creatures in Elanthia, however, it is hard to believe that anyone has ever tested this claim.
|Value:||Varies with the variety. Grey and black moonstones are uncommon gems. Most other types are rare, but the most valuable kind of moonstone is the extraordinarily rare opaline moonstone.|
Moonstone is a nearly transparent stone that occurs in a number of hues, including gold, green, blue, and silver. When exposed to light, moonstones shine in a fashion that is often compared to moonlight falling through thin clouds, and the gleam changes remarkably depending on the angle at which the light falls. Common-speaking jewelers call this trait "adularescence." One noteworthy variant of moonstone is opaline moonstone, which produces a spray of rainbows like those of an opal as well as the characteristic adularescence of moonstones.
Different varieties of moonstone can be found throughout Elanith, but Dragach, Ta'Nalfein, and Teras Isle are the most noteworthy sources.
|Lore:|| Moonstone is quite responsive to spiritual magics. It is particularly useful when summoning spirits, as many spirits find it interesting and alluring, but it does not assist the summoner in maintaining control over what has been conjured. |
The diviners who live in the human city of Phannus say that moonstones will always reveal what is hidden, including secrets, hidden emotions, hidden patterns, and the solutions to riddles. They say, however, that moonstones reveal too much -- that there are things that no mortal can face, and that divining on moonstone will draw you closer and closer to those hidden, terrible truths.
Common lore in Dragach holds that, if you speak the name of your beloved three times and put a moonstone in your mouth at midnight, the heart of your beloved will be drawn unstoppably toward you. Many old wives' tales are told of foolish young women who use this charm and suffer terribly as a result.
The stone-tenders of Aldora say that proper application of moonstone will draw a person from a coma, but they also say that it is usually better to let the mind heal at its own pace.
Elven lore holds moonstone to be special to the Arkati Zelia. When particularly pleased with the currents of madness in a chosen mortal's mind, Zelia may present the mortal with an ornate piece of moonstone jewelry that is cursed (or blessed) to draw the mortal deeper into madness. All of the mortals touched in this fashion seem quite proud and protective of their prizes, though they are often also incoherent and incapable of caring for themselves.
Halflings do not associate moonstone with Zelia. To them, moonstone is "the stone of watchmen," and night sentries sometimes carry a piece of moonstone to help them ward off sleep.
Morganite is a transparent pink jewel that ranges in hue from a pale, almost imperceptible rose tint to a bright salmon color. It may contain hints of peach, yellow, or violet, but this is considered less desirable by jewelers. It sparkles brilliantly when properly faceted.
|Lore:|| Morganite is aligned with the elemental forces of air. As a result, in regions where windstorms and tornadoes are common, the residents will sometimes offer morganite in small shrines distant to homes and towns in order to placate angry air elementals. |
At the feet of the DragonSpine, some of the scattered villages honor Celiel, a Great Air Elemental, with the respect that others would give to an Arkati. Priests of Celiel wear a small, faceted morganite disk on a silver chain to represent their calling.
Seers say that morganite can be used to discern harm or threat to children. In Mestanir, even some parents who do not claim divinatory talents will wear a morganite pendant until their child is fully grown. Tales circulate routinely about parents who were warned by a strange sparkle from the stone in time to rescue their child from danger.
Custom in the human barony of Oire associates morganite with the goddess Oleani. Despite the simple nature of the region, there is a large and marvelously ornate temple to Oleani in the capital city of New Myssar, and its centerpiece is a low altar carved from a single piece of glimmering morganite. According to clerical records, the altar appeared one night in the middle of a very simple shrine, and the temple grew to its current grandeur to honor the miracle.
|Value:||Regular obsidian is very common, but spiderweb obsidian is uncommon.|
Obsidian is a type of dense volcanic glass. It is normally black in hue, although it may contain a hint of green or red. When broken, it produces smooth, slightly rippled curves instead of displaying a crystalline formation, and the edges of the fractures can be sharper than a fine steel blade. One odd variant, spiderweb obsidian, is distinguished by many delicate, opaque white lines spreading over its surface and through its depths.
Obsidian can be found near any active volcano and at the death sites of many inactive ones.
|Lore:|| Obsidian is aligned with the elemental energies of fire.
One ancient elven legend relates obsidian to Onar, patron of assassins. According to this legend, after Fash'lo'nae first brought fire to the mortal races, there was a stir of powerful anger, for both the Great Drakes and the majority of the Arkati agreed that the mortal races should not have fire. The force of this divine anger created a vessel by which the desire for revenge could be executed -- Onar, a powerful spirit, who knew nothing of anger and everything of death. Onar possessed the first man ever to build fire and used his talented hands to knap an obsidian blade. This blade was the first weapon ever possessed by a mortal. Night after night, controlled by Onar, the man went into the darkness and killed his cohorts, causing them to believe that this marvelous new tool, fire, was cursed and would bring the mysterious open-throated death to those who used it. One night, however, the man was observed in his actions by a mortal woman, and she saw the obsidian blade that he used. The woman figured out how to create a similar blade, and then, when the man attacked her, she found that she could create the open-throated death just as well as he could. Brought by Onar, murder had become a tool of mortals, and mortals never forgot how to kill.
Obsidian also holds special significant to the Dhe'nar. Legend holds that, twenty-five thousand years ago, false priests gathered the Dhe'nar of Sharath and announced that the Arkati would grant a special blessing to them. Because the Dhe'nar had forgotten the true way, a mountain rose out of the earth instead, and fire rained down from the Great Mountain to destroy the city of Sharath, killing almost ninety percent of the Dhe'nar. When the cataclysm ended, the surviving Dhe'nar found that the surrounding forest had been transformed into ash, and they saw that the flanks of the Great Mountain glittered black with a thick layer of obsidian. From that day forth, the Dhe'nar have treated obsidian with reverence, and many carry or wear a piece of obsidian as a reminder not to stray from the true path.
True onyx is an opaque stone that bears even, straight bands of black and white running through its substance. However, many jewelers treat onyx to transform it into a pure black stone, using one of many alchemical processes or magical processes to accomplish the task.
|Lore:|| When dyed pure black, onyx is particularly favored in the city of Ta'Nalfein. Many Nalfein women wear the symbol of House Nalfein depicted in onyx and malachite inlay upon a hairclip.
Undyed onyx is popularly associated with the goddess Lorminstra. Followers of Lorminstra often wear onyx cameos that depict the face of the goddess, the Ebon Gates, a key, or a single snowflake, using the black and white bands to their best advantage in the bas-relief carvings. It is also associated with the greater spirit Voln, and those who wear onyx to honor Voln usually wear a cameo akin to those of Lorminstra's followers, but the cameo bears Voln's white shield instead of one of the Lorminstran images.
Human legend holds that, if a peasant's husband has died while traveling, she may awaken to find a rose blossom carved from pure black onyx on the pillow beside her. These onyx roses are a gift from the spirit Laethe, intended both to express his sorrow at the widow's loss and to give her something she may sell to sustain herself and her family through the time of their grief.
Magically, onyx is associated with spiritual magics, particularly those of blessing.
|Value:||Varies with the variety. Fire opal is an uncommon stone. Other types of opal are rare or extremely rare.|
Opal comes in many varieties, all of which are renowned for their remarkable play of iridescent color. White opal presents myriad pastel rainbows to the viewer's eye, while black opal creates dark, rich shades. Fire opal is reddish-gold, and dragonfire opal is a striated form of fire opal. Frost opal is primarily blue and white. Moonglae opal is forest green marked with silvery crescents, and the characteristic iridescent colors of the opal are concealed in each of its silver markings.
Various types of opal can be found across the continent of Elanith. Black and white opal are mined along the western edge of the Turamzzyrian Empire, particularly in Krinklehorn and Kragsfell. Fire opal and dragonfire opal are both volcanic in origin, and significant quantities of both have been uncovered on Teras Isle as well as in the Southron Wastes. Frost opal can be found in natural outcroppings north of Icemule Trace. Moonglae opal can be found in the elven territories to the east of Elanith, particularly near Ta'Nalfein.
|Lore:|| Opal, even fire opal, is strongly aligned with the element of water. Particularly sensitive wizards and skillful alchemists claim that proper opal actually contains a great deal of water in its substance -- perhaps even as much as a tenth of its body! Others dismiss this claim as obvious folly.
In addition to its elemental alignment, opal has power to enhance spells of a religious nature. Opal is a truly remarkable stone, and, as such, it is unsurprising that it is seen as sacred to multiple deities by their followers. On the Turamzzyrian coast, particularly in Allace and Torre, white opal is said to be Niima's chosen jewel because tiny, pale rainbows akin to the rainbows of a white opal can be seen in the flashing spray of a breaking wave crest.
Black opal is favored both by followers of Lumnis and followers of Fash'lo'nae. Followers of Lumnis say that the vibrant, intense hues of black opal resemble the brilliant feathers of a parrot, and they point out the elven legend claiming that Lumnis brought color to the roses of the world. If roses, why not opals? Followers of Fash'lo'nae, in turn, say that white opal, with its weaker, less entrancing colors, should be bestowed upon Lumnis, because Lumnis seeks to obscure truths that will do more harm than good, and that black opal truly belongs to Fash'lo'nae because Fash'lo'nae seeks knowledge for its own sake.
In the human duchy of Aldora, where the traditional art of stone-tending is practiced, healers will often use fire opal to treat skin diseases and white opal to treat blindness. They warn against wearing opal jewelry or gazing over-long into opals because they say that opals can diffuse the mind and invite madness. Their opinions have not yet affected Imperial fashion, as opals complimented by seed pearls are very much in vogue in Tamzyrr as of late.
The silent, reclusive Wsalamir giantmen attach significance to frost opal, though they do not tie it to any of the Arkati. They believe that a piece of frost opal forms whenever a wendigo is born. If they are forced to travel, shamans of the Wsalamir often carry pieces of frost opal about with them in order to instill themselves with the strength of their icy homeland. For a Wsalamir to say that a non-Wsalamir has "frost opal eyes" is one of the highest compliments possible -- it means that the Wsalamir accepts the other person with the same trust given to a clan mate despite the person's differences of birth.
|Value:||Rare or very rare, depending upon the variety.|
A pearl is made of layers of translucent nacre that create an opaque whole. Pearls are usually round, though not necessarily perfectly spherical. They occur naturally in a variety of colors, including grey, pink, black, white, and the intense crimson color of the rare fire pearl. Hints of iridescence often infuse the pearl's predominant color, and the darkest pearls sometimes possess a peculiar, almost metallic gleam.
Pearls come from oysters, which are ocean-dwelling bivalve mollusks. Pearl divers ply their trade off both coasts of Elanith.
Pearls are strongly aligned with the element of water, enabling elemental mages to cast powerful water spells even in the heart of the desert. They are also affiliated with religious lore, as meditation upon a pearl will assist clerics in perceiving the influences of various Arkati. Pearls are also quite effective in dispelling evil enchantments or fashioning wards against sorcery.
On Kezmon Isle, clerics of Niima taught their flock that every pearl holds one of Niima's tears at its heart. When Niima's divine mother died, according to Kezmonian legend, Niima wept for a thousand years, and oysters caught her tears and preserved them in nacre. At the end of her time of weeping, she set aside her grief forever, becoming the sunny, joyous goddess to whom sailors pray. According to the same legend, her father never wept for the death of his love, and that is the reason for Charl's dark temper and the storms that sweep over the sea. Since the disappearance of Kezmon, human scholars have relegated this legend to the realm of pretty stories rather than according it the respect of true religious lore.
Pearls are undoubtedly the most popular gem in the southwest part of the Turamzzyrian Empire. In the garb of human nobility, pearls serve equally as jewelry and trim. Along the coast near Tamzyrr, even the poorest fisherwoman normally has a pearl earring squirreled away for the highest of occasions.
Human poets often refer to pearls as "the gem of knights" because ancient legends claim that a pure white pearl will not abide a dishonorable wearer. As a result, black pearls are rarely worn in the Turamzzyrian Empire. Few modern nobles truly believe in the ancient superstition, but it still suggests that the wearer's honor is tarnished. The comparison with the royal black pearls used in elven heraldry by House Nalfein is inevitable and damaging to relations between elves and humans. During the retreat of the Turamzzyrian forces at the end of the Second Elven War, songsmiths and minstrels made much of the black pearls worn by their Nalfein opponents, claiming that they had only been defeated due to elven treachery -- "Look, the pearl tells the tale!"
In its natural state, peridot is a transparent green stone that often has a yellowish tint. It can be faceted to sparkle prettily. However, it is susceptible to a color change under certain magical influences, which may result in a blue or pink stone.
Peridot is most often found near active volcanoes, such as those of Teras Isle. However, peridot sometimes falls from the sky in meteors, just like veil iron -- sometimes in the same meteor!
Volcanic peridot is magically aligned with the elements of fire and earth, while meteoric peridot is magically aligned with the elements of fire and air. As a result, magically trained jewelers are able to tell the difference between the two physically-similar stones. When volcanic peridot is exposed to elemental energies of air, or when meteoric peridot is exposed to elemental energies of earth, then the peridot will turn a pale blue color. Exposing either type of peridot to spiritual energies will give it a peculiar pink hue. For centuries, these pink stones were considered tainted, useless, and decidedly peculiar-looking, but recent research on the Demonwall has shown that they may have certain properties that assist in resisting sorcerous assault. As a result, their value has risen in the last decade to match that of the other types of peridot.
For many thousands of years, there have been no active volcanoes in elven lands, and, before new trade routes opened across the DragonSpine in 5102, meteoric peridot was more common on the east side of Elanith than volcanic peridot. This may explain why the elves sometimes refer to peridot as "evening emerald" -- a falling star in the evening might mean that another piece of peridot was falling to the ground. Others say that it is because of the peculiar way that light falls through peridot. If an emerald and a peridot are placed side by side, and a shade is slowly drawn over a lantern, the peridot will appear brightly hued and sparkle in the remaining light much longer than the emerald's fire and hue will endure.
Dwarves are not generally a superstitious people, but they treat peridot with great respect. For centuries, beloved tradition among the Egrentek clan held that carrying a piece of peridot would protect against mine disasters, and no Egrentek dwarf would go into the mines without a piece of peridot any more than he would go into the mines without his pickaxe -- and, indeed, other clans of dwarves mused that the Egrentek seemed particularly blessed in safety beneath the earth. Among the Egrentek, a peridot stone was a traditional gift from a parent to a child upon the occasion of the child's first mining trip. When Baron Hochstib destroyed part of a mine of Talador, however, hundreds of miner dwarves were trapped and killed in the collapse, and the supposed charm of the peridot stone was dismissed in the dwarven grief. Today, a dwarf who carries or wears a peridot stone normally does so because the stones are talismans to remember the dead dwarves of Talador. These dwarves are often suspicious of human intentions and hostile toward non-dwarves.
Pyrite is routinely mistaken for gold by the uninitiated, but it cannot be smelted like gold -- it is truly a rock and not a metal. It is an opaque stone with a shiny, brassy yellow color and a beautiful luster. It forms in a variety of crystal shapes, including cubes, octahedrons, and dodecahedrons with pentagonal faces.
Pyrite's various forms can be found worldwide.
Among the dwarves, pyrite is nicknamed "gnome gold," and, among the gnomes, pyrite is nicknamed "dwarf gold." The origin of this peculiar twinning has something to do with an incident between an Aledotter gnome and a Mithrenek dwarf, but the gnomes and the dwarves tell the story differently, each group casting it to put their own people in the best possible light. Interestingly, due to the twinned stories, both Aledotter gnomes and Mithrenek dwarves both now consider a gift of pyrite to be an appropriate gift to someone who plays a particularly good practical joke on someone else. Clerics of Cholen suggest that both stories are true and that their chosen Arkati had something to do with the matter.
Pyrite possesses a magical affinity for the element of earth, but its affinity is so faint that few people beyond their apprenticeships bother to use it.
|Value:||Varies by variety. Most are common or very common, such as quartz crystals, carnelian quartz, milky quartz, leopard quartz, blue quartz, and smoky quartz. Three types of quartz are rare and beautiful enough to hold greater value, and those three are dragonfire quartz, asterfire quartz, and rainbow quartz.|
Many kinds of quartz exist in Elanith, each with its own unusual appearance and quirks. Color is the primary matter that differentiates the varieties of quartz: carnelian quartz is primarily orange to red, citrine quartz is lemon yellow, rose quartz is blush pink, blue quartz is a striking robin's-egg color, smoky quartz is grey with a possible hint of violet, and milky quartz is white. Cat's-eye quartz is grey and black with a distinctive silver line that results in its name. Rainbow quartz contains every color in wide, even stripes. Amethyst is said to be the purple variety of quartz, but its lore is addressed in its own category, as is the lore of rock crystal.
Various types of quartz are located all across Elanith.
According to sylvan lore, blue quartz is found at the top of the sky, and it is a sacred stone to the greater spirit Jaston. After his death in the Ur-Daemon War, Jaston was returned to life by the permission of Lorminstra and the will of Imaera, and Imaera had given six marvelous white-feathered wings to him. Imaera charged him to be the patron of birds and the caretaker of the Four Winds, but, before he took on these duties, the Arkati permitted him to go and speak with his people, who were awed by the wondrous transformation. Seeing his wings, a sylvan child asked him what lay at the top of the sky, and the spirit promised to find out. He flew so high that they could not see him, and he did not return for six days. When he came back, he bore a piece of quartz in his hand that was just as blue as the sky, and he gave it to the child, telling her, "This is at the top of the sky." Seeing the stone's beauty, other children asked for similar pieces of quartz, and, the sylvans say, Jaston has never forgotten them -- from time to time, he will go to the top of the sky and bring back more blue quartz, scattering it through the world for children's delight.
Halflings of the Shirelands enjoy scaring each other around a late-night fire with a story about a carved carnelian dragon that came to life and ate livestock. As a general rule, however, halflings consider carnelian quartz to be an ill-luck stone and prefer not to wear it. In particular, the Paradis seem to draw some association between carnelian and demon-summoning, although the Faendryl have never found any such connection (to the annoyance of many experimenters) and dismiss the matter as foolish superstition.
Halflings also attribute a number of powers to rose quartz, but these are beneficial rather than malicious. Supposedly, carrying a rose quartz crystal or wearing a rose quartz amulet engraved with a wildflower will bring you true love, and giving a piece of rose quartz jewelry to someone that you love will place them under Oleani's protection so long as the person wears it. Human stone-tenders also attribute benign power to rose quartz; they use it to restore lost blood, to lessen bruising, and to mend cuts and scratches.
Citrine quartz is sometimes called "Grandfather's stone" or, alternately, "folly's stone." This dates to a young Illistim alchemist's discovery that, when sufficiently heated, amethyst will transform into citrine. In usefulness, this was considered to be a feat akin to transforming gold into lead, as amethyst is deemed more valuable and attractive than citrine. The young alchemist held the knowledge-hungry Fash'lo'nae as his patron, but he was studying with a master who preferred the ways of the wise Arkati Lumnis. According to the story, when the master alchemist came by to see the apprentice's progress, he stared at the chunk of citrine and slowly said, "My student, just because you _can_ does not mean that you _should_." Disgusted by his master's rejection of his discovery, the student determined to find three useful things about citrine, which he did. First, he discovered that citrine, being attuned to the element of fire, is particularly useful for holding a warming enchantment that will fend off the cold of Whistler's Pass. Second, he discovered that citrine may be used to divine destructive impulses in others. Third, although his master was unimpressed, the apprentice discovered that humans are quite superstitious about eye-cut citrines. Possessing a distinct sadistic streak, he was quite pleased about the stories of the "man with an eye of yellow fire" that followed his travels in human lands. In Phannus, where divination is practiced with the greatest skill in the Turamzzyrian Empire, cat's-eye quartz is said to divine malice and danger. If worn by someone with the proper sensitivity, it will grow cold and tingle when in the presence of an enemy. Rangers and worshippers of Andelas who hail from Seareach are particularly prone to carrying the jewel.
Smoky quartz is favored by the Grishnkel Wolf Clan, and many of these giantmen will wear small wolf talismans carved from smoky quartz in addition to their traditional glaes armbands. Smoky quartz is said to help people blend into the shadows and to avoid detection. It is nicknamed the "stone of spies" in the Turamzzyrian Empire. Diviners say that smoky quartz will assist in revealing the presence of deception, but not its nature.
The Wendwillow gnomes know a peculiar story regarding leopard quartz. According to the story, there once was a leopard that was delighted to see another leopard when he looked in a puddle. He wanted to play with the other leopard, but, when he pawed at the pool, the other leopard ran away. The leopard was very disappointed, and he searched all over the world to find his leopard friend. Again and again, the first leopard found the second leopard in puddles and pools, but the other leopard always ran away when the first leopard tried to play. One day, however, the first leopard came to a place where the dwarves had been mining quartz, and he saw the second leopard in the polished surface of a quartz vein. The leopard ran over to greet his friend, and, instead of colliding with the rock, he passed straight into the quartz. This turned the quartz all spotty. Somewhere inside any piece of leopard quartz, the two leopards are still playing together. Like most Wendwillow stories, it does not have a reliable moral, but the gnomes who retell it always seem pleased with the conclusion.
Rock crystal is a perfectly clear, utterly colorless form of quartz. It occurs in large veins running through the earth and in marvelous crystals inside caverns.
Rock crystal can be mined all over Elanthia.
Rock crystal is good for dispelling illusions, and, when properly enchanted, it can detect the flows of mana in a fashion akin to the natural properties of blazestar. It is attuned very strongly to the magics of divination. Followers of Jastev often use a perfect sphere of rock crystal when divining, and a ball of rock crystal is Jastev's traditional symbol.
Rock crystal is considered a very potent tool in the ancient stone-tending healing techniques of Aldora, particularly in the intact crystals. It is said to be good for clearing an addled mind, removing diseases from the blood, and protecting against poisons.
When going hunting, many Basingstoke gnomes wear a talisman around their necks that is made from a perfect rock crystal wrapped in the skin of the beast being hunted and secured with a leather thong. These talismans are said to protect the hunter from accidents such as the snapping of a snare or the error of a bear to follow a deadfall route correctly. In order to keep the talismans functioning properly, the Basingstoke apply the freshly spilled blood of their prey to the protective crystals on a monthly basis.
The Rosengift gnomes also use rock crystal in a variety of ways, but the Basingstoke gnomes would disapprove of most of their techniques. When Rosengift gardeners train bushes and trees to grow in new forms, much of the craft involves imbedding toxin-laden shards of rock crystal into branches or roots. Also, Rosengift alchemists often use mortars and pestles of rock crystal, as the clear hue of the stone assists in ensuring that implements are properly cleansed before their next use. Finally, the gnomes of this bloodline delight in altering their bodies with eyebrow, nose, or lip piercings as well as tattoos, and carved pieces of crystal are often used to accent these decorations.
Rhodochrosite is a translucent stone with an intense, rose pink hue and a beautiful pearly finish. It often displays distinctive banding. Rare specimens may be transparent instead of translucent, and these stones can be faceted for a beautiful result.
Rhodochrosite can be mined all over Elanith, but one of the best mines lies deep in the Gattrof mountains within the Duchy of Aldora.
Magically, rhodocrosite assists both in spells related to the element of water and in spells related to summoning spirits. As the stone can encompass both without damage, it did not take long for the Faendryl to begin using it in sorcerous arts, where the benefit it provides is minor but noticeable.
Rhodochrosite is associated with the spirit Laethe. It is said to have healing properties that assist in overcoming grief and other emotional trauma. The stone-healers of Aldora administer rhodochrosite to their patients in order to lessen physical pain.
Many followers of Mularos actively avoid wearing rhodochrosite because they believe that it will lessen the connection between themselves and their chosen deity. Human belief holds that Mularos's control over a person will be severed if that person holds a piece of rhodochrosite in each hand and says, "I solemnly and sacredly swear that I reject Mularos and all his ways" while standing on the holy ground of one of the Liabo Arkati. When cults of Mularos are discovered in the Turamzzyrian Empire, this ritual is commonly forced upon the followers.
|Value:||Most rubies are rare, but dragon's-tear rubies are very rare and sylvarraend rubies are extremely rare.|
Ruby is a transparent stone that displays a marvelous fire when properly faceted. It is extraordinarily hard, and it will scratch almost any other stone rather than being scratched if the two are rubbed together. By definition, rubies are always red, though the hue may vary from dark pink to a purplish color to a muddy reddish-brown. Rubies may contain filaments of rutile, which will create a visible star on a cabochon-cut stone. Two varieties that merit special attention are the dragon's-tear ruby, which reflects white light as sky blue, and the sylvarraend ruby, which contains many small, fernlike inclusions of golden imflass.
Rubies are mined all over the world, but Mestanir is noteworthy for its particularly beautiful star rubies. Sylvarraend rubies have only been located outside the elven village of Sylvarraend (hence the name!) and dragon's-tear rubies are mined along a rocky ridge to the north of Ta'Ardenai, although a few scant samples have been located in other places on the east side of the DragonSpine.
With their beautiful fire and sanguine hue, rubies have attracted wary interest from many groups. Ancient elven legend holds that rubies are not true gems at all, but spilled drops of Arkati blood from the Ur-Daemon War (although most elves have dismissed this as mere fantasy in the current age.)
Magically, rubies are most strongly associated with the element of earth. To a lesser extent, they are aligned with spells related to telepathy. Empaths concerned with causing unnecessary pain to their patients or determining the exact nature of a complicated injury will often utilize ruby talismans in the effort.
The stone-tenders of Aldora use ruby to try to drive poisons from the body, saying that the stone is strongly affiliated with blood and can therefore cleanse the blood of toxin. Aging and superstitious humans often seek to wear a piece of ruby to strengthen their hearts.
Rubies hold special significance to the Vylem bloodline of gnomes. The Vylem say that, if you carve a ruby into the symbol of one of the Arkati and apply your blood to the ruby, then that Arkati can watch you through the "blooded" jewel.
A similar belief grew popular in a human cult of Mularos that appeared roughly two decades ago in the small barony of Mestanir. Although the cult was quashed ruthlessly when Jantalar invaded in 5092, other Mularosians have adopted the belief that Mularos watches his followers through ruby jewelry, and few human followers of Mularos are without a piece of the jewel somewhere on their person -- a practice that usually goes without notice, yet which can serve as identification when coupled with the proper words and actions. By the same followers, it is said that if you give someone a ruby, you give that person power over you, and a gift of a ruby heart will enslave you eternally to its recipient.
The peculiar association between rubies and krolvin is also worthy of mention. As a general rule, krolvin do not make jewelry of any kind. Crafting jewelry, after all, is slave work, and the krolvin are above that -- they do wear jewelry, but they wear only what they take from the throats of their captives, and they never exchange jewelry among themselves. However, rubies are an exception, and the krolvin both force their slaves to mine ruby for ornamentation and craft crude amulets from unfaceted chunks of ruby bound in metal wire. Some theorize that ruby holds religious significance to the krolvin; others suggest that krolvin just like the intense red color. Garnets, spinels, and other red gems are not given the same status.
|Value:||Clear sapphires are very common, but other types are rare, very rare, or extremely rare.|
Sapphire is an astonishingly versatile stone in its various manifestations. It shares many of its mundane properties with ruby, although its magical differences demonstrate that it is clearly another stone entirely. Many sapphires possess tiny rutile inclusions, and, if these sapphires are cut into a cabochon, they will display a dazzling star with either six or twelve rays. Sapphires occur in almost every color of the rainbow save a true red. Three valuable varieties are particularly worthy of mention: the shimmarglin sapphire, the dragonsbreath sapphire, and the dragonseye sapphire. Shimmarglin sapphires display a striking play of iridescent color across their surfaces, and they are the only variety of sapphire that displays true iridescence. Dragonsbreath sapphires are ice blue, and, compared to all other varieties of sapphire, they are quite fragile, which is odd in a gem normally renowned for its toughness. Dragonseye sapphires are quite dark in hue, and they possess a peculiar crimson and amber pattern at the center of their fire.
Dragonsbreath sapphires are mined on Teras. Dragonseye sapphires are mined extensively in dwarven holdings stretching through the depths of the DragonSpine Mountains, but they are most commonly seen in elven hands due to various trade agreements. Shimmarglin sapphires were mined outside Ta'Ashrim, but the supply was lost after the Faendryl genocide of the Ashrim rendered the island dangerous and uninhabitable. The Nalfein have located another source of shimmarglin sapphires in recent years, but they are quite closemouthed as to where that source may be -- they have claimed several small islands that originally lay in Ashrim power, however, so the two sources may be related. Other varieties of sapphire are scattered throughout Elanith, but North Hendor is particularly noted for its beautiful blue sapphires.
Sapphires are said to have many different and remarkable magical powers, including particular affinities for the element of air, the magic of summoning spirits, and various mental arts. As well, giantmen of the Issimir clan say that wearing sapphire will sharpen your eye for bargains and help protect you from fraud. Withycombe diviners also associate sapphires with property, though in a slightly different fashion -- they say that casting patterns of sapphire runes can reveal the location of lost possessions.
In the human duchy of Aldora, home to the legendary healing art called stone-tending, sapphires are considered a bad-luck gem for royalty -- with their influences over the realm of air, they disconnect the royal mind from concerns of hearth and home, which endangers the safety of the realm. Less exalted people are encouraged to wear them, however, as the gems are supposed to encourage imagination and creativity.
Yellow sapphires are known to be precious to Phoen -- "sunlight sapphires," they are sometimes called. There is an old elven story that claims that all sapphires were once yellow before Cholen's intervention.
According to the story, in ancient times, there was a night when Phoen and Oleani went off for a long romantic evening, and Phoen grew so distracted by the joys of his consort that the sun failed to rise in the morning. People became alarmed at the extending darkness, and they asked the Arkati for help, but Phoen barred the bower against all intrusion, and, because he was known as a mighty warrior, the other Arkati would not intrude when he commanded them to leave. No one knew how long the night would stretch until Cholen called out, "What pretty green sapphires these are!" Phoen was puzzled and annoyed, but he brushed it off as a poor joke and went back to the matter of romance. Then, Cholen called out, "What pretty pink sapphires these are!" Again, Phoen ignored him. At the third time, Cholen called, "What pretty blue sapphires these are!" -- and he threw one into the bower, for he had changed the sapphire from yellow to blue by his arts. Outraged, Phoen rose up and chased after Cholen, bringing the overdue dawn with him as he came. Glad to have the sun return, Imaera hid Cholen until Phoen's anger had faded, but she made a mistake. She hid Cholen in her husband Eonak's domain, the depths of the earth, where Phoen could not find him -- but that put Cholen down with all the sapphires buried in the earth, and Cholen was so delighted with his prank that he continued with the game, creating an essence in the earth that would slowly change sapphires through all the depths of Elanith from yellow to blue, pink, purple, and other hues. From the workings of his spell, few yellow sapphires remained at all, and so it is to this day, when people have forgotten that sapphires were ever primarily yellow at all. To call things "sapphire" is to call them blue.
The dwarven people respect Eonak highly, and most dwarves are unwilling to think that Cholen would interfere so greatly in Eonak's sphere of power -- they react to the elven legend with a grunt of disgust and such comments as "What do elves know about mining?" Interestingly enough, however, one dwarven custom supports the idea that some mysterious power in the earth is at work upon sapphires, for clear sapphires are called "child sapphires" among the Olgretek, Greetok, and Grenroa clans. Upon finding a clear sapphire, an Olgretek, Greetok, or Grenroa dwarf will bury it again until the sapphire's color can mature. These burials are ideally done in solid ground near magma or lava; Eonak's Belt is highly favored for traveling dwarves from these clans who find themselves visiting mountain cousins. Many greybeards in these clans swear that they buried clear sapphires in this fashion in their youth and found them to be brilliant blue when they dug them back up a hundred years later.
Sard is a translucent stone that varies in hue between gold, orangish-red, and a brown so dark that it is almost black. It has no fire when cut, and it is normally used in cameos and intaglios.
Sard can be found in various mining sites throughout the DragonSpine mountains, although it is usually ignored in favor of more valuable gems.
Sard is receptive to magics involving healing and manipulation of the flesh. Properly treated, a piece of sard can be used to still bleeding in a very peculiar fashion -- the wound will still appear to bleed, but the patient will not weaken as a result.
A disk of sard with a hole cut in the center is a traditional charm against sorcery in the eastern human lands. The disk is customarily marked with protective runes and suspended on a slim leather cord.
Shimmertine is a fragile, translucent stone that fractures along curved surfaces in a fashion akin to obsidian. From one direction, shimmertine appears pure white, but from another it shines with iridescent hues like those in an opal, and from a third it displays slender rainbow bands like those of rainbow quartz.
Shimmertine is mined in the lower reaches of the DragonSpine mountains by the Nalfein.
Despite its remarkable appearance, shimmertine is not used often in jewelry in the elven city-states. The upper classes consider it too gaudy, and the lower classes rarely wear it because of its fragility.
Shimmertine provides a small but distinct benefit in casting spells of all kinds. Its magical merits are dispersed evenly among the spheres of magic, affecting no one spell more than any other.
For a time, the most productive shimmertine mine in Elanith was just outside the human city of Lolle in the Kingdom of Hendor. Regrettably, the mine was lost in 4630 when the Kingdom of Hendor fell to Issyldra, the Ice Queen. It has been impossible to determine precisely what transpired, but every vein of shimmertine remaining within the mine was magically transmuted to ice at some point during the Ice Queen’s control of the area, destroying its bounty utterly. No known shimmertine deposits are now within human control.
By human custom, giving a piece of shimmertine to someone is a sign of respect. When Emperor Perrinor Rysus first convened the Council of Lords in 4686, he presented each member of the Council with a marvelous goblet crafted from pieces of shimmertine bound together with glimmering silver wire. So cunningly made were the goblets that they were perfectly smooth to the touch despite being made from so many disparate stones. Several of the goblets have been damaged or lost since that day, but most are treasured family heirlooms or safely preserved in museums.
Snake-stone, like jade and lapis, is an opaque stone that cannot be faceted. It occurs in hues of light green, misty blue, or pale terra cotta.
There is no known source of snake-stone outside the Sea of Fire. Rather than being mined, snake-stone is collected by travelers and prospectors from where it lies on the open sands.
True snake-stone can be distinguished from dyed jade or alabaster because of its peculiar tactile properties -- real snake-stone is always cold to the touch, even if it has been heated very recently. As well, snake-stone will burn if it is placed into a fire, and it is difficult to replicate the peculiar white flame that ensues -- although, of course, burning snakestone is a poor use for the valuable and magical stone.
In the healing arts, snake-stone is most notably used to cure afflictions of the eye, though it is also said to reduce fever and hinder the progress of disease. Legends of shape-shifters deep in the desert may be attributable to nomads fully harnessing the transformative power of snake-stone, or may be attributable to a bard’s overly fanciful imagination. In either case, it is certainly a very magical stone.
Despite its legendary origin in the coils and battling of snakes in the Sea of Fire, human legend does not associate snake-stone with the workings of Luukos. Instead, snake-stone is associated with the strange spirits known to the desert nomads, which inspires even greater hesitation in some people over the use of the stone. Nomadic reactions in seeing the stone used as jewelry seem to vary -- some people bearing snake-stone are treated with reverence and fear, while others are avoided or even abused as fools, but the precise qualities in the stone that produce the varying reaction are known only to the people of the desert. People from non-hostile Turamzzyrian settlements bordering the Sea of Fire normally avoid wearing the stone themselves because they hesitate to offend or enrage traveling Tehir. However, they have no qualms about selling it.
Spinel is a transparent stone that bears a strong resemblance to ruby in its most common form. Like ruby, it occurs in octahedrons, and it is almost as durable as its look-alike. As well as the popular red hue, spinel exists in shades of blue, pink, and purple.
Spinel is mined all over Elanthia, though no true "spinel mines" exist -- the miners are almost always in search of something more valuable.
Early in their days of mining, humans were unaware of the difference between ruby and red spinel or sapphire and blue spinel. Observing human ignorance, unscrupulous dwarven traders cheated humans for a very long time before Overking Gerfroth Khazar declared the trickery to be unworthy of his people. Today, elves and humans alike use a number of simple magical tricks to distinguish between high-quality spinels and more valuable gems, but dwarves can almost always recognize the difference on sight.
Magically, spinels are fairly bland, but they do have some use in empathic arts (not merely the stone-tending practiced in Aldora, but healing arts practiced throughout the continent of Elanith.) Empaths use red spinel to reduce inflammation and blue to bring peace and rest to suffering patients. Pink spinel is a less effective form of red, and purple spinel is considered efficacious in both tasks.
|Value:||Blue starstones are infrequently found, green starstones are rare, and red and white starstones are extremely rare.|
A starstone is not actually a single stone. It is an object composed of many tiny crystals of different hues. The crystals are always fused together in such a way that the various colors create swirling patterns. The value of any particular starstone depends primarily upon the symmetry and order of its patterns, which depends, in turn, upon the hue of the starstone. Blue is the most common color, and blue starstones rarely show noteworthy patterns, but red, green, and white starstones also exist. The most popular patterns have been given specific names by jewelers. "Krrska's Eye" is the most valuable pattern, probably in part because it requires the stone to be quite large. Krrska's Eye consists of eight symmetrical spirals that spring from a single point. Other popular patterns recognized by jewelers include wave crests, whirlwinds, bulls-eyes, grape leaves, rivers, hoofprints, and feathers.
Starstones are strongly aligned with the mental lore of divination, a property most utilized by the Winedotter gnomes. The Winedotters have a unique tradition of mysticism that relies upon starstones and elven star maps for its efficacy. When divining the future, a Winedotter will cast a set of consecrated starstones onto the ground and then compare their pattern with astrological charts. Unlike those who wear starstone jewelry, the Winedotters do not look for symmetrical patterns in divination stones -- instead, they look for starstones that display a distinct directional bias, such as an arrowhead shape or, preferably, a chevron. Winedotter records indicate that Lyosi Wyandotte, founder of the bloodline, was particularly fond of this system of divination, which explains why the Winedotters still go to such trouble to import starstones through their contacts among the Aledotters.
When dwarves mine starstones, the gems are all white. However, many starstones change color when first exposed to starlight, and even those starstones that do not change color will often change in pattern. It is impossible to determine in advance which stones will change color and which will not. At the time of the first exposure, color will gradually begin to enter a starstone, and it will continue to change hue until being removed from the starlight. For the best possible results, a starstone should be exposed for the first time upon a perfectly clear summer night, and it should remain exposed from dusk until dawn. This will ensure the maximum potential time to acquire a pattern. Stones are most likely to turn blue, followed by green. Red is the rarest color, and prone to the most valuable patterns, but white stones that change pattern instead of color may display some of the same patterns that a red stone displays.
Followers of the Huntress say that starstones owe their existence to the spirit that they serve. According to these clerics, even starlight-exposed starstones were white until the Guardian reincarnated the Huntress in the form of Krrska, a brilliant eight-pointed star. When night fell, they say, Krrska's light shone over the world for the first time, and the earth resonated with the righteous anger of the Huntress. Starstones, being particularly vulnerable to the influence of the future, were intrinsically changed by the Huntress's divine power. As evidence to support this theory, they point to the fact that Krrska's Eye never appears on starstones that are not exposed beneath a summer sky. Followers of the Huntress routinely wear starstones to divine their deity's will, particularly those bearing Krrska's Eye. In mockery of this custom, Arachne's followers sometimes refer to the eight-spiral pattern as Arachne's Dinner, particularly when it appears upon red starstones.Prior to being exposed to starlight, starstones are completely inert in elemental magics. However, after such exposure, starstones gain elemental alignments that correspond to their hues. White starstones enhance spells related to air, blue starstones enhance spells related to water, red starstones enhance spells related to fire, and green starstones enhance spells related to earth. These properties are not over-much known outside the Wizard’s Guild. As a result, wizards carrying starstone for this reason are occasionally mistaken for diviners.
Sunstones look like pieces of rock that have been heated to a dangerous degree by lava, magic, or a powerful forge, but they are cool to the touch and quite safe. In hue, sunstone may be yellow, red, or white, although any color of sunstone is usually spotted with black. They range between transparent and opaque. Although jewelers often facet transparent sunstones, they do so for the pretty reflections cast by light glancing off the gem, for sunstones do not display the fire characteristic of many other precious gems.
Before Kezmon Isle vanished in 4873, its sunstone mines were legendary. As the decades pass, the story of Kezmon's wealth has become more of a legend than a true recounting, and now tales of the "Sunstone Cliffs of Kai Toka" are routinely told to children. In truth, while an outcropping of pure sunstone had been exposed along a northern cliff for a time, heavy mining obliterated it in very little time, transforming the Sunstone Cliff into a sunstone quarry.
Today, the most notable sunstone mines are on Teras Isle. Still, water-tumbled chunks of sunstone (some as large as a fist) have been known to wash ashore on other minor islands in the western ocean, encouraging stories that the wealth of Kai Toka still exists somewhere beneath the waves.
The stone-tenders of Aldora say that sunstone is good for healing deformities and removing scars -- they say that there is a purity about properly cut sunstone that can be used to remind the flesh of its proper shape. Sunstone’s power to enhance transformative spells, however, is slight in comparison to its power to enhance spiritual spells of all kinds. In spiritual matters, it is the one of the most efficacious jewels in Elanthia.
Human belief holds that sunstone will inspire hope and confidence in its wearer. It is also said that wearing sunstone will make a man more fertile -- and, for this reason, many human men refuse to wear it, saying they have no need of assistance in that matter! Those who do wear it for traditional causes tend to wear it discreetly, in a pendant slipped under the shirt or concealed on the underside of an armband. In contrast, human women are encouraged to wear sunstone, for it will enhance their fertility and bring Phoen’s blessings upon their children.
An elven tale of unknown age attributes the sunstones of the western ocean to a divine source. This legend claims that sunstone first came into existence near the end of the Ur-Daemon War. According to this story, a powerful Ur-Daemon called Orslathain sought to destroy the sun by wrapping it in wings of infinite darkness, a darkness that would destroy what it embraced. A wondrous orange-scaled drake (whose name has been lost in time) battled Orslathain at length, but even all the drake's power could not burn away the darkness of Orslathain's vast wings, and it became clear to the drake that he would be slain along with the sun. To preserve the sun, the drake caught it with his tail, took it from the sky and hurled it into the ocean. The sun flew through the water's depths and collided with the ocean floor, causing many fragments of its substance to break away. Steam rose from the ocean in such a great plume that mist cloaked Elanthia for a year and more, and the mists concealed the sun so that Orslathain would not find it. The drakes drove Orslathain back through the portal with the other surviving Ur-Daemons, but the orange-scaled drake, once a mentor to Phoen, was only a cooling corpse. In memory of his mentor, Phoen sought through the mists and took up the sun, raising it high into the sky so that the mists would burn away and Elanthia would have light once more, but he did not bother with the fragments that had broken away. Cooled by years beneath the ocean, the fragments of sun-stuff were transformed into stone, and thus sunstones were created.
No discussion of sunstone would really be complete without mentioning a rather curious saying of the Wendwillow gnomes, which is, "Easy as dropping sunstones on fish in a well." The origin of the saying has been lost in time.
Tigerfang crystal (often shorted to just tigerfang) is an opaque to semi-translucent stone. It forms in long crystals and breaks readily to create a razor-sharp edge. Each crystal is either ivory-hued or colorless at the tip. The base may be orange, silver, or white, but it is always flecked with pure black.
Tigerfang crystal can be found stretching out in dangerous, jagged ridges in the frozen north. The best-known deposit is not far from Pinefar, but several also exist in Mhoragian territory. Tigerfang crystal can sometimes be found in sheltered caves, but it is more commonly exposed to the sky and obscured by the ice and snow.
Magically, tigerfang crystal is attuned to the element of fire -- a surprise, considering the icy caverns of its origin -- and it also has certain uses related to the mental discipline of transformation.
|Value:||Clear topazes and blue topazes are very common. However, pink, gold, green, and smoke-hued topazes are uncommon, and orange imperial topazes are rare.|
Topaz is a lustrous gem that is one of the hardest minerals known to Elanthian races. It forms naturally in beautiful, elegantly symmetrical crystals of a number of different hues. It occurs naturally in many colors, including pink, blue, green, orange, brown, and the classical gold.
Topaz mines exist all over Elanthia, but some kinds can only be located in specific places; for example, green errisian topaz and orange imperial topaz are found only on the east side of the DragonSpine.
Of any gem, topaz is the most useful channel for working with elemental earth energies. Clerics report that it is particularly useful as well in spiritual magics related to invoking the blessings of various spirits or to religious lore.
In human lands, topaz is associated with the Arkati Koar, King of the Gods, to such a great degree that it is sometimes called "kingsjewel." According to legend, when sitting in his throne and ruling over the Arkati, Koar bears a rod called the Scepter of Liabo, one of Eonak’s greatest creations, and the Scepter of Liabo is capped with a perfect topaz. Stories of the Scepter’s origins vary, but the two most common tales state that it was crafted by Eonak or that it was a gift from one of the drakes. (The Church of Koar favors the first version.) Stories of the Scepter’s powers also vary widely from region to region, but it is generally agreed that any mortal who gazes upon the Scepter will be stricken blind, and none of the Arkati may deny Koar’s direct command while he wields the Scepter.
When Paltrach, Patriarch of Koar in 4721, finally announced his support of Lady Lyssandra Anodheles's claim to the Turamzzyrian throne, he presented her with a magnificent scepter of white and yellow gold that cradled an egg-sized golden topaz at its tip. This scepter is known as Koar's Word, and it represents the trust of the Church of Koar. Since that day, with rare exception, whenever a new Emperor or Empress is crowned in the Turamzzyrian Empire, the Patriarch of Koar has presented Koar's Word to the new ruler in a formal ceremony. One of the more noteworthy exceptions came in 4799, when Patriarch Gravinnel Sarnis refused to grant Koar's Word to Ommindar the Stout and attempted to declare himself Emperor in Ommindar's place. At the end of the conflict, Patriarch Gravinnel resigned from his position in favor of Patriarch Anistarn Folar, and Patriarch Anistarn presented Koar's Word to Emperor Ommindar.
It is of some interest that the Ardenai, who actively dislike Koar, use the gem most associated with Koar as their heraldic jewel. As well as granting the right for a topaz to be displayed in a traditional elven crest, Ardenai monarchs sometimes present oak leaf pendants carved from solid topaz to those elves who please them particularly well. The coincidence of topaz has caused no little confusion in encounters between humans and Ardenai elves, and, while it tends to make humans more trusting, uninformed Ardenai are often quite offended when they realize that they have been mistaken for worshippers of Koar!
|Value:||Tourmaline is infrequently found.|
Tourmaline forms in elegant crystals that are quite striking to the eye. These crystals may be translucent or transparent. If colored, tourmaline may be pink, green, black, or blue.
Tourmaline is found worldwide.
Tourmaline is mildly responsive to various magics, and these magics are often keyed to the hue of the tourmaline stone. Green tourmalines are best used in magics related to blessings, pink tourmalines are good for religious matters, blue tourmalines are good for summoning spirits, clear tourmalines are generally useful for spiritual matters, and black tourmalines are useful in sorcery. Tourmaline’s greatest power lies in another matter, however. It is not unknown for tourmaline to shift from one hue to another in the same crystal -- in fact, it is fairly common. These multi-hued stones carry a power all their own that is particularly potent in casting illusions and glamours. Many hedge-witches of various races will carry such a stone among their magical paraphernalia.
Blue tourmalines are treasured by the Vaikalimara clan of giantmen. Many Vaikalimara carry or wear a blue tourmaline crystal, which is unmarked aside from being engraved with the name of its owner in Saramar runes. If it is worn, then claws, fangs, feathers, and other trophies of the hunt are often strung alongside the crystal, but some Vaikalimara choose to adorn theirs with carved wooden beads or even silk ribbons instead. What the exact purpose of the tourmalines may be, only the Vaikalimara know -- and no Vaikalimara will betray her clan's secrets.
In River’s Rest, green tourmaline is associated with the romantic and tragic tale of Tandrik and Estamil of the Bridges. According to the story, the engagement ring that the human soldier Tandrik presented to the elven bridge-builder Estamil was made of silver and set with a green tourmaline to match her eyes. After finding true love, the unlikely lovers were destroyed by a necromancer’s unethical quest for knowledge. Citizens of River’s Rest leave offerings of green tourmaline at a beach near Maelstrom Bay in order to honor the couple’s memory.
Turquoise is an opaque stone with a waxy finish. In hue, it varies between the color of the sky and a darker greenish-blue. It may be marked with black lines. In spiderweb turquoise, these lines are slender and symmetrically arranged, but the lines (if they exist) are thicker and display no symmetry in regular turquoise.
Regular turquoise can be mined all over the world. Particularly noteworthy deposits exist in Talador, in the territory of the Sharznekgren dwarves and in the Sea of Fire. Spiderweb turquoise has only been found on the east side of the DragonSpine mountains.
Magically, turquoise is a fairly receptive stone. It is associated with water, air, and the blessings of various spirits. Judging by archaeological digs and ancient records, turquoise seems to be the oldest decorative stone known to humanity.
In the barony of Riverwood, turquoise is considered sovereign in aiding an archer's eye. Citizens of Riverwood say that a bow set with turquoise will shoot straighter than any other bow, and, as a result, almost all of the bows carved in Riverwood are adorned with some sort of turquoise charm, even though the turquoise must be imported from Talador. Riverwood bows are magnificent and highly valued, but most people outside Riverwood attribute their quality to the fine yew used to craft them rather than the turquoise charms upon them.
Travelers visiting South Hendor often seek out the Halls of Solace, a monastery devoted to Lord Voln. Despite the other wonders, the most remarked-upon feature is the beauty of the monastery's shrine to the Arkati Lumnis. Although the rest of the monastery is built from fine Hendoran marble, the shrine to Lumnis is composed entirely of turquoise. Local legend says that the monastery was almost entirely built, with only Lumnis's shrine remaining of the fourteen Liabo Arkati, when a terrible accident at the mine threw the entire schedule into disarray. After consideration, the monks agreed that it was more important to complete the shrine in a timely fashion than to wait for the marble, and they decided to create it of granite instead. When the first granite slabs were hauled up the hill, however, a marvelous sight awaited them -- the shrine was already complete, and composed in every aspect of polished, flawless turquoise. Because of the association in Hendor between turquoise and the Tehir, some initially spoke of destroying it and finishing it in marble, but it was finally accepted as a miracle and permitted to remain.
Tradition in North Hendor holds that looking at the reflection of the moon Liabo on a polished surface of turquoise will protect a person from madness until Liabo next becomes a new moon. Observing the reflection of sunlight and clouds upon a surface of turquoise is said to protect against poison and betrayal.
The Ardenai elves traditionally believe that turquoise assists in taming animals. Before the Horse War, whenever an Ardenai horse was first being broken to saddle or burden, a piece of turquoise was bound to the animal's halter to prevent it from spooking. The Ardenai also used turquoise if it became necessary to slay a horse. Before the death of the horse, the person killing it would touch the turquoise to its brow, which would supposedly prevent the horse from experiencing pain or fear as it died. These customs died away in the Horse War, which resulted in the death of the Ardenai herds.
The peaceful giantmen of Araime Sun Clan still consider turquoise to have power over animals, but their beliefs appear to have developed independently of the lost Ardenai customs. When traveling in the wilds, many of the Araime carry a turquoise talisman carved in the shape of a sun for use if they encounter a hostile predator. If such a thing occurs, the Araime will display the talisman to the animal, saying, "We share the same sunlight. May I pass in peace?" Supposedly, if the Araime truly wishes peace, the animal will back away and let the giantman pass unharmed.
Despite the fanciful name, dwarven jewelers judge that water sapphires are not sapphires at all -- and, indeed, the term "water sapphire" dates from a confusion between the elven language and Common (see "corderite" for more information.) These beautiful gems have a very peculiar trait: when a water sapphire is viewed from different angles, its color changes. Typically, a water sapphire is pale blue when viewed from one side, perfectly clear when viewed from another, and a soft honey yellow when viewed from the third, creating a dazzling play of colors like sunlight upon water. The angle of light also affects the hue.
Unsurprisingly, water sapphires are aligned with the elemental and spiritual aspects of water.
Stone-tenders say that water sapphire is particularly good at restoring the balance of fluids within the body, and they administer water sapphires to people who have been dehydrated or who have become sick from grief and crying.
While their divinatory uses are wide, seers particularly use water sapphires when trying to determine the physical location of something or someone.
Among the elves, water sapphires symbolize clear sight, both physically and intellectually.
Historically, water sapphire aided the elves of Ta'Ashrim in the days when the Ashrim dominated the eastern sea. Because the hue of water sapphire changed when light struck it from different angles, the Ashrim made special lenses of water sapphire which permitted them to determine the sun's exact position at any time. Using these lenses, they were able to navigate far from any coastline without fear of becoming lost.
|Value:||Varies with the variety. Brown zircons and clear zircons are commonly found, but other types are found only infrequently.|
In luster and fire alike, properly treated zircons resemble diamonds so closely that foolish buyers are often rooked by unkind sellers playing on the similarity. The dwarves have always known the difference, however, even if humans and elves are deceived! One noteworthy type of zircon is the snowflake zircon, which is tinged deep brown with a hint of emerald green. Instead of losing value due to internal fracturing, snowflake zircons gain it, for most snowflake zircons are chaotically fractured in a fashion that resembles snow falling over a forest (if seen with a properly fanciful mind.) Needless to say, snowflake zircons are terribly fragile.
Save for snowflake zircon, zircons may be found worldwide. Snowflake zircon can only be located in the northern reaches of the world.
Although the races of Elanith are generally unaware of its properties, zircon is faintly responsive to all forms of mental magic. Clear zircons respond best to spells of divination, brown zircons respond best to spells of transference, green zircons respond best to spells of transformation, yellow zircons respond best to spells of manipulation, and snowflake zircons respond best to spells of telepathy. Among the Erithi, apprentice savants, bards, and empaths frequently carry and make use of these gems when practicing small cantrips. Zircon is almost always destroyed by such spells, and more skilled practitioners do not bother with its faint enhancement.
However, the various hues of zircon have developed interesting reputations in Elanthia because the stone is cheap enough that it is readily available to common folk.
Legend has it that if you bury a green zircon in a garden and invoke Kuon's name, the garden will not fully fail in even the most terrible of droughts.
Snowflake zircons are said to be a charm against frostbite, while clear zircons are said to protect against sunstroke.
Yellow zircons are a traveler's boon, and gnomish tradition holds that any traveler who offers a yellow zircon as a gift cannot be turned away from food and shelter.
Gems from Erithian Lands
Like the continent of Elanith, the Erithian continent possesses a wide variety of mineral resources. The members of the "earth clan," the Suroth Dai, have primarily been responsible for investigating the precious and semi-precious stones found in Erithian territory. However, some gems hold a certain place of honor in Erithian culture among all Dai, and students of culture may find it interesting that many of those gems can be found only on the Erithian continent. Many organizations seek trade pacts to import unique gems from the Erithian continent. Dwarves and gnomes have had the greatest success, but the Erithi have also sealed trade agreements with halflings, elves, scattered sylvans, and the Faendryl.
Although rare gems exist, the Erithi have not chosen to import any of their most precious stones to the continent of Elanith, preferring to leave that information (and, ideally, the stones in question) in their own hands. Considering that their lands have long been raided by rogues and scavengers of many races, their preference for mystery is not entirely surprising, but it is disappointing to those who wish to chronicle such matters. The gems listed below are the only ones that have been verified.
Many remarkable varieties of agate are found only upon the Erithian continent. Some (although not all) are described below. These stones are infrequently found, but the Erithi grant them sentimental value that places them far above diamond within the rituals and customs of the culture.
Beetle agate: Beetle agate is a black stone that displays a fiery, metallic green iridescence when held in the light.
Blood agate: Blood agate is a deep crimson stone streaked with salmon pink.
Celestial agate: Celestial agate is a translucent black stone shot with slender, silvery-white lines that create star-like patterns.
Dawn agate: Dawn agate is a dark grey color banded with pastel pink, yellow, and green. When touched by sunlight, it shimmers with an intense gold hue.
Dream agate: Dream agate is a pale grey agate with bands that appear opaque and snow white beneath sunlight. Beneath moonlight, the bands become both transparent and opalescent, threading the translucent grey stone with softly shimmering rainbows.
Drought agate: Drought agate typically displays several shades of brown, varying from light tan to a dark, almost black color, and slender lines of pale green framed in dark gold run through its substance.
Iris agate: Iris agate contains extraordinarily thin bands of translucent stone, each shifted only slightly in hue from the others, creating delicate rainbows that repeat multiple times through its substance. Iris agates typically have a predominant color, which may be white, black, or a pastel shade of the rainbow.
Nathala agate: Nathala agate is predominantly an intense turquoise hue, banded with another shade of blue as well as one or more of the colors black, white, green, and gold.
Owleye agate: Owleye agate refers not to a type of agate so much as a formation of banded agate. In owleye agate, the bands create one or more concentric patterns upon the surface of the stone.
Panther agate: Panther agate bears a strong resemblance to tigereye. However, instead of showing shimmering bands of gold upon a surface of brown, panther agate contains shimmering bands of pale silvery-grey upon a surface of midnight black.
Spectral agate: Spectral agate is a transparent stone, typically pale grey or pale blue, banded with opaque, faintly shimmering white.
Snake agate: Snake agate is a variant of mottled agate. It may be grey, green, brown, black, or white in its primary hue, but its distinguishing trait is that its markings bear a strong resemblance to the scales of a snake.
Storm agate: Storm agate is typically dark blue shading to black, shot with zigzagging streaks of silver and white.
Summer agate: Summer agate is a bright, sunny yellow color adorned with tiny bands of sky blue and cloud white.
In addition, every type of agate found upon the continent of Elanith may be found upon the Erithian continent, with the sole exception of chameleon agate (which is not precisely found upon Elanith in any case, as it is only found on Teras Isle.)The Erithi value agate very highly, particularly the Surath Dai. Though the record of Erithi history stretches back only fifteen hundred years, Erithian scholars are convinced that the traditions related to agate are far older. The word for "soul" (raiyatha) and the word for "agate" (raiyartha) are quite similar in the Erithi language, making linguists certain that they derive from the same source. A traditional prayer among the Erithi, also suspected to be older than their arrival in Atan Irith, addresses Lumnis as "Mother of Agates" and asks the goddess to aid the Erithian people in showing mercy to one another.
Poets among the Erithi use agate as a symbol for the soul on a routine basis, and every variety of agate carries its own special symbolism as well. Part of a traditional Erithian wedding ceremony requires the bride and groom to drink from a bowl carved of agate, and the specific agate of the bowl is chosen with careful attention to the traditional symbolism.
Cinnamon amber is a transparent stone that varies in hue between fiery scarlet and a red so dark that it is almost black. It has no fire, it cannot be faceted, and, like regular amber, it often includes preserved insects or vegetable matter. Unlike true amber, it never washes ashore. Unlike many Erithian gems, cinnamon amber is not found in regions controlled by the Surath Dai, but is found within the various woodlands and valleys of Yachan Dai territory. Cinnamon amber is actually more common than regular amber upon the Erithian continent.
Cinnamon amber, like regular amber, will burn in a candle flame. Instead of producing white smoke, however, it will produce orange smoke, and the scent is quite different. When burned, cinnamon amber produces an intense spicy odor, leading to its name. This effect is little more than a novelty to the Erithi, who find the scent to be overpowering and unpleasant, but the smell of burning cinnamon amber has gained remarkable popularity with the Nalfein in the time since the Erithi revealed themselves. Trade in cinnamon amber has already been established with Ta'Nalfein. Nalfein traders are importing the stone at a remarkable rate for use in perfume and incense, and at least one Ivasian priest has made his interest in the substance known as well.
There is only one known deposit of sunset beryl, which lies in Surath Dai territory on the Erithian continent. Since this deposit is quite large, and since the quality is quite low, it is merely an uncommon stone.
Sunset beryl is a beautiful, dark red stone shading slightly toward pink. It often sparkles slightly from many tiny inclusions running through its imperfect substance. Unfortunately, sunset beryl is even more prone to damage than emerald, and, as a result of these contaminating inclusions, the crystals are very small. Few exceed the size of a halfling's little fingernail, and most are akin to the size of a grain of sand, but a few prized larger specimens do exist.
Unsurprisingly, most of the crystals are unsuitable in size to jewelry-related purposes. However, the stone takes on an incredible fire when faceted, and some Erithians take pleasure in wearing a single sunset beryl earring or a tiny sunset beryl pendant at the hollow of the throat.
Pieces of sunset beryl that are inappropriate to jewelry's purposes are often used in clerical rituals, as sunset beryl can serve as a useful channel for divine energy. The magical structure of sunset beryl also serves as a useful catalyst when seeking to gain the aid of rock, stone, and earth spirits.
Now that the Erithi have revealed their presence to the various races of Elanith, stories about the wealth of the Erithian continent have spread through seedy taverns all along the eastern shore of Elanith. From these tales, raiders and shrewd jewelers alike suspect that, as well as myriad agates, the Erithian continent possesses a wide variety of valuable corals. However, the Erithi have been fairly reticent regarding this matter, and only two unique varieties of coral have been confirmed. One is anemone coral, which is a regular, symmetrically formed coral occurring in a delicate shade of violet with dark plum markings. The other is spiral coral, which consists of gleaming golden protrusions arranged in intricate spirals.
Members of the Nathala Dai collect these corals (and perhaps others) along the shores of the Erithian homeland. Initial trade inquiries suggest that these corals are both uncommon.
Members of the Surath Dai have located a number of excellent deposits of jade. These deposits include yellow, green, brown, and white jade, with white jade being by far the most common of the varieties. This may be why the Erithi have developed a sophisticated technique for dying jade through careful exposure to elemental magic. If the technique fails, or if the exposure is accidental, the result is quite ugly, looking like nothing so much as a stain upon the stone. However, in the hands of a master, the result is quite striking. Erithian travelers have revealed that it is necessary to expose the gem evenly to only a single variety of elemental energy, but they have not explained any more of the secret, and no jeweler on the continent of Elanith has successfully replicated the effect thus far.
Water's influence produces lavender jade, air's influence creates brilliant blue jade, earth's influence will turn it pale red, and fire will turn it black. Some truly remarkable pieces exist that actually incorporate more than one color of jade in a single stone, such as swirls of blue jade drifting among a background of black. Cracking open a piece of dyed Erithian jade reveals that the hue extends only the thickness of a fingernail into the stone, leaving the natural white jade beneath. Some jewelers are experimenting with cameos and bas-relief carvings that take advantage of the contrast between the dark, dyed portions and the pale hue within.
Since white jade is so common in Erithian lands, the Erithi are trading it readily with the dwarves, and these dyed jades are valued as if they were infrequently found.
Yellow tourmaline, or "sun" tourmaline, can only be found on the Erithian continent. Its name is apt, for, if a yellow tourmaline crystal is placed in a sunbeam, the entire crystal will glow with sunlight. This effect persists even when the exposure to light is very small and the crystal is quite large. Traditionally, the Erithians have attributed the effect to solar spirits rather than to Phoen's influence, but human clerics of Phoen are less certain of the matter. As well as existing in pure yellow crystals, this variant of tourmaline may be found in bicolored crystals. When this occurs, the other side of the crystal is invariably black.
Thus far, no one has found any magical use for pure yellow tourmaline aside from a mild affinity to spiritual blessings. Oddly, however, the bi-colored yellow tourmalines are magically inert to anything save certain aspects of demonology. As a result, the Faendryl have taken a particular interest in them.
Due to some particularly deft bargaining, the Faendryl currently have a monopoly upon yellow tourmaline importation, but it is not expected to last. The stone is common in Erithian lands, and too many people are curious enough to pay for a better look at it.
Blue zircon (nathalene)
The Erithi possess a blue variety of zircon that they call nathalene. It glimmers with a cold blue light like the sky reflecting back from glacial ice, and those who have seen it consider it to be the most beautiful variety of zircon by far. Still, as it is still merely a variant of zircon, jewelers will not offer very much for it. As trade continues between the dwarven people and the Erithi in Zul Logoth, the dwarves have obtained a number of precious samples, and they report that nathalene stones are extremely responsive to bardic loresinging. Experimentation continues in this matter.
Gemstones and the Aelotoi
For fifteen thousand years, the Aelotoi suffered as slaves to the kiramon. The kiramon worked the Aelotoi cruelly, using them to mine and destroy the healthy, fertile world that had once been their own. Many presumably still endure in captivity upon that distant world, Bre'Naere -- for, while many were able to escape through the shimmering rift to Elanthia, there were many such mining camps, and it was impossible for Braedn, the elected leader of the Aelotoi, to save all of his people. The Aelotoi suffered terribly beneath the dominance of the kiramon. Now, they are free -- but the memory of Bre'Naere has not left them. The kiramon destroyed lakes, rivers, trees, meadows, and mountains, but their driving goal and desire was to obtain gems, and the Aelotoi people never understood why the kiramon wanted gems so badly. The memory of the driving kiramon quest has resulted in various Aelotoi reacting in significantly different ways when confronted with gemstones, particularly rubies, sapphires, diamond, and other high-quality stones that the kiramon most desired.
While there are exceptions among any of the clans, the following attitudes are most typical among the Aelotoi.
The Vaer'sah clan takes pleasure in the idea of owning gems and wearing jewelry. The Vaer'sah enjoyed more freedom than the other Aelotoi, living in secret as refugees and avoiding the wrath of the kiramon. To the Vaer'sah, jewelry is a way of reveling in the newfound liberty of the Aelotoi. The kiramon are no longer present to stop the Aelotoi from owning gems of their own, so it is an act of defiance and freedom, the Vaer'sah say.
The Gaeh'deh react differently when confronted with gems and jewelry. The Gaeh'deh bore the brunt of physical labor on the world of Bre'Naere, and they are more communally minded than either of the other two clans. On Bre'Naere, upon rare circumstance, an Aelotoi worker would sometimes conceal a gem from the kiramon overseers. If the kiramon discovered such treachery, their reaction was violent -- not only would the offender be put to death, but several random members of the mining camp would be slain as well, and even those permitted to live would be brutally punished. The Aelotoi word "zrissantha" is a single term that means "jewel thief," "traitor," and "kinslayer." Most members of the Gaeh'deh clan will not wear jewelry or adorn their possessions with jewels, and they distrust those who do.
The Mrae'ni, primarily healers and mages, share the Gaeh'deh hesitation over wearing jewelry. They consider it disrespectful to wear jeweled ornaments when their kin are dying elsewhere for the sake of the kiramon gem-lust. However, the need to know is a driving force behind the Mrae'ni and their actions, and the Mrae'ni are asking themselves the question that very few other Aelotoi have considered: "Why did the kiramon want gems?" Illistim scholars have taught the Mrae'ni about some of the magical and metaphysical properties of various types of gems, and the Mrae'ni are starting to see possession of gems as a new way to help their people. Although they are disgusted by the idea of wearing gems for decoration, the Mrae'ni will sometimes carry a bespelled gem or two and see nothing wrong with that practice.
Gemstones and the Arkati
Worshippers of various Arkati or greater spirits consider specific gems significant to their faith. Please note that these attributions are not exclusive; for example, followers of Imaera and followers of Luukos both find sacred significance in emeralds.
Aeia - emerald Amasalen - heliodor Andelas - chrysoberyl, cat’s-eye quartz Arachne - garnet Charl - aquamarine, coral, thunder egg geodes, mermaid's-tear sapphires Cholen - amethyst, pyrite, blue sapphire Eorgina - black diamond, firestone Fash'lo'nae - deathstone, black opal, citrine quartz Gosaena - moss agate, malachite The Huntress - lapis lazuli, starstone Imaera - amber, chrysoprase, emerald Ivas - green jade Jastev - alexandrite, lapis lazuli, rock crystal Jaston - blue quartz Kai - tigerfang crystal Koar - Eye-of-Koar emerald, topaz Kuon - green zircon Laethe - black onyx, rhodochrosite Leya - chalcedony Lorminstra - black dreamstone, banded onyx Lumnis - agate, black opal, turquoise Luukos - emerald Marlu - star diopside Mularos - bloodstone, ruby Niima - aquamarine, white opal Oleani - morganite, rose quartz Onar - deathstone, obsidian Phoen - yellow sapphire, sunstone Ronan - jet Sheru - amber Tilamaire - labradorite Tonis - jasper, aventurine Voaris - geode Voln - onyx V'tull - bloodjewel Zelia - moonstone
In looking at this list, some will pause and ask, “But what of Eonak?” The answer is that Eonak’s followers do not tie any specific gem to his worship, for all gems of the earth are beneath his sway. Pieces of petrified wood are sometimes utilized in wedding ceremonies by clerics of Eonak, as they symbolize the bond between Eonak and Imaera, but talismans of metal or simple, unadorned stone are preferred in all other cases.