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.
Silver Mist Moon Raven Deacon Cinquefoil
- 1 On Gem Values
- 2 Gem List
- 2.1 Agate
- 2.2 Alabaster
- 2.3 Alexandrite
- 2.4 Amber
- 2.5 Amethyst
- 2.6 Aquamarine
- 2.7 Aventurine
- 3 Gems from Erithian Lands
- 4 Gemstones and the Aelotoi
- 5 Gemstones and the Arkati
- 6 References
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 Very common gems are worth 25 silver at most. Common Common gems are worth 25 to 75 silver. Infrequently found Infrequently found gems are worth 75 to 300 silver. Uncommon Uncommon gems are worth 300 to 750 silver. Rare Rare gems are worth 750 to 1750 silver. Very rare Very rare gems are worth 1750 to 3750 silver. Extremely rare Extremely rare gems are worth 3750 to 5500 silver. Extraordinarily rare Extraordinarily rare gems are worth 5500 to 7000 silver. Legendary Legendary gems are remarkably valuable, and they are valued at more than 7000 silver apiece. Mythical 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. Appearance: 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.
This term describes any agate marked with narrow bands of color that vary between opaque and semitranslucent.
Blue lace agate
This is a kind of banded agate marked with white, violet, and pale blue stripes, often shimmering in a fashion similar to moonstone.
To be precise, this agate is not properly found upon the continent of Elanith, for it can be found only on Teras Isle. The stone displays translucent bands of red, yellow, and green, each with a clearly demarcated border. Like the lizard for which it is named, it shifts from light to dark to match its surroundings.
Compared to the elegant translucency of its cousins, cloud agate is almost opaque. Layers of grey, white, and pale blue course through its substance beneath its waxy luster.
Fire agate is said to resemble burning embers. Although it is layered, the stone does not properly form bands, producing an opalescent play of color instead. Its primary color is reddish-brown, but iridescent hints of orange, scarlet, green, and yellow can be seen within it.
Despite being solid stone, moss agate looks like nothing so much as stringy bits of moss imprisoned in a pebble of ice -- thin tendrils of dark green and pale brown thread through a perfectly transparent exterior.
Mottled agate does not properly have bands. Instead, leaf green, honey brown, and creamy white form webbing patterns through its translucent interior in a fashion that is similar to moss agate. Some people nickname it "forest agate" instead.
Tigereye agate is a beautiful, shimmering stone that displays bands of fiery gold upon a background of dark brown when it catches the light.
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.
Lore: 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. Location: 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.
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.