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Elanthian Gems

Tigerfang crystal
Value: Common
Appearance:

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.

Location:

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.

Lore:

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.


Topaz
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.
Appearance:

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.

Location:

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.

Lore:

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!


Tourmaline
Value: Tourmaline is infrequently found.
Appearance:

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.

Location:

Tourmaline is found worldwide.

Lore:

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
Value: Infrequently found.
Appearance:

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.

Location:

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.

Lore:

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.


Water sapphire
Value: Infrequently found.
Appearance:

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.

Location:

N/A

Lore:

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.


Zircon
Value: Varies with the variety. Brown zircons and clear zircons are commonly found, but other types are found only infrequently.
Appearance:

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.

Location:

Save for snowflake zircon, zircons may be found worldwide. Snowflake zircon can only be located in the northern reaches of the world.

Lore:

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.


 

 



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