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.
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
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"
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Different varieties of moonstone can be found throughout
Elanith, but Dragach, Ta'Nalfein, and Teras Isle are
the most noteworthy sources.
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
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.
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
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
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.
Regular obsidian is very common, but spiderweb obsidian
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.