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Elanthian Gems

Value: Infrequently found.

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 sapphire
Value: Extremely rare.

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.

Value: Uncommon.

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.

Value: Uncommon.

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.



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