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Elanthian Gems

Pearl
Value: Rare or very rare, depending upon the variety.
Appearance:

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.

Location:

Pearls come from oysters, which are ocean-dwelling bivalve mollusks. Pearl divers ply their trade off both coasts of Elanith.

Lore:

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!"


Peridot
Value: Infrequently found.
Appearance:

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.

Location:

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!

Lore:

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
Value: Common.
Appearance:

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.

Location:

Pyrite's various forms can be found worldwide.

Lore:

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.


Quartz
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.
Appearance:

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.

Location:

Various types of quartz are located all across Elanith.

Lore:

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
Value: Very common.
Appearance:

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.

Location:

Rock crystal can be mined all over Elanthia.

Lore:

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
Value: Infrequently found.
Appearance:

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.

Location:

Rhodochrosite can be mined all over Elanith, but one of the best mines lies deep in the Gattrof mountains within the Duchy of Aldora.

Lore:

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.


Ruby
Value: Most rubies are rare, but dragon's-tear rubies are very rare and sylvarraend rubies are extremely rare.
Appearance:

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.

Location:

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.

Lore:

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.


 

 



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