Clear sapphires are very common, but other types are
rare, very rare, or extremely rare.
Sapphire is an astonishingly versatile stone in
its various manifestations. It shares many of its mundane
properties with ruby, although its magical differences
demonstrate that it is clearly another stone entirely.
Many sapphires possess tiny rutile inclusions, and,
if these sapphires are cut into a cabochon, they will
display a dazzling star with either six or twelve rays.
Sapphires occur in almost every color of the rainbow
save a true red. Three valuable varieties are particularly
worthy of mention: the shimmarglin sapphire, the dragonsbreath
sapphire, and the dragonseye sapphire. Shimmarglin sapphires
display a striking play of iridescent color across their
surfaces, and they are the only variety of sapphire
that displays true iridescence. Dragonsbreath sapphires
are ice blue, and, compared to all other varieties of
sapphire, they are quite fragile, which is odd in a
gem normally renowned for its toughness. Dragonseye
sapphires are quite dark in hue, and they possess a
peculiar crimson and amber pattern at the center of
Dragonsbreath sapphires are mined on Teras. Dragonseye
sapphires are mined extensively in dwarven holdings
stretching through the depths of the DragonSpine Mountains,
but they are most commonly seen in elven hands due to
various trade agreements. Shimmarglin sapphires were
mined outside Ta'Ashrim, but the supply was lost after
the Faendryl genocide of the Ashrim rendered the island
dangerous and uninhabitable. The Nalfein have located
another source of shimmarglin sapphires in recent years,
but they are quite closemouthed as to where that source
may be -- they have claimed several small islands that
originally lay in Ashrim power, however, so the two
sources may be related. Other varieties of sapphire
are scattered throughout Elanith, but North Hendor is
particularly noted for its beautiful blue sapphires.
Sapphires are said to have many different and remarkable
magical powers, including particular affinities for
the element of air, the magic of summoning spirits,
and various mental arts. As well, giantmen of the Issimir
clan say that wearing sapphire will sharpen your eye
for bargains and help protect you from fraud. Withycombe
diviners also associate sapphires with property, though
in a slightly different fashion -- they say that casting
patterns of sapphire runes can reveal the location of
In the human duchy of Aldora, home to the legendary
healing art called stone-tending, sapphires are considered
a bad-luck gem for royalty -- with their influences
over the realm of air, they disconnect the royal mind
from concerns of hearth and home, which endangers the
safety of the realm. Less exalted people are encouraged
to wear them, however, as the gems are supposed to encourage
imagination and creativity.
Yellow sapphires are known to be precious to Phoen
-- "sunlight sapphires," they are sometimes
called. There is an old elven story that claims that
all sapphires were once yellow before Cholen's intervention.
According to the story, in ancient times, there was
a night when Phoen and Oleani went off for a long romantic
evening, and Phoen grew so distracted by the joys of
his consort that the sun failed to rise in the morning.
People became alarmed at the extending darkness, and
they asked the Arkati for help, but Phoen barred the
bower against all intrusion, and, because he was known
as a mighty warrior, the other Arkati would not intrude
when he commanded them to leave. No one knew how long
the night would stretch until Cholen called out, "What
pretty green sapphires these are!" Phoen was puzzled
and annoyed, but he brushed it off as a poor joke and
went back to the matter of romance. Then, Cholen called
out, "What pretty pink sapphires these are!"
Again, Phoen ignored him. At the third time, Cholen
called, "What pretty blue sapphires these are!"
-- and he threw one into the bower, for he had changed
the sapphire from yellow to blue by his arts. Outraged,
Phoen rose up and chased after Cholen, bringing the
overdue dawn with him as he came. Glad to have the sun
return, Imaera hid Cholen until Phoen's anger had faded,
but she made a mistake. She hid Cholen in her husband
Eonak's domain, the depths of the earth, where Phoen
could not find him -- but that put Cholen down with
all the sapphires buried in the earth, and Cholen was
so delighted with his prank that he continued with the
game, creating an essence in the earth that would slowly
change sapphires through all the depths of Elanith from
yellow to blue, pink, purple, and other hues. From the
workings of his spell, few yellow sapphires remained
at all, and so it is to this day, when people have forgotten
that sapphires were ever primarily yellow at all. To
call things "sapphire" is to call them blue.
The dwarven people respect Eonak highly, and most dwarves
are unwilling to think that Cholen would interfere so
greatly in Eonak's sphere of power -- they react to
the elven legend with a grunt of disgust and such comments
as "What do elves know about mining?" Interestingly
enough, however, one dwarven custom supports the idea
that some mysterious power in the earth is at work upon
sapphires, for clear sapphires are called "child
sapphires" among the Olgretek, Greetok, and Grenroa
clans. Upon finding a clear sapphire, an Olgretek, Greetok,
or Grenroa dwarf will bury it again until the sapphire's
color can mature. These burials are ideally done in
solid ground near magma or lava; Eonak's Belt is highly
favored for traveling dwarves from these clans who find
themselves visiting mountain cousins. Many greybeards
in these clans swear that they buried clear sapphires
in this fashion in their youth and found them to be
brilliant blue when they dug them back up a hundred
Sard is a translucent stone that varies in hue between
gold, orangish-red, and a brown so dark that it is almost
black. It has no fire when cut, and it is normally used
in cameos and intaglios.
Sard can be found in various mining sites throughout
the DragonSpine mountains, although it is usually ignored
in favor of more valuable gems.
Sard is receptive to magics involving healing and
manipulation of the flesh. Properly treated, a piece
of sard can be used to still bleeding in a very peculiar
fashion -- the wound will still appear to bleed, but
the patient will not weaken as a result.
A disk of sard with a hole cut in the center is a traditional
charm against sorcery in the eastern human lands. The
disk is customarily marked with protective runes and
suspended on a slim leather cord.
Shimmertine is a fragile, translucent stone that
fractures along curved surfaces in a fashion akin to
obsidian. From one direction, shimmertine appears pure
white, but from another it shines with iridescent hues
like those in an opal, and from a third it displays
slender rainbow bands like those of rainbow quartz.
Shimmertine is mined in the lower reaches of the
DragonSpine mountains by the Nalfein.
Despite its remarkable appearance, shimmertine is
not used often in jewelry in the elven city-states.
The upper classes consider it too gaudy, and the lower
classes rarely wear it because of its fragility.
Shimmertine provides a small but distinct benefit in
casting spells of all kinds. Its magical merits are
dispersed evenly among the spheres of magic, affecting
no one spell more than any other.
For a time, the most productive shimmertine mine in
Elanith was just outside the human city of Lolle in
the Kingdom of Hendor. Regrettably, the mine was lost
in 4630 when the Kingdom of Hendor fell to Issyldra,
the Ice Queen. It has been impossible to determine precisely
what transpired, but every vein of shimmertine remaining
within the mine was magically transmuted to ice at some
point during the Ice Queen’s control of the area,
destroying its bounty utterly. No known shimmertine
deposits are now within human control.
By human custom, giving a piece of shimmertine to someone
is a sign of respect. When Emperor Perrinor Rysus first
convened the Council of Lords in 4686, he presented
each member of the Council with a marvelous goblet crafted
from pieces of shimmertine bound together with glimmering
silver wire. So cunningly made were the goblets that
they were perfectly smooth to the touch despite being
made from so many disparate stones. Several of the goblets
have been damaged or lost since that day, but most are
treasured family heirlooms or safely preserved in museums.
Snake-stone, like jade and lapis, is an opaque stone
that cannot be faceted. It occurs in hues of light green,
misty blue, or pale terra cotta.
There is no known source of snake-stone outside the
Sea of Fire. Rather than being mined, snake-stone is
collected by travelers and prospectors from where it
lies on the open sands.
True snake-stone can be distinguished from dyed jade
or alabaster because of its peculiar tactile properties
-- real snake-stone is always cold to the touch, even
if it has been heated very recently. As well, snake-stone
will burn if it is placed into a fire, and it is difficult
to replicate the peculiar white flame that ensues --
although, of course, burning snakestone is a poor use
for the valuable and magical stone.
In the healing arts, snake-stone is most notably used
to cure afflictions of the eye, though it is also said
to reduce fever and hinder the progress of disease.
Legends of shape-shifters deep in the desert may be
attributable to nomads fully harnessing the transformative
power of snake-stone, or may be attributable to a bard’s
overly fanciful imagination. In either case, it is certainly
a very magical stone.
Despite its legendary origin in the coils and battling
of snakes in the Sea of Fire, human legend does not
associate snake-stone with the workings of Luukos. Instead,
snake-stone is associated with the strange spirits known
to the desert nomads, which inspires even greater hesitation
in some people over the use of the stone. Nomadic reactions
in seeing the stone used as jewelry seem to vary --
some people bearing snake-stone are treated with reverence
and fear, while others are avoided or even abused as
fools, but the precise qualities in the stone that produce
the varying reaction are known only to the people of
the desert. People from non-hostile Turamzzyrian settlements
bordering the Sea of Fire normally avoid wearing the
stone themselves because they hesitate to offend or
enrage traveling Tehir. However, they have no qualms
about selling it.
Spinel is a transparent stone that bears a strong
resemblance to ruby in its most common form. Like ruby,
it occurs in octahedrons, and it is almost as durable
as its look-alike. As well as the popular red hue, spinel
exists in shades of blue, pink, and purple.
Spinel is mined all over Elanthia, though no true
"spinel mines" exist -- the miners are almost
always in search of something more valuable.
Early in their days of mining, humans were unaware
of the difference between ruby and red spinel or sapphire
and blue spinel. Observing human ignorance, unscrupulous
dwarven traders cheated humans for a very long time
before Overking Gerfroth Khazar declared the trickery
to be unworthy of his people. Today, elves and humans
alike use a number of simple magical tricks to distinguish
between high-quality spinels and more valuable gems,
but dwarves can almost always recognize the difference
Magically, spinels are fairly bland, but they do have
some use in empathic arts (not merely the stone-tending
practiced in Aldora, but healing arts practiced throughout
the continent of Elanith.) Empaths use red spinel to
reduce inflammation and blue to bring peace and rest
to suffering patients. Pink spinel is a less effective
form of red, and purple spinel is considered efficacious
in both tasks.
Blue starstones are infrequently found, green starstones
are rare, and red and white starstones are extremely rare.
A starstone is not actually a single stone. It is
an object composed of many tiny crystals of different
hues. The crystals are always fused together in such
a way that the various colors create swirling patterns.
The value of any particular starstone depends primarily
upon the symmetry and order of its patterns, which depends,
in turn, upon the hue of the starstone. Blue is the
most common color, and blue starstones rarely show noteworthy
patterns, but red, green, and white starstones also
exist. The most popular patterns have been given specific
names by jewelers. "Krrska's Eye" is the most
valuable pattern, probably in part because it requires
the stone to be quite large. Krrska's Eye consists of
eight symmetrical spirals that spring from a single
point. Other popular patterns recognized by jewelers
include wave crests, whirlwinds, bulls-eyes, grape leaves,
rivers, hoofprints, and feathers.
Starstones are strongly aligned with the mental lore
of divination, a property most utilized by the Winedotter
gnomes. The Winedotters have a unique tradition of mysticism
that relies upon starstones and elven star maps for
its efficacy. When divining the future, a Winedotter
will cast a set of consecrated starstones onto the ground
and then compare their pattern with astrological charts.
Unlike those who wear starstone jewelry, the Winedotters
do not look for symmetrical patterns in divination stones
-- instead, they look for starstones that display a
distinct directional bias, such as an arrowhead shape
or, preferably, a chevron. Winedotter records indicate
that Lyosi Wyandotte, founder of the bloodline, was
particularly fond of this system of divination, which
explains why the Winedotters still go to such trouble
to import starstones through their contacts among the
When dwarves mine starstones, the gems are all white.
However, many starstones change color when first exposed
to starlight, and even those starstones that do not
change color will often change in pattern. It is impossible
to determine in advance which stones will change color
and which will not. At the time of the first exposure,
color will gradually begin to enter a starstone, and
it will continue to change hue until being removed from
the starlight. For the best possible results, a starstone
should be exposed for the first time upon a perfectly
clear summer night, and it should remain exposed from
dusk until dawn. This will ensure the maximum potential
time to acquire a pattern. Stones are most likely to
turn blue, followed by green. Red is the rarest color,
and prone to the most valuable patterns, but white stones
that change pattern instead of color may display some
of the same patterns that a red stone displays.
Followers of the Huntress say that starstones owe their
existence to the spirit that they serve. According to
these clerics, even starlight-exposed starstones were
white until the Guardian reincarnated the Huntress in
the form of Krrska, a brilliant eight-pointed star.
When night fell, they say, Krrska's light shone over
the world for the first time, and the earth resonated
with the righteous anger of the Huntress. Starstones,
being particularly vulnerable to the influence of the
future, were intrinsically changed by the Huntress's
divine power. As evidence to support this theory, they
point to the fact that Krrska's Eye never appears on
starstones that are not exposed beneath a summer sky.
Followers of the Huntress routinely wear starstones
to divine their deity's will, particularly those bearing
Krrska's Eye. In mockery of this custom, Arachne's followers
sometimes refer to the eight-spiral pattern as Arachne's
Dinner, particularly when it appears upon red starstones.Prior
to being exposed to starlight, starstones are completely
inert in elemental magics. However, after such exposure,
starstones gain elemental alignments that correspond
to their hues. White starstones enhance spells related
to air, blue starstones enhance spells related to water,
red starstones enhance spells related to fire, and green
starstones enhance spells related to earth. These properties
are not over-much known outside the Wizard’s Guild.
As a result, wizards carrying starstone for this reason
are occasionally mistaken for diviners.
Sunstones look like pieces of rock that have been
heated to a dangerous degree by lava, magic, or a powerful
forge, but they are cool to the touch and quite safe.
In hue, sunstone may be yellow, red, or white, although
any color of sunstone is usually spotted with black.
They range between transparent and opaque. Although
jewelers often facet transparent sunstones, they do
so for the pretty reflections cast by light glancing
off the gem, for sunstones do not display the fire characteristic
of many other precious gems.
Before Kezmon Isle vanished in 4873, its sunstone
mines were legendary. As the decades pass, the story
of Kezmon's wealth has become more of a legend than
a true recounting, and now tales of the "Sunstone
Cliffs of Kai Toka" are routinely told to children.
In truth, while an outcropping of pure sunstone had
been exposed along a northern cliff for a time, heavy
mining obliterated it in very little time, transforming
the Sunstone Cliff into a sunstone quarry.
Today, the most notable sunstone mines are on Teras
Isle. Still, water-tumbled chunks of sunstone (some
as large as a fist) have been known to wash ashore on
other minor islands in the western ocean, encouraging
stories that the wealth of Kai Toka still exists somewhere
beneath the waves.
The stone-tenders of Aldora say that sunstone is
good for healing deformities and removing scars -- they
say that there is a purity about properly cut sunstone
that can be used to remind the flesh of its proper shape.
Sunstone’s power to enhance transformative spells,
however, is slight in comparison to its power to enhance
spiritual spells of all kinds. In spiritual matters,
it is the one of the most efficacious jewels in Elanthia.
Human belief holds that sunstone will inspire hope
and confidence in its wearer. It is also said that wearing
sunstone will make a man more fertile -- and, for this
reason, many human men refuse to wear it, saying they
have no need of assistance in that matter! Those who
do wear it for traditional causes tend to wear it discreetly,
in a pendant slipped under the shirt or concealed on
the underside of an armband. In contrast, human women
are encouraged to wear sunstone, for it will enhance
their fertility and bring Phoen’s blessings upon
An elven tale of unknown age attributes the sunstones
of the western ocean to a divine source. This legend
claims that sunstone first came into existence near
the end of the Ur-Daemon War. According to this story,
a powerful Ur-Daemon called Orslathain sought to destroy
the sun by wrapping it in wings of infinite darkness,
a darkness that would destroy what it embraced. A wondrous
orange-scaled drake (whose name has been lost in time)
battled Orslathain at length, but even all the drake's
power could not burn away the darkness of Orslathain's
vast wings, and it became clear to the drake that he
would be slain along with the sun. To preserve the sun,
the drake caught it with his tail, took it from the
sky and hurled it into the ocean. The sun flew through
the water's depths and collided with the ocean floor,
causing many fragments of its substance to break away.
Steam rose from the ocean in such a great plume that
mist cloaked Elanthia for a year and more, and the mists
concealed the sun so that Orslathain would not find
it. The drakes drove Orslathain back through the portal
with the other surviving Ur-Daemons, but the orange-scaled
drake, once a mentor to Phoen, was only a cooling corpse.
In memory of his mentor, Phoen sought through the mists
and took up the sun, raising it high into the sky so
that the mists would burn away and Elanthia would have
light once more, but he did not bother with the fragments
that had broken away. Cooled by years beneath the ocean,
the fragments of sun-stuff were transformed into stone,
and thus sunstones were created.
No discussion of sunstone would really be complete
without mentioning a rather curious saying of the Wendwillow
gnomes, which is, "Easy as dropping sunstones on
fish in a well." The origin of the saying has been
lost in time.