Despite being quite cheap and common,
a gem may not be readily available in all parts of the world.
Blue quartz, for example, is so common on the east side of
the DragonSpine that even elven peasants rarely wear it as
jewelry. Even so, those who ask wandering merchants for an
item made of blue quartz may experience some difficulty --
a gem may be common, but that does not mean that it is common
"here," wherever "here" might be. Elves
are more likely to have gems from the east side of the DragonSpine,
halflings are more likely to have gems found in the frozen
north, humans are more likely to have gems found in the Turamzzyrian
Empire, and so on.
Prices offered for a gem may vary from place to place, but
intelligent jewelers are aware of the various rarities of
gems throughout the world, and few are willing to pay more
for a gem from an adventurer than they would have to pay to
have it imported. (Many will cheerfully pay less!) Less educated
jewelers are quickly rooked by visiting adventurers and driven
out of business.
Very common gems are worth 25 silver at
Common gems are worth 25 to 75 silver.
Infrequently found gems are worth 75 to 300 silver.
Uncommon gems are worth 300 to 750 silver.
Rare gems are worth 750 to 1750 silver.
Very rare gems are worth 1750 to 3750 silver.
Extremely rare gems are worth 3750 to 5500 silver.
Extraordinarily rare gems are worth 5500 to 7000 silver.
Legendary gems are remarkably valuable, and they are
valued at more than 7000 silver apiece.
The stuff of dreams and myths, these gems are snatched
up hungrily by jewelers as evidence that they really
Varies with the variety. Most Elanthian agate ranges
between very common and
infrequently found, but chameleon agate is extremely rare.
Dwarven miners say that agates are nothing but interesting
forms of chalcedony, usually accompanied by grunting
and grousing over the imprecision of the Common language.
(The dwarven language is noteworthy for having a different,
specific word for every kind of mineral and gem known
to the dwarves, unlike elven, Common, and the other
commonly spoken languages of Elanith.)
Some noteworthy varieties found upon the continent
of Elanith are described below.
This term describes any agate marked with narrow bands
of color that vary between opaque and semitranslucent.
Blue lace agate:
This is a kind of banded agate marked with white, violet,
and pale blue stripes, often shimmering in a fashion
similar to moonstone.
To be precise, this agate is not properly found upon
the continent of Elanith, for it can be found only on
Teras Isle. The stone displays translucent bands of
red, yellow, and green, each with a clearly demarcated
border. Like the lizard for which it is named, it shifts
from light to dark to match its surroundings.
Compared to the elegant translucency of its cousins,
cloud agate is almost opaque. Layers of grey, white,
and pale blue course through its substance beneath its
Fire agate is said to resemble burning embers. Although
it is layered, the stone does not properly form bands,
producing an opalescent play of color instead. Its primary
color is reddish-brown, but iridescent hints of orange,
scarlet, green, and yellow can be seen within it.
Despite being solid stone, moss agate looks like nothing
so much as stringy bits of moss imprisoned in a pebble
of ice -- thin tendrils of dark green and pale brown
thread through a perfectly transparent exterior.
Mottled agate does not properly have bands. Instead,
leaf green, honey brown, and creamy white form webbing
patterns through its translucent interior in a fashion
that is similar to moss agate. Some people nickname
it "forest agate" instead.
Tigereye agate is a beautiful, shimmering stone that
displays bands of fiery gold upon a background of dark
brown when it catches the light.
Although one type or another may be more prevalent
in a given region, agate can be mined all over the continent
of Elanith. Two sources of agate are worthy of particular
mention. One is the marvelous agate beach of Lake Ghelutha,
found in the territory of the Brughan halflings in northeastern
Elanith, where the ground is entirely covered with water-tumbled
agates. Few of the agates are of high enough quality
to earn a jeweler's interest, but the sight is remarkable.
The other exceptional source of agate is the Naesakain
River, which flows down from the DragonSpine Mountains
in the farthest northwest part of the lands settled
by the Nalfein. Pieces of banded agate may be scooped
from its depths by anyone with the desire, and agate
stones routinely wash ashore at the river's termination,
where the Naesakain River plunges over the Aethalain
Falls to create the Lake of Mirrors.
In addition, every type of agate found upon the continent
of Elanith can be found upon the Erithian continent,
with the sole exception of chameleon agate. Rumor has
it that the Erithi even possess varieties of agate that
are unknown to the races of Elanith, but the Erithi
are quite close-mouthed about the resources of their
homeland. Considering that their lands have long been
raided by rogues and scavengers of many races, their
preference for mystery is not entirely surprising, but
it is disappointing to those who wish to chronicle such
Agate is aligned with spiritual magic, enhancing
spells of spirit summoning, religion, and blessing equally.
Some suspect that the Erithi have found a way for it
to enhance mental magics as well, but, if so, it is
not widely known.
Servants of Gosaena prize moss agate as a symbol of
the goddess of death, considering the transition between
living moss and deathless stone to be similar to the
soul's transition from mortal existence in Elanthia
to immortal existence in the unknown lands beyond the
Ebon Gates. In circumstances where wearing the goddess's
sickle symbol would be inappropriate (celebrations of
birth and life) many Gosaenan clerics will don a talisman
of moss agate instead. It is also said that those in
Gosaena's highest favor can divine the hour of someone's
death by meditating on moss agate.
The Erithi value agate very highly, particularly the
Surath Dai. Though the record of Erithi history stretches
back only fifteen hundred years, Erithian scholars are
convinced that the traditions related to agate are far
older. The word for "soul" (raiyatha) and
the word for "agate" (raiyartha) are quite
similar in the Erithi language, making linguists certain
that they derive from the same source. A traditional
prayer among the Erithi, also suspected to be older
than their arrival in Atan Irith, addresses Lumnis as
"Mother of Agates" and asks the goddess to
aid the Erithian people in showing mercy to one another.
Poets among the Erithi use agate as a symbol for the
soul on a routine basis, and every variety of agate
carries its own special symbolism as well. Part of a
traditional Erithian wedding ceremony requires the bride
and groom to drink from a bowl carved of agate, and
the specific agate of the bowl is chosen with careful
attention to the traditional symbolism.
Alabaster is a lustrous, fine-grained stone often
used in sculpture because of its softness. True alabaster
is weak enough to be scratched with a fingernail. In
hue, it is either snow white or streaked with red. High
quality alabaster is translucent with a delicate sheen
to its surface, but lesser quality alabaster may be
Alabaster can be mined in a variety of locations,
including the DragonSpine Mountains and most of southwestern
Some humans say that powdered alabaster will heal
diseases of the skin. Although alabaster has no particular
alignment with healing magic, the pale, faintly shimmering
powder serves as an effective disguise for most such
diseases when combined into ointment.
Magically, alabaster is an oddity. It can be used as
a catalyst to enhance almost any spell, but it will
always be destroyed in the working.
A major deposit of alabaster once existed beneath Rhoska-Tor,
but the magically sensitive stone transforms into despanal
when exposed to a high degree of sorcerous magic. Only
slight traces of alabaster remain, and those only where
veins of mithril or krodera shielded the metal.
The Faendryl are the masters of alabaster. Their greatest
stoneworkers know a way to “seal” the stone
with spiritual magic and reduce its fragility. They
craft ornate and beautiful vases, urns, and pieces of
sculpture from the stone. For the most part, these elegant
creations do not leave Faendryl hands, but the rare
exception has led to Faendryl craftsmanship being present
in more than one elven palace.
Alexandrite is noteworthy for its dramatic property
of changing color. When seen beneath sunlight, alexandrite
stones are an elegant green hue, but magical light or
the light of the moon Liabo will display it as red instead.
The value of an alexandrite stone is based upon its
size, its clarity, and the intensity of its hues.
Alexandrite is considered a good-luck stone by the
elves, and both elves and humans consider it to be a
particularly useful stone when practicing divinatory
magics. It is said that, by considering a situation
and meditating upon alexandrite as Liabo rises, the
future may be discerned in the stone's color change.
Illistim scholars suggest that the human reverence
for alexandrite stems from a half-elf raised in Ta'Loenthra,
who suffered a religious epiphany, converted to worship
of Jastev, and moved to live among humans. Loenthran
legend agrees with the story on all points but one,
claiming that the half-elf in question was raised in
Ta'Illistim rather than Loenthra. Alexandrite is fairly
rare in the Turamzzyrian Empire, as it is mined only
in the DragonSpine mountains, but humans traditionally
hold that Jastev inspired them with knowledge of alexandrite's
properties and that the elves had nothing whatsoever
to do with the matter.
Halflings do not divine by alexandrite, but they too
consider alexandrite to be usefully in magic. Truefolk
diplomats almost always carry a piece of alexandrite
because their people believe that it can change the
hearts of their enemies and help a call for peace. As
a result, alexandrite is called "Stone of the Peacemakers."
Amber is a lustrous, honey-golden stone. The most
valuable pieces of amber are transparent, but translucent
and cloudy amber also exists. Sylvans say that there
are other types of amber, including brown, green, blue,
and black, but only the golden shade is honored as "true"
amber by the other races. Many pieces of amber contain
insects or small fragments of leaves imprisoned within
their substance. Amber cannot be faceted.
Amber is found worldwide. It is mined along with
other gems in parts of the forested lowlands of Highmount,
and dwarves have occasionally mentioned encountering
it far below the earth in other places. However, establishing
a mine solely to retrieve amber is not profitable, considering
that amber can be acquired much more easily when it
washes ashore on both coastlines.
Amber possesses power over the spirits of the earth
and is often used in spirit summoning magics.
Unlike most stones, amber will burn in a candle flame.
When it burns, it produces a white smoke and a sweet
scent reminiscent of pine resin. Priests of Imaera say
that amber stones are the Arkati's tears, shed when
she witnesses the disruption of the natural cycles by
intervention of the mortal races or by intervention
of the Arkati of Lornon.
Amber is also unusual because it will float in salt
water. Among the Ashrim, a customary gift for a first-time
sea captain was a piece of amber jewelry, ideally a
medallion carved with the image of his ship. The sentiment
ran that, just as the waves brought the amber to the
shore, the captain's ship would come home safe and sound.
Sylvan legend holds that Imaera sometimes sends spirits
in the form of animals into the forest and marks them
with a necklace, an earring, or another ornament made
of amber. To attack such a spirit would be a grievous
crime against the Arkati who sent it, and therefore
they are sacrosanct. The sylvan who receives an amber
talisman as a gift from such a servant is destined for
Many followers of Sheru also take an interest in amber.
They draw an analogy between insects trapped in amber
and minds trapped in nightmares. Iron-strung amber medallions
that contain flies or butterflies are particularly popular.
Tinkerers among the Withycombe gnomes have discovered
that, if a piece of amber is rubbed with a cloth, it
will then attract tiny objects like scraps of paper,
a property which has led to a number of peculiar experiments.
To date, none of these experiments have proved particularly
useful, but there is always tomorrow.
Amethyst is actually a variety of quartz, and therefore
fairly common, but its beauty makes it a highly popular
gem. It is distinguished from other quartz variants
by its purple color. Typically, it is found in long
crystals that terminate in a six-sided pyramid at each
end, but it can also form in crystalline crusts that
show only the pointed terminations.
Amethysts are mined throughout Elanthia.
Amethysts are associated with the Arkati Cholen,
who reigns over wine, festivals, and merrymaking. In
the Turamzzyrian Empire, it is said that, whenever a
libation is poured in Cholen's name, an amethyst will
grow in the earth. It may be for this reason that amethysts
are regarded as the sovereign charm against drunkenness.
Supposedly, a musical instrument will play more purely
if it has been set with an amethyst. Although the virtue
of the amethyst is honored among bards of all races
and supported by the experience of the Bard Guild, some
Illistim scholars suspect that the belief stems from
a practice in Ta’Loenthra, where a magnificent
bardic competition is held once every ten years. Traditionally,
the reigning monarch presents the winning musician with
an amethyst-inlaid harp strung with silver, and replicas
of such harps have long been the joy of unscrupulous
merchants throughout Elanith.
In traditional elven heraldry, the amethyst is the
signature jewel of House Loenthra. An elf that particularly
pleases the monarch of Ta'Loenthra (or a royal representative
with the appropriate authority) may be honored with
the right to display an amethyst in his or her crest.
Magically, amethysts are unresponsive except to spells
relating to manipulation. Few are aware of this property
on the continent of Elanith, although it is common knowledge
among Erithian savants.
Aquamarine is a perfectly transparent gem of an
extraordinarily pale blue color with just a hint of
green. It can be faceted to produce a delicate yet brilliant
Despite the legends and associations, aquamarine
corresponds magically to the mental school of transference,
and it remains quite inert to water magics.
Stone-tenders say that aquamarine help protect against
seasickness -- a rather ironic assertion, since most
stone-tenders come from the landlocked Duchy of Aldora,
but many infrequent sea travelers swear by its usefulness.
(Others just swear, but the gem's success stories travel
farther than its failures.)
Diviners say that aquamarine can be used to predict
the moods of the sea and to help find a course least
likely to anger Charl.
Ancient legend holds that Niima's mother, like the
Arkati Lumnis, took a particular interest in mortals.
Supposedly, a seafaring elf was supposed to give up
his life upon the ocean and move inland to fulfill the
terms of a betrothal made when he was a small child.
When he last went to the goddess's shrine, he filled
the font upon the altar with saltwater from his tears
of regret. The heart of the Arkati was touched by the
elf's love of her husband's realm, and she touched the
water with her power, transforming some of it into an
aquamarine talisman. Ever after, it is said, whenever
someone grieves for lack of the sea, part of their grief
filters down into the rock and creates aquamarine stones.
The dwarves say this is all nonsense, but the legend
has captured elven fancy to a degree that seems unlikely
When traveling far from the shore, human and elven
sailors alike often wear aquamarine amulets engraved
with dolphins to invoke Niima's favor and avoid Charl's
A gift of aquamarine represents sympathy, trust, and
Aventurine is actually a form of quartz, and it
is fairly common throughout the continent of Elanith.
It is a milky green stone that may sparkle from its
many inclusions when the light strikes it properly.
Its translucency varies from cloudy to fully opaque.
One of the best sources of aventurine is the mines
near Kragsfell in the Turamzzyrian Empire.
Aventurine receives little attention among elves
and dwarves, as it is dismissed by both as a lesser
stone, but it is beloved in the human barony of Highmount
and in surrounding cities. In Kragsfell, aventurine
is cheap enough for even a peasant to own a pendant,
a ring, or a few beads made of the stone, and a piece
of aventurine jewelry is a traditional courting gift
in that region.
Aventurine is only mildly useful in magical endeavors.
It can be used in various spells requiring stone components,
but it will enhance no particular type of spell more
or less than any other type.
Aventurine, "the adventurer's stone," is
said to promote creativity and strength of mind. A gift
of aventurine wishes prosperity and strength for the
recipient. These customs are generally not honored outside
human peasantry, however, as most of the nobility would
scorn to wear a jewel so common.
In the human barony of Dragach, the locals say that
aventurine is special to Tonis because the young Arkati
has always had a love of adventure. Wayposts in Dragach
are customarily carved with the profile of a pegasus
in flight, and the pegasus normally bears a chip of
aventurine for its eye. Hideous curses are supposed
to befall those who loot the wayposts for the gems.
One human legend speaks of an artifact made from aventurine,
the Bowl of Issunion. Supposedly, a forest spirit asked
the woodcutter Issunion to spare a certain grove of
trees, and, when Issunion agreed, the spirit led him
into that grove and gave him a bowl carved from solid
aventurine. By filling the bowl with water, speaking
a name, and looking into the bowl, he could see the
truth of whether that person was alive or dead. He went
on a number of odd adventures seeking clues to the bowl's
magical property, and he died a very rich man with many