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Elanthian Gems

Carbuncle
Value: Infrequently found.
Appearance:

Carbuncles vary in hue between rich scarlet and a deep, dark purplish-red. The gem can certainly be faceted. Even in cabochon form, however, the carbuncle shines with an intense fire at its core. The gem will be most valuable if hints of blue are visible in its inner fire.

Location:

Carbuncles are mined in several locations along the eastern side of the DragonSpine mountains.

Lore:

Ancient elven records say that the carbuncle was a sacred stone related to one of the Arkati that perished in the Ur-Daemon War. The name of this Arkati is unknown, but the Arkati seems to have had some relation to the physical changes that overcome the elven body with old age. The elven language has changed over time, making it quite difficult to translate the few documents that exist from the period, but Illistim scholars translate the applicable section as, roughly, "The priest had grown tired, and I knew that the carbuncle was in his lips and on his brow as it wrinkled. As he had served, so would the carbuncle's master serve him."

The elven word for the carbuncle gem is "ilaeryse", which is also a word meaning "infirmity." The word "carbuncle" is even less appealing in Common, for the Common word "carbuncle" may mean either the carbuncle gem or a pus-filled skin boil.

Elves generally avoid wearing carbuncle, as they consider it to be an ill-luck stone. Halflings feel that carbuncles are cursed, explaining it simply by saying, "they give me an uneasy feeling," or by fully discussing the disfiguring diseases (usually painful rashes and boils) that are rumored to will come to those who wear carbuncle jewelry. The dwarves ignore the opinions of both of the other races, as do the dark elves. The Dhe'nar see no reason to avoid any sort of gem, as they are confident in their ability to counteract the potential ill effects of one gem with the merits of other gems, and the Faendryl find the dark-hued jewels to be particularly beautiful against their ebon skin.

It is said that, if someone dies while wearing carbuncle, the gem will begin to glow with a blood-red hue if the person's ghost ever approaches. Testing such a claim is rather difficult, but carbuncle is useful in augmenting certain forms of necromantic magic.


Chalcedony
Value: Uncommon.
Appearance:

Chalcedony is a semi-translucent stone that varies in hue between white and pale grey. It has no fire when faceted, and most people prefer to display chalcedony as cabochons or in small carved forms instead.

Location:

Chalcedony is mined in the southeastern and southern sections of the DragonSpine mountains.

Lore:

Certain difficulties in translation between Common and dwarven resulted long ago in some confusion over what precisely the term "chalcedony" should cover. Dwarven jewelers say that chalcedony, carnelian, sard, bloodstone, onyx, sardonyx, chrysoprase, agate, and jasper are all essentially the same kind of stone, varying in hue and location, and they use the Common word "chalcedony" to encompass all types. Like agate, chalcedony is useful in casting spiritual spells, providing some support to the dwarven argument. Native speakers of Common use "chalcedony" only to refer to the white form of the stone in question. As the literal word "chalcedony" is elven in origin, matters grow even more complicated when elven definitions are included, and jewelers try to be extremely precise in cross-culture trading to avoid winding up with a shipment of onyx and agate when a shipment of white chalcedony is intended.

Chalcedony is not unknown to the giantmen, either, and it holds a place in their culture reaching into the distant past. Ancient daggers, arrowheads, and axeheads crafted in the giantman style have been discovered at multiple sites in the southeastern DragonSpine, and it appears as though chalcedony was the material of choice before the giantmen mastered bronze.

A human legend says that if you find a chalcedony egg in the nest of a bird, you must touch it and whisper your name to it. Then, the egg will hatch when the other eggs hatch, and the bird that comes from it will have stars for eyes and lead you to your heart's desire.

In Ta'Vaalor, chalcedony is associated with the spirit Leya, and her followers often wear amulets made from chalcedony instead of the ivory dagger amulets that are more commonly worn elsewhere. While most followers of Leya agree upon the events in her life between her birth and the hour she left Egan's tomb, the tale fractures beyond that point into a hundred retellings and variants between one sect of Leya and another. According to one version told commonly in Ta'Vaalor, Leya wandered grieving for a great period of time after Egan's death, noticing little of the world around her, and her footsteps drew her back to the elven lands where she had been raised. In those lands, she encountered a Vaalorian woman who caught her eye. Leya asked for the woman's story, and the young Arkati learned that the young woman was a sculptor's wife. In a sudden fit of bravery, the woman had seized a discarded shard of chalcedony and slain her abusive, brutal husband. Afterward, shaken with fear and guilt over ending the life of someone that she had once loved, the woman set out to turn herself in to the Captain of the Guard. Not a stranger to feeling lost and guilt-ridden, Leya purportedly asked the woman to travel with her for a year and a day before giving herself up to elven justice. During that time, the young Arkati supposedly taught the elven woman many skills, including the arts of crafting and wielding various blades. Together, the mortal and the goddess transformed the chalcedony shard into a crude dagger, promising one another that it would never be used unjustly. At the end of the year and a day, the woman did not leave Leya's side, and myth says they traveled together until the hour of the woman's natural death. Because of that story, the members of one sect of Leya's Vaalorian followers often wear chalcedony dagger amulets, and for two reasons. The first reason is as a reminder to accept Leya's mercy and guidance unconditionally. The second reason is to remind themselves that even from a wrong act one can learn the ways to right it, with good and honorable intentions.


Chrysoberyl
Value: Uncommon.
Appearance:

Chrysoberyl is a transparent stone that varies in hue between apple green and honey gold, or that may include a mixture of the two. It is quite striking, particularly when it occurs in the cat's-eye form -- no gem really presents a greater resemblance to a cat's living eye than cat's-eye chrysoberyl.

Location:

Chrysoberyl may be mined in various places throughout known Elanthia, but it is particularly prevalent in Torre.

Lore:

Some followers of Andelas, typically those who worship the Arkati primarily as the god of cats, will carry claw-shaped pieces of chrysoberyl or use sacrificial daggers with cat's-eye chrysoberyl gems set into the pommel. Other followers of Andelas, typically those who worship the Arkati primarily as the god of the hunt, scorn such adornments on the grounds that Andelas and his ways are beyond such silly ornamentation.

Magically, chrysoberyl is aligned with the element of air. Along the coastline of Seareach, it is said that ships can be cursed or blessed by taking a splinter of wood from the ship and surrounding it with a pattern of chrysoberyl stones. Patterns that surround the ship entirely will bring storms and ill luck upon it, while patterns of separate lines will bring strong winds and fair weather to the ship. To be properly effective, the pattern must be placed before the ship leaves port and remain unbroken until the ship's return or destruction.


Chrysoprase
Value: Uncommon.
Appearance:

Chrysoprase is an opaque stone that varies in color between a pale, misty green and a dark forest hue.

Location:

Chrysoprase is mined most extensively in a dwarven encampment outside Ta'Ardenai, but it is also located throughout the northern steppes and north of Ta'Illistim.

Lore:

Green-colored stones of many kinds are associated with Imaera, and chrysoprase is no exception, though its magical affinities seal the matter. Chrysoprase has an affinity that enhances spiritual magics, particularly those dealing with forest spirits, grassland spirits, or other spirits tied to plants. Chrysoprase is extensively used in Ta'Ardenai to honor the Arkati Imaera, the House's most esteemed patron.

Although chrysoprase cannot be mined in the duchy of Aldora, it is extensively imported. The traditional practice of healing patients through application of various gems (called stone-tending) is practiced extensively in Aldora, and chrysoprase is noted as a sovereign remedy for pain.


Coral
Value: Varies with the variety. Some types are quite common worldwide, such as blue coral and black coral, while others are more infrequently found, such as pink and red. More expensive varieties, such as flower coral and cat's-paw coral, can be found along the coast of the Turamzzyrian Empire.
Appearance:

There are many different types of coral, which vary widely in appearance from one another. Coral stones are composed of twisting protrusions of rock that wrap around each other. The protrusions may be long or short, symmetrical or asymmetrical, rough or polished, and all of these will affect the value assigned to the stone. One noteworthy variant is flower coral, which is pale bluish-grey in hue and receives its name because its protrusions are arranged like the edges of petals. Another is cat's-paw coral, which is a milky white hue and bears some resemblance to a group of cats’ paws. A third is blue ridge coral, which is a distinctive pastel blue color like a clear spring sky.

Location:

Coral cannot be mined on land, but various types of coral are retrieved by divers from the ocean's floor (called "harvesting" by those who practice the art). Coral has also been known to wash ashore on both flanks of Elanith. As well, members of the Nathala Dai collect many varieties of coral along the shores of the Erithian homeland.

Lore:

In actuality, coral is not a stone at all, but the skeleton left behind by a peculiar plant that stretches for miles upon miles underwater.

Coral is considered the sacred stone of Charl, the ill-tempered Arkati who holds domain over seas and storms. As a result, humans consider it bad luck to wear coral in seaside cities unless the person wearing the coral is a priest of Charl or Niima. All along the western coast, human sailors will offer coral to placate Charl before setting sail. Members of the Order of Voln have also been known to sacrifice coral for Charl's approval while trying to earn Voln's favor.

Unsurprisingly, coral is attuned to the element of water. As well, it has certain powers related to the lore of telepathy, which can be unsettling if harnessed unconsciously rather than consciously. In Solhaven, sailors say that carrying coral aboard a ship will attract kraken. Multiple stories exist about foolhardy merchants who tried to smuggle coral and attracted such an attack. In some of the stories, the vessel is saved by Niima's intervention; in others, the sailors save themselves by throwing the unlucky merchant overboard.


Cordierite
Value: Common.
Appearance:

Cordierite is currently used as the trade name for low-quality water sapphire. See the entry on water sapphire for more information about its appearance and properties.

Location:

Cordierite can be found worldwide.

Lore:

Before the two cultures initiated trade, "cordierite" was the Common name for a specific gem, and "lathaer selphare" was the elven name for the same gem. When transcribing written records of the elven trade goods, however, scribes misunderstood the elven term as the Common words "water sapphire", and one thing led to another. Eventually, it became necessary to distinguish one from the other, and the higher quality gem from elven territory was officially named "water sapphire", while the lower-quality gem from human territory was officially named "cordierite".

The dwarves are disgusted with both groups for their imprecision in this matter. When speaking Common, most dwarves refer to cordierite as "human cordierite" and refer to water sapphire as "elven cordierite."

 



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