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A Primer to Natural Materials


Raw gemstone
Materials found in Aelyria's natural world that may be crafted into fantastical items.

Contents


[top]Abstract

Aelyria is host to a variety of natural materials, ranging from the more mundane to the fanciful, that come from plants, animals and the ground. These materials are often utilized by various crafters and tradesmen throughout the empire to create things ranging from homes, clothing, art and more. A comprehensive listing of all materials found in Aelyria would be a tremendous and pointless undertaking, given that there are many things in the world as yet unearthed or untested for their own unique properties. Here is a small sampling of natural materials found throughout the Aelyrian Empire.
Further Reading: A Primer to Trades

[top]Clays or Soils

Clay is a rock or soil material that is found in a variety of different colors and densities with changes that differ depending on the organic matter found in the region. It is often used by ceramicists and masons to bolster their crafts both artistically and practically. Examples of mundane clays include kaolin and fire clay.
Further Reading: Crafting Skills
Here is a list of Aelyrian clays. This is not an exhaustive list.
Dolcite: Dolcite clay is found throughout the Dolwoods and, as such, is hard to procure due to the nature of the woods--the forest is reluctant to ever give up any part of itself. The payoff is great for those who can secure dolcite as the clay is extremely durable for both masons and ceramicists to use in their materials. Superstition tends to push people away from using dolcite, giving rise to the rumor of a sentient clay that might somehow do harm to whoever owns it, some even going so far as to suggest that it acts as a beacon to the sometimes expanding or shifting forest.

Obsidianite: In the Great Mountains, obsidianite can be found around and in Aslan's Forge. When lava spews from the active volcano, it mixes with the ground around the base of the mountain and hardens the clay there into a black, glossy, crystalline substance. This material can be used by a startling amount of crafters, including masons, ceramicists, metalworkers and even glassblowers. It is an incredibly difficult material to work, requiring a high level of ability, and each crafter has its own methods to manipulate it. When crafted it is very heavy, even in small pieces but the payoff is a beautiful piece of work rumored to be resistant to arcana. Because it is heavy and hard to work any piece created is often small and uncomplicated in form, such as a bowl or breastplate. Hedgemages use obsidianite when crafting their circlets. (Note: Partial credit goes to Raegik of Angurvad.)
Further Reading: Hedgemages, Circlet of Arcana
Phondran Bole: Phondran bole is a red clay found in the Phondran region of Sherian. It is said to have a high contaminate of arcane energy laced throughout the clay in the region, although this may not be true of all Phondran Bole. As a result, when used by crafters in masonry or ceramics the results are widely varied as a result of this contamination (a high concentration of Necromantic energy might ooze blood or omit a rotten stench while a high concentration of Druidic energy might attract bugs or encourage nearby plant growth) and by the skill of the crafter--a highly skilled crafter with the help of a spellbreaker may be able to recognize the contamination within the soil and either reinforce it or dampen it.

[top]Fibers

Fibers in Aelyria are often gathered to create clothing and paper materials. These are typically harvested from plants and animals but some subterranean races do harvest fibers from minerals. Cotton, wool and silk are commonly used for clothing and other decorative cloth materials while papyrus, animal skin or even wood are small examples of what might be used to create paper.

Here is a list of Aelyrian fibers. This is not an exhaustive list.
Grevel Silk: Named after a well-known Druid of the Lauryl region, Grevel silk is produced by a distinct silkworm that had largely been found in the Lauryl region prior to the Black Fog wiping out all lifeforms in that area. Also found in small pockets in Centripax and Enamoria, the Grevel silkworm is extremely difficult to work with, often dying in captivity or producing less-than-stellar silk products. As such, it takes a deft and patient hand to work with these silkworms. The benefit however is extremely durable silk that can repel the points of some of the strongest, sharpest metals in Aelyria. Some warriors who are lucky and wealthy enough to procure Grevel silk are said to prefer Grevel silk over metal armor because it is lightweight and reputedly more protective.

Shankspine Wool: Collected from a small species of alpaca located along and within Shankspine Ridge of Arium, the wool when worked into fabric is a thick, well-insulated material that does well in extremely cold mountain regions. It can be very itchy if poorly or hastily woven or not treated correctly prior to weaving. The best part about Shankspine wool is that, although drawn from alpacas that tend to be brown and black in color, the wool turns gray or white against the snow, making it ideal for individuals who wish to hike the mountain unseen by predators or bandits. It can be extremely costly to purchase and the rarity of the alpacas makes it a small but hot commodity among those of the Great Mountain region.

Xerive: Soft fibers collected from the seed of the xerive plant found throughout the Aelyrian underground, xerive is a popular choice for the clothing of dwarves and Vysstichi alike. When woven, it produces a soft, dark material that both wards off the chill and the damp of the underground terrain. When used by a crafter unfamiliar or unskilled with xerive, the fibers can be proven as difficult to work with, often producing a second-rate material that wears and tears easily. When woven by the truly skilled tailor, xerive is durable and long-lasting, ideal for long-lived races in rough terrain. Xerive can also be used to create a durable, water-resistant paper.

[top]Gemstones

Gemstones may not always look beautiful when extracted from the ground but more often than not, when worked on by a jeweler of some craft and skill, gemstones become priceless possessions of those who can afford to buy them. Diamonds are counted among some of the rarer, more sought after stones but amethysts and emeralds are also held in high regard throughout the empire.

Here is a list of Aelyrian gemstones. This is not an exhaustive list.
Depth Diamond: While not actually a diamond, and found only in the vicinity of Kk'Trabar, the depth diamond is a translucent stone that comes in shades of blue and rarely green. A rarer version also has veins of gold coursing through it, making it a prized gem of the merfolk. When worked by a highly skilled gemcrafter, it is rumored that these stones allow the wearer to dive the great depths of the ocean without worrying about the pressures or the chill of the deep. (Note: Credit for this gemstone to Ensnare)

Olsyrean Heartstone: A red stone whose shade varies from deep, blood red to light pink. It is known for its translucence and how it seems to glow when light hits it. Found most commonly in Carmelyn, though Prime also has mines where this can be found. Highly skilled jewelers, if successful in working the gemstone, can draw out the ability to create what can only be described as a love lodestone; when worn, the jewel will act like a beacon to those who might be attracted to the wearer. This can either be viewed as a blessing or a curse. (Note: Credit for this gemstone to Ensnare)

Tears of Ioannes: A chameleon stone, the Tears of Ioannes are extremely rare stones of Aetherian origin that can usually be found at the bottom of the ocean. Highly prized for its arcane transplanar qualities, Tears of Ioannes change their colors based upon the mood of the person wielding the stone, or to blend in with its surroundings, making discovering one all the more difficult. When whole, they are semi-spherical and perfect; when cut or broken, they lose their magical properties but retain their aesthetic value. When attuned by a high-quality jeweler, the Tear of Ioannes is said to bring increased vitality and constitution to the wearer. (Note: Credit for this gemstone to Pim)

[top]Metals

Aelyrian metals come in numerous different forms, ranging from common ore veins like iron to bizarre and difficult to work with liquid forms like adamantite. Precious metals like gold and silver can be counted among the usual raw metals as can tin and lead. Man-made alloys of these metals are always a strong possibility as well with steel a popular metal for weaponry and armor.

Here is a list of Aelyrian metals. This is not an exhaustive list.
Ardentium: Ardentium is mined in a state of its purest form, unlike any other metal known. Sadly, the metal does not come in veins the way most metals do, as the same properties that keep it from deteriorating also keep it from clinging to itself. Ardentium is always found in gatherings of minuscule pieces no bigger than a coin or two. Pure ardentium can only ever stay in small pieces like this, which makes nearly its only use to be for making small rings: rings for fingers, and rings for chainmail. Ardentium chainmail is among the strongest armors in existence. Being near unbreakable and weighing only slightly more than leather of equal quantity while still retaining near full range of motion makes pure ardentium armor an item in huge demand yet very limited supply. Manipulating the beads of raw ardentium even into ringed format is a time consuming and difficult process. A very high heat is required to melt it, much higher than that used for the forging of steel. In addition, as the metal cools, it has a natural tendency to contract. The method around this is to force the metal to cool in the shape it is intended to stay by the use of molds. (Note: Credit goes to Raegik of Angurvad.)

Stalagium: Ore found running through the cores of stalagmites and stalactites in the deepest mines and tunnels of the mountains, stalagium is a very rare metal known to the reclusive dwarves of Daelagia. With the secrets of its forging often kept highly guarded by these traditional dwarves, it is a metal rarely seen on the surface. It is a very heavy metal that requires a strong body to hold its weight in armor and is more typically seen in the form of weapons. A stalagium hammer is said to be able to completely pulverize hard rock in a few swings while a sword is rumored to be able to slice through rock as though it were butter. Stalagium is a naturally dark metal, being almost black in appearance. When forged it maintains a pale, lace-like vein over the whole of it. It is also rumored to dull light sources in the vicinity, a favored quality of Daelagian dwarves, who actively avoid light.

Si'varithiel: Pure elven metal not to be confused with the steel forging techniques of Aelyrian elves, si'varithiel comes strictly from the elvish continent of Trelore and is rarely if ever seen in a crafted form on the Aelyrian continent. Pure elvish metal is only a little stronger and lighter than Aelyrian steel and can be merged with other metals to create new alloys. It can also be merged with wood, a fanciful techniques of Trelorean elves. While its ability to glow in the dark makes it an interesting novelty, the fact that this metal bestows a magical boon when forged properly is what makes it highly desirable among Trelorean elves. These boons cannot be determined and are only known once triggered by a highly skilled blacksmith. These boons range from shapeshifting to releasing flames to singing. Once attuned the metal remains locked with the ability even when melted and reforged. (Note: Credit for this metal's description goes to Krait.)

[top]Sands

Sand can be found throughout the empire, whether its along the shores of a river, the dunes of a desert or at the bottom of an ocean. It has been primarily used by glassblowers over the years to form beautiful glass vases and windows but that its use does not always remained limited to a hot furnace. Sand varies in color from the yellow of the Arakmat Desert to the pristine white of Eunesia's beaches to strange black of Demios's shores, each with its own unique look once blown into glass.

Here is a list of Aelyrian sand. This list is not exhaustive.
Ghost Grit: A fancy term for the sand found in Dead Lake near Arkdün, ghost grit is a chunky sand often eschewed as worthless for crafting. However, if worked by a skilled crafter ghost grit can produce hauntingly beautiful pieces of work that often look as if there are ghostly figures worked into glasswork (a particularly talented glassblower can make that ghostly affect disappear entirely). Few like the idea of working with ghost grit as superstition maintains that pieces produce a low moaning wail on dark nights.

Ice Drift: Some argue that ice drift is in fact a type of fine grit, icy snow but there are some who have brought it down from the mountains and can testify to it not melting in warmer temperatures. Ice drift is found in the high peaks of Aelyria's mountains, most often in the Great Mountains and only rarely in the Khardran Mountains. It is a pale silver white sand that can be taken from frozen mountain lakes or rivers. The finer the sand, the better the quality. It is said to produce fine crystal and glass that glitters brilliantly like the sun bouncing off of the snow. The resulting glass is extremely cold to the touch and radiates a chill that alleviates the summer heat. Because of its rarity it can be highly prized by crafters and patrons alike.

Siren Sand: Found in places frequented heavily by sirens, siren sand is a brownish sand speckled with black and green as a result of being riddled with the bones and leavings of the sirens. Its benefits are many and varied depending on the use of the sand but mostly it is said to lend itself towards physical illusions in glassware or produce vocal seduction in those who drink down alchemical potions crafted with the sand, for example. A few have spoken in hushed voices of crafters who have been able to bring out the soul-stealing qualities of the siren by anyone who touches pieces of work crafted with siren sand but that is, at present, strictly a rumor only.

[top]Stones

Stone may be either hard or soft, a distinction usually taken from how easy it is to cut into the stone and shape it. Some soft stones may be cut with the pressure of a nail while a very hard stone might require a strong chisel and hammer to make so much as a dent in the surface. Rock has been used not only for construction and art but also for medicinal and magical purposes as well. Regular stones may include limestone, marble and quartz.

Here is a list of Aelyrian stones. This list is not exhaustive.
Firvaina: Sometimes known as 'fire vein', firvaina is a hard dark-gray stone with orange-red veins that run throughout the rock. It is predominantly found close to volcanic activity, either inactive or active, such as around Aslan's Forge, Demios or Secyclion. Firvaina, while beautiful, is also desired for the warmth that it radiates and the pulsing glow of its orange-red veins. Skilled stone-sculptors have been known to amplify the color of the veins during the polishing process, giving the stone an illuminating quality that not only brightens dark spaces, but warms them as well.

Othelistone: A white soft stone with splotches of color that range from pale yellow to deep purple. Named for a famous singer Othelia Delaray, Othelistone is renowned for the whimsical and soft whistling that seems to emanate wherever a finished product carved from this stone is placed. Skilled sculptors have been able to manipulate the stone's song, each of which seems to have its own unique tune, to produce pleasant and usually soothing melodies, although some have been known to put subtly chaotic notes into the carving to unbalance people in their surroundings. It is found primarily along the base of the Khardran Mountains.

Rootstone: A jade-green stone shot through with veins of deep brown, rootstone is a rare rock found in regions where vegetation seldom takes root. While the majority of the rock, the dark green, is a very hard stone, the brown veins are soft and easily malleable, a little like hardened dirt. Extremely talented sculptors have been known to cultivate the stone and manipulate it with tools and polish to encourage seed growth in the veins of the rock. As such, rootstone is a popular, if costly, rock for garden structures and sculptors. Because the brown vein is so soft and the green rock so tough, it can be a difficult stone to work with.

[top]Woods

As with stones, woods are classified as either hard or soft although it would be wrong to assume that hardwoods are naturally harder than softwoods; some softwoods are in fact harder than hardwoods. What differentiates the two are flowers, with hardwoods predominantly producing a seedling flower whereas softwoods do not. Typical hardwood trees include oaks, elms and mahogany while the yew, fir and pine are strong examples of softwood trees.

Here are a few examples of Aelyrian woods:
Ariosian Livewood: The livewood is a small tree that grows on Arios with pale softwood whose cut trunk will continue to grow unless treated correctly. It is a fast growth that usually sees an average of four to five inches added to the length every week, a growth that will continue even as the wood is cut into the desired shape. A skilled woodworker knows how to manipulate and handle the wood so that its growth is stunted, slowed or stopped completely. In some cases, the woodworker will manipulate the wood so that its growth will benefit and enhance their work.

Gemwood: A slim-bodied tree with silver-gray bark often mistaken for a birch tree in dark lighting. The telling difference between the gemwood and the birch tree are the horizontal lines that stripe the bark: the birch tree's are a distinct pale blue-black, while the gemwood's lines range in color from pale white to a glittering onyx-black, depending on the gems found in the area. Gemwoods grow over or nearby gem deposits. It is believed that the the gemwood feeds off the gems, which is why the lines change color to match the local gems. The gemwood has a crystalline center and, if not approached carefully and with the proper tools, the interior can easily splinter and crack. Because it is difficult to work with it, it is not commonly used, but many like it for the sparkle and shine that the grains hold.

Whisperwood: A rare wood found almost exclusively in the Whisper Wood of Prime Province. The whisperwood has blue-gray needles that grow on layers of branches, giving the tree a full and thick look. The interest for this wood derives from rumors that extremely talented woodworkers can work the wood so that it actually speaks in quiet whispers. Because whisperwood is somewhat small in size, it is rare to find furniture or larger items built of the material. It is typically used for figurines and small accent pieces.

[top]OOC Note

The above materials are only examples of what can be found in Aelyria. We encourage moderators (peer and official staff alike) to create unique experiences for players when and where possible without remaining restricted to what is listed above. Please feel free to use the above examples while taking creative license (within what is reasonable to the landscape) to develop your own metals, woods, etc that might serve as unique rewards for players.

[top]Credit

Credit goes to Nimh and other authors where noted.


Created by Nimh, January 25, 2015 at 02:36 PM
Last edited by Nimh, January 28, 2015 at 10:35 AM
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