Thursday, September 5, 2013

My Precious

The Nephew
Mara Darkheart, who had spent the past two days gathering the most precious gem stones and jewels she could muster sat carefully considered their collective worth. It was not just their apparent worth she weighed in her mind but what their potential value to a human could be. In a society that primarily bartered in metal coin may not fully appreciate the value of gems. Instead surface folk choose to encumber themselves with coinage; something a drow would never willingly allow. There was also a vanity to it she did not fully understand but nevertheless conformed to its trade value.

There were exceptions however, those who did value the exchange of precious jewels and she hoped what she had to offer would be enough to properly outfit her nephew before the emanate attack on the Thayan Enclave or the preemptive attack from House Drodeen.

1,000 gp Gems (one each)
Orl: A gemstone believed unique to the North, where it is found only in “blue caves” such as those at Whaeloon. Orls are found in the softest rock, as sharpedged, spindle-shaped, symmetrical crystals of red (sometimes tawny or orange) hue. Red-hued orls are the most valued, and some orl fanciers prefer to wear the unfaceted, natural crystals rather than faceted cuttings.

Jasmal: A durable, very hard gemstone found in the form of small veins or (very rarely) larger seam deposits in the Thunder Peaks and the Spine of the World. It is so hard that it can hold a cutting edge and can even be worked into small nonmetallic weapons. When polished, jasmals catch sunlight or torchlight and, although
themselves remaining transparent and colorless, give off haloes of amber light. Jasmals are usually cut cabochon, and thus appear as small, glassy globes of orange light when worn on cloaks or tunics.

Tomb Jade: Rare and highly prized in the Realms, this is jade which has been buried for great lengths of time and has turned red or brown. Buried jade can also be turned green if bronze objects are buried near it; jade of such hue is no more valuable than normal jade.

Shou Lung Topaz: A fiery yellow corundum mineral, again only imported to the western Realms by travelers from Shou Lung and the other mysterious nations of the East.

Water Opal: Colorless, clear opal with a play of color. It is rare and valuable in the Realms, where it is used in scrying devices as an ornament. Transparent opals without such a play of color are known as hyalite, and are considered inferior (those variations of this gem which are worth less).

5,000 gp Jewels (one each)
Amaratha: also known as shieldstone, this is a soft, greenish white or very pale green sparkling gemstone. It is thought to be unique to the Realms, and is found there in the form of small lumps or nodules in deep rock strata. Too soft to wear well in exposed settings, it serves magnificently as a gem set in large body jewelry or other protected positions. Shieldstone attracts and absorbs electricity in small jolts, and can be used to protect those who wear it or accompany the wearer.

Beljuril: Presently unknown outside the Realms; found there as smooth surfaced, fist-sized stones, asymmetrical but roughly spherical. Beljurils are durable and very hard; cutting one typically wears out several sets of metal tools, so they are usually worn in pectorals or shoulder-plates which are fashioned with claw settings. Normally a deep, pleasant, seawater green, beljurils periodically blaze with a sparkling, winking, flashing light. This discharge is pleasantly eye catching in a candlelit great hall or a lantern lit dancing grove, but in a dark chamber or murky night, it is dazzling. At random, beljurils absorb some heat, light, and sonic energy from their surroundings usually about once per hour, but rates vary from stone to stone, regardless of size or age and for no known reason— discharge this stored energy in a “flash.” The discharge is silent and cold; the sparks given off are few and do not carry a strong electrical jolt. Beljurils are sometimes used in experiments by mages, alchemists,
and artisans, but have not yet proven useful as a power source. Beljurils are often used for warning lamps or night beacons by the wealthy. Beljurils occur in old rock, usually in blue clay stone.

Emerald: A brilliant green beryl, the emerald cleaves along straight box-like lines, and is often displayed with rectangular cutting in the finished gem. Emeralds are often connected with health, and so are used in producing and ornamenting devices which magically aid health.

The Woman
Kings’ Tears: Sometimes called frozen tears or lich weepings, these are known only in the Realms, and are rare. Clear, teardrop-shaped, smooth surfaced, and awesomely hard, these stones are said to be the crystalized tears of long-dead necromancer kings. In each gem can be seen that which the weeping king loved long ago: in some, women; in some, lands now lost and forgotten or greatly changed with time; in some, dreams. The true nature of these stones and the images seen within them is unknown, but sages value these gems above all others.


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