THE SUNGEM ARTIFACT ("MEZKHIRRIL")

APPEARANCE - USAGES - HISTORY/ORIGIN
- MYTH/LORE

The Sungems are three ancient jewels that trace their origins back to the creation of Caelereth. They were believed to be a gift from the Sun God Foiros to Urtengor, God of the Forge. Their light and power allow plants to grow even in the darkest of places. These three stones, however, were lost long ago, and none know where they currently reside.

The Sungem Artifact

View picture in full size Image description. A dwarf standing in awe in front of one of the legendary sungems. Picture drawn by Bard Judith.

Appearance. The term "gems" might mislead people into thinking these artifacts are small, but indeed, they are not. They are shaped like orbs with a diameter of nearly 1 ½ palmspans. Those records that mention the gems describe them as having the feel of smooth glass, while also being completely indestructible. Some wonder if perhaps the gems were enchanted somehow, or otherwise affected by magic, while others believe that this quality came to the gems when Urtengor, God of the Forge (called Trum-Baroll by the dwarves) touched them. Thergerim mages report that, though the stones held a high percentage of fire cár’áll, the percentage was almost matched by the amount of earth cár’áll. In any case, the Sungems were known for being hard and rather heavy.

The Sungems were said to "blaze like the eyes of
Foiros himself". The light emitted from them was blinding, able to illuminate even the darkest caverns with immense light. This light, however, could only sustain itself for approximately 13 hours before it began to fade out, eventually going out over the course of its final few hours. It is said to have required about 8 to 10 hours of darkness to replenish itself before it slowly began to gather brightness.

The magical workings of the globes are proclaimed by many mages as being quite remarkable. The Sungems apparently possessed the power to directly alter their own cár’áll and xeuá connections, a task that even mages have difficulty with at times. After each lighted sequence, the gems were supposed to be able to somehow take in energy from surrounding light sources, typically candle sand torches, which proved to be the best means of gaining back lost energy. After pulling together enough energy, the Sungem, without the aid of any outside forces, could unite the fire oún in its cár’áll and strengthen the xeuá links between then, turning these links from ahm into soór. In this way, the spheres are able to brightly light darkened caverns. When the energy fades out, the soór links turn to ahm and the fire ounía separate, plunging the lighted area into darkness once more.

The globes, when alight, were known for being exceedingly hot. Those dwarven tribes that housed the Sungems had a difficult task in figuring out how to effectively hang the Sungems from the ceiling. Most metals would melt under the intense heat the Sungem released, but after numerous attempts with different metals, they eventually developed a strong alloy that, though unsuitable for armour and weapon manufacturing, would be able to take the heat of the orbs. These creative holders, often referred to as "gem cradles", are still kept by the dwarven tribes that once had the Sunstones in their possession, and other holders have even been found in the area where the Ylossian tribe once resided. The gem cradles are often intricately decorated with dwarven runes, pierced directly through the metal to allow the maximum amount of gem to show through. The style of the strips of metal containing the Sungems are often creatively designed, sometimes coiling around the sides. In any case, these gem cradles were in themselves a piece of art.
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Usages. The Sungems are said to have been a gift from Urtengor, also called Trum-Baroll, to his dwarven children so that they could still grow plants despite the darkness of the caves. These globes were able to, even in the great blackish caverns and tunnels where it seemed nothing but moss and algae could grow, produce enough light so that plants and flowers could be taken from the surface and planted in a communal garden under the surface. The light the globes produced was almost equal to that of the sun, and its pattern of going off and on mimicked the days and nights above the surface.

But light was not the only thing the globes produced. Some caverns, surrounded on all sides with hard, damp stone, could be uncomfortably dank and cold; the heat that the globe produced brought comfort to not only the plants that had been brought down from the surface to brighten the caverns, but also the dwarven residence itself. The Sungems, in this way, not only brightened the dwarven caverns, but also the dwarven spirits.

There was something still more magical and powerful about the Sungems. They produced light and heat as though Foiros had carved a piece of his own flesh from his fiery skin and contained it within a globe, but some believed that perhaps even the fair Goddess Jeyriall must have blessed it, for the Sungems seemed to be also a symbol of growth. It helped plants to grow, even flourish, in a place they usually would not, but also the animals that crept under the surface, and even dwarven children themselves seemed to grow stronger and healthier, with sturdier bones and brighter eyes. Whether this power is real or just a piece of imagination is unknown.
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History/Origin. If one does not accept the dwarven belief that these gems were a gift to Urtengor from Foiros, it is difficult to theorize how else the Mezkhirrilerons might have been created, and who by. The leading researchers have guessed that these Sungems may have been created long ago during the great War of the Chosen. The myth, these researchers conjecture, may have initially started as a collaboration between a powerful human fire mage and his ally, a dwarven earth mage. The two working in unison could have formed several of the fiery stones, and the Thergerim surviving the war, have taken them back to their clan.

At least one of the Sungems, maybe two, belonged to the Ylossian Thergerim, one Sungem to each settlement – the Dawi’Amkort and the Daln'Grang. When the dark elves attacked from the Hovel Frond Forest in ca. 10.490 b.S., it is believed that the Sungems were lost. Some speculate that one of the Sungems might have been taken by the dark elves, but this idea is usually refuted, given that the dark elves abhor light. Most believe that this gem was lost in the depths of the Ylossian  caverns and later buried after the Ximax magi were told to destroy part of the tunnels after the Troll War, 488 b.S.

After the ransack of the tunnels by dark elves, though, it is believed one of the Sungems must have rolled out, and was found by a trader who, understanding the value and power of the gem, as well as some of its history, gave it to the Thrumgolz, who were delighted to take it. It is believed this trader, whose name has only come down to us in dwarvish translation as "Prakagoyim Chayms" ("Trader James") , was one of the few humans to ever enter the mountainous caverns of the Thrumgolz. The Thrumgolz kept this globe for many years until it was mysteriously lost or stolen. None know where it currently resides.

The history of the third Sungem is far less definite, so we give it here as the unverified story a Mitharim granther told us.

The Tale of Berbarthuaril. The Berbarthuaril was a gift from Trum-Baroll to the Mitharim clan in 12000 b.s. when the Stonelord was teaching us forging and metalwork. We kept this precious Stone safe for time and times, but then the Mithril veins became more scarce, and in the Year of Bone-Scraping [human date 1415 b.S], to feed our young ones and keep the cavern whole we had to offer our work, our jewels, even some of our masterworks... to outsiders' eyes. We allowed human traders into our shallow tunnels to view some of the pieces. Woe to the greedy! Later the same month more humans returned, claiming they too were traders, yet they were bandits, evildoers of the sort you call pirates, water-roamers who sought to take what they had not paid for. Though in the night they were trapped as they left, in the battle at the cavern gate some fled safely, taking, as we believe, the Berbarthuaril with them. Their master's name we never speak, but dwarven memories are long and the human lives short. Only five years later his ship sailed out of Nepris and never returned. Humans say that the waterwitch you call Baveras took his ship and crew, but before then he had buried our sungem along with countless other priceless treasures and artifacts. But this tale is false, for we would hear its call through any depth of earth, any walls of stone. Berbarthuaril lies deep under the salt wave where it is lost to the Thergerim for aye...

Today, the Sungems have been almost completely forgotten, save by the dwarven tribes who once held them. The current location of any of the gems is unknown.

Since the disappearance of the Sungems, ‘mimic Sungems’ have been produced by dwarven mages, and are used in places where open flame may pose a hazard due to pitdamp or other dangerous gasses. These Sungems are enchanted to give off light, and sometimes heat, for a few days' duration, but rarely last longer than three days and have to be replaced. They are fairly difficult and expensive to get because the enchantments can only be done by a fire mage, of which there are next to none among the dwarves, working in conjunction with an earth mage (who form the majority of Thergerim magic-users).

Myth/Lore. The creation of the Sungems is believed to be by the hand of Foiros. Though not explicitly stated, most theological scholars believe that Foiros and Urtengor had a close relationship, that they saw each other as brothers. Urtengor gave to his fiery friend a mirror into which he could gaze to shine his light upon the night earth. Furthermore, he gave his promise to have the paten disk cleaned every month. This gift of Urtengor’s was a response to Foiros’s giving the dwarven God three Sungems, the Mezkhirrilerons.

Where these Sungems came from and how they were created is argued over in theological discussion. Some believe that Foiros carved away a piece of his skin and formed it into a sphere. Others say it was merely the fire erupting from the God's hand that helped him shape the stones. There is also question if the dwarven god himself may have taken part in the creation. The hardness that the gems are known for may have been caused by Urtengor’s touch. Again, we can do no better than leave you with a chant from the dwarves themselves, the original owners who still mourn their lost treasures...

"Mezkhirrilerons, ah, Sungems bright,
Shining in caverns deep you hung.
Gorthuaril, MithHlaaril, AverurtilTrum,
Lost from our eyes and hearts you are,
Lost from our hearts and eyes." Return to the top

 

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