THE GLOWSTONE CRYSTAL

DESCRIPTION - TERRITORY - USAGE - MYTH/LORE

The Glowstone is a type of glowing crystal that grows on the leatherhide tree in R'unor. Curiously enough, these crystals glow even brighter in groups, or when in close proximity to copper or an alloy of copper.

Description. Glowstone is a curious, luminescent sort of "crystal", native to the islands of R'unor. They are a pale yellow in colour, and produce a similar colour of light. The crystal produces a faint illumination when on its own, but when in the presence of a larger number of other Glowstones (within perhaps a ped) the individual crystals glow more brightly.

These "crystals" are the growths of the leatherbark tree found in the Forest of Souls, and actually contain a fluid much like resin or sap, from the tree. Strangely enough, the same reaction that is found in a grouping of Glowstones can be created by attaching the stone to a copper, bronze or brass fixture.

If exposed to the elements, Glowstones will eventually lose their luminescent properties. Fractures of the crystal or removing this fluid from it, renders the crystal useless, so great care is taken in handling them. Regardless of care, most reasonable sized Glowstones lose their shine after a decade or so.
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Territory. Glowstones are only found on the R'unorian chain of island, as the tree that they grow on is endemic to the Forest of Deepearth and Forest of Souls.
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Usage. The R'unorians gather Glowstones and their usage is then determined based on size. The smallest crystals are only a few nailsbreadths in length and produce no great light, but are used in jewellery quite extensively. Some enterprising individuals will group a large number of small crystals into a sort of handlamp, by placing them on the inside of a conventional lantern while attached to a copper disk.

Larger crystals, a palmspan in length, may be attached to posts or simple disks of bronze or copper that are then mounted on walls or ceilings.

Few crystals will be found that are greater than a palmspan or two in length, most find their use in lighting or decoration of one sort of another. The ceiling of the temple of Ha'lia is dotted with a map of the sky, using groupings of Glowstones to pick out the stars in the cavern's ceiling. The largest crystal on record is part of a massive arangment of glass and Glowstones in the Imperial Palace's Great Hall in the city of R'unor. The arrangement, called Gorgamoth's Torches, consists of over a hundred Glowstones of various sizes, polished to perfection and held in place by a series of bronze plates and wires, forming a pair of intertwined spirals about the larger crystal.

Some of the more ingenious uses of Glowstone have been in dowsing rods. If fixed to the end of a stick, and held out one may use the Glowstone to search for deposits of copper. Some merchants use smaller glowstones to determine the authenticity of some coinage, as some varlets have been known to try to pass off brass in place of gold.
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Myth/Lore. Glowstones are believed to function similarly to the Nybelmarian Lightwater, though close examination has yet to reveal any sort of organism responsible for the crystals' luminescent properties. It is important to note that the crystals produce a faint hum, and cease to work away from the R'unorian chain, which some researcher suggest is related to what they call "specific alseitic resonance" though they decline to explain exactly what that means.

Sarvonian scholars have been known to draw comparisons with the famed dwarven sungems, but R'unorians are quick to note that Glowstones do not produce excess heat, as the sungems did, nor do they require the same periods of rest that the great globes did.

The Book of Stones (a R'unorian text which collects scriptures of the various R'unorian gods of the earth) records that the glowstones were a gift from Y'turren to Ha'lia:

And Y'turren looked to find the source of this lamentation and found the Lady of the Night weeping by a river. Looking unto her, he asked: "Why is it that you should cry so?"

Whereupon Ha'lia gestured to the lights of a nearby town: "I have made the night beautiful, and placed lights throughout the sky that men and their children might see this beauty." Indicating a pack of beasts she continued, "They are frightened by the creatures that share the night with them, and huddle by their fires for safety, and thus will never gaze at the night with wonder, only with fear."

Y'turren looked then at the sky and the lights which Ha'lia had placed in it and pondered a moment. Grabbing one of the beasts by the tail, he flayed its leathery hide and, taking up a sapling, wrapped the hide about it. He planted the sapling on a high hill, and took the bright, glinting teeth of the beast and the light of its cruel eyes and kindled them together in a forest fire until they were as embers.

And Y'turren set those about the bark of the tree, where they glowed in the night. And the scent of the tree, being made of fire and of the skin and teeth of the beasts, frightened them and drove them away, whereupon the people of the town went out of the homes to look at this strange tree, and were in wonder of the night.
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 Date of last edit 15th Burning Heavens 1671 a.S.

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