The Saiph-Stone (pronounced "Si'yif-Stone"), known to some as "Storm Pearl", is a mineral that is highly valued seeing as it is hard to come by washed ashore in all parts of the world except the Icelands Coast of Northern Sarvonia. The prominent importance of Saiph-Stones is the fact that they have various healing properties and are considered of a great value when brewing elixirs and preparing baked or stewed seafood dishes, as a ground additive. The most important thing about Saiph-Stone is its supposed connection with promoting good health.
Saiph-Stone is a rare
mineral that is a deep, sparkling, blue in colour with veins of emerald green
coursing through it. It is smooth to the touch and is very valuable, especially
as it can only be found on the beaches of the northernmost coastlines of
Northern Sarvonia, and there only
after a rough storm out at sea. Saiph-Stone gives off a natural warmth that
keeps the water directly around the stone
from freezing. When found on iced over beaches it is usually in a pool of
water that is not able to freeze because of
this natural warmth given off by the stones.
Saiph-Stones are most frequently found in the form of pebbles no larger than four to five grains in size however some travellers have been known to stumble on them as large as three peds when tides are exceptionally low. A five grain pebble weighs about four mut.
Saiph-Stone is relatively soft like wood when it is wet and in its natural state, this is when it is easiest to work with, but hardens to nearly the same hardness of an adamant when allowed to dryout completely and is placed in direct flame. In the event that an individual wishes to alter the shape of the stone after it has been hardened they must use the same techniques and tools as would be used to work with adamants. Once it has been placed in direct flame it will not soften back up even if totally submerged in water. Another form of its natural state is often mistaken for ice bergs that are stationary in the sea just off of the coast, this occurs because larger fragments of Saiph-Stone will form from time to time and jet out of the surface of the water, however as they dry out and the salt deposits on them solidify they give off a white reflective hue that makes them look like ice. These stationary chunks of Saiph-Stone may sometimes break loose from their grounding, what little ice is actually frozen around the stone has been known to drift as far as the Wicker Islands before breaking up completely, and sinking to the bottom of the sea.
Territory. Saiph-Stone is found on the north western side of the Icelands coast mainly between the settlements of Sirnil and Vertico. It is also found frozen between fragments of bedrock that are at the bottom of the sea when the tides are low. Sometimes if the tides remain low long enough the natural heat of the stones will melt the ice around them making it easier for anyone exploring the lower beaches to get to them. Although small amounts have been found in other parts of the region, it is between Sirnil and Vertico that the findings are most significant. Saiph-Stone has made its way, through trade, as far as Nybelmar.
Usages. Saiph-Stone is used for a variety of tasks, ranging from weapon creation to jewelry, from sculpture to even Preparation of food and drink. While select individuals from the many ice tribes may use Saiph-Stone for weapon creation, the majority do not, seeing as it has more a more sacred value amongst the people of the tribes. The tribal leaders would rather put the stone to use in making more medicinal substances out of it, except the Vertans who wish to be totally rid of the substance, or preparing tribal jewlery to present to expecting mothers and new wives. The northern ice tribes use the stone to make a rub that is used to relieve the pains in sore muscles. This rub called "Feurergelee" is made by taking wison fat and Saiph-Stones and placing the two ingredients into the stomach of a wison and closing off all openings, then slowly boiling it for three days. After these first steps are complete the stomach is wrapped tightly in wison skin and the skin is oiled with more wison fat and buried for two months. The end result being a greasy foul substance that numbs out pain in the general area in which it is applied. Southern masons and smiths have taken a more active role in using Saiph-Stone to create weapons and basic tools, when larger pieces are available.
While some artisans have used it for making jewelry the most common use is boiling water and various berries with the Saiph-Stones to make an elixir of sorts that is said to heal the spirit, known as "Kait'zu". Kait'zu, which is most often produced by using vinterberries, redberries, rosemint leaves and ice milk boiled with the whole Saiph-Stones until they form a golden red liquid, is mainly made in the United Kingdom of Santharia. Kait'zu can be made in mass quantity using the same stones for years on end. The elixir is used to cheer up even the most sombre individual and is quite often given to new mothers. This is perhaps because the stone itself is believed to have healing properties. Saiph-Stone can be ground into a fine powder substance that can be added to foods, much like salt, but this will only work with select dishes as it has a naturally bitter flavour to it. Many Northern Sarvonians use them to create intricate jewelry for expecting mothers, as it is believed by some that the Saiph-Stones promote good health. The Remusians will often take one or two baskets of Saiph-Stone with them when they go to trade for supplies. This practice is what brought Saiph-Stone to the southern half of the continent. The Remusians themselves get Saiph-Stones from Vertan traders, who make their way south to trade the stones for other goods.
Saiph-Stones are believed to
come from the bottom of the sea in the
Northern Sarvonia area near Vertico. It is not known why this is the only
region of the world where they can be found washed up on the beaches in abundant
supply. However they can only be found after particularly violent storms just
off the shore line and are often worn smooth from being in the
water for so long. Saiph-Stone has been
around since the first settlers walked the beaches in search of a new place to
live and has been in use by artisans of the
ice tribes ever since. From time
to time hand fulls of Saiph-Stone have been found washed up on shores as far
south as Remusiat, and as far as the coast lines of the Faerin Isles but never
in the quantities that get washed up between Vertico and Sirnil. Local
travellers have taken to referring to Saiph-Stones as "Storm Pearls".
Myth/Lore. The Vertans believed that the Saiph-Stones were the eyes of great sea serpents slain by Ertemmir, the God of Earth, for getting too close to the godly settlements. However over time, as more and more of the stones began to appear on the shores they started to believe that the stones were not the eyes, but scales left ashore by one of the serpents, who cast off its skin in mockery of Ertemmir's assault against them. As a result of this belief the Vertans gather the stones and trade them away to other tribes such as the Remusians, for fear that if they leave them on the beach they will attract the attention of Ertemmir who will punish them for allowing the serpent's scales to remain.
The Sanartrim have the most basic belief. They believe that the Saiph-Stone is the memory of the spirits who came before the land was bitter and frozen. The Filmainrim beliefs reguarding the stone have remained rather mysterious and closed away from the ears of outsiders.