THE MINERAL URUYANT

DESCRIPTION - TERRITORY - USAGE

Uruyant is said to be the hardest, most robust mineral to be found in all of Santharia, if not in the whole world of Caelereth. This mineral is so hard that it cannot be dressed by other materials than itself. The color of Uruyant is undefined and varies with the changing position of the diurnal astre. Uruyant can be found only at very few special regions above the sea (e.g. the Warnaka mountain range in northwestern Santharia); it is assumed that great underwater territories of the oceans may contain Uruyant as well.

Description. Uruyant has an extremely solid structure. At least it is difficult to imagine any substance tougher than Uruyant as it is not only impossible to dress it with the help of any other mineral but it seems to be impervious to the tooth of time itself. Therefore Uruyant is virtually indestructable, susceptible to be dressed only with purer forms of the same mineral.

Per se Uruyant does not have any definite color. The spectrum of its lustre varies with the changing position of the diurnal astre. This makes the crystaline structure of the mineral unique and very appreciated by women who enjoy uruyantine jewellry.
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Territory. Uruyant can be found only at very few special regions above the sea; it is assumed that great underwater territories of the oceans may contain Uruyant as well. Almost the whole of the northern Warnaka mountain range in northwestern Santharia are made up of this material. The rough climate of the north has in all likelihood eroded the outer, sedimentary strata of the mountains, leaving only their uruyantine core. The same process is responsible for the formation of the uruyantine arches which are today one of the distinct landmarks of the northern territories in the United Kingdom of Santharia. These arches very often can also be spotted in the midst of the Dark Sea and are often mistaken for gigantic Sea Serpents, which makes them dangerous for ship traveling in this region.
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Usage. As the dressing of Uruyant is all but impossible, spezimen which are of the size to serve as pieces of jewellery are highly prized in the southern parts of Santharia.

Aside from the usage of jewellry Uruyant has become an important factor in the gnomish measurement system:
A small piece of Uruyant which was given to Apothek Urdan Dwarffriend for his help with creating the different types of iron in collaboration with Harrgor es Mithen is the basis of the incredibly accurate gnomish measuring system:

This small Uruyant piece weighs about ¼ of an od (the exact conversion, established by gnomish merchants to facilitate trade with humans, is 11/39th of an od). The piece of Uruyant is almost indestructible and weighs almost exactly the same when it was presented as it does now and it is impossible to shave flakes off it so it was considered perfect for use as a weight. Originally Urdan Dwarffriend calculated its weight using most of the primitive and ununified systems the gnomes used then and he used his piece of Uruyant to make sure he wasn’t swindled and to check his weights during chemical reactions to make sure he didn’t make any mistakes. When the usefulness of this system and its ease of use became apparent it was adopted by all gnomes as the standard and the earlier systems died out. The capital gnomish city, Gnorath, contains this piece of Uruyant and in each village a piece of iron can be found that has been weighed against this original.

For smaller measurements the weight, called an Uruyant, is divided up. To do this a piece of iron is obtained which is slightly heavier than one Uruyant. It is then divided approximately in half, and the two pieces are weighed against eachother. They are then shaved until they are the same weight and both of them are compared to an Uruyant, and both are shaved by about the same amount, until eventually you get to almost perfect half Uruyants or more commonly halves. Of course nowadays you simply get a lump of iron and shave it until it is the same weight as an already existing half. About every ten years the iron uruyant in a village is compared to the original Uruyant and if it has lost weight it is re-made. The Uruyant is commonly subdivided into 512 pieces. Most chemists will have brass weights totalling one Uruyant divided up as follows, one half, one quarter, one eighth, one sixteenth, one thirty-second, one sixty-fourth, one hundred and twenty-eight, one two hundred and fifty-sixths and two five hundred and twelfths. Apart from those shown above there are no other subdivisions ever used and it should be obvious that anything can be weighed to within one five hundred and twelfths of an Uruyant. For larger weights Uruyants are used as the standard measure, i.e. a loaf of bread would be about 4 Uruyants.

This system is also the basis for the measurement of liquids. The standard measure of liquids is called rather unimaginatively "a Measure" and is equivalent to the volume taken up by one Uruyant’s weight of water. The system uses identical subdivisions and most chemists will have a set of small cups consisting of one half measure all the way down in the same way to five hundred and twelfths.

The use of the words "Measure" and "Uruyant" are often redundant. If it is more than one Uruyant it is often shortened to Uru. There are shortened names for all the subdivisions of Uruyants which have developed due to constant use. Half, a quarter and an eight of an Uru are normally said without Uru all the time (i.e. a half of limestone). The smaller divisions are sometimes referred to in terms of eights for up to a sixty fourth (i.e. half an eighth and quarter of an eighth and confusingly double an eighth). A 128th is a leaf, a 256th is a bee’s eye, and a 512th a grain.

This system has also been adopted by Brownies, who learned of it through trade with gnomes and now have adopted the system with a few changes. The gnomes, as stated above, never use any other divisions of an Uru however as the Brownies need to measure even smaller things so have continued the subdivisions and they use half a grain etc. all the way down to encompass all the weights they need.
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