The material on the page is the property of Steve Allen and is used here at Candlekeep with permission.
Gems of the Realms
By Steve Allen
This common semi-precious stone is found throughout the Realms. It is only valuable in a worked state such as in a ring. The stones are semi-transparent and flake easily under pressure into sharp flakes. Andalucia stones come in ten different colors. Each separate color is valued for its rarity. The colors are listed in order of least to most precious: black, gray, blue, smoke, clear, rose, red, speckled (any dark solid with spots of another mineral), starbright (clear, with bright flakes of gold), and silver (any light color stone with a central cluster of bright gold inside). The solid colors are worth the least, with the transparent stones with flakes of gold inside being the most valuable. These stones will not cut glass and all accept magical charms readily.
These very rare and precious stones are normally found as a glossy, solid black stone with bright flakes of white crystal that when exposed to sunlight will reflect the colors of the rainbow. These gems are formed in large violent volcano upheavals. These gems are normally found in high mountain rivers and streams and are normally glass smooth. Cutting or working these stones will subtract from its value greatly as doing so will shatter the small prisms inside the stones. When exposed to bright magical light, these stones will glow for up to five days, acting as small lamps. Large specimens of this stone are used by trading companies in place of heavy coins. The largest dragon egg ever found was the Imperial Grand Dragon. This stone was valued at an excess of 50,000 gold. The Imperial Grand Dragon has long disappeared and is believed to be either held by one of the six ancient kingdoms or kept by some other powerful entity. These stones will scratch glass and accept magic readily.
A midnight blue precious stone, prized for its clarity, which is commonly mined near volcanoes by the seas. This gemstone cuts cleanly under hard pressure and breaks into clean sharp lines that will cut glass and deeply score metals. Crotone is the most commonly used gemstone in expensive jewelry and is used as a common coinage throughout Realms. Smaller specimens are worth up to eight gold and larger stones can reach prices of 5,000 gold. A very rare variant of this stone known as a star crotone has a bright cluster of gold in the center of the gem. Unflawed and properly worked, these specimens will fetch double the usual going price for a similar, plain stone. These gems in either a worked or natural form will accept magic up to the third level, but anything higher will shatter the stone, sometimes injuring the mage.
A vibrant green precious stone that comes in near perfect tetrahedron spires. These gems are sometimes found near ancient, extinct volcanoes and are always mined from the ground. These stones are thought to be named for an ancient sea deity that had green eyes and according to legend, sacrificed herself in a volcano to save her worshippers. If such a tale was true, it has been lost in the depths of time. This is the most common found gemstone in Realms and is found on almost every land mass with dead volcanoes. Values range from 1 to 5 gold for smaller specimens to about 3,000 gp for really large unflawed pieces. A variant of this gemstone known as striped lori has bright blue bands running parallel through the stone. Unflawed, these gems are usually worth double the normal price of lori. Plain lori will accept all levels of magic but striped lori will not accept any magic and usually destroys the stone when attempted. Lori will not cut glass or score metal.
A dull flat black, round, semi-precious gemstone found in sedimentary layers found often on the floor of old rivers or sea bottoms. Semanit is commonly referred to as a “murder’s stone.” Semanit value in its natural state ranges from 5 to 100 gp. These gems will not cut glass and will shatter easily if dropped on a hard surface or struck sharply. Value of the worked stones is almost triple of the natural stones, because of the stones' abilities. These rare stones have the ability to detect the presence of the four most deadly, liquid toxins found in Realms. By dropping one of these stones in a suspected liquid, the stone will dissolve completely if it encounters any one of these toxins. The gemstone will not neutralize or identify exactly which toxin, nor does it have any effect on any other toxins or toxins that are not in a liquid state. This gem is sometimes found among politicians in large groups, strung together. There are many fake semanit gemstones that are sold as genuine to the unwary, usually at a low price. This gemstone will not cut glass, and will not accept any magic.
This pale, purple, semi-precious stone is common throughout Realms. Commonly mined from the floor of old seas, or found in ancient river beds. Zannone is commonly worked into all forms of jewelry and will readily accept all levels of magic. This stone is commonly referred to as a “Mage’s apprentice” stone due to its low cost and ease of magic acceptance. Aspiring mages are often taught how to place magic into something using these stones. Price range is 5 to 300 gp. There are two variants of this gemstone, called silver and starbrittle. Usually worth double the value of normal zannone, both these have large amounts of silver or gold inside them. The silver has a bright cluster of silver in the center. The starbrittle variant has flakes of gold and sometimes silver as well throughout the stone. When imbued with several levels of magic, the starbrittle variant is of the most value to mages who travel. When these stones are hurled against a hard surface, these stones will explode in a bright flash of blinding light. This explosion showers all within 5’ with sharp shards of rock, and does 1d4+1 points of damage per level of magic placed into them. All zannone gemstones will cut glass and will score soft metal.
A common fancy gemstone that can be found throughout Realms. Most common color is a pale-to-bright yellow. Other colors are rarer and are listed in order of most common to least common: blue, green, magenta, chartreuse, and amber. These gemstones always come in neatly defined pairs in a cylindrical form. Most stones are from one to two inches, with really rare stones being over four inches. Prices range from 5 to 50 gp depending on size and color. These stones will accept all magic under the sixth level, but only one magical power or spell per item no matter how many a dischia stone the item contains. These gems will cut glass and will score soft metal lightly.
These man-made gems are crafted by only the most powerful mages using lost secretive magical arts. All avola stones are briolette-cut and it is unknown if other cuts were used. Avola is commonly known as the “Mage’s stone.” Only two of these stones have ever been discovered and studied and both were “dead” or burnt-out stones. Ancient legends speak of these stones coming in any color the creator desired. These stones were used to house the most powerful and destructive spells. A stone in working condition would command a premium price that would probably end up getting the possessor of the stone slain by droves of power-hungry mages before he saw any of the money. Several times mages have attempted to locate or duplicate the process to make these stones, but so far none have prevailed. The two burnt out specimens are kept under lock and key and only the very rich or very politically connected can study the stones. No one is sure why avola gemstones “die” and it remains a mystery. Ancient legends describe that these gemstones were tied to the creating mages life force. The “dead” stones could not cut glass and did not score metal, but a “live” stone may. There are several published books on these two stones, some filled with more speculation than others, but it is noteworthy that of all the published books, not one specifies where either stone was found.
This cobalt blue, semi-precious stones are commonly referred to as the “sailor’s stone.” Smaller specimens of this gemstone are often carried by sailors who worship sea deities that are said to favor these stones. Some have remarked that this is probably a way for these poor churches with small followings to increase both the numbers of the faithful and the coffers of the churches. These gemstones will float upon any liquid and will always point in the direction of the current, if one is present. If used in a small container like a cup or bowl, the stone will always point in the direction of the nearest body of water. Due to the properties of the gem, the desert dwelling nomads have begun to desire these stones in large numbers. Ancient legends tell that these stones are the tears of drowned sailors. These stones are often found washed upon beaches along large rivers and oceans and have never been found in the ground. These stones are worth from 1 gp to 5,000 gp, depending on the clarity, and size of the gem. Several sea going cultures refuse to cut or work these stones, for fear of injuring a drowned relative. These stones will score glass, and will not accept any magic. There are no known variants of this gem.
This piebald fancy stone, is mined throughout Realms. These are the cheapest of Realms’s gems and are most commonly used in low cost jewelry. The cost of this gem ranges from 1 to 20 gp, depending on size and clarity. This gemstone will not cut glass and will not accept any magic. There are no known variants of this gem.
A clear, crystalline fancy stone that grows in five-sided spires. Peljesac, in its natural form is almost worthless, and is known as an “impersonator stone.” Even when these gems have been worked they are still worthless. However, when placed among other precious or semi-precious stones for a week, the peljesac stones will slowly start to change color until it resembles the other stones. Once separated for an equal amount of time, the stones will return to their true color. The shape of the stones will never change. Disreputable gem dealers stock large amounts of these worthless stones. These stones are cut into all of the most common shapes. They place these worthless stones among other valuable stones to sell to unwary buyers. One way to spot peljesac is to hold the suspect stone up to a bright light and look at the color that passes through the gem. True valuable gemstones will cast a small band of light in their color with sharp edges. A peljesac stone no matter the cut or the color will throw a muddy and blurred band of light. Another, but lengthier way to determine the stones true worth is to separate them for about a month and see which stones change colors. Another test, but one that is labor intensive is to test the gems' hardness. Peljesac will not cut glass, and will not hold magic, both obvious flaws. Once peljesac stones are discovered, they are usually tossed in the trash, given to children to play with, or attempts are made to pass the peljesac as true gems.
An opaque, fancy stone that can be polished to a bright luster. This stone comes in a myriad of colors and grows in small crystal clusters on a base of another, heavier and usually worthless stone. Garonale is commonly used in low cost jewelry and as fancy ornamentation on clothing. Cost is from 1 to 20 gp. Prized for its ability to hold magic under the fourth level for one day plus one day for each level of experience the mage has. These stones are often used in the making of magical traps where it is desirable that the nature and the potency of the trap be changed often. Once the magic has faded from the gem, it shatters. Due to the low cost of these stones, replacement is both easy and cheap. Garonale will not cut glass, and shatters under heavy pressure, and if imbued with magic above the fourth level.
This very rare precious gemstone is the hardest gem found in the Realms. This stone comes in a single color: a bright crimson that glows faintly in absolute darkness. Otrant will cut glass easily and will deeply score metal. Loose otrant stones vary in price range from 10,000 gp to 25,000 gp, depending on size. Since ancient times, large specimens of this gem have been set into swords' pommels and upon other edged weapons and then enchanted in a way that is lost today. The gemstone’s natural magical abilities lend themselves to the effectiveness of the weapon it is placed on when properly enchanted. These ancient weapons will glow a faint red, pulse with the wielder’s heart rate, and will hit their opponent with a +1 bonus to both damage and accuracy. Some of the greatest weapons are charmed to have a +3 to a +10 bonus to hit the opponent of the wielder. Some of these ancient weapons were also enchanted to protect the wielder from certain levels of spells. Legends speak of some of these weapons having the ability to do an additional four points of damage to a particular creature each attack. Removal of the enchanted stone from such a weapon will cause the weapon to shatter and the gem to explode in a fiery explosion, doing 20d4 points of damage to everything within twelve feet. Enchanted otrant gemstones bring three times their normal value plus the value of the weapon. There are no unenchanted otrant stones that are not placed on edged weapons. Very rarely are otrant stones found in the mines now. The rumor of a vein of these stones found in a mine or a single one of the enchanted weapons has brought armies to battle.
This semi-precious stone is common throughout the Realms and is mined from deep sedimentary layers. They come in a variety color ranging from clear to a rich black and many bright colors. These gems are always a solid color and will not cut glass or score metal and will shatter under pressure. They are easily worked and are often used in place of more expensive gems. The ancient name of these gems means “keeper of light” and is the common name of these gems. The most common use of these gems is to enchant them to emit light, a task that they accept readily. Any light emitting spell cast upon one of these stones will emit light for twice the normal time as a usual light spell. A mage can enchant up to six stones per person by a mage. By touching one of these stones and speaking the command word, each of these stones can be used as needed. Each of these gems will emit a faint light for 5’ radius for up to eight hours. Each stone can be charmed for the owner’s lifetime. Upon the death of the owner, these stones can be charmed for another person. Once charmed, these stones sell for about 600 gp each and sell for about 20 gp without any charms.
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