The World of Conclave is inherently magical, even down to the rocks and metals. There are many theories concerning the origin of the many minerals that have magical properties, some contradictory, none known for certain to be the truth. A few are presented below.
- From the ancient legend described in The Classic of the Four Corners
Once, there was Primal Earth - a living, growing entity that contained all the powers of the earth. The powers of Primal Earth separated to become the types of Earth that we know today: Stone, Soil, Metal and Gems. Each of these represents the powers of Primal Earth: Stone is the physical body, but inert, dead. Soil is the life-giving principle, full of vitality but governed only by base instinct. Metal gives knowledge and skill and gems contain the power of the spirit.
[Note: These four categories tie in quite well with the four original geomantic animals - Jade Gibbon, Glass Frog, Bronze Dolphin and Ruby Horse. Evidently sand (the source of glass) is considered a form of soil, and jade a type of rock.]
The intervention of other Powers brought about new types of Earth. Where the blood of warring Sun Gods fell to the ground, it formed Lava. Where the Sea Gods invaded the land, they formed Clay.
There are some who say that undifferentiated Primal Earth can still be found, most probably in the far Outer Lands. What properties this pure form could have, none can say.
- From the writings of Ramataur of Linlin
According to Teshnuvar, Jade is the bones or lifeblood of the Immortals whose bodies were combined to form the world. There are some who were originally intended to form the world from their Immortal bodies, such as the Four Weeping Mothers. Others were of a heavenly origin, and became part of the world due to injury or death, such as the Three Mountains Sisters, the Cosanq and Llaza's River Dragon.
I have been able to determine several types of Jade, along with their effects and possible origins. Most colours of Jade can be found in an inert form, with no intrinsic powers, as well as the rarer forms that are still "alive" with magical power.
Green Jade is the most common, which leads me to conclude that it must originate from the earthly Immortals. It is also most commonly found in the inert form, but when alive it emanates healing powers, and aids growth and fertility.
Red Jade is the next most common form, found mainly in the Throne of Heaven Mountains. It is a source of raw magical power, but is often inhabited by dangerous spirits that can possess a man and drive him to blood-lust. Its powers suggest that it comes from primitive, animalistic Immortals, perhaps the Shampa-Laksu of long vanished species.
Blue Jade is very rare, being found sometimes in Vorsheeva or on the islands of the Necklace of Plenty. Blue Jade seems to have an affinity with the mind. It can aid with the memory, and sometimes a piece of Blue Jade will absorb the memories of its owner, which can then be retrieved by another. It is probably associated with Immortals from the Divine Ministry of the Nine Arts, and it is possible that lost knowledge may be contained within.
Yellow Jade is as rare as Blue Jade, but has no one particular place where it may be found. Yellow Jade is often found in worked form, although the function of these often circular pieces is unknown. Some awakened pieces of Yellow Jade have shown to possess the power of movement, providing levitation or great speed to their owners. It is possible that they come from heavenly messengers and heralds, perhaps wounded or slain as they carried orders across the great battlefields of warring Immortals.
There are tales of other colours of Jade, although some of them might not be true Jade as we know it. Violet Jade comes from the Tlaxu Steppe or Vaarta, and is reported to give power against spirits. Black Jade can be found in the islands of the east, where the natives claim that it is formed from the Earth's blood, although given its origins in the fires of volcanoes, it may perhaps be more accurate to call it Sun's Blood.
- From the writings of Ramataur of Linlin
"True Gold", or "Sun Metal" is a rare substance found in particulate form in other minerals. The following legend of its origins was told to me by Sleeping Ox, a wise man from Ut'Bharma.
"Before the Time of Four Suns, the universe was a perfect, ordered place, presided over by First Sun who sat upon the Celestial Throne at the apex of the sky. When First Sun died, and his four sons squabbled over who would be the successor, the Celestial Throne was damaged.
Eventually, the largest piece was fashioned into the palanquin upon which the Divine Emperor is carried across the sky every day, but the rest fell to the mortal realm as dust."
True Gold glows with the light of the sun, giving off light as strong as a candle during daytime, but its greater power is that it points the way to the place where the Celestial Throne once sat. If there is a greater amount of True Gold at one end of an object to the other, and if the object is allowed is allowed to rotate freely, it always points to the centre of the Great Glacier.
Kwidi and Deusor
- From the work of Obrenje metallurgist Basid Ulemali ur Sabeshtoj
Every Obrenaj knows about kwidi. It is a hueless clear crystalline substance that becomes opaque and metallic at very high temperatures. It becomes soft and malleable at about the same temperatures as steel, and has about the same strength and hardness, while being slightly lighter. Kwidi is an excellent conductor of magical energy, and can be used for various magical weapons, magic-deflecting armor or instruments, such as surgeon's scalpels.
A suit of woven kwidi is a relatively comfortable light-weight alternative to a suit of mail. It is not be cheap to manufacture, but it can stop magical attacks. Kwidi fibers can be used as finely tuned energy-conducting circuits. Obrenje medics carry around small devices with concordance-laden capacitors that can discharge their concordance through a set of kwidi pincers. These are used to locally "freeze" wounds to instantly (and temporarily) stop arterial bleeding. Old ceremonial swords are often hand-crafted from kwidi, with thin threads of colored glass woven into them creating three-dimensional patterns, spirals, emblems and calligraphy within the sword. Apart from looking beautiful, they lend themselves well to magical imbuing.
The distant island of Tas-Nabrenor produces a substance that the locals call Dragon's Blood, or Deusor. This is a soft, silvery metal that is highly imbued with magical power. In fact, deusor bears a striking resemblance to the temporary changes that occur in kwidi when it is subjected to high heat or strong magic. It is my belief that deusor is some form of naturally "charged" kwidi. Local superstition might even refer to it as "alive", although this is, of course, nonsense.
[Note inserted in the text by Mitsi Rundel ur Dinje. This whole theory of Ulemali's is nonsense. Deusor and kwidi are in no way related.]
- From the notes of Jevri Lancehold
"During my travels to the east, I was shown an item by an old Moa-Ruaki kahuna, which he kept in a clam shell that he claimed to have enchanted against evil magic. It resembled an ornate sword hilt, but the old shaman was able to make a blade of grey smoky matter appear. Despite its apparent non-corporeal nature, this blade cut through my best hardwood strongbox easily enough. He claimed to have found the item in islands far to the north ruled by snake-people, and that whole cities could be found that were made of this "ghost metal", as he called it. The blade was real enough, but this last seemed like fanciful imaginings to me."