Having the unique ability to store Ethereal magic within itself, Crystal was initially used as a storage device for mages who wished to have additional resources once the toll on their bodies became too high. However, it was soon revealed that Crystal had a property that would change Heveron completely. Non-mages, even Dwarves who had never shown aptitude for magic, could utilise that power as long as it was held within a Crystal. Because of this flexibility and the large amount of crystal that could be used, magic became a resource that could be used the world over, and has since become the main source of renewable energy for nearly all modern technology.
Crystal as a Business Edit
Given that the Ethereal energy stored within Crystal needed to be monetised in order for the business to thrive, researchers looked into seeing if there was an easy way to measure it. After months of comparing the use of crystal energy to other sources of fuel for simple tasks, such as boiling water or producing light, they came up with a measurement known as a Charge, a set amount of energy required to perform a particular task. Whether electrical, heat, cold or fluid, the amount of magical energy that made up a 'charge' remained the same.
Therefore, when buying and selling crystals, people began to use the number of charges a crystal could contain as the appropriate measurement of its worth. It also allowed for Artificers of Crystal to open a Recharging service by which one could bring their old crystal back to be refilled for use again. Thanks to the nature of Crystal, Recharging stations, or Artificers stations, didn't even have to be run by a mage, as they would receive a Large crystal full of magical energy for transport before dividing it between a much larger number of smaller crystals, then sending the large crystal back to get 're-stocked'.
Because of the need for Ethereal mages to provide their energy to use within the Crystals in the first place, Mages quickly skyrocketed through the ranks of importance in society. Suddenly their gifts weren't just a show of power, but something the people of the world needed in order to proceed with their daily lives. It's an incredibly lucrative cycle with the Mages who provide such energy being relatively wealthy, provided they can secure the competitive business of being used as a Charge source.
Size and QualityEdit
These two factors define how many Charges can be placed within the crystal. Size is the most typical but is often brought to shame by flaws in the crystal, such as cracks or lack of clarity. A Clear or Flawless crystal can hold a very large amount of magic, usually the amount of the next size category larger. Unfortunately, the larger the crystal the more likely it is to have flaws, either naturally formed or made during the mining process.
The Size and Quality categories for Crystals are as follows:
- Size - Tiny
- The kind most often found on jewelry
- Holds enough charges to power a tiny device or heat up a meal.
- Size - Small
- Can fit between finger and thumb
- Holds enough charges to provide slow heating for a week or cast three fireball spells
- Size - Medium
- Can be gripped with a hand, most commonly held by mages of high status
- Holds enough charges to power heavy machinery for a month or cast twelve lightning bolts
- Size - Large
- Has to be held by two hands, usually size of a rugby ball
- Holds enough charges for fifty lightning bolts and can power a house for a month
- Size - Exceptional
- Anything large enough to have to be carried on equipment by itself
- Holds an incredible amount of magic proportional to its size.
- Quality - Poor
- Dull and cracked in several places
- Quality - Flawed
- One or two cracks or a dull sheen, average crystal quality
- Quality - Clear
- No noticeable cracks or dullness
- Quality - Flawless
- Has a pure, almost shimmering glow in the light
Crystal colour relates to the elemental affinity that various crystals can have. If magic is placed inside the corresponding colour of crystal, it can take twice as much Charge as usual. However, it can only take 1/4 the amount expected of any magic placed inside that does not correspond with the colour. It is best for specialised mages to take coloured Crystal, but a lot of it is used for specific purpose crystals sold to most households (such as red crystal, holding heat magic, being used as a central heating catalyst), as it is unlikely they will need a function outside of their colour.
Instead of finding various kinds of crystal all over the kingdom, Crystal Colour is usually something that varies from mine to mine, as the colour of Crystal is usually caused by what ore or natural formations exist nearby. That said, it's not uncommon to find small traces of all types of coloured crystal within a mine, though in particularly small amounts.
- Light Blue Crystal (aka. White Crystal)
- Can take any elemental affinity, though holds no charge bonuses. It is the most common in the kingdoms and can be found almost anywhere.
- Red / Orange Crystal
- Best responds to Fire and Heat magic, often found deeper within the earth or close to lava-centres, places where natural warmth have altered the formation of the crystal.
- Dark Blue / Purple Crystal
- Best responds to Water and Ice magic, often found close to the sea or in underwater mines, but can also be found in frosty tundra-like areas where the cold is the cause of alteration.
- Yellow / Green Crystal
- The most difficult to find of common coloured crystal, responds best to Lightning and Wind magic. It is found in places close to the sky such as high mountains, but is also occasionally found in amongst White Crystal for reasons as of yet unknown.
- Rainbow Crystal
- Whilst not truly 'rainbow' in colour, it is called such because the absolute clarity of the crystal refracts the light and causes rainbows. It has no colour, not even the slight colouration found in White Crystal, and as such can almost look like a grand crystal-shaped Diamond. It is unknown why these are formed, as they can appear at random in even the most bland of crystal mines. Rainbow Crystal has the unique property of being able to hold different elements of magic at the same time, which is usually impossible for other crystals without breaking them.
Mining for Crystal has been an enterprise for almost as long as the discovery of Crystal itself. Raw Crystal is often found in caves, but the stone itself can often be rife with the material, creating a need for mining tools to remove the rock and dig out the crystal. Whilst caves provide easy access, it usually isn't long before the outgrowing crystal is exhausted and mining must begin to dig into the rock that makes up the cave itself.
Initial attempts at mining crystal were met with a large amount of failure. Whilst it was easy to acquire outgrowing crystal, when the rock was broken with common ore mining tools such as pickaxes and basic explosives or explosive magic it would unsurprisingly crack or even destroy a large portion of the obtainable Crystal, leading to very poor worth for the cost. However, thanks to Crystal's power as a resource and their new business relationship with the Dwarves, Humanity reached out to the more experienced mining race for a possible solution.
The Dwarves did, in fact, have a particularly large mining tool, known as the Jack-Blade, that was meant to carefully carve away rock in order to design and stabilise their inner-mountain homes using a large blade rather than pickaxe or explosives, but such a thing was meant for large-scale work and required a crew of at least three to run it, far from the needs of the small-scale Crystal miners.
In response, the Humans simply asked them to make a smaller one.
A successful result of Dwarven-Human ingenuity, the Jackdagger is smaller variant of the much larger Jack-Blade used to carve out the cave space for Dwarven homes. Roughly the size of a two-handed Bastard Sword, the Jackdagger is equipped with a portable engine that typically runs on crystal energy via electrical and magnetism magic to cause the intense vibrations and pulsations needed to carefully carve away the rock around the crystal.
Though this method is a lot more time consuming than breaking apart the rock as before, the crystal quality that has since come from the mines has increased tenfold, and as crystal mining techniques have refined using the new technology over time, it's safe to say this investment has worked heavily in favour of the Crystal Industry as a whole.
True Origins Edit
Though this knowledge has been lost to time over the course of the Crystal Age, it remains no less true. Whilst many believe that Crystal is a blessing that further permeates the fact that Human Magic is a gift from God, the truth is a far less desirable tale.
Towards the end of the Age of Gods, as Chosen were slain left and right, their blood and essence seeped into the ground, still connected to the Aether in a small way. Separated from their original concept, the energies within looked to a new concept to obtain, as was the Ethereal instinct. Through that, they attained the same nature the Chosen had before them - A Vessel For Power.
Embodying that concept, the energy contained within their fallen bodies transformed what was around it, and as one began to do so, the others followed, with the energy drawn to this new concept like a moth to the flame. Before long, a strange crystal-like substance formed all across the continent, hidden mostly underground.
Because of its formation into reality, Crystal took on a particularly unique property - it was a True Concept, in form and essence, that could be understood within the confines of reality. Whilst it can store Ethereal energy within it, it is, at the same time, part of The World, a perfect harmony between the two distinct powers. A Concept of Reality, so to speak.
Of course, in the present day, none truly know what Crystal is or why it can achieve what it does. The Dwarves arrived at the surface long after the Chosen had left, and the Humans, in their haste, could no longer remember the past. Only the remaining Elven Druids even remember that time of great strife, and guard that knowledge tightly, a secret only known in whispers.
Whispers of the Crystal Legacy.