There are a number of valuable, supernatural, or otherwise unique materials found in the world of Praemal. Characters may chance upon items made from these materials or even the substances themselves in their raw form.

 

Aethel

One of the rarest and most valuable substances in Ptolus isn’t a drug or a weapon, it’s a mineral. Aethel was discovered in this region, named, and experimented upon by the Elder Elves in the time of the titans, five thousand years ago. In many ways, it is the opposite of Vallis. While the greenish stone of the absent moon is a natural power source on its own, the clear crystals of aethel absorb magical energy and even light.

Aethel can absorb one to ten spell levels (depending on the size of the crystal). For proper use, one must treat the aethel in a process that requires 1,000 gp worth of special ingredients for every spell level to be absorbed. It takes twenty-four hours. The treatment process must be completed before attempting to use the crystal to absorb of any energy, however. If a character tries to absorb more spell levels than a piece of aethel can hold, the stone bursts, inflicting to all within ten feet 3d6 points of damage plus 1d6 points for each spell level stored within the crystal (Reflex save, DC 20, for half damage).

Spellcasters can use the stored energy within treated aethel to power their own spells, as though the crystal were a rod of absorption.  If left in the sunlight, aethel will absorb light rather than spell energy, filling up its capacity. There is no way to discharge the light, once absorbed. Thus, an aethel crystal taken into the daylight stops being a “rod of absorption” and becomes instead an “everburning torch,” so to speak—a waste, to be sure.

Someone who makes a Knowledge (arcana) check (DC 30) can figure out a way to use an aethel crystal full of absorbed energy as a replacement for a spell requirement in a magic item. For example, a bit of aethel with two stored spell levels worth of energy could be used to create a ring of invisibility without any need to know the invisibility spell (cost to create remains the same, with the aethel costing extra).  

The value of treated aethel stone is equal to the number of potential spell levels absorbed squared × 1,000 + 1,000 gp per potential spell powered. Thus, a piece of aethel that could absorb and then power one spell level costs 2,000 gp; one with two spell levels is 5,000 gp, three spell levels is 10,000 gp, and so on. Untreated aethel’s value is equal to the number of potential spell levels absorbed squared × 1,000 gp.

Black Adamantine

Black adamantine was only ever found in one place: in a mound located in the region occupied by the Cold Desert today. All the black adamantine that exists has been mined and used—no more can be found occurring naturally. It has the same qualities as adamantine except that it also proves resistant to spells or magical effects that would

damage or affect it (like disintegrate or even passwall) with a spell resistance of 25. Further, those in the know (Knowledge [arcana], DC 30) can use a wish spell to make black adamantine completely impervious to physical force or spells. Black adamantine is worth three times as much as normal adamantine.

Firestone

The mineral known as firestone can be created only through magic. It burns with great efficiency, which causes technologists to desire it greatly to fuel their devices. This small stone weighs 1 lb. and can burn hotly for twenty-four hours. It is used to power some of the equipment described in Technology.

Heliothil

Heliothil is a pale violet stone that has negative weight. A stone that should weigh about 1 lb. has in fact 5 lbs. of negative weight. This means that, if a piece of pure heliothil were unsecured, it would fall upward at a great rate and disappear into the sky. However, it also means that securing 5 lbs. of normal material to the “1 lb.” bit of heliothil renders the normal material effectively weightless. The heliothil and attached material float in midair.

When dwarven miners discovered heliothil on the floating Mountain of the Sky Kings far to the west, much of it initially was lost—once mined and freed from surrounding minerals, the loosed heliothil floated up into space. Eventually, the dwarves developed safe mining and transporting practices, and engineers began using heliothil to create floating castles, flying ships, hovering (virtually) weightless chariots, and so on. The Mountain of the Sky Kings obviously was a huge source of heliothil, but it was overmined, and the mountain eventually descended slowly to the ground, where it shattered.

Heliothil is not magical, at least not in the technical sense of the word. It retains its negative weight in an antimagic field. Heliothil is worth 100 gp per negative pound.

Ithildin and Ithilnaur

The elves know of many special minerals, materials, and herbs. In particular, they are known for two metals: ithildin (a decorative silver that glows at night but is dull and almost invisible during the day) and ithilnaur (a thin, strong  material with the same properties as ithildin). Both metals’ glow is equal to candlelight. Ithildin is like silver but costs twice as much. Ithilnaur is like mithral but costs twice as much.

Liquid Light

In the earliest days of creation, when air, earth, fire, and water did not yet possess their final states, sunlight shone into pockets of air that eventually became trapped deep underground. This air turned naturally into liquid light as a result of tremendous good done in the world; the residue seeps up from the depths of the earth and takes on a physical substance. Thus, deep in the earth one can encounter pools of bright sunlight, preserved forever as a thick, milky liquid. One pint of this fluid is the equivalent of a daylight spell that never fades.

One can use liquid light to enhance spells with either the light or good descriptor (either way, the spell gains both descriptors when cast). A pint of the material used as a spell component modifies a spell so that it is cast two levels higher than normal, with a +2 bonus to the saving throw DC to resist.

Liquid light inflicts damage to evil-aligned outsiders and undead if used as a splash weapon (one pint inflicts 3d6 points of damage; full immersion inflicts 20d6 points of damage). It heals good outsiders and blessed children in like amounts.

Liquid light is worth 1,000 gp per pint and is usually found only in amounts of six to ten pints at a time.

Liquid Shadow

Liquid shadow is a vile substance that pools in the darkest corners of the world—usually at the heart-rock of a massive mountain or in a cave at the bottom of the deepest lake. It exists naturally as a result of evil done in the world; the residue seeps into the earth and takes on a physical substance in the deep darkness.

One can use liquid shadow to enhance spells with either the shadow or evil descriptor (either way, the spell gains both descriptors when cast). A pint of the material used as a spell component modifies a spell so that it is cast two levels higher than normal, with a +2 bonus to the saving throw DC to resist.

Liquid shadow inflicts damage to good-aligned outsiders and blessed children if used as a splash weapon (one pint inflicts 3d6 points of damage; full immersion inflicts 20d6 points of damage). It heals evil outsiders and undead in like amounts.

Liquid shadow is worth 1,000 gp per pint and is usually found only one or two pints at a time.

Marlite

Marlite shines like blue-tinted iron and can be processed into a metal as hard and resilient as steel. Marlite is far more valuable than steel, however, for its secondary property: Marlite is a magic-dead material. It has no natural  magic within it, and it cannot be affected by spells, magic items, or spell-like abilities. In effect, it has an infinite amount of spell resistance. A sword made of marlite couldn’t be affected by a heat metal spell, nor could it be magically disintegrated. No one could move it with telekinesis. This means, Of course, that magic can’t affect it in beneficial ways, either—it couldn’t receive a magic weapon or keen weapon spell. It could not be given magical properties or an enhancement bonus. Armor made of marlite gives the wearer no special properties. Spells can still affect the wearer, just not the armor directly.

An item made with marlite instead of iron or steel costs ten times the normal price.

Moonsilver

Called “ithilirid” by the elves, this metal is always found in liquid form, looking not unlike mercury. One can use it to coat a solid surface, to which it then adheres, protecting the surface as if it were made of iron. The surface retains all normal flexibility. Thus, one could apply it to a person to grant him the benefits of wearing armor (+4, +6, or +8 armor bonus to Armor Class, depending on how much is available) with none of armor’s drawbacks—no armor check penalty, maximum Dexterity, or spell failure chance. The effects of moonsilver are as fleeting as the moon’s reign in the night sky, however.

The substance fades away approximately four hours after it adheres to a surface. Moonsilver will not adhere to ithildin or ithilnaur (see previous page), so sealed containers made of these materials can be used to store moonsilver.

Moonsilver forms in droplets among the dew of heavily forested areas on nights of the full moon. If no one collects it, the trees, grass, and other plants in such regions sometimes have silvery drops clinging to them after daybreak, as hard as metal. However, they fade by mid-morning.

Moonsilver costs depend on the amount of the substance. Enough for a +4 armor bonus costs 200 gp; +6 costs 400 gp; and +8 costs 600 gp. You cannot use a partial dose or multiple doses.

Vallis

Vallis is the name of the mysterious moon of magic that once orbited Praemal. In ancient days, meteors of green Vallis stone rained down upon the world from time to time. Vallis stones were raw magical power in solid form and could be used to power spells, magic items, and mighty rituals probably not even possible to conduct today. The Vallis moon is long gone, and most of the Vallis stone was used up like a squandered commodity. Still, some remains, in the form of sparkling green Vallis dust. With so little of the stuff left in the world, spellcasters have learned to extract as much as they can from the dust. A careful mage can use a tiny mote of Vallis dust to do what a caster of the distant past (with no need to conserve) would have done with a stone the size of a human fist.

One speck of Vallis can power a number of levels of spells cast by any class of spellcaster, as determined by the size of the speck. Most range from one to six spell levels in capacity. (Treat a 0-level spell as the equivalent of a half level.) As the piece of Vallis is used, it diminishes. So, if a bit of Vallis dust with a four-spell-level capacity powers a 2nd-level spell, it still can power either another 2nd-level spell or two 1st-level spells, but it grows noticeably smaller. Exhausted Vallis disappears entirely. For proper use, one must prepare the Vallis with 100 gp worth of special ingredients per potential spell level of power needed. The entire preparation process takes twenty-four hours. Unprepared Vallis can power spells, but at a less efficient rate. A piece of unprepared Vallis weighing 1 oz. could power only one spell level, while a prepared Vallis stone that same size could power twenty spell levels.

Should one find a piece of unprepared Vallis significantly larger than usual, using it would pose a real danger. Once tapped, the stone literally “leaks” power. Anyone touching it must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw (DC 20) or suffer 1 point of temporary Constitution damage per round. Further, the Vallis loses one potential spell level of power per day as the stone’s capacity leaks away.

Someone who succeeds at a Knowledge (arcana) check (DC 30) can figure out how to use a Vallis stone as a replacement for a spell requirement in a magic item. So, for example, a bit of Vallis with three potential spell levels of power could be used to create a cloak of displacement without any need to know the fly spell (cost to create remains the same, with the Vallis costing extra).  

The value of prepared Vallis stone or dust is equal to the number of potential spell levels powered squared × 50 + 100 gp for each potential spell level powered. Thus, a piece of Vallis that could power one spell level costs 150 gp; one that could power two spell levels costs 300 gp; three spell levels is 550 gp; and so on. The value of unprepared Vallis is equal to the number of potential spell levels powered squared × 1,000 gp.