Geodes, also known as "Eartheggs" or "Worldstones" to the elves, and "Rockturds" to the orcs, are small plain looking rocks, which are filled inside with crystals of various size and colour. While having many magical uses, they are valued most often for their incredible beauty. The Geode reminds us that no matter how humble or base something or someone appears, the Gods have provided a hidden beauty for those who will take the time and effort to look.
Geodes are the best proof of
the old adage, "You can't judge a book by its cover". From the outside, a Geode
looks like an ordinary, slightly ugly rock. Rounded in shape, geodes have an
irregular surface of limestone, or some similar sedimentary or occasionally
volcanic rock. It's not until you break one open that you find their true worth.
As you open one up, you will see hundreds of tiny crystals covering the whole of
the inside surface, each pointing inwards to a hollow center. Each Geode is set
in one colour, with every crystal being a shade of that colour. Lavender and
pink are most common, though just about any colour is possible.
The crystals themselves can be amethyst, quartz, or any other type of crystal found in Caelereth, although there have been no authenticated cases of diamond Geodes. It is said that in areas touched by great evil you can find geodes with quartz crystals of pure midnight. The archivists who created this entry do not believe that evil creates these Geodes. Rather it is believed that, like as quarts will turn dark or cloudy when worn by one of evil intent, so great magic used for an evil purpose will cause all crystals geodes nearby to turn black or crimson.
While most Geodes are smaller than your fist, there is no actual limit to the size they can be. It is said that some of the great dwarven kingdoms of yore had as their throne rooms giant underground Geodes. Sadly, no humans have seen such in living memory. If any still exist, they are a closely guarded secret of the dwarves. Among humans one of the largest geodes of recent record, the "Xythria Geode" which had crystals two palmsbredths long, was destroyed when criminals came by night, broke all of the crystals and took them off, presumably for sale to the nearest dealer in stolen goods.
Production. Geodes can be found in rocky places all over Santharia, most notably in the foothills of the Kairian Teeth as they reach toward the sea. There they are searched out and sold by the Gnorian Gnomes. Because the geology there already runs to rounded rocks, and because from the outside they appear the same as normal rocks, it is almost impossible to tell a prize Geode from a worthless lump of rock by looking at the outside, searching by ordinary people is at best a hobby.
Those gnomes who make a living finding them as well as rock forms of creatures similar to those in the Noarian Caves encountered by Fridive Alav (see "The Philosophie of Molluscs") are called "rockhounds" for their ability to apparently "sniff out" those rocks with an interresting or valuable interior. In reality, a better word would be "rockbats". A rockhound taps a prospective rock with his small pick, and listens to the sound it makes with a highly trained ear which can tell if it's hollow, and what the composition is.
Geodes may also be found in the valley between the Xythrian Ridge and the forest of Almatrar. There they exist as a Royal Preserve. One of those established, along with several others set aside for the enjoyment of the populace, inspiration of artists by King Erachrin, who was the second king during the "Golden Age of Kings", and who contributed to many areas of culture. Individuals or groups may come and hunt them for pleasure, and indeed it is a common occurrence for families with young children to be seen there, but none may take them with commercial intent.
As our greatest source of information about geodes comes from the Gnorian Gnomes, the prevalence and locations of geodes outside of Sarvonia is relatively unknown at this time. This is most likely also due to an apparent lack of the information necessary to find them by people outside of the Gnorian Gnomes.
Usages. The Geode has several uses besides being beautiful and decorative. Many apprentice magicians use them as reagents in their spells. Geodes can confer some of the strength of the earth. Some mages use them as stores for magical energy, which can be called on when an energy-intensive spell is used, or to revive themselves after a gruelling day of magery. Some magical swordsmiths have used them as holding places for unwanted impurities, or as transfer points in the mixing of different materials to create stronger, lighter metals such as steel.
The discovery of the first geode is lost to us in the mists of time. It is said
that some of the archmages of yore, "created unto themselves houses of stone,
round as a ball, yet filled every whit inside with crystals of great size and
power. In these they would sit, and frome these their powers would reach unto
all that they had thus created." These stories probably speak of some of the
mages from the War of the Chosen,
when the greatest of all workers of magic
fought one another. They continue to speak of an unnamed Earth mage whose Geode
was buried by shifting earth during a great battle. They say that the
magic of his dwelling keeps him alive but
sleeping, and that he awaits the day when some unwary person uncovers him and
releases him to try again for rule of the world. The archivists, based on their
understanding of human nature and the
serendipitous workings of fate, suspect that Geodes were first discovered by a
man with a hammer, beating rocks in an attempt to work off a furious rage.
Myth/Lore. Geodes have about as many explanations as peoples who have encountered them:
Ancient Styrásh texts found on an excavation site somewhere in the Aeruillin desert say that when the world was split into twelve parts, there were some fragments which did not fit anywhere, and so folded in on themselves forming Geodes. The Geodes were scattered throughout all the worlds. They stand as a silent testament to the wisdom of seeking peaceful resolution.
The Kuglimz people of Northern Sarvonia see the whole world as a Geode holding the essence of the friend of Sur'tyan which Lier'tyan hid in the depths of the world, and which give this world life. His spirit or essence was drawn to the crystals, which had once glowed with a light of their own when the earth had been another Wuk'oriot like the stars before being snuffed by the unnamed darkness. A Wuk'oriot is what they call the stars. They believe that each star is a type of citadel of light for other beings like their gods. From the crystals of the Geode that was the world, his essence was conducted and spread out into the skin or surface of the world. There it gave life to all that is in the world.
Jaekrin, an Erpheronian poet, known for his satirical verse lambasting authority and accepted thought, maintained that they were Avá's snores, but he was coincidentally struck by lightning the next day. Though it was ruled to be a completely coincidental occurrence, none have since espoused the same position.
The orcish people, who see the whole world as the carcasses of those Gods who rebelled against their God, the "First Warrior", (except for them, who came from their God's arm which he lost in battle,) see Geodes as the products of the voided bowels of his adversaries. Thus Geodes are not objects of great beauty, but of derision and disgust. They see them as they see the rest of the world, a source for them to get whatever they want from, and something to do what they want and have fun with. They think the other races fondness for geodes for their own sake is just another proof of how low and beneath orcs the other races are.
Note: The archivists who prepared this entry would like to thank the many people who answered questions, or provided information.