Alaria is filled with countless magical items so common or simple that most take the magic that makes them work for granted, often not even thinking about them as magical in nature. This section will detail these items and when I can explain how the magic that fuels them works as well as explaining, when known, where that magic comes from.
Emberstone is a semi-transparent orange ore that glows as bright when exposed to open air. A chunk about the size of a Human fist will shine about as bright as a torch or lantern and will have years’ worth of light stored within it.
Larger chunks provide brighter illumination. There are many locations, especially subterranean ones, that use emberstone as streetlamps. Even larger chunks, especially when carefully refined and shaped, are often worked into the walls of temples or palaces to help illuminate important and large rooms.
It is also common for soldiers or adventurers to have armor, especially shields, with protected slots designed to have emberstone slotted into. This way they can have a light source without sacrificing a hand.
The light emberstone gives off has a slight orange hue to it. The discoloration is something that most require getting used but nearly all find it a small price to pay for such steady, even light. Few will choose torches, candles, or oil light over emberstone if it is available.
How available, and affordable, emberstone is varies greatly across Alaria. There are some regains where the ore is virtually unheard of and even small pieces will be highly valued treasures worth more than a precious gemstone. In other places the ore will be so common that emberstone might be the cheapest form of illumination, especially since chunks of it can last so long.
Emberstone only lights up in open air. A simple cloth draped over a chunk or the shuttering of a lantern is enough to cause it to “turn off”, preserving its limited store of energy. Many scholars and artificers express frustration in how inconsistent emberstone’s requirements for being extinguished are. What constitutes “open air” is something that seems to shift and certain deposits of emberstone will be more sensitive to when their illumination ignites.
The item is often so common that most view it as a wholly natural thing, but the truth is that emberstone only glows the way it does because it is soaked through with subtle, ancient magic.
Some theorize that emberstone is a naturally occurring ore that can, over great lengths of time, soak up the ever-present winds of magic that blow through the world. Those that support this theory like to point to the fact that emberstone coming from different mines often have noticeably different lengths of stored light in them.
Another theory points to the absence of any mention of emberstone before the Great Collapse as proof that it was somehow created by that cataclysmic event. Although there is no hint in any text that has been discovered how this might have come about it is strange how records begin to detail the discovery of emberstone deposits almost immediately after the Great Collapse.
Emberstone deposits tend to be quite large and are often mined for generations. Emptied deposits are frequently turned into subterranean dwellings and some of the largest underground cities began as emberstone mines.
The red vapors are incense infused with a potent mix of arcane energy and divine might channeled from the Goddess of the Crimson Light. When lit the smoke is magically drawn to nearby sentient beings who have reached sexual maturity.
Once inhaled the red vapors alter how people feel things, both physically and emotionally. Although often describe as a heightening of the senses the effects are often more subtle and hard to describe than that. The vapors make a person feel both a physical and emotional high where everything feels “more”.
You experience every physical sensation more deeply and are better able to focus on the good you get from those sensations. For something like sexual pleasure what this provides is unsurprising, but when it comes to pain, especially when mixed with sexual pleasure, many will be caught off guard at how the red vapors allow them to enjoy such feelings.
Emotions are often far more enhanced than physical sensations. The things physical sensations make you feel emotionally swell as do your emotions towards the people responsible for those feelings. Lovemaking is particularly intense when using the red vapors. Conversely physical and psychological torture could be intensified as well by enhancing the fear one feels for the torturer, not to mention the sensations of the torture itself.
Many speak of how strong and vivid their memories are while inhaling the red vapors. Physical sensations bring memories strongly to the front of the mind in crisper detail than normally possible. The vapors also allow someone to make emotional connections and have personal revelations they might not otherwise have had.
Although they do not seem to be physically addictive many view the red vapors as such because the emotional experience will leave them desperate for more. Many also report the vapors make them feel as though they were seeing the world in color for the first time and that afterward while not under the influence of the red vapors life will feel drab and colorless.
The only ones who know how to create the red vapors are the members of the Crimson Faith, those that devote themselves to the Goddess of the Crimson Light. They guard the secret of its creation jealously and only sanctioned members of their church are allowed to produce it. This ensures their religion is always flush with money as there is never a shortage of people willing to pay for the incense.
They also use the red vapors heavily in religious ceremonies which often involve various forms of ritualized sex. Young acolytes recently accepted into the church will have much of their “training” in how to worship the Crimson Goddess conducted under the influence of the red vapors as the main tenant of her worship is to feel strongly and feel more.
Reinvigoration Potions can heal very minor wounds, but they are primarily used for their ability to refresh and reinvigorate one’s body. Even a small sip of this bubbling yellow potion leaves someone feeling as though they are well rested and full of energy, even if moments before they were near to passing out from mental or physical fatigue.
Although common, they are not cheap. Only the richest individuals can purchase a steady supply of them meaning most must choose the moments they drink from the potion wisely.
Even if one has the recourses to have a steady supply few dare to take multiple drinks over a short period of time. One COULD remain awake and energetic for any amount of time, but the longer one uses these potions to stay invigorated the more the exhaustion you are magically avoiding will catch up to you.
Reinvigoration potions are often used as a sexual aid. The smallest of sips can leave men feeling refreshed and ready for another round even if they’ve just reached climax. And multiple uses this way close together can lead to an increase in sperm production, something partners hoping to conceive often use.