|Common Nicknames||Hearthstone, Fire Pebbles|
The act of ritually brewing tea or Kaffee for another person is considered a sign of deference or respect in Altalar society. While sometimes done mundanely, and therefore not carrying as much significance, the most widely accepted practice is to use a bowl of Eelt-Stones. Magical blue, glowing pebbles that can become as warm as fire when exposed to it, many Altalar keep a bowl of the substance in their homes for this use. It is so common and has so long been a feature of Altalar society, that its history is largely lost and unremarkable.
Eelt-Stone is a strange material, in that it is so familiar to Altalar regions of Aloria, it has almost gone ignored. The substance has practically no provenance in history, and only became more noticed after the collapse of the Allorn Empire, and the rise of Ailor across Daen. These Ailor largely rejected the practices associated with Eelt-Stone in rejection of their former slavers, but Ailor in Ithania and elsewhere have slowly warmed up again to such practices. The Altalar themselves still use the substance for their rituals and will likely continue to do so for as long as they are alive, seeing as such practices originated likely millennia ago.
Eelt-Stone in its natural form is a singular, colossal block measuring often a dozen feet tall and wide. It is mainly white, like marble, but is laced with faint blue swirls. It almost has a consistency to chalk, though, as when hit, it easily shatters and breaks apart into a pebble-like consistency. It has various forms in this state, but is only a quarter of an inch or smaller in size, generally smooth and lacks coarse or sharp edges.
Eelt-Stone sees only a singular use thanks to their unique special ability: in the brewing of beverages. Altalar society views such an act as respectful or deferential to the person the drink is being brewed for. Altalar will therefore fetch and use a shallow bowl of the subrace for another guest for these reasons, with the kettle or pot nestled into the activated gravel and allowed to heat before the vessel is removed and the tea is poured.
Eelt-Stone has the unique ability to heat itself to a medium temperature once exposed to a fire for as little as ten minutes. At that point, it is a hot, glowing blue, and can be used to ritually brew drinks. It gradually cools over an hour and doesn’t set things on fire if spilled or held against fabric. It is often held in a shallow ceramic or metal bowl, close to an Altalar’s kitchen if not in it, where it can be quickly heated, before being brought out into the open with its usage made evident to the guest it is being used for.
- Eelt-Stones are most commonly sourced from the wilds of Tanaar Ivaëlle, where they can often be found resting in a cluster next to each other. Some suspect they were once used in architecture, or are remnants of old storehouses of the substance.
- One famous bowl of Eelt-Stones is said to date back to the time of the Consolidation. It was a prized object of the Ithanian Sovereigns for over two centuries, though its current whereabouts under d’Gosselin’s rule is unknown.