Emeralds are a mineral that has been sought for millennia across Aloria, first by the Allorn Empire and later by upper class Ailor for the prestige that could be brought from owning a piece. Emeralds are often paired with Silver in jewelry; more substantial pieces like statuettes made entirely out of Emerald would be far too expensive to produce, save for those artisans of the Dread Empire in Sileria. In recent years, Emerald mines have gradually dried up in Corontium, while Èriu-Innis has also reported that their veins are beginning to become depleted. This began a buying frenzy that remains to this day, with raw Emeralds snatched off the market as quickly as they appear.
Emeralds have a long history with Aloria since the rise of the Allorn Empire. The green material was heavily prized in early Teledden society and some have argued that this obsession was partly the reason for the Allorn invasion of the ancient Asha as Emerald mines were known to exist within their territory. Thus, when their nation fell, many Asha were soon put to work mining the mineral. Unfortunately, these deposits proved quite limited and ran out before Empress Talea even passed away. During the height of Allorn power that followed, other veins were uncovered and mined, but over time gradually dwindled. When the Cataclysm rocked the world, most mines immediately collapsed, either from environmental factors such as landmasses changing or because of the mass revolt of slaves in the Allorn Empire that followed the loss of Magic by their Mage masters. In the wake of this event, a scarce few places in the West were, for almost 200 years, the only places to acquire Emeralds as the Dread Empire maintained the monopoly on their sources, not trading with outsiders. When Arvosil ran out of Emeralds shortly before 200 AC, some thought that it was only a matter of time until the Kathar were alone in possessing new pieces of the verdant gemstone.
That is when Èriu-Innis entered the scene. Isolated for centuries on the fringes of Westwynd, the Ailor of the region had long been held under the thumb of other powers. Their homeland had been known to the Allorn Empire as a place of riches, but as the Allorn Empire decayed, it became harder to deal with and raid the area. Now, the region was suddenly a very promising area that had, for several years, been keeping their Emeralds to themselves. The Regalian Empire acted with imperial aggression, seizing the region’s mines and dominating the business on the island to the relative helplessness of the regional leaders. However, in 309 AC, a diplomatic and political blunder by certain officials in the Regalian government freed the Isles from their formal deals with the Regalian Empire. Within hours, the reborn Allorn Empire swooped in and took the region for itself, but in 311 AC, they mysteriously left the area with the region’s king in tow. It is unclear what the Allorn Empire got out of the region (if anything) but the isles were soon terrorized by a strip mining operation run by an Asha Corsair Fleet. Ravaging an area of the archipelago, the Asha eventually left, and have been selling off their strip-mined Emeralds on the open market ever since. As for the Dread Empire, they still hoard the gemstone, and so Emeralds will remain a rare and valuable treasure in Aloria for the foreseeable future.
Emeralds appear as green and jagged pieces of gemstone when in its natural state. Once it has been refined, they are bright, deep green translucent gems.
Emeralds serve as decoration, as their beautiful green surface is highly captivating. It is often paired with Silver or Gold, and the jewelry pieces that result from this range from the small and simple to the extravagant and expensive. Emeralds are not often carved in statuary items, though this practice is common in the Dread Empire as the material still hauled up from the deep mines of the region exists in large enough chunks to allow this.
- Some believe that Emeralds hold the ability to make future offspring green-eyed due to Aontaithe superstitions. As a result, some salesmen discreetly tell noble women the gemstone has this power, but in reality, it is nothing more than an urban legend.
- Some pieces of Emerald jewelry go back millennia. The oldest piece known to exist is “Estel’s Leaf,” a cloak clasp with a piece of Emerald carved in the shape of a three-pointed leaf held in a Silver frame.
- By comparison, rumors circulate of a very recent Emerald statuette carved by the impressive craftsmen of the Kathar in the Dread Empire. The carving is multifaceted and depicts four of the Evolism gods.