|Proficiency||Requires 5 points in Finecraft Arts|
Emeralds are a mineral that has been sought-after for centuries across Aloria, first by the Allorn Empire for its green color and later by Ailor nobility and upperclassmen 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 Emeralds would be far too expensive to produce, save for those artisans of the Dread Empire in the Far West. In recent years, Emerald mines have gradually dried up in Daen and in Corontium, The Emerald Isles has also reported that their veins are beginning to become depleted. This began a buying frenzy that remains intact to this day due to the loss of the Isles to the Allorn Empire. Without more Emerald mines to replace those lost, a significant source of revenue for the Regalian Empire will vanish and many wealthy individuals over the world will be without one of their most favorite gemstones.
Emeralds have a long history with Aloria since the rise of the Allorn Empire. Due to their worship of Estel and her Pantheon, the green material was heavily prized in early Altalar society. Some have argued that this was partly the reason for the Altalar to invade the ancient Asha as Emeralds were known even in that old time to be found in Ithania. 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 Consolidation that followed her reign, other veins were uncovered and mined such as on Arvost, but none were deeper and richer than those in the Far West, which were extensively mined over the next two millennia. Sadly, by that time, the Far West went dark from the rest of the Empire as the future Kathar formed there and came to dominate the region utterly. When the Wildering rocked Daen most mines immediately collapsed, either from environmental factors such as the landmass changing or because of the mass revolt of slaves that followed the loss of Magic by their Altalar masters. In the wake of this event, Arvost and a scarce few other places in Daen were, for almost 200 years, the only places to acquire Emeralds as the Dread Empire maintained the monopoly on their sources, not trading them with outsiders. When Arvost ran out shortly before 200 AC, some thought that it was only a matter of time until the Void Elves were alone in possessing new pieces of the verdant gemstone.
But that is when The Emerald Isles entered the scene. Isolated for centuries on the fringes of Corontium, the Aontaithe Ailor of the region finally left their land, exploring foreign shores and drawing eyes from shadowed parties. Their homeland had been known to the Allorn Empire as a place of riches, but one out of reach of the Altalar despite their many efforts. Now though, for unknown reasons, the Isles were open enough to allow the inhabitants to leave, and also draw in outsiders. The Regalian Empire acted with imperial aggression, setting up what amounted to illegal mining operations in the region and easily rebuffing efforts to dislodge them. Over time however, the Aontaithe grew more sophisticated, and in 309 AC, a diplomatic and political blunder by certain officials in the 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. The Emerald mines of Daen remain depleted and limited in number to the point that being an Emerald miner is a very well-paid, prestigious role in the community, hence why the Allorn were willing to reach so far beyond their territory to take a new source of the material. As for the Dread Empire, they still horde 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, 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, though 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. The piece has been meticulously guarded by Tanaar Ivaëlle for generations.
- By comparison, rumors circulate of a very recent Emerald statuette carved by the impressive craftsmen of the Kathar in the Dread Empire. The carved gemstone is said to depict the Void Prefect of Control.