|Common Nicknames||Quicksilver, Silver-Water|
Mercury is a material in Aloria recognized by the public as both an alchemical component and a poison. It has a history that spans back many hundreds of years to the ancient Seraph civilization and its uses have grown ever since then. While some might confuse it for liquid Silver, it would be to their peril as the effects of Mercury poisoning are quite nasty. The material is known to occur near other metal deposits and miners should beware it when it pours from a cracked wall.
Mercury is an ancient element of Aloria, believed by many to have been of use all the way back since the time of the Seraph. The first confirmed use of the material was during the reign of the Allorn Empire on Daen as they extracted their homeland’s mineral wealth for use in weapons, tools and all manners of other goods. In these mines, “liquid Silver” was sometimes discovered though it was almost impossible to solidify and use. Additionally, the fumes it produced were toxic and harmful to the slaves. However, it was ultimately discovered that Mercury has a variety of purposes which made their way into different areas of Altalar society. However, the slave populations never forgot what they had experienced and continued to experience as the Altalar had them mine more of the toxic metal from the earth. When the Empire fell, the freed slaves made sure all knew of its dangers and many fledging nations avoided it accordingly. However, progress could not be stopped; around the year 200 AC, experimentation with the material began again. When more learned of its toxic nature, a rash of poisonings struck the Regalian Empire as assassins and nefarious people sought to harm their targets and rivals. The Empire then forced the material into an illegal goods category. Any mine that found or produced it was ordered to immediately hand it over to the government to be destroyed or kept for safekeeping. Today, the material still has many negative connotations. However, with the right paperwork alchemists can still receive samples for their work as the metal is most useful in that realm. There is also still a dark market for the material that is unlikely to close within the coming years.
Mercury is best known for its liquid room temperature form. Liquid Mercury is a silvery substance, shiny and metallic. In its gaseous state, Mercury is completely transparent and has no smell or taste; an individual can walk into an underground pocket and not be aware of its presence for hours. Finally, there is the highly theorized solid form of Mercury, with scholars recently attempting to create it at cold temperatures in The North Belt. The results of these experiments are currently unknown.
Mercury can be used in many different fields of science and the arts. Within the world of Alchemy, Mercury is used for making several compounds and mixtures. More nefariously, these alchemical mixtures can also be poisons using high concentrations of the metal. While some of these poisons work very fast and dramatically, the natural poisoning effect of Mercury acts slowly if given in small doses and can therefore look like a dramatic failure of health into a catatonic comatose instead of a suspicious assassination. The material also has cosmetic properties, however, and many Cultures have used it to create strong face bleaches.
Mercury has one ability and curse: a light level of toxicity. If Mercury fumes are inhaled on a regular basis, it can have consequences for the health of the brain. Exposure to Mercury has also been speculated to, to a degree, slow down the cognitive development process of young individuals and ultimately make them less intelligent.
- Mercury use has tapered off since the year 300 AC, and it is now difficult to find due to the pivot by the market away from it's use in alchemy.