|Common Nicknames||Deva-Ikshana, Bumi Biru|
Sapphires are rare, typically blue, gemstones found across the lands of Hadar and The Far West. Before the Chrysant War, the Essa Empire had a monopoly on the Sapphire trade, profiting extensively from the extraction and sale of the mineral. However, the Slizzar also held deep ties to the material, utilizing it for millennia as self-adornment, while in the lands of the Suvial and later, Kathar, the material held great value but was less frequently extracted. After the War, the repair of many mines by the Allar allowed the Regalian Empire to press a stake in the Sapphire trade. The blue gems are now used in the jewelry of the upper class, especially in Ithania and Regalia, where they are commonly paired with Silver, while also holding a deeper meaning to Slizzar who possess them.
Sapphire has an ancient history. but precisely how far back it extends is unclear. The well-accepted history is that it dates to the Meraic where the gemstone was a commonly extracted mineral at the height of their Empire. They mined it extensively and incorporated it into their technology, known today as Crystaltech, crafting beautiful pieces now emulated or copied centuries later by their successors, the Maraya. After the Fourth Void Invasion, the Slizzar encountered Sapphires in the rocky landscape of Hadar, adopting the gems as part of their society. Yet for the Slizzar, the material is ancient, as old as they are, which is a considerable span of time. In their faith, Nihsereya, Sapphires represent the all-seeing eyes of Zaalaanzaal, for while mirrors are their chief domain, an eye in a good place allows one to see all, and influence what might be viewed. This ties into tales of Slizzar Mages using enchanted bangles studded with the gemstone and more to spy on those wearing them, and whispers that some Slizzar encountered Zaalaanzaal’s presence beyond the homeland while wearing such stones prior to the Cataclysm. Some even claim that purple Sapphires, a far rarer sight than the normal deep blue hues, are the best channel for this power, able to directly connect with a Dragon’s eyes.
These claims, especially the more superstitious, are often viewed as dubious, but are possible given the extended period of time that the Slizzar have survived. What is known for certain though, is that Sapphire deposits are, and remain rich, in Hadar while the lands of what is now Rokhara and the Sundial Isles also housed deposits. The material was supposedly used in decorating the ornate opalescent dining plates of the Gra-rassör, studded into the shelltips of the Col’kärrab leadership, and held within the branchweave necklaces of the Raav. The Suvial also made some use of it though largely traded it to the Allorn Empire, as the Sundial Islers preferred elements of fire and the heat left them to be cool on the similarly toned gemstone. The Fin’ullen took to Sapphires well and ultimately, their portions of the Empire were the Suvial’s best customers until the Sundial Isles closed themselves off. The Cataclysm which came several centuries later also heralded the rise of the Kathar, who slew all native Races of Rokhara in their way, stripping the corpses of their finery and competing for control over Sapphire mines. Their war with the Suvial, which started soon after, ultimately damaged the Suvial’s capacity to mine Sapphires, and its trade has dwindled as a result. The Kathar, for their part, came to horde Sapphire and engaged in little trade with outsiders.
Among the Slizzar, such events had little impact on their own Sapphire production and the Cataclysm, in fact, provided them with even more sources of the rare material. The Chrysant Kingdoms which arose up across the islands of Hadar soon found the value in the mineral, trading it among themselves before Ailor and Altalar interests saw the first exports beyond Hadar around 40 AC. Over the next two centuries, mines dwindled, but Hadar remained the key producer for the rest of Aloria. Even more Sapphires ended up flowing out as Slizzar began to impart greater significance into their jewelry, turning them into family heirloom items, of a time now past when their deity communicated with them, reducing their cut of the material for some time. However, with the rise of the Essa Empire, Sapphires grew in importance for the Slizzar, decorating many new outfits and structures of the growing empire. But when the Chrysant War came, this finery was a target and many found it stripped from them, be they Allar leadership, Slizzar advisors, or Magic users. When the war ended, the Regalian Military immediately turned to restoring full Sapphire production with slave labor. The return of Allar nobility to control of their own regions ceased the harshest of these activities but to this day, Sapphires mined in Hadar are transported to the many states of the Regalian Empire.
Sapphires are most commonly gemstones colored a deep blue that have a similar structure to the Ruby, a much rarer gemstone. Unlike the Ruby, which is only present in red, Sapphires have also been discovered in shades of yellow and purple; with purple being the rarest Sapphire variety on earth and incredibly valuable. Impurities within these gems are quite rare, which only increases their desirability among consumers. Sapphires are often cut into the shape of teardrops or rounded squares.
Sapphire has few uses, but it serves a dual function of self-decoration and religious iconography. For the upper echelon of numerous societies, Sapphires are beautiful minerals used in jewelry and are often paired with Silver to make such pieces, ranging from small rings to ornate necklaces and headgear often accentuated by the use of Diamonds or other precious materials. They are also sometimes carved into statuary or minor artwork, but these are very rare. Among the Slizzar, Sapphires are often crafted into similar pieces, but hold a ceremonial function where one might whisper a prayer or word of fond wishes into the stone with the hope it is witnessed by Zaalaanzaal. Certain Slizzar are also capable of crafting beautiful art pieces, often in mosaic or wall art, with Sapphire sea serpents enthralled in service of a Slizzar master, or other similar scenes of the finest moment of the Slizzar.
- There are many notable Sapphires in the Ailor sphere today, but the most well known are those provided by rare trade of the material from the Sundial Isles. Some of these famed pieces include the Seastar of Padesh, Princess Regina of Castellajoux, and the Griffith Sapphire.
- Manipulative Slizzar often coerce noble patrons or wealthy friends into acquiring Sapphires for them. Because of how common it is for the upper class to get Sapphires, few people ever notice.
- The Vault Network that held the dormant Meraic was once studded with various beautiful though small Sapphire flourishes beyond the works of Engineering throughout the hallways. Unfortunately, time either broke this material or saw outsiders steal them.