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Rating: 3.3333
Condition: Normal
ID: 3025

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July 30, 2009, 11:07 am

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Thaumatrium

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Thaumatrium (Yellow,Black & White)

This mineral is intended to have been a major shaping factor in a campaign world I am working on.  In the ancient past, shortly after this world’s bronze age hit it’s peak, the discovery of Thaumatrium created a new age.  The focus on magic slowed the development of normal technology.  Two great empires formed themselves around the power of the mineral and tied their fates to it.

The High Vizier nudged the corpse on floor with his slippered foot and spoke.  “He was our best Diabolist. How could this happen?”

“The Demon took all the treasure we intended as payment the moment he emerged from the gate.  Astuun knew your orders, and negotiated with what he had…”  Targis trailed off, looking at the expression of horror frozen on the dead Diabolists face.

“Nothing I could do to him would be worse then ... this,” said the Vizier
“Apparently he did not agree.  Your reputation appears sound M’lord.”

Stooping over, the Vizier picked up one of the scrolls scattered on the floor, but not before casting a few divinations looking for poison or other traps. Satisfied that there were none, he drew it before him and quickly scanned its content.

“He made good notes before the fiend took his ‘payment’.  At least we can salvage something from this disaster. Two things - have the groundspeople take poor Astuun to the temple and then let Andronis know he’s been promoted to Head Diabolist and to report to me first thing tomorrow morning.”
“Your will, Milord” and Targis left to carry out his orders.

The Vizier took in the scene a while longer, picked up the freshly scribed scrolls, and left the summoning room.  As he passed out of sight, a strange glint flashed in the corpse’s eyes. 

What follows comes from the presentation made by the new Head Diabolist at the Vizier’s council of Magic, with the aid of Archaeoarcanist Yastrun of Maar.

History

Yellow Thaumatrium and its properties were first discovered in the empire of Abadra by the emperors alchemists.  Quickly seizing upon its capability to greatly magnify magical power, the empire entered into an incredible Golden age of magic. Only the rival empire of Helena-Thoth was able to find sources of their own and challenge Abadra’s ascendency.

The friction between these two great magical empires grew over time, with much blood, treasure and Thaumatrium being expended on weapons, and nasty proximity wars with lesser states.

The discovery of the White and Black varieties of Thaumatrium escalated these developments further.  Both empires by this time had structured their entire economies around the mineral and so it came to pass that when the supplies of Thaumatrium began to dry up, and no new discoveries were forthcoming, that full scale war between the empires broke out.  This war, fought with weapons developed over generations of low-scale warfare, combined with their dependency on Thaumatrium destroyed both empires.

There are no known sources of Thaumatrium known at this time apart from the occasional specimen found by treasure-hunters.  The few artifacts left from that time are nothing more then historical oddities without new supplies of Thaumatrium to replenish their powers.

Characteristics:

Chemistry: Thaumatrium shows no relation to any known chemicals or elements
Class: Thaumatrium
Uses: Powerful Source of magical power for both spellcasting and long-term magic items and constructs

For Yellow, Color is rich yellow, similar to amber.
White ranges from perfectly clear to milky white.
Black ranges from smokey clear to jet black.
Transparency: Pristine Crystals are transparent, depleted ones are opaque. (see magical properties)
Crystal Habits include well formed cubes, octahedrons and dodecahedrons.
Cleavage is absent.
Fracture is conchoidal.
Hardness is 1.5
Specific Gravity is approximately 4.1 - 4.3

Other Characteristics:  Although relatively soft, the material is highly resistant to any form of corrosion or chemical reaction. 

Locations

Thaumatrium has been found only in a narrow strata of bedrock eons old, accessible only by deep mines through hard metamorphic rock.

Magic Properties

Ethos:  Thaumatrium shows no affinity to any particular Ethos. 

Primary Power:  Yellow Thaumatrium provides a moderate amount of magical power over a fairly long period of time.  Both the endurance and the power level of the supply depends on the original size of the crystal as found.  As its power depletes, the crystal becomes less and less transparent.  Black and White provide higher continuous outputs, allowing more powerful magical effects.

The mineral allows casters who bear it to increase their spellcasting ability per day, Yellow allowing a doubling, while white and black both quadruple the ability of a spellcaster.  Strangely, this property does not vary if more then one crystal is carried, so carrying multiple crystals will provide redundancy, not additional capability.  Crystals which are crafted into items do not provide this additional benefit to their bearers.

Perhaps even more important, when using this mineral, even novice mages can produce items with long-term magical properties.  The actual effect would depend on the game system used.

Side Effects
Long-term exposure to Thaumatrium, especially the Black/White varieties has strange effects on both the animate and inanimate.  With inanimate objects, properties unimportant to their function will vary occasionally, with such things as transparency, color and texture changing.  For animate object including spellcasters, effects similar to low level enchantments will be visited on them occasionally.

Those who suffer even greater exposures to these materials, such as those involved in it’s mining, are subject to corruption of some type.  We have not been able to find out more about this.  Some theories have been put forth that some of the man-like magical creatures now found in some regions of the empire may be in fact descendants of Thaumatrium miners.



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Comments ( 12 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted manfred
September 4, 2006, 13:04
0xp
It is quite fine as a valuable resource of the past, enriching the world's background, and serving as the occassional power-up, the rarity making up for the potential. I would imagine such an important tool had a slightly more colorful name, or rather several names for the workers of magic.


Somewhat strange I find the connection of the two variants to good and evil. Is that because they are already firmly defined in your world as tangible forces/potentials, or a peculiarity of the magical system (with spells that are defines as "good" and "evil", respectively)?
Voted Cheka Man
September 4, 2006, 14:03
0xp
I like it. How about a game in a partly worked-out mine of this stuff?
Voted Scrasamax
September 4, 2006, 14:53
0xp
I suppose this might be a bit unfair, but the first thing that came to mind when I read the title of this submission was the material of the same name from the US Final Fantasy 3. While it didnt have the dichotomy between good and evil, it was something required for spell casting. Not bad, but not exceptional either.

I would like to know where it comes from, and how it functions in a supply and demand situation. I'd also like to know where it is found, if there are places that are richer in ot, or places that are depleted.
valadaar
September 4, 2006, 15:00
0xp
I'll give it to you folks on the name - it's not terribly original. Whne I have it more worked up, I'll use the name(s) used by the dead empires that used it.

Never played any Final Fantasy however, but I will change the name soon.

Now, the idea behind this is as Manfred pointed out - it is meant as a historical item otherwise you would play a (very)high-magic.
Perhaps with timetravel..:)

As to why it is aligned, that is a deliberate mystery, but does tie to its origin..
valadaar
September 4, 2006, 18:44
0xp
Updated: Sigh, a simple Google search on the term "Magicite" would have saved me some embarassment. In any case, the new name has 0 hits.

This material also provides no mystic knowlage and has no elemental ties.
manfred
September 5, 2006, 2:13
0xp
Name's much better! Would still like to know about the origin. *pumps valadaar for more info* :)
Voted Dozus
September 4, 2006, 18:47
0xp
It's not bad. Knowing you've never played FF makes me somewhat forgiving on this, but it sounds a lot like materia as introduced in FF7. I personally find nothing wrong with the name magicite, though (didn't play FF3). The good/evil stuff seems a little illogical (to me, substances are a media and have no innate good or bad, it is how they are used that determines their worth), but I'll wait for you to flesh that out before judging. Good write up.

EDIT: Thaumatrium sounds even cooler.
Voted Murometz
September 5, 2006, 9:27
0xp
Having no familiarity with FF 1, 2, or 3 whatsoever, I kinda like this. Its different from the type of stuff I'm used to. Interesting mineral.
valadaar
September 5, 2006, 19:21
0xp
Updated: Add a little backstory and other details..
Voted MoonHunter
September 6, 2006, 10:42
Only voted
valadaar
August 23, 2007, 12:19
0xp
Okay, this is on my list of subs to revamp...
valadaar
January 5, 2009, 10:57
0xp
Still need to revamp, especially since its creation has been changed in a certain PBP game...

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