Wizard's Undying Ember Material in Creus | World Anvil
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Wizard's Undying Ember

Alistair frowned. "Looks like a normal power-wagon to me? Why'd you bring me out here at this time of night?"   The mechanic grinned from the wagon's driver seat. "Brand new Regent 250 with the Ember discs instead of those cruddy friction lights. Watch." Tarvo pulled a lever, and two covers rotated down the front grill of the wagon, revealing the head lamps. Normal friction lights casted a dull and faint reddish glow, generally only useful for people to see a power-wagon from a distance rather than casting useful light for the driver to drive by. The light from the new Undying Ember lamps, enhanced by a mirror array, was, by contrast, quite bright and blinding, and Alistair shaded his eyes.   "Close the light gates! Too bright!" Alistair uncovered his eyes as the lamps retreated under their cover. The wizard shook his head. "I get called into the Association once a fortnight to help make wagon headlamps. And they say wizards are supposed to be scary?"   Tarvo gave a laugh. "The light of Etoilean Progress, that's you and the rest of them at the Association. It's better than making frosties."


Material Characteristics

Undying Ember is typically found as a solid, ultrahot rock that is exceptionally heavy for its proportions. While a dull grey when quenched in icewater, any amount of that's visible to the eye begins to glow a bright red, giving off heat and light. It is unsafe to touch without heavy gloves, and in amounts larger than a pebble, gives off light that is blinding in its intensity. Undying Ember is not found in pieces larger than said pebble, as the heat will cause the rock to fracture into smaller pieces. Large quantities of Ember pieces will autoignite and catch fire in the open air; such quantities are stored in a suspension of Ryssae Oil and vinegar.

Physical & Chemical Properties

Wizard's Undying Ember is a extremely flammable material. It is assumed to not be 'reactive' in the alchemic sense; it tends simply to burn and ignite other compounds it contacts, and has no effect when inlaid into materials that do not burn (besides heating them). Acids and similar that etch or purify basalt work the same way on small amounts of Ember. It's not currently known if the material has a liquid or vaporous phase, but its ignition temperature is clearly below its melting temperature.   The magic used in the creation of Ember is a point of contention, as nobody can tell if the heat that Ember produces is itself magical in nature, or a natural process derived from the results of prior use of magical Compaction.


Very, very small amounts of Undying Ember have been alloyed into iron and copper, though alloying is perhaps the wrong word; the Ember is simply beaten into the base metal until it 'welds' itself into the material. The combined material will either be self-warming and give off a soft glow, if done with an appropriate amount of Ember, or end up melting, if too much Ember was used. From a smithing standpoint, the Ember-infused material will work the same way the base metal works.

Geology & Geography

Wizard's Undying Ember is created using a special basalt found on multiple islands in the Eastern Saibh archipelago, specifically, recently-erupted basalt from active volcanos. As gathering stone from active volcanos is a relatively hazardous affair, much of this basalt is sourced from the shallow waters near said volcanos.

Life & Expiration

Despite the name, Undying Ember does in fact 'die', reverting to its base basalt within a few weeks of creation. The brightness and heat emitted by a freshly imbued Ember fade off, following what the Calculists call a logarithmic pattern. Exhausted chips of Ember are re-used as additional fuel for the production of new Ember.

History & Usage


Undying Ember is a crafted material, made possible by a discovery by the Wizard's Association of Etoile in 724. A large number of sufficiently powerful wizards can, through coordination, forcefully raise materials to extreme pressures and temperatures while infusing them with magical energy, a group spell known as 'Compacting'. For anything other than raw materials this usually destroys the subject at hand, but speculation from The Academy of Etoile suggested that alchemic processes could occur by compacting base materials. Experiments proved somewhat fruitless with most objects (which simply melted or crumbled), but it was discovered that newly-formed basalt would compact itself into a substance that glowed and burned, though it takes nearly a ton of basalt and at least ten wizards to produce a mere handful of Ember.   While the cost of production of Undying Ember is extraordinarily high, the material has proved quite useful as a substitute for wood in fueling Steamwork Boilers as an emergency power source, or simply as a long-lasting light source that requires little maintenance. As Wizards are required to produce Embers, the only production line is one within the Association itself, with wizards producing Ember 'on rotation' in their service to the guild.

Everyday use

As a rare and expensive substance, Wizard's Undying Ember is used by the Principality of Etoile for state purposes, primarily military. Common oiled torches go out easily and require frequent replacement, and friction lights are subject to their own friction-wear and attachment to mains Power, and produce a dim light of low quality. Undying Embers produce useful-to-blinding amounts of light depending on quantity, and specific manufactories that are under state mandate frequently use Ember to light the plant during overnight shifts.    The heat property of Ember allows their use in Steamwork Boilers for mobile power production, though the extreme cost of both Undying Ember production and that of the boilers themselves limits this use to only a few mobile divisions of the Principality Ground Forces. Notably, Embers are prohibited from use at sea by the Principality Navy, a likely safety measure against Embers catching Siege-sails on fire.

Industrial Use

Undying Embers have been incorporated into several products that are, while not common, somewhat easy to spot in the Etoile Capital City. This includes bright glowposts, heat distributors that are placed on trafficked streets during winter, and floating buoys in the Grand Canal to keep the Canal free of ice in the fourth season. The newest models of Power-Wagons have a small disc of Undying Ember built into the front grille to provide a light source at night superior to friction-lights, as well as providing a heat source for the wagon riders.


Research into Embers have noted that long-term close-range exposure to Undying Embers results in harm. Animals that have been left in close proximity to blocks of Undying Ember bright enough to blind suffer skin lesions after a season's worth of exposure in the range of a couple of feet. All public applications of Undying Ember are either separated by some kind of barrier or are far enough away from where a person would be to mitigate any known effects. No individual person has been reported to suffer any type of burn or skin damage from exposure to Ember, though a number of people have suffered burns as a result of direct contact or the Undying Ember being in too-high quantities and causing fires.   As Wizard's Undying Ember is a relatively new material, it remains under active study by the Wizard's Association of Etoile for additional magical properties.

Reusability & Recycling

Exhausted pellets of Undying Ember are commonly recycled into the new production of Ember at the Association's production facility, though as the substance simply reverts into simple basalt, it can be safely discarded without further thought.


Trade & Market

Wizard's Undying Ember is, unlike Oreichal, under state controlled production and distribution, as it is produced in sufficiently low quantity and with enough practical demand to make its free trade relatively impractical due to expected extreme cost. The Principality of Etoile controls its production, distribution, and spread, marking special projects for Ember allocation.


Undying Ember is stored in pellet form; once roughly a ton of basalt has been compacted into about two pounds of Ember, the Ember is broken up into finger-sized pellets and stored in jars of Ryssae Oil and vinegar, which both prevents the pellet of Ember from catching fire and is known to extend the useful duration of the Ember's heat and light. These jars, which still cast bright light, are bundled into crates and shipped as per Principality allocation. As Ember degrades fairly quickly, its rarely ever stored this way for any significant length of time before being applied to some use.

Law & Regulation

The Principality controls the production and allocation/usage of Undying Ember, though it does not keep particularly close tabs on the end-products (which degrade in usefulness after only a mere few weeks). Multiple debates at the The Great Pavilion of the Joint Consortiums have argued for the legalization of private Consortium production of Undying Ember with contract Wizards, to no result as of yet.
Harsh, astrigent
Foul and bitter
Red, glowing
Common State

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Jul 12, 2023 03:59

Love all the detail in this article! Very well written! Great job and good luck!

Jul 12, 2023 06:49

Thanks for reading! Good luck to you as well.

Aug 18, 2023 07:11

Wow, so the driver uses some hyperactive, mostly harmfull substance to make a better lamp?
It like using Plutonium to power a Delorian's Fluxcompensator!
And I LIKE IT ;)

But to have to switch the expensive lightsource every few weeks is quite the upkeep for any car.
While the the ember loses its effect so soon, does the "alloy" process help to prolong that?

Have a look at my entrys for:
  • Blue Fairy 74's look into the Stars - #Astralis Challenge: The Fennân Observatory
  • DaniAdventures Romance-Ception! Challenge Ballade von der Silberelfe
  • my Adventure April short story Einer dieser Tage
  • Aug 18, 2023 17:49

    Thanks for reading! The alloying process doesn't improve the longevity, no, and the huge demand for these light sources and their relatively short lifetimes means there's a lot of research into finding cheaper alternatives. In the meantime, they're rare, valuable, and state controlled.

    Aug 21, 2023 08:41 by Tlcassis Polgara | Arrhynsia

    I like the story - I like the linking - I like the premise - I like the thought and work that went into this. I think you should suppress the right hand column - you don't need it and it makes the article longer. Great work!

    Follow my worlds: Arrhynsia and Compendium and check out my author website at tlcassis.com to see my latest work!
    Aug 22, 2023 18:14

    Thanks for reading! Most of these camp articles I filled out the template, and I'll be fixing them once the SC edit lockout is over.