Lyrium is a valuable but dangerous mineral-like substance. Bianca Davri claims the mineral is extremely volatile and sometimes explodes for no reason. Physical contact with raw lyrium ore will cause serious injury and psychological damage for humans, elves, and Qunari, and will kill mages outright. The Mining caste of the dwarves is the only group capable of safely mining and processing lyrium into a less dangerous and more useful form. How they achieve this is a tightly guarded secret. Generations of proximity to lyrium ore veins have made dwarves naturally resistant, though not completely immune, to its effects. Even their resistance is only skin deep, as open cuts and direct exposure to the eyes leaves them vulnerable. Surface dwarves lose this resistance over time.
Bright glowing white veins inside rock, sometimes as large glowing white crystals sticking up out of the ground that look sort of like small trees
Processed lyrium is used by dwarves and the Tranquil to enchant items. When mixed into liquid and ingested, lyrium allows mages to enter the Fade when fully aware, unlike all others who reach it only when dreaming. This unique property is essential for the Circle of Magi's Harrowing rituals. Such potions can also be used to aid in the casting of especially taxing spells, for a short time granting a mage far greater power than the mage normally wields. Mages can also be branded with lyrium to become Tranquils, forever severing their connection to the Fade. While mages use lyrium in their arcane spells and rituals, templars ingest the primordial mineral to enhance their abilities to resist and dispel magic. It also puts templars in a state of boldness and empowerment. Lyrium is used by the Chantry to control the templars. Templars are given lyrium to "develop their talents" which also leaves them addicted and thus within the control of the Chantry, which controls the lyrium trade (Alistair seems to doubt whether it actually has any real effect and Cassandra is apparently capable of using talents similar to the Templar though the Seekers powers apparently require a different training regimen). Dwarven Shapers craft lyrium runes that contain the actual thoughts of the ones who made them. These runes comprise the Memories - the archives of Orzammar. Lyrium Sand is used to create Dworkin Glavonak's explosives: grenades that are said to match those used by the Qunari. Lyrium blast charges are also used by the Legion of the Dead to collapse a tunnel during the Descent. The Anvil of the Void allowed Caridin to turn living dwarves into golems of steel and stone with the use of lyrium. The process involved dressing the volunteer in armor the size of the golem, then pouring molten lyrium through the eye holes, mouth hole, and joints of the armor. A magical, not mechanical, process animated the golems. The smiths of Amgarrak, under the jurisdiction of a Tevinter mage, created strange contraptions known as lyrium wells, capable of shifting objects and people through different levels of the Fade and creating runic golems. However, this was used against them when one of their experiments created a monstrosity capable of manipulating the Wells. After realizing what their creation was capable of, the smiths were forced to seal the thaig to make sure that it wouldn't be able to escape. In the Fade, the Warden encounters a resource called "raw lyrium" that can replenish all health, stamina, and mana. This also is present at Anvil of the Void, though the effect is lesser, and has no effect on dwarf characters. Some Tevinter magisters infuse lyrium into their slaves' skin, making them formidable warriors. The agonizing process also makes the victims more biddable, with the potential side effect of lost memories. Touching the markings may be physically painful. Thus, lyrium tattoos greatly enhance Fenris's warrior talents, making him hard to track, giving him magic resistance, and generating bursts of damaging spirit energy. They even grant him the ability to phase through solid objects, an act that taps into the Fade. Trace amounts of lyrium can be infused in stones to create glowstones, which are used to light passages. This practice is most common in Orlais.
- bright glowing white
- Common State
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