Geode Coral is a domesticated coral species native to Jhoutai. It is a smooth, hollow orb with boreholes that feeder tendrils extend outwards from. If other coral seeds the bores, it ends up inside of the geode, where the mixture of nutrients and darkness causes aesthetic fractal growth patterns.
Once a mere novelty sold to the sailors and merchants who frequented the midsea ports of the Sajhra Reef Federation, the beauty of geode corals caught the attention of the mainland, and grew into a competitive industry. This industry resulted in rapid coral growth techniques, which defined the future of terraformation and fabrication industries.
A Keystone Technology
The two Verin hovered above the wide, shimmering river of coralberries. The berries trembled just beneath glassy surface of the cold waters, waiting to be ripe enough for the stream to pluck them away from their stalks.
"I do not wish to tarry in coral my whole life, Kenda Enfamos," Talkua said, tipping his hat against the sinking sun. "It is of little importance. I would rather learn fleshcrafts and building my warform. I see my transferral here to be punitive on the part of my family, and I will be remaining for the bare minimum of years."
The sunset reminded Kenda Enfamos of the wings of a butterfly. The river bubbled along the lip of a ring coral so wide that the agricultural lake within had its own tidal system. A small island floated in the lake, moored to the hub of bridges spanning it. Their monastary covered the island and spilled out onto the bridge. On the outside edge of the ring, the wine-dark sea was finally capitulating to the unbreakable defense of the coral bluff, and had begun its retreat for the day.
"This land is coral," Enfamos said. "Its Azukenda cultivated the ring we now stand on, and every ring you see on the horizon beyond. The fruit of these fields grows from the coral. The frames of our houses are made from it. The breadth of the cosmic web would be impossible for any Banner to manage without the coral. Whoever has the greatest coral has the greatest colonies."
In the early 17,000's CS, the Sai-Mar'rko, a trading vessel, purchased a shipment of a curiousity local to the Sajhra Reef Federation: geode coral. The captain of the Sai-Mar'rko, a Ral-Mi named Avri Mar'rko introduced them to the mainland during its renaissance at the end of the Glistering Dark Age.
Avri charmed theater troupes all along the coast into using the cross-section cuts of the geodes—geode coins—as props in the current popular play: Eye of the Sea. The coins were perfect for the titular prop: an ancient, dazzling coin of gem-encrusted gold found in the sea.
Their beauty, and their association with the play, made it easy for Avri to sell the coins to theater patrons. Everyone was captivated by their kaldeiscopic beauty. The coral, when sliced thin enough, was like glass. Each coin was totally unique, and host to dozens of beautiful imperfections.
A patron war kicked off. The fad became a trend, which then became an industry. It wasn't long into being a fad that Avri had competition, but his lead was enough that he was still able to retire to a villa on the hills of Valdutan.
Once it reached the point of industry, it had spread into so many markets that it was creating more within itself. Coral shaping, in particular, was a cutthroat market, with shapers competing to make the largest, most elaborate, and fastest-growing geode coral. In time, this proliferated into other species of coral, and on into other industries, resulting in remarkable strides in agriculture, home building, and terrformation.
The terraformation, in particular, became the most crucial use of the coral. The coral, some species of which fed directly on stone, grows into livable landmass over only a few generations. With it, colonists are able to create new beacheads in decades and landmasses in centuries.
They returned to the monastary. Talkua had meditated on Enfamos' wisdom for so long that the moon had risen.
"Kenda Enfamos, you are transcended, aren't you? Did coral help with that as well?" By the way Talkua spoke, Enfamos knew that this was the final deciding factor in whether or not he stayed for longer than his 'sentence'.
Enfamos drew his cloak open, revealing a torso made of marbled coral. In the hollow center of his chest, a small geode coral bloomed. He reached in, broke it free, and handed it over.
"Plant it in that bed of moss during the height of the moon, water it with lake water until the sun rises again. This shall grow into your home."
Geode Coral grow exclusively in the subtidal zones of oceans, where they extend kelp to filterfeed on and live in symbiosis with many many native creatures who rely on the coral for nesting, shelter, and nourishment.
Geode corals are grown in coastal ring reef atolls, where water is dammed in during high tide and released late in low tide.
Each harvest, workers chisel the geodes from their stems and seed fresh polyps.
Strict farming regulations once prevented overfarming and preserved local enterprise, but were removed during the Bannercasting as the industry had entered stasis.
Once a geode has been chisled from its stem, it's polished to a shine, bisected, and mounted. A large, thin disc, called a coin, is cut from the middle and placed over a light.
The weak, fresh center of a geode coin is cored out in a smaller circle, and replaced with sacraments or familial imagery.
This coral is popular among the Pact for use as terrariums, storage, planters, bongs, and other decor.
Due to the speed with which they grow, geode corals make for simple housing.