Treasure from the earth
Seruic sapphires are found in Serukis in the foothills of The Teeth. These gemstones are famous across Etrea for their clarity and richness of colour. Whilst the majority of Seruic sapphires are a deep blue in colour, greyish-blue or brown ones are also relatively common. More rarely, yellow or pink ones have been found. It is forbidden by law to export these rare colours outside of Serukis.
There is not a noble lady in Serukis who does not own at least one piece of jewellery inlaid with Seruic sapphires. Pieces of sapphire jewellery are often handed down through the generations, from mother to daughter. Necklaces are the most common piece of jewellery to contain sapphires, though there are notable examples of rings and brooches amongst different noble families. The royal crown contains five Seruic sapphires. This is worn by the Seruic king or queen day-to-day and is perhaps the most famous use of Seruic sapphires. As well as the crown, many other important royal treasures contain Seruic sapphires. This includes the sword used during the coronation, which has a large pink sapphire inset in its pommel. Amongst nobles, Seruic sapphires are also commonly used to make courting swans.
Ritualistic UseSeruic sapphires have become an important part of the worship of three of the Five Lords. They are often used as components in rituals or inset in religious pendants or charms.
For Priests of Faolan, the Lord of Earth, sapphires are seen as sacred as they come from deep beneath the ground. Deep blue sapphires are often used in charms by Priests of Nereus, the Lord of Water, as the colour speaks of the ocean. They believe that the sapphire is a stone of protection and healing. Sapphires with a noticeable star-shaped marking are thought to be sacred to Thayer, the Lord of Air.
There are several sapphire mines in the south of Serukis. It is one of the most important industries in the areas in which the mines are located, providing employment and money for many in the south. Towns have sprung up around the mines, with most of the inhabitants working in the mining industry in some capacity. Once working in the mines, it is hard to leave and many generations of the same families end up working in the mines. Each mining town has a temple dedicated to Faolan. The temples run an early morning session of worship, where miners get blessings for the day ahead. They rely on Faolan to protect them whilst they are deep under the earth. There have been a few high-profile collapses in the history of sapphire mining, with no small number of fatalities. Most miners wear protective charms made with chips of Seruic sapphire to ward off collapses happening to them.