Sunstones Technology / Science in Laethelle: the Starlight Age | World Anvil
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The sunstone is your friend, traveler. The sunstone will guide your way through the Penumbra and into the Dark beyond. Hold it aloft and let its light burn away the misshapen things that would seek to end your life. Never cover it, nor let its light falter, for if it were to go dark, you would surely perish. The sunstone is the first weapon of the Lightsmen, the guardian of all who wander the dark, and preserver of our civilizations.  
Aldryn al'Murek, Lightsman and Tinker of Horush Sanctuary, Second Lamp South, Fifth Lamp West from Brightspire


To activate, a person must hold the sunstone in one hand, and flick it hard with their fingernail. This will cause the sunstone to emit a brilliant light, not enough to blind a person, but enough to hurt their eyes should they stare directly at it for longer than a moment. So long as they are active, they cast a steady, golden-yellow light that is anathema to Thramorri. Once a person is done with the stone, they can flick it twice to cause it to dim. A stone when not active will continue to emit a faint, dull light.


A sunstone is crafted in stages. First, the rough stone is selected, cut, and polished to the desired shape and luster. Some sunstones are multifaceted; others are smoothly rounded, following the natural contours of the stone's natural shape.   Once cut and polished, the stone is inscribed with powerful runes of binding, permanence, durability, and energy. The runes must be precise or the light emitted will be weak or unpredictable. Once inscribed, the stone is ready for the final phase.   Using arcane skill, the crafter places the stone in direct Spire or Lamp light and arranges a series of focusing lenses to concentrate the light on to the stone. The crafter then rotates the stone slowly, adjusting the lenses and using their power to draw the Spirelight down into the stone, where the runes lock it in forever. Once complete, the newly made sunstone is activated and left to shine for several weeks. Any that fail to remain lit during that time are either destroyed or given away.
Access & Availability
Sunstone availability depends largely on the materials used to create them. The brightest sunstones - those made from precious gems - are quite rare, while those made from quartz, feldspar, or dawnstone are ubiquitous.
The discovery of sunstone artifice was long and convoluted, but the refined process of making them today is fairly simple, provided one has access to a Lamp or Spire, focusing lenses, jeweler's tools, and skill with arcane manipulation (or access to one who does). Some of the smaller Lamps boast communities where the production of sunstones is all they do.
The first sunstones emerged from the laboratories of Brightspire nearly a thousand years ago. At first, they were often unreliable, prone to early fading, and far too short-lived to be anything more than a novelty. Over the following centuries however, the process of crafting sunstones and imbuing them with a portion of Spirelight was refined. Today, sunstones can be brightened or dimmed with a mere flick of a fingernail, and once active, can last almost indefinitely.
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