Velaitai Glass

Sharp and Durable

Ain't nothing sharper and deadlier than velaitai! It'll leave its victims bleeding and coughing up blood.
— Els Leffer, Jegrimian smuggler

  Velaitai is a naturally occurring glass unique to the toxic wastelands of Ryel. It is by some known as lime obsidian. Due to the hazardous nature of its natural environment, the material is rare. Only special breeds of dogs can retrieve the glass from the toxic wastelands. Most of them die soon after accomplishing their task.

Physical Characteristics

In their natural environment, velaitai glass shards grow in clusters. The clusters consist of around 4-7 shards, each of which can range from 5-20 cm in length. All of the shards are around 4-8 cm wide and they taper gradually into a fine needle-sharp point. The area that connects the glass with the earth is weak and the excavation dogs can easily snap a shard off without damaging it in the process.

Hazardous Enviroment

Velaitai glass is found in dangerous cracks, deep in the ground. Most of the time the cracks leek hazardous fumes. Only special dogs trained for the task are capable of retrieving any significant amount of the material before succumbing to the gas.
  The first velaitai shards were recovered from the Meinen isthmus by an eccentric inventor who was testing out her prototype of a gas mask. It allowed her to find the velaitai and recover it from the cracks. On the way back home, she passed out from overexposure to the gas. The mask had failed her, but the body was recovered half a day later.


The word velaitai is the Ambrelified version of valttaits, a Liklanic word. Valttaits was once called valtoveertenaits, a compound noun that consisted of valtoveer (hazard, hostile) and tenaits (stone). As the precious glass became more known to the world, the name shortened from valtoveertenaits to valttaits.
  The Ambrelians, unaware of the original name, tweaked the word valttaits, changing it into velaitai. Once Ambrelic had become widespread, it became the common language. The prominance of the language made the word velaitai more known than the old Liklanic word valttaits.



Orange Pumpkin by Jessica Lewis
Velatai glass shares many qualities with obsidian. What makes it the superior material is its durability. It's still far more likely to break than steel, but velaitai outperforms steel in sharpness and obsidian in durability, making it an excellent material for smaller blades. Those who have the glass usually make weapons such as spears, knives, and daggers.
  There's a widespread belief that by cutting something with velaitai, the victim will suffer from the effects of the gas. This, however, is a misconception. Surgeons from around the world use tools made from the glass to operate on patients. After years of observing the patients, no clear signs of the symptoms have been detected.
Potatoes by Marco Antonio Victorino
Lime or olive green
Optical properties
Smooth; glassy

Excavation Dogs

Special dogs are required to retrieve the velaitai glass from the poisonous holes and cracks in the earth. These dogs are small and capable of digging through rough terrain. They have to wear special protective gear that allows them to hold the shard in their mouth.   It takes years of training before an excavation dog is ready for duty. Because of the costs involved and the unfortunate reality that nearly all of the dogs will die after accomplishing their objectives, velaitai is incredibly rare and expensive.

Cover image: Scenic Photo of Lake Surrounded by Trees by Roberto Shumski


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Jul 3, 2019 16:24

This is such a nice article and quite an original idea ^-^   I have a couple of things that might sound better if you change them.   1. Under texture, you've written: "Texture: smooth, glassy"
I'd replace glassy with reflective :D   2. "Velaitai glass has many similar characteristics as obsidian."
I'm not sure why, but something about this sentence bothers my eyes... I'd recommend writing something like: "Velatai glass shares many qualities with obsidian" or something like that :D   I have to comment on the poor doggos, good boys, sad fate :(
A+ on the etymology, I got very excited when I saw it! :0   I'm wondering why the eccentric inventor died... Was it because her mask wasn't good enough or because the gas is also poisonous when it comes into contact with skin. Like a nerve gas of sorts?   Very nice work Dhel :3

Grab your hammer and go worldbuild! :3
Jul 3, 2019 18:07 by Mihkel Rand

Thank you for the feedback :3   By glassy, I was mostly referring to the feel of glass although it is also reflective. Those doggos have it pretty rough in Lethea :( The inventor died to a combination of the mask not being good enough and the skin being vulnerable. Give it a few centuries, I'm sure they'll figure gas masks out when they start weaponizing the gas.

Creator of Lethea and Pekkola

Maker of Maps
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