Sun Crystals Material in Odezia | World Anvil
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Sun Crystals

You should definitely purchase one yourself, for umbar trees cannot be found everywhere, and this small crystal, even though it might not look like much, will keep you safe from the dangers of the night.
— Ordall Marvo Nisent, realm guide

Sun crystal, also known as Bardyl, is a special variety of sordite, a crystalline mineral. There are many different varieties of sordite, with most variants being semi-transparent, ranging from a pink, purple to blue hues. They are considered semi-precious gemstones and often used for jewellery and other decorative arts pieces. Bardyl, on the other hand, is an opaque softly glowing crimson stone. What makes sun crystals truly special, apart from its strange colouring and faint illuminessence, is its ability to repel malevolent creatures.

Historical significance

The discovery of sun crystals resulted in a revolutionary migration to new places as towns did not need to be built around umbars any longer. Settlements were purposely built alongside rivers, coasts and other strategic locations. Additionally, towns were now able to grow larger in size. Communications and trade were also improved due to the discovery of sun crystals, since travel was no longer restricted to daytime. 
On a darker note, sun crystals became the most valuable ore in existence, and many wars were, and still are, fought for and because of it. The victor of these wars both claims the lands where sun crystals can be mined as well as advantageous settlement locations.

Sun crystal market

In most countries, either the sun crystal mines are owned directly by the government, or the government regulates the sun crystal market with strict legislation. Due to strict regulations regarding distribution and placement, many towns and cities are safe havens. In addition to personally owned sun crystals, the government ensures they are embedded into city gates, and town square centre pieces such as fountains and statues. Personally owned sun crystals are usually securely placed in barred alcoves next to front doors when the sun starts to set. Additionally, sun crystals are sometimes set into jewellery, armour and vehicles for people on the move.

Personal value

Most, if not all families are in the possession of a sun crystal. Even most people living near umbar trees own a sun crystal, with the exception of a small number of people living in rural areas. As most sun crystals are active for at least one generation, sun crystals are usually handed down to descendants. Sun crystals are also common gifts for children who leave the family home. 
Sun crystals are not only someone’s most valuable possession for their malevolent creature repelling ability, but also because of its economic value. While sun crystals are not necessarily uncommon, they are still rather expensive. The number of sun crystals owned by a family or even a single person is thus a sign of wealth.

Discovery

While its true value was not recognised at first, sun crystals' repelling abilities were discovered several times independently.
In Garyiala, it was Othya Novar 'the Dawn' herself who discovered sun crystals' repelling abilities. She spread the crystals amongst her people, but also shared the gift with neighbouring towns, friends and old enemies alike. This way, Novar reunited the people of the Gar Riverlands, ending what in Garyiala is known as the Hundred Peoples Period and establishing the Garyialan Empire.

* This section will be expanded upon when I flesh out my countries.

Lifespan

In contrast to  umbar trees, sun crystals do not have an infinite lifespan. After a certain amount of years, its repelling effects wear off. The exact number of years of activity depends on multiple aspects such as size and quality of the crystal. When a sun crystal extinguishes it turns inky black and starts to emit a noxious current, causing sickness to the living also known as flare sickness. Thus, it is important the crystal is removed as quickly as possible. Extinct sun crystals are removed by sun crystal disposers, commonly known as dimmers.

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