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Ormàkai - the Crystal of Light ([ɔːma:kaɪ])

The Crystal of Light (Ormàkai)

Compilation Date: Jolta 561 AFD, 8 NE

Màr’add Turarchusz
 

Chronicler's Note

This is a compilation of records, some dating back to before the First Destruction. The Chronicler has attempted to remain objective, while not dismissing the mystical theories surrounding the Circle's most treasured Crystal. The original documents have been carefully returned to the Bezélian Archives, but are too numerous to list their reference numbers here.

Màr’add Turarchusz (Turarch)
  The Crystal of Light (known, in Foyiitùn, as Ormàkai 1) was one of the six Elemental Crystals safeguarded by the Mages of the Crystal Circle. It was also collectively agreed to be the most potent and vital of all the Six. The Crystal of Light was, at 553AFD, held by the Mage Claris.  

Why is Light Considered an Element?

To prevent duplication, you can read the answer here.

Origin of the Crystal of Light

  Historical records either complement or clash, depending on how you wish to read them. It is generally accepted, among those that believe in such higher consciences, that ultimately the Elemental Crystals were gifts, or a test, from the Sénakii, or the Elements at the birth of our Orb. It is the location of their discovery that caused so much debate up to even as late as 400AFD. Thereafter, successive Kings have held them and the Crystal Circle in less and less esteem, becoming disinterested in any history surrounding mystical objects.  

Documentation vs the other Crystals

More records have survived regarding the other Elemental Crystals, making tracing their origins far easier. Of the Crystal of Light, however, far fewer scrolls and parchments can be found, or those that were believed to exist have disappeared. Whether they were stolen, were never made in the first place, or vanished through some sorcery or other has never been established, and will likely never be.   The upshot of this is that we have had to piece together what we do know to try to make a logical estimate of that which we do not know.  

Theory 1: Crystal Circle Island

Where better to construct the centre of Myst Sensitivity in the Realm than the location from which the Crystal of Light was discovered? As the Crystal Circle shines a light on the Realm and protects it from the Elements and foes alike, so too does the Tower stand as a beacon to all in Qal'ath.
Name Illegible
Date (per Alchemic testing): c 243BFD
by F J Brodie
I took the liberty of scrawling a copy of the area onto a rough piece of parchment for this task. Historians need not fear: the original has not been defaced and, since I chose some paper going to waste, the original is in a much better state, too!
One of the original maps of Qal'ath we have discovered had markings as to where the different Elemental Crystals were purported to have originated. As this fragment shows, the diamond-shaped pattern indicates a possible Crystal location. This has been more-or-less confirmed - not the location itself but confirming that "this was the position held". Others, such as the Crystal of Flame came from the Fyrhoii, the Crystal of Earth from the Great Oak in the Forest of Doon and so on.   As Light comes and goes each and every day, however, no one location (as it was known at the time) was deemed to have more Light than elsewhere. Indeed, as the Crystal Circle Tower sits at the precise North-South point where Light is most in balance, it seems philosophers agreed no other location more probable or logical would be found for where the Crystal of Light was first discovered.

Theory 2: The Glàsdei Anormà

Glàsdei Anormà, first investigated by Qal'ath around 49BFD is a natural feature but with other-worldly properties. Even scholars who dismiss the mystical arts agree that they cannot explain its activity through the normal study of objective evidence. Its name is of historical interest as those beings - or entities - we now call the Elements were once revered as gods. Worship of the Elements - or at least the one closest in line with where your home or family were located - was commonplace. Thus this place translates from Foyiitùn as the Ice-god of Light or the the god of Ice-Light.
by F J Brodie
Here is not the place for a more detailed examination of the structure. Please see Annal III, Section IX Geological Structures: the Ice Light (Bezélian Archives, not the Shevezzi Archives).
What is relevant is that the "hollowed out mountain" of the Glàsdei emits Light, as well as being exceedingly cold. Some cultures, including the Deenfeiss Leen Kyadii of Frostplain have held that not only is the place "bright" but that there is a "presence of Light" too. Thus, not a few voices have argued that the Sénaki of Light (Ormàsénàki or Sénakormà) chose this place, both as an location to inhabit and to hide the Crystal of Light.  

Theory 3: Both of These

Those who have promoted unity over all else have posited that both these theories could, in fact, be correct. As record-keeping was either less well carried out, or said records have simply not survived the passage of time, it could be that the Crystal originated at the Glàsdei and was then relocated to Circle Island. Once an item has existed in one location for a generation or two, without evidence to the contrary, it is not entirely unreasonable to assume it came from there.

Granted Capabilities

  Much better documented than its origin is the power it grants to the Guardian Mage.  

Longer Lifespan and Vitality

During my sejourn in Qal'ath (for I now reside in Shevezz), Claris was kind enough (or patient enough, at least) to explain this to me. She was at pains to assure me that the Elemental Crystals were always only guarded by "mere mortals". Thus, while some sought, at times, to wrest them from their Guardians for the gift of immortality, this was never an aspect of their power. That said, it seems the Guardian Mages of the past lived twenty and upwards of thirty Ana (per the Foyii Measure, not the Qalathii one) longer than a citizen of equal background, living conditions and Myst Sensitivity.   Moreover, Guardians retained their strength (though not their youthful features) for much of that extension.  
If the reader wishes for entertainment, scour the records of criminals convicted of attacking the elderly. For, while a Guardian Mage may appear aged, weak and fragile, they are as able to physically fight as someone much younger, probably to the embarrassment of some would-be thieves.
 

Far-Sight

In summary, Far-Sight gave the Guardian of the Crystal of Light the ability to see beyond the range of normal vision. This included distance as well as through buildings or natural, geological structures. While variants of Far-Sight did exist with lesser crystals, the range and clarity the Crystal of Light granted far exceeded any other shards that could be discovered. Furthermore, the "true crystal" granted visions of possible (and usually presume "probable") futures.   For a more detailed discussion, please consider reading my document on the Guardian of the Crystal of Light (as at 553 AFD), Claris.  

Blindness Attack

While some equate Light to passivity and peace, I must remind the reader that the primary role of the Crystal Circle was to protect the Realm. Some of this could be achieved at a distance, but Mages were, historically at least, required on the battlefield. One use of the Crystal of Light was to inflict temporary blindness on multiple targets, causing them to be dazed and confused. This allowed Qal'ath to capture enemies instead of killing them outright. While Light Shards could achieve such an effect on one person, they seem to only hold to that one person until the spell is cast on another.   More dangerously, Crystal Circle records that were somehow in the Bezélian Archives say that:
After tests on a number of creatures who were already so close to death as to be beyond healing, we can see that the Crystal of Light could, in the wrong hands, cause permanent blindness...a further experiment on a bird seemed to cause it to forget how to fly. The Crystal of Light may be the greatest good condensed into a small gemstone, but if it has the power to erase memory, it must also be the most tightly guarded.
It seems only much later that the Crystal itself had a different aspect, to which I will turn shortly. If not for this, one of malintent could have turned it to evil ends. However now, the close guarding and the "wrong hands" really refer to one not trained in its use, and not properly bound to it. Causing accidental destruction, if you will.  

Banishment of Darkness

Firstly, in the literal sense, the Crystal could light the way through physical darkness so long as the Guardian remained awake and alert. Tiredness caused a dimming of that light.   Secondly, in a moral or "spiritual" sense, the Crystal could stop, disarm or disable people or creatures who had immoral or "evil" intentions. This did not count for creatures of nature who might hunt people or their pets for food or to protect territory. However, enslaved Wolves being controlled in order to create terror, are a good example of where the Crystal would intervene.   When combating dark incantations, it could fight against those where other mages and, indeed other Guardian Mages of the Crystal Circle may be defeated. Simply holding the Crystal of Light did not mean victory over a dark or evil weaver of spellcraft. Battles between Mages are complex and this document is not the place to elaborate on that.  

Shielding

The Crystal of Light could perform the most potent version of Kyl-Y-Ormà, a shielding incantation. This was a ward against certain magick and mental spells. For more details, please see the dedicated page for that.  

Mental and Physical Healing

In tune with the shielding mentioned above, the best "weapon" in the mystical healing arts was the Crystal of Light. One could be a healer with other spellcraft and with or without a focus of some sort, naturally, but having the Guardian Mage of Light gave Qal'ath the greater advantage. Though it could not bring someone back from the dead, or one who has begun the journey to The End, it could be used to restore someone before they fell too deeply. With appropriate usage, the Crystal of Light could bind wounds, stem blood flow and purge poison. It may also be used to assist someone who has become a victim of mind control or even certain "clinical" mental illnesses. Please see Emotional Healing for further information.
Limitation: Influence Not Control
It is said elsewhere but must be reiterated. Guardian Mages influenced the Elements, but did not control them. Thus healing was rarely flawless and not every person who could be saved would be restored. This was especially true on the battlefield, where a Mage may simply be on hand to provide instant attention before the ally or civilian was taken for more traditional medical care, or to other healers who had the time or focus to fully assist them.  
Limitation: Emotional Healing
This is best quoted than explained:
While spellcraft can fix a great many things, it cannot adequately influence a being's emotional state. One is responsible for one's own emotional responses, at least where a pre-existing illness is not present. Thus it is futile to trust in incantations and sorcery in the pursuit of happiness, joy or other feelings. It is especially dangerous if employed where love or hatred is at the core, for the Elements do not intervene, leaving the being believing in something that may not exist.
Guardian Mage Ren
(in a recent conversation with myself)
 

Light-Attuned Spellcraft & Intention

Unlike all the other Elemental Crystals, the Crystal of Light had morality 2 - in this case - morally good. You could not lash out in spite, intentionally kill someone, or strike in pure revenge with it, for example. However, incantations designed to do people good, or those used with just or fair reasoning were enhanced. While it could not be set in proverbial stone where the boundaries of "good" were, because a Guardian Mage was bound to their Crystal, it sensed the Mage's intentions, desire and motives. Thus it is theoretically possible to be completely impotent while still holding the Crystal of Light.   The Guardian Mage who is linked to it must therefore always check their own thoughts before casting incantations. This has led some to become agitated or annoyed when they believed their response fair, only for the Crystal to deny them.  

A Crystal With a Will

  The last major theme to discuss about the Crystal of Light is that which sets it completely apart from the others: it has a will of its own. There is no detailed documentation and only cursory observations.  
  • If separated from the focus (in Claris' case, her staff), it may jump out of a pocket or roll off a surface. This seems to be thought as a way of trying to be found by its Guardian Mage.

  • Under Far-Sight it is the visions of the Crystal itself that are presented and are not affected by anything the Mage would want or prefer to see.

  • Spell Resistence: It may decide not to cast a particular incantation, though this has only been observed outside of the battle scenario. As you cannot talk to a Crystal, nor communicate with the Sénakii, no one has found a definitive way to discern why that is. However, both Claris and Farynna have recorded some cases, where it seems to be an opportunity for the caster to learn some lesson, or to have a moment of introspection to reflect on the wielder's own intentions.

Light Shards

While here is not the place for a detailed discussion of so-called "Light Shards", a summary is helpful for laying down the distinction between them and the genuine Crystal of Light.   Light Shards were usually made from Everice, a rare form of ice that never melts - even against fire magicks.   Therefore if anyone claimed to have found another "Crystal of Light", in actuality, had discovered a shard or fragment. As such, they still functioned to serve as a way of improving one's sight, both day and night time vision. These lesser-shards did not create a "link" with the carrier as Ormàkai did but were still rare. Other documented effects simply say they are minor and encountering a Mage wielding Everice should not be unduly shaken. This is because many spells call on Light and Everice does not materially enhance the potency of incantations.  

Do Shards Have a Will?

To dispel all illusions, the simple, and only, answer is: no.

Footnotes
  1. Per Foyiitùn's "language smoothing" effect, "Kaiormà" would never be used and "Kiormà" would be confused with "Kyormà", denoting a "cat of the light" which would be deemed a nonsense term. Thus Ormàkai was the accepted term. ⇧ back
  2. All the other Five Elemental Crystals were amoral. It was their use by the Mage that determined how much good or evil was brought about through it.⇧ back
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Item type
Magical
Creation Date
At the Creation of the Savani Orb.
Current Holder
Owning Organization
Related Condition
Rarity
There is only one Crystal of Light that grants the Guardian influence over the behaviour of Orma. While lesser Crystals have been rumoured to exist, this one stands alone in its potency.
Base Price
Unique, Immeasurable.
Current Guardian
Claris
Possible Discovery Locations
Crystal Circle Island, Glàsdei Anormà

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Cover image: by F J Brodie

Comments

Author's Notes

I appreciate this article is very long. I may break it down into sub-articles at a later point, but I wanted all aspects of this Crystal in one place for the time being. The other Elemental Crystals are far simpler in nature so will not require this depth of explanation. Thank you so much, if you made it this far!


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