I dropped the glittering gemstone as soon as my hand first touched it. It seemed to scream through my arm, vibrating it as my hair stood on end. Surely, others had felt this before? And yet, it is highly sought after in every corner of the world. What I felt must have been real, otherwise I have fallen into madness.
Couleuz is a purple gemstone which seems present only beneath the Rektouzk
capital of Coulchlek
. It has captivated many, and helped to propel the nation to the soaring heights of its current economy.
From the Dark
Couleuz has been found only beneath Coulchlek, within the depths of a region of Tchaoxlik
called Chluetichlon Polt
. Here, entire settlements have been built in the dark to house the legions of miners needed to excavate the material. Not only this, but this separation from the surface is essential to hide the fact that many will go mad after too much exposure to couleuz. While this is incredibly rare on the surface, those surrounded by the gemstone cannot avoid this outcome— and it's thought best that the world at large not fear such a major export.
Couleuz covers every surface in the caverns it inhabits in a dazzling sea of spiked purple crystals. Most crystals only grow three to five inches off the ground, with occasional clusters of thick growth up to three feet in height. Extracting it is simple, picks are used to tap at the base of the crystals and wrest them free. From there, they are collected into baskets, and hauled to the surface by hand and cart.
The Stars in Your Hands
Some say that couleuz is no mere gemstone, but a window into the cosmos. Within the dark purple gemstone are round flecks of glistening gold which remind one of the stars above. Playing into this, the gem is often cut into a concave circle which resembles the sky. It is said that the secretive rituals of the Coulqepluex
center around large cuts of the gem. Beyond ritual, the stone is used primarily as decoration.
Jewelry, weaponry, furniture, armor, and grand architecture— the gem sees use in a variety of places. Even alchemy
, at times, sees use of it— though it is advised against.