lesser Sky Fire
Lesser Sky fire is an organic oil derived from two types of special sea weed, Heekma's Grass which sparkles in sunlight and Dalgari's Moss which glows in moonlight. When the essence of these two plants is distilled via alchemy and then the two essences are mixed, it creates an effect called lesser Sky Fire. More secular Scaraquans believe this is a simple alchemical reaction while more spiritually minded Scaraquans believe this substance channels the very essence of the sun, moon, and stars, in other words a tiny piece of the primal Sky Fire. Unlike true Sky Fire, lesser Sky Fire generates no heat, but it does generate copious amounts of light. Scaraquan deep divers use sky fire for exploring dark waters. It is also sometimes used to light homes.
History & Usage
Low grade lesser Sky Fire has been in use among Scaraquans for many centuries, so far back that it's exact genesis is long forgotten. High grade lesser Sky Fire was one of the first discoveries once formalized alchemy was established in the Inner Ocean.
Low grade lesser Sky Fire is commonly used by all social classes through Scaraqua for people that need to act at night or wish to explore deeper darker waters. When exploring dark waters, there is the risk that lighting lesser Sky Fire can potentially expose the user to hostile deep water predators by literally lighting up their location. High grade lesser Sky Fire flares can stun or frighten various deep water beasts but low grade lesser Sky Fire tends to attract or enthrall such beasts. High grade lesser Sky Fire is mostly seen as a luxury for the rich or a tool for very successful adventurers. Some undersea militaries use light flares as a means of long range signaling.
Low grade Sky Fire can be manufactured by almost any Scaraquan peasant with lots of patience. One must simply squeeze the pulp from the requisite Heekma's Grass and Dalgari's Moss plants and seal them in a ceramic container. Mid and high grade Sky Fire requires liquid essence of Heekma's Grass and Dalgari's Moss, not simply pulp. It requires alchemist's training and specialized equipped to dispel liquid essence like this without getting it diffused in the sea, or a Scaraquan needs to be able to breath air, surface briefly and squeeze the pulp above the surface of the water.
Trade & Market
Heekma's Grass and Dalgari Moss are very commonly available wild growing plants. These plants are not edible but they are not poisonous. The essence of these plants is fairly easy to harvest but it is time consuming.
Heekma's Grass and Dalgari Moss lasts a couple weeks after being harvested before it is no longer usable. The essence of these two plants lasts roughly four years in storage if kept separately in cool and dark containers. After about four years a high grade set of Sky Fire oils degrades to mid grade oils which will eventually degrade into low grade oils before becoming utterly useless.
Law & Regulation
There are different grades of lesser Sky Fire, depending on the purity of the plant essences mixed. The higher the purity of the plant essences used, the brighter the light created. The lowest grade makes a weak but very long lasting glow while the highest grade makes a very bright but fairly short-lived glow. No laws limit who may manufacture or possess Sky Fire, but the high grade lesser Sky Fire variants are labor intensive to make and therefore expensive. In the Oshamni Empire, there are four officially recognized grades of purity and it is considered a serious crime for a merchant to fraudulently misrepresent the quality of lesser Sky Fire sold or traded.