Coral Glass Material in Shadowfire | World Anvil

Coral Glass

This living coral is found in the shallow waters of Uferbrech sea, with variations found across the reefs of the Tangled Fathoms. It sparkles with iridescent colours ranging from pale pinks to vibrant oranges and deep purples. The coral grows in vast shelves of thin overlapping undulating fans, and the Motu discovered that while they are growing, the corals can be moulded into shapes both complex and simple, and as they mature they harden into a strong glass-like material.   The coralsmiths work on multiple creations at once, and have vast plots or farms on the reefs that they tend to every day, tweaking and coaxing the corals into the desired shapes. The process is mediative as the coral can take a long time to grow. A simple sheet of glass or small piece of jewellery may take a year, while a full suit of armour might take many years, and over their life, a dedicated coralsmith may only complete one or two of these.   These master works are very rare, protected by the Motu who make them, and fought over by the wealthy of the Protectorates who are enamoured of the exotic beauty of the things created with it.  


A rare form of coralglass can be found growing in the deeper parts of the Tangled Fathoms. It tends to the purples and blue coloration compared to the surface corals, but its most striking feature is the presence of phosphorous minerals that it brings into itself when growing. These forms veins of glowing iridescence that lace the corals, and give off a pale blue light. items crafted with glowglass are exceedingly rare, and rumoured to possess magic properties.

History & Usage


During the invasion of Uferbrech, the invaders from the Protectorates discovered the shallow coral farms of the Motu, and many examples of the craft. They stole much of the coral glass as decorations and for the windows of the fort and temple at Omberstad .

Everyday use

The master coralsmiths of the Motu create armour, weapons, building materials and stunning jewellery from the coral glass, styled into highly organic and flowing ridges and decorative wings and undulations, using the rippling colours of the coral as a guide to the expression of the forms themselves.   When coaxed into thin sheets, the final material is translucent - with the very skilled able to make it transparent. In this form is used in construction for windows, or for the protective eyewear in high demand by intrepid merchants and adventurers seeking passage to the sunside wastes of Ardi-Kokufa and beyond.   Other uses have been to bend and twist the corals as they grow into think, multi-layered glass works that can be moulded into highly protective armours - breastplates, greaves and helms. The coral armor can be heavy or light, depending on the crafting, but is suprisingly strong - nearly matching steel, despite its relative brittleness.   Artists will break coralglass into pieces to create complex mosaics for both stained-glass windows and tiled floors of their homes.

Cultural Significance and Usage

The Motu see the cultivation and crafting of the coral as a symbol of their relations with the natural world of their homes, and a connection to the gods of the reef. The plundered corals they know have been used by the people of Omberstad is a huge affront that they seek retribution for - a return of the things stolen and reparation for that which cannot be recovered.
Washes of pale salmons, bright pinks and rusted oranges often laced through with veins of deep purples and vibrant blues
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Cover image: by Matt Keiffer


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Dec 22, 2020 09:49 by Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)

What a unique craft to make (or rather grow) items out of this material. It must be very beautiful!

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.