Glyph crystal Material in Teshelyn | World Anvil
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Glyph crystal


Material Characteristics

Glyph crystals usually form as six-faced pillars of clear white-blue crystal.

Physical & Chemical Properties

Glyph crystals are almost entirely sound-absorbent. They tend to dampen small vibrations in the water around them as a result, and are invisible to the echolocation of dolphins.

Geology & Geography

Glyphs have been found all throughout the ocean floor, but the largest natural reserves are found in the southwestern Balacen, near the Sauhul Archipelago. They are commonly found towards the surface of the ocean floor.

Origin & Source

The conditions that lead to glyph formation are unknown, but their abundance combined with the ability of the dolphins to mimic the properties of glyphs using songsphere technology makes the origins of the glyphs a question of curiosity rather than of vital importance.

Life & Expiration

Glyphs have been discovered containing whalesong from three centuries ago with minimal degradation, so that is the lower limit of their deterioration. Older recordings have not been verified by cetalinguists yet, but it is clear that glyph crystals are very stable in their ability to retain sound.

History & Usage

Everyday use

Storage and playback of sound

Cultural Significance and Usage

The discovery of the acoustic properties of glyph crystals kickstarted the field of cetalinguistics. While songspheres have largely supplanted glyphs in terms of usage in aquacoustic libraries, the passive recordings of glyph crystals were fundamental to early cetalinguistic translators. Discovery of new glyph stores is always an exciting event as translators rush to decipher any new secrets the crystals may contain.

Manufacturing & Products

While glyphs can absorb and maintain sound in their natural state, it is possible with some refinement to get them to absorb other forms of matter as well. Some scientists have managed to find a way to get glyphs to absorb material by simultaneously amplifying the sound frequencies a glyph can receive, and reducing a material to a unique signature of sound waves. Reconstitution of the material is an entirely separate endeavor, but Balacen engineers have almost found the solution.

Environmental Impact

The absorbent properties of glyphs make them somewhat aversive to smaller organisms, especially ones that depend on currents for feeding or passive transportation. Sponges, krill, jellies, anemones, and other similar organisms cannot survive in the still waters surrounding a glyph. The extent of this field is small for a singular crystal, however, so this is not usually disruptive to the environment. It is only in areas with larger glyph stores that organisms of higher trophic levels are affected.

Reusability & Recycling

It seems that a glyph crystal can emit its stored recording several times before losing it. Archaeologists and translators have been very cautious not to exhaust any glyphs, so this limit has not been fully established, but it seems that there is a loss of quality with each emission. Presumably the glyph would be able to absorb another recording once exhausted, but this has not been successfully tested.
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