Underworld's heart

We stopped somewhere near the river, two days away from the City. In front of us, crossing the river and turning it into a small waterfall, was the reason for our stop. It looked like a vein of oddly hard rock, a large edge that came from the depth of the Cylinder and somehow managed to rise up to the ground.   The material in itself was impressive. Completely black, some purple and pink iridescence gave the impression of a light dancing beneath the surface of the rock, like some odd spirit trapped in the black material. This was the heart, or the veins, of the Underworld.   Uain' looked at us, then at the vein. They took a pickaxe, and started digging.
  Underworld's hearts, as one could guess from their name, come from the deepest layers of the Cylinder. However, one can rarely find small veins up close to the surface. In such case, the material is almost always found close to or in a mountain range. It is thought that the heart veins found in the mountains got up in the surface as an aftermath of the destruction of ancient Great Cities by old gods, during the Recession.

History & Usage

Everyday use

Underworld hearts are largely used in Enchantment and manipulation of Ghostpowder. Indeed, the product has several properties that are similar to one would expect from a solid form of ghospowder. It can consume organic matter to remain active, it has a presence in the Spirit world, and it can transfer information to ghostpowder. In addition, Underworld hearts have a property called "pattern recognition". If activated with organic matter, and put in contact of a communcation enchantment of Ghostpowder, the heart will recognize that enchantment specifically. The recognition can be controlled to be absolutely specific, and have the heart deliver a response signal exclusively if it is in contact with the very same enchantment. It can also be slightly less so, and have the heart produce a response signal for any enchantment it is put in contact with that has the same structural organization of the original pattern.   Both of these properties are often used in material enchantments, particularly in security devices such as the ones used in block currency.


Because of its spiritual presence, underworld hearts are hazardous products. They can be hijacked by dangerous spiritual entities, that may use them to acquire some physical power over their surroundings, or to subsequently use the computation power of the hearts to attack one's heart.   What is more, the hearts can attrack bodied Shadow Creatures, that directly predate and consume the matter. Although this is not much of a hazard when working with small amounts, it poses a massive problem when extracting and storing the Hearts before selling them.
rarer than metals
Black, colorful iridescence that almost seems "dancing".
Common State
Solid vein breaching to the ground.
Related Technologies

Cover image: by Pouaseuille


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