Therian mining has not changed much over the last few hundred years. Powered by strong arms and backs, it is a dirty job that pays little to the laborer, and only slightly more to the supervisor. Some ores are very common and have become the backbone of society, iron to make steel, and precious metals for minting coins are what usually come to mind when discussing mining. Some cultures, like dark elves and dwarves, encounter ores as a byproduct of their underground existence. Their lifetimes spent surrounded by materials for forging and crafting wondrous and terrifying tools.
Magic has not been without an impact on mining, but has yet to be present in such a magnitude as to be sustainable as a primary means for extraction. Closer still has been the age old dream of so many alchemists to finally turn a base metal into gold. There is one material that comes closest to this dream in both value and scarcity; equally prized by craftsmen, magic users, and alchemists alike, Florynite.
Florynite is a rare metal mined from underwater caves in the Frostbasin. Small parties of hardy miners actively hunt through shallow caves along the shore between Stonesunder and the Northlands. Florynite is naturally embedded in the rock walls in rounded globules similar to geodes. These round globules are noticeable because of their unusual ability to balance in nearly any position. While the exterior of the Florynite ore is a solid crust, internally there is a viscous semi-fluid core that is self-balancing. The hard crust makes it easy to remove with a pickaxe without fear of damage, but it is rarely found in a size larger than a child’s hand. The weight of Florynite is relative to that of pure copper.
While technically an ore, Florynite does not hold up well to traditional metallurgical processes. Traditional smithing leaves the surface dull and pock-marked. Craftsmen have needed to work with it more like they would glass products, although without the same fear of shattering it.
In its natural state the coloration is unremarkable, drawing more from the minerals of the local groundwater, however after polishing, Florynite has greenish-gold hue that is unmistakable. It is used primarily for ornamental purposes.
A scheming gnome recognized a unique property in how it transfers light across its surface. Rumor has it that this gnome inventor is trying to sell gullible adventurers a “seeing pipe” that would allow them to look around corners safely, but this item (and its effectiveness) has not been verified.