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Elemental Hearts

Elementals of all types have a Heart right at their very core that is imbued with magical properties, and is thought to be the focus and origin of their power and strength.

Properties

Physical Characteristics

Elemental Hearts look very similar to a lump of crystal or quartz, but with a very regular shape. They are often rectangular or square in form, though some Elemental Hearts, particularly those that come from Water Elementals which tend to be oval in form.   Colour wise, Elemental Hearts almost always mirror the colour of the creature they came from. Water Elementals have hearts that are blue in hue, Fire Elementals red, Earth Elementals browns or oranges and Air Elementals whites, greys or pearlescent colours.   The size of the Elemental Heart will depend on the size of the Elemental it originated from. Lesser Elementals have hearts that are barely the size of grapes, whereas Greater Elementals can have hearts that are larger than most humanoids.

Origin & Source

Elemental Hearts are only found within the substance of the Elementals that they belong to. In order for one to exist outside of the body of an Elemental the creature must have first been destroyed.

Life & Expiration

Elemental Hearts that belong to Air Elementals deteriorate the most rapidly, and can only exist outside of the substance of their originator for a couple of hours without being preserved and stored sufficiently.   Fire and Water Elemental Hearts are a bit hardier, and can exist outside of the body of the Elemental they came from for several weeks without preservation. However, they do deteriorate, and will have completely dissipated after a couple of weeks of being outside their creature's body without correct preservation.   Earth Elemental Hearts are the hardiest of all, and last for decades outside of the body without deteriorating or losing their potency.

History & Usage

Everyday use

Elemental Hearts are not common items, but when they are found in circulation in their pure form they are often kept, bought and sold as luck tokens or curios.

Industrial Use

The main demand for Elemental Hearts is for the creation of items with magical properties. Although items can be purely charmed or enchanted by cast magic, magic items made using Elemental Hearts as the basis of their power are much more powerful, retain their enchantments for longer and can hold much more powerful enchantments a lot more easily.

Hazards

If an Elemental Heart is not treated carefully, especially during the manufacturing of a magic item, it can become unstable and unleash a blast of its base element. The Hearts of Greater Elementals are much more dangerous and unstable, and should only be handled and worked on by the most skilled of magical craftsmen.

Distribution

Trade & Market

Because acquiring an Elemental Heart requires the killing of an Elemental they are very hard to get a hold of, and an attempt to secure one will more often than not result in the death of the would be collector.   This means that Elemental Hearts are in very high demand, especially in Zhisbon where they are in high demand for their use in the production of magical items.

Storage

The best way to store an Elemental Heart to ensure that it is preserved and retains its potency is to store it in a container where it is surrounded by a similar substance to the elemental it originated from. For example, storing an Earth Elemental Heart in a container of soil, or a Fire Elemental Heart in a constantly lit brazier will ensure sufficient preservation of the item.   Air Elemental Hearts are the hardest to store as they must be stored in a container of pure, unpolluted air, that has been cleaned magically to remove any contaminants from the air.

Type
Elemental / Molecular
Value
Hearts of Lesser Elementals regularly fetch prices of several hundred Gold Pieces, whereas the Hearts of Greater Elementals can be worth thousands of Platinum Pieces.
Color
Depends on the elemental. Fire Elementals tend to have red hearts, Water Elementals blue etc.
Common State
Solid, though Water, Fire and Air Elemental Hearts will be much softer and more pliable than those of Earth Elementals.

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Cover image: by Chris Pyrah

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