Toruum - Spark Glass
On the scale of things, toruum was a recently discovered mineral. It is otherwise known as "spark glass" because of it's appearance. With no external force applied to it, the toruum will generally appear as shards of glass, reflective alongside the darker rock it exists near. However, whenever it is moved or a force is applied to it, lighting seems to dance within it. Larger fragments will also produce a sound when the sparks occur. This age found a way to utilize the spark glass as energy in both mundane settings and as a component in certain spells. While this is a naturally occurring substance, there is research being done into how it might be replicated.
Simply put, toruum is a clear glass with purple and dark blue lightning streaks lighting up the inside. The clearer the glass, the more efficient the energy stored inside it is and the brighter the streaks of lightning.
Physical & Chemical Properties
The more active the material has been, the warmer it gets. This heat rarely ever gets to the point where it might burn a person, but wearing large pieces of it directly against the skin might eventually become uncomfortable. At extremely high temperatures, it will melt but does not otherwise react to flame. Until it begins to melt, even being directly in the fire will not heat up the surface enough to prevent someone from holding it directly.
Geology & Geography
So far, toruum has only been discovered deep in mountain ranges through Verkko. Other than that, little is known of how it forms. The deposits that have been discovered aren't otherwise similar.
History & Usage
For citizens of modern empires, toruum was discovered in the city of Iddlio. Iddlio still possess one of the largest known deposits of toruum found, and the discovery of it there catapulted spark glass into its modern uses. The true discovery of it is unknown. However, there are tales of lightning streaked monuments and adornments in the ancient civilizations. Their descendants jealously guard that information and its previous purpose. The greater history of this material is thus considered lost to time.
The refinement of toruum is still in its early stages. It can be cut, or sometimes melted, into more stable shapes. The smaller pieces, or sometimes the entire thing, can become inert when tampered with. Given the craftsmanship necessary to retain its original potency and not blow everything up, those that have been sanctioned to refine toruum are few and far between.
Manufacturing & Products
Those among the most wealthy count toruum as a prized possession in their jewelry boxes or among other such inane items. When worn, the warmth of the person and the constant jostling mean that the sparks in the glass come out often. Skilled craftspeople are able to take advantage of this and incorporate toruum in an eye catching display. However, it is extremely costly to do so. The military has been researching ways to utilize this as the spark for bombs or bombs themselves. Testing such a reactive material in secret has proven challenging, but the researchers are making progress. It is likely that it would be used in more precision displays rather than at the forefront of armies as the amount necessary to do that kind of damage is great. Toruum is most commonly used as a generator. The movement of the material induces the current inside of it, meaning that it can charge batteries or be a power source as long as it is moving. The energy it produces can be harnessed to do anything from powering spells to keeping streetlights on in windy villages.
Processing large amounts of toruum can be dangerous. The energy inside of the crystal can be explosive when handled improperly. There have been few incidents wherein these large portions of toruum have shattered on the ground at once, but each has been highly destructive. These factory incidents led the way to their potential as a military compound rather than simply a practical one. Long term exposure to toruum has not been documented. Some of the more ancient civilizations have been exposed to this material for longer, but it is often limited to a few magic users in their midst. These elders have been observed by outsiders to be blind or have snaking tattoos up their arms. However, for the larger world, it is unknown if this is a side effect of exposure or a coincidence.
Trade & Market
Toruum is still considered an exotic compound. There are few mines which possess it, and working with it is so difficult that it is not widespread. That means it comes at a premium. The The Carvorsth are surprisingly the only traveling merchants that are willing to bring toruum throughout the land. Typically, it is moved by way of empire financed wagons working with each of the mining guilds. After it is refined and less volatile, trinkets of it can be found further from the source. There is a market for regular glass charmed with illusion magic to appear like the notorious spark glass. These incantations always wear off, eventually, but the fakes have become increasingly common in recent years, nonetheless.