ehjämä [eh-YAHMAH]

The most sought after currency of the The Black Market

"Those who lose their lives for the clan shall find it. Those who live their life shall lose it.
Gypsy Proverb


As the The Black Market grew, so did trade, influence and the call of society above ground. The Gypsy are a wandering folk. That call from the world is a powerful one, and Iyl-Tandril (NÄE) knew something had to be done to keep the younger generations from abandoning their people & community for the lies of the world.   He decided to share a rare and secret wealth, called Värlämä [vahr-LAHMAH]. This acrane magic rips the essence from someone condemned to death--a traitor or prisoner convicted of a crime worthy of such a punishment. The essence of the person is trapped in an enchanted stone or jewel.   How this spell works and what is done with that trapped essence is a well-guarded secret, but what I did discover, is that only the oldest and most trusted of the clan had anything to do with this process in ancient times.   That is, until a century ago…when the Triad decided to craft a new currency. One which every merchant now works and haggles to obtain.   Ehjämä [eh-YAMAH] ... or, whole life.

Economic Influence

The creation and influx of ehjämä into the Black Market community has dramatically increased trade between the Gypsy people and outsiders.   Gems such as diamonds, emeralds, and rubies hold higher monetary value than gold and silver (due only to their magical uses), even with the Gypsy Eye carved into its surface. While the Market itself doesn’t hold as much value to these empty vessels as merchants do, it has allowed discriminating businessmen and women to acquire great wealth when trading directly with the Gypsy people.   In return, the draw of new merchants has increased Market resources and influence upon the outside world. This allows the Market Exchange (where all currency is measured and converted to usable coin/gems within the community, including livestock) to thrive, offsetting any disadvantage to locals by adjusting the value of other forms of payment.   The ‘dead’ ehjämä are usually collected by merchants and exchanged outside the Market, recouping full world-value for each gem. This has, over time, spread rumors of the The Black Market and bolstered the reputation of the Gypsies among other races.    

Cultural Influence

The introduction and use of ehjämä saved a generation. A secluded people, living hidden underground, now thrives unequaled. Yet as a fishis, I have to question if this is because of the actual currency itself, or the sharing of an ancient and secret practice within the whole clan?   There are many secrets among this people, with whom I live. Yet the open pride in wearing an ehjämä around wrist or neck is a common sight if you know where to look. There are few places you can walk without seeing the subtle glow of a red, green or blue gem peeking out from a tunic on a young Gypsy. Proof that the whispered dark side of this people is now a burden shared by all.   These stones may be a powerful form of wealth through the gem itself, but the cultural & magical influence hold greater respect and sway.   Ehjämä restored a dying people to a place of unity & devotion, catching the attention of their young long enough to open ears and hearts. For all good parents know that it takes gentle, yet profound persuasion to teach your children the truth about their own culture.   I fear the world underestimates the Gypsy people. That simple fact is going to bite the world in the butt someday.   It’s important here to note that it is forbidden for any non-Iskari to possess a live ehjämä. It is against Gypsy law to share arcane knowledge with outsiders unless express permission is given by the NÄE, the TUÄ, or the ÄTU. The penalty for this crime is death by Värlämä [vahr-LAHMAH] unless pardoned by the Triad themselves.   I know this for a fact because my daughter Alhannah Luckyfeller was given an ehjämä by Iyl-Tandril (NÄE) himself, to save her life.   Tgii bless his soul for it.

Ehjämä Stones

Av. Weight:
18 Carat
Av. Value:
Only flawless gems are used to create the symbolic eye currency. Though the size varies slightly, the gauge used by Gypsy artisans to craft an ehjämä is the length and size of their thumb. Measured from the last knuckle to the tip of their thumb, eyes are shaped from diamonds, amethysts ametrine, amber, emeralds, garnets, fire agate, and rubies.   The immense value of each gem is determined by the size, clarity, the ability to cut the stones into commonly acceptable sizes & magical uses.
"Those Gypsies are a damned lot. No matter what deal I'm willing to make them, they refuse to trade in those bloody eye-gems!"
— Merchant
"I'm telling you, it was amazing. One of the Vallen lost its temper and grabbed the poor armor merchant by the throat. Yet when the guard commanded the beast to stop, it grabbed the closest Gypsy by the throat as well.   There was a flash of red light, and the vallen screamed in pain! T-that small Gypsy reached up and snapped the beasts arm like it was a twig!!"
— Thomas the Weaver
There are two forms of ehjämä: Those containing värlamä (stolen life) & those without.
Any ehjämä containing life energy will glow, its color depending upon the attribute it contains.
There are whispers that other colors exist, but I’ve been unable to substantiate the rumors.

Lüjuus [lo-YOOZ]

Stones giving off a faint red glow are used to enhance overall physical strength.  

Kestävyys [kes-TAH-vooz]

Stones which glow blue are known to bestow endurance and agility. It's quite the visual!  

Älu [AH-loo]

This brilliantly white stone (which seems to shine brighter than it's siblings, bestows some form of intelligence. Whether that is raw intelligence, previous knowledge or mental agility, I don't know.  

Päräntää [parh-RAHN-tah]

Of all the stones, this is the most impressive--healing. Thing is, it doesn't just heal a wound or illness, it actually makes a person...more. Better than before. Also seems to slow the aging process to a degree.  
~ Hobin

The ritual of the ehjämä is a most dangerous practice, orgininating from the Verrdrä, not mankind. To dabble in the splitting of the soul is folly and not recommended--even by the most brilliant if mägo.
~ University of Magic

...when Vebränmiekkä was rejected, he grew angry, challenged by Verdräskinn in defense of his mate.   Verdräskinn defeated Verdräskinn and banished him from the lands, now known as Andilain. As punishment and to his shame, Vebränmiekkä's soul was torn by his brother, forever preventing him from taking mortal form.   The Dragon of the Firey Sword then fell, named BränmiekkäVe (dishonored/traitor)...and he chose to be called Bränn (fire)...
- Book of the West Winds



Author's Notes

CAUTION: I share this information, but warn you not to seek for ehjämä stones openly in the The Black Market. I say this for your own safety. The Gypsies are good and patient people, but outsiders should never...NEVER meddle in their arcane ways.

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28 Aug, 2019 15:24

(I just might need to make a prop one of these in the makerspace at work...! Do particular colors mean anything in terms of value?)

29 Aug, 2019 00:17

The value of a 'dead' ehjämä depends on the gem used--rubies for strength, diamonds for intelligence, Sapphire for endurance and agility, emerald for life/health/healing...   Merchants take the stones and often have jewlers on the surface craft smaller gems to sell--as the large gem used by Gypsies are always flawless. High value.   The exception is--mägo (wizards) will pay top price for these stones, because they have already been enchanted and can be used for a wide range of spells....   Does that answer your question?

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29 Aug, 2019 03:18

This does help! Thank you!

29 Aug, 2019 05:11

Welcome, welcome!   I would be SO happy to see another artifact made from this world...

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