Sun Orb Item in Windtracer | World Anvil

Sun Orb

... Fist-sized orbs hung in each corner of the room. They hummed while giving off a dim light, no brighter than a fading sunset. For a room ten or fifteen paces wide, it was enough...
— From the field journal of Windtracer Tela Kioni, Automatic Crystal Expedition
A Sun Orb is a type of lantern that was used during the height and waning years of the Ancient Order. It was a basic light source used in most Ancient Order buildings and homes by -200 AGC if not before.

Enduring Mystery In A Bright Package

Ancient Order Sun Orbs varied in size but were all the same ‘orb’ shape. The average Sun Orb is four Ishnanori sizu in diameter and weighs about 1.5 tubik. In Ancient Order measurements, that is approximately 10.2 cm and 0.45 kg. The ‘orb’ itself was a smooth, milk or white-butter tinted glass, often with four metal loops evenly spaced around the equator of the ball. They used those loops as a means of how to attach a Sun Orb to a belt or a wall hook in a room.
The glass used by the Ancient Order was not typical, and not like any made by the glass blowers in Ishnanor, Jata, Centrum, or elsewhere. This glass is much stronger and thicker, able to withstand a fall to a stone floor or a hit from a hammer.
It also hits like a hammer if you throw one just right!
— Windtracer Tela Kioni
Glassblowing masters don’t rule out enchantment, but believe the Ancient Order made Sun Orb glass using the ‘Heavens Tear’ technique. In this method, the glassmaker shapes the molten glass before its rapidly cooled in water. Glassmakers believe the four metal loops are where a crafter would hold and shape the glass for blowing and cooling.
Finding one Sun Orb, much less four, that still worked? That was rare...
— From the field journal of Windtracer Tela Kioni, Automatic Crystal Expedition
Despite the strength of the glass, most Sun Orbs that find their way out of Ancient Order ruins are cracked and broken. Only a few have ever been found intact. Of those, a few still mysteriously work.

Riddle of the Rings

The rings fixed around the outside of an orb are another marvel of Ancient Order craftmanship. A dull blue-gray color, the metal rings with their distinct ‘water wave’ pattern are often mistaken for Ishnanori steel or Traveling Star Steel. But neither is true.
This metal is a type of steel created by the Ancient Order imbued with a type of magic to resist rust and corrosion. A few records recovered from the ruins of the Obvion Complex and the mines of Dehur Kjol mention a part of the process. If that information is true, the magic isn’t just cast on the metal. The magic is cast onto the molten metal during the forging process. If the enchantment is applied too soon or late, the ‘rustless’ process will fail. This causes the metal to corrode quickly.
No craft hall has reproduced what magic was used or how it was applied. But this is a hot topic for debate among blacksmiths. So far, only the Kingdom of Helia has had any type of success. But that has only resulted in proofing spoons or possibly even small knives against rust and the elements.

Mechanics & Inner Workings

What a Sun Orb does has been long understood; it generates light. But the ‘how’ is what has eluded scholars, mages, and craft halls for generations. There are dozens of ideas, none have proven correct.
Surviving records found in the remote corners of Awldor mention a type of ‘Sun Stone’. Ancient Order alchemists made this enchanted stone to fuel the Sun Orbs and other items. These stones contained alchemical magic to absorb and hold sunlight or lightning for extreme amounts of time. Records show Ancient Order mages casting lightning spells to charge these stones before they were used.
But the Sun Stones are not the only inner workings of a Sun Orb. Shattered Sun Orbs contain strange metal threads, like fibers from a loom. Once charged, or in contact with elemental fire or lightning spells, those fibers would glow. But the glow wasn’t enough to equal the amount of light a Sun Orb could produce.
One clue to the strange metal fibers is that they attract fire and lightning elementals. It’s thought that the Ancients summoned such elementals, then would leash them inside a Sun Orb.
So far, no one has reproduced the Sun Stones or the ‘elemental leashes’. This includes the Helians, whose alchemists are known for re-purposing Ancient Orde relics and designs.
Sun Orb by CB Ash
Item type
Creation Date
First recorded mention was -500 AGC
These 1000 year old relics are rare, with an acutal working one being almost unheard of.
1.5 tubik (0.454 kg by Ancient Order measurement)
4 sizu in diameter (10.2 cm by Ancient Order measurement)
Base Price
Not for sale (average up to 50,000 coin on the Shadow Market in Ishnanor)
Raw materials & Components
The materials used by the Ancient Order did vary based on location. But the following has been found recorded in records in numerous ruins.

  • Beech wood ash
  • A fine grained sand, such as from the Khuurai Desert or the Great Chasm
  • Tooling and Process
    The exact tools and methods used by the Ancient Order have been lost to time. Master crafters agree that a Lavastone furnace, elemental fire magic, or the Ancient Order equivalent would be needed to heat the ingredients properly. This would be when a mage would need to cast the appropriate spells to shape the melting glass as needed.
    Other than the furnace, iron blowpipes attached to bellows or used by a Blower. This would be how to create the ‘bubble’ or orb shape. Steel tongs are essential for moving any of the hot metal or glass from furnace to cold water trough.
    But these masters caution that the tooling and process here is based on their own studies of historical records. They are not the actual methods.

    Lorekeeper Notes

      The more I study the Ancient Order, the more I’m amazed at even the little things they created and took for granted. - Lorekeeper Ihodis Jenro   I know! Even something as simple as a lantern is amazing! If only we could find a way to create those Sun Stones. - Lorekeeper Gwelunis Istril   True. But that leaves the mystery of the metal fabric. - Lorekeeper Ihodis   Those threads? - Lorekeeper Gwelunis   The same. But, I’ve no doubt that one of the guilds in Helios will shed some light on it eventually, and we’ll know how they work. - Lorekeeper Ihodis   Shed some… Ihodis! - Lorekeeper Gwelunis   What? Cut an old centaur some slack. I can’t let Rudigar have all the fun! - Lorekeeper Ihodis

    Cover image: by Sade


    Please Login in order to comment!
    Dec 16, 2022 02:49 by Starfarer Theta

    You have to put the sun orb back Bob, you can't use it as a nightlight. - Archivist Enna   But I have! - Archivist Bob   Okay, yes, but it will break it if you keep using it and then you'll have to find another one for us. - Archivist Enna Deal. - Archivist Bob