It's totally believable to me, especially if the creatures/people in your world are made up of the same elements in the stones/gems just like our world. Just by being near things our bodies react positively or negatively on a molecular level. Ramifications of being near small verses large quantities of the stone/gems or even just large pieces are fun, let alone combinations. What if you *eat* them or wear them, etc.? Bunch of fun stuff to play with there!
Thanks! I have had a few people brush it off saying it was a silly idea but I really like the idea of my characters carrying around a particular stone, say a healing one or an energising gem or something for protection/ strength as part of their culture.
Anyone know where I can find any info on this sort of topic? Thanks!
Silly? But this is fantasy! What could be silly in fantasy if it's well executed? I say go for it, it sounds like a neat idea, and Shadow Crystal Mage is right, historically different gems have been attributed to different powers, as well as different elements. You could look some of them up, for reference, if needed.
Gems historically have always had beneficial properties attributed to them, though the belief has mostly died out in western culture. I suggest you investigate the gem-lore in Asia. The Chinese, for example, thought Jade could do pretty much anything, and was considered higher than diamond in worth. In the Philippines, certain gemstones sewn under the skin are said to make you invincible, lucky or charismatic, and certain stones when swallowed apparently gave you super-powers. You spit it back up afterwards...
A lot of people in real life believe that many kinds of gemstone have healing properties, and do wear them. I halfway believe. I think there might be a small thing to it but most of it is power of positive thinking. But even different subtypes of quartz (a common crystal with LOTS of variations) are supposed to have different things they work on. Regular quartz is good for general energy work and storing energy, rose quarts for drawing love to you and self acceptance, lighting quartz for increasing energy.
There are even types of quartz that are altered by humans to have certain colors and are believed to have their own qualities. I have a piece of "rainbow quartz" which is medium blue with rainbow shine where the light refracts.
Depending on the power of the magic, the stones could be used for storage of the magical energies. So the healing stone could be used for mane small cuts and bruises or one larger - broken leg - before having to be recharged. The recharging could just be something that happened from nature over time, or require specific actions or only special people have the ability to use/recharge the stones. Different stones can hold different magics and different quality stones can hold different amount of magic.
The interesting thing to ask about this magic is (not a complete list):
What are the limitations on the magic in the stones
Why are people not using them all the time
Perhaps you can only use it on others
What are everyone not using these stones (if they are - would that create a society without disease and sickness, no hospitals, every child surviving birth and so on)
If the number is limited somehow, then who has access to the magic? How does that change society? It is only the wealthy that can have the magic the stones are so expensive? Will the wealthy buy the stones, but run free "clinics" for the poor who are sick
If only special people are able to use the stones, how does society view these people? Is it their Duty to become healers? Is it an ability one would keep hidden or let everybody know about?
If it is rare, why does the protagonist have it?
Is there (or should there be) some personal cost to using the stones?
You use a bit of your life force to activate the stones, so you age a bit with every use
You feel tired after use (kinda been done a lot before)
You temporarily suffer twice as much for the pain you are healing
This would limit what you can heal, as a mortal wound doubled would kill you if you suffered twice the pain
There is no concept of magic that is inherently wrong or bad. It is all in the presentation and finding out how the magic affects the world. I heard a brilliant synopsis of a story about magical birds that conveyed their magical powers when the were on your shoulder. It sounds kinda far fetched, but the way it was described, and how that had made an entire economy around these birds and their magical powers made it sound almost natural - and that is the defining factor. Does it feel natural to your world?
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As far as information about magical/emotional/etc. properties associated with specific stones in the west, Melody's book Love is in the Earth is just about the most complete reference you can find (even rock shop owners that I know who aren't into the new age stuff keep a copy on hand). Check your library for a copy if you don't feel like shelling out for the book. And there are dozens of websites with information about common gemstones.
In my novel I have created a race of people called Raven Gypsies (who are basically humans with wings & a few other talents!) who will be able to 'recharge' the stones and use them on themselves and others. I am thinking of limiting the stones uses quite a bit. I don't want things to be too easy for my characters nor do I want to get into the cure cancer & other diseases discussion.
Eudaimoniac wrote:Already written 9k words today? You are insane!
Haha I know! I had what I wanted to write today completely outlined in my mind, it was just a matter of actually getting it down on paper. Also, I started @ midnight!
p.s. I only recently learnt that gyspy was, by some people, considered a racist term and will possibly changing the name eventually but at this stage I don't want to worry myself with that drama.
I always figured the "magic" attributed to gemstones was a tactic used to sell them.
I mean, they're really just rocks (or bodily tissues of trees, elephants or shellfish, in the cases of amber, ivory and pearl respectively). Aside from looks, why should people value them? They are inedible and most of them have no practical use. Their value is entirely a product of marketing. (Want proof? Just compare the market price of a "used" or furnace-made diamond to an identical "new" diamond that has been mined from the ground.)
Ok sure, in the real world that may very well be the case (and I'm inclined to agree with you) but I'm talking about in a fantasy world! I like the idea that they give off positive energy and healing 'vibes'
You could just make up your own system. Like, all gems of a certain color produce the same afect, with some other property, like crystal structure, clarity, hardness, etc, dictating things like strength of effect, duration of effect, etc. Like, blue stones give you vitality, but blue quartz lasts longer than sapphires because its more opaque, while sapphire has a more concentrated effect because of ti's transparency. For added fun, reverse the inherent economic value this gives things. Like, diamond is cheap because it only lets you keeps rats and insects away froma small area, while quartz is highly sought after because it can keep a whole city block pest-free,
As an aside, I've read of a rule of thumb that goes like this: If your magic is cheaper than having it done with manual labour, your entire fantasy economy collapses. That means that whatever the effect of these things are, they have to be more expensive and harder to attain than doing it manually. A healing stone that cures sore throat instantly HAS to be harder to get and more expensive than finding an herb that does the same thing... or something like that.
Actually, that could mean that curative stones are by prescription only and cost about as much as, say, chemotherapy, if faster, more convenient and expensive. just something to think about. Hope it helps.
I'd say really read up on the beliefs centered around gems. I mean, I've definitely seen a lot of pagans give advice on what gems you may want to put on an altar or use in a ritual based on purpose. So yeah, make this system your own. Unrelated to the title of the thread, I would kind of recommend changing the last part of your people's name. G*psies is a slur directed to Roma, and other nomadic peoples. You don't have to, but I suggest you change it to something else.
MadxHatter0 wrote:Unrelated to the title of the thread, I would kind of recommend changing the last part of your people's name. G*psies is a slur directed to Roma, and other nomadic peoples. You don't have to, but I suggest you change it to something else.
I know :( I didn't know, Gypsy was always just a word for a traveller for me & I love the word but I will be looking at changing it eventually. I don't want to waste too much time on names right now though.
In my Linguistics class, we were taught that the means of words, both spoken and written, are arbitrary. After all, the words and sound 'rock' in no way conveys anything that links it to those hard things on the ground except the artificial and definitely man-made construction we know as language. Same for the 'magical' properties of gems IRL. If you find researching established beliefs in gemstones too taxing, make stuff up! Who's going to say you're wrong as long as you're internally consistent?
Hildegard of Bingen, a 12th-century German nun, wrote two works on medicine which include passages on the supposed healing powers of gems. (This book has some of those passages in English translation; her Latin is odd, so I wouldn't recommend trying that until December, even if you do read Classical Latin.) If I remember it correctly, she says that gemstones are formed when rivers at the end of the world splash onto trees and the water dries; the time of day and other conditions determine what kind of stone it will be and what curative properties it has. Then the stones fall into the river and are rolled down to the sea and wash up in inhabited parts of the world. One of the cures involves dropping the gem through a cross-shaped hole in a piece of bread and then eating the bread; another involves holding the gem in one's mouth and thinking about it.