Ruby is a transparent stone that displays a marvelous
fire when properly faceted. It is extraordinarily hard, and it will
scratch almost any other stone rather than being scratched if the
two are rubbed together. By definition, rubies are always red,
though the hue may vary from dark pink to a purplish color to a
muddy reddish-brown. Rubies may contain filaments of rutile, which
will create a visible star on a cabochon-cut stone. Two varieties
that merit special attention are the dragon's-tear ruby, which
reflects white light as sky blue, and the sylvarraend ruby, which
contains many small, fernlike inclusions of golden imflass.
Rubies are mined all over the world, but Mestanir is
noteworthy for its particularly beautiful star rubies. Sylvarraend
rubies have only been located outside the elven village of
Sylvarraend (hence the name!) and dragon's-tear rubies are mined
along a rocky ridge to the north of Ta'Ardenai, although a few scant
samples have been located in other places on the east side of the
With their beautiful fire and sanguine hue, rubies
have attracted wary interest from many groups. Ancient elven legend
holds that rubies are not true gems at all, but spilled drops of
Arkati blood from the Ur-Daemon War (although most elves have
dismissed this as mere fantasy in the current age.)
Magically, rubies are most strongly associated
with the element of earth. To a lesser extent, they are aligned with
spells related to telepathy. Empaths concerned with causing
unnecessary pain to their patients or determining the exact nature
of a complicated injury will often utilize ruby talismans in the
The stone-tenders of Aldora use ruby to try to
drive poisons from the body, saying that the stone is strongly
affiliated with blood and can therefore cleanse the blood of toxin.
Aging and superstitious humans often seek to wear a piece of ruby to
strengthen their hearts.
Rubies hold special significance to the Vylem
bloodline of gnomes. The Vylem say that, if you carve a ruby into
the symbol of one of the Arkati and apply your blood to the ruby,
then that Arkati can watch you through the "blooded" jewel.
A similar belief grew popular in a human cult of
Mularos that appeared roughly two decades ago in the small barony of
Mestanir. Although the cult was quashed ruthlessly when Jantalar
invaded in 5092, other Mularosians have adopted the belief that
Mularos watches his followers through ruby jewelry, and few human
followers of Mularos are without a piece of the jewel somewhere on
their person -- a practice that usually goes without notice, yet
which can serve as identification when coupled with the proper words
and actions. By the same followers, it is said that if you give
someone a ruby, you give that person power over you, and a gift of a
ruby heart will enslave you eternally to its recipient.
The peculiar association between rubies and
Krolvin is also worthy of mention. As a general rule, Krolvin do not
make jewelry of any kind. Crafting jewelry, after all, is slave
work, and the Krolvin are above that -- they do wear jewelry, but
they wear only what they take from the throats of their captives,
and they never exchange jewelry among themselves. However, rubies
are an exception, and the Krolvin both force their slaves to mine
ruby for ornamentation and craft crude amulets from unfaceted chunks
of ruby bound in metal wire. Some theorize that ruby holds religious
significance to the Krolvin; others suggest that Krolvin just like
the intense red color. Garnets, spinels, and other red gems are not
given the same status.
Ruby has been the world's most valued gemstone for thousands of
years. Ruby was said to be the most precious of the twelve stones
God created when he created all things, and this "lord of gems" was
placed on Aaron's neck by God's command. In the Bible, Job says
that "wisdom is more precious than rubies"
Among the multitude of legends and strange beliefs of ancient times,
it was thought that the wearer of a ruby was blessed with health,
wealth, wisdom, and outstanding success in affairs of the heart.
Furthermore, the wearer acquired the ability to live in peace with
his enemies. In some places ruby was even thought to confer
invulnerability. Red stones including
rubies were thought to cure bleedings. A stone which turned darker
was thought to warn its owner of coming misfortunes, illness, or
All colors of corundum except red are known as
sapphires, which has
created controversy about where ruby ends and sapphire begins,
particularly in pink shades of corundum. The close relationship of ruby and sapphire
has been known since the beginning of the 19th century. Up to that
time, red garnets or
spinels were also thought to be
rubies – and due to this misclassification the so-called "Black
Prince's Ruby" as well as the "Timor Ruby" decorating the British Crown
Jewels are probably actually not rubies at all, but spinels.
Eastern legends believe that rubies contain
the spark of life "a deep drop of the heart's blood of Mother
Earth." Some ancient Orientals believed that the ruby is
self-luminous and called it "glowing stone" or "lamp stone." It is
believed that the Emperor of China used a ruby to light his chamber. Hindu priests believed that the homes of the gods were lighted by
emeralds and rubies.
Greek legends also speak of ruby. It was said
that a female stork repaid Heraclea for her kindness by bringing her
a ruby so bright that it illuminated her room at night.
Ancient Hindus, Burmese, and Ceylonese
believed that rubies ripen with age. The believed that sapphires
were unripe rubies and that inclusions in stones meant that they
Ruby is the birthstone for July but on some ancient lists, it can be
the birthstone for December. It is also the gemstone for the
astrological sign Capricorn. Ruby is the anniversary gemstone
for the 15th and 40th year of marriage.