Black Pearl (BP) is a rare type of pigmented concretion formed in the soft tissues of shelled mollusks. They are valued as a reagent in
Britannian and Serpent Islander magic.
History and Uses
The majority of Britannian pearls are an iridescent white - formed when a piece of detritus finds its way past a mollusk's shell, where it begins to irritate the flesh therein. Black pearls are a rarity, said to occur only when a previously formed pearl is cast into the sea by an animal's death, such as that it comes into contact with a second host. Whatever their origin, they are seldom discovered, with a slight quantity of them regularly turning up along the cliffs of Buccaneer's Den. Such aberrations occur at a rate of one in ten-thousand pearls, and as such command a high price from aspiring mages, who use them in powdered form to imbue their spells with the elemental forces of kinetic propulsion.
Some confusion exists as to whether specimens for magical use must be perfectly spherical in order to convey magical potency. While the highly biased Book of Fellowship and the writings of the mad mage Erstam make such claims of this reagent, Lord British's own aide, Philpop the Weary, explicitly states that the majority of black pearls used in spellcraft are imperfect, which seems a likely assertion given their widespread availability in Britannian markets.
While magically-inclined New Sosarians make use of black pearl in much the same way as their Britannian cousins, it should be noted that these reagents have an additional source on the cold lands of Serpent Isle, where they can frequently be found in the possession of the strange purple-hued magical gremlins which populate the land.
|| lack Pearl - The Black Pearl is the most highly prized of all the pearls: Well-formed ones command a price from jewellers that would bankrupt a score of wizards. Yet Black Pearls are vital in the casting of spells that are hurled from the mage's person and must travel to a final destination. Fortunately for our profession, even rarer than a normal Black Pearl is one that is perfectly shaped. Most are lopsided and lack symmetry - the very quality that makes the jeweler desire them so highly. This ensures a ready supply for the thaumaturge - the weaver of magic. It is said that, unlike the ordinary pearl which is formed inside an oyster when it seeks to protect itself from a piece of sand or grit, the Black Pearl only forms when the seed of the great pearl is yet another pearl of much smaller size cast adrift by the death of another oyster.|
|| A rare version of the standard white pearl, a black pearl is a forceful reagent in the creation of kinesthetic magic, that is, projecting objects.|
|| One oyster in ten thousand will yield a black pearl suitable for spellcasting purposes. It is usually crushed to a fine, iridescent powder before being combined with other reagents. The black pearl is used as kinetic propellant.|
|| Black pearl is an exceedingly rare commodity; fewer than one in ten thousand pearls is black. They have been found at the base of tall cliffs on Buccaneer’s Den. While a less than perfect pearl may be perfectly acceptable for decorative purposes, the black pearl of a mage must be perfectly formed or it is virtually worthless. Black pearl is ground up into a fine powder.|
|| Though ultimately crushed for casting purposes, the rare black pearl must be perfectly spherical when collected. The powder is that element which gives some spells their propelling energy. Here on the Serpent Isle, the fishermen in Fawn find the only known supply|
|| Born of an oyster bathed in water magic, a black pearl channels energy of projection in matters both forceful and absurd. Like the water from which it was born, black pearl can bind spells of thrown magic. In equal measure, it can make quite a mess. As a young apprentice I sought to bind a Fireball spell and, in poorly performing the Ritual of Binding, engulfed my spellbook in flame. A few mages have found steady sources of Black Pearl, yet they are loathe to reveal them.|
- In Persian mythology, black pearls were considered the "tears of the Gods," and were thought to be formed when such teardrops fell from the sky into the mouths of oysters.
- ↑ Knight, Brenda. Goth Magick: An Enchanted Grimoire. Kennsington Publishing Corp.: 2006. Page 87.