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Netherish Materials

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Faelin

The Court Jester
Retired Staff
#1
Tales of riches and strange treasures have often drawn the most daring individuals into darkness, but the wealth of the Nether draws them instead into the ashes of old evils, and the fires of those still burning. From bizarre natural formations to the objects of myth and magic, the beauties of the Nether are second only to its dangers, as many a hopeful explorer has learned.

Here, you will find a short list of materials and resources which can be found in the Nether. Note that these differ in rarity and difficulty to obtain.

NETHERISH MATERIALS

• Blaze Rods/Powder
Drawn from the ashes of a strange elemental known as a 'Blaze', these rods are traditionally depicted as inherently magical objects - often the staffs of mages or kings - which spontaneously effuse light and heat. However, in reality, the blaze rod is rather too brittle for these purposes, and it is in fact only a powerful conductor, not a source, of heat. Removal from the Nether, therefore, requires delicate handling and a tough pair of gloves, but this quality also makes it an ideal component in the construction of brewing stands. Standing central to the frame, a blaze rod slowly and evenly releases heat to the glass receptacles, much like a storage heater in Earth terms. If heated persistently, the rods will eventually combust, and when reduced to a powder, it is also an ingredient in numerous potion recipes.
• Fire Charges
Hardly a sophisticated technology, Fire Charges consist, essentially of a similar heat-conduting essence as the powdered Blaze Rods, some manner of fuel, and an igniting powder to provide a bit of a spark upon impact with another object. Though not expressly 'found' in the Nether, they are constructed with materials found there in abundance, and are used infrequently in Altera as ammunition - their inaccuracy and weakness compared to crossbow bolts or fire arrows making them relatively unpopular for use in warfare. Primitive fireworks, however, are a popular though expensive use of Fire Charges, and (provided there are buckets on hand) this is shown to be a relatively safe practice.
Ghast Tears
Essentially what it says on the tin, the 'tear' of the creature known as a Ghast is most valued for its merit as an ingredient for regenerative potions. Desperately difficult to obtain, the oddly vaporous liquid is a true prize for those wishing to make a hearty profit. Also due to its scarcity, however, there is little formal literature on the appearance of the Ghast tear, and as a result the substance is often the victim of forgery. Consequently, it has been known for amateur alchemists to purchase watered down goat's milk or cloudy pond water from charlatans professing to sell the tears... Often for outrageous prices.
• Glowstone and Glowstone Dust
Glowstone is an incredibly slow-growing crystal which emits specific crystallaloluminescence over a continual formation process. Once shattered, the powder of the crystal can be reformed under some compression, and light is emitted in mimicry of this process. The colour of light depends largely on the composition of the crystal, which in turn depends on the location it was first formed. However, it is safe to assume that colours will generally range from pale white-gold to a dark amber in colour. Glowstone also holds enchantments fairly well, albeit some better than others.
+When raw glowstone is mined, it turns to powder crystals. A sack of these crystals emit a dim light, equivalent to a small, flickering lightningbug. (3-5 inches of illumination at best. Very difficult to read by. It is not a light source.)
+When a glowstone is compressed to less than an equivalent of a coffee mug, it emits a dim glow. Though, it becomes more concentrated than its powder counterpart. (3 feet (1 block) radius emitted)
+When a glowstone is compressed to the size of a standard lantern of rock in length/width, it emits half glow. ( 6 feet (2 block) radius emitted)
+When the glowstone is compressed into an 2-3ft block of rock, it emits a vibrant glow. (4-5 block radius emitted. It appears to be the glowstone block we are familiar with.)
• Magma Cream
Thick, gelatinous, and generally quite unpleasant stuff, Magma Cream is a bizarrely innocuous name for the tar-like substance that can be harvested from the Magma Elementals that linger in the bowels of the Nether. Despite its fiery sheen, Magma Cream is used primarily as a component of potions to resist flame. If it cannot be procured in its natural form, a less potent substitute of Magma Cream can be crafted by mixing Blaze Powder with Slime, though the more judicious alchemist will recognise this lesser-quality ingredient by the slight greenish tinge in the mixture.
Netherrack, Nether Brick, and Soul Sand
Netherrack exists as a strange rock which seems almost organic in appearance, its surface a motley of reddish blemishes. It ranges in durability from the equivalent of granite (requiring extreme effort to destroy with tools) to that of soapstone, in which case it crumbles relatively easy, leaving behind an incredibly fine sand, darkened by impurities in the air. Consequently, such terrain becomes very difficult to traverse on foot, but arguably the greater nuisance is Netherrack dust, which can travel on gusts of air, and may blind unwitting adventurers. However, when treated in even higher temperatures, it is possible for the different grades of Netherrack to be standardised to produce a non-flammable building material, colloquially known as Netherbrick, which is also found in the ruins of old fortresses left here from the Old Wars.
• Nether Stars
Rarest of all the wondrous discoveries to be made here, the Nether Star is an object of myth and mystery, a crystal said to focus magic as a lens focuses an image. Ancient manuscripts speak of the crystal as a six-pointed star, far too fine to have been cut by even Elven or Dwarven hands, though it was later identified by scholars as a stellated octahedron, or "star tetrahedron" possessed of a complex internal structure. At first glance, the crystal appears opaque, with a white, opalescent sheen, but hold it before a lantern and one would behold a faint translucence to the so-called "Star".
• Netherwart
Netherwart is the name given to the fruiting body of a fungus found in the Nether, where it grows exclusively in soul sand. Though it can be cultivated in Altera, a similar level of heat and aridity is required, so it can only be cheaply produced in desert regions, or else in artificial environments inside buildings or underground. Though inedible, netherwart is major component of many of the most common potions, making it something close to currency for alchemists!

Credits
Cherry for base lore and writing.
Naelwyn for intensive brainstorming on Nether Stars, Netherrack, and Soul Sand.
Baron and Somnastra for stopping Cherry doing ridiculous things with Glowstone.
 
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