Elämänjäktü [ee-lah-mahn-YAHK-too], commonly referred to as Ämänjä [AHMAHN-yah] is a rare group of silicate minerals that are used in the well-guarded formula which makes up the enchanted spires of Prime Gates. Ämänjä is also used as key magical components to craft rare magical artifacts, enabling objects to contain extreme power.
All species of Ämänjä possess similar physical properties and crystal forms, but differ in chemical composition. The different species are pyräpe, älmändu, spessär (varieties of which are light red in color), uväronite and ändrite. The ämänjä make up one of two key elements allowing a Prime Gate to function, the second being the mineral Eiväloä [a-vah-LOAH] - which is found exclusively upon the island of Elämäkäs.
Other than its limited uses by various disciplines within the Order of the Mägo, Ämänjä has little to no monetary value in the common marketplace. To those who deal in magic, however, it is considered one of the priceless magical components in existence.
Properties and Hardness
According to the university of Magic, ämänjä species are found in varied colors including red, orange, yellow, pale green, blue, purple, and colorless, with orange shades most common. Ämänjä species reflect light, which can range from the gemstone-quality transparent specimens to the opaque varieties used for the construction of magical artifacts. The mineral's luster is categorized as glass-like or resinous (amber-like).
Because the chemical composition of ämänjä varies, the intelligence response in some species are stronger than others. As a result, this mineral group shows a range of hardness when runes are applied, which range on the Kutollum harness scale of about 6.5 to 7.5. The harder the species the more likely it will be used for an artifact and not in the finite construction of Prime Gates.
Ämänjä sand (what is left over after constructing key stones with specific runes) is a good additive to the mortar in both the crafting of spires and the stonework along the edges of a Prime Gate. Mixed with a pure water, ämänjä dust is also been know to be used as an enchanted wash to preserve objects, especially rare and fragile pottery. The wash allows for a deeper magic to be worked, without losing the potency of a spell—which naturally wears over time.
This material is particularly sought after due to its exceedingly limited supplies. The common problems with this material are the presence of silver and chloride compounds. Since the material has been naturally crushed and ground on the beaches of Elämäkäs for past centuries, the material is normally available in fine sizes only. A word of caution should be given here in that those who sought to collect this material from the protected beaches rarely return.