Ruby was a variety of corundum that was a popular and plentiful jewel and had many magical uses in addition to its appeal as a sparkling gemstone. It was cherished by worshipers of many gods, including Callarduran Smoothhands, Erevan Ilesere, Gorm Gulthyn, Haela Brightaxe, and Labelas Enoreth.
Rubies came in a variety of colors, from colorless through shades of red to deep crimson. The darker the shade and the fewer the inclusions and impurities, the more valuable was the gem. A typical specimen had a base value of 5,000 gp. About one in every hundred rubies was a star ruby.
Rubies were believed to represent love and revenge.
Superstitions around the Sea of Fallen Stars held that rubies bestowed good luck on their owners, but magical uses were much more reliable. Crushed to a powder and used in the enchantment, rubies greatly enhanced personal magic items that increased skill, ability, resistance, or luck. Ruby powder was also used to create the magic ink for scribing divine spells of the elemental and sun spheres, and arcane spells of the abjuration, alteration, or evocation schools. The best time of day to use powdered ruby was "the time of the summer sunset."[note 1]
Facet cut and polished rubies were required in the crafting of a helm of brilliance and were the gem of choice in decorating items that produced healing magic. With the proper incantations, rubies could ward against natural and magical lightning and earthquakes. Extremely rarely, a ruby might contain a creature that could be released from the stone by delicately shattering it. Such creatures were usually unknown in Faerûn and grew rapidly upon release.
- Kossuth ruby was a magical gem that held a spark of elemental fire.
- The Wyvern Crown of Cormyr was studded with jewels, including rubies.
Notable Users of Rubies
- Members of the knightly order, the Keepers of the Mystic Flame, were awarded for defeating beings that posed a magical threat to all of the Realms.
- Sune, the goddess of love was known to wear rubies in her hair.
- According to Elminster, this was around 5 o'clock in the evening.
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- Carl Buehler (June 1998). “Keepers of the Mystic Flame”. In Jeff Quick ed. Polyhedron #130 (TSR, Inc.), p. 16.