Come on in, then! Mind the lava, I'm in the middle of brewing up some...
Originally Posted by VirusInk
Fel Ruby gee, I wonder who this one's for
Despite its name and gemlike appearance, Fel Ruby is in fact a type of glass made by mixing lava from the Elemental Plane of Fire with a strange brown sand found only on the precipitous slopes of Gehenna. Although difficult to acquire, the translucent crimson material has a number of uses.
Items crafted from Fel Ruby are immune to most forms of fire damage, whether mundane or magical. This makes the material useful in the crafting of armor or shields (and can be used to make any such item that would normally be composed primarily or entirely of metal). Shields and armor made from plates or bands can be made by pouring liquid Fel Ruby into molds and then hammering it into shape while it cools, but chainmail, chain shirts, and similarly fine armors can only be created by casting Fabricate on liquid Fel Ruby (which counts as a mineral for the purposes of the spell). Fel Ruby protective items grant their wearers resistance to fire damage, as shown on the table below:
Fire resistance from Fel Ruby shields stacks with that from Fel Ruby armor, but the total fire resistance granted by Fel Ruby items does not stack with that from other sources.
Effects that ignore immunity to fire damage, such as hellfire or spells modified with the Searing Spell metamagic feat, are capable of damaging and destroying Fel Ruby items following the normal rules for energy damage to objects. The non-Fel Ruby components of items destroyed in this manner (such as bottle stoppers or shield straps) are incinerated in the process, while the Fel Ruby is liquified. Liquid Fel Ruby deals damage to creatures and objects as if it were lava (2d6 points of fire damage per round of contact, or 20d6 points per round of immersion), and cools to a solid state after 10 minutes (or 1 minute if fully immersed in water). Recently cooled Fel Ruby remains incredibly hot, dealing 1d6 points of fire damage to any creature that touches it until 1 hour has passed (or 10 minutes if fully immersed in water). Dealing fire damage to liquid Fel Ruby (via hellfire, Searing spells, or similar means) adds two rounds to the time required for it to solidify, allowing a dedicated mage (or one wealthy enough to afford a spellclock) to maintain a supply of liquid Fel Ruby should they possess a suitable container.
Large masses of Fel Ruby may retain liquid cores long after the exterior has cooled; only the outermost foot of a large Fel Ruby object hardens over the course of the first ten minutes, after which the next foot begins to harden while the outermost layer begins to fully cool, and so on. Thus, a 5-foot cube of Fel Ruby would fully harden after 30 minutes and fully cool after 3 hours. Legends tell of massive fortresses in Gehenna with solid Fel Ruby walls that still glow with heat centuries after their construction.
Fel Ruby may also be ground into lenses which allow a viewer to see through nonmagical fire and smoke. However, characters suffer a -2 penalty to Spot (or visual Perception) checks when looking through Fel Ruby lenses due to the material's reddish tint. Viewing the sand from which Fel Ruby is made through a Fel Ruby lens produces faint images of pale, ghostly faces contorted in agony, and any character who does this must immediately attempt a DC 30 Knowledge (The Planes) check. If successful, they learn the information in the spoiler below.
When formed into sheets, Fel Ruby can be used to create mirrors that distort viewers' images, producing reflections that appear emaciated and strained. However, two mirrors of identical dimensions can be transformed into more than just a funhouse curiosity with an enchantment that can be performed by any character with the Craft Wondrous Item feat, a caster level of 7, 28 hours of work over the course of at least 7 days (which need not be consecutive), and 14000 GP worth of magical components. As long as a matching pair of enchanted Fel Ruby mirrors are on the same plane, messages or symbols can be drawn on either mirror using the blood of a ram, ox, or goat, and identical marks will appear on the other mirror. Cleaning either mirror will remove the marks from both mirrors, with the blood ending up on whatever object was used to clean the mirror. However, neither mirror will function if either was moved within the last 8 hours.
Manufacturing Fel Ruby is a task only for the truly brave or foolhardy; the infernal sand required for its creation is greatly coveted by the fiendish denizens of Gehenna, who rarely give those they catch harvesting the sand even a moment to explain themselves before attacking. Curiously enough, they display no such enmity to creatures who possess already-melted Fel Ruby, even if they are known to have created it themselves.
Once the sand has been poured into lava from the Elemental Plane of Fire (which must be present in a quantity sufficient to fill at least one 5-foot cube) and allowed to cook for 10 minutes, liquid Fel Ruby begins to rise to the top of the mixture, coalescing into slowly growing bubbles. The quantity of Fel Ruby produced will have the same weight as the quantity of sand melted down to produce it, and has similar density to glass. Each round, there is a 50% chance of a bubble forming in a 5-foot square of lava surface (roll separately for each exposed square), and each square may contain a number of bubbles equal to or less than its depth in feet (with a maximum of 5 bubbles per square at 5 feet of depth or more). These bubbles can be siphoned off and placed into molds to cool, or moved to a properly heated container for liquid storage. If a bubble is allowed to grow for more than 1 minute, it will either collapse or burst (with a 50% chance of each). A bubble that collapses sinks back into the lava and must be given time to rise up again, while a bubble that bursts deals 3d6 points of fire damage to all creatures within 15 feet and one half pound of Fel Ruby is lost.
Spoiler: Knowledge (the Planes) DC 30
Your experience with Fel Ruby and the odd sand from which it is made has roused suspicions about the source material's origins, and your recent observations have confirmed them: the dense, brown-black sand present on the mountainsides of Gehenna is the powdered souls of the damned. Some force on the plane seems to be capable of not only sealing souls within crystals, a feat well known to be possible through mortal magic, but also of pulverizing the gems without destroying or releasing the spirits contained within. You know of no fate more terrible than that suffered by the poor souls trapped in the sand, forever experiencing the mental and physical torment of being split into ten thousand fragments. Perhaps you have been doing them a favor by creating Fel Ruby, freeing the souls after millennia of anguish, or perhaps you have only added to their pain by subjecting them to the fires of the underworld. You know not which of your theories is correct, and are hesitant to conduct further research lest you regret learning more.
Originally Posted by Red Fel