A thaum crystal, seen as a crystal shard, (also known as a thaum bomb) is a magic crystal which stores thaums and can be smashed to release these thaums into the current room, raising dynamic enchantment, which raise visible room enchantment levels.
Acquiring thaum crystals
Thaum crystals can be acquired via one of two means:
- Smashing a crystal egg. This produces 2 clear crystal shards.
- Smashing a crystal ball. This produces 6 clear crystal shards.
Charging thaum crystals
Thaum crystals must be charged before they can be used. They can be charged by entering a room with a visible (to wizards and witches, at least) dynamic enchantment by entering 'charge <crystal>'. This appears to require a very easy skillcheck, though which skill is not yet determined. The skillcheck appears to be more difficult with higher levels of dynamic enchantment.
Charging a crystal will try to remove all the thaums making the dynamic enchantment part of the visible enchantment level from the room and add the thaums minus one to the crystal, leaving the excess in the room if the crystal reaches 500 thaums. If there is only 1 thaum, for example after casting a spell of 5 head space, it will fail to channel it saying that the background magic is not suitable, but it's because there's not enough thaums to be added to the crystal. The minimum you can channel is 2 thaums from the room that will add 1 thaum in the crystal. If you charge with 11 thaums in the room it will add 10 thaums to the crystal, etc.
Note that background enchantment such as found in many wizards' guild-associated rooms are permanently part of the room and cannot be used this way. You need dynamic enchantment, which means that often someone has to expend GP (or destroy other thaum shards) in order for a thaum crystal to be charged. There are some rooms that come with dynamic enchantment when they are loaded and which then decay normally and can be captured in shards like in the Bes Pelargic wizard's guild library.
Crystals have a maximum capacity of 500 thaums.
These are the properties for ranges of thaums inside the shards.
|Thaums||It is <>
to the touch.
|Line about charge|
|0||cold||If there's a charge in this crystal, it's too faint to discern.|
|1||cold||If there's a charge in this crystal, it's too faint to discern.|
|2 - 99||cold||If there's a charge in this crystal, it's too faint to discern.|
|100 - 199||cold||It looks as if it has at least one hundred thaums stored in it, judging by the octarine glow.|
|200 - 299||slightly warm||It looks as if it has at least two hundred thaums stored in it, judging by the octarine glow.|
|300 - 399||slightly warm||It looks as if it has at least three hundred thaums stored in it, judging by the octarine glow.|
|400 - 499||warm||It looks as if it has at least four hundred thaums stored in it, judging by the octarine glow.|
|500||warm||It looks as if it has at least five hundred thaums stored in it, judging by the octarine glow.|
The number of thaums inside the crystal can be measured with a thaumometer:
- When the shard is empty it shows: The clear crystal shard appears to be completely non-magical.
- Otherwise, it shows: The clear crystal shard appears to radiate <number of thaums> per second.
Using thaum crystals
Thaum crystals are used by smashing them - this will destroy the crystal and change the visible enchantment level towards 500, depending on background enchantment and the dynamic enchantment in the room and the thaums stored in the crystal.
Smashing shards looks like:
You smash two clear crystal shards on the ground. A heavy cloud of octarine coalesces from the remains of the crystal and filters into the environment. A vague cloud of octarine coalesces from the remains of the crystal and filters into the environment.
The type of cloud seems to depend on the number of thaums, probably changing around halfway to 500.
|Thaums||Type of cloud|
|0 - 200||vague|
|201 - 500||heavy|
With a shard charged at 500 thaums smashing it looks subtly different:
A heavy cloud of octarine coalesces from the remains of the crystal. Faint sparks of octarine play within the cloud as it filters out into the environment.
To understand what happens when you smash shards, some definitions are helpful. There are two types of room enchantment made of thaums:
- background enchantment does not decay, it is made of thaums that come with the room and that are a permanent part of it. It cannot be channeled into shards. The rooms outside the library in the Bes Pelargic wizard's guild are that way, possibly the rooms near the Hub.
- dynamic enchantment decays, with more thaums decaying much faster. It is made of thaums created by casting spells, recharging, smashing shards or that occur naturally in the libraries in wizard's guilds.
Smashing shards moves the room total visible enchantment up to a maximum of 500 thaums.
- If there's more than 500 thaums of background enchantment in the room then smashing shards has no effects.
- If there's less than 500 thaums of background enchantment in the room then the thaums of the crystals will be added until the total visible enchantment of the room is 500.
Smashing several shards at the same time is the same as one after another, it still moves you to a maximum of 500 thaums and not more than that.
One thaum usually leaks out after about a heartbeat of smashing a shard, so unless you queue a command to read the thaumometer you're likely to see at least one thaum less.