Theory of Use
Though it is often more convenient to say that cambrinth stores mana, it is more precise to say that cambrinth stores the energy released from the manipulation of mana. This is the same energy that powers spells. It is generated from the tendency of the streams of mana to return to their natural state when manipulated by a mage. As the streams relax, energy is released in much the same way that a rubber band releases energy when it is stretched and released.
Cambrinth is utilized by harnessing mana and channeling it into the item, a process known as charging. Once the cambrinth has been charged with the desired amount of mana, the caster must then focus on it in order to form a link to it. If a caster cannot form a link with the cambrinth, he will be unable to utilize the energy stored within. Once cambrinth has been charged with a certain type of energy (e.g., life, elemental, holy, or lunar) it can only be charged with the same type. Otherwise, it will explode, which can cause serious injury to the caster.
A Moon Mage who is skilled enough at enchanting can retune a cambrinth item, restoring the item to its natural, uncharged state. This process, known as retuning, requires a source for the sigil of the Phoenix be present, either through the Phoenix constellation being visible or through the use of a Sigil Scroll.
Necessity of Ambient Mana for Casting
While cambrinth can serve as a mobile source of energy in low-mana areas, a magic caster must be able to directly draw at least enough mana to construct the spell pattern when casting, as cambrinth cannot be used for that purpose. Charged cambrinth items can however be used anywhere to maintain a cyclic spell that has already been cast, apart from certain special areas which are completely magic-free such as inside Banks.
Cambrinth is a grey-black mineral with reddish highlights.
- GM Iocanthe: This is a sort of rusty ashy-silver stuff. If you took silver and mixed it with ashes and them mashed up some rusty-red crayons on the surface so it was all mottled, that's about what cambrinth would look like. You can get it more reddish or more silverish, but those two colors are its "theme", and can't be gotten too far away from.
- GM Armifer: Cambrinth has been described numerous times as a naturally occurring mineral, which is a classification that it shares with a number of other materials; such as iron. Cambrinth is not a metal in the terms by which Elanthian metallurgy would understand the word: it is not shiny, it does not conduct electricity well, it is not refined or debased for use, and so on. However, cambrinth shares many properties with metal. It is dense, solid at room temperature, malleable enough to be worked (armbands and torques and hilts oh my), and arguably alloyable by some unknown technique (Y'Shai again). Cambrinth's chemical and atomic properties have never been explored and I am not inclined to start.
- GM Persida: Cambrinth stores magical energy for later use. Once cambrinth has been charged by one type of magic, it cannot be charged by another without exploding. Cambrinth is a silvery grey-black mineral with reddish highlights.
Pieces of cambrinth are typically shaped or set into an object. However, it is possible to find or purchase large lumps of cambrinth that have not been fashioned into anything. The main function for jeweling cambrinth is to provide portability and ease of use. Cambrinth jewelry, for the most part, takes on the form of rings, earrings, pendants and armbands. Other forms are in existence such as backpacks and pouches, but these are rare. Other objects, such as figurines and even weapons, may also contain cambrinth.
Syntax and Use
To use a cambrinth item, you must first CHARGE the cambrinth with the amount of energy you wish to store in it.
>CHARGE MY ARMBAND 5
You harness a moderate amount of energy and attempt to channel it into your cambrinth orb.
You are able to channel all the energy into the orb.
The cambrinth orb absorbs all of the energy.
Roundtime: 5 seconds.
Then, you must INVOKE on the cambrinth item until you successfully establish a link to it.
>INVOKE MY ARMBAND
The cambrinth armband pulses with Lunar energy. You reach for its center and forge a magical link to it, readying all of its mana for your use.
Roundtime: 1 sec.
This will link your cambrinth item and attempt to discharge all the mana within into the next spell you cast. As an alternative you can also INVOKE <ITEM> <AMOUNT> to only use a specific amount of the mana within the cambrinth object. At any time you can also FOCUS on the object and it will tell you how much mana is currently held within it. RELEASE <CAMBRINTH ITEM> will now allow you to break your link with your cambrinth item.
The efficiency of your charging increases with skill, beginning at roughly half of the harnessed energy and eventually reaching all at around 200 ranks. The base difficulty of a cambrinth item goes up with its capacity. Even a novice mage with 0 ranks can use cambrinth rings. Cambrinth orbs are among the hardest to work with. The rule of thumb is that you will need Arcana skill ranks equal to the maximum capacity of the cambrinth to use it.
RELEASE CAMBRINTH will break the link to all cambrinth.
Cambrinth and Cyclic spells
Cyclic spells continuously drain your held mana as long as they are active, by default. If you wish to have a cyclic spell drain from cambrinth instead, you need only CHARGE your cambrinth with enough mana to maintain the cyclic you are using, then INVOKE your cambrinth, and the cyclic spell will automatically begin draining mana from your cambrinth to fuel itself. While the spell is draining mana from your cambrinth, you can continue to CHARGE your cambrinth with more mana for it to feed on. If you wish to cast other spells effectively while maintaining a cyclic spell, then you will need to learn the Dedicated Cambrinth Use feat. Once learned, you will then be able to INVOKE <camb> CYCLIC, to have your cyclic spell drain mana from your cambrinth, and while keeping it charged, you can then prepare another spell, harness mana for that spell, and cast it, all while maintaining your cyclic through the mana in your cambrinth.
Alternatively, to make good use of the other ability the Dedicated Cambrinth Use feat gives you, INVOKE <camb> SPELL, you will need to learn the Raw Channeling feat, which can be learned once you have 100 ranks in Attunement and Arcana, each. Raw Channeling will allow your cyclic spells to draw their required mana directly from your attunement, allowing you to use your cambrinth for other things. The method for using INVOKE <camb> SPELL effectively, is that while your cyclic is maintaining itself directly from your attunement, you can prepare another spell, charge your cambrinth with the mana you would like to use, then INVOKE <camb> SPELL, this will allow you to bolster your spell with the mana from your cambrinth without any of the mana being used by the cyclic spell.
The roundtime for charging a cambrinth item is based on the amount of mana you put in at once. The more mana you put in at once, the less overall time it takes to charge it. For example, charging 15 mana into a cambrinth takes 5 seconds, but charging 30 into a cambrinth takes 8 seconds. This may vary with skill.
If a cambrinth is not full yet and your final charge puts too much mana into it, your roundtime will be whatever that amount would have given you. For example, if your cambrinth can only hold 10 more mana and you try to put 20 into it, you will get the roundtime for adding 10 mana. But, if you try to overcharge and already full cambrinth, your roundtime will be always 5.
- Currently, the most efficient experience gain per action for training arcana via cambrinth is charging your cambrinth with as much mana as you can without ruining your attunement.
Under earlier versions of the DR game engine, cambrinth items' capacity was always four multiplied by the item's dimensions (HxWxLx4), as the additional properties an item could have was limited. This is also why it was not possible to have a cambrinth weapon, container, or other hybrid item. With the introduction of the DR2 game engine, these limitations no longer existed, and cambrinth could be incorporated into weapons or other functional items, with potentially any mana capacity.
The amount of energy that a cambrinth item can hold is still directly related to its size for reasons of game lore and balance; for example, a cambrinth armband holds more energy than a cambrinth ring, and a cambrinth orb holds even more. Most worn items only hold a maximum of 32, although there are exceptions.
As of February 27, 2011, you can APPRAISE cambrinth to determine its maximum capacity. Appraisal is the primary factor, but arcana also contributes to the accuracy. As with weight, holding the cambrinth makes it easier to appraise its capacity.
- With 473 ranks in appraisal and 323 ranks in arcana, I was able to get certain appraisals on capacity when appraising cambrinth. (Unless I was holding it, I had to appraise it carefully.)
- My other character with 373 ranks in appraisal and 429 ranks in arcana had to hold the cambrinth to get certain appraisals.
Typical Cambrinth Capacities
Cambrinth list: all cambrinth items on Elanthipedia