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Shimmering Ammonite

Ammonites (also known as Eltheric Ammonites)[1][2] are extinct aquatic mollusks once native to the Eltheric Ocean and known only for the beautiful shells they left behind. Although the true origin of these shells is unknown, the consensus among naturalists is that ammonites predate even the oldest of Merethic Era ruins.[1]

Ammonites are most commonly harvested for use by mages and druids due to the fact that they contain stores of raw magicka. The capacity varies depending on the shell, with some only holding trace amounts of magicka and others holding nearly as much as a lesser-grade soul gem. However, ammonites cannot be recharged and suffer from arcane decay, losing potency within a month of being harvested. Nevertheless, they are an important source of magicka for magic users on High Isle, and they are an important trade good for the Systres archipelago.[1] Untapped ammonites can sometimes be identified by the faint, shimmering glow they emit.[3] Depleted shells become dull and do not glow or shine.[4]

As a possession of the Second Empire, the Systres became a center for ammonite export. Ammonite mines were opened across the islands, and excavation exploded for a time in the 1E 2800s, driven by Nibenese warlock-fashion. Under the Akaviri Potentate, prisoners continued to be sent to Amenos to work the island's ammonite and larimar mines.[5] Circa 2E 582, House Mornard oversaw ammonite mining activities at Brokerock Mine in eastern Amenos.[6][7] Various complex guides and diagrams depicting the process of drawing arcane energy from ammonites were relatively common as of then.[2]

The Second Era Dark Elf mage-philosopher Dothasi Salvi believed that ammonites are a natural resource and a more moral way to obtain extra magicka in comparison to soul-trapping. The Wood Elf mage-philosopher Lagrenthir of Marbruk contended that the use of ammonites should be shunned due to their native range's proximity to Thras, and the possibility that their existence might therefore be the result of some form of Sload magic.[1]

It has been theorized that copper may be used to detect the presence of ammonites.[8]