First Materials are rare and varied materials that hold unique properties, and are crucial in the manufacture of pymarics. Unlike normal materials, they are independent of the khert, so they are not affected by pymary, and they can be permanently enchanted, without requiring a wright to maintain the spell. This works because they have their own khert fields, independent of the universal khert.
There are 'First' versions of many materials: wood, stone, sand, flax, water, even, theoretically, air. Some examples:
- First Silk is produced by spindleworms, so it's relatively common.
- First Sand is mined from relatively abundant supplies and made into glass.
- First Silver is the best material for pymarics, but very scarce.
- First Iron is a cheaper alternative to First Silver.
- First Timber comes in several varieties, including marrowroot and starstain.
- First Salt is produced by salt lizards. It's not very useful.
- First Gold is used for inlays.
- First Copper is used in Chitz.
- First Water is obtained from nereids.
- First Light is no longer available.
Better First Materials can hold a higher density of enchantments. In addition, there are multiple grades of each First Material.
The supplies of most First Materials are not renewable, and many varieties have been exhausted, removed from the world by humans eager to manufacture pymarics. The increasing scarcity of First Materials makes them difficult to locate and expensive to purchase, which increases the price of pymarics.
Weapons made of First Materials are used for fighting wrights, because their aspects cannot be stolen, and because they can block pymary by cutting khert lines.
A blade made of a high-grade First Material is used in the Rite that connects wrights to the khert.
The Gefendur believe that the Twin Gods created the world Perfectly, and every material in it was Perfect. The original world had the most perfect trees and the most perfect animals and the most perfect stones and ores and water and air. These were the first materials and they were the best materials, created first-hand by the gods.
But it was all too good. The first animals (called senet beasts) grew spoiled by their perfect world and their immortal existences, and one day rebelled against the domineering Twins. To punish them and to make their world forever subservient and imperfect, the gods introduced the idea of decay. Now the perfect materials began to break down into less perfect materials, materials held hostage by the unbreakable laws and processes of the khert. Hungry organisms obsessed with destruction began to fester in the waters. Eons passed and they evolved into animals and eventually, mortal humans.
But buried deep, hidden in out-of-the-way places, there are still traces of First Materials and senet beasts, survivors from the first days of the world.