The Songstones can have varying appearances, depending on the minerals that form the mother rock, and in the grade in which the two substances that compose it, Grathnode and Parameno, are present on it.
Because of these factors, we can see them in different shapes in each one of the games that form the Ar tonelico series.
Special CharacteristicsAs mentioned above, a Songstone is composed of two main substances: Grathnode and Parameno, which are also separated by a third substance called Ardel.
Due to this, the Songstones have the special property of absorbing the sounds produced around them and converting them into energy. Strictly speaking, the Parameno part of the stone absorbs the Dynamic H-Waves contained within the sounds, and once it has absorbed a certain amount, the Grathnode part transforms them into energy (Dynamic D-Waves), and releases it into the air.
However, this also means that these stones have to be handled with extreme care, because if the Songstone has absorbed any amount of energy and it's then destroyed, smashed or shattered, the energy will be released all at once, causing an explosion proportional to the amount of energy that was stored in the stone.
Once these properties were discovered, it was later on found that it was possible to refine the Songstones to extract the Grathnode, Parameno and Ardel parts individually, and leave them condensed into a crystalline form. This is the process used for the creation of the Grathnode Crystals, Parameno Crystals, and Ardel Crystals.
Role in the History of Ar CielDuring a long time, the Songstones were considered simply as miraculous and magical items because of the effect they produced when they were absorbing sounds, which allowed the people who put them against their ears to hear something similar to a singing voice, although they were also feared due to their volatile nature. However, no one thought about giving any practical use to them until year 2912 AD.
It was in this year that a Moon Chanter, currently known as the Father of Sound Science, discovered the properties the Songstones by using them for making an orgel for the birthday of his daughter, Shurelia. This modest gift ended becoming a large curiosity, and a famous breakthrough in the history of Ar Ciel, because this orgel produced particles of light and energy when anyone wound it, and played a song that gave peace to anyone who listened to it. This was what marked the starting point for the historical period we currently know as the First Era. Said orgel still exists, now called the Orgel of Origins, and serves as the power source for the First Tower of Ar tonelico.
Three years later, the government of El Elemia (located in Sol Ciel) established a facility for the research of the Songstones, which had the ultimate role of finding practical uses for the Songstones and their special properties. It required quite some time, and a great deal of researching and experimentation, but on year 2919 AD, the researchers finally managed to purify a Songstone and make a crystal out from it. Ten years later it was possible to finally separate the components of the Songstone into individual crystals, thus making the first Grathnode, Parameno and Ardel Crystals in history. However, the successful creation of the Ardel Crystals required one more year than for the other two kinds.
Finally, the Songstones were the basis for the development of the Tower of Ar tonelico, and strictly speaking, it works similarly to them, since the Parameno Discs absorb sounds, the Ardelberg Buffer Band (Frozen Eye) serves as a mediator and regulator for them, and the Grathnode Discs release the resulting energy. However, the Tower adds some processes to purify and amplify the power generated from the Songstones, reason why it's actually called an amplification tower.
Uses & Applications
The Songstones themselves aren't commonly used in the current times, but their components actually have a widespread use throughout of Ar Ciel. As an example, the bodies of the Reyvateils are actually made from a mix of Parameno and Grathnode, to which a Nuclear Triangular Loop is added, and it emits Dynamic D-Waves to create and maintain their bodies.