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a shard of crystallized ylem
Short nameylemshard
Acquired fromEach city's pylon.
A shard of crystallized ylem lies here, flickering with an otherworldly light.

Ylem is an amorphous, extremely valuable and volatile substance formed from the tapping and focusing of leyline energy at the site of foci. It is used to purchase and maintain Research abilities for cities, as a power source for constructs, as a currency for Delve artificers, and as an explosive fuel in Bombcrafting. On Albedos, ylem is used to fuel airships and produce medicines, among dozens of other uses.

Ylem in its fluid form is stored within the city pylon, where it can be condensed and extracted as crystallized ylem shards. Ylem mist cannot be stored at the pylon, and has no use in an unrefined state; Tinker Barakin of Delve will gladly exchange mist charges for Research tokens and gold.


A pylon is a large crystalline structure intended to house a city's ylem reserve. They are typically very large, perhaps fifteen or twenty feet tall. All four player cities possess pylons, as do the Nazedha of the Western Isles and the people of Delve.


In its gaseous state, ylem can appear in a variety of colours.

In its energetic state, ylem appears as motes of white fire.

Ylem flare-offs are typically incandescent white, comparable to a magnesium fire.


Ylem harvesting on Sapience requires a link to the city pylon for unrefined ylem or a mist-gathering gauntlet for ylem mist.

Black Ylem

Black ylem is a horrendously poisonous and toxic byproduct of pylon operation. It is a tarry liquid that has been condensed and processed so heavily that absolutely no spark of life or magic remains in it; it is anathema to anything with elemental polarity, meaning literally any material or energy on Sapience. In Delve, black ylem is sealed in lead casks and dumped into the oceanic trench between Sapience and Albedos.

A pylon running at full capacity for a century will produce approximately three drops of black ylem.