Amethysts! Since my youth, their purple translucence has entranced me. I have made a career of searching for them all across Hammerfell, and count many notable, even legendary finds to my credit. But nowhere have I found amethysts so abundant as in the central Alik'r Desert.
Amethysts are found in geodes, those heavy, dull stony orbs that conceal so much crystalline glory, and these geodes are always found in proximity with the lava rock that melted and flowed when the world was young. It has been long and long since the mounts of Hammerfell flowed with lava, and many of the old, old tubes have been covered over by layers of later rock, or weathered away and scattered as sand and gravel.
But in the Hollow Wastes, that sunken, salty pit in the center of the Alik'r, the layers over the ancient lava have been scoured away by the relentless winds, and the flowstone is exposed as nowhere else in Hammerfell. Here, at Dak'fron, at Kulati, and at Zareth M'Kai, can be found the finest amethysts in western Tamriel. And many years I spent there, with pick, shovel, and dowsing rod, until they said I could find geode clusters deep in the ground by sense of smell alone.
Nowadays, alas, I am too old to quarter the desert, searching for my beloved amethyst nodules. But if you are even in Rihad, stop in Ezdwelen's Gem Shop and buy an intaglio-engraved amethyst necklace for your best beloved. With such as I sell, even a heart of stone will melt and flow.