Belamoore's Research Journal
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- Belamoore's Research Journal
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Kegan Darkmar, leader of the small group of undead who came to us in search of asylum from their "brethren", defies our common attitudes toward his kind. His skin may be rotting and blood may have long stopped flowing through his veins, but he acts very nobly and seems to care more for his compatriots' safety than his own.
Indeed, there is a humanity within him that, I confess, I sometimes see lacking in the humans around me.
But why do I mention this? I do so to give credence to what I am about to write, for these words came from Kegan's lips and it is my hope that my colleagues will, upon reading this journal, know why I believe what he said:
"Remnants of the Old Gods still linger in the deep hollows of the world. New forces seek to harness that ancient power, and those who succeed will have a terrible weapon against their enemies."
That is what Kegan uttered as he handed his Bloodstone pendant to me, and there was fear, and maybe reverence, in his eyes as he did so. And as his hands met with mine they lingered, as if reluctant to give up the pendant. Revulsion swept through me, yet to this day I know not if I reviled against his dead flesh pressed to mine, or if the pendant itself made my skin crawl.
For I felt a power within it. A deep, hidden, hungry power. And one yearning for release.
Although my colleagues in Dalaran were cautious to study the bloodstones that Kegan and his followers brought with them, instead quarantining the four refugees and leaving the bloodstones on their persons, the sincerity of Kegan obliged me to study his bloodstone pendant.
My hopes were to verify for my colleagues that this type of stone did possess magical properties, and if we wizards of Dalaran did not wish to exploit the power of bloodstones, we should at least learn their properties, since our foes may one day use them against us.
And so my studies began.
I started my tests with the assumption that bloodstone was a type of rock, like quartz or obsidian. So I began a series of procedures to determine: what minerals were contained within bloodstone, what forces were applied to produce its color and hardness, and other properties common to rocks and ore. But the bloodstone pendant, to my frustration, did not react to my procedures as would normal ore.
In fact, it often acted in precisely the opposite fashion as expected! It was almost as if the pendant was deliberately fouling my experiments.
Like it was thinking, and alive.
Angered but not discouraged, I switched from assuming the pendant was an inert piece of rock, to assuming it was a living thing. But again, I failed.
None of my tests brought to light any revelations of the origin of bloodstone. At the time the only riddle I solved was that bloodstone was neither living, nor dead!
But it was then, at the brink of failure, that a breakthrough was made. My latest test involved a glass beaker whose brim was chipped, leaving a small, jagged space along its edge. When the test was over, again revealing nothing, I went to clean my worktable and cut myself on the beaker.
The cut was not deep but nevertheless bled fiercely. Before I could wrap my injured finger in a bandage, a good deal of my blood had spilled on my worktable.
And as I was cleaning up this new mess, I noticed the strangest thing...
The blood that had spilled near the bloodstone pendant was slowly moving toward the piece of jewelry, as if gravity had somehow bent itself toward the bloodstone. The blood that touched the pendant seemed to disappear, and the red color of the stone deepened as it drank more of my blood.
After seeing this my head grew light, perhaps from my recent injury (though I did not believe I had lost that much blood) or perhaps because I had finally, after so much frustration, uncovered one of the bloodstone's properties. I reached behind me for my work stool and sat down, pondering. Thoughts and questions raced through my head, dizzying and threatening to topple me.
Does bloodstone drink blood? Does it crave blood? Does it attract blood?
Or, is bloodstone made of blood? And if so, the whose blood? Mine? The blood of any human? Any animal?
Or maybe bloodstone is the blood of some unknown thing, the very thing that Kegan had both feared and revered when he handed me his pendant.
That is the question that must be answered. It is the key.
Fire rekindled within me, I then dove back into my experiments. This time I made no assumptions, methodically performing every test at my disposal. This increased my required efforts tremendously, but I would be more likely to make discoveries.
And, although my lab here is small and I have no subordinates to spare to aid, I did find one more intriguing quality of bloodstone...
In addition to blood, there are elemental forces fused within the stone. Fire, water, thunder and rock are mixed with the blood (but again, the blood of what?), and although this mixture is outwardly inert, all these forces seem to rage inwardly against each other. So many more questions were then raised about this amazing, and foreboding material.
But to answer those questions, more studies and experiments must be performed on the pendant, and I fear that the Lordamere Internment Camp cannot marshal the manpower nor the equipment for the task. So I sent the bloodstone pendant with a courier to Dalaran with specific instructions on how to rest it, so they may avoid my earlier frustrations.
As I waited for the results of these tests, I spent my time speaking to Kegan. Although I constantly pressed him for what he knew about bloodstones, he never told me more than what he said the day he gave me his pendant. And he did not often speak of his time within the fold of what he called "the Forsaken", which is the name he calls his clan of undead.
But Kegan was very eager to speak on other subjects, particularly his time growing up in Lordaeron before its fall.
He still holds much love for that lost kingdom, even though it is now ruined, and dead.
My growing fondness for Kegan gave me patience as I waited for my test results.
But after weeks of no news my patience faltered, and upon further inquires to Dalaran I learned that the bloodstone never reached my colleagues. My courier was somehow lost on the way, and the bloodstone pendant was lost with him!
This is grave news, for although Kegan and his followers still have bloodstone specimens with which we may experiment, I fear the pendant may fall into unsavory hands.
I have sent another messenger to Dalaran, and hear that even now they are scouring for the pendant, in the ruins outside our protective sphere.
I only hope we're not too late.