Stone of Life
"Nora gave her life to the world Stirna made for her. From the blood of a Primordial, rose the first beings of her creation." - Lines from the Story of CreationMagick; the blood of the primordial Nora and the wellspring from which all life in the world can trace it's roots. All life on Nora contains traces of Magick - whether they can make use of that power inside of them is another point entirely. However this does not make all life equal in the amount they possess inside of them. The average Risen or animal possesses such a small amount that it is almost impossible to detect and leaves no physical trace. An individual can increase their prowess over Magick and the potency inside of them through a variety of means; training, study, and contracts with higher beings have all been proven methods with most individuals having an affinity to one particular form over another. Certain beings, Magickal Beasts in particular, are born with such a potent amount of Magick coursing through their veins that it will manifest physically within the body. Both through achieving high potency or being born gifted will lead to the creation of a Magick Stone. The possession of a Magick Stone refers to the crystalline formation that appears next to the heart of a living creature with a high potency of Magick. They are crimson in color and rough akin to uncut gems, yet firmly solid. A stone is nigh indestructible while it is still attached to the heart and only becomes malleable after being removed from a living body and tempered with magickal enchantments and apparatus. As a creature dies, or instant a stone is removed, all Magick present within them rushes to the stone and is cut off from the body, essentially sealing them off from it's use ever again. This has become a theorized tactic in monster hunting, though it has been discredited heavily due to the fact that reaching the heart should be a death sentence in it's own right. Just like how the amount of Magick in an individual will vary, so will the size of the stone. In uniquely powerful Magickal Beasts the stone has been found to be larger than the heart itself - while in most they have been small and significantly difficult to find to an untrained eye.
A Nexus of PowerAfter a Magick Stone is removed from the host, it retains the concentration that it possessed while it was still inside. Whereas it served as a core to power magickal abilities of a living creature, it can be repurposed to empower others. The acquisition and application of Magick Stones is what lead to the development of the very first crafted Magickal Apparatus. Skilled crafters have dedicated their life to the use of Magick Stones since their discovery over a millennia ago. Magickal armaments are reliant on these stones to fuel their power without the need for a Magi's enchantments. Due to the immense power that can be extracted from a stone into other objects they are extremely valuable and sought after by a varity of users; Magi for their enchantments and studies, Magismiths for their renowned crafts, and collectors obsessed with their austere beauty. While their common uses in fabrication or enchantments make up almost all uses for Magick Stones, people have been trying to find alternate uses as well, such as enhancing their own innate magickal prowess rather than enhancing it with enchantments and armaments. So far, this has largely proved to be an ineffective and extremely dangerous pursuit. The Collective has performed a number of experiments on Risen test subjects involving the ingestion or implementation of a foreign Magick Stone. There have been no reports of success from either of these, the best cases - ingestion, most often - have ended with no detectable change in the subject, while others - surgically implanting a Magick Stone - have proven fatal. Due to the wild nature and variety of Magick it has resulted in any number of phenomena ranging from implosion to spiritual projection. Risen are persistent, however, and continue to experiment with the stones both scientifically and as an attempted narcotic.
Monster HuntingMonster Hunting is an essential profession for nearly every developed settlement in Nora. Originally it was a profession founded exclusively for the protection of the citizens and their homes from the dangers that Magickal Beasts propose, it has now grown into a highly luxurious and well paid profession as the main suppliers of Magick Stones. While leather, bone, and furs are all still very important for traditional uses, harvesting Magick Stones far exceeds their weight in gold. Many monster hunters are now founded by varying merchant guilds and nobles for the promise of a steady supply of the stones in question.