The name “Soul Gem” is a bit misleading and comes from an archaic time when it was believed that the particular stones were gems that had sucked up the souls of the dead. A myth that persisted well into the Archano-Tech revolution where experimentation with normal gems revealed there was no apparent way for them to simply absorb a soul. The testing process was long and morbid as they had shipments of common gems stashed around battlefields during the war in the hopes of crating more soul gems. But, as it was, all forms and attempts of creating Soul Gems ended in utter failure. Of all of the materials that the allied races worked with, or out right invented, Soul Gems were not only one of the most commonly used, but the unquestionable champion of being the least understood. They had no real clue where they really came from, how they were made, nor even how to reliably find them. At all. Soul Gems were discovered quite by accident. They were just gathered and horded as normal gems. Put in with the regular treasury and spent and traded as such. But then individuals started noticing that, among every gem type, there was always a certain segment of their stock that stuck out more than the others. The first ones to bring this to light were jewelry makers who would get rather annoyed at having to deal with gems that seemed far more resistant to cutting than their regular counterparts. Investigation revealed that each one of the suspected stones, the ones that caused the most problems, always had a similar commonality. They were flawless. Completely flawless. There was not a blemish nor other form of contaminate in the stone that could be found or detected. Not even with magical means. They were paragons of the gem universe, and, as such, were always the most beautiful. But even the most skilled craftsmen hated working with them and charged a premium to do so. Especially given that they were also far harder and resistant to damage in general than any other gem of the same type. Drop a diamond from chest height, and it might shatter. Drop a Soul Gem diamond, and it’ll just start bouncing across the floor, scuffing up everything in the process. All while remaining unharmed. Eventually these became oddities and collector’s items, with the ultra-rich and nobles upgrading regularly to new Soul Stones that had been discovered. For them, diamonds, rubies, and emeralds were simply too common. So last century. Now they wanted Soul Gem Diamonds. Soul Gem Rubies. Soul Gem Emeralds. And all cut and worked by only the elite of craftsmen. Their rarity made them even more valuable as no one could figure out how to find them. They could be practically anywhere. They had been discovered in clusters, with a variety of other stones, imbedded inside of rock. But with no tell tale signs of mineral leakage that could be a geological hint of a number of gems potential locations. They had been found in loose soil: far from any mountains. They were sometimes found in rivers and river beds. And, most perplexing, they had even been found in wide open sandy deserts and plains, far from any geological activity at all. None of it made any sense. It was like the world itself was peppered with them, like a seasoning, and no one could ever find neither rhyme nor reason to the Soul Gems’ whereabouts. During the Archano-Tech revolution they were brought in for testing to see what could be done with them rather early on. Spell Keys had already been made, at least on a rudimentary level, and they wanted to see what properties they could exploit from the rarest of rare gems. What they found would change the world forever and, arguably, lead to its end. The Soul Gems were the perfect receptacle for Spell Keys. They could hold far more magical energy than their common counter parts before they would break or shatter from magical stress and feedback. This led them to being used for ever increasingly complex spells, spell matrix, and Spell Keys. And, what’s more, for most of the normal functionality, they didn’t even need a very large piece to accomplish the exact same thing. Which allowed them to tremendously shrink down their technology while maintaining, if not actually increasing, its functionality and power. And, being the most perfect material to test and experiment on for further progress, Soul Gems became the defacto choice for research. And the allied races honed in on their usage with an unwavering focus. With the stones being able to withstand more than most, they were heavily tested and used to push the envelope of the archano-technology breakthroughs. Even as rare as they were, they were heavily used and burned through to create ever more wondrous inventions. But, they were a finite resource, and eventually their thirst for knowledge, discovery, and experimentation started becoming a problem as shortages started to rear their ugly head. In some cases, even treasuries were raided for their soul gems. Even just a few. Because the technology of the world needed them to keep going. And, eventually, even soul gems had to be replaced. If they were damaged. If they were too over stressed for too long of time for their type and size. If they were at all mismanaged, they could burn out, shatter, or lose their enchantment matrix. And they would need to be replaced. The lack of a new source, and the burning through of what stockpiles everyone had already accumulated over the last thousand years or so, brought a terrifying reality to the forefront: A time would come when they had no more soul gems to replace those lost. And everything would simply start breaking down. The panic this realization caused was devastating. On a global scale. Thus, the material that brought such wondrousness to the world. Such innovation. Such happiness, also brought with it the harbinger of end of the world.