Initially referred to as Thelian Obsidian, hermodric stone is named after Jeffery Hermod, a geologist from the Thelian Dawn who first noticed and attempted to study the energy-influencing properties of the black, glassy stone. Hermodric stone can be found throughout the world as small flakes and shards in the soil. Larger specimens can measure nearly 2 inches, though most samples are less than half that size.
Decorative and Artistic Use
From the moment hermodric stone was first encountered, artisans have attempted to find uses for the glossy black stone. Almost all attempts to shape the stone via carving and even sanding have failed due the the easily fracturable nature of the stone. Attempts to melt the stones have also proven unsuccessful with results varying widely. Some attempts have ended with the stone remaining cool to the touch while others have resulted in the stone absorbing so much heat it has melted the furnace in which it was being heated. Because of the difficulty in manipulating the stones decorative uses have largely been limited to inclusion of rough natural shards in mosaic-type pieces.
Resistance to Measurement of Material Properties
Because it was initially thought that hermodric stones amplified energy, numerous proposals were made to develop municipal power grids incorporating the stones to increase efficiency. These plans were quickly scrapped once it was discovered that even trying to determine the conductivity of the stone produced inconsistent results.
Further attempts to measure various material properties of the stone produced similar outcomes: results would vary so widely that no meaningful value could be established. Materially, hermodric stone remains an enigma with the current theory being that some sort of entanglement we are as yet unable to define prevents meaningful measurement.
Effects on Lifeforms in Captivity
Though hermodric stone has resisted measurement and testing, certain correlations have been noted between the presence of hermodric stone and Thelian lifeforms. Thelian fauna in captivity who have constant exposure to hermodric stone tend to have enhanced natural abilities. Globlob fish glow more brightly, needlecats are stronger and exhibit improved problem-solving skills, swamp apes are able to remain submerged nearly twice as long as their unenhanced counterparts. Lifespans of the enhanced Thelian animals are shorter than average. The enhancements quickly fade after the hermodric stone has been removed from the area.
Thelian flora sees similar reactions near hermodric stone. Plants grown in planters made with hermodric stone grow thick and lush, and yield larger, more plentiful fruits. Like their animal counterparts, though, such plants die off more quickly than specimens of the same species found in the wild.
Lifeforms (both flora and fauna) originating from Earth do not seem effected by the presence of hermodric stone. Similarly, Terran-Thelian hybrids have not exhibited any unusual behavior in the presence of hermodric.
Sensitive Areas and Effects on Lifeforms in the Wild
Though hermodric stone is common and can be found anywhere in the world, certain locations have been noted to have extremely high concentrations of hermodric. Alyssum Lake in Region Alexandria, Idyll in Region Bragi, and Tirna in Region Delphi all have unusually high concentrations of hermodric, all have enhanced wildlife (both flora and fauna), and Dawn’s Light testing has revealed that magic cast in these areas have unpredictable results. These areas have been deemed sensitive and declared off-limits to all personnel.
Animals and vegetation in these sensitive areas display enhanced traits similar to those noted in captive specimens. Unlike their captive counterparts, lifeforms within the sensitive areas do not seem to have shortened lifespans. Rather, the few studies that have been conducted indicate animals within the sensitive areas have a longer than average lifespan and remain vital throughout their extended lives.
Impact on Magic
Of special concern to Dawn’s Light is the unpredictable effects hermodric can have on magic spells. Spells cast in areas of high hermodric concentration produce unpredictable results with spells alternately being weakened or magnified. Thus far there are no ways to determine how a spell will react when cast in the presence of hermodric.
Though we have not been able to manipulate the stone nor determine it’s potential uses, archeological finds indicate ancient Thelians were skilled at using hermodric. A large statue discovered in the Trimbolen Temple of a massive piece of solid hermodric reveals ancient Thelians were able to shape the stone, and magical artifacts have been found encased in chests made of the stone. All indications are that they used hermodric as a shield against magic.
Because of the impact hermodric stone has on magic, Dawn’s Light researchers continue to study the stone. To avoid potentially interfering with Dawn’s Light operations and training, all research is conducted in a remote facility in Trimbolen.