Today I was most grateful to one Herr Himmelblau, a magnate of the League of Cogs, who sent me a device discovered in an abandoned space beneath one of his warehouses. The opportunity to examine such a find is a rare luxury, for I am in no doubt that the icy black crystals within the contraption are darkstone. Only the vermin swarms have mastered the substance - despite the claims of Eichtal’s alchemy professors (who swear their stricken colleagues are nothing to do with their experiments) and the insistence of egomaniacs like Oppolzer who believe the vermin incapable of anything more than stealing cheese.
I confess my own investigation of the device was hardly more successful than the alchemists’ bumbling efforts; a sudden surge of white energy has already demolished one of my bookshelves. Still, every indication confirms the evidence of my other researches - that the vermin are somehow able to magically empower the stone and use its electric properties to fuel their industry and armies. The captives claiming to be from "House Rakachit" swore under interrogation that theirs was just one of many guilds and families by which rodent society is organised - and indeed seemed to show pride that Rakachit was the greatest among these "houses" when it came to the use of darkstone. When my studies of the Book of the Dead are complete, I must turn my full attention to this fascinating field.