"Professor, is there actually a way to trace a dragon's lineage, like that?" A student asked, interrupting one of the final lectures of the semester. Cynnus turned to look at the young girl responsible, giving her an appreciative smile. The Ren'dorei professor had always adopted a stance of being welcome to interruptions and questions, only rarely instating rules about saving them for after. For such a rarely taught science, questions and comments were vital to exploring new ideas that hadn't been thought up yet.
"I am glad you asked. Yes, in fact. Though the methods for doing so can sometimes be imprecise, and recent gnomish inventions have only just begun to fine tune the process. You see, Dragons, like all living things, carry down the traits from their ancestors. One of the key among them, certainly the easiest for us to measure, is the way in which they channel their magical inherent ability. No two dragons are exactly alike, in this way... but similarities -can- be found in close relatives or descendants that help us trace the family tree."
"This process starts easily enough, with a blood sample. As always, the sample should be as fresh as possible, to ensure the arcane energies within are still present and easy to detect..."
The lecture had been a successful one today. The question seemed to grab the attention of a couple students, and the answer led to the scribbling of several quills. It wasn't quite the topic she'd intended to cover today... but then, today's topic was -not- going to be on next week's final either way, so it was just as good to cover something the class was clearly interested in.
A vial of red liquid in her hand glimmered in the light as she stared at it.
"Oou thyzz lal ak'uq qwaz Zuq shkul ma sk'tek..." (Still searching for answers the hard way when all you need to do is ask...) The voice taunted in that sickly sweet, airy breath it had. Like a whisper on her ear, begging for her attention. Cynnus shut her eyes and forced the voice out of her head. "Not now..."
A single drop of dragon's blood spilled from the vial, held steady by careful hands. It hit the pool of water in the scrying bowl, and instantly, several runes within the basin came to life. To many, the runes lit up would be nonsense. To her students, they would be indicators vital to achieving a passing grade. To her... the runes told a tale. The tale of a life lived, what this dragon had experienced, where they've been. What they are.
The blood swirled into a series of shapes as the enchanted water revealed its secrets, as Cynnus jotted down each and every shape the blood took. Wisps of arcane energy floated up from the bowl... scarred in places by the void, the echoes of an old trauma that the blood still carried with it. Several other scars were revealed in the energy that rose from the bowl, as the Void Elf looked on passively.
And then something caught her eye. A glimmer of something... something odd. The way the arcane energies shifted... the signature they created in the air as they rose. It stood out to her like a sore thumb... and not only because of the peculiarity of it. Quickly, she flipped through her book of sketches, finding a page from a month ago... and held it up to compare.
"But that... that can't be right." Cynnus stated. But her eyes weren't deceiving. It was the same mark.
"This doesn't make any sense... Whose...?" She trailed off as she checked the sample number of the old drawing. 237A. And her eyes went wide in surprise.
Hours had passed. The moon shone through the window of the lab, casting Elune's light into the room that was otherwise lit by only a handful of candles. Just enough to illuminate Cynnus's books as she frantically reviewed what she'd found.
She had checked. And rechecked. And rechecked again. Any test she could run to try and confirm a different result. All of them came to the same conclusion.
There was really only one thing to do with this information.
She needed to speak with the Dean.