Good question. Thank you for reminiding me that they sacrificed people in order to build up sufficient power to break through to the chaotic shard. Seems bloodstones can absorb power, but only from one person per day without a blood mage. With it they can sacrifice thousands. Still no mention of how long they can store it or how much they can store. There is no way an artifact this powerful should be at a small outpost. Its also strange that they don't have a blood mage with it, HM implies the goblins have some. I'm starting to lean heavily towards the idea that they got it from the Yvesians. Maybe the king is using them as something as simple as a cats paw, meaning the kingdom helps the alliance build up to the point where they can wreck havoc in the forest of Nadria, the firetip mountains and Rione. Once their main rivals weakens Yves can pick off choice pieces of real estate along the border with the forest and seize/ destroy key ressources. I would target POP's, Mines, Dungeons, Cores, highvalue resources that will allow the kingdom to grow stronger without committing to a costly full scale war. Once these smallscale invasions and raids are over the enemies would have to choose between accepting a fait accompli or opening a second front against the largest kingdom around, with no guarantee of victory. Worst case, they lose a bloodstone, spend some resources and a few assets taking out the goblins and bugbears, along with a good chunk of their rivals. Its a win-win.