Upon rereading book four, I came to an odd observation. Grouls are humanoid creatures of the catacombs that were brought in to guard treasures. We have no other explanation for their appearances and they are not seen again following book four. The last time we see them are in the forms of statues being animated by Max, so it’s safe to assume they either died out and the ones we see are Max’s tricks or they still live in the dark of the Cielis Catacombs.
What I found about these creatures is that they vaguely resemble elves, like a distant relative or still existing ancestor. Both have peculiar eyes, pointed ears, sharp teeth, and some elves lack a cartilage structured nose with only serpent like nostrils, similar to the Grouls. It’s likely that they are a related species.
However, I have another theory: These Grouls are not a related species but are actually corrupted elves, twisted by the Guardian Council to serve as “guard dogs” or a punishment for crimes.
It’s no secret the Guardian Council has a history of discrimination against the elves following the war. They locked up Layra’s Parents as soon as war broke out without proper reason, simply for their species and they felt no remorse or even grief for their deaths. They imprisoned Trellis and Liger merely for their blood relation to the king and covered it up for war crimes. It could be possible that they could have used elves as test subjects for the stone’s power.
We see stones be able to create powerful engergy shields, form shockwaves capable of wiping out an army of Grouls, levitating large masses, flight, a doorway and teleportation within the Void, and animating both statues and corpses. Further more, if the user loses control of their powers, the stone with transform them and melt away whatever humanity and sentience they had. It turns them into colossal beasts manipulated by the puppeteer spirit, Ikol. If it can work on the user, it may be able to affect an opponent.
The Guardian Council may have tried to master this ability, first with animals, which may have created monsters like the Arachnopod. Then after mastering it on animals, attempted to try it on sentient opponents. The elves. After capturing elves and sentencing them for “war crimes,” they would have taken them to the catacombs and experimented there in secret. It would explain how few know of the Grouls’ existence. Only a few students and the Council themselves know.
In short, the previous Guardian Council may be guilty of inhumane experimentation on elves for the use of stone power and have hid it from the eyes of the public. What would be the reaction of the elf nation and of Trellis if this theory is true? What are your thoughts.