The Red Coral, shards of strange crimson crystals. On this island, their bloody light is more valuable than gold and far more dangerous. They glow from the depths of the mines, and they bring bloody red visions into the minds of those that who hunt them. From his fortress in the governor's mansion, Captain Mako dreams about their ruddy light.
- Diviner Maros
The typical Red Coral shard is described as pink or crimson in color and unusually heavy (9). Such coral is rumored to possess strong magical properties. This strange shard can only be foun in the island of Sharkhead.
Back in the 1600s Sharkhead Isle acted as a central hub for many of the mystics and witchdoctors of the era, who sought the rare shards of red crystal coral. Even in the modern day, would-be practitioners of magic like the cultists of the Circle of Thorns still attempt to illegally acquire shards of Red Coral Crystal, believing in its supernatural power. This had made it necessary for trade in the Red Crystal to be declared illegal. Any shards of Red Coral Crystal must be turned over to Arachnos to prevent this illegal practice from causing trouble again. (1)
The Slag Golems’ nature is clearly tied into the greater mystery of the red coral. They would charge out of piles of slag, viciously attack the miners, and retreat back into the waste dump. These attacks were rare, and seemed to coincide with the unearthing of red coral deposits. (2) The Cage Consortium ignored the red coral deposits at first, although early inhabitants of the isle regarded it as a highly treasured substance. Only recently, as the number of people interested in the coral has risen dramatically, and so too its value, has the Consortium begun selling the coral for a tidy profit.(2)
Many forces recognize the inherent power that runs through the living red coral, and wish to cultivate it for their own purposes. Elements within Arachnos want it. Captain Mako himself has put forth an edict that all deposits of red coral should be brought to his vaults. Various free agents, brokers, and pirates trade it, for it is more valuable per ounce than gold. A splinter group of the Freakshow called the Cult of the Shaper pursues it, also, and no doubt its secrets involve the Coralax, Mako’s lieutenant, Barracuda, and several powerful mystics. The Guardian that the Slag Golems defend is the key to the red coral, but can the secrets of the coral be revealed without somehow unleashing a devastating storm upon all of the Rogue Isles? (2)
The Red Coral is much more than simple sea rock. The living coral is actually part of an entity entombed under Sharkhead milennia ago called The Leviathan, (6 & 10) which is not dead, but asleep. Shards of this coral is the mysterious energy source that animates the so-called Slag Golems (4 & 5). Apparently, there is a direct proportion: the bigger the crystal, the more powerful the golem it powers.(7) The shards' magical nature is strong enough to make a man feel a tingling sensation just by holding them in the hand.(9) Those coral rocks used as hearts by the Slag Golems are powerful enough to make a man feel alien thoughts calling to the sea inside his head by holding them in his hand (3), making clear the dangerous nature of the rock.
Freakshow Tank called "The SuperFreak" developed necromantic powers when he was implanted an engine with a red coral shard, but lost his mind in the process and started gathering Slag Golems to destroy his creator (8), so it seems the shards of coral put the host's mind directly in contact with the Leviathan's mind (3), which results in the host's will subdued to the alien horror trapped under the isle's will. Removing the shard caused the host become normal again (as normal as a Freak can be, that is).
The red coral is clearly related to the beings known as Coralax. It is perhaps the same coral from which their bodies are made, or it could be that this is the coral the Coralax use to contaminate human prisoners and turn them somehow into Coralax hybrids, as happened to Barracuda. It could be part of the Leviathan or even part of the goddess Merulina, creator and source of all the Coralax lifeforms. Only time will tell what's the true origin of the mysterious rock.
As mentioned, Captain Mako demands first bid on all Coral Shards recovered on Sharkhead Isle for his own reasons.
1 - CoV History badge: Lorekeeper Badge, Monument 4
2 - CoV Official Site: Slag Golems
3 - CoV Mission: Get Coral for Maros' plans from Diviner Maros
4 - CoV Mission: Make a pre-emptive strike against the Freakshow Cultists from Diviner Maros
5 - CoV Mission: Harvest coral shards from Slag Golems from Archmage Tarixus
6 - CoV Mission: Harvest coral from Slag Golems from Archmage Tarixus
7 - CoV Mission: Get cybernetic parts and a large coral crystal for Doc Buzzsaw's project from Doc Buzzsaw
8 - CoV Mission: Destroy the SuperFreak from Doc Buzzsaw
9 - CoV Mission: Steal the Coral from Crash Cage
10 - CoV Mission: Expel Arachnos from Circle base from Crash Cage