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“There is no power more pure than what hides in blood.”
Third Generation Blood Magic (Pending acceptance to a series of IC events that will be executed to introduce this iteration to blood mages)
There are few powers as raw and primitive as blood magic, an ancient art which predates most existing schools and studies. The oldest accounts of blood magic use date to antiquity in the elder mage wars of Aegis where sorcerers hurled great elemental spells across scorched and devastated battlefields. Among the most obscure, grey, and secretive of the dark arts, blood magic is an art of sacrifice and cruelty for its spells and rites are drenched in the crimson of the living, donated or stolen. The origins of this grisly art are cloaked in mystery for only the Great Stone Serpent is close to being considered a true master for knowledge is what separates the breeds and iterations of blood magic and this, third generation blood magic, is the lineage of Malghourn and he will not so willingly give up his secrets; other names speckle history regarding the bloody wizardry of this art, dubbed “hemomancy,” “blothr-bhakthal,” and “valmir’taliyna”.
It is “genus” which fuels blood magic and its machinations, an incredibly esoteric yet tangible substance which blood mages reach out to in order to cast. It may be consumed by a blood mage and used to empower their next spell -- imbuing it with the raw, primeval strength of mortality and inciting chaos -- or may allow a target for force to be applied to with bloodbending as well as be inscribed in the form of runes for blood rituals. Genus is a thing of primeval strength, it supports the machinations of the soul in life just as lifeforce supports life itself yet genus may be exploited, both unshackled with augmentation and manipulated with bloodbending. So too is there an ancient, mystical language of blood, an unspeakable yet written language whose words invoke power which blood mages inscribe; there is an immense lexicon of knowledge based in genus and its uses and runes albeit much has been lost to the many bygone eras of the past and a vast majority of those runes and powers are forgotten and those employed by present day blood mages are mere fundamentals. Gone are the days of colossal firestorms and conjured earthquakes, gone are the days of spirits leashed to metal suits of armor and careless enslavement. Come are the days of newfound, once-forgotten power and great achievement through not just blood but gore; the lost and refound potential of berserkers and rogues alongside mages.
Genus, whilst potent and volatile, is a fleeting thing. It is found only in superior-soul-having mortals such as typical Descendents and only flows in fresh blood for once the life has passed or blood has been spilt and left unused it becomes inert and dries. Animals have no such power hidden in their veins. As such, the blood mage is one ravenous for such a costly substance, often losing themselves in the carnage of their art with an addiction to power.
Blood magic use, however, is not without its consequence as the addictive powers of genus will soon become a crutch to a blood mage who chooses to dabble in other arts alongside hemomancy. Indeed, a blood mage may only master one other magical skill before their dependance on genus limits growth in other arts. Augmentation acts to counterbalance this, allowing a blood mage - through brief empowerment - to rival masters in other skills though they shall never be able to reach such heights naturally. After touching a bloodshard and gaining the knowledge of blood magic’s most basic principles, blood mages become quickly addicted to its effects and find themselves dissatisfied with most other magic, unable to bring themselves to reach their full potential as long as they carry the mantle of ‘blood mage.’
-Blood magic may only use fresh blood for its machinations. “Fresh” meaning spilled no longer than a day in narrative-time and cannot be derived from animals.
-Blood mages may only have blood magic and 1 other magic at tier 5; the rest are capped at tier 3. There is no way around this.
Blood magic is not without its perils. To be awakened by a bloodshard is to invite the eldritch knowledge of slaughter and bloodshed into one’s deepest memories, an injected lesson of the secrets of crimson. Those who undergo this awakening are thus disturbed by it mentally and changed by it physically.
Bloodshards and the Red Nexus The eldest known living blood mage is no man of Horen, Malin, Urguan, or Krug but a great serpent of Dragur; granted sentience by Setherien following his defeat in the North of Anthos, the drake Malghourn reigns supreme over his lineage of students. This drake-breed of blood magic is what is known today as the third generation and thus is closely related to Malghourn. Donated an original bloodshard from Setherien modeled after the drakaar’s lexicon and dubbed the Red Nexus, the crystalline mass of congealed blood has been chipped at nine times, forming ten shards with the Red Nexus being the prime leftover of the original, colossal bloodshard. These nine gems of coagulated blood borne of Setherien-era hemomancy act as smaller lexicons for Malghourn’s superior Red Nexus which at a mere touch inject knowledge into the mind. To grace a bloodshard is to accept the information of genus’ nature, the craft of blood magic, and the tools to use it. Such complex ideas and philosophy cannot be spoken or instructed, only shown, and thus bloodshards are conduits for making bloodmages. Familiarity with genus and the runes permits a masterful blood mage some vague understanding of the complex language with which Malghourn has stored knowledge into his Nexus. This allows master blood mages to tap into the near infinite knowledge of the Red Nexus at times and potentially glimpse its libraries or adversely communicate with Malghourn through it.
Weightless and massive -- no smaller than nine meters and no larger than thirteen -- these floating crystals are spread across the mortal realm and are dearly coveted by blood mage cabals. They are coveted things and as such are often hidden, tucked away things or disguised as mere rocks for they have the durability of stone and the texture of a crystal. Whilst destructible, master blood mages may reconstruct these shards of the Red Nexus from any piece of their remains as well as smaller gems -- dregs -- to either restore a bloodshard or create dregs.
-Bloodshards allow individuals to become viable for learning blood magic. There are, at all times, nine, and Malghourn may move them at his will (LT discretion).
-Bloodshards MUST be physically built upon the map.
-Any tier 5 blood mage may restore a bloodshard with any amount of its fragments. Attempting this without a fragment or after the last of the nine have been reformed it results in the creation of a dreg.
-Bloodshards may grant tier 5 blood mages knowledge of all spells thus keeping the magic spread at all times; no knowledge can be hoarded and/or hidden. Future discoveries and additions may also be spread through this manner.
-ET/LT events may be held for blood mages who touch bloodshards to commune with Malghourn to whatever end.
The Powers of Blood Magic
Augmentation The first and prime tool of blood mages, ichor may be sacrificed and converted into additional mana in order to empower spells by reaching out to genus and freeing it from its shackles within blood. This unbinding dissolves blood into a fine, glowing red mist which siphons into the blood mage to bolster their next spell or into another mage to strengthen their next spell, unlocking the potential of a master in that craft to the most lowly of apprentices. In doing so a blood mage incites wild, primitive power in the spell no better than a master’s affluence.
Bloodbending A second and more vicious tool of blood magic, the lifeblood of others may be manipulated in various manners to puppeteer bodies after the great blood mages of yore. Unlike most other types of sorcery, users of blood magic are more volatile the closer they are to others as well as when near bare skin or open wounds. Bloodbending may take the form of controlling another’s limb, inducing paralysis, or bursting veins.
Blood Runes and Rites The third and more complex tool of blood magic, runes and rites are forms of ritualistic acts where genus-bearing blood may be used to write glyphs, each embodying meaning and power structured and fueled by genus, either alone to some effect in the case of Force runes or in circles full of various runes to create a complex ritual.
There are many runes to blood magic, its unspoken, sanguine language a thing used to invoke primal powers. Detailed in the countless pages of Malghourn’s ethereal tomes of his Red Nexus, taught by the tutelage of a blood mage or a bloodshard’s touch, these glyphs produce abilities born of genus. Runes, words, and rituals, elaborate sentences, both are pure invocations.
-Without the setting of a ritual where effects are specified or may be experimented with, runes act simply as an esoteric alphabet. Drawing one without the proper preparations would yield no special consequence.
Blood Rituals are dependant upon runes chiefly followed by sacrifices used to empower said runes which - with the right management - can achieve great feats. The genus required for specific rituals is measured in units, a unit of genus referring to a non-fatal measure of a non-magical human’s blood, approximately a third. Mortals may have 1 unit of blood safely drawn from them; a second unit would result in death. Genus count varies from person to person, the specifics outlined below:
-Average, typical people have 3 units of genus, equating to 1 body’s full blood reserves.
-High elves and mages have 4 units of genus as per their magical affluence. (This is the maximum amount of genus a natural body can produce, meaning a High Elf who also practices magic will still only have 4 units of genus).
-Zephonym have 4 units of genus due to their excessive reserves of blood.
-Azdrazi, dragons, tree lords, ascended, zar'ei, zar'akal and strigae have 5 units of genus due to their supernatural or superior states.
-Celestials and berserkers have 6 units of genus due to their Voidal saturation and immense genus stores respectively.
-Voidal Horrors have 12 units of genus due to their immense Voidal saturation.
-Average, typical people can regenerate 1 unit of genus per 24 hours unless their lore states otherwise.
Where runes are words which invoke meaning alone, rituals are sentences which create elaborate effects. There are four types of rituals: elemental, summoning, creation and force. Runes can be inscribed for rituals within a relatively short frame of narrative time (provided there is sufficient genus available to fuel their creation) or be painstakingly drawn over the course of weeks and months, though any rune left after a narrative month (an OOC day) without use would dry; any fully prepared ritual in this circumstance would take an additional unit of genus to awaken.
-Runes drawn for rituals must be done with immense precision and focus, effectively impossible to scrawl down during combat.
-A ritual that takes more than 1 IRL day to prepare will require an additional unit of genus to activate.
Berserkers and Rogues Borne of savagery and slaughter and sacrifice, blood magic is not limited to mere bleeding wizards and sanguine warlocks. Where mages dabble in finesse and tactful sorcery there are those who are steeped in the carnage of both battle and loss, be they rogues who sneak and dance or berserkers who frenzy and lead warpaths. Their physical strength forsakes magic in favor of raw grit and gore found in runes written upon totems binding marrows, ethereal organs which empower their physicality.
References: Blood Magic
Blood Magic Rewrite
Blood Rituals and Runes
Zarsies’ Blood Magic Guide
Awakened Blood Magic
Previous and referenced lore writers: Raptor14
Credit for this lore: Zarsies (Author)