Blood Magic

The Powers

The Old Powers are… and that's pretty much all you can say about them. They just kind of… are. They tend to be vast impersonal natural forces. Powers of the forest and the mountain, of the river and the sea. They are resolutely physical. Alone of the gods, the Old Powers seem to reside full time in the physical world. As you may guess from the name, Blood magic is a visceral business, and its practitioners tend to be very slightly barking mad.

The Lady of Blood and Wine

A real party girl, if you define a “party” as an event which ends with most of the guests unconscious, a good proportion of them permanently. The Children of the Vine are hers and pretty much sum her up. She's vibrant, passionate and quite likely to lay waste to small villages in a fit of over-enthusiasm. She is generally thought to wander the Great Forest to the West of the White City spreading mayhem in her wake. The Cult of Blood and Wine is popular, most religions that include “free alcohol” amongst their central tenets are, on the other hand it has a slightly dubious reputation because at the end of the day they do also sometimes kill people. Many of her followers are known to use a coat of arms in the form of a green oval field bearing two golden wine-cups, divided by a wide left-facing diagonal gold stripe on which is a blood-red kiss.

The Spider-Queen(s)

There is a lot of speculation about the existence or otherwise of a Spider Queen or Queens. The people of the City of Silk certainly believe such individuals exist, and there are several shrines to Our Lady of the Silk, the Venomous Mother and so on throughout that settlement. Certainly there have been some very big spiders seen in the great Western Forest, but nobody can truly say whether they are divine in nature.

The King of the Eagles

Not much followed by mortal men, but with some popularity amongst the Dream-Catchers, the King of the Eagles is a grand but mysterious figure dwelling in the furthest and most distant peaks of the North. The King of the Eagles is unusual amongst the Old Powers in that he is associated with the oneireal as much as the physical, dwelling in the boundary between the physical world and the world of dreams.

The Lord of the Blood-Fury & The Lady of Battles

Nice simple gods. The Lord of the Blood-Fury is a lunatic berserker who rips people's limbs off when he isn't inspiring them to rip one another's limbs off. The Lady of Battles is a weirdly noble warrior maiden, more reserved than her consort but no less bloodthirsty. His is the heat of bloodlust, hers is the fight for the cause. She will tend to the fallen, he will frequently attack his own side. Between them they represent two of the many faces of war. Many of his followers are known to use a coat of arms which displays a blood-red right hand, palm forward, on a black field.

The Verdant Lord

The Verdant Lord is the god of plant life, often worshipped by farmers, foresters and others who depend on the fertility of the land. The Verdant Lord is said to sleep through the winter and wake again in spring; sacrifices are often made to him in between the winter solstice and the spring equinox in order to ensure his awakening. He rarely appears to his worshippers, choosing the form of a human-like figure made out of plants when he does.

The Lord of Sand and Stone

The Lord of Sand and Stone is a wilderness god, worshipped in wild and inhospitable places where plants and animals are scarce. His servants include sand-spirits and some centaur tribes. His priests are rumoured to use a rare hallucinogenic mushroom known as “the eye of stone” in order to contact him through visions.

The Mother of All Serpents

The mother of all snakes, drakes, lizards, salamanders and such like, and also the mother of the Dragons. She was asleep for a very long time, and her worship was mostly forgotten by men. When she fed the dragons the fireblood they were forced to reject their father, the Frost Prince, as a result of which he cursed her such that she could not travel beneath the open sky. More recently she was awakened by a group of adventurers led by Gustav Yoma and Lady Sasha De Courci, causing an earthquake which shook both the Wistful and White Cities. She is now plotting her revenge against the Frost Prince

Man Oak, Man Willow

Ruler over Oaks and Willows, he is rumoured to have an emnity with the Verdant Lord. Recently many of his cults have been destroyed by followers of that more popular and powerful God.

The Lord & Lady of the Pack

A bestial pair of minor Blood powers, fulfilling a similar role to the Verdant Lord, Spider Queens and Mother of All Serpents but looking over mammals. Some scholars conjecture that they are aspects of the Lord of Blood-Fury & the Lady of Battles, others claim that they are the gods followed by the animals themselves, and others point out the links between wolves/hounds and the Princess of Stories, Lord of the Faithful or Inskuldraes the Shapeless Wyrm. Historians have also uncovered several similar gods over the millenia - the 'Hounds of the Great Hunter' mentioned in texts from the Binding War, The Howler in the Night (a spirit of place centred on a place known as Wolfmeet), Old Greybeard, and various children's stories. It remains uncertain how or if any of these theories are related- Yet Another Mystery Of The Western Forest.

The Lord of the Pack is, like the Lord of Blood-Fury, a violent warrior god followed by those who tear apart their foes- but he's slightly less berserk and is also a god of hunters and rangers, of tracking and pursuit. The Lady of the Pack is, like the Lady of Blood & Wine, a goddess of feeding and nurturing. However she has a more violent side similar to that of the Lady of Battles, as she's a goddess of defending those who cannot defend themselves (which applies only to young children and heavily pregnant females- anyone else should be capable, and if they can't then they're too weak to live), and of those who turn to fight when trapped by a superior foe. She acts both to restrain the Lord and his followers from indiscrimate slaughter, and to encourage the Lord to punish some of those he previously blessed- a hunter who kills cubs may well find himself being hunted…

The worship of the Lord and Lady is not common outside the Forest (city-dwelling human worshippers tend to get big ideas about going hunting with wolves, and end up being hunted by wolves…), but inside the Forest they're fairly respected. Many people out hunting will leave a part of the kill behind as an offering to thank the Lord of the Pack, whilst they will spare the lives of young animals and leave offerings to the Lady of the Pack in the hope of getting her aid to defend their own families.

The Lord of the Deep

This ancient and enigmatic Spirit of Place holds dominion over the plantlife on the ocean floor and the creatures that subsist upon it. Not much is known about him or rather it other than its thoughts are said to be slow and considered, yet profound, much like the changing of the tides and the deep underwater currents. Superstitious fishermen will sometimes spend a small offering of their blood to help ensure the favour of this power.

The Lord of Justice

Less an Old Power and more of a “new power”, the Lord of Justice is a mortal who has earned a place among the pantheon of Blood with the Lady of Battles' blessings through sheer strength and devotion to his cause. Representing the fight for fair and just causes and in particular the protection of the innocent, the Lord of Justice is still close to the mortal world and remains centuries away from being a true Old Power, but nonetheless wanders the lands in search of fights for his cause and to promote it. As a new arrival to the pantheon, he is generally little-known and is yet to have any followers.

The Limits

The limit of Blood magic is, funnily enough, blood. The caster's blood. In great abundance. If you want to do Blood magic, you need to be injured. Injuries used in Blood magic can be either self-inflicted or inflicted in combat, but either way it's a one use deal, and the injury used must have been inflicted during the Encounter in which it is used. Once you've got the juice from a wound, it's used up. In general Ordained Blood Sorcerors need to be less injured than non-Ordained ones, since they are drawing power from a greater force. The Old Powers tend not to take offence at non-Ordained Blood Sorcerors, in fact they seem not to notice them at all.

The total amount of Blood magic that a Blood Sorceror can cast during an Adventure is equal to their total Body Hits, i.e. their number of Body Hits per location times five (unless they've lost a limb). Thus for the average human this limit will be 5 times their ranks of Tough, plus 10. (E.g. Tough 2 equals 4 Body Hits per location equals 20 points of usable Blood Magic per adventure). These can be used and healed at any point by any source.

The other limit of Blood magic is the fact that it's inextricably linked to living things - it generally won't affect anything that's not corporeal and alive (such as spirits, undead and creatures of Glass), and tends to be considerably less powerful in the Burned Realm.

The Spells

First Level

Blood Healing

Start as you mean to go on. The caster can heal body damage on either themself or somebody else by smearing the wound with their own blood. It's a one for one tradeoff, one hit's worth of blood heals one hit of damage on the target, unless the caster is Ordained, in which case it's two for one. It doesn't matter who drew the blood used, there are many tales of Blood Sorcerors charging into battle and using the blood from their wounds to heal themselves and continue fighting.

Note that this can be used to heal wounds but not to restore destroyed limbs or lost body parts, unless the caster sacrifices the corresponding part of their own body. There is no two-for-one deal on sacrificing body parts, even an Ordained Blood Sorceror must cut off rheir own arm to restore someone else's.

Blood of the Soil

This spell causes life to grow where the caster's blood falls. This is of immense use to farming communities, and adventurers could use it to break steel and stone if that floats their boat. The amount of life produced (it's always plants) and the rate of growth is determined by the amount of blood the caster puts into the spell. Ordained Priests of the Old Powers will get a doubled effect, but roughly speaking one hit's worth of blood produces grass, five gets a sapling, anything more than that is serious mighty oak territory. The blood used can be drawn by anyone.

Second Level

Blood Cure

This spell requires one to five hits worth of blood, which must be drawn by the caster, and will cure the effects of any illness or poison (one for general fever or paralysing giant spider venom or mild food poisoning, five for leprosy or Vitrification, equal to the poison's Rank for Alchemical Poisons). Once Blood Cure has been used to nullify a particular type of poison or disease then the recipient is immune to that kind of poison or disease for the rest of the Encounter. The blood cost is halved for Ordained Priests of the Old Powers.

Blood Curse

This being the darker side of Blood magic, and one of the main reasons people are wary of attacking known Blood Sorcerors. A Blood Curse can have a number of effects, but most people tend to go for the direct damage approach; each hit's worth of blood put into the spell inflicts one hit of through damage to a living target, ignoring armour.

The blood paid for this curse must have been drawn from the same physical location as they wish to affect on the target by either the caster or the target, and cannot be more than the damage the caster can inflict in a single blow or the damage done to their flesh by the target. If the caster chooses to draw their own blood to pay for this spell then the wound they inflict cannot itself be healed with their own blood. When an Ordained caster returns damage to one who harmed them they need only pay half the blood point cost but still cannot return more damage than was done to them.

Longer term effects, or more specific woes, are possible with GM approval.

Third Level

Blood of the Beast

The caster inflicts one (or half for Ordained Priests of the Old Powers) hit of body damage to their torso and adopts the form of an animal for one Encounter. This animal must be mundane - that is to say it must be of a kind resident in the physical world and not the product of magical tampering or divine blood - but otherwise anything goes. Advantages vary. Small things get bonus Stealth and Dodges, big fierce things get extra hits and damage. Birds can fly, fish can breathe water, etc. Use the stats of any creature from the Monsters page which is flesh and blood and non-humanoid. Note that the caster's physical possessions don't transform with them, and if killed while transformed they remain as a dead animal for good!

Blood Ties

This spell costs a single hit's worth of blood to invoke (a mere half for an Ordained Priest of the Old Powers), and this blood must be drawn by either the caster or the target of the spell. This spell binds the caster and the target together forevermore such that all damage inflicted upon the one is simultaneously inflicted upon the other. Healing between them is also shared. Between mutually consenting parties, this link may be suspended at will and forms a deep empathic bond. Please note that this spell is only broken by the death of one party, which may well kill the other member of the link as well, although a Blood Blessing (see below) could get rid of it and an alchemical potion against Blood magic could suspend its effects. Note that if somebody is Blood Tied to multiple people then the effects of each tie are calculated independently.

Fourth Level

Blood Vengeance

One use per Adventure - The big brother of the Blood Curse. This requires five (three for Ordained Priests of the Old Powers) hits worth of blood, inflicted by either the caster or their intended victim. The caster pronounces a curse. It will come to pass. Try to be mythic. Note that a Blood Vengeance will never just instantly kill someone- use a powerful Blood Curse for that. This spell is for pronouncing ruin upon your enemy's family unto the Ninth Generation, not for killing Bob the Bandit Chief in a hurry.

Blood Blessing

One use per Adventure - The opposite of the above. The caster must inflict five (three for Ordained Priests of the Old Powers) hits of body damage to themselves and pronounce a blessing. It will work, provided they're not clearly just trying to powergame. This is, of course, subject to GM veto. Some example effects include the restoration of lost limbs or granting increased levels of Quick, Strong or Tough for one Encounter.

Fifth Level

Blood Calls Out To Blood

The caster may call up one of the Old Powers. This will require anything up to ten hits of body damage, and the caster had better have a damn good reason for disturbing them. Ordained Priests get no bonuses on this one.

Blood Sacrifice

The caster sacrifices their own life. They can either kill themself or be killed by somebody (or something) else, either way they can do just about anything with the resulting power. Like all fifth level effects this is a big plot issue, and subject to much GM discussion. Effects should be in keeping with the rest of Blood magic, they should be about life, nature, blessings and curses and so forth. Even if the caster is struck down suddenly by an unknown force, they can still cast this spell as their spirit leaves their body.

system/blood.txt · Last modified: 2011/12/12 14:45 by chaos
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