Alterationism is the medical art of extreme body modifications for both pure aesthetics and genuine need. To be an alterationist is a bit of a taboo profession in many cultures due to the extremity of body modifications that are performed. Many alterationists need a strong stomach and years of training to perform procedures.  



Aesthetic modifications include minor alterations such as permanent tattoos with traditional ink, or ones that glow with body heat that are infused with Glow-Jelly. Scarification is another popular yet controversial practise where designs are cut deeply out of the skin allowing scar tissue to permanently show a design, but the process is very bloody and very painful. Branding is sometimes used among gangs (though it's rare that they'll bother to use a professional alterationist to carry it out), an alterationist can work with a Wright to create a custom designed brand which will be heated in the heart of a fire before being pressed firmly into the skin. The process can be dangerous if not done correctly or in the presence of a healer. The other common destructive modifications are piercings in all shapes, sizes, and locations.   Constructive modifications relate to the crafting of prosthetics for missing limbs.  


Uncommon procedures are more complicated and involve extreme things like voluntary amputation, horn grafting, horn sculpting and carving, horn, teeth, and tusk straightening, permanent hair removal, tongue splitting, and the most popular of all - rune embedding (where an enchanted rune is buried beneath the skin of a Magic caster, allowing them permanent direct contact to it).

Cover image: by TJ Trewin


Please Login in order to comment!
23 Dec, 2020 18:35

Oo, what an interesting profession. Do alterationists often have body modification themselves? :D

23 Dec, 2020 18:55

I *LOVE* the glow-in-the-dark tattoo idea! :D   The branding gave me a college flashback; in one of the frats, it was customary for new inductees to have the fraternity's first letter, and sometimes the individual's line number branded on their upper arm with a hot wire hanger. The result ultimately looked more like your scarification description. I'm gonna guess the alterationists aren't using hangers!

7 Jan, 2021 21:21

This is super cool. I love the glowing tattoos, and want one now :D

Cathedris, the world of God-husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
Aiming for copper this Summer Camp, check out my few articles!
Powered by World Anvil