Blood Magic

So, you wish to learn the powerful art of blood magic? How much meat do you eat in a day or week? Are you well hydrated? Do you know the difference between a vein and an artery? Do you know how much blood you can lose - safely? Do you know how much you will need for each task?
  In Tormyra, magic is taught as a skill or trade for the magical elites. Those who can prove themselves worthy of studying magic through rigorous testing earn the opportunity to study the arcane arts. Storm-casting, element-forging, wards, and illusions are some of the more common forms studied. Others are more obscure due to stigma - potions-crafting, arcano-mechanisms, other lowly forms of magic. Blood Magic, is obscure because of the risks and the stigma attached to its use.

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Among the studies of magic, mages using blood as their medium have been treated with suspicion and blamed for catastrophic disasters because blood magic is heavily recorded as a powerful form. Lives, plural, can be saved in less than a heartbeat - faster than healing magics or even potions made with Red Moon Blooms - or ended just as swiftly with a single spell. With the sacrifice of large amounts of blood buildings can be ripped apart, minds and bodies bound to the caster as enactors of the caster's will, a plague burned away from a city, or the dead returned to life.   Most mages in Tormyra would fail to hesitate in expressing their ambitions, but the reputation of blood magic would bring all to pause and consider the costs with the reward.
Blood magic is powerful - but it's like trying to control the storms, the oceans, and every emotion at once, if you lose control. I use it, but not for every little task as it's like controlling a storm by shoving it all into a drinking glass. The glass will break, and the disaster may kill you or require your death to fix.

A Reputation Earned

Blood mages are rumored to lose touch with reality the more often they use it, but with more use, the more control the caster has. Witnesses report the sight of a skilled blood mage as turning bloodied gore into beautiful works of art.
I saw the blood become a clawed hand of swirls, ripping down into the ground and buildings, but it was ... I swear, Zyrian's hands would look that if she were provoked into bring death to people instead of waiting for death to get there naturally. There were shadows as if the blood were both here and not-here.
— Eye witness

Mysterious Shadows

Where some may call the shadowy figures "demons" in their ignorance, the blood mages can report the figures have nightmarish preportions and appearances while also acting in general akin to unknowing ancients - if the mage is able to communicate in anyway with the beings before they vanish. The few who are more able to communicate may have their own motives, but appear unconcerned for whatever goes on in the world they were abruptly pulled into. The latter may stay around for longer, though their presence warps their surroundings.   The call the place they're from "Here but not here."

The Nomadic Elves

Some have suggested the Nomadic Elves use blood magic to create the tattoos they use for family identification or the type of magic the person studies or uses. writemorelater

Cover image: by Lyraine Alei, Midjourney


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