Tattooing Ithakills

Tattos are very important in some cultures, and since the Enchanting school learned to use magic through tattos, they have become more widespread. What methods are used? What do people with scales do for having a tattoo? Is there a temporal version?

In skin

Puncturing: to make the tattoo, a special pointy thin long needle has its tip bathed in ink. The needle is then punctured into the skin. This can be done in a variety of methods, but what it does in the end is putting ink under the skin and then allowing skin to cover the hole withouth losing the visibility to the ink.

Burning: used for less detailed tattoos, it consist into heating up a metal piece with a design until its burning red and then pressed into the skin. It will burn the skin, leaving the design from the metal piece. It is not a cheap method, as one has to commission the metal piece first, but it is one of the fastest (and some think of the painless) method.

Scarification: this one is bloddy and painful. It consists into cutting the skin and dropping ink in the wound before leaving it to heal. The tattoos made this way are basically scars coloured into unnatural colours.

In scales

Scales are not as easy to work as with skin, they are harder and not always a permanent part of one's body. There are two main methods of tattooing a person in their scales: carving and uprooting.

Carving is the least painful of the two methods. The scales get lines carved on them, forming an image in conjunt of them. These tattoos are temporal, disappearing with time as the person sheds scales and replaces them, and so the magic from magical tattoos also disappear.

Uprooting is painful, but permanent. To do this method, first one needs to delimite the zone where the tattoo will be, usually an outline with pencil or similars is done to know exactly how much it'll be. Then, the scales that are where the lines of the tattoo are will be uprooted. Finally, the tattoo will be done in a skin's method.


This article talks about some procedures that are painful and gore. Both things are only mentioned, not explicit.
Read at own peril


Dyeing is an option for people who cannot stand the pain of a tattoo or just want a temporal one that will disappear in some time. It is a simple process, with a brush and paint, body being a canvas. These tattoos do not last too long, but there are a couple of methods (both magical and natural) to make them last longer.

Types of ink

While each artist might have their own version of inks, they all can be categorized into two kinds of ink, both having a magical and a non-magical:

  • Glow: It makes the tattoo glow in the dark. For it to glow, it needs to have been exposed to light for sometime before or magic can be used to "charge" it (when getting a tattoo, this magical mehtod is taught because its simple and harmless). This ink allows one to see the tattoo through scales.
  • Normal: Cheap version, its the most used ink. People with scales (that have an Uprooting tattoo) won't be able seeing the tattoo, but it is used with magical tattoos when one does not care if the tattoo will be seen or not.

Adding colour to a tattoo is possible although it is a bit more expensive to get colour and then mix it to the ink (either normal or glow). It is more rare to find coloured tattoos.


Elves cannot get tattoos with ink, only being able to do Burning or Scarification (without ink). The bacteria living on their skin will always attack the ink and will make a mess of the zone where the tattoo was, causing wounds and usually infections. There is research to find a way to being able to be tattooed with ink.


Author's Notes

Scarification Toolset
Item | Nov 24, 2022

Scalpels, branding irons, tattoo needles and whatever it's needed to make your design visible through thick fur or plumage

Got hella inspired by this article of Naelin! I wanted to talk about how people of Daeliha tattooed themselves, specially people with scales (which the article originally was only about them) and how the scales might or not interfere with magical tattooes.

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Master PrincessESH
Aster Blackwell
3 Jan, 2023 02:31

This is really cool! It's neat to consider how people who don't have skin would mark their bodies. I find it especially interesting how elves are unable to get ink tattoos because of the bacteria in their skin.

3 Jan, 2023 13:35

Glad you liked it! The article was stuck in my head for a while so I'm glad I could finally write it down. I am having lots of funs with the elves' bacteria :D

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