Stand face to face with your shadow.
"... What? Are you confused or is that disgust? I'm not proud of what I do.
You ask me 'Why do I do it' And 'What is it like?' as if I could explain such things. I could never put it into words... not really.
All I know is I will never stop, I can't. The feeling is just that good... Well most of it.
When the passion ends and I come to my senses I stare in horror. A realization hits me as I stand there... Wnee deep in carnage. I often ask myself in these moments of wonder: Is this what it was like when Jekyll met Hyde?"
A Strange Sacrament...
The forbidden desire to lather the blood on your hands after a kill and savor the experience. To relish that metal tang on the tongue as you lick your busted lip in hunger at your enemy. If it weren't for instinct, it'd be hard to resist.
We, as all living things do, actively avoid blood. The sight of blood, especially our own, always indicates that something is quite wrong. Fainting and the sudden rush of adrenaline accompany the sight but what's most important to understand is its color.
The sanguine tint has a complex symbolism in almost every culture.
Red spells danger and can easily mark our last moments in this world, but in this context it also represents life. Our first moments are soaked in it just as well.
Blood means danger but keeps each and every one of us alive. This dichotomy cannot be overstated. It serves as a fundamental principle of the genre. These are not crazed killers driven by psychotic rage. They are not twisted or sick. They see beyond the disgust and forgo the taboo in order to experience something few ever do. This Scarlet Rapture, as they call it, is a spiritual awakening unlike any other.
It's brings on a mindset befitting all these meanings and more. Practitioners are dangerous, but not unfeeling. It is the color of love and more. It is the color of passion...and extremes.
"beautiful, yes? I love the color so much. It's fitting that blood is red like wine, it can be just as intoxicating..."
The Scarlet Rapture
The Scarlet Rapture is an event that occurs in the mind of a practitioner. Like most genres, a large part of learning blood magic comes from the psychological and spiritual side of the user.
This meditative state is designed for one purpose: to completely give to dark desires. To hell with taboos. The user loses themselves in the throes of their own passions. Practitioners of the genre are known for their empathy and are often quite sympathetic by nature for this reason. Obtaining the state is remarkably difficult as it requires the user to actively harm themselves without hesitation and fully embrace every sensation. The meditation puts one in a masochistic state of mind and such a thing takes time and practice as well as great understanding of pain. Their empathy comes from this pain. A blood mage no longer feels it the same as others do, but they remember it quite well. They abhor the sight of pain in others, and will always seek to correct it, or make it worse...
As one practices, they get used to the pain. They hold the blade above their skin and notice their hands no longer shake. They notice that they stop holding their breath in anticipation of the pain. They feel the flesh part as the edge severs each layer slowly and then they realize that pain is not what follows...this...this is ecstasy. The dichotomy didn't end before. It's still present and just as practitioners enter a mindset of manic masochism, so too do they risk the onset of sadism. This crimson passion is a road of self discovery and can lead one to ache at the fact that so few understand it. It is not uncommon for those who achieve The Scarlet Rapture to wish the same upon others. They need to show you what it feels like because if you eliminate the pain, what's left is indescribable. It's impossible to even comprehend. This is called the passion, and every practitioner struggles with it.
The Passion comes on a crashing wave as in a single moment the mage enters a state of temporary insanity.
They love every moment of it. This is where they get their power and this is how they perform their spells. They find that their devotion and masochism can heal and their sadistic need to show others what they have found can kill. They get to feel that experience as their blood is linked and feel without pain the joy of passing on into death... over... and over again.
Their feelings are clouded, however. Their victims are overcome with fear as the pain deadens and the soul is ripped from the body. The blood mage is aware of this, and their lives are often spent on edge as they walk a fine line between who they are and this otherness within them. Blood is addictive and every blood mage is an addict. On one side they have control on the other, they become a monster.
The Five Strains
A Give and Take
The Strain of Passion
The use of emotions and extremes when dealing with blood. Brutal, visceral and maddening. Blood is usually sacrificed by the caster and their allies and then used to assail their foes.
The Strain of New Moons
A strain dealing with cycles and birth, the blood used is always one's own and the strain is focused on rituals.
The Strain of Chirurgery
Healing and protection, the use of blood to aid others rather than harm. Usually casters give their own blood or blood that has been sacrificed but they are more than willing to use the blood of enemies.
The Strain of Profanity
A strain developed through the addiction and desperate needs shared by all practitioners of blood magic. Those who learn it never use their own blood or the blood of allies. They take their blood by force.
Religion and Blood Magic
The Red Maiden and WetworksThe Wetworks act as The Red Maidens domain. She is the virgin mother of all blood magic. All blood magic comes from The Wetworks. A practitioner may know nothing of the domain or the patroness who grants them their gift and it would still be so. A practitioner may receive the gift from another divinity and it would still be so.
The domain is an island of black sand surrounded by an ocean of blood. The sky has no stars, and the beings that populate this place are powerful and horrific, but much like those who desire the powers of blood, they are sympathetic and love those who visit the domain... in their own special way.
The Red Mantle
- Metaphysical, Arcane
A Preference For The Feminine
They do not have multiple personalities or any other mental illness. Their filters get switched off and all social and cultural restraints they may have had disappear. This shadow is effectively who they are at their most basic level without any kind of outside influence.
The Crimson Scripture
October "Cicada" Brooks
When she does, she leaves a trail of bodies in her wake. She is one of the main reasons Arcana Sanguis still exists in the modern day, many speculate that she is much older than she appears and must kill and bathe in the blood of her victims to remain alive.
This however is completely false. Her habits started to get attention and the media gave her a nickname: Cicada. She wears it like a badge of honor. During her visit in 1943, she started to leave sketches of cicadas at every crime scene.