The universe doesn't discriminate how you pay your prices.
As long as you pay, it will obey your orders.
Blood Crystals are gems made out of the blood and bone of living creatures, holding a semblance of life. A valuable black market spell component that in the right hands can provide mages an easy way to cast their magic. Or even bargain with otherwordly entities.
Blood Crystals are a natural phenomenon amongst a small percentage of the Oread populace. Growing from their bone marrow, they form on the surface of their skeleton. Most are too small to notice, but some may protrude far enough outwards to show up on the skin.
Some cases exist outside of the heritage with those who have close ties to the Plane of Earth. Instances are spotted on animals, sea life and even insects. Anything that seems to possess some sort of circulatory system and either a skeleton or exoskeleton.
Characteristics & Traits
Blood Crystals start off white while holding pockets of red blood throughout, creating a webbed structure of chambers holding the liquid. Breaking a crystal can cause blood to leak out from it, if not cause its vibrant colour to become more reddish brown in the progress.
People have been using Blood Crystals as alternatives to a spell’s magical components for millennia. The blood contained within has small traces of a soul, allowing casters to use that to power up their spells and other forms of magic.
Necromancy is one school of magic that shows the best results using Blood Crystals, allowing easier reanimation and resurrection of people. Bodies may even show intelligence beyond their basic functions and the demands of their master.
A more uncommon usage of Blood Crystals is as a bargaining tool with otherworldly patrons, commonly Demons and certain Fae. People use them as an alternative to their soul, coined as literal blood money. With it, they can ask for small demands from Outsiders.
Emphasis on small demands, as the amount of crystals needed ramps up fast when approaching an equivalent to a mortal soul. Records speak of literal buckets worth of gems.
Attempts at ethical recreations of Blood Crystals led to alchemists making crystals from calcium and animal blood. The difference is a more purified look, with fewer imperfections visible.
The downside is that each crystal has less potency when used as a spell component. They hold less essence per gram, requiring larger quantities for similar results. Only samples made with either fresh blood or humanoid blood seem to create greater results.
Titan's Blood Crystal
A legend speaks of crystals made from Titan's Blood, sought after for as a near bottomless supply. Mages believe these to have enough essence to last a lifetime of casting before running out, potent enough for even the mightiest of spells. Though its existence is only a rumour, with no explorer ever having found a crystal near the graves of the Titans.
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