The Old Powers are... and that's pretty much all you can say about them. They just kind of... are. They tend to be vast impersonal natural forces. Powers of the forest and the mountain, of the river and the sea. They are resolutely physical. Alone of the gods, the Old Powers seem to reside full time in the physical world. As you may guess from the name, Blood magic is a visceral business, and its practitioners tend to be very slightly barking mad.
More information on the Lady of Blood & Wine, the Spider-Queen(s), the King of the Eagles, the Lord of the Blood-Fury, the Lady of Battles, the Verdant Lord and the Lord of Sand & Stone can be found here on the Gods & Cults page.
The limit of Blood magic is, funnily enough, blood. The caster's blood. In great abundance. If you want to do Blood magic, you need to be injured. Injuries used in Blood magic can be either self-inflicted or inflicted in combat, but either way it's a one use deal, and the injury used must have been inflicted during the Encounter in which it is used. Once you've got the juice from a wound, it's used up. In general Ordained Blood Sorcerors need to be less injured than non-Ordained ones, since they are drawing power from a greater force. The Old Powers tend not to take offence at non-Ordained Blood Sorcerors, in fact they seem not to notice them at all.
The total amount of Blood magic that a Blood Sorceror can cast during an Adventure is equal to their total Body Hits, i.e. their number of Body Hits per location times five (unless they've lost a limb). Thus for the average human this limit will be 5 times their ranks of Tough, plus 10. (E.g. Tough 2 equals 4 Body Hits per location equals 20 points of usable Blood Magic per adventure). These can be used and healed at any point by any source.
The other limit of Blood magic is the fact that it's inextricably linked to living things - it generally won't affect anything that's not corporeal and alive (such as spirits, undead and creatures of Glass), and tends to be considerably less powerful in the Burned Realm.
The Spells - First Level
Blood Healing - Start as you mean to go on. The caster can heal body damage on either themself or somebody else by smearing the wound with their own blood. It's a one for one tradeoff, one hit's worth of blood heals one hit of damage on the target, unless the caster is Ordained, in which case it's two for one. It doesn't matter who drew the blood used, there are many tales of Blood Sorcerors charging into battle and using the blood from their wounds to heal themselves and continue fighting.
Note that this can be used to heal wounds but not to restore destroyed limbs or lost body parts, unless the caster sacrifices the corresponding part of their own body. There is no two-for-one deal on sacrificing body parts, even an Ordained Blood Sorceror must cut off rheir own arm to restore someone else's.
Blood of the Soil - This spell causes life to grow where the caster's blood falls. This is of immense use to farming communities, and adventurers could use it to break steel and stone if that floats their boat. The amount of life produced (it's always plants) and the rate of growth is determined by the amount of blood the caster puts into the spell. Ordained Priests of the Old Powers will get a doubled effect, but roughly speaking one hit's worth of blood produces grass, five gets a sapling, anything more than that is serious mighty oak territory. The blood used can be drawn by anyone.
Blood Cure - This spell requires one to five hits worth of blood, which must be drawn by the caster, and will cure the effects of any illness or poison (one for general fever or paralysing giant spider venom or mild food poisoning, five for leprosy or Vitrification, equal to the poison's Rank for Alchemical Poisons). Once Blood Cure has been used to nullify a particular type of poison or disease then the recipient is immune to that kind of poison or disease for the rest of the Encounter. The blood cost is halved for Ordained Priests of the Old Powers.
Blood Curse - This being the darker side of Blood magic, and one of the main reasons people are wary of attacking known Blood Sorcerors. The blood paid for this curse must have been drawn by either the caster or the person they're cursing, and cannot be more than the damage the caster can inflict in a single blow or the damage done to their flesh by the person they're cursing, whichever is higher. Note that the caster must use blood drawn from the same physical location as they wish to affect on the target, thus a spell to cripple a target's legs would require blood drawn from the caster's legs. A Blood Curse can have a number of effects, but most people tend to go for the direct damage approach; each hit's worth of blood put into the spell inflicts one hit of Through damage to a living target, ignoring armour. Ordained Priests of the Old Powers get a two for one deal again. Longer term effects, or more specific woes, are possible with GM approval.
Blood of the Beast - The caster inflicts one (or half for Ordained Priests of the Old Powers) hit of body damage to their torso and adopts the form of an animal for one Encounter. This animal must be mundane - that is to say it must be of a kind resident in the physical world and not the product of magical tampering or divine blood - but otherwise anything goes. Advantages vary. Small things get bonus Stealth and Dodges, big fierce things get extra hits and damage. Birds can fly, fish can breathe water, etc. Use the stats of any creature from the Monsters page which is flesh and blood and non-humanoid. Note that the caster's physical possessions don't transform with them, and if killed while transformed they remain as a dead animal for good!
Blood Ties - This spell costs a single hit's worth of blood to invoke (a mere half for an Ordained Priest of the Old Powers), and this blood must be drawn by either the caster or the target of the spell. This spell binds the caster and the target together forevermore such that all damage inflicted upon the one is simultaneously inflicted upon the other. Healing between them is also shared. Between mutually consenting parties, this link may be suspended at will and forms a deep empathic bond. Please note that this spell is only broken by the death of one party, which may well kill the other member of the link as well, although a Blood Blessing (see below) could get rid of it and an alchemical potion against Blood magic could suspend its effects. Note that if somebody is Blood Tied to multiple people then the effects of each tie are calculated independently.
Blood Vengeance - One use per Adventure - The big brother of the Blood Curse. This requires five (three for Ordained Priests of the Old Powers) hits worth of blood, inflicted by either the caster or their intended victim. The caster pronounces a curse. It will come to pass. Try to be mythic. Note that a Blood Vengeance will never just instantly kill someone- use a powerful Blood Curse for that. This spell is for pronouncing ruin upon your enemy's family unto the Ninth Generation, not for killing Bob the Bandit Chief in a hurry.
Blood Blessing - One use per Adventure - The opposite of the above. The caster must inflict five (three for Ordained Priests of the Old Powers) hits of body damage to themselves and pronounce a blessing. It will work, provided they're not clearly just trying to powergame. This is, of course, subject to GM veto. Some example effects include the restoration of lost limbs or granting increased levels of Quick, Strong or Tough for one Encounter.
Blood Calls Out To Blood - The caster may call up one of the Old Powers. This will require anything up to ten hits of body damage, and the caster had better have a damn good reason for disturbing them. Ordained Priests get no bonuses on this one.
Blood Sacrifice - The caster sacrifices their own life. They can either kill themself or be killed by somebody (or something) else, either way they can do just about anything with the resulting power. Like all fifth level effects this is a big plot issue, and subject to much GM discussion. Effects should be in keeping with the rest of Blood magic, they should be about life, nature, blessings and curses and so forth. Even if the caster is struck down suddenly by an unknown force, they can still cast this spell as their spirit leaves their body.
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This page last updated: 25th October 2005
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