The 8th World
Bloodletting and symbolic sacrifices play an important role in many mystical traditions including Voodoo, the Aztec and Asatru traditions, and some sects of Wicca, Druidism, Theurgy, and Orthodox Qabbalah. In the Eighth World, the term “blood magic” refers specifically to the practice and techniques involved in sacrificing someone’s lifeblood and life energy to fuel magic. Blood magic is believed to have been learned from malicious spirits or ancient tomes. In the Sixth world, as a vicious sacrificial act, Blood magic was illegal in most nations, with the notable exception of Aztlan, though most of the sacrifices performed in public there have a religious rather than arcane connotation.
Near the end of the 21st century, with Corporations and Nations fighting the first Horrors to enter the world, Atzlan began performing a large number of public Blood Magic Sacrifices. While, Atzlan seemed to have less Horrors within its borders, most people around the world were horrified at the rituals. Blood Magic was looked down upon by the world.
As the Horrors began more and more prolific in the world, magic became more difficult, as Astral Space became corrupted. A number of Corporations and Nations discovered that Blood Magic could be performed using the caster’s own blood as a sacrifice. This sacrifice usually requires only a drop or two of blood, but the fact remains that the magician is drawing on his own life energy to power his magic. While not as powerful as the Atzlan Rituals, this self-sacrificing Blood magic created potent magic that allowed heroes to fight the horrors.
Magicians and shamans began to experiment with blood sacrifices to power magical items. They met with limited success using Blood magic to power existing items, but also discovered methods of creating magical items powered solely by blood magic. This research resulted in what are now known as blood charms and living armor – magical charms and armor that offer their users powerful benefits or protection when imbued with Blood magic.
During the 600 years of the Scourge, Blood magic feel out of practice in the ARKs. While some research continued in specific ARKS, most of the inhabitants of the ARKs, simply wanted to forget about Blood magic and the Atzlan sacrifices. After the Scourge, most people still mistrusted Blood magic.
Because Blood magic offers a vivid reminder of the torments people inflicted on themselves in the days before and during the Scourge, ordinary citizens often feel deeply suspicious of magicians who use blood magic. Most people work hard at putting the devastation of the Horrors behind them or out of their minds completely, and choose to reject everything that Blood magic represents – even its potential for helping those still battling the remnants of the Horrors. As a result, those who do accept Blood magic as a necessary means to achieve the greater good of destroying the Horrors now refer to this practice as “Life magic” in an attempt to stress the positive aspect of this magic and cultivate tolerance among the mainstream for those magicians who use it.
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