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  • Encyclopaedia Arcane

    Blood Magic Ian Sturrock

    Open Game Content & Copyright Information Encyclopaedia Arcane - Blood Magic is ©2003 Mongoose Publishing. All rights reserved. Reproduction of non-Open Game Content of this

    work by any means without the written permission of the publisher is expressly forbidden. Encyclopaedia Arcane - Blood Magic is presented under the Open Game and D20 Licences. See page 64 for the text of these licences. All text paragraphs and tables containing game mechanics

    and statistics derivative of Open Game Content and the System Reference Document are considered to be Open Game Content. All other significant characters, names, places, items, art and text herein are copyrighted by Mongoose Publishing. All rights reserved.‘d20 System’ and the ‘d20 System’ logo are Trademarks owned by Wizards of the Coast and are used according to the terms of the d20 System Licence version 3.0. A copy of this Licence can be found at www.wizards.com. The mention of or reference to any company or product in these pages is not a

    challenge to the trademark or copyright concerned. Dungeons & Dragons® and Wizards of the Coast® are Registered Trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, and are used with Permission. Printed in the US.

    Mongoose Publishing Mongoose Publishing, PO Box 1018, Swindon, SN3 1DG, United Kingdom

    info@mongoosepublishing.com

    Contents

    Introduction 2

    Blood Magic – An Overview 4

    The Basics of Blood Magic 7

    Bonds of Blood 13

    Blood Sacrifice 24

    Creatures of Blood 32

    Blood Transfusions 44

    Blood Magic Items 54

    Help for Games Masters 58

    Designers Notes 60

    Rules Summary 62

    Licences 64

    Credits

    Editors Matthew Sprange

    Line Developer Paul Tucker

    Cover Art Anne Stokes

    Interior Illustrations Danilo Moretti, Sarwat Chadda, Eric Bergeron

    Production Manager Alexander Fennell

    Proof-Reading Andrew Wilson

    Playtesting Mark Howe, Daniel Scothorne, Mark Sizer,

    Michael Young, Mark Billanie, Daniel Haslam, Jamie Godfrey, Alan Moore,

    Leigh Anne Reger, John R. Ivicek Jr., Mike Mang, David S. Souza

    11

  • INTRODUCTION

    Introduction

    The ancient practice of blood magic has been outlawed in many civilised societies, for though it allows access to staggering levels of magical power the price can be very high. Savage tribes often respect blood magic, though even they tend to fear and avoid it where possible – its power is the stuff of legend, to be invoked only by those who expect to achieve great things or die in the attempt. A few warriors of the old school will swear blood brotherhood or other blood oaths but learning much more than that is generally the province only of primitive sorcerers or the most vile and despicable wizards. Those who go into blood magic with good intentions often find themselves seduced by its savage power, and soon want more – at whatever cost, up to and including dozens or hundreds of innocent lives.

    The power inherent in sentient blood has been recognised by many of the great philosophers and sages throughout history, both religious and secular. Whether spilling his own blood to fuel his spells, creating a ritual to bond two comrades in blood brotherhood, or sacrificing enemies for magical power, the practitioner of blood magic is drawing upon that ancient, primal force, and must take great care that he can control it, and not vice versa.

    Encyclopaedia Arcane

    Blood Magic – Oaths and Sacrifice is the latest volume in the Encyclopaedia Arcane series from Mongoose Publishing. Designed to be seamlessly slotted into any fantasy-based d20 system, these sourcebooks enhance and expand all arcane spellcasting classes, adding a whole new dimension to campaigns. Each book of the Encyclopaedia Arcane is of use to players and Games Masters alike, presenting full and detailed information on the new system of magic and ideas as to how to incorporate it into the repertoire of both new and existing arcane spellcasting characters.

    Blood Magic – Oaths and Sacrifice

    This volume of the Encyclopaedia Arcane series gives players and Games Masters alike the information they need to begin using blood magic within their campaign. You will find chapters devoted to learning blood magic from a teacher or by experiment, the perils of the bloody art, and items created by or to enhance blood magic. Plus, of course, this book presents new feats and spells with which to achieve mastery of blood magic, and new creatures associated with the practice.

    Both sorcerers and wizards can attempt to learn blood magic. Finding a teacher in civilised lands can be tricky, though it is also possible to teach oneself through trial and error. Many teachers of blood magic demand a far higher price than the student’s diligence and gold, though, and the would-be student must approach the matter with great caution.

    For the blood magician who is either very strong- willed and capable of resisting the more dangerous temptations of that path, or who is prepared to simply launch himself headlong into the most unpleasant aspects of blood magic, this can be a worthy addition to his arsenal of magical powers, allowing him to be a great deal more versatile than the more formulaic wizard or sorcerer. On the other hand, those who simply dabble with blood magic, learning a little here and a little there, believing they can control their habit, are often those most at risk of being either totally corrupted by it, or destroyed by one of the primal forces that seem attracted to it. . .

    22

  • INTRODUCTION

    According to the oral traditions of the Bl’taxu tribe, as well as the forbidden tome known to scholars and blood magicians alike as the Crimson Book of Keddah, blood magic’s origins lie at the very dawn of time. Though the accounts differ in detail, there is sufficient similarity between the two, and between other manuals of blood magic, to give sufficient evidence to support the theory known as the Elder Blood Hypothesis.

    The Bl’taxu posit a primal Creator God, Bl’taaax, who fashioned the universe from his own blood. It is said that the first man and woman, Phlaz and Sela, were formed from the clots in Bl’taaax’s blood, and given the instruction to breed so they could appease him by blood sacrifice. Gradually it is said that Bl’taaax and his magical son Ar’taaax taught the firstborn descendants of Phlaz and Sela to become the sorcerer-chiefs of the tribe, with all other tribal members being either warriors or slaves, depending on their ancestry – the beginnings of a caste system.

    Slaves worked the land and were sacrificed if they committed any crimes, or in any case when they became too old to work. Warriors captured new victims from other tribes. It seems the sorcerer-chiefs’ blood magic was powerful indeed, for soon their tribe dominated the surrounding area. Great festivals of sacrifice were held, with thousands of slaves and captives slain at a time. The rest of the tribe, warriors and slaves alike, witnessed these sacrificial deaths and celebrated with day-long revels and orgies.

    It should be noted that though the sorcerer-chiefs’ magic was supposedly in honour of their god, this could not be called ‘divine magic’ in the modern sense of the phrase. The magic was not granted by Bl’taaax; he seems to have derived some sustenance from the sacrifice, though not directly. Rather, it seems likely that as a god of blood, he gained energy from any spilling of life’s vital stuff, and indeed the tribe’s warriors also revered him and prayed to him to ask to be made mighty shedders of blood before every battle in which they fought.

    Soon after the ascendancy of the Bl’taxu, something went very wrong for them. Precisely what is uncer- tain, but it may be said with certainty that it too, like their rise to power, involved the practice of blood magic. It is said that at the grandest festival, involving almost all the sorcerer-chiefs of the tribe and more sacrifices than had ever before been seen, something erupted from the earth, a great, faceless, rav- ening beast, all claws and teeth, dark red-brown like dried blood, and devoured slave and sorcerer alike.

    Since that day the remnants of the Bl’taxu have hated and feared blood magicians of all kinds. Such sor- cerers inevitably feature as the villains of their folk-tales, evil not so much for their tendency to sacrifice innocents but for the danger they always pose of unleashing terrifying creatures of savage power, hungry for blood.

    The Bl’taxu never again achieved anything of great significance, and indeed were persecuted by sur- rounding tribes for many hundreds of years after their reign of terror was over. However, those tribes’ traditions also provide some supporting evidence of the Bl’taxu traditions; to this day they speak of the Bl’taxu as the ‘People of Blood,’ blaming all local incidences of vampirism and lycanthropy on Bl’taxu evil.

    From Arcane and Divine: A Comparative History of Magical Tradition By Grand Loremaster Farvol Thukir

    2 32

  • BLOOD MAGIC - AN OVERVIEW

    Blood Magic – An Overview

    Types of Blood Magic The blood magician’s most well-known area of expertise is that of bonds of blood, more commonly known as blood oaths – a primal means of solidifying any agreement, backed up by powerful magic from the dawn of time, written into the very laws of the universe themselves