Created By: ccoa on December 23, 2008

Blood Magic

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The spilling of blood is a potent force in the working of magic. It may be a token sacrifice, but it may also be the loss of life the fuels the spell. Expect mages who practice Blood Magic to be portrayed as evil, or at least grey.

Some blood may be indicated to be more powerful than others. Common types are human blood, the blood of royalty, the blood of a special line, a child's blood, or virgin's blood. Sometimes only a single person's blood has power, and any other blood is powerless.

The other side of the coin is menstrual blood, which is used much less frequently but is associated with life magic when it is used.


  • Melisandre of A Song of Ice and Fire uses blood magic to cause the deaths of Robb Stark, Joffrey Baratheon, and Balon Grey Joy. At least, that's the way it appears. The maegi Mirri Maz Duur also uses blood magic to "heal" Drogo and the favor is returned by Deanerys when she burns the maegi alive as part of the magic to awaken her dragons.
  • Mercedes Lackey loves this concept, and blood mages are frequently villains in her books.
  • In Stardust, the witches use the hearts of living stars to prolong their youth as a form of blood magic.
  • In Death: The Time of Your Life, menstrual blood is used to power a spell to send the characters to the land of the dead and come back alive ( mostly).
Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • December 23, 2008
    In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Voldemort uses Harry's blood to reconstitute himself.
  • December 23, 2008
    Taken From the The Power Of Blood YKTTW:

    Nico from Runaways can only summon her Staff of One when she is bleeding.

    In Planescape Torment, crystallized blood droplets are used for healing potions

    In World Of Darkness, blood powers vampiric moves, grants longevity, and can bind another vampire to your will.

    In the first Pirates Of The Caribbean, Will's blood was needed to break the curse on Barbossa's crew

    Shadowrun supplement Aztlan. Aztlan mages can use Blood Magic: spilling a human's blood to enhance spellcasting and summon Blood Spirits. Extremely evil, restricted to Non Player Characters.

    Earthdawn. Blood charms are used to seal Blood Oaths and gain magical benefits.

    Dungeons And Dragons. In earlier editions, a magic user used his own blood as an ingredient in creating a homonculous, possibly inspired by the Sinbad example.

    EDIT: @ Koveras: Shhh.....

    • Adds Caribbean to the grand list of words he cannot spell.
  • December 23, 2008
    [deleted by original poster]
  • December 23, 2008
    Almost literally in Final Fantasy Tactics A 2, where the skill "Blood Price" lets you use HP to pay for magick instead of MP. The catch? The HP cost is double the normal MP cost, and you can't use your MP at all with this skill equipped. However, the simple convenience provided by it more than outweighs the drawbacks.
  • December 23, 2008
    Discworld parodies this with the Rite of Ashk Ente, which summons Death - it's implied that this is supposed to require a human sacrifice, but magical refinements mean that it's now possible with only "4 cubic centimetres of mouse blood".

    A straighter example is in Carpe Jugulum, where Granny Weatherwax uses this kind of blood magic against vampires by 'infecting' them when they feed on her.
  • December 23, 2008
    Another parody happens in Lenore: The Cute Little Dead Girl, when she pricks her finger and spills a drop of blood on a doll. It turns out to be a vampire that was cursed to be an inanimate plaything, and her blood broke the curse. Unfortunately, he realizes he's still in a doll's body because the curse didn't break properly; she'd been embalmed.
  • December 23, 2008
    In the Dominions series, spells from most schools of magic are cast using "gems" which are basically elemental forces (fire, water, etc...) concentrated into portable form, and the casting prices of spells are listed in these gems. Instead of gems, however, one school of magic lists spell prices in blood. These prices are listed in increments of one 'blood slave, each of which must be drained completely empty, with high-level spell costs running into the hundreds.
  • December 24, 2008
    Tabletop RPG
    • Dungeons And Dragons: One of the material components for the Cacodemon spell (which summoned a powerful demon) was a bowl of mammal blood, preferably human.

    And another example from the The Power Of Blood YKTTW:

    • The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. The wizard Prince Koura uses his own blood to create a homonculous.
  • December 24, 2008
    Menstrual blood spell was used in A Game of You; for Time of Your Life, Foxglove just cut her palm.
  • December 24, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    In "The Legend of the Seeker" TV series (based on the "Sword of Truth" books which I have not yet read, but think I will), the Big Bad (whose name I don't know how to spell, something like Darkkon R'ul) used Blood Magic at least once so far, using it as magic ink to write a message in a book, which then caused it to appear to a 'paired' book one of his military field commanders possesed (sort of a magic 'instant message' or 'telegram').
  • December 24, 2008
    Only read the first two or three books in that series, Unknown. They get really bad after that.

    In the novels, Darkhen Rahl uses a kind blood magic in the form of consuming the brains and testicles (Squick!) of a young boy loyal to him to summon a creature of the underworld to ride and thus can travel anywhere very quickly. The travel journals were introduced later in the series and did not require blood to operate.
  • December 24, 2008
    Sort of used in Devil May cry. When you kill monsters you collect their blood (which conveniently crystallized into red orbs in contact with air) to upgrade your magic powers. Justified in that there is a bounty system in placed by some nebulous god of good.
  • December 24, 2008
    Another Tabletop RPG example: In Shadowrun, the Aztechnology Corporation is loaded with Blood Mages. And they're the ones that invented cyberzombies.
  • December 24, 2008
    Older Than Dirt; a very old Greek curse was for a witch to run three times around the house she wished to curse while menstruating. Especially potent if it was her first period.