Author Topic: 003: Setting Guide  (Read 1511 times)

Description: Trust- Everything you need to know about the Blood

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003: Setting Guide
« on: July 05, 2015, 07:50:09 PM »
the setting guide

"The Blood Survive on trust, Jared. We trust that everyone will follow the Laws and Protocol that keep the weaker safe from the stronger. We trust that males won't use their strength against a female except in self-defense. We trust that every witch who is served will respect the males who hand over their lives into her keeping. When the code of honor we've lived by for thousands upon thousands of years is broken, fear seeps in, and no man trusts what he fears.

Despite the risks of the Virgin Night and the vulnerable days of our moontimes, yours (males) is the most vulnerable gender. The need to serve has been bred into Blood males for so long, you can't be emotionally whole without it. Driven by the most intrinsic part of yourself to need what you fear - I can't imagine a deeper, more personal nightmare."
To quote Reyna from page 286 of the Invisible Ring:



This guide will help you get to know the world that the Blood live in.  Here we will give you a quick guide of the different information needed to play direct you to where you can find more detailed information if you need it.   Don't work about having to memorize all the details found here, this is just a reference to get you started on the basics.

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« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 12:23:49 PM by Melissa »

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Re: 003: Setting Guide
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2015, 07:51:18 PM »
life and culture

If you haven’t read Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels novels, you’re probably wondering about the people known as the Blood. What makes them special? What exactly is the big deal with these people?

Let’s start at the beginning: The Blood were created so long ago that none of their race is really certain where they came from. Legend has it that, upon realizing her species was slowly failing; the Queen of the Dragons, who once ruled over and cared for the land, gave her gift of magic to humans and animals alike so they could continue caring for the land. Those who were granted use of this magic, called Craft, became known as The Blood.

Since the gift of the Dragon Queen, the Blood people have evolved in a purely matriarchal one. Females hold the dominate power and throughout all of the three Realms, it is women who rule over the people, both Blood and Landen.   They believe that they have a dark connection to the darkness, given to them by the Queen of the Dragons; and it is men that serve and summit.    Other than gender, Blood society is composed of three major aspects: Jewel Rank, Caste and Socio-Economic standing.

The latter, Socio-Economic standing is fairly self explanatory. Money plays the same role in their world as it does ours. However, it is probably the least important factor in describing one’s social standing in the Realms. Rather, Caste and Jewel Rank play the more important role.

On top of this, the Blood have retained their ability to use the Craft, some becoming incredibly strong while others retain only the ability to do the most basic of functions with the assistance of Craft. The strength a person has is completely predetermined by genetics and (most importantly) the Darkness (from which all Blood come and to which all must eventually return), but the easiest way to measure it is by Jewel.


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« Last Edit: January 02, 2017, 03:12:22 PM by Melissa »

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Re: 003: Setting Guide
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2015, 07:53:30 PM »
the castes

overview
A person’s Caste is something predetermined by the Darkness and genetics, and each castes has its own unique set of craft (magic), duties, and standing with in the Blood Society. 

male castes
  • Landen – Any person, male or female, who does not have the ability to use Craft (i.e. is not Blood).
  • Blood Male – A male who is Blood. He may or may not wear a Jewel.
  • Warlord – A Blood Male who wears a Jewel.
  • Prince – A Blood Male who has an equal social status to (though not the duties of) a Priestess and a Healer.
  • Warlord Prince – A highly dangerous, volatile Blood Male. They are considered predators among the Blood and a law unto themselves. These men are dangerous but highly revered and possess a social standing slightly lower than that of a Queen.

female castes
  • Blood Female – A female who is Blood. She may or may not wear a Jewel.
  • Witch – A Blood Female who wears a Jewel. Also a generic term for a woman of a higher caste.
  • Priestess – A witch who cares for altars and Dark Altars. She oversees marriages, handfastings, Birthright and Offering ceremonies.
  • Healer – A witch who specializes in the physical body.
  • Black Widow – A witch who specializes in healing the psyche and the mind, marked often by a venom producing snake tooth beneath the ring finger of the left hand. Because of the snake tooth, a Black Widow generally has a certain level of knowledge of poisons and potion mixing. They also have a certain level of proficiency in glamours, illusions and precognition, each learning the ability to weave tangled webs either for visions, setting traps or making spells. Think of the Black Widows as the sorceresses in a world where magic is otherwise common. Not a lot is known about the extent of their training and anyone with training in the Hourglass is regarded with the utmost caution.
  • Queen – A Queen is the ruling class. She is viewed as the center of the Blood society and heart of the land. It is her job to care for the people and the land in which she lives.

natural vs trained

Those that are born naturally to a castes have the instincts that will naturally lead them into preforming the craft that is special to that castes.  However, in rare cases one can be one can be trained in the skills and duties of the Black Widows, Healers and Priestesses.  Not everyone can be trained as there still is a need that the person have some natural talent in the craft though, and the witch in question may not be as proficient or strong in certain areas of study as a natural born (who would have a certain level of instinct to fall back on as well as a keen understanding of her studies).

However, one cannot, under any circumstances, train to be a Queen. 

double and triple castes females

Because the male castes are fairly straight forward and general enough that the idea of double caste Blood men would be redundant (one certainly cannot be a Warlord Prince Warlord), there are several cases of double and even triple Caste females in the books, the most common are Black Widow Healers, sometimes a Healer Queen or a Black Widow Queen. Most likely, this occurs when someone with a Natural Caste also trains in another, but there are instances where people have been born with a natural aptitude in more than one caste. Please note, however that double castes and triple caste witches are very, very rare.

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« Last Edit: January 02, 2017, 03:12:49 PM by Melissa »

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Re: 003: Setting Guide
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2017, 03:13:25 PM »
magic: the craft

overview

the jewels
All Blood have the ability to use Craft; however, the stronger a person’s jewels are, the more power that person can contain. Since the physical body can only contain so much without deteriorating, the Jewels provide a reservoir of strength outside of the body that a person can access. Think of it like this: Each Blood has a bucket. The bucket represents the body. The body can only hold so much water (power). Those who wear jewels, however, also have a well. The darker the jewel, the deeper the well, the more water it can hold, the more power that Blood can have.
There are a total of thirteen jewel ranks the Blood may be gifted with, they are in order of least to greatest power:

White, Yellow, Tiger-Eye, Rose, Summer-Sky, Purple-Dusk, Opal*, Green, Sapphire, Red, Gray, Ebon-Gray, Black

The Jewels themselves are classified in two categories: Light and Dark. Opal is the dividing line between them as it can be either Light (Opal) or Dark (Blood Opal).

birthright and offering

The majority of the Blood are gifted with two sets of Jewels in their lifetime. The first set, their Birthright, is given to them between the ages of seven (7) and ten (10). This set is the Jewel that the child will use as he or she begins to understand how Craft works. The second set, their Descent Offering (or their Offering to the Darkness) is made between the ages of 17 and 21 (depending on the person). This set is the person’s mature strength.

A person may Descend a level of one (1) to three (3). For example, a child given a Birthright White Jewel has the potential to descend to Yellow, Tiger-Eye, or Rose. There are very rare cases where a person is not strong enough to make a Birthright offering but may be able to Descend to White. Likewise, there are instances where a person may not be strong enough to descend even one level.

jewel strength
It is said that the power of the jewels increases exponential larger as you can descend darker in jewel rank, and even within a jewel ranking power can vary making some darker than others. For example, a Yellow Jewel at its weakest is twice as strong as a White at its strongest. A Tiger-Eye is four times stronger and a Rose is eight times stronger. Going down the list, an Opal Jewel would be 4,294,967,296 times more powerful than a White. The majority of the Blood will only wear White to Purple-Dusk with a smattering of Opal, Green and Sapphire mixed in. Any Jewel darker than Red is an extremely rare and valuable gift.

However, there are certain benefits to a wearing a lighter Jewel. With so much raw energy to channel, Blood who wear darker jewels have a hard time working on a small scale. A White Jeweled witch may be able to use her craft to embroider a cushion or decorate a cake, but a Red Jeweled witch would probably accidentally destroy the fine cloth and thread and the cake would end up on the wall.


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Re: 003: Setting Guide
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2017, 03:13:50 PM »
government: the court system & social standing

overview
As in most cultures, the political intricacies of the Blood have a long and a short explanation. The basics of the political system revolves around the ruling courts of the Queens.  Each ruling Queen has a court made up of twelve males called her first circle. Queens may have up to 13 circle with duties to the court becoming smaller and smaller as move down in ranking. Queens have political sway based off the area that they ruler.   

District Queens rule the smallest bit of land which may only cover a village or two or even just one city.  They are what you may call the "local government" on Earth.  They often serve in the courts of Province Queens; typically in second circles.

Province Queens rule over a larger area, and can be equated to states here in U.S.  They are further away from the local people and are responsible for keeping the eye on the district queens.  Like district Queens, they often serve in the second circle of the Territory Queen's court.

Territory Queen rule over the whole Territory.  They are like the central federal government or prime minster of the Territory.  She is often considered the "heart" of the Territory and makes rulings that effect everyone.  She is responsible for making sure the other Queen's don't abuse their people and is the diplomat to foreign Territories.  She is the ultimate authority in her Territory; the judge and jury. 

becoming a ruler

It is not easy to become a ruler in the realms, and it gets harder the higher up you go in the the political system.  In order to become a ruling Queen, 13 males have to be willing to serve that Queen.  District rulers can be assigned by the Territory or Province Queen, and Province Queen's can be assigned by the Territory Queen, but then then the majority of the people have to be willing to be live under that Queen's rule, and can petition to have a Queen removed if they feel that she is not working in the best interests of the district.

Territory Queens are elected by a majority vote of the Warlord Princes and Queens in a Territory. Theses same individuals can also remove their support if they no longer wish to be ruled by a previous elected Queen.  However, typically, once a Queen is elected to the position of Territory Queen, she is the ruler until stepping down or dies.

non-queen ruling
Non-queens ruling are not unheard of; though often only found in the district level.  Much like the Queens, they are elected by the people to resent them to the Province Queen when their is no district Queen to speak for them, and/or to the District Queen when the Queen rules more than one village or town.  Typically, this is a male of great influence, but any one that has earn this respect can be given the position.

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Re: 003: Setting Guide
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2017, 03:14:06 PM »
setting: the blood realms

The land is composed of three different masses, similar to continents:
    Terrielle, the Light Realm,
    Kaeleer, the Shadow Realm
    Hell, the Dark Realm.

the realms

Unlike the continents on Earth, the Blood Realms seem to be piled on top of one another in layers. That is to say that they exist in completely different plains of reality rather than side by side. This means that getting from one Realm to another isn’t a simple matter of hopping a wagon and heading off into to the sunset.

The Light Realm, Terrielle, is presumably the uppermost ‘layer’ of the Blood Realms. Underneath this Realm is the Realm of Kaeleer, the Shadow Realm. It’s people are more traditional and honor the Old Ways of the Blood more strictly than the people of Terrielle. Under Kaeleer is Hell, the Dark Realm. Think of this Realm as the Blood’s version of the Underworld. No matter who you are, good, or bad, when you die, if you have enough strength left in your body and in your Jewels, you go to Hell. The Dark Realm is the realm closest to the Darkness (hence, Dark Realm). No living people are permitted to reside in Hell.

the territories

Each of the Realms is broken into territories. Though there are a few territories that overlap all three Realms, the territories, for the most part, are unique to the Realms in which they are located. The territories are then broken down into provinces which are composed by districts that may contain several, or a single, small village.

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Re: 003: Setting Guide
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2017, 10:49:26 PM »
religion: the darkness and mother night

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Re: 003: Setting Guide
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2017, 07:06:44 PM »
credits

The information on this page was originally put together by our former staff member, Alyssa.  It has been tweaked and revised several times over the year by various members of the staff.

Of course, all credit goes to Anne Bishop for creating the Blood Race to begin with.

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