|Related to||Devotion, Dominion|
|Featured In||The Emperor's Soul|
Bloodsealing is a manifestation of Investiture practiced by the Bloodsealers of Dzhamar on the planet Sel. Much like the better known Forgery, Bloodsealing makes use of stamps to create Bloodseals, runes powered by the Investiture of the Dor which can create a range of magical effects. However, there the similarities end. Instead of the conventional organic inks of Forgery, Bloodsealers make use of human blood as the ink in their stamp.
”There was no subtlety to what the Bloodsealer did; they didn’t traffic in subtlety. Instead of skill or artistry, they used tricks and blood. However, their craft was effective.
The specific processes and restrictions of Bloodsealing, as well as any limits to its capabilities, are so far unknown but a few constants and hints appear. The use of a stamp seems to be required, as well as the blood of a human being. The only stamp used to make a Bloodseal so far was made of bone, but it is uncertain if this is a requirement or if the person the bone came from is important. In addition, while human blood has always been used so far, it is also unknown if the blood of an animal will suffice to create a Bloodseal. Another rule is that the blood being used must be fresh, harvested from the person within the past twenty-four hours. After this time period, the blood grows stale and fresh blood must be used in order to perform additional Bloodsealing.
From here, evidence of Bloodsealing is based more on hearsay and rumor than actual evidence. There is some talk of the usefulness of a man's hair, nails, and personal effects in Bloodsealing. Shai claims that they would not be terribly helpful in Bloodsealing and there is no mention of their function or how they would be put to use. In addition to this, there are indications that the skeletons of specific people may be more useful than others in crafting skeletals, although again how and why are unknown.
Bloodsealers have been seen moving in an unnaturally lithe way. However, it is uncertain if this is a result of their magic or simply the unnerving effect their presence tends to have on others. It should be noted that the pale skin and hair are not a result of being a Bloodsealer, they are simply the characteristics of the Dzhamarian race. It is as of yet unknown whether the red eyes are a result of being a Bloodsealer or another Dzhamarian trait.
As all Selish Investitures are in actuality branches of one over-arching form-based system, it seems likely that requirements of one system may be requirements for them all. AonDor and Forgery, both systems better understood than Bloodsealing, share two such requirements.
Both manifestations of Investiture have a core symbol important in using the Investiture that is in the shape of the native land of that Investiture. For AonDor, this symbol is in the shape of Arelon and in Forgery it is in the shape of MaiPon. Therefore, it would seem logical to hypothesize that when crafting a Bloodseal a symbolic representation of the shape of Dzhamar, homeland of the Bloodsealers, may be necessary.
In addition to the symbols, both AonDor and Forgery have another connection to the land. The effectiveness of their Investitures diminish the further the practitioner is from the homeland of that Investiture. It appears likely, especially given that Bloodsealing does not appear to be known outside the Rose Empire, that this is also a requirement for Bloodsealing.
One of the primary uses of Bloodsealing is to craft wards used to imprison a specific person. The rune this process requires looks very similar to an eye. When inked with someone's blood, and placed on a door, the symbol begins to glow with a red light. The person whose blood was used also feels a brief sharp pain. If that person leaves the room in which they are imprisoned or attempts to alter the rune on the door, the Bloodsealer that placed it will know. As time goes on, the Bloodseal will begin to fail. The rune's glow will fade, pulse, and then eventually vanish altogether if it is not renewed.
Another, perhaps unintentional impact of a ward created by Bloodsealing is to render an object unForgeable. Just as ralkalest is incapable of being Forged, a Soulstamp will not take on any object with a Bloodseal upon it. Whether this also works the other way is unknown, but seems probable.
Main article: Skeletals
The other known tools of a Bloodsealer are skeletals. These creatures are human skeletons that have been reanimated by a Bloodseal on their forehead. The specifics for creating these creatures, as well as where the blood used in their Bloodseals comes from, are unknown. Skeletals have the ability to track a person if they are given blood that was taken within the past twenty-four hours. The skeleton of the skeletal must be intact and if it is damaged it will cease to function. In addition, sometimes the bones may be sharpened, such as the vertebrae. This makes them even harder to destroy, as they will hurt the person attempting to disassemble them. Repairs can be made to the skeleton with wooden replacement bones. Skeletals are as feared as they are deadly.
Within the Rose Empire
”There are . . . times when one must accept the aid of darkness in order to contain a greater darkness.
As a whole, Bloodsealing seems to be a controversial art in the Rose Empire. It is only known to be practiced in Dzhamar, who have not been mentioned to have any issues with its use. The Grands, ruling class of the empire, seem to have a certain distaste for the Investiture, but have displayed their willingness to make use of it over Forgery. Both the MaiPon and the Mulla'dil or Strikers have a strong and lasting hatred for Bloodsealers and their magic. MaiPon see it as twisted and unnatural. The mountainous homeland of the Strikers borders Dzhamar, so there is also a lasting enmity between the two peoples. For their part, the Bloodsealers also fear and hate the Forgers of MaiPon.
Teod and Beyond
On a global scale, as of the Late Era of Sel, Bloodsealing appears to be relatively unknown beyond the borders of the Rose Empire. It is uncertain what if any attitudes there is towards Bloodsealing in Teod or the nations of Opelon. It is possible that this is due to the diminishing returns on power often associated with moving beyond the borders of an Investiture's homeland.
Relationship to Forgery
Like all forms of Investiture on Sel, Bloodsealing uses patterns and shapes to draw upon the power of the Dor. However, Bloodsealing and Forgery bear a striking resemblance to one another in the method. While the creation of magical seals is something they have in common, what the two systems seem capable of is vastly different. The whole idea behind a Forgery is to build a plausible lie, in order to make both the Cognitive aspect of an object as well as other people believe an untruth. However, this idea has nothing to do with the two previously outlined contexts in which we have seen Bloodsealing used. Skeletals in particular, being walking skeletons devoid of any muscle or flesh, seem to very directly contradict the plausibility requirement necessary for a successful Forgery. These two systems at first glance appear very like one another but upon closer analysis they are still distinct, albeit closely related systems.
Similarities to Awakening
There are several notable similarities between Bloodsealing and the Investiture of Awakening on Nalthis. The most overt comparisons can be drawn between skeletals and the Type II BioChromatic entities known as Lifeless. Both involve the reanimation of corpses to serve the living. Both Investitures cease to function if the the body they work on is heavily damaged. In Awakening this twisted resurrection is fueled by BioChromatic Breath instead of the Dor, but there is no denying that they are similar. It is however important to note, that while it is possible to reanimate a skeleton with Breath, it requires much more Breath and it would be much simpler to simply Awaken a full corpse rather than simply a skeleton.
The comparison with Lifeless raises two interesting possibilities. If the two are analogous it is possible that bodies other than humans can be reanimated with Bloodsealing, as such a thing is possible with Awakening. The other possibility is that the comparison offers an insight into how a skeletal is created. Lifeless are returned to life and given a Command, which is a combination of a spoken order and a Cognitive concept of what the Awakened object is to do. If skeletals need a similar Cognitive concept, it would appear the Bloodseal on the forehead serves this same function.
Bloodsealing's other notable similarity to Awakening is based on a lie that Shai tells. She tells the strikers that the Bloodsealer guarding her has been stealing bits of hair and fingernail from them to use in some ritual. While she claims that the Bloodsealer would be able to do little with only those bits, the possibility remains that those pieces too can be used in Bloodsealing in some manner. If this is true, then there exists another notable parallel with Awakening. As per the law of Biochromatic Parallelism, the number of Breaths required to Awaken things is reduced when an object being Awakened is made closer to the form of life, often by using blood, nails, or hair. If there is any truth to Shai's lie, this is another fascinating parallel between the two Investitures.
- /r/fantasy AMA 2013
— Arcanum - 2013-04-15#
- Calamity release party
— Arcanum - 2016-02-16#
- The Emperor's Soul - Day 42 #
- The Emperor's Soul - Day 76 #
- The Emperor's Soul - Day 3 #
- The Emperor's Soul - Day 98 #
- The Emperor's Soul - Day 97 #
- SpoCon 2013
— Arcanum - 2013-07-10#
- Elantris chapter 46 #
- The Emperor's Soul - Day 30 #
- Elantris chapter 19 #
- A Memory of Light Milford Signing
— Arcanum - 2013-02-16#
- The Emperor's Soul - Day 17 #
- The Emperor's Soul - Day 12 #
- SpoCon 2013
— Arcanum - 2013-07-10#
- Warbreaker chapter 46 #
- Warbreaker chapter 33 #
- Warbreaker chapter 21 #
- Warbreaker prologue #
- Annotation for Warbreaker prologue #
Windrunner (talk) 14:26, 18 March 2016 (MDT)
|The Emperor's Soul (Sel)|
|Characters||Wan ShaiLu · Gaotona · Ashravan · Frava · Zu · Han ShuXen · Kurshina · Imperial Fool|
|Places||Rose Empire · Mulla'dil · MaiPon · Dzhamar · Ukurgi · Sogdian Forest · Rose Palace · Imperial Seat|
|Magic||Forgery · Bloodsealing · Soulstamp · Soulstone · Skeletal · Essence Mark|