The Bloodborn of Aetolia
Revived from the lingering vestiges of an ancient, bygone tradition, Bloodborn are dark sorcerers - experts in marrying physiological expertise with arcane prowess for deadly, and invariably repulsive results. No longer a mere footnote in niche scholarly history books, these highly capable blood mages re-entered contemporary Aetolia with explosive potential in the year 508, following the Dominion's rediscovery of lost and all but forgotten arts.
Founded upon the principles of crucial humanoid physiology, Humourism is a branch of sorcery focused around manipulating sanguine, melancholic, choleric, and phlegmatic humours.
These four substances are linked to the necessary elements to sustain a humanoid being and contain latent magical energy suitable for grand works of arcane power. A skilled wielder of such dread power can capitalise not only upon their own internal chemistry, but that of their enemy, allowing them to wreak havoc upon any that stand in their path.
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Roleplaying a Bloodborn
Powerful sorcerers with an ability to modify the body's basic composition, control and manipulate turgid pools of blood, and enact feats of arcane devastation through charms and rituals, the path of a Bloodborn is not one for the meek or meager.
What are humours?
Humanoid physiology is composed of a precise, harmonic array of all six elements, with the four core elemental forces forming much of the physical form of all beings. The two fundamental elements known as spirit and shadow are more ephemeral in nature, with blood being intrinsically linked to the allotment of spirit that orders the rest of their form. Imbalances in elemental composition are known to be the cause of such states as Ivolnite undeath, vampirism, symbiotic existence with a duamvi, or becoming an evangelised Akkari warrior.
Humours are the internal chemistry within beings that regulate their physical and mental state. The body's yellow bile is aligned with elemental fire and serves as an acidic substance when produced in excess. A person's phlegmatic system regulates their elemental water, ensuring proper internal temperature in a living person. Someone's black bile regulates mood and sanity, and is associated with the elemental air within an individual. Recent studies from medical scholars hypothesise that a body's ability to fight illness involves their allotment of shadow in some manner, though physiology and elemental composition both remain a topic of many unsolved mysteries.
How are the powers of the class accessed?
Humourism is a branch of sorcery focused around tapping into the latent elements regulated by black and yellow bile, phlegm, and blood, especially those found within the caster's own body. It is a visceral type of magic that is often expelled through the caster's mouth or pores, though the manipulation of black bile specifically is marked by control of someone else's humours to inflict great harm upon them.
Hematurgy is a specialised approach to Humourism that puts sole focus upon the sanguine humour more commonly known as blood. So vast is Hematurgy that it accounts for almost as much study as that of the other three humours combined. Manipulation of the dark edifice known as a blood well is a complex task that requires intimate anatomical knowledge, its most potent sorceries requiring the replication of a beating heart or the workings of a humanoid circulatory system.
Much of the foundational aspects of a Bloodborn's spellcasting originate from the notion of obscure arcana, collectively known as Esoterica. The practice is founded upon the premise of directing arcane energy via occult means to empower runic script, fuel esoteric invocation, and enact powerful rituals. It is a disparate school of dark charms and minor incantations that produce varied effects, including the ensorcelling and attunement of an infamous crystal aegis.
Visual style of the class
The life of a Bloodborn is anything but clean, for the defining aspects of their magic are that of crust, fluid, and filth. Burning bile erupts from their mouth; floods of frigid spittle crash in their wake; at their command, blood splatters everywhere the eye can see. Eldritch invocation and unknowable script are common aspects of their rare schools of magical study. Ornate implements such as staves, daggers, and sceptres are a common sight in the hands of experienced humourists, as much an expression of common arrogance as one of power. As a Bloodborn uses magical means to protect themselves from harm, they do not wear armour and are usually seen garbed in any material that is easy to clean.
Side effects of use
Owing to their mastery of blood, Bloodborn may find themselves more sensitive to the sounds of heartbeats and circulatory systems, as well as the scent of blood - exposed or otherwise. This can prove to be both a boon and burden, particularly to those practitioners of Consanguine origin.
Possessing such knowledge and power over humours will impart many practitioners with the ability to detect sickness in others and themselves owing to humour imbalances. In some cases these imbalances may be subtle, but in others they may be near-impossible to ignore by means of a sense of wrongness overwhelming the Bloodborn with its presence. Novitiate humourists may find this particularly distracting and difficult to work in the presence of.
Lacking the supernatural healing abilities their Consanguine counterparts possess, mortal Bloodborn may find themselves more oft riddled with blisters and burns that accompany the repeated expelling of bile. This can lead to unpleasant skin striations and scarring over time with repeated use. Enduring such ravages is often the main motivator in accepting undeath or vampirism.
Consanguine Bloodborn may find the effects of not feeding more difficult to bear, as such imbalances are much more readily apparent to them. The frenetic rage to feed when one's blood levels are low may oft be accompanied by feelings of despair and profound emptiness, further fueling the primordial urges already present in such a state.
A cholerisk is a crude being birthed from humours and held together by a Bloodborn's will alone. It is an extension of the spellcaster and it owes its serpentine forms to internal anatomy like intestines and vital organs. When customising your cholerisk, they should remain visceral or serpentine due to an intestinal shape being the best for a sorcerer's purpose of prolonged animacy.
Roleplaying the class
As a student of occult and brutal magic, Bloodborn are likely to be characters obsessed with power or knowledge that could lead to such. Some are arrogant scholars in pursuit of arcane might to rival divinities, whereas others are visceral ritualists seeking to further the goals of their nation, gods, or guilds. All Bloodborn have some inherent understanding of humanoid physiology, as it is necessary for the working of their spells. This knowledge could come from extension education or guidance from an old mentor or accomplished expert, or perhaps from cunning genius and isolated study.